SOUTHLAND “Sideways” Review

Southland 'Sideways'

SOUTHLAND “Sideways” Season 3 Episode 7 – “Even when cops do everything right, things can sometimes go sideways.”

After an innocent bystander is killed in a shoot out, a witness offers up a wealth of information. The catch? He was also injured and will die imminently. Lydia tries her best to comfort him, giving us an insight into her own painful past. The warm and fuzzies of doing a good deed don’t last long for her though – Russell finally gives into his own guilt and admits that it was he who leaked the case photographs from the singer’s murder last week.

Dewey and Chickie persue a suspect, leading to a car chase. But things go sideways and a combination of factors no one could anticipate leads them to hit a woman crossing the street, killing her instantly. Both Dewey and Cooper try to convince a distraught Chickie that it was no one’s fault.

Sammy is still living with the Moretta’s and falling into Nate’s role so neatly that even his son asks ‘are you going to be my dad?’. A suspect has been picked up for Nate’s murder but the case rests on Sammy being able to identify him. The only problem is that he can’t. Sammy picks the wrong guy out of a line up, the suspect walks free, and Sammy’s left turning to none other than Tammi – who’s still living in the Bryant home with her lover.

On a lighter note, Cooper tries to do a public service by getting a drug trailer removed at the behest of a local parent, but finds himself thwarted by the system until he takes matters into his own hands and moves the trailer into the street, reports it to be abandoned, and then leaves it to get towed away.

A lot less happened this week than in the last few episodes, but it was no less engaging.

Lydia trying to comfort Henry with the story of ‘her’ loss was a great scene, but it was nothing compared to the sheer hurt we see when Russell admits selling the photographs. Those two intrigue me. Their friendship is always so comfortable and yet there is always something there, whether it’s the possibility of attraction or guilt or anger. It really keeps the audience on their toes as they try to figure out exactly where these characters are going to go. Will Lydia be able to forgive Russell? Will this be the end of their friendship? (I hope not, not only because of the characters, but because I adore Tom Everett Scott.)

Oh, Sammy. I think the Southland writers are getting some perverse joy out of breaking all our hearts week after week with this guy. He wants so badly to do the right thing, but what is that? Is it staying with Mariella and the kids? Is it walking away – right back to Tammi? There is little else on television right now that affects me more than Sammy Bryant struggling to keep his head above water.

Cooper and Sherman didn’t get up to much today, but they provided a great spot of comic relief to lighten an otherwise intense episode. Cooper being such a good guy is only marred by his refusal to get help for himself, both for his back and his dependancy on painkillers. Episodes like this week are always better in hindsight after a bad week for him, when we can think about what Cooper would be like without his demons coming through.

Sherman was trading stories with Dewey and Chickie today, a small moment but it shows just how much he’s growing as a character. Remember how uncomfortable he was with the lunchtime chitchat back in season 1? How times change.

Speaking of, Dewey and Chickie are a bit of a weak area for me. I love Dewey, but he and Chickie don’t grow much as characters, surging forward before rolling back. He can loose his alcohol and she can regain her confidence as a cop, but they both always seem to end up hurting. I can’t help wondering if this week isn’t going to affect them adversely enough for Dewey to turn back to alcohol and Chickie to start questioning her job yet again. It’s a bit samey but it’s always interesting.

What did you think of ‘Sideways’? Let us know in the comments below.

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