SOUTHLAND “The Winds” Review


SOUTHLAND “The Winds” Season 3 Episode 5 – Mark it in your books, kids, this is the week John Cooper finally broke down. This week focused on two pairs of cops going about their business amidst the Santa Ana winds: Sherman and Cooper, Lydia and Josie.

The latter clashed while investigating the rape of a woman in her home. While previously it has been Lydia insisting they investigate reported crimes, while Josie is less enthused, this week Josie was insistent on finding the rapist, while Lydia wanted to back off. I suspected from the start that the rape claim was bogus, but it was still interesting to watch and see where Lydia and Josie differ in their approach to cases, or, perhaps, how little they differ. Though they clash frequently, it seems to be on a case-by-case basis, not through any huge differences in personality. Since cases are getting closed, perhaps their antagonism toward one another is helping both of them to be more thorough in their work. Perhaps.

Meanwhile, Sherman and Cooper deal with a string of smaller incidents which, in true Southland style, help to gradually build up the character of John Cooper. A DUI using pain pills for a dodgy knee; an abandoned child who Cooper then ‘abandons’ himself; a kid who calls the cops because his mom disciplined him with a belt. Toss in a short scene with a acupuncturist suggesting that he get his back checked out by a surgeon and we have a nifty, if vague, snapshot of John’s life and psyche. He had a bad childhood and he’s finally facing up to his pain pill addiction.

But it’s the final scene that made the entire episode for me – John out in the desert, scrabbling in the dirt for his pills and then breaking down as he realises what he’s become. It’s heartbreaking to watch and really doesn’t need any words.

This was a fairly sedate episode of Southland but it worked well, especially after the emotional gut punch of last week’s ‘Code 4’ and the death of Nate Moretta. His death was referenced a couple of times this week – first at the start of shift on day 1 (a brief mention of the funeral and bank fund being set up) and then on day 2, when Dewey asked if his partner, Cooper and Sherman were going to the funeral. Only brief mentions but a reminder to the audience that even when someone dies, life itself goes on.

What did you think of ‘The Winds’? Let us know in the comments below!

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