SOUTHLAND RECAP: "WESTSIDE"
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