The main players are back and it seems some months have passed since the events of Season 4. Detective Lydia Adams’ (Regina King) infant son Christopher has been born and she is struggling to cope with the rigors of being a new mom and a cop. Although Lydia’s mom is caring for the baby, he still screams all night and Lydia is getting very little sleep. To complicate matters further, Lydia faces a number of trials including a death in her family, the divorce of the baby’s father from his current wife, and his wish to be involved in Christopher’s life. Further, as the season draws to a close, Lydia reconnects with old partner Russ Clarke (Tom Everett Scott) and we are left to ponder whether the pair may become more in the future.
Meanwhile, Officer Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy) has child woes of his own, or more accurately, is involved with an ongoing and ugly custody battle with his ex, Tammi (Emily Bergl, Desperate Housewives). As Tammi continues her drug abuse even while she has toddler Nate with her, she also tries to goad Sammy into getting physical with her in an attempt to discredit him. On a particularly bad day when she misses her court appointed hand-over of Nate, Sammy tracks her down at her lover, Victor’s place, with his partner, Officer Ben Sherman (Ben McKenzie) in tow and things escalate. Sammy gets somewhat violent with Tammi, even though she attacked him first and the whole mess is caught on video by Victor, but Sammy takes the camera and storms off. This is the beginning of a big sticking point between Ben and Sammy throughout the season as Ben backs up Sammy’s lie to I.A. about not hurting Tammi, but thens gets concerned when Sammy starts to develop a conscience about the incident. What begins as a simple lie escalates into quite a fiasco causing at least one death and leaving Ben and Sammy at odds with one another by the end of the season.
Ben has problems of his own, aside from this. He is selected as the "poster boy" for the recruiting poster for the Los Angeles Police Department and he takes a lot of teasing from his fellow cops because of it. He also scores with a pretty teacher named Brooke (Annie Monroe) as a result of a speaking engagement at her school, but as Ben is well known to do, he cheats on Brooke with a pretty señorita named Elena (Carmen Corral) after he busts her brother, Cris/Maco for drugs. Needless to say, this can’t end well.
Officer "Dewey" Dudek (C. Thomas Howell) has some adjusting to make when his hot daughter joins the force, but nothing can keep that man in line and he is just as foul and ridiculous as ever. He even takes a bullet this seasons, but Dewey is always good for a few laughs and he brings the comic relief to the series.
Officer John Cooper (Michael Cudlitz) starts the season off training boots again, but after a deadly shooting incident, he decides he’d rather ride with someone more experienced who has his back. He then gets a new partner in Hank Lucero (Anthony Ruivivar) and the two get along pretty decently. Lucero is always raving about his wonderful family and home life, while Cooper stays mum on his homosexual lifestyle. As the truth comes out about both of their omissions of their home lives, the pair is thrust together when they are abducted by a pair of drug-crazed meth heads. With every cop in L.A. searching for them, it will only be a matter of time before they are found, but will it be too late? Cooper also reconnects with his ex-wife and agrees to father a baby with her, even suggesting that they give it a go as compatible parents, just not romantically. A few events in the season drive Cooper to the edge with devastating results. When the credits rolled on the final episode, I was stunned that I was left hanging like that and thought that it was a horrible way for the show to go out, but again, I don’t think they show’s creators realized that would be it for them.
As for special features, there is at least one deleted scene for each episode, which you can watch following that episode or all of the deleted scenes together, if you want. There’s also a very short featurette on how it is to shoot the show from the cast’s perspective, which was enjoyable, but I had hoped for some sort of featurette discussing the show’s ending and the cast’s thoughts about it.
Overall, if you have been watching Southland, you’ll want to see how it all plays out in Southland: The Complete Fifth and Final Season. There are some great episodes and one or two literally had me on the edge of my seat and brought tears to my eyes. It’s a great, gritty cop drama that ended too soon, in my opinion. I will warn you that you will be disappointed by the end, since things don’t wrap up, per se. Like me, you will probably say "WTF!" when those final credits roll, but you’ll still want to see this season regardless.