Southland—Season 2

southland season 2 poster episode guide
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great gritty series

Too short of a season

southland season 2 episode 1 phase three serman cooper ben mckenzie

Keeping the streets safe! Maybe?

Sherman (Ben McKenzie) continues to adjust to life with the police as his partner Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) has a chronic back problem that could mean problems for the officer.  Sammy (Shawn Hatosy) deals with his wife Tammi (Emily Bergl) and his partner Nate (Kevin Alejandro) has troubles of his own with a daughter (Alyssa Diaz) who is getting mixed up with a dangerous crowd.  Chickie (Arija Bareikis) learns losing her partner could reflect on her own abilities as an officer, and Lydia (Regina King) learns she will also be getting a new partner while Russell (Tom Everett Scott) fights through his shooting.

Southland—Season 2 aired from March 2, 2010 to April 6, 2010 in a short six episode season.  The series made the jump from NBC to TNT and continued to garner praise for the series and the performances.

southland season 2 episode 5 what makes sammy run dead kid

No one is safe from violence

Southland never was going to survive on network TV.  It was too hard of a show and probably a bit too real for network.  The edginess of the show was in the vein of NYPD Blues but also amped up to 2010.  The only crime of Southland—Season 2 is that it is only six episodes.

The series has a lot of seeds planted this season.  The first season seemed a little less driven by the story of the officers and here, we are starting to see the officers develop more.  You have secrets about Cooper’s starting to surface along with drug abuse, Moretta’s problems with his daughter, Sammy’s struggles with his wife, and the relationship between Lydia and Russell taking a change.  It is combined with some great detective stories of L.A.

southland season 2 episode 6 maximum deployment regina king

It is a bloody mess being an officer…

The cast is great.  There aren’t any weak links in the cast and the writers are doing a good job keeping the stories interesting to help the actors develop their characters.  I understand the use of Sammy and Tammi as the “married couple”, but Tammi’s intentionally frustrating behavior gets on my nerves more than it entertains or advances the story at this point.  The season’s shortness leaves you excited to see where these characters go.

Visually, Southland also excels.  The series has a gritty style and the mix of it and Los Angeles is perfect.  You see the dirtiness but you also are shown some of the appeal of the city at times.  It is the contrast of California that exists in real life.

Southland needed to make the jump to cable.  With the jump, I hope that the series continues to develop as this season did.  With only five seasons to do it, Southland has potential to be one of the all-time great cop shows…but constantly living on the bubble of cancellation could be Southland’s doom.

Southland—Season 2 Complete Episode Guide:

southland season 2 episode 1 phase three chickie brown arija bareikis

“Phase Three”

2.1       Phase Three Airdate:  03/02/10

Detective Lydia Adams (Regina King) is assigned an eager new partner in Rene Cordero (Amaury Nolasco) as Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott) faces a bad prognosis in the hospital after his shooting.  A missing elderly man leaves the officers searching for a drug addict.  Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) meets Moretta’s former partner Gil Puente (Laz Alonso) over an investigation into Trinney Day (Wood Harris) and discovers himself at odds with him.  Chickie Brown (Arija Bareikis) is caught in a riot when her new partner “Slug” Ferguson (Lenny Schmidt) shoots an unarmed man in a stolen car.

southland season 2 episode 2 butch and sundance lydia regina king

“Butch and Sundance”

2.2       Butch and Sundance Airdate:  03/09/10

A triple murder in an affluent neighborhood has the police looking for the killer…but Adams suspects the father and husband against Cordero’s recommendation.  Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) deals with his chronic back pain, and Sherman (Ben McKenzie) begins to notice.  Sammy finds he money is tight and that he Tammi (Emily Bergl) is spending out of control.  Moretta’s daughter Mercedes (Alyssa Diaz) worries her father isn’t going help her find her mother, but Nate (Kevin Alejandro) learns that Mercedes might be involved in his active stakeout.  An attempt to bring in a suspect in a triple murder leads to a deadly chase for Cooper and Sherman.

southland season 2 episode 3 u boat ben mckenzie


2.3       U-Boat Airdate:  03/16/10

Chickie finds she’s benched, and Cooper takes her on to try to get her in line.  Adams works with Brianna (Lily Holleman) to help her keep her son and faces criticism from Codero for keeping Russell in the loop.  Sherman heads out on his own alone for the first time and gets involved a missing Korean girl with Asperger’s Syndrome, a boy facing abuse by his father, and a woman accusing a popular chef of stalking her.

southland season 2 episode 4 the runner ray suarez lydia regina king clifton collins jr

“The Runner”

2.4       The Runner Airdate:  03/23/10

A murdered college girl leads Adams and Ray Suarez (Clifton Collins, Jr.) on an investigation of a star football player named Tyler Prescott (Robbie Jones) who might be protected by the university.  Sherman and Cooper go visit Dewey at the recovery center and attend the funeral of a friend of Cooper’s who committed suicide.  Bryant and Moretta investigate a dealer that the girl might have been involved with.

southland season 2 episode 5 what makes sammy run lil casper jonathan castellanos shawn hatosy

“What Makes Sammy Run”

2.5       What Makes Sammy Run? Airdate:  03/30/10

A murder occurs in a busy club, and Bryant and Moretta investigate and Moretta learns that it could involve his daughter.  Sammy is passed off to Sal (Michael McGrady) to investigate other crimes while Sal and Gill butt heads over his surveillance of Trinney Day.  On a photoshoot in downtown L.A., Tammi puts her in a dangerous position.  Sammy spends time with his young informant Lil Casper (Jonathan Castellanos) in the hopes of putting him on the right path.

southland season 2 episode 6 maximum deployment chickie arija bareikis

“Maximum Deployment”

2.6       Maximum Deployment Airdate:  04/06/10

The police search for a man assaulting women while impersonating an officer.  Sal finds Mia Sanchez (Lisa Vidal) is becoming more demanding of his time as his wife (Denise Crosby) gets a big promotion.  Cooper suffers another setback with his back as Chickie and Sherman question what to do with his addiction.  Smith finds Russell is back and joining her in investigating a murder while trying to keep a child safe.

Related Links:

Southland—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Southland—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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