The Shield – Episode 7-8 Review

There’s no turning back now.

Two cops who’ve bent, broke, and obliterated the law to obtain their own needs with the aid of their badges are no longer cops. With only five episodes left, every little misdeed Vic Mackey and Shane Vendrell have done is finally starting to catch up with them.

Last week, Ronnie went ape-poopie on a perp named Two-Man and broke his jaw. Shane, looking to even the score for Vic and Ronnie’s botched hit on his life, notices Ronnie’s outward animosity whilst delivering the beatdown. So Shane offers the guy a deal; take out Ronnie or face a trumped up murder charge. Tonight, Ronnie’s lovin’ a little Asian number when Two-Man strikes. There’s some good comedy in this scene as Ronnie absolutely saves the woman’s life during the shootout, and yet she calls him a “shit head” – sure, she took a shot in the arm, but at least she’s not worm food. Ronnie shrugs it off with a few jokes, while Vic makes a good point about how weird things are getting lately; they both think of Shane, who, by the way, was waiting in Vic’s apartment, ready to cap him. Luckily, Ronnie called him before he could walk in on his own hit.

The B-stories were downplayed tonight; what with only 5 episodes left, it’s for the best. Vic’s involvement with ICE’s investigation into Pezuela seems to be getting him one step closer to a full-time gig with ICE. Now that he’s officially out of a job, what else is he going to do? Pezuela, meanwhile, is spooked because he’s being evaluated by the Cartel, so he gives Aceveda an ultimatum; take his endorsement for Mayor RIGHT NOW or bare witness to some of his leverage. Of course, we know Pezuela gave Vic the infamous Juan Lozano kodak moment; what else could he possibly have on him? Aceveda squirms when he enters the ICE office to find that Vic is involved in the investigation. His only way to distance himself from Pezuela, once and for all, is to remain partnered up with Vic. It was a delicious scene, especially with Vic’s line about being the one to kill him should Pezuela need a hitman.

Meanwhile, Pezuela wants Vic to put a priest out of business. This priest appears to be doing a little drug-dealing on the side, and Pezuela wants to use that info to strongarm him out of the church and therefore shut it down so the Cartel can turn that block into a liquor cesspool. Vic, killing time, looks into the matter, and finds out the priest had an affair with a gang member’s sister and fathered a child. The gang member threatened to expose him lest he act as a go-between in moving drugs. This story had a good resolution and acted as a buffer between all the tension, but I honestly could have done without it.

The real meat was the interrogation of Two-Man after his attempted murder of Ronnie. You can literally see the fear in Shane Vendrell growing and growing as Two-Man comes closer and closer to slipping. When he does, Shane sighs and exits the barn. His career now over and being a fugitive, there’s no telling WHAT the hell is going to happen now. In a last-minute surprise, Vic made good on his deal from the first episode of the fifth season: he walked out the front door on his own before he let anyone push him out the back. Not wanting to be tethered to a desk for his remaining week on the job, he’s now a loose cannon without a badge; the hunt for Shane is on, and he’s yet to tie up this business with Pezuela. This balancing act is about to hit the ground – hard.

The whole fabric of The Shield universe has changed forever.

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.