1,214 votes


TNT 2009

Rookies learn the ropes. Veterans burn out. Detectives take their work personally. Partners take their addictions too far. Relationships fall apart. Blood spatter patterns provide clues. With fast-moving action filmed on gangland streets and in pricey cul-de-sacs, Southland tells personal stories of men and women on both sides of the badge as they struggle to make a difference or simply survive.

Imdb Top 250 TVs Black TV Shows TNT Black Television TVShows 1900 Titles Top TV Series (1970-2013) 4 RM-Mystery, crime, suspense Mystery & Crime Binge Worthy TV - USA

The 10 Best Episodes of Southland

Southland - S5E10

#1 - Reckoning


Season 5 - Episode 10

John copes with the aftermath of his kidnapping. Sammy closes in on the real robbers. Lydia continues to pursue John’s kidnappers and becomes more intimate with Russell.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Southland from 264 votes.

Southland - S5E9

#2 - Chaos


Season 5 - Episode 9

Chaos prevails in the city of angels when Cooper and Lucero are kidnapped and held hostage by a pair of tweakers. All of our cops join the frantic search to find their brothers in blue before it is too late. Sammy searches for Strokeface. Ben tries to throw Sammy off the trail while simultaneously dealing with an increasingly irrational Brooke.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Southland from 258 votes.

Southland - S3E4

#3 - Code 4


Season 3 - Episode 4

Ben learns the hard way, some valuable lessons about the importance of following established procedure and protocol, Lydia's current murder investigation takes an unexpected turn, and Nate and Sammy are unprepared when a group of people they encounter turns into a violent mob.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Southland from 207 votes.

Southland - S4E10

#4 - Thursday


Season 4 - Episode 10

It's the last day on patrol for Tang, as she prepares to move to another precinct as sergeant. But first she wants to tie up some loose ends on the beat. Lydia is pressured to make a decision about the extent of her police duties during the rest of her pregnancy. With Sammy recovering from injuries, Ben and Dewey are partnered together. But Ben is bent on tracking down the prostitute he's been trying to help and then getting her and her daughter away from the abusive pimp controlling their lives.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Southland from 198 votes.

Southland - S4E5

#5 - Legacy


Season 4 - Episode 5

John tries to save a suicidal teen in a situation that hits extremely close to home, and Sammy convinces a former addict to be an informant, with devastating consequences. Meanwhile, Jessica gets a visit from someone from her past, and Lydia and Ruben investigate a home invasion that appears to have been staged to cover up a murder.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Southland from 209 votes.

Southland - S4E6

#6 - Integrity Check


Season 4 - Episode 6

Lydia dons a uniform and hits the streets when the shift is short a supervisor and she must fill in. Meanwhile, John and Jessica are stuck with a film crew tagging along on their calls. Elsewhere, Ben infuriates Sammy when he implies Sammy planted evidence.

The episode was rated #6 Best episode of Southland from 216 votes.

Southland - S3E10

#7 - Graduation Day


Season 3 - Episode 10

On Ben's final day as a rookie, he decides to force John to get the surgery he needs to relieve his back pain which, in turn, will end his need for painkillers. Meanwhile, Josie discovers that her son is the man Lydia has been seeing. Elsewhere, Sammy decides to go back to regular patrol.

The episode was rated #7 Best episode of Southland from 195 votes.

Southland - S4E9

#8 - Risk


Season 4 - Episode 9

Ben finds himself heading down a slippery slope as he attempts to help the daughter of a prostitute, putting him in hot water with the woman's pimp. Lydia and Ruben investigate the murder of a gang-banger who may have been killed over a graffiti tag. Tang faces more questions about her shooting of an innocent bystander, which could determine whether she gets promoted to sergeant.

The episode was rated #8 Best episode of Southland from 196 votes.

Southland - S5E8

#9 - The Felix Paradox


Season 5 - Episode 8

The funeral of a major drug dealer brings gangsters of all kinds out of the woodwork, there is chaos in the streets but as our cops learn sometimes the greatest threats come from within. Lydia and Ruben investigate the drug related murder of Sgt. Hill’s son; they discover police corruption in the process and clash over how to handle it. Ben suspects that Sammy did not destroy the tape and decides to take matters into his own hands with tragic consequences. John sinks farther into his loneliness.

The episode was rated #9 Best episode of Southland from 237 votes.

Southland - S5E7

#10 - Heroes


Season 5 - Episode 7

John takes drastic measures to try to save Hicks while being confronted with demons from his past. Sammy’s lie about the tape weighs heavily on his conscious. Lydia and Ruben track down a John Doe. Ben’s relationship with Elena becomes more serious.

The episode was rated #10 Best episode of Southland from 233 votes.

Southland - S4E1
#11 - Wednesday
Season 4 - Episode 1

John returns to duty after recuperating from back surgery and meets his new partner, Officer Jessica Tang, a tough and disciplined cop with her own set of baggage from working the streets. Lydia, whose new partner is Detective Ruben Robinson, can't seem to escape helping a former CI who seems unable to stay out of danger, Ben, Sammy and Dewey chase an armed man into an elementary school, and Ben bumps heads with an intense street cop whose cynical attitude is affecting their work.

The episode was rated #1 Best episode of Southland from 219 votes.

Southland - S2E6
#12 - Maximum Deployment
Season 2 - Episode 6

John, Ben, and Chickie are sent out as part of a maximum deployment to capture the “Canyon Rapist,” a perp who's been impersonating a cop. Russell is back, but on light duty as he continues to struggle with his recovery after being shot. While working a double-homicide with his old partner, Lydia, he discovers he's no longer up for the job. Sal plans a special night out to commemorate his wife's promotion, but their evening is ruined when their daughter reveals Sal’s affair with TV news reporter Mia Sanchez. Chickie gets a chance to prove to herself -- and others -- that she still has what it takes to be a good cop.

The episode was rated #2 Best episode of Southland from 206 votes.

Southland - S4E2
#13 - Underwater
Season 4 - Episode 2

Things are gonna change with Joel Rucker as the new captain. Lydia and Ruben investigate a convenience store murder, and Lydia uses her typical compassionate charm to collect facts on her suspect from an unassuming grandmother. Meanwhile, John and Jessica get to test their physical abilities when they're attacked on the street. Elsewhere, Sammy and Ben ride with a mistake-prone officer, but Ben is the one making mistakes... mistakes that earn him some notoriety.

The episode was rated #3 Best episode of Southland from 226 votes.

Southland - S1E7
#14 - Derailed
Season 1 - Episode 7

The day takes a turn for the worse when officers John Cooper, Ben Sherman, Chickie Brown and Dewey find a member of Marta's Avenue gang dead in a trunk outside Dodger Stadium. Meanwhile, Detective Bryant convinces Lydia to take in Janilla in order to ensure her safety. Elsewhere, Detective Salinger becomes increasingly frustrated with his growing rift with his teenage daughter.

The episode was rated #4 Best episode of Southland from 223 votes.

Southland - S4E3
#15 - Community
Season 4 - Episode 3

On Hood Day, a day where gangs seek retribution, LAPD is trying to keep the peace by camping out in neighborhoods prone to violence. Sammy and Ben leave their assigned neighborhood with disastrous results. Meanwhile, the neighborhood grabs a golden opportunity to seek a little retribution of their own against the gang banger who has been terrorizing them. Elsewhere, John and Jessica discover that another group of neighbors will go to any lengths to get a registered sex offender off their streets.

The episode was rated #5 Best episode of Southland from 206 votes.

Southland - S5E2
#16 - Heat
Season 5 - Episode 2

After Mendoza is injured in a drive-by, Ben takes it upon himself to solve the case, much to Sammy's dismay. Lydia regains her footing as a detective while investigating the murder of a female boxer's husband. Tensions between Cooper and Steele finally come to a head during a traffic stop-gone-sideways.

The episode was rated #6 Best episode of Southland from 224 votes.

Southland - S3E7
#17 - Sideways
Season 3 - Episode 7

When crime scene photos from the case of the celebrity suspected of murdering his estranged wife show up on the internet, all of the first responders are suspended, including Lydia and Josie. Further investigation proves the photos were the unauthorized pictures taken by Lydia using her phone, and she's shocked when she learns who was responsible for the leak. Meanwhile, Sammy fails to pick the right guy from the line-up for Nate's murderer, and Dewey and Chickie are involved in a high-speed chase that ends in disaster.

The episode was rated #7 Best episode of Southland from 190 votes.

Southland - S1E1
#18 - Unknown Trouble
Season 1 - Episode 1

From the beaches of Malibu to the streets of East Los Angeles, this fast moving drama takes viewers inside the lives of cops, criminals, victims and their families. In the series premiere, John Cooper, a seasoned Los Angeles police officer and his rookie trainee, Ben Sherman, respond to a call that ends in a deadly shoot-out -- and Ben is left questioning whether or not he has what it takes to become a police officer. Even though John is cool to the new recruit and his straitlaced "Beverly Hills" past, his honed insight and honest, no-nonsense advice is invaluable to the young rookie: "Look sharp, act sharp, be sharp. You do what they teach you in the academy, you will die."

The episode was rated #8 Best episode of Southland from 406 votes.

Southland - S5E5
#19 - Off Duty
Season 5 - Episode 5

John is forced to think about what life will hold for him once he leaves the LAPD. Lydia connects with a man she sent to death row earlier in her career. Much to his chagrin, Sammy becomes a tabloid celebrity for the day after a very public act of heroism. Ben makes a dubious decision to get a drug dealer arrested. And a foot pursuit puts Dewey in danger.

The episode was rated #9 Best episode of Southland from 215 votes.

Southland - S2E1
#20 - Phase Three
Season 2 - Episode 1

Lydia and her new partner, Detective Rene Cordero, investigate the disappearance of an elderly man. Meanwhile, Nate and Sammy investigate a freeway shooting and inadvertently threaten the integrity of a major undercover operation. Elsewhere, Chickie finds herself in the middle of a mini-riot after her new partner panics and takes a shot at a 13-year-old boy.

The episode was rated #10 Best episode of Southland from 212 votes.

Last updated: feb 18, 2021



Anyone who likes this will love the Shield also. Very similar shows.


This show is epic and one of my current faves!


Hands down the best show I have ever watched. the real grit the show has is second to none, the unexpected moments in the show that literally leave you unsure how to react. Very powerful show. I cannot recommend this highly enough. If you are looking for something new to start watching, watch Southland.


New season is airing Jan 17, 2012 YES!


I loved every episode of Southland. Every episode I say. This outstanding series first appeared on NBC April 9, 2009 and was canceled October 8, 2009. TNT then picked up the show and am I glad they did! Despite this being one of the top series on television at the time, it also remained one of the most underrated/watched. And with TNT's 2010 renewal of the show for Season 3 (it was always an 'on the bubble' series, sadly) - it included a substantial budget cut and corresponding cast reductions. However, the 3rd season changes did not stop the high quality storytelling and top notch performances from the cast including Regina King, my personal fav. Not since The Shield has there been such great storytelling (for police crime dramas). From the edgy theme music in the opening credits to the slight in your face camera angles and gritty/raw intensity from scene to scene, makes you wish each episode was 2hrs long! When a writer can extend and put to the screen what life is like on and off the job for police officers, the regular citizens and criminals of all shades in South LA - plus go on to make you actually care for those characters, yes even the bad ones (something lacking in a lot of today's shows), it is to be commended and talked about so that it can be known to a wider audience to enjoy. 'Cause you don't know what your missing! I highly recommend you to check out Southland and tell your friends about it. If you've enjoyed TV series like NYPD BLUE, Hill Street Blues (which some say is perhaps the best cop drama in television history) or The Wire - then this series is one of the best homages to come along to the above Police/Crime Drama series. 10/10.


I missed "Southland" until I found it on Hulu long after it aired. I was sucked in immediately. I love the pace of the show. It reminds me a bit of ER with its random mix of encounters/calls. It's a treat to find gems like this brought back to life via streaming TV. I highly recommend the show to anyone who likes cop drama.


It is the best police Drama ever! We miss that Series a lot. A shame that it's over.


In the words of TNT; "one of the best police dramas ever made". This show is not quite a procedural, not quite a serial, so to end it the way they did was the best way they could have. Despite my reservations towards the bleeping, which really kills the immersion, I thought this was an all-round solid show. 5 season of gripping, gritty drama. Some really moving episodes, always keeping things original and fresh. Yep, this is certainly a 9/10. Really gonna miss this show.


'Southland' cancelled. TNT has cancelled crime drama Southland (while calling it “one of the best police dramas ever made”) and freshman medical drama Monday Mornings. Southland aired five seasons, first starting out on NBC before switching to TNT, while Monday Mornings was a freshman show. bhaa :(


Its got me addicted

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