SouthLAnd Recap 3.5 – The Winds
Fans of Michael Cudlitz’s John Cooper, this one was for you. In The Winds we see John in a light that hasn’t been shed since we met him in the very first episode of SouthLAnd. This 3rd season continues to expose the backgrounds of the officers with Cooper finally hitting rock bottom after going on so long in his tough guy act. And how great is this character? He is a veteran cop who is as professional as a human being can get in that role (all his cussing aside), he is tough but has a heart underneath the built up callous. He is gay but is by no means the stereotypical “gay cop” that we imagine from Reno 911 days, and he is a drug addict, popping pain pills daily beyond the medicated dosage. All of these flaws and envious traits combine for a ticking time bomb playing teacher to Ben McKenzie (Ben Cooper).
Rich and Raped by a fictional Black Man Mexican
Lydia (Regina King) and Josie Ochoa (Jenny Gago) are still not on the same page with each other’s tactics but the two combine to try and help a rich woman get justice after she’s raped. The woman is distraught and hesitant about helping the police until Josie lies to her that she won’t have to take the stand and she fingers her Mexican gardener as the attacker. This episode for Lydia is a twisted one due to the fact that the man is innocent and is not given a fair chance to defend his name as Lydia and Josie cuff him and apprehend him in front of his children. After being bailed out by the woman he supposedly raped, Lydia and Josie find him trying to escape via a bus (he was no doubt told to skip town by the rich woman) and panics and runs into the street where he is hit.
When Lydia and Josie go back to the woman to give her the good news, they find that she has chosen to hire a lawyer in order to gag her from the two detectives… shady I know. After some Law and Order calibre sleuthing, Lydia gets the woman to admit to sleeping with her tennis instructor and blaming the Mexican gardener when her husband arrived home unexpectedly to find her in bed sans panties. Yes folks we know this tale all too well, this time it is a Mexican boogey man instead of the standard black one. The man survives his crash and Lydia and Josie help him obtain a lawyer in order to sue the living piss out of the false accuser… after they arrest her. This was a really odd case that I didn’t care for personally, it was rife with stereotypes, pointless and a downer.
The episode has John going on and on about some appointment he has to make and it turns out that it is a parole hearing for his father who has been in prison for 20 years. His father is regretful, says that he is reformed and quotes bible rhetoric in front of the board but John (who is supposed to speak on his behalf) gets up and absolutely buries him. Dropping a speech about his father’s rape and murder victim never having the chance to graduate college or have kids, John seemed to be so personally involved that I wondered if the girl was his young girlfriend or sister. We aren’t given any more than that speech but needless to say his father was not granted parole after that particular hearing. Early in the episode Ben and John had picked up an angry young black boy whose parents had abandoned him and he and John became close almost instantly. For John he wanted to help the kid but the boy took it beyond that and was crying, begging for John to adopt him. It was a hard day for the big man and as he drove away from his father’s prison he pulls out the pill bottle, shakes some free and almost crashes into a car doing so, leaving him stranded on a sandy dune off the side of the road.
Emerging from the vehicle shaken, John accidentally drops his pills and he immediately dives to the ground to gather them up, putting the dirty pills into his mouth in order to try and get that high. at this moment he realizes what he is doing and the emotion overtakes him like a wave making him cry out loud, shaking, broken and at rock bottom damaged by the weight he carries on his shoulders. This was another emotionally tense episode in terms of the John Cooper portion. With the death of Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro) whose funeral John says he plans on attending, and hints at Sammy going rogue next ep, I think that we are merely at the beginning of a huge meltdown.
Did anyone else catch the fact that Billy Dewey (C. Thomas Howell) is the old Dewey again? As in less weird and annoying and more of a funny jackass who happens to be annoying? Is Chickie Brown (Arija Bareikis) still on the force? Can she get some love from the writers? Sheesh.