Southland “Maximum Deployment” Season Finale Television Review

4/08/2010 Posted by Admin

Television Review

Southland “Maximum Deployment” Season Finale

By our guest blogger, Sanela Djokovic

The sixth and final episode of the second season of “Southland” came early for a reason. They were the episodes ordered up by NBC before they dropped the drama series, and TNT is using them to evaluate the risks and promises of the program’s future on the cable network. And, although the finale didn’t quite feel like a finale, and it may not have been the finale the writers envisioned, “Southland” is hardly conventional and it never hits you over the head with grand conclusions or assumptions. We do, however, have revelations for some, further ambiguity for others and still new problems for others, and that’s on top of the rape and murder cases they deal with on the job.

Spoilers herein.

The “Canyon Rapist,” a serial rapist disguised as a cop, sends the LAPD out in maximum deployment, giving Officers Cooper, Sherman and Chickie (Arija Bareikis) time to catch up as they all ride together and search for leads. But the task at hand doesn’t extinguish the tension that is sucking up the air between the three of them. Cooper asks Chickie to consider working a desk job in the communications division, convinced that she is no longer a reliable street cop. Despite her frustrations, Chickie resents the suggestion and the idea behind it, and still feels she can be a capable cop. Cooper, however, may be scoring a little lower himself in the reliability department, as his back pain continues to get worse--it often interferes with his work, and it's creating a greater dependency for pills. Sherman tries to conceal his concerns, but Chickie warns him of the repercussions of staying quiet: “Don’t make the same mistake I made,” she cautions him.

And off-duty Chickie get the assurance she needs when she aggressively pursues the rapist when she spots him, chasing him, tackling him, beating him and declaring (to him and to herself), “You’re no cop. I’m a cop. I’m the cop.”

Meanwhile, Detective Lydia Adams is reunited with her favorite partner, Detective Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott), who is back on duty--this time sporting a cane. The team is put on the double homicide of an old married couple, who had their pre-school-aged grandson under their custody. The heat is put on the boy’s mother, a crystal meth addict, and the boy is placed under the custody of his very stable aunt and uncle. After a security tape reveals that the aunt and uncle were behind the murder, Clarke takes this giant lapse in judgment as an indication that he is not ready to be back.

Detective Salinger’s mistress, reporter Mia Sanchez (Lisa Vidal) is also back in the picture, but Sal is distracted by--you know--family stuff. His wife has just made captain (and officially outranks him), and he buys her pearls and takes her out to celebrate. But the lovely evening turns tumultuous when their daughter gets lost after attending a party. Upon finding her, an argument ensues and the already hysterical teenager lashes out at her father by blowing up his spot about Mia.

With the exception of Chickie, who may have gotten exactly what she needed, the officers and detectives are sitting on a heap of personal dishevelment. Coop’s addiction is taking over him little by little, Sherman is still trying to find his footing and his voice as a cop, Detective Adams is partnerless yet again, and Sal and Bryant’s home lives are crumbling around them. Hopefully these issues remain unresolved. Hopefully they escalate, because the details of their personal situations manifest in honest characters--characters that don’t always have the right hunches, characters that don’t always know the right thing to say, characters that don’t always take the right course of action. But a full exploration could only come from a FULL season of “Southland,” meaning more than six or seven episodes, please.

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  1. matt_jussim said...

    please order more episodes TNT!