Southland: The Complete Fifth and Final Season
Southland: The Complete Fifth and Final Season
WarnerBrothers

Southland: The Complete Fifth and Final Season

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Southland: The Complete Fifth & Final Season

How do you stay sane with so much chaos around you? In the fifth season of the acclaimed police drama, Officer John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz), a recovering addict, starts to wonder what he has really accomplished after more than 20 years on the force. Officer Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy), a detective turned beat cop, faces a whole new set of problems with his estranged wife, and tensions increase with his partner, Officer Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie), due to Sherman’s darker attitude and maturity as a cop. Plus, Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King) meets the biggest challenge of her life — becoming a mother — and new series regular C. Thomas Howell plays Officer “Dewey” Dudek, a recovering alcoholic who revels in his unpredictable behavior and off-color remarks. For so long, they’ve tried to make the world a better place, but this season, the men and women of SOUTHLAND face their toughest challenge yet.

Amazon.com One of TV's most consistently gripping cop shows goes out in a blaze of gunfire, if not exactly glory, as Southland closes up shop with this two-disc, 10-episode set from its fifth and last season. Although there's plenty of action, this series has tended to favor character-driven stories over standard police procedural elements in recent years, and that continues here, as episodes focus on the many personal and professional problems faced by four particular cops as they deal with the quotidian perils of life on the streets of Los Angeles. Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King), now a single mom, struggles to balance the demands of her job with the responsibilities of motherhood. Detective Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) is now in a nasty custody battle with his ex, a conflict that brings out the worst in him. Officer Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie) receives a commendation he really doesn't deserve, which doesn't stop him from taking advantage of it; he also makes some questionable decisions on the job. But while those burdens can be heavy, they're feather-light compared to those borne by John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz), Sherman's former partner and training officer. A gay man in a three-year relationship, he still wants to have a child with his ex-wife; he also tries to break in an appalling new partner, faces the death of his imprisoned father, and descends into loneliness and depression. All of that is but a prelude to the shocking final two episodes, when Cooper and his current partner, Henry Lucero (Anthony Ruivivar), run afoul of a pair of crazed meth heads, with tragic consequences for all. Gritty is the word most often used to describe Southland, and it's certainly that, with plenty of profanity (in these uncensored versions), some very tense action sequences, and a kinetic, fly-on-the-wall camera technique that's the opposite of the high-gloss look of CSI and others. Most of all, this was a series that showed us that with all the dangers and demands inherent in being a police officer, these are not superheroes. As one puts it, "Being a cop doesn't change who you are, or make you a better person." --Sam Graham