Southland Review: The Price of Friendship
Similar to real life, things on Southland frequently go off course. This week’s episode was no exception, hence the title: "Sideways."
The TNT drama gave us the snapshot scene at the outset and then we spent the rest of the hour winding our way back to that moment. When the woman stepped in front of Dewey and Chickie’s patrol car during a high speed chase, my breath caught. I expected them to swerve and miss her. Sometimes, I forget, this isn’t your normal cop show.
I wished we’d seen more of Dewey’s reaction to the pedestrian death. It sounded as though he fell back on his twelve-step program, but it happened off camera. In the aftermath, Chickie questioned why she became a cop and that led to a wonderful scene between her and John.
Last season, John doubted whether she was capable to wear a badge. This season, he was the one that had her back, the one to remind her that being a cop wasn’t just a job, it was part of her identity, that she deserved to wear that uniform.
For anyone who has ever dealt with city politics, John’s foray into bureaucratic Hell was a all too familiar. The neighbors were begging for the crack den trailer to be removed and it should have been, months ago. But there it sat. The local drug cops used it for one-stop shopping. As long as it’s there, they were guaranteed a quick and easy arrest. They were in no hurry to see it moved.
The city continued to make a mess of the paperwork and the crack whores and junkies continued their show for the neighborhood children. Finally, John had enough. He, Ben and a few of the guys from the neighborhood pulled the damn thing into the roadway where he called it in as an abandoned vehicle and had it towed. John’s sense of desperation created a unique solution.
Josie had little to do this week except react in the same way as 95 percent of the public would have. Her first question when she found out she was being suspended was based around salary. When the answer was in the affirmative, she said she was headed home to work on her Internet shopping, taking her impromptu paid vacation with a smile.
For poor Lydia, it was a different matter. She was the one on the hot seat. She was the one with her job on the line. When Russell finally confessed that he sold the photos, you felt her fury. She’d been through the ringer and he’d watched every minute of it and kept silent. Did he really think their friendship still had a chance?
Lydia’s budding friendship with they dying man was heartbreaking to watch. The story she told about her relationship with her training officer certainly sounded true, but she claimed it was a lie. It would explain, though, why she’s found it difficult to put her heart on the line again.
Elsewhere, Dewey was right about Sammy: Failing to identify Nate’s killer in a lineup had him right on the edge. Will he fall off it next week?
In the end, “Sideways” left me with a lingering question: What price would be enough to sell out your best friend? Russell lost his job and his close pal, but as he said, half a million dollars helped ease the sting. How many people would disagree?
C. Orlando is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow her on Twitter.