The Shield: Episode Guide
Episode 6: Cherrypoppers
The discovery of an underage hooker--found in similar circumstances as several others--lends weight to Dutch's serial killer theory. Aceveda gives Dutch the resources to go after the killer, which includes the Strike team. Vic refuses to answer to Dutch, and leaves to solve the case on his own. Dutch: "People here see me as a joke. They don't know the real me." Claudette, joking: "I don't think the department is ready for the real you." (she doesn't know how right she is...)
Vic follows the dead hooker's trail to an underage sex club (in one of the most disturbing scenes in the whole series). Meanwhile Julien contacts Internal Affairs about Mackey's stolen drugs, to the chagrin of Danny who is upset that Julien won't keep quiet to help other officers. Mackey busts up the sex club, pissing off Dutch who feels Mackey is doing his own thing while everyone else searches for the killer. Yet when Vic and Dutch brace the club's owner (by forcing her to watch a snuff film involving the victim), Dutch finally sees the dead girl as a human, not just a case. Dutch: "The asshole who made her do that..." Vic: "Don't worry. He's mine." Dutch: "Good."
Dutch ends up barking up the wrong tree thanks to a practical joke gone wrong, while Vic responds to a distress call from Connie who's killed one of her johns she mistakenly thought was the killer. Vic nearly turns her in, but she convinces him that unless he helps her she'll lose her son. So he does, but not without them both getting a few bruises.
A riot at a high school leads Aceveda to pull extra units off the serial killer, which leads to Dutch losing his cool and embarrassing Danny in front of the squad. Vic gives Dutch some needed moral support, but the FBI cautions that serial killers can take years to be found. Danny confronts Vic over the stolen drugs, and his non-answer tells her everything. But when she arrives home to find a contrite Dutch, grilled cheese solves even the most hurt feelings.
Episode 7: Pay in Pain
A mass Latino gang shooting leads assistant chief Gilroy to bring the Strike team in to assist the lead cop, who used to be a member of the gang who was targeted. Vic tracks down the M.I.A. janitor (who turns out to be innocent), but Shane gets carried away and beats up the janitor's friend, yet again putting Shane at odds with Vic.
Dutch's obsession with the serial killer grows, so Claudette makes him work on some "low priority" cases to clear his mind and keep the citizenry happy. Yet when the suspect turns out to be a white man targeting Hispanics, the Hispanic citizenry is outraged. Julien gives his statement to Internal Affairs, which officially begins to investigate Vic, who's pulled away to another mass Hispanic shooting before he can review the accusations.
Shane's detective work leads them to a suspect, but when they storm the suspect's house the Strike team finds his parents dead and his wife and son missing. Despite the protestations of a Hispanic community leader, Vic braces the family member of a dead victim, who admits to knocking the suspect out and handing him over to a Latino gang for retribution. The gang took it too far, though, killing the suspect's parents and assaulting his wife. Thankfully they manage to save the wife and son.
Gilroy learns about IA's case against Vic, and tries to compel Vic to give up Shane as a sacrificial lamb. Vic refuses when he learns that Julien is the star witness. And since he knows Vic will try to weasel out of it, Aceveda hands the IA case against Vic over to the Hispanic community leader in the hopes of publicly shaming Vic and being perceived as a cop fighting corruption. Later that night, just as Julien and Tomas are about to get a little closer, Vic busts in with a warrant for Tomas's arrest. "Don't worry," Vic says with a sneer, "I'm sure your boyfriend will lock up."
Episode 8: Cupid & Psycho
Danny and Julien chase down a suspect on the highway, only to open the trunk and find a charred almost corpse. Aceveda's leaked story makes front page news, forcing them to tone down the Strike team's actions for the time being by reassigning them to the regular detective pool. That means Shane goes with Dutch, and Vic goes with Claudette. Fun times.
Vic and Claudette head to the emergency room to speak to the crispy victim's friends, and they find out he was burned in a meth lab explosion. According to the doctors they've been getting meth ODs in all week. Put two and two together, and they realize someone's been dealing bad meth that's killing people.
Meanwhile an attractive widow comes to the barn to find out why nobody's been looking into her husband's year old murder. Shane and Dutch take the case, with Shane fully intent on '"easing her grief." Vic threatens to file the arrest warrant for Tomas--including the circumstances in which he was found--unless Julien changes his testimony. Rather than be outed, Julien agrees. This causes Aceveda to throw a fit, since he was planning to ride the headlines and scandal to the city council.
Vic and Claudette find out the bad meth was distributed at a fraternity initiation, and dealt by a sleazeball named Manny Sandoval. They arrest Sandoval, but are forced to cut a deal since he's the only one who knows where the bad drugs are being kept. Sandoval is released, but we haven't seen the last of him. Corinne Mackey convinces Vic to put Matt in a special ed school, which will cost $25,000 a year. Money the family can't afford to spend.
Danny and Julien make several calls to a see-sawing love triangle, which ends the only way things do in Farmington--in bloodshed.
Episode 9: Throwaway
A spate of truck hijackings leads the Strike team to knock on the door of a known gang member. Inside they find a girl and a guy, and when the guy runs and then turns suddenly, Lem shoots him. Vic, assuming they caught the suspect, plants a gun on him to justify Lem's shooting. But it turns out that the guy is the suspect's brother, a former gang member gone clean. Lem is distraught, and now the team must both find the real jacker, protect the girl, and make the bogus charges against the brother go away. Lem agrees to protect her.
Note: Lem has been a relatively minor character up to this point, and this episode is the first time we see that he's the only member of the Strike team with a fully developed conscience who wants nothing more than to be a cop by the book. Lem simply lost his way at some point but, like the ex-gang member, has learned the error of his ways. Of course as we learn later on, conscience is a killer.
Claudette's family comes for a visit, and Dutch enjoys her father's willingness to discuss Claudette's childhood. And when she meets her daughter's new boyfriend, Claudette isn't above using the interrogation room for a different kind of suspect. Vic attempts to make amends with Julien, but Julien is having none of it.
Vic and the team hijack the evidence van posing as gang members in order to get the charges dropped against the innocent brother. And when they plant the purloined gun in the hands of the real truck hijacker, all's well that ends well.
Episode 10: Dragonchasers
Vic's wife is having a hard time dealing with the kids by herself while Vic is working, and their marriage is feeling the strain. And when Connie's mother dies, leaving the hooker/crack addict to take care of her young son by herself, Vic decides it's time for an intervention and locks her in a room with the supplies to get clean.
The Strike team is taking down a ring of strippers who take their johns into a back alley for a quickie, then have an accomplice clock them and steal their money. Shane is used as a decoy to catch the duo, but of course thinks the stripper was actually into him. "She was rubbing her ass against my hand. They don't just do that for everyone." Lem finds out that the stripper was the ringleader, and planned the whole scheme. Shane, however, is seduced by the woman ("Is there anything I can put on the table?"), and ends up having to turn her loose or else face charges of misconduct.
Danny and Julien catch a guy pleasuring himself in an alley, but let him go with a warning. Yet when Dutch catches wind of it and realizes the alley was just blocks from the last hooker murder, he wonders if perhaps they've stumbled onto the real killer.
Julien's aloofness leads to Danny being attacked by an HIV positive transvestite prostitute, and in his anger Julien joins with other cops to give the hooker a 'blanket party,' a severe beating with their batons. Julien beats the transvestite nearly to death, taking out his frustrations with his own sexual confusion. Connie escapes from detox, gets her fix, leaving her infant son with Vic.
Dutch finds that the suspected serial killer is also an armchair profiler, and he works up a profile of Dutch that's almost to a T. The other cops watch on the monitor laughing at Dutch being torn apart mentally...until Dutch corners the suspect and gets him to confess to 23 murders. Dutch leaves the station to a standing ovation, gets into his car, and cries. One of the most powerful episodes of the series.