Screen Junkies » Southland Recap http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Sat, 16 Aug 2014 20:07:56 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 SOUTHLAND RECAP: “DERAILED” http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/southland-recap-derailed/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/southland-recap-derailed/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 A dead gangster in a discarded chest is the result of several failed attempts on a witness’s life.  Dewey flips his lid… and a squad car.  Adams holds down the fort while witness- seeking bullets rain through her windows. "Derailed"The cops find a large chest on a hill overlooking LA.  Inside the chest is a body with tattoos all over it.  The discovery is sure to derail any holiday plans the cops had...  

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A dead gangster in a discarded chest is the result of several failed attempts on a witness’s life.  Dewey flips his lid… and a squad car.  Adams holds down the fort while witness- seeking bullets rain through her windows.
 
"Derailed"
The cops find a large chest on a hill overlooking LA.  Inside the chest is a body with tattoos all over it.  The discovery is sure to derail any holiday plans the cops had…

 

But before that happens, the day begins like any other.  Daisy is strumming her guitar in Sherman’s bed, and he promises he’ll be coming to watch her perform that evening.  Dewey pushes through the doors of a club and is greeted by the morning sun.  It looks like he’s had a rough night, but rather than going home to sleep it off, Dewey unlocks his car door and begins putting on his police uniform.  Cooper offers the guy doing yard work at his house a cup of coffee.
 
Sal wheels his grill from the garage to his patio, speaking with Detective Russ Clarke all the while.  The neighbors ar fighting loudly, and Russ can hear them on Sal’s end.  Apparently, Russ and Sal are also neighbors, but Russ hasn’t been around since his wife, Dina, asked him to leave.  As Sal preps the grill, he waves at Dina across the street.  He tells Russ to come to the barbeque tonight.  Dina will be there and Sal is sure that she wants Russ to show up.  When the conversation ends, Sal asks his daughter- Kim- if she wants to help him grill tonight, but is enraged when he discovers she’s made other plans.  He tries to explain that this holiday is about honoring those who gave their lives for our country.  The argument ends with her storming off and saying she hates him.  Just then, the neighbors begin screaming at each other again, and Sal- already pissed- storms over there.
 
Bryant tells the other detectives that they let Marta Ruiz go.  Marta is the head of The Avenues Gang, the one who’s made several attempts on their witness- Janella’s- life.  Her bail had been set for a million dollars, but she paid it.  One of the detectives claims they could get her on the grounds that she is an illegal alien and deport her, but Bryant says that her lawyer claimed asylum.  They can’t send Marta back to Mexico where the Cartel is looking to kill her.  Bryant is pacing nervously because he has taken custody of Janella, and they’ve already tried to kill her twice.  Just then, Janella walks by and tells Bryant that she’s finished her homework and is going to do some work with the explorers.  Sammy urges her to stay close.

Later, Bryant argues with the defendant’s lawyer who is trying to get Marta’s trial delayed.  Bryant knows that they only want to postpone the date so they can have enough time to kill his witness.  Bryant asks the defense attorney if Marta is threatening him, also.  Later they consult with an FBI agent who says he’ll try to get an administrative order for her removal.  If not, he’ll talk to an immigration administrator who’ll get her trial moved up.  Bryant explains that they’ve already done all that, so the agent is only left with the promise that they’ll do their best.
 
Somewhere, in the same city, an ugly group of gangsters sit in the room of a dilapidated building.  Two guys take a blowtorch to a pair of handcuffs, heating them for some diabolical purpose.  In the center of the room sits a man in a chair, tapping his feet nervously.  The tattoos covering his body are strikingly similar to the tattoos on the body the police will find in the chest later that day.  Marta walks around the chair asking the man- Chuco- why her son is in jail while he runs free.  Chuco defends himself by claiming that it’s not easy to smoke a bitch right in the middle of downtown.  He’s talking about his failure to eliminate the detective’s witness in front of the court house.  Marta isn’t amused.  Neither is the guy who steps up putting a gun to the back of Chuco’s head and blows his brains out.
 
Brown confronts Dewey about his drinking problem.  Smelling the booze on his breath, she demands that he take a sick day or a PTO.  They argue.  Dewey explains that he has no TO days left, that he’s hit rock bottom but he’ll take care of his problems as soon as gets some time off.  Brown and Dewey meet Sherman and Cooper at some hilltop overlooking the city of Los Angeles, near Dodger Stadium.  They’ve found a chest discarded there, with the lid open.  The lid is smeared with blood, and inside the chest they find the aforementioned body.  The body sports a tattoo of Jesus Malverde, the Patron Saint for drug dealers.  Dewey has to take a leak, and in his absence Brown confesses to the other officers that she’s had enough of Dewey’s shit.  She’s going to turn him in.  Cooper supports her move.  Sherman gets a phone call and assures Daisy that he’ll be there later.
 
Detective Samuel Bryant hasn’t seen Janella since she left to do work with the explorers.  He begins to panic because nobody knows where she is.  He remembers that she had a boyfriend on Grape Street.  Just then, the detectives get a phone call regarding the body the cops have found near the stadium.  They make the connection that the body probably belongs to the shooter outside the courthouse.  The detectives leave to meet Sal near the stadium while Bryant tries to reach Janella.

Bryant makes contact with Janella’s boyfriend and finds her close by, hanging out with his friends.  Bryant demands that Janella come with him and as they leave the boyfriend makes a suspicious phone call.  Bryant phones Detective Adams, who is enjoying lunch with a friend.  He asks Adams to take Janella in for a few days, to which she consents.
 
Sal is angered when his wife tells him that their daughter will be spending the night at a friend’s house, not their barbeque.  He also learns that Dina wants Russ to come back.  Sal promises that he’ll get Russ to come home tonight.  After taking a look at his daughter’s facebook profile, Sal has a question regarding a friend’s post: “What is sexting?” he asks his co-workers.  Sal is even more disappointed to learn that the word is exactly what it sounds like.  Anger becomes rage when he discovers that the girls are going out to a rave party.  He goes out in search of his daughter.
 
Janella’s boyfriend turns out to be a turncoat.  He steps out of a car with some cholo gangsters and walks into a run down building guarded by other thugs.  He sits in a chair in the middle of the room, nervously tapping his feet.  Marta walks in and asks where the girl is.  The boy says that he had her, just like he promised he would, but the police came and got her.  Marta is displeased and reminds the kid that he owes her money.  She demands that he get the girl to come out of hiding for her.  The kid, who can’t be more than sixteen, demonstrates his disinterest in his girlfriend by lifting his shirt where the words TRUST NO BITCH are tattooed across his stomach in large, bold letters.  Marta is not amused.  She explains that if he fucks up again, his whole family goes.
 
Janella and Adams are hanging at Adam’s pad.  The cops have assembled a ‘round-the-clock security detail outside.  Cooper points out to Sherman that he’s going20to miss his girlfriend’s thing.  Janella wants to stay in for the evening, so Adams leaves to get some food and entertainment.  In her absence, Janella’s traitorous boyfriend attempts to stroll into Adam’s house.  The kid is intercepted by Officers Sherman and Cooper who deny him access, calling Adams in on the situation.  Janella comes to the door and tries to validate the kid’s presence, but Adams returns and makes the boy leave.
 
Dewey pulls the car over because he has to take another leak.  Brown is dismayed because of all the places Dewey stops to take a piss; it has to be a liquor store.  She grabs the radio and makes a call.

Later, back at the station, Dewey has passed out in the driver’s seat with Brown in the back of the car.  Dewey asks her if she wants to get some food, but she does not.  Brown says they are going to wait here for a minute.  After a moment, Dewey gets wise to what Brown intends to do.  “You’re not turning me in,” he begins shouting, turning the key in the ignition and taking off.  Brown is trapped in the back of the squad car, screaming, while Dewey loses his mind and begins driving like a maniac.  He ignores her as she pleads for him to stop the car.  An intense driving session ensues as Dewey pulls the car into the empty LA River, doing his best rendition of the race at the end of Grease Lightning.  Unfortunately, he isn’t racing anybody and the whole scenario ends with the car flipped ass-over-teakettle, tires spinning.

A bloodied officer Brown calls in the emergency and Cooper and Sherman are forced to leave their guard-post to help, leaving Adams alone with Janella.  They arrive and Dewey is carried off on a stretcher.  Brown is a mixture of angry and sad.  Cooper tries to comfort her by saying that Dewey will get the help he needs.

Russ makes his peace with Dina.  They hug and kiss it out.  Sal contacts his daughter by phone to learn that she is high as a kite.  He pleads with her to tell her where she is, but she won’t disclose her whereabouts.  She tells him she loves him.  All he can do is advise her to drink lots of water as she hangs up on him.
 
Adams and Janella are setting the dinner table, talking about what they are celebrating on this holiday.  A squad car has parked out front, replacing Sherman and Cooper as security.  An officer-down call is placed anonymously which calls the back-up security off its current post.  For the second time, Adams is left exposed.  The anonymous call was made by a member of one of The Avenues Gang.
Lights from outside the windows of Adam’s house give her cause to head upstairs and grab some firearms; a pistol and a shotgun.  When she returns to the stairway she finds that Janella has followed her up, a look of concern written across the girl’s face as she eyes Adam’s gun.  Adams tells her not to worry, she’s just being cautious, but at that moment they hear a crash from downstairs.  An intruder has just broken in.  Adams calls in an emergency and, pushing Janella into the bathroom, hands the young girl her pistol instructing her to use it only if necessary.

Adams closes the door and cocks the shotgun.  She waits atop the stairs for the bad guys to make the first move.  One of the gangsters steps into view and is immediately blown away by buckshot.  Adams moves downstairs, quietly hoping that her enemy’s footsteps will betray their position.  When she hears feet, though, sh e is dismayed to find that the sounds are coming from up above her.  One of the baddies had gotten by her, and was headed towards the bathroom where Janella is hiding.
When the thug pushes through the door he laughs at what he finds on the other side.  Janella has the gun raised, but looks too frightened to actually pull the trigger.  He asks if she’s going to shoot him, but Adams steps in from behind and saves Janella the hastle.  With two dead thugs, Adams locks Janella in the bathroom and heads back downstairs.  The gangsters are on the run, booking it towards their car.  Adams steps onto her patio, pumping round after round into the fleeing vehicle, not even ducking for cover when one of the cholos pulls out an Uzi, spraying bullets all around her.  Not one hits their mark.

By the time the detectives arrive, the bad guys have taken off.  Bryant finally gets his request for Janella to be enrolled in witne ss protection approved.
 
Sherman watches Daisy perform, but later that night she tells him she’ll be heading back to New York.  The sudden breakup is not what he was expecting.
 
While he’s manning the grill, Sal’s daughter returns looking like hell run-over.  She falls in his arms crying.  Sal cries too, thankful that she’s returned safe to him.
 
Russ and Dina are crossing the street to join Sal at his party when they hear the neighbors screaming at each other again.  Russ says that maybe if they invite Larry over, the two can make peace for the night and stop fighting.  He tel ls Dina that he’ll meet her at Sal’s, and turns to knock on Larry’s door where the shouts are coming from.  At Sal’s place, everyone has turned their heads to the sky to watch the fireworks.

Russ knocks on Larry’s door with smile which evaporates when he finds the man pointing a gun at him.  Russ raises his arms in defense and begs the man, “Whoa, whoa, whoa, don’t!” but it’s too late.  Larry has made up his mind.  He fires two or three bullets into Detective Russ Clarke’s chest and turns back into the house.  Inside his wife is screaming about how they shouldn’t have a gun in the house for this very reason and begs for Larry to put the gun down.  Her words are cut off suddenly by another gunshot.

Across the street, Sal isn’t sure if the last explosion he heard was from the fireworks overhead or something else.
Russ lies dying on Larry’s doorstep, but he has a magnificent view of the fireworks, celebrating those who have died in service of our country.  From somewhere behind him there is a final gunshot and the episode ends.
 
Review
Well, that’s how the season wraps up for all you "Southland" fans.  This was certainly one of the most interesting episodes of the first season installments, which is good because they were all interesting.  Keep your fingers crossed for Detective Russ Clarke.  It would be mighty unfortunate if on the night he finally gets back with his wife his luck takes such a fatal turn.

– JONATHAN FRIEDLER

 

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SOUTHLAND RECAP: “WESTSIDE” http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/southland-recap-westside/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-episode/southland-recap-westside/#comments Wed, 30 Nov -0001 00:00:00 +0000 Re-cap:This episode begins in the same way that all Southland episodes to date have begun, which is to say that it begins in the middle of what’s going on.  Officer Sherman is lying in bed with his arm wrapped around a woman.  Our narrator cuts in to inform us that it is a violation of policy for an officer to get involved with a victim.  Sherman knows this, but does it anyway.  We learn quickly how the girl ended up being a victim, and gradually how she ended up in Sherman’s bed...

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Re-cap:
This episode begins in the same way that all Southland episodes to date have begun, which is to say that it begins in the middle of what’s going on.  Officer Sherman is lying in bed with his arm wrapped around a woman.  Our narrator cuts in to inform us that it is a violation of policy for an officer to get involved with a victim.  Sherman knows this, but does it anyway.  We learn quickly how the girl ended up being a victim, and gradually how she ended up in Sherman’s bed…

Cops and Robbers
Daisy’s father is smoking a cigarette in his backyard while his daughter listens to music on the couch in his living room.  The house seems to be made primarily of glass and he is able to see into most of the rooms, through the many windows.  His eyes register some movement through one of these windows on the other end of the house.  There he spies a figure, dressed all in black, advancing towards the room housing Daisy.  He bolts for the door and smashes through glass in order to intercept the intruder, but in the next scene both he and Daisy have been tied up, while men in black ski masks jack their stuff.
 
The criminals took off with all of their jewelry, and Daisy’s father in taken off by an ambulance.  Daisy stays to answer some of Cooper’s questions.  It turns out that Daisy is also well acquainted with Officer Sherman: he used to date her best friend.  They take a moment to catch up.  When Adams is called in on her day off by her superior she is annoyed.  She finds it ironic that the department won’t pay to keep the detectives working overtime on homicide cases, but suddenly has the money to keep them on for Bellaire break-ins.  Upstairs, Cooper is sifting through the medicine cabinet and pockets something that looks like a prescription bottle.
 
After his shift, Officer Cooper crawls into his favorite bar looking a bit more sullen than normal.  He heads into the men’s room, but not to piss.  He exchanges some dirty dollar bills for a dirty bottle of pills.  Another dealer enters the bathroom and offers Cooper some cocaine.  Cooper threatens the guy, and pours his beer on the pile of powder in the man’s hand.
 
Daisy and her father aren’t the only victims of a recent jewelry theft.  The detectives debrief the officers on what has been series of break-ins.  They advise everyone to speak with their informants and then debate whether or not the robberies are gang related.  It is agreed that the crew is probably too sophisticated to be gang bangers.  They snag a lead when someone suggests that they interrogate the local jewelers to see if there is a connection between retailers and clients/victims.  Ms. Matthews, the shrink, enters to talk about a new spiritual guide book she is recommending.  Cooper leaves halfway through her spiel.
 
At the wheel of a squad car, Cooper drops his partner off at his mother’s house so Sherman can help her set an alarm.  While waiting for Sherman to return, Cooper calls Laura to try and score some more pills.  She claims that the hospital is coming down hard on the employees and there is nothing she can do for him.  Sherman finds his mother lying on the couch with a man he cannot stand to have in her home: his father.  An argument brews between them, and when his father won’t leave the house, Sherman gives his old man a knuckle sandwich.  Cooper intervenes before Sherman can dish out the dessert.  Cooper makes another attempt to score a fix but he can’t get ahold of Jimmy, so he’s left to sweat out another night of sobriety.
 
Daisy shows the detectives images of what had been stolen and declares that her father liked watches.  Adams asks if there were any recent purchases, and gets the names of some local jewelers.  She and Clarke approach one of the jewelers with a list of victim’s names, and ask if there had been any recent sales to any of these people.  The man is tig ht-lipped, explaining that discretion is paramount to his business.  Some of his client’s are buying gifts in secrecy; for mistresses, bribes, etc.  At a different location, Clarke asks the proprietor, Ms. Schmidt, how much a certain specimen might cost, and follows his question by asking if any of the employees have access to the customer’s information.  He seems to be implying that perhaps the employees are tipping off the robbers, or performing the burglaries themselves.  Ms. Schmidt points out that we live in a digital age, so her employees would have access to a customer’s personal information.
 
Later, the detectives deduce that in order for the burglars to not stand out in an affluent neighborhood they would have to drive a commercial van and be using a universal remote to access the gates.  Their evidence is strengthened by the fact that one of the incidents involved a second-story break-in, which would have involved a ladder.  A ladder would have to be concealed in a larger vehicle, and there would have to be a crew o f at least three members; a driver, one to hold the ladder, and one to climb it.
 
Daisy pays Officer Sherman a visit and advises that an officer of the law shouldn’t make his contact information so available to the public.  Sherman agrees.  Daisy reveals the purpose of her visit: she is afraid to be home alone after the robbery.  Sherman offers her his bedroom and she agrees.  Though he never included himself in the offer, Daisy asks Sherman to stay with her in his bed.  Sherman does, and that’s how Daisy ended up in bed with him.  Yeah, Sherman!
 
In one of the lush Bellaire homes=2 0a man is hosting a dinner at his house.  In one room, guests are toasting and eating heartily.  In another room, two men in black ski-masks are stealing a grip of jewelry.  The host excuses himself from the dinner table to check on his sleeping children.  He walks in on the robbery while it’s in progress and a gunshot rings throughout the house, startling the guests at the table.  This is how Adams gets her homicide.  When the detectives arrive the host lies dead in a pool of blood and a .45 slug has been extracted from the wall behind him.  The criminals had left in a hurry and ditched their ladder.  Ten blocks away another homicide is called in.  When Adams and Clarke arrive, they find that the victim is Ms. Schmidt, the lady they’d interrogated earlier that day.  The robbers took her safe.  Examination of her body reveals a hole in her septum, probably caused by cocaine use.  The detectives theorize that perhaps Schmidt had gotten in over her head and was trading information for drugs.  Apparently all of the victims had bought jewelry from her within the past year.  A security tape reveals the van they are looking for.  The detective run the tags and go out to find the van.
 
Adams and Clarke find the van, but are spotted while requesting backup.  The van takes off, leaving two of the crooks afoot.  Adams pursues the van, which fishtails around the corner, trying to lose them.  An exhilarating pursuit follows, but don’t feel bad if you missed it.  If you’ve ever watched an episode of COPS, you’ve seen this chase before; helicopters, multiple squad cars in pursuit, and a drunk dude in his underwear, cursing police brutality (kidding)  It ends with the van pulling into a dead-end and the driver taking off on foot.  Sherman overtakes the driver, tackling him viciously to the ground.
 
Adams declares that there is no loyalty amongst thieves when the man they got gives up his accomplices before she’s even had her second cup of coffee.  Apparently the guy was pretty pissed that his buddies left him holding the bag.
 
Cooper returns to his favorite watering hole and makes eyes with the guy who’d offered him cocaine the week before.  The two meet in the bathroom.  The dealer apologizes for not recognizing that Cooper’s drug of choice was pharmaceuticals.  Cooper trades some more hard earned dollars for a bottle of pills and tells the guy to piss off.  He swallows and handful and takes a sip of his beer.
 
Daisy knocks on Sherman’s door again, and smiles w hen he answers.  The two walk down the hall, hand in hand.  Before entering his room, they begin to kiss heatedly.
 
No Good Deed…
Janelle, our eye-witness from the first episode, is back with her grandmother.  Mrs. Johnson is demanding protection from the police since gangsters shot up her house, weeks before.  Bryant has to keep assuring the woman that what her granddaughter is doing is a good thing.  It doesn’t seem so good, however, when grandmamma Johnson is shot down in a drive-by on the steps leading to the federal court, where Janelle is scheduled to testify.  Things look even worse when Bryant is ordered to place Janelle in foster care while the fate of her grandmother plays out.  Rather than pumping the poor girl through the system, however, Bryant offers to take the girl in as her legal guardian.  Richter, the dog, takes an i nstant liking to Janelle, but Tammy’s acceptance comes reluctantly.
 
Better to Have Loved and Lost…
Adams is called out of bed on her day off to investigate the stolen jewelry.  This forces her to abandon playtime with the man she just started dating a few weeks back.  Later, once the case is closed, Adams returns to her man, thinking she’ll find her sanity once the door closes behind them.  But the man doesn’t move from the door.  In fact, after speaking with his pastor, the man feels that they ought to end things right here.  He mentions that Adams had lied about being a police officer at the beginning of their relationship, and lies are a poor foundation to build a relationship upon.  Adams points out that he knew that she had lied about being a cop before they had slept to gether.  She asks if he mentioned that to his pastor before walking off.
 
Sins of the Father…
At one point Sherman’s father tries to make peace with his son, but Sherman won’t let him inside his apartment.  Later, Sherman visits her mother and finds the door to her apartment unlocked.  He tells her she needs to be more careful about keeping her door locked: there are lots of scumbags out there.  He also berates his mother for letting that man back into her life.  Sherman’s mother reminds her son that a life full of locked doors is no life at all.
 
The Dog House
Detective Clarke seems to struggle with writer’s block.  His concentration is not enhanced when his wife informs him that she made an appointment to try and do en vitro again.  Apparently they are having difficulty having kids.  His wife accuses Clarke of being in love with his writing instructor and wants him to admit it.  With a sneer, Clarke asks if she wants that so she can post it in her BLOG.  She demands that he get out.  Clarke crashes at Adam’s place, but she only gives him one night and then he needs to go back to his wife and make it right.  At the end of the episode, Clarke returns home with his bags.

– JONATHAN FRIEDLER

 

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