Southland Episode
Season 5, Episode 2
Air date Feb. 20, 2013
Written by Heather Zuhlke
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Episode Guide
Hats and Bats

"Heat" is the second episode of Season Five of Southland. It originally aired on February 20, 2013. It was written by Heather Zuhlke and directed by Daniel Sackheim.


Officer Mendoza is taken to the hospital with a gunshot wound. He tells the other officers that gang members came to his house trying to kill him.

Officer John Cooper and Officer Steele respond to an accident where an elderly veteran drove his car off the path, almost hitting several people. The elderly man is worried about how he'll buy groceries and attend medical appointments with his car being impounded. Steele, a fellow veteran, wants to let the man go because the driver is barely able to survive on his income. However, Cooper won't cut him any slack. Later, they responded to a call where they find that man's body after he has committed suicide. After leaving that call, they pull over a car on a traffic stop, driver exits the vehicle, shooting, hitting Cooper in his bullet-proof vest. Cooper finally shoots and kills the suspect then finds Steele ducking behind the police car, scared and hiding, not helping. Afterward, Steele tells Cooper he can't risk his life for this job because the citizens hate the police and he doesn't feel like they are actually doing any good on the streets with crime. Cooper takes Steele's badge.

Officer Sherman stops by a gang member's house to question him about Mendoza's shooting, threatening to arrest him on an outstanding warrant during his young son's birthday celebration if the guy doesn't give him some information. Sherman's partner, Officer Bryant, is suspicious of the information since it is about a rival gang member. The officers track down the implicated rival and while trying to get information from him he guesses who put the cops on his trail. He says it was because the other gang member thinks he's sleeping with his sister. Later, the son of the gang member that ratted out his rival is shot and severely wounded, in what seems to be payback. Later in the day, the officers are informed that Officer Mendoza actually shot himself for insurance money; he had made up the entire story. Officer Sherman is very upset at Mendoza for damaging the department's image but doesn't seem to feel badly for the part he played in the gang member's son being shot.

At the end of the episode, Detective Adams learns that her mother died while watching her baby.