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.
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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.