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Southland - (S04E04)

Crime . Drama . Thriller

Jessica goes the extra mile to assist a homeless war vet obtain an ID so he can be admitted into a shelter . Meanwhile, Sammy is determined to save a dog after he accidentally shoots it in the leg. Elsewhere, Lydia struggles with a serious personal matter while she and Ruben investigate the murder of a man who sheltered and aided women in need.

Episode Title: Identity
Airs: 2012-02-7 at 10:00 pm
  • Dorothy Rabinowitz

    Prattle is, in any case, a minor note compared with the crackling pace of the first script, its evocative mood of menace at every turn, each police car racing to destinations that will reveal who knows what tragedy or unspeakable sight.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Randee Dawn

    It's compelling from minute one to credit roll--exciting, smart, realistic and brilliant, all in one brightly lit package.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • David Hinckley

    What Southland has, already, is its own swagger, a get-outta-my-way style of moving and talking that says it's going for the raw edges we see on cable shows like "Breaking Bad." Southland pulls it off, too. If Thursday night's premiere episode is an indication how it plans to roll, it's a keeper.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Alessandra Stanley

    Tough-minded, suspenseful and shot in an unnerving bleached light, Southland is by far the better drama--Thursday’s pilot is one of the most gripping opening episodes of any network crime series.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Southland is built to be bigger, and in that sense it succeeds immediately, thanks to excellent casting (especially Michael Cudlitz and Regina King as a cop and a detective), gritty location shooting around L.A. and storytelling that doesn’t hold the viewer’s hand.

    Kansas City Star Full Review
  • Jonathan Storm

    Action and tight-squeeze situations outweigh eloquent pronouncements about 100 to 1 on this drama from ER's John Wells. It may not be the greatest show on Earth, but it's the most powerful cop drama in a few years.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Mary Houlihan

    The acting is top-notch, the editing is fast and furious and the photography is rich, giving the show a fresh feel. But the first episode never really breaks new ground in cop land.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Maureen Ryan

    Southland, which comes from “ER” executive producers John Wells and Christopher Chulack, is the more serious and satisfying drama, though it could use a little more of the lightness of The Unusuals.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Michael Starr

    Southland has a "Cops"-like feel with jittery, hand-held cameras pointing every which way. Dramamine, anyone?--but it works with the show's you-are-there format. A promising start.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Tim Goodman

    The casting on Southland is a plus and so is Biderman's intent not to make it easy for viewers to succumb to "pilotitis."

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael Murray

    In spite of this art-school eagerness to please, there's an appealing lyricism that permeates Southland.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Brian Lowry

    Wells and company have delivered a cop drama with its own racing pulse, albeit for a network that's uncomfortably close to flatlining.

    Variety Full Review
  • Glenn Garvin

    If the genre is no longer groundbreaking, it's still compelling in skilled hands.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Rob Owen

    Of the two new cop shows this week, Southland is the more serious and realistic. It also demonstrates the potential for greater depth in its exploration of characters and their stories.

    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Full Review
  • Ellen Gray

    Ben also seems to come from some money, a situation that's bound to create conflict but may also add to the uncomfortable sense that he (and we) are watching bad things happen from a too-safe distance.

    Philadelphia Daily News Full Review
  • Matthew Gilbert

    The show is what it is--no surprises, no disappointments.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Alan Sepinwall

    It looks great, makes good use of Los Angeles locations and has a solid ensemble cast (including Regina King and Tom Everett Scott as detectives). But it feels emotionally empty in the same way "Third Watch" so often did.

    Newark Star-Ledger Full Review
  • Mary McNamara

    In theory, Southland could turn out to be a rich and textured cross between, say, "Hill Street Blues" and "Crash" with a little "Training Day" on the side, but the pilot, for all its horrific crimes and grimy street scenes, is strangely bland.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Lesley Smith

    If visuals are not mundane in Southland, neither is the dialogue, especially the incidental repartee that oils coexistence in a high-stress profession.

    PopMatters Full Review
  • James Poniewozik

    Ten years ago, Southland would have seemed revolutionary on TV. But now it does feel like network playing catch-up with cable.

    Time Full Review
  • Hank Stuever

    The pilot episode is laden with so much setup for countless other characters that the network should have supplied a flow chart.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Robert Bianco

    Southland is unbearable--a pretentious, foul-mouthed, overly arty chore that will leave you with a headache should you linger too long.

    USA Today Full Review

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