Southland's Ben McKenzie Previews Officer Sherman's 'Darker Path,' Conflict With Sammy

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Southland Ben McKenzieYou can only stay a rookie cop on TNT’s Southland for so long. And in the final three episodes of Season 4, Ben McKenzie‘s Officer Ben Sherman will be growing up – and stumbling – in a big way. It all begins this Tuesday at 10/9c, when Ben meets a prostitute and her daughter and gets in way over his head.

“The woman is a hooker, and the daughter is heading down that path,” previews McKenzie. “I get personally involved trying to help both of them – in particular the daughter – get out of the life.”

Ben’s need to save the women “is motivated by what made him become a cop in the first place, which is about his mom,” who was beaten and raped during a home invasion, he continues. “He has a very strong desire to protect women that doesn’t always even make sense.”

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It’s even harder to explain in light of Ben’s actions this season, which haven’t always been the kindest. The normally reserved officer lost his cool and punched a teenage girl in the face. Then there’s his new playboy ways featuring a string of one-night stands. The rare glimpse into Sherman’s suddenly very active private life is about “him relieving stress,” says McKenzie.

“Cops are always talking about [how] they need to blow off steam,” he explains. “They find different ways of doing that. Some find healthy ways through family and their wife and kids. Some drink. Some get involved in worse stuff.” And others, who are single like Ben, “go out and get laid.”

“It’s not necessarily healthy,” he adds, “and I think that they show that.”

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Southland Ben McKenzie Shawn HatosyWe’ve already seen that this new stress reliever could lead to an unexpected pregnancy and even a beat-down by an angry husband. (He avoided the latter fate by jumping out the window of the room where he’d just had a threesome!) But the big test for Ben will come when he gets overly invested in the aforementioned case of the mother and daughter, which “leads to some violence” — and even impacts his partnership with Sammy Bryant.

“Our relationship will come to a head at the end of the season,” teases McKenzie. “There’s a conflict ahead. There has to be, because my character goes down this darker path.”

“He’s just obsessed… trying to fix something that’s unfixable, which is this core part of him that’s still traumatized by what happened when he was younger. [He] is trying to fix it by repeating the mistake over and over and over again.”

Comments (16)

  • Southland is one of the best cop dramas on television and I’m always hooked on a Tuesday night.

    Comment by kevin – March 5, 2012 07:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I’d say Southland is one of the best dramas, period. I am totally invested in these characters.

      Comment by David S. – March 6, 2012 09:43 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Southland is without question one of the best shows on TV. NBC, as usual, screwed the pooch.

      Comment by David – March 6, 2012 11:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Man, I love this show. Nothing to add–just that. Best show on TV right now.

    Comment by A – March 5, 2012 07:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Completely agree. One of the few thoughtful shows out there right now.

      Comment by njkj – March 5, 2012 08:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I am addicted to this show!!!!! I how it comes to Netflix soon.

    Comment by Rambo – March 5, 2012 08:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Great show. I hopes it’s around a long time.

    Comment by Tom Garrison – March 5, 2012 08:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ben mckenzie is a superb actor– why isn’t he doing more tv and movies

    Comment by Jake – March 5, 2012 08:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Absolutely love this show. I’ve just caught up on all the previous episodes and now am really impatient for more!

    It’s unlike anything else on TV – I’m totally hooked.

    Comment by Charlotte – March 6, 2012 02:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • My favorite Ben scenes are the one where he is shirtless.

    Comment by Dryden – March 6, 2012 05:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I love Southland and look forward to watching every week.

    I also love all the characters and the actors that play them.

    Having said that, I have a serious problem believing that Ben Sherman is some sort of sexual lothario, who has a different girl (or girls) every night. Maybe McKenzie is portraying Sherman all wrong in this aspect. He is a nerd, goody-goody type. I laugh every time he is with a girl onscreen.

    Comment by Dee – March 6, 2012 07:27 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • LOL at “I laugh every time he is with a girl onscreen.” I don’t get that either, how is is picking up all these women, oh yeah – I forgot, it was the viral video of him slapping the one girl.

      Wasn’t the 3some with the one girl from his first conquest and some other chick???

      Anyway this is my favorite cop drama on TV.

      Comment by Gata – March 6, 2012 08:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • In the same way some people aren’t convinced that Michael Cudlitz’s character is gay, some viewers have difficulty buying Ben Mckenzie’s Sherman as a major Casanova. It works both ways. Just go to Southland Facebook and you’ll see viewers constantly surprised that Cooper is gay.

    And it’s a good thing the writers finally decided to give the Sherman character an actual storyline, just as the season is about to wrap up. For a while there I thought his main story arc in Season 4 would consist of him bedding one badge bunny after another. In Season 3 he barely had a storyline as well, other than being constantly screamed at by Cooper.

    Comment by eva – March 6, 2012 09:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ben pretty much stays over his head. Love the show but usually leave any show once they start with babies. Don’t particularly like the homicide detective anyway so may have to engage my no babies rule unless I can just FF like I’ve been doing. I gave up Bones and and the witness protection program so IT guess Southland is next. Think all that female angst and hormones have no place in procedurals. Barely made it through the first wak-a-doodle year until they moved nut job to the suburbs.

    Comment by pylgrym – March 6, 2012 10:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Ditto all of the above except the last entry. Regina King is incredible!!!! I love the character of Lydia and especially love to watch her run! The girl can BOOK! Really interested in what’s going to happen with her prenancy. Some major adjusting to Lydia’s life is due.

    Comment by gcem – March 6, 2012 11:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • *Pregnancy*…sorry. By the way, I hope we find out who the father is soon. Unless I missed it somehow.

      Comment by gcem – March 6, 2012 11:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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