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the island of conclusions

Southland 3.10

the island of conclusions

bright star

Southland 3.10

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So, that finale was a fist around the heart, huh? And I mean that in the best possible way.

The chase up the stairs and across the rooftops was such a bravura piece of TV. I loved that they filmed it in more or less real time, with no background music, and no fancy cutting—it made their struggles— Ben’s with the child molester, John’s with his own body—that much more brutal and affecting.

And Ben’s anger with John afterwards—I really want to write an essay, or a fic, or something, about Ben’s anger.

Because it was almost painful how much he was hoping against all available evidence that the day would follow some kind of standard script—that for once in his life, his relationship to an authority figure/role model would to go the way it was supposed to: John trains him; Ben trains hard, and with a few lapses, does very well; and at the end, John validates him, he’s proud of him, and maybe even comes and has a beer with him at the boot party.

And even though it’s been clear for weeks that John wasn’t going to play that role, Ben was still hoping he would, just as he was still hoping, at the end of the previous episode, that John would let him in, let him help. And of course, neither happened. And since, as we know by now, it’s the way Ben is, it enraged him, probably fueled by the rage he still feels at his father for not only failing to look after him, but also failing to be someone he could look up to and emulate.

But instead, as it must feel to him always happens in his life, Ben was left cleaning up after the people who were supposed to be looking out for him. Having to be the grown-up, having to protect others (in this case new trainees) who didn’t know to protect themselves.

And yet, of course and thank goodness, John is not Ben’s father. Given Ben’s ultimatum, given what he’d finally realized about his own condition John made the good choice. And then, in the end , I think, treated Ben as an equal, a friend. Which is probably better than being treated as a good son, anyway. In any case, I don’t really have words for the look in Ben’s eyes when John said thank you.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: the show, the actors, manage to convey all this, even though I don’t think the two of them spoke more than five words in succession to each other for the whole episode, except for Ben’s speech at the dumpster. Their taciturnity, it sings.

Oh yeah--there were other people in the episode, weren’t there?

Sammy wasn’t as bad as usual. It’s hard to hate a man who’s having a baby. And I appreciate that he wanted to make a big change in his life and go back into uniform. But…..all I could think of when he said “I have a lot to teach those P2s” was “What? How to be distracted by your wife’s infidelity? How to be crazy and vengeful? How to drag your partner’s killer out to the desert and almost shoot him in cold blood. ‘Cause that would be cool.” But, okay, I’ll trust that the show can do something interesting with it. And with him partnering with Ben, although that one just makes me sad. Because seriously, Ben could eat him for breakfast.

I continue to love Lydia and Josie, and Lydia and Josie together. I feel like if Lydia is a rare character to see on TV, Josie is somehow even rarer, for being so touchy and arrogant and imperfect, but still strong and competent and warm. For both of them being women of color who are competent professionals-- who are sexy without being twenty-something fashion models.

And even though I hope she gets over it, I could completely understand why Josie was so pissed to find out Lydia was sleeping with Rodrigo. Because no matter how sex-positive you are, no matter how much you believe in “cradle-robbing” in principle, it’s something else entirely to have your kids’ sexuality shoved in your face (even if they are 28)—and boy, what a way to feel old—to have your son sleeping with your partner. I hope they keep Josie AND Rodrigo, though, if they get a fourth season.

Please let them get a fourth season!
  • Man, I just watched the last two eps tonight, and I SO HOPE they get another season. I was literally watching through my fingers as John climbed over that fence and struggled with the ladder. He especially always feels so real to me that I worry about him, that this pain is going to be the one he can't get up from. But I'm glad he was strong in the end and went to get help.

    And yeah, Lydia and Josie both kick ass, even if Josie rubs me the wrong way most of the time. I want to see them work things out and go on to kick a lot more ass.
    • hee! I don't know what it says about me that I love Josie, even when she bugs me, and would totally love to hang out and shoot the shit with her *g*

      But I agree, Michael Cudlitz did an amazing job with John's descent into pain and addiction this season--mesmerizing and heartbreaking. It was so strong of him in the end of do what needed to be done--on his own, too.
  • Ugh, I LOVED the finale so very much. I just had to made its own post about the finale XDDD It was pretty much amazing and I loved it to pieces, everybody was pretty much amazing, it was good and gripping and breathtaking and...

    I want the next season... they just can't leave everything like that! I want to see bits of Sammy and Ben's partnership, want to know what will happen to ROdrigo, about the tension between Josie and Lydia... and I want more of John, too... I so ope for a new season!
    • I loved it too--it was amazing TV--and I so want to hear more about everybody's stories, too! Please let them have a fourth season!!
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