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the island of conclusions

Southland 3.04

the island of conclusions

bright star

Southland 3.04

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Ben Sherman
Apparently every show gets its own post this week. I’m sure we’ll be back to the omnibus style next week.

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to write anything about this one. I pretty much knew what was going to happen, so I watched it in my office at lunchtime with the door closed because I knew if I watched at night, I wouldn’t be able to sleep. And I was still shaking afterward.

So let’s just pause for a moment in recognition of how incredibly painful that was. Wow.

And would have been even if I hadn’t liked Nate so much. But I did like him a whole hell of a lot, and I thought he gave a kind of balance to the show. I’m not sure what it’s going to be like without his easy-going way with people (and with getting things done), his air of being comfortable in the world around him, and—especially—the way he cut through the Sammy lunacy. I’m not sure what increasingly-crazy!Sammy is going to be like untempered by Nate’s laconic affection and tolerance.

Plus, Nate was the biggest and best flirt on the show. I’m going to miss that.

As usual, the show seemed to be chewing over something—chewing with a heavier jaw than usual, I'd say—given the number of repetitions of the idea we got in forty-plus minutes (the heaviness wasn’t bad, just different).

I’m not sure what you would call it, though: something about the cheapness and randomness of death, certainly; but also something about the incredibly thin barrier between life and death. And about the interchangeability of the living and the dead.

We had Ben’s dream about his father’s funeral, which ended with seeing himself in the coffin (which, okay, that dream needs a meta of its own).

Ben telling the wrong woman her son had died.

The father getting killed picking up a birthday cake. And later Nate driving the girl past the birthday party turned wake--celebration of the beginning of life turned into a commemoration of the ending of it.

when Nate scooped those kids out of the SUV and carried them off, that might have been when I started shaking).

And even the candles burning in the girl’s house—as if they were already memorializing something.

And then, of course, Nate, who had been doing everything right, dying.

And then a lot about the horror of not respecting the dead: Nate and family’s fury that Sammy had neglected to cover the dead father; the fact that no one cared about Artis, only about his Golden Gloves necklace and the missing Playstation.

On the other hand, we did have Ben using his dojo skills on the PCP guy, and Cooper’s fabulous line: “Why run when you can drive?” And I don’t think I’ve mentioned how much I love it that John gets about two inches from Ben’s face whenever he gives him a talking to. So there were some smiles.

  • I was poking around LJ looking for a place to talk about Southland. I just watched it front to back, as last night it was on, but I couldn't devote my full attention to it with my husband, but therefore I knew what happened before seeing it in its entirety.

    It's shocking and horrible [eta: Nate's death, not the ep]. So many parallels, which they always do - it's why I love this show, the storytelling it incredibly tight and plenty subtle without being confusing. It's a mosaic. Sammy trying to protect Nate's body at the end... as you point out, he fails to cover the body in the beginning.

    Cooper calling Sherman "super boots" and saying He may lose control of his prisoner, but there's never a hair out of place. There is NOTHING funnier than John teasing Ben. And at the end my shipper heart went nuts over how close they were standing, Cooper using his height advantage but Ben not backing down. UNF.

    Great post, thank you so much. (You're in Sherlock, too, mind if I friend?)

    Edited at 2011-01-27 01:58 am (UTC)
    • Sammy trying to protect Nate's body at the end... as you point out, he fails to cover the body in the beginning.

      oh wow, that's a beautiful point! So tragic. I've been trying to work up the courage to watch the end again, but haven't so far.

      And I love John teasing Ben--he always looks like it's the most fun he's ever had. And, yeah, I never really thought I had a height difference kink, but between these two and the H50 guys (and John/Sherlock), I might be developing one.

      Glad you friended--have friended you back!

      Edited at 2011-01-27 02:45 pm (UTC)
      • I definitely have a height kink - I love short men (even though my husband turned out to be 6'). I like a short man who stands up even when the taller man is invading his space. Sherlock and John, Steve and Danny, John and Ben.

        Cooper: "He may lose his suspect, but there's never a hair out of place." *snicker*
        • And then the other cops got into it too!

          "Perp running away with your handcuffs. That's a common mistake."

          "Yeah? It ever happen to you?"

          "Nah. You?"


          I find short men have grown on me, so to speak *g*
          • That whole scene made me unbearably happy. Which was in stark contrast to the last scene. But man. This show is seriously so good, I can't even explain it to people to MAKE them understand.

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