Southland Season Finale Review: What Kind of Cop are You?

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This season of Southland started with "Wednesday" and ended on "Thursday." Both normal sounding days, unless you're a member of the police.

Every cop has to make a decision about what kind of officer they want to be. Depending on the individual, those answers were wildly different. 

Southland Season 4 Finale Photo

It was Tang's last day before she moved on to her Sergeant's post at another station (and to CBS, of course). Where Cooper and Tang started off so strong, they ended on an all-time low. Cooper felt she put his life in danger by trying to play hero, but then the real issues hit the fan.

He couldn't believe she lied about shooting a kid in order to get ahead in her career. Tang shot back that she wasn't the only liar in their partnership. Everyone knew that Cooper's back rehab was about his drug use but they kept their mouths shut because he's a good cop. Tang expected the same treatment.

Is it the same? I don't think so. Although Cooper's hid his addiction, he did eventually get help. Somehow Tang letting a kid take the blame for the accidental shooting felt worse. That she did it to gain a promotion made it an even bigger disappointment. That little orange piece of plastic will always be a wedge between these two partners.

Back at the station, we found Lydia without Ruben. I loved that her doctor was willing to write her a letter for whatever she wanted. Stay in work until D-day, light duty, or stay out for the rest of the pregnancy. The doc had dealt with enough pushy patients to know they'll just find another doctor if she doesn't give them what they want.

I found it funny that stress on the baby was what got Lydia to make the tough choice, but getting hit in the abdomen, tackled and almost stabbed this season weren't enough of a reason to step down. Turned out that taking a statement from a badly burned child was the catalyst she needed. How very sad.

When she finally told Terrell that he was the daddy I was shocked by his reaction. He basically offered to leave his wife. I didn't see that coming.

Over at the hospital, it was good to see Sammy doing so well, but I couldn't believe how much responsibility he felt towards Ben. Sammy's been through so much and he really is a good guy. If only Ben would take his advice.

Officer Ferguson finally made his way back to work after the gunshot wound to the face. I heard a lot about Lou Diamond Phillips being on Southland this season so I was surprised that it was only for the first and last episodes but I enjoyed his character's limited story arc, nevertheless.

Ferguson saw through Ben every step of the way. The moment they tracked down the hooker's daughter, the picture of what truly happened was made clear.

Ben did a great thing, getting that girl to an organization that could help her and buying her a bus ticket to her grandparents home. Daniella now had a second chance at a new life if she's willing to take it.

Unfortunately, Ben Sherman didn't know how to let things go.  Eventually this job will eat him alive, if it isn't doing just that already.

So, is Ben the type of cop to carry a drop piece, hunt down a man, shoot him and make it look like it was justified? It looked like Ferguson thought so. And Sammy certainly had his doubts about his partner.

What type of cop is Ben Sherman? No one can know that but Ben.

If you missed any of the amazing moments from season 4, check out our Southland quotes page or catch up on all of our reviews.

Now bring on season 5.  I want more Southland.


Editor Rating: 4.6 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (66 Votes)

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


For all of you who aren't law enforcement, we all carry a backup handgun, that we maintain on a regular basis so in an event we need to use it, it's working properly. He was cleaning his backup duty weapon.


Am I the only one who thinks Tang's shooting was clean?
I watched that episode repeadetly & didn't see the orange
safety tip. I was super confused with the scene outside the bar in the finale,


After watching the episode again, I agree... It was not the same gun. Although I left the episode believing that it was. It was left ambiguous and I think on purpose. Amazing show. TNT please bring it back.. for a few more seasons.


Southland was good but they ruined Cooper character. He was addicted to pain killers because he had backache. Then he then got surgery which stopped the need for pain killers, so why does he still define himself as `I`ll always be an addict`. He was a strong character and now he is reduced to a whiny little bitch who runs to his sponsor and pills (which he does not need) every little stressful situation he faces. Bring back the old Cooper and ditch this `addict` crap.


This is one of the best shows on tv. I sure hope it will be renewed.


Or he prepared a drop piece intending to use it, but in the end didn't have the chance to make the decision - maybe the pimp had his own gone and did pull and Ben wasn't expecting that, he might not have made up his mind yet about planting a gun.


Somebody help me out here: How did Lydia originally hook up with Terrell? I mean, where does she know him from and how did they get together? I really don't remember that story line. Thanks.


Oh just found this quote from the actor who plays Ben, talking about the finale:
McKenzie says. "It tips Ben over into another place. ... You are certainly left to believe that he has made a pretty serious decision that is pretty far outside the bounds of what he ought to do morally, legally, ethically. It's pretty severe. It is a far, far cry from where we started." This pretty much proves that we're supposed to think he planted the gun (maybe they screwed up the details of it, but thats what we're meant to think.)


It probably was a plant; that's why he didn't reply to his partner when he was asking him where he was on the radio - he knew that way he'd get him alone.


Ben did not use a "drop piece". If you go back to the beginning scene, he has a Smith & Wesson Chief's Special 9mm and a Glock of some kind. One is entirely black, the other is entirely stainless steel. In the scene where he shoots the a$$hole, the gun is a Heckler & Koch USP with a stainless steel slide and a black grip. For all you non-gun people out there, that means the gun was silver on top and black on the handle. They were not the same gun. He didn't plant the gun.

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Southland Season 4 Episode 10 Quotes

13 years patrolling. I might just miss this freak show.


I feel like I let you down.