The Shield – Episode 7-9 Review
by Joseph Henson on October 29, 2008

They wrung so much humanity out the characters tonight, on top of keeping the tension at a serious high.

With Shane on the run from the law, fingernails were chewed to the quick wondering when – and if – he was going to get caught. It’s a testament to this show’s unyielding power that, despite all of the mistakes Shane has made over the course of the series, I was sympathizing with him for most of the way. On top of his situation, he’s got a sick child with whooping cough. You can feel his desperation in avoiding jail time as he’s slowly trying to get himself and his family out of the country. Walton Goggins is fascinating in the role.

Meanwhile, Vic, on his trail, is finding it hard to manuever without the aid of his badge. So, he’s calling Ronnie every few minutes for updates. The two mutually agree that Shane must be taken care of once and for all, but Ronnie’s not quite on board with capping Mara; she is pregnant and the mother of a two year old child, after all. Vic, however, while not outright saying anything dastardly in that respect, pretty much notes that Mara’s unborn child would probably be a casualty of this war. Cold.

Elsewhere, Dutch and Rita Denton, on a “date” with one another, hit a snag when Dutch turns down her attempts at making out. Call it a breach of ethics, but Dutch is basically trying to get close to her son, because he suspects the kid is a cold-blooded serial killer in the making. Rita uncovers his motives later in the show, and, despite not being too happy about it, realizes Wagenbach may be on to something when she is later belittled coldly by her son.

Billings, meanwhile, pulls an old-school Vic Mackey move and plants child pornography in the home of a sex offender who moved into a house just down the street from his ex-wife and daughter. Billings, known for his innate slackerdom all season, is hell-bent on proving his worth as a father, and can see the sickness inside this guy, and basically puts a scare into him. This causes the guy to go one further, walking close by the Billings household, scaring the mother and daughter. The ex-wife is none too pleased, so Billings orchestrates getting the guy busted on a second offense, which will surely get him sent back to prison and away from Steve’s ex-wife and daughter. This story gave the Billings character alot of pathos as he argued with Dutch about ethics and doing what is right and wrong, despite the laws seperating the two.

Pezuela surely can’t be long for the show; his storyline has to be coming to a head sometime soon. With Vic out of a job and practically begging ICE to employ him full-time, Aceveda is the only inside man they have right now, and after his innuendo to David about power (“Mr. Mayor, the dick is up your ass!”), it’s all Aceveda could do to keep from slugging the guy and ruining the sting. And now they have a serious cartel player who looks to be a bigger fish than Pezuela ever was; on top of all this, Vic is fairly close to cozying up to both; something’s gotta give.

The most interesting scene was Ronnie telling Claudette that Shane killed Lem. Woah. He spun a pretty good tale to keep himself and Vic and all of their misdeeds out of the spotlight and paint them as heroes, but he flat out told her the basics of the case, and now that Claudette knows, anything can happen. This was a very smart decision by Ronnie to come clean and to save a piece of his job. Vic and Shane and their families are sinking ships just itching to scrape the bottom of the ocean floor. Ronnie getting out while the getting is good is a smart move, but will his loyalty to Vic undermine that?

Only four more episodes remain of this BRILLIANT series.

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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