Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Shield
Season 7--The Final Act
Episode 4: Genocide

The episode begins with the discovery of a burned-down warehouse containing the crispy bodies of two of Rezian's lieutenants. Vic correctly assumes that since Pezuela failed to kill Rezian in prison, he's not going to stop now that the Armenian head honcho is outside. At first Vic is concerned that Rezian may have been killed in the blaze--which means his family would have been greenlit--but when he finds Rezian the mob boss is alive yet rattled. Knowing the Armenians don't have the money or manpower to fight a war against Pezuela's Cartel, he asks Vic to set up a sit down with Pezuela to air out their differences. This throws Vic, since if Pezuela and Rezian meet he'll be exposed as playing both sides against each other.

Vic goes to Pezuela and proposes the meet-and-greet, but Pezuela demands that for a meeting to take place Rezian must bring the blackmail box. Since Vic knows the Armenians don't really have the box, and those demands throw a wrench in any meeting, he agrees to propose the terms to Rezian. Vic also tells Shane about Pezuela's plan to buy up Farmington with Cartel money, which means the gangs would eventually run the city. When Shane replies, "I don't see why that's our problem," Vic sees just how wrong Shane has gone. Whereas Vic has always had an inner moral code, a desire to see evil brought to justice, Shane has none of that, as evidenced by when he was willing to let the stolen guns fall into Rezian's hands. As long as Shane has a badge and a paycheck, he doesn't care who gets hurt.

Meanwhile Vic goes home to apologize to Cassidey for losing his temper, but his daughter could care less. She walks out the door, Vic realizing just how alienated from his daughter he's becoming. Then, instead of going to school, Cassidey knocks on Danny's door, asking to see Danny and Vic's son. Danny is confused, even more so when Cassidey asks her if she thinks Vic killed Terry Crowley. When Danny says no, Cassidey tells her that Jon Kavanaugh did. Apparently Cassidey's been reading up on her dear old dad. Corrine finds Cassidey and takes her away, leading Danny to question just how involved she wants Vic in her son's life.

Vic goes to Rezian, who shockingly says he'll sit down with Pezuela because he has the blackmail box. Of course this is b.s. since Vic and Aceveda have the box, but Vic can't call Rezian's bluff without arousing suspicion. Instead he agrees to set up the meeting, knowing the team could be walking into a set-up. Since Pezuela doesn't want to expose himself, he sends a middleman, Armando Rios (not this Armando Rios), to negotiate in his stead. Vic asks Olivia Murray, the federal agent helping out, to look up Rios from the federal side, while Julien does the same from the barn. 

Dutch and Billings investigate the death of a high school student, killed by a classmate whose home he broke into. Everything looks squeaky clean--the shooter acted in self-defense, the victim a known bully who terrorized the school--but Dutch recognizes behavior in the kid that frightens him. Dutch suspects that the shooter, a loner from a broken home, may have lured the bully to his home in order to kill him and make it look like a robbery. Suffice it to say Dutch's assessment of the kid--detached, narcissistic, intelligent--fits the profile of a young serial killer. And while Dutch can't prove the kid did it, he has a feeling that this victim won't be the last.

At the sit down, Rezian admits to Rios that he doesn't have the box, but tells him that he wants no war with the Cartel and that he'll even deploy some of his own manpower to help find the box. Rios agrees, to Vic's chagrin, since if the Cartel and the Armenians are working to find the box eventually the trail will lead to him. So he has to drive another wedge between the Cartel and the Armenians, and in order to get Pezuela's blood boiling again he convinces Aceveda to release one piece of the blackmail intel--info about city controller Robert Martin (last seen when Vic helped clear his daughter of prostitution and drug charges). Martin has been the lone voice of dissent in erecting a monument to the victims of the Armenian genocide (one of the few times the show has used a real incident to further a storyline), so Vic and Ronnie threaten to blow the whistle on Martin's insider trading. Martin agrees to announce plans for the monument at the Armenian parade, enraging Pezuela who assumes that it was Rezianwho  blackmailed Martin. Pezuela knows Rezian will likely be at the parade, and in order to start the street war (and avoid civilian casualties) Vic tells Pezuela that only Armenian foot soliders are to be targeted. Instead chaos erupts when a Cartel assassin ignores the Armenian presence...and guns down city controller Martin. Vic and Aceveda are devastated, since they unwillingly lured an innocent man to his death. 

Making Vic's bad day worse, when he shows up at the barn Danny asks him to sign a waiver forgoing all of his parental rights to their son. Vic never seemed to have any desire to help raise Danny's baby, but since she wants to make it official he feels hurt and betrayed. Between Cassidey and Danny, Vic realizes that everyone he cares about is isolating themselves from him.

After Martin's murder, Vic gives fresh info to Olivia Murray to track down Rios, hoping still to bring down Pezuela. But Aceveda shows up and informs Vic that Murray--whom Vic has been trusting with precious intel all season--has a file in the blackmail box as well. She's on the hook to Pezuela, and anything she knows, he knows as well...



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