Southland

Season 1 Episode 7

Derailed

2
Aired Thursday 10:00 PM May 21, 2009 on NBC
6.7
out of 10
User Rating
265 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

After a member of Marta Ruiz's Avenue gang is found dead, Det. Bryant persuades Det. Adams to help Janilla. Meanwhile, the rift between Det. Salinger and his teenage daughter continues to worsen.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The show's gaining momentum, though this episode is titled "Derailed." When gang shooting witness Janila gets away from Sammy's wife, the Detective has Det. Lydia Adams watch her. Janila texts her boyfriend, who works for the gang that wants to kill her.moreless

    9.0
    The main story thread was leading to the inevitable showdown when the gang came after Janila at Lydia's house. Great acting by Carla Jeffery and Regina King; especially when Regina's Detective Adams calmly and coolly gets her shotgun to defend herself and Janila. This was the peak of the excitement, and well played. After shooting two gang bangers the rest flee, but they have a machine gun and exchange fire. Would they have given up so easily? Why didn't they lead with the machine gun? The ones she shot just had pistols. The alleged boyfriend, who sold her out, was good in the scene where he went to the gang's house to replenish his supply of drugs. The gang leader, a Latina woman, was a very strong character, and she was very determined to get Janila. In fact, she had already killed the gang member who had failed to get her in a drive by when she was going to testify in court. The so-called boyfriend, you just wanted to see him get killed, but he was in a bind. Even though he would be killed if he didn't sell her out, he did it so coldly and callously you didn't feel any sympathy. It was a very bone chilling scene, the confrontation between the two, with tattooed gang bangers looking on.



    When the show began it looked like it would be mainly about rookie cop Ben Sherman and Training Officer John Cooper, but while they are in the episode, their stories are more on the back burner. We did, however, see Ben get dumped by his musician girlfriend -- "k.d. lange meets Joni Mitchell" -- Daisy Miller. He goes to her gig, arriving late, but in time to hear her sing "You're so far away, doesn't anybody stay in one place anymore?" She tells him she is moving back to New York and getting back together with her ex boyfriend. No one seems too perturbed by this, least of all me, as I was unimpressed with her singing.



    As they cruise around in their patrol car, discussing what they will do later, Officer John Cooper all but admits that he's gay when he says he will be building a decorative retaining wall for the succulents in his garden. And he also has cacti. Later, during the ending, as all are watching fireworks for Memorial Day, a dark stranger walks up and grabs his beer bottle and takes a swig without even wiping off the germs. As the fireworks explode they exchange smoldering glances. Det. Daniel 'Sal' Salinger is having problems with his daughter. She refuses to attend the annual Memorial Day Barbecue, saying she has other plans. Later, he has a fake Face Book account that he uses to keep tabs on her. She is going to a rave and "Sexting." He asks some other detectives what that means, and they confirm that it is what it sounds like. He rushes off to the rave to find her and the two detectives tag along. One looks very familiar, because of his dark and distinctive eyebrows. I recognize him from Mulholland Drive, the strange David Lynch movie, strange even by Lynch's standards. The actor is named Patrick Fischler, but I call him Brow.



    Yet another story thread is Officer Dewey, who can't stop drinking, is drunk on the job, and has to go to the bathroom every five minutes. Wasn't sure what that meant, but assume it was an excuse to drink, or perhaps take drugs. He wakes up from a nap and asks if they can get something to eat. His partner, a female Officer called Chickie, can't take it anymore and says for him to wait there. The Sergeant is coming. He realizes she is going to turn him in, and foolishly thinking he can prevent it, he takes off on a joy ride. This scene was right out of "Repo Man," when Harry Dean Stanton drove Emilio Estevez in the repossessed car into the dry canal that is the Los Angeles River. Wonder if this was an intentional homage? It was actually kind of exciting, though a bit gratuitous. It ended when Dewey finally took some air off the lip of the canal, and flipped the police car upside down. They carted him off in an ambulance to "get the help he needs." Officer Dewey was played by C. Thomas Howell, and that name always makes me think of a first grade reading primer that might say, See Thomas Howl. Howl, Thomas, Howl. I didn't recognize him but back in the 80's he was in a movie called "Soul Man" where he tried to get into Harvard Law School on a scholarship for Black students. He had some kind of lotion that darkened his skin, in this well meaning but lame movie. But I digress.



    As I said before, the episode ends as the various detectives and officers of the LAPD watch the Memorial Day fireworks from their respective backyards. One of them goes to invite his neighbors over, but they are having a domestic disturbance, and he answers with a gun. The Officer or Detective is shot, and then more shots are heard, perhaps he has killed his wife and himself, but what with the fireworks, it is doubtful that anyone heard. It is kind of shocking, and also a bit, dare I say it twice in one review, gratuitous. I will leave the identity of the Detective or Officer who was shot a mystery, as I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone who has yet to watch.moreless
Michael Cudlitz

Michael Cudlitz

Officer John Cooper

Ben McKenzie

Ben McKenzie

Officer Ben Sherman

Arija Bareikis

Arija Bareikis

Officer Chickie Brown

Shawn Hatosy

Shawn Hatosy

Det. Sammy Bryant

Regina King

Regina King

Det. Lydia Adams

Michael McGrady

Michael McGrady

Det. Daniel "Sal" Salinger

Lupe Ontiveras

Lupe Ontiveras

Marta Ruiz

Guest Star

Lori Alan

Lori Alan

D.A. Deborah Janowitz

Guest Star

Denise Crosby

Denise Crosby

Susan Salinger

Guest Star

Emily Bergl

Emily Bergl

Tammi Bryant

Recurring Role

Patrick Fischler

Patrick Fischler

Kenny No-Gun

Recurring Role

C. Thomas Howell

C. Thomas Howell

Officer Billy "Dewey" Dudek

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Ben: (after responding to a call to a fast-food restaurant where an angry woman calls 9-1-1 because the shop doesn't have chicken nuggets) Ma'am, have you tried the fish sandwich?
      Woman: (annoyed) What?
      Sherman: The fish... it's pretty good.

    • Man: I just told you. I have an appointment. I need a ride... right now.
      Cooper: We're not a taxi service, sir.
      Man: Fine. Call me a cab.
      Cooper: You're a cab.

    • Opening Voiceover: Holiday weekends are notoriously busy for the police. Our officers had made plans for the weekend, but they were derailed.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • The scene where Officer Dewey joyrides in the dry canal-like bed of the Los Angeles River is similar to a scene from Repo Man, during which Harry Dean Stanton takes Emilio Estevez there in a repossessed car and shows him the ins and outs of the repo business.

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