Kevin Alejandro Talks 'Explosive' Southland Shocker and True Blood's 'Season of Witches'

Serious Spoiler Alert! If you still haven’t seen Tuesday’s heartbreaking episode of Southland, avert your eyes…now.

We just chatted with series star Kevin Alejandro about the jaw-dropping turn of events in last night’s final moments, and you won’t want to miss what he reveals about the shock that changed Southland forever.

While I doubt any of you need catching up to speed, here’s a quick recap before Kevin’s interview: Last night’s Southland ended with the unbelievably gruesome death of Alejandro’s beloved Detective Nate Moretta, at the hands of seemingly “friendly” local gang members:

TVLINE | I don’t really know what to say. I can’t believe the way Nate was killed.
Alejandro: Explosive, no? Sometimes there’s no warning as to when something like that might happen and I think our writers captured that really well.

TVLINE | Take us through the journey that led to you leaving the show.
Alejandro: It has been a journey from the very beginning, and I’m fortune to be a part of this show from the very beginning, from the pilot. We did our thing on NBC and went through a roller coaster — went for six episodes and got picked up for six more, but it got canceled before they even aired it. And all of this happened during a time where there was a big transition and no one knew what was going on, so we were all in dark on what was happening with Southland. And in between there, I was offered a role on True Blood.

TVLINE | How did you come to the decision to leave Southland premanently?
Alejandro: I talked to [Southland executive producers] Chris Chulack and John Wells, and they were very great about letting me out because [the show’s future] was so uncertain. They were very kind in considering what was best for my family and my career, and we all came up with a mutual understanding. Shortly thereafter, TNT saved Southland, but we’d already decided that this was the road I was going to take.

TVLINE | Once TNT rescued the show, was there any discussion about you doing both Southland and True Blood, allowing Moretta to live?
Alejandro: The schedules are very similar. And toward the end, I was two days on Southland, two days on True Blood and going back and forth between the two shows. And now that this season of True Blood is considered the season of witches, I’m there all the time now. It would have been complicated [to do both].

TVLINE | What was your reaction upon discovering the way your character would exit the show?
Alejandro: Chulack told me the story of how my character was going to be killed off and it’s a true story, this has really happened. The way he explained it to me was riveting and the way the writers captured it was amazing and to see it on film was moving.

TVLINE | As a viewer, Nate’s death seemed so abrupt and gritty, offering him no opportunity to say goodbye to his loved ones. What are your thoughts now, after having seen the episode?
Alejandro: I think it was one of the most poetic ways to go out. This story actually happened [in real life], they didn’t have a chance to say goodbye. A lot of police officers and soldiers, people who put their lives on the line, they don’t get that opportunity. It was very beautiful and touching and sad, because it’s honesty. It was much more jarring that way . There wasn’t any time for us to get used to the idea that Moretta is going away or to soften it, because there is no softening something like that.

TVLINE | One of the most enthralling aspects of that scene is Sammy’s determination to protect his then-lifeless partner and the way Shawn Hatosy played it. Were emotions already heightened because it was your final episode?
Alejandro: Shawn sold those moments. He deserves any accolade that can be given to him because he just knocked it out of the park. Emotions were running high and they have been since the beginning of this season. Each episode would come and go, and the closer the day got, we all felt it. It added to our relationship as partners. It really made us start to think about all the interaction that we’ve had from the beginning, our whole journey flashed before us because it was really coming to an end. And by the time we got to the final moments in last night’s episode, it was easy for Shawn to let go, and easy for all of us to just say, ‘Wow. This is it.’ In the very last scene, there were so many tears, everyone was crying, I was crying and they sent me off in a really beautiful way. It was a great family to be apart of.

TVLINE | And now you’re part of a new family. What can you tease about True Blood’s return?
Alejandro: All I can tell you — because they’re really tight-lipped over there — is that Lafayette and Jesus are both there and you’ll see a lot of us. You will definitely get to know Jesus better — and he’s a pretty likable guy. There definitely will be more interaction between Jesus and other characters this season, too.

Sadly, sources confirm to TVLine that last night’s devastating sendoff is the last you’ll see of Kevin on Southland. There will be a memorial for his character in next Tuesday’s episode, but no new footage of Nate Moretta is planned for the episode.

Were you as shocked by the episode as we were? Are you looking forward to more Kevin on True Blood? Head to the comments below to sound off.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. V says:

    Nate was my favorite character on the show! I was so sad last night. :(

  2. Will says:

    Yes, I was shocked. They promised that Southland would be changed forever, but I wasn’t expecting. Sad to see him go.

  3. Maria says:

    I love him! I can’t wait to see him on True Blood.

  4. Kathleen says:

    I was shocked. When the show opened up and you saw him sitting there and I heard the female scream, I figured his crazy wife had miscarried or something. I was just blown away by the ending. Bravo at keeping it underwraps (something very few shows seem to even try to do anymore) making it all the more powerful.

    • Brenda says:

      @Kathleen…I thought exactly the same thing during the opening…and when he got hit on the head, I actually gasped…like I knew him personally or something….sad way to go out….great actor!

      • Katie says:

        Kathleen and Brenda–I had the same reactions and was so shocked to see what actually happened. I was completely thrown off guard and deeply saddened. And I had to remind myself it’s just a tv show, but what a great show!

  5. John says:

    This was the first time TV has shocked me in a long time!

  6. Sarah says:

    Nate was my favorite so I was completely shocked by this and I just cried and cried at the end. Sammy losing his friend like that, geez. I actually really respect how real it was and the fact that it was so unexpected and true to life. No goodbyes, just sudden. So powerful.
    But I suppose I should check out s3 of True Blood, then, I love Kevin Alejandro and I haven’t had a chance to see s3 of TB. If he’s a main character, I need to catch up before s4.

  7. Juliab. says:

    Powerful show last night. It was shocking and sad, but even more so in that it was based on a true event. Kudos to Kevin Alejandro and Shawn Hatosy.

  8. Anne says:

    Had a totally visceral reaction to the ending — gasped, cried, and was completely shellshocked. Shawn Hatosy was AMAZING. He should win an Emmy for those 5 minutes alone, not to mention his terrific work throughout the show. Police work is a dangerous, difficult and necessary part of our society — kudos to Southland for punching us in the gut and giving us a glimpse. Good luck to Kevin on his new journey.

    • ellen says:

      I, too, had an extremely visceral response to this scene. My chest was actually hurting me as I watched this, I watched this scene numerous times- each time it was more terrifying than the next

  9. eazy_money says:

    what a great episode. NEVER saw that coming. right up there with the sons of anarchy finale.

  10. Jess says:

    This ending definitely shocked me. I had a suspicion at the beginning of the episode, but I just didn’t want to think the worst. I was heart broken by Nate’s death. A character’s demise hadn’t hit me this hard since George’s death on “Grey’s Anatomy.” I wish this show would get a lot more recognition, because even without a “shock” this is one of the best dramas on TV right now.

  11. Cheery says:

    It’s devastating that Nate died. I cried at the end of the ep, it was so awful. He was such a great character, and every character on Southland is so amazingly well-drawn, I wish he didn’t have to leave.

    I watch True Blood as well, but there’s no way it holds a candle to Southland in terms of quality. It’s a shame a better paycheck took Kevin Alejandro from the better show.

  12. shellie says:

    Ive been watching Southland and TRUEBLOOD from the begin and was so glad he was in both shows but i was very sad too see him go last night he made the show in alot of different ways

  13. peachez says:

    John I can see you are not a follower of Medium, because the producers did the same thing last Friday. It was the series finale and fans did not get much notice, then they killed our beloved character, the father, Joe Dubois in a plane crash! We were stunned! But I digress. I did not see Southland on tv last night so just watched it on the internet, and I was shocked to say the least. Nate is my favorite character. He is so handsome and always so kind. Look how he dealt with the young female witness. I know now he is leaving for True Blood but I still think it was harsh. They got Tom Everett Scotts character shot but didnt kill him off (I love him too), and he is a recurring character, yet they killed off a permanent character. I always loved to see Kevin Alejandros name first when the cast names appear. I will miss that. And I will miss him. With him gone, and Tom Everett Scott not there anymore, my favorite male characters are gone. Dont know if I can bear to watch, even though I do love Regina King and Ben McKenzie.

    • RJ says:

      Can I put out plea to folks not to post massive spoilers about OTHER shows in the comments section of totally unrelated articles? I watch “Medium” as well but am behind about a season. Of course, I’ll carefully avoid articles and forums discussing “Medium” but I certainly didn’t expect to read a series-ending spoiler in the comments section of an article about “Southland”.

  14. ellen says:

    Southland: Nate’s death-
    THE MOST POWERFUL tv I’ve seen (second- 1st season’s finale. Nbc made a major mistake

  15. Ronda says:

    I was completely and utterly shocked! I cannot believe he’s dead and the way it happened was so heartbreaking and painful.

  16. ohyea says:

    I was shocked, thought he was able to do both shows. Is he gay in real life????. (just wondering)

    • Andi says:

      He said in the interview they let him out because he had to do what was best for his career and family.. he has a wife and a son.

  17. Andi says:

    I immediately emailed Ausiello after I watched this last night! I was shocked and so sad. First getting killed off of Ugly Betty, now this! I feel a bit better though that it was his decision to leave the show and they didn’t just do it as a plot line reason. At least I can still look forward to him in True Blood!!!

  18. Melissa says:

    I’ve never had a scene affect me so much. I literally had my hand over my mouth, and my stomach in my throat with my chest pounding a mile a minute. Tears flowed and I felt like I knew him personally. What a sad way to go. Southland is great television. I really wish Tom Everret Scott would come back permantely because he is missed.

  19. mooshki says:

    I was hugely shocked. Went through a huge pile of kleenex. I was slow to get into Southland when it was on NBC, but now I can’t take my eyes off the screen when it’s on. It’s the definition of “compelling television.”

  20. Alyssa says:

    I was slow to get into Southland myself but what drew me to it was the fact that Kevin Alejandro was in it. I couldn’t believe this great show that I have campaigned for and stuck with killed off my favorite character. I was completely devestated! First killed off as Santos on Ugly Betty and now this? I was completely blown away and the end scene had me in tears

  21. Jess Garcia says:

    This episode literally made me cry. Second time a Nate has been killed too early in a series. (SFU)

  22. Myra says:

    I saw the headline before I saw the episode. I had heard there was a shocker at the end, and when I saw the headline, I knew what was going to happen, though not how. Putting the actor’s name in the headline was kind of a spoiler, one that I wouldn’t expect from this web site. Please remember this in the future. “Actor involved in last night’s SouthLAnd shocker speaks”, might have been the better way to go.

  23. filmex says:

    I like TB but LOVE “Southland”. And it’s hard to believe the most popular and charismatic actor on the show is now gone. I think everyone who watches the show wishes it was Tammy that had gotten clubbed.

    But, if you are going to get rid of your best character, that’s a stunningly dramatic way to do it. I woke up in the middle of the night with that sequence on my mind, wondering if it had all been a dream.

    Nate was the most stable guy on the show. Cudlitz is strong but a pill-popping addict; Ben has seemingly gone off the rails, and is now the Jay Cutler of cop characters, both sullen and petulant. Sammy and Tammy are their own kind of nightmare; Tom Everett Scott is totally wasted–what IS his deal, both on the show and as regards his contract. Looks like it’s up to Regina to hold down the ship at this point.

    Wonderful show…hope TNT keeps it on for years. “Southland”, “Men of a Certain Age” and “The Closer” are better than anything NBC has on the air. They’re good enough to forgive TNT for the mess of cliches that is “Rizzoli & Isles”.

  24. Paulysj says:

    Absolutely stunning! I was totally shocked. Once again a great show was dumped by a broadcast network and has blossomed on cable. If the networks don’t start being more innovative and creative, they will deservedly disappear!

  25. Zoe says:

    I’m not sure I saw it correctly but is it the priest’s sister (the witness)we see on the patio while he’s been killed? We see a girl but she is not dressed the same way than previously in the episode.
    It’s probably obvious to the most of you but not to me:). Thanks for you help.

  26. Lorie says:

    The look on Sammy’s face and Nate’s wife saying “Help me”… Devastating. I know it’s just a tv show but that has stayed with me even days later.

  27. Amy says:

    I am a huge fan of True Blood, and I like Southland as well. I followed the storylines, and knew that Det.Nate Moretta was going to change the storyline of Southland, but I did not see that coming. It was very gripping, and shocking. All I could do after watching was sit there and cry. I am looking forward to seeing more of him on True Blood.

  28. Caril says:

    I love Southland! I came to it late, because I thought it was just another cop show. And of course, I fell in love with several of the characters, Nate Moretta being one of them. I was so stunned I looked away and then had to watch it a second time to see what I had missed. It was brilliant, and moving, and sad. I have not been able to forget it, and knowing that it was something that actually happened makes it even more moving.

    Amazing show!