Southland Review: The Walls of Civilization

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When you're "Under the Big Top," the walls between the circus and the rest of civilization are pretty thin. No one knows that better than the cops of Southland.

Tracking Bank Robbers

Cooper and Lucero's day was never dull. I'm really enjoying these two as partners. It's great to see John playing off of an equal instead of training a boot. 

When Dewey called them over to inspect the vat of foulness with the nipple ring, I assumed that was Ted in there too. At the end I had to wonder, if it wasn't Ted, then who was that being boiled down to bone?

When they found the man butchering a goat in his bathroom, all I could think was I'd never again take a shower in there. 

The best part of the day was Cooper and Lucero making a game show parody out of picking up the pimp and his hooker. Lucero guessed correctly when Cooper found not one but two concealed weapons - and who could forget the bonus round where the guy had an open warrant for murder? Even better was he and the hooker trying to figure out which guy he'd beaten on that ended up dead. Apparently there was a list of possibilities.

Terrell tracked down Lydia. Yvette's divorcing him and he wanted to get to know his son. I certainly don't want to see Lydia falling back into bed with the guy, he's a chronic cheater, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't be a part of his son's life.  

I cheered for Reuben when he told Lydia not to make another mistake and shut out Terrell. Her son has the right to have a relationship with his father and he'll probably grow up resenting Lydia if he finds out years later that she didn't allow that to happen.

I couldn't believe Sammy took that money. I understood why, but that's one hell of a risk. It could be marked or someone could have recorded him taking it on their iPhone. He's got a good salary, a pension, and his child on the line if that decision comes back to haunt him.

As for Sherman, his bed's never cold for long. He and the teacher seemed like a pretty good match. She just might bring out the good in him.

I had one question, however. When he got on that subway and realized that Sammy hadn't, why didn't he just hit the emergency button or cord that's on the train to make it stop?  

When that woman approached him after the fight, I thought she was going to ask if he was okay. Silly me. She was just there to grab the cash before someone else did.  

Southland never fails to highlight just how thin the walls of civilization truly are.


Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.8 / 5.0 (18 Votes)

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


Good review! As you wrote, I am loving the John/Lucero's partnership. Also, It was good to see Ben to find a girl that not belongs to stripclubs. However, I was really disappointed with Sammy's behavior... but the writers maybe want to show that no one is completely free of fail. By the way, I think Sammy needs a new gal. Maybe if he had one, she could alert him about taking the money and Ben is not a friend for Sammy as Nate was. The scene when Ben talks with the kid and Sammy seems bored it's for me a proof that they are competing with each other.


When that woman approached him after the fight, I thought she was going to ask if he was okay. Silly me. She was just there to grab the cash before someone else did. I had the exact same thought so its silly two of us :-) This week episode I thought was a weaker one.


Your comment about Ben and his bed kind of hit me the wrong way. He spent how many episodes over how many seasons utterly alone, or at least any time we saw him he was alone reading or at the firing range or staring at the wall. When twisted women suddenly made a play for him after the viral video, he was less than thrilled. If he was lonely and looking for some kind of connection and not finding it, he wasn't much different than other young 23 or so year old guys out of school. He just was in a very different place. If you look at the lives of the other characters, beginning with the opening of last night's show, I think that says enough about singling someone out. However, I hope that Brooke sticks around and isn't another casualty of a bad decision or budget call like Chickie. Only being able to see Ben with Sammy means only seeing the mask and act Ben has to put on not to be mocked or put down and run the risk of being a target again for being too invested. Not realistic or good TV IMHO. Good for Ruben for giving Lydia a talking to and for being a friend. He's the kind of friend everyone needs, especially Lydia and Ben. The stolen money was based on a real story in L.A. As soon as money was more of an issue with the constant Sammy complaining about you know who, I knew he was taking as much money as he could. Not smart, but predictable.


I hope that Ben finally, since Chickie, has someone who might be at least a friend and someone to relax with and trust. If there can be more, even better. I doubt that he's ever had that or even close to a healthy relationship, even with a parent or a half-sister he had to meet after age 10. Surprise, meet your half-sisters! I think it's natural that someone that isolated, lonely and discouraged by a job he was so invested in, but so disappointed by his first year for obvious reasons thanks to Cooper's behavior that almost got him killed and put him in such a horrible and disillusioned place, and then Sammy's antics and attitude last year. Figuring things out after waiting for half his life for his goal would be tough. He tried to give 100% and give everyone the benefit of the doubt for too long like an over eager puppy. That had to be diminished somewhat. He wanted to see the good in everyone, but was constantly thwarted. Being able to regroup with someone who would support him and care about him would be a huge boost to fill a very empty void. i believe Ben couldn't stop the train, and even if he had, the robber could have easily exited and blended into the crowd. Sammy taking the money wasn't a surprise. He's always looked for corners to cut or what he can get away with. My friend totally called it as soon as the train left the station. Ben doesn't trust Sammy with anything personal because he doesn't want to be laughed at and targeted more as the "rich boy" joke that's been the case for so long and has given him too much to prove by overcompensating. Sammy would never admit to stealing the money because of Ben's reaction.

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Southland Season 5 Episode 4 Quotes

They say that working for the LAPD is a ticket to the greatest show on earth but it isn't always easy to get to the front row.


Broken windows lead to real crime. Assholes think they can get away with anything.