Television Review: Southland Season 2, Episode 4 “The Runner”

3/26/2010 Posted by Admin

Television Review

Southland Season 2, Episode 4 “The Runner”

By our guest blogger, Sanela Djokovic

Well, the prayers of Detective Lydia Adams have been answered—she’s got a new partner. Its apparent that Amaury Nolasco’s departure was a sudden one, his absence coming with no explanation and a new character that is clearly in development the first time we see him. The constant head-butting was deeply missed, but the fourth episode of this season’s “Southland” hit us with an interesting murder case to make up for it.

Detective Ray Suarez (Clifton Collins, Jr.) is a breath of fresh air for Adams, so far not presenting any ethical defects or ego trips. In fact, there are no conflicts at all on their first day working together, trying to solve the murder case of a female student and track star at SULA. They learn about the girl’s crack habit, her abusive football star boyfriend (who has lawyers on every corner of the campus trying to protect him) and her parents who are very much in denial about their daughter’s extra-curricular activities. The girl was known in the neighborhood as “The Runner” (not because of her track experience, but because of her reputation for stealing crack), and hints like these lead Adams and Suarez to the murderer.

Throughout the day, Suarez tries to learn about his partner, but can hardly figure her out--her frustration with the victim who had no excuses, her anger toward everyone trying to guard the football star, her disdain for the biased media. Puzzled as he may be, he declares “You’re a fascinating woman. You know that?”

Meanwhile, Cooper and Sherman have a day off and decide to visit Officer Dewey in rehab. The situation is an awkward one for Sherman and a source of conflict for Cooper, who sees a little bit of himself in Dewey. Coop is confronted with other demons when he attends an old friend’s funeral, where Sherman meets Coop’s ex-wife and slowly starts to piece Coop together.

This week’s “Southland” clearly suffered from the absence of Amaury Nolasco. The clashes between Adams and Cordero were becoming natural staples of the show and were very fun to watch, the two opposing personalities providing anticipation and chemistry. We don’t know where the writers are going to go with Detective Suarez, and hopefully they use Clifton Collins, Jr. wisely, but it is a shame Nolasco had to go.

But we have to love Lydia Adams, regardless of who her partner is. The character consumes Regina King, and she really brings out the history, the motives, the zeal and the compassion behind her characters. This dedication to character development is great to see and it will be exciting to see how that carries over onto the other characters.

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