The Shield – Episode 7-3 Review

They derived alot – and I do mean alot – of dramatic tension out of just about every single character tonight.

Let’s start with Danny, who used her blindsided attack back in the first episode of this season to reason with a girl who was kidnapped and refused to admit to her whereabouts. Dutch was watching on the monitors, and saw something in Danny’s speech that gave him the impression that she may be a good choice to act as an interim backbone for the ailing Claudette should her lupus get the better of her. I’m not certain if they’ve decided to drop the “find who failed to clear the room” bit or not, but this was a much more satisfying dramatic closing of that arc – that is, if the whole thing *is* closed.

Meanwhile, Tina was dolled up as Persuasion (that’s an awesome name, by the way), a would-be porn star looking to get her start in Los Angeles. Actually, she was undercover with Julien on a sting. I particularly liked the way she handled herself when her prospective employer asked to get a sample of her oral skills; and hey, it’s always funny when someone makes a reference to ATM. If you want to know what ATM is, look it up. I’m not going into detail.

Billings was his usual self. During his hours on duty, he did a jumble and took a nap in the car. He’s good at playing the shmuck and David Marciano gives the creep a shred of humanity, but they’re setting him up to take a slap in the face any day now; I just know it.

Speaking of creeps, who DIDN’T see it coming? Aceveda raided the box o’ blackmail and hid it away from Vic.

Elsewhere, Ronnie was left in charge of the undercover porn sting with Julien. He had some great lines and Dave Snell really showcased alot of pathos as the story moved along, showing depths the actor previously was never allowed to show. I especially liked the bit with the pit bull tearing a chunk out of his arm, but his best moment was his confession to Vic that he could no longer fake a smile around the guy who dropped a grenade in Lem’s lap, and that he wasn’t going to drown for him, or Vic. Ronnie’s really stepping up this season as a rounded character.

But of course, the best moments were Vic’s absolutely brilliant machinations concerning Rezian and the Money Train debacle. I should have saw through the red herring of the guns, but I didn’t. I mean, Vic so much as showed his hand when letting Olivia in on an Armenian sting early in the episode, but it just didn’t register. The previews made it look like something was hinging on Vic and Shane breaking the guns out of evidence. Vic was just using it as a way to create dissention with Rezian and his right-hand man. He faked the bug in the phone, he waved I.C.E. to the drop-off, and he even got Claudette to go along with it. Shane alerting her earlier in the season that he’d been cozying up to Rezian certainly helped. It was just another satisfying dramatic twist that she show is so good at.

Finally, Shane hands over his dossier of all the illegal things he, Vic and Ronnie had ever done – in the hopes of earning Vic’s trust again. He told Mara he had already made a copy, but it was clearly a lie to appease her. He’s genuinely trying to gain favor with Vic again, and a copy he did NOT make. Anyway, he hands it over, and Vic nearly breaks down in tears in front of Shane and Ronnie about Shane’s decision to kill Lem in the fifth season finale. He’s hurt, but he feels Shane did what he had to do. Shane walks away, hopeful. But Vic is clearly disgusted with what he said. He looks at Ronnie and doesn’t say a word. Shane is a dead man.

This show just gets better and better. A shame that only ten episodes remain.

Joseph Henson is a film-critic and would-be screenwriter. If you enjoyed his observations, please feel free to leave him a comment or two.

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