Episode Title: "Sideways"
Writer: Jonathan Lisco
Director: Allison Anders
Officers Brown (Arija Bareikis) and Dudek (C. Thomas Howell) are in the midst of a high speed chase when we cut back to thirty-one hours earlier.
Officers Sherman (Benjamin McKenzie) and Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) respond to a call about a crack trailer. Cooper confronts the vice cops who use the trailer to make arrests. Cooper puts in a number of calls to the city to get the trailer moved but makes little progress. He eventually enlists the help of Sherman to move the trailer into the alley and calls the city to have it towed.
Sammy (Shawn Hatosy) learns that a suspect in Moretta’s murder has been taken into custody. He looks over a "six-pack" of mug shots but asks for another day to make an ID. He’s then told he’ll have to pick the perp out of a line-up. Frazzled and unsure, Sammy goes back and forth on his choice, ultimately picking the wrong man. He watches the suspect leave with his lawyer from the parking lot.
Detective Adams (Regina King) talks to a shooting witness in the hospital, awaiting neurosurgery for a bullet in his brain. As his condition worsens, the man realizes he may not get to see his fiancee before going under the knife. He asks Adams if he should wait to talk to her. She tells him a story about her own lost love and advices him to wait. Later, after the man has died, a nurse remarks on Adams’ kind words and heartbreaking story. She tells the nurse that she made it up to comfort the dying man.
Dudek and Brown engage in a high-speed chase which they refuse to call off, despite air support. As Dudek makes a sharp turn, he hits and kills a pedestrian.
Detective Clarke (Tom Everett Scott) visits Adams, who’s now on suspension. He confesses to leaking the photos for half a million dollars. She stares at him in disbelief and then tells him she doesn’t know him, before going back inside her house.
"Sideways" cranked the heat on the pressure cooker that is "Southland" so high, I can’t imagine some of these characters maintaining their sanity through the season finale, still three episodes away.
In particular, Detectives Adams and Bryant felt the pain and stress that comes when the job becomes personal. The stage was set for Clarke’s betrayal of Adams. She turned him away when he asked for a personal loan and claimed he wasn’t aware the photos were hers when he leaked them. But watching his former partner suffer through the kind of public humiliation Adams did, is beyond low. I found myself having the same reaction Adams did to Clarke’s admission; "I don’t know you, dude."
As usual, Detective Ochoa could care less about the suspension, so long as she’s paid. I love Ochoa’s flagrant disinterest in the job. She’s so open about it, I can’t really dislike her for it. Her lack of concern for Adams’ well being seems less like cold heartedness and more like a typical response from a woman who is well aware of her limits, both personally and professionally.
The cracks in Detective Bryant’s exterior continue to widen. His life is completely out of control and any attempt he makes to regain it seems to thrust him deeper into emotional chaos.
Unable to identify Moretta’s killer, Sammy must now deal with a whole new kind of emotional turmoil. He’s let down his supervisors, Moretta and his family and most importantly, himself. The anger and pain welling inside him is sure to reach the surface soon. The term "ticking time bomb" comes to mind…
Surprisingly, Officer Cooper appeared to be the most leveled headed of the gang this week. He handled the crack trailer case with a cool head, using the system that frustrated him so much by concocting an inventive solution to the problem. Of course, we know that won’t last for long. Cooper is like a bull in a china shop, no matter how he tries to maneuver around his obstacles, eventually he’ll break something or someone.
Crave Online Rating: 9.5 out 10.