Southland Review: "Code 4"

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Holy smoke!  I never saw it coming. 

The end of tonight’s Southland just blew me away. The irony of “Code 4” became crystal clear when Nate gives the no-assistance sign to the chopper overhead.  He thinks the situation is under control as he jokes with a man about his new tattoos. Then, just as he steps away, someone slams him in the back of the head with something.  A bat maybe? 

As in real life, it all happened so fast it was hard to tell what the weapon was when Hell broke loose.

Code 4 Scene

Shawn Hatosy (Sammy) was stellar in that scene.  I could feel his terror as the once-controlled crowd became an angry mob. It was horrifying to watch Sammy desperately trying to drag Nate to safety amidst the presence of people intent on stomping on his already-bleeding and unconscious body.  I’ve watched the scene twice now and I don’t think I can watch it a third time.

Nate’s death was not what I expected.  At the beginning of this episode, I would have picked Sammy as the character in the most danger, but
Southland surprised me.  I love it when a show can do that. Nate was a complex character with a lot more story to tell and I'm gonna miss him.

The humor in this episode is what made the tragic ending all the more surprising.  It was comical to see how Ben’s ego drove him to make one mistake after another.  Like the cuffed suspect who takes off when Ben turns his back on him.  Loved John’s line,  “Why run when you can drive?  One more thing they didn’t teach you at the academy.”

Or the crazed man high on PCP, standing in the middle of the street in his underwear with multiple taser wires hanging from him.  Even when Ben seems to save the day, it still backfires when he fails to secure the prisoner properly.  It was a hellish day to be Ben overall.

Despite the humor, John’s point was valid.  This isn’t fraternity hazing, regardless of what Ben might think.  This is a job where overconfidence will get you or someone else killed.  Better he find that out sooner than later.

I missed Josie this week, as the show had her in court and off screen.  I enjoy her give and take with Lydia.  It’s fun to see those two get on one another’s nerves.

Watching Nate’s wife fall apart in Sammy’s arms was a heartbreaking way to end the episode.  What do you think the aftermath of this tragedy will be?  Do you think Sammy will actually pull it together and get his life on track?  I doubt it.  My guess is that his guilt over Nate’s death will send him spiraling out of control. 

This was one of my favorite episodes of Southland so far.  Where did it rank for you?


Editor Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.8 / 5.0 (122 Votes)

C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.



Did anyone else think the eye witness was the girl watching from the porch?


I just watched this episode again on iTunes, SO SAD!!! Nate was one of my favorite characters! The show won't be the same without him! I love this show too much to stop watching it but I definitely cried my eyes out in the end. Definitely agree with those who said it's the best show on TV right now! love it!


I keep asking myself "why?" Hope that the motive for Nate's killing is revealed. Was it in retaliation for trying to get the girl to 'snitch?' I don't think it was random; that wouldn't make sense especially since it was so brutal.


the first time a show scared me shitless, i was like, what the hell is going on.


I have watched this show from the beginning and it is superb! The writing and the acting is great. It is so realistic and you get to see what it is like to be in law enforcement. Not an easy job. I will miss the incredibly gorgeous Nate. He was the main reason I looked forward every week to seeing the show. I look forward to see what happens with Sammy in the aftermath!


Definitely one of the best shows on tv right now. Damn I never saw that coming...


I usually do not comment on message boards but I purposely sought out a board for this episode of SouthLand. I swear I have had trouble sleeping after watching the BRUTAL death of Nate!! It has also given me a little perspective on how quickly things can go left in the life of police officers out there on the streets. I've read that a lot of people were going to stop watching the show because of Nate's death but come on, we can't let this great show get away from us (again, for those who watched it from the beginning) because of something the fans don't like.


@courtig...I was thinking the exact same ironic this show would air this week amidst the brutal killings of 4 LEOs in Florida...GREAT EPISODE!!


that was one of the best episodes of any police drama i have seen, up there with the best of the wire(G.O.A.T) southland is an excellent show, nate was one of the best characters in it

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Southland Season 3 Episode 4 Quotes

Save the chivalry for Buckingham Palace. There's no place for it on the street.


Most of us go to work every day with a pretty good idea of what's going to happen. As Detective Bryant would be reminded today, cops never do.