Television Review: "Southland: Episode 2--U-Boat"

3/21/2010 Posted by Admin

Television Review

"Southland: Episode 2--U-Boat"

By our guest blogger, Sanela Djokovic

Rookie Ben Sherman is tested once again in this week’s episode of “Southland.” Ben gets the car all to himself when Cooper tells him to patrol alone for the day. But it's hardly a half-day for Ben. He answers the call to help out a young woman who is being stalked. They engage in a little flirtation, but the situation quickly turns ugly.

Ben confronts the stalker in his restaurant kitchen (he’s a chef) and handles the situation with ease and determination, letting the suspect know he is on to him. But his ease turns into flames when Ben realizes that the stalker is on to the victim. Ben rushes to the scene, throws a chair through the window and beats the prowler to a pulp, but not before he gets his hands on the young woman.

Meanwhile, Cooper rides with Chickie. Chickie is feeling inadequate and Cooper does nothing to refute that point. He lets her know where she has strayed: “You’re a crap cop, Chickie. You used to be a good one, but you’re not anymore,” which is enough to make her want to regain her command.

Lydia and Rene continue to dance their same dance, as Rene grows impatient and suspicious over Lydia’s dedication to Russell. Lydia insists that she just want to demonstrate her support while he is in the hospital, but Rene thinks she is going beyond the call of duty for him. After her shift, Lydia stops by the hospital to see her old partner, but she walks in on a dispute between him and his wife and he lets her know that its not a good time. It seems to be a wake-up call for her.

The day also finds Sammy and Sal at odds with Puente and his gang task force as they try to bring down ex-gang member, Trinny Day.

At the end of the day, Ben is as lost as ever, but Cooper lets him know that his mistakes are typical, that rookie cops always see things as black and white, but he also lets him know that he was wrong: “We live in the gray. We live there. Now you know what you’re capable of.”

The internal conflicts as well as the conflicts between colleagues has been palpable since the first episode of “Southland,” but the fact that it continues to not only build, but grow--grown in complexity and grown in heart--is what keeps is invested and deeply interested in the development of story and character. The writers are being especially careful with how they construct Ben’s troubles, making the issues he as to work out for himself profound and tangible for audiences.

“Southland” also is doing a great job dividing screen time among the different teams and storylines. While Rene will be gone, its clear Lydia’s situation is going to reach a boiling point soon. And Sammy and Sal’s work with the task force is probably going to take us into some surprising and gritty places.

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