Episode Title: "Fixing a Hole"
Writers: Cheo Hodari Coker and Will Rokos
Director: Christopher Chulack
Officer Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) is driving with the suspect he failed to identify, tied up in the back of an old pick-up truck.
Flashback to thirteen hours earlier. Detectives Adams (Regina King) and Ochoa (Jenny Gago) go to pick up a washed up, alcoholic actress (Kay Lenz) who’ll be testifying in a murder case. At the precinct, she learns she’ll have to wait all day to go to court. Adams and Ochoa take her to lunch, where she runs off to a liquor store. After taking her back, she successfully testifies for the prosecution but later admits to making up the story for attention during a celebratory dinner with the detectives. Adams arrests her on the spot and later urges her to be strong while in jail.
Officers Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) and Sherman (Ben McKenzie) investigate a school bus robbery and find a malnourished child hanging around the scene. The boy tells Cooper about a "cave" he’s been living in with two other children. Cooper urges the social worker called to the scene to investigate but she insists it’s the boy’s imagination at work. However, after Cooper reprimands the woman for being lazy, she looks into a number of sex offenders in the area and talks to the man who was holding the boys. He hangs himself after calling the police. Cooper and Sherman are called in and the social worker admits that Cooper’s instincts were right.
Bryant finds the suspect he let go working alone at an auto shop. He takes the man captive at gunpoint and drives him out into the middle of nowhere, forcing him to dig his own grave. The thug antagonizes Bryant but claims he isn’t the one who killed Moretta. Bryant, unable to kill the man, let’s him go with a warning not to show his face again. Later, he returns home to learn that Moretta’s widow is planning to move back to Texas with her son.
"Fixing the Hole" wasn’t the strongest episode in "Southland’s" recent string of brutally strong hours but it did "fill" a hole as we head towards the finale.
At the end of the episode it looks like Bryant’s turned a corner in his situation, both with the suspect he let go and Moretta’s wife. From the preview of the final two episodes, it looks like the other two-thirds of the show, namely Adams and Ochoa and Sherman and Cooper will be the ones feeling the heat. Bryant’s vendetta with his partner’s killer will continue but where it goes in the next two hours is anyone’s guess.
Cooper continues to be the most watchable character on the show. And that’s saying a lot considering how much I enjoy Adams, Ochoa and the rest of the gang. He’s incredibly keyed into the job but his emotions dictate too many of his actions. Everything that Cooper does is reactive rather than active. He lets a kid down a few episodes back and now he’s hellbent on saving those still out there. You’ve got to love the guy while at the same time acknowledging just how messed up he is.
I’m hoping we haven’t seen the last of Adams dealing with Russell’s "TMZ" betrayal. She appears to be fine this week but losing her closest confidant has got to weigh on her. Meanwhile, she seems to be warming up to Ochoa, who judging by the previews, may not be long for this season, as it rapidly comes to an end.
Crave Online Rating: 7.5 out of 10.