Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Shield: Season 6

"The Shield" is probably my favorite show on right now. It picked up the slack when the Sopranos hit a rough patch between seasons 5 and 6, and has actually gotten better with each season. A big part of this is because no ripple is ever forgotten, and an action in season 2 will sure as heck come back to roost in season 6. Case in point, last night's episode.

(Spoiler alert)

The dominant story this season has been Vic's struggle to first find Lem's killer, and then deal with the devastation when he learns it was his closest friend. Vic's relationship with Shane is shattered, and Ronnie seems to be his only friend left in all of Farmington. Perhaps the smartest thing Shane ever did, from a self-preservation perspective, was create the document detailing the Strike Team's wrongdoings over the years. Now he's protected from Vic, and as we saw last night he's more than happy to bide his time at the Barn until Vic is forced out the door. This led to a terrific scene, as Shane tells Vic, "There are no trap doors this time." Vic knows it. He's exhausted all resources, finally burned all his bridges.

Of course, in traditional Vic Mackey fashion, a trap door does appear. And while it seemed a bit cheap at first, taken into perspective it makes perfect sense. It had been a long time since Aceveda's rape had come into play, and we all knew it was a long shot that it would end with Juan Lozano's murder in prison. Now Aceveda's shady representative/benefactor proves that Lozano wasn't lying when he said he had pictures, and for some reason it's mighty important that Vic stay on the job. Undoubtedly Vic will tighten this noose around Aceveda's neck until the councilman saves his job. Aceveda again showed that his ascention in the politcal ranks is due less to his acumen and more because he can be manipulated by those in power who can benefit from him.

One of the most interesting subplots of the last few seasons took another turn last night, with Billings's orchestration of a tryst between Hiatt and Tina. Not only does this tear Dutch's heart out (he'd been pining for Tina for years), but puts another wedge between Tina and Danny Sofer (though considering the relative ease with which Billings pulled this off, maybe he should junk the Quikmealer and open up a dating service).

Danny Sofer is one of the best characters on the show, but she's been woefully underused this season. This Tina issue with should change that, or at least give them something meatier for next season. Danny has always had to put her job above her womanhood and personal happiness, even having to deal with constant harrassment while pregnant (i.e. the 'who's the daddy' gambling board last season), but recently has attempted to compete with Tina in that regard (as seen by her interest in Hiatt and buying the fake purses). Tina is the polar opposite of Danny. She's a poor officer with bad instincts, despite Dutch's words of 'encouragement.' Additionally Tina has no problem balancing a social life with policework, often sacrificing the former for the latter. Danny has tried to pave the way for more women to become officers--Tina seems content to bury that road under lipstick and spaghetti straps.

Shane's motives for "getting in" with the Armenian mob do confuse me, though. It could be for money, as we know he and Mara are beyond strapped. The more nefarious theory is that he wanted them to trust him so he could eventually pin the money train robbery on Vic, thereby wiping out his problem with eventual retribution. The wrench in this theory is that Shane has always been impetuous, never good at planning ahead (the Christopher to Vic's Tony). This theory seems a little too complex for him to muster. Regardless, Shane confessed to the robbery last night (denying involvement, naturally), putting Vic and his family in the line of fire. Terrific moment when Shane confesses, as Diro's face morphs from fright to anger. The Armenians have not forgotten the robbery, but ever since Margos was killed they haven't had any leads. As we've learned the Armenians are vicious, bloody and ruthless, and can't be bluffed (as is Vic's specialty).

Another good moment, the assemblyman calling Vic's bluff when Vic threatens to expose the truth about his daughter. The assemblyman points out that doing so would contradict Vic's initial report, prove he is unethical, and dig his grave that much deeper.

(End Spoilers)

Can't wait for the season finale, though between this and "The Sopranos" I am getting a little sick of these 9 and 10 episode seasons...


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