Southland Review: The Price of Friendship

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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.

Earful for Adams

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?


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (20 Votes)

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


$500,000? That's an awful lot of money. He's lost his wife, his job, and now Lydia. If the money doesn't buy him a new girlfriend soon he's going to be feeling pretty lonely. I love John more every week but its tough to see Sammy spiral out of control. If they hadn't already killed off Nate I'd think he was headed for the same result.


I hate Sammy's wife. I really really hate her. If Dewey had have hit her with the car, I would have got up and done a jig. The Lydia and the dying dude story was good. This show excels at the small victory stories like the trailer. Sammy could have gotten the guy. The killer was No. 4 in the lineup. I sort of get the reasoning of Russell. Certainly, the "the word's gotta get out" story was bull. But the other reason was legit. I really like Chicky. It was an allright ep. Nice review, too.


I always knew that Nate was the smart one in that partnership but Sammy is proving me right every week. I can't imagine how bad it's going to get for him. I feel so bad for his kid. Talk about messed up parents. And there could be certain friends I'd give up for $500,000 but I don't think Russell will be able to replace Lydia.


There were so many good things about this week's episode. Russell selling out Lydia. Half a mil is a nice pay day but a horrible way to treat a friend. Then he has the nerve to act like she shouldn't be mad at him! I think I love John in almost every scene lately...John and Chickie, John and the trailer, great stuff. Sammy is just out of control. Next week it looks like he gets even worse. I wonder if or when he'll pull himself together. I love this show.


I had a "bad feeling" last episode about who had leaked the photos..and sure enough, it was him...Not a very admirable thing to do....and I don't really think that the half million is going to bring him much happiness. When it is gone, he will truly have NOTHING...But I LOVED John's "solution" to the trailer John-like..I fear for Sammy's well-being...he's going to lose all sense of reality...On so MANY levels..and OMG ! ! ! wasn't Lydia AMAZING.. THAT whole theme was SO MOVING..poor guy... GREAT SHOW.

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Southland Season 3 Episode 7 Quotes

Russell: What happened to Lydia the optimist?
Lydia: She got her ass handed to her by Lydia the suspect.

Even when cops do everything right things can still go sideways. Learning to accept this is a big part of the job.