The Shield – Season Four – Episode Two



Remember the Blackberry that Shane ganked at the end of episode one? (If not, play catch-up!) Whatever he’s using it for, he’s managed to track down some banger and is busting him with a room full of whores! Fun for everyone. Oh, wait, one of ’em is underage. That’s no good, Mr. Banger.

Mackey gets a call from a restaurant shopowner named Cal whose employee, Cyril, came in and stole from his payroll. Yep, he’s a meth head. Cal is asking for a special favor to Mackey here, to bring him the kid and help turn him around rather than press charges. Vic plays nice, says he’ll see what he can do.

At the barn, Aceveda will be leaving shortly (along with his bitchy assistant, hooray!) and changes are already hitting the floor. Not too many changes, though, as we get our first Dutch rib of the new season: ahh, who wouldn’t want to be a bathroom monitor?

We see Shane teaching his new partner some tricks used back on the ol’ Strike Team, and…

An old friend appears, ex assistant chief Ben Gilroy. For those unacquainted, in season one, the entire season wrapped up with Gilroy targeting Vic’s family after his scheme for reducing the crime enforcement in Farmington to drive down real estate prices was busted. AND in season two, Gilroy once again appeared after “escaping” from prison to try and f*ck over dear Mackey by turning informant, and Mackey instead sent him deep into Mexico (and made him pay his own hitman to kill him if he should ever turn up in the States again, nice touch). However, this time we see Ben in the best light of all: on a morgue slab. The official cause of death? Ahh, the Jim Morrison syndrome: he choked on his own vomit after a drinking bender. Vic identified the body. Delicious and nutritious.

NOW the actual episode can start. Funny how that works with this series.

Shane brings in the pimp perp and the tension is thick in the barn with both Vic and Ronnie. Lem is also present, helping Vic find the missing junkie thief child.

Cut to… GUNSHOTS!! CRAZY CHAOS!! We’re at a laundromat, burglary formerly in progress, and we’ve got one chicky DOA. Vic believes his missing kid could be a part of this.

Back at the barn, Aceveda has brought in Sperling, the guy from last season who ran the garage ring busted by the Strike Team; in exchange for his freedom, he let the force bug his vehicles being used by (primarily) white-collar criminals. However, after six months, there have been no results, and Aceveda is angry. He’s discovered that Sperling started a second business in his daughter’s name and he has been leading the cops in circles. Sperling offers to drop a big name in exchange for a new deal, but Aceveda’s not having it.

Vic’s on the phone with his soon to be ex-wife Corrine; there’s a class action lawsuit being dropped regarding bad preservatives in vaccines which correlate to a rash of autism. The Mackeys’ two youngest children are diagnosted autistic.

Vic then talks to Shane and his new partner (“Hick and the Spic”), and stresses to Shane that he should attend Gilroy’s funeral. Shane points out all of the obvious negatives, while Mackey recalls what a good friend he was prior to the mess (including the formation of the Strike Team with Vic as lead). He also asks Shane if he has any connections to Antoine Mitchell, the OG gone straight, which Shane of course denies.

Now. All of that is well and good, but there’s something bigger. Something much more important going on in this episode…


Since season ONE, everyone’s been peeing together. But new Captain Rawling is going to CHANGE ALL THAT! WHOO HOO!

And she has a gumball machine. We love you, Glenn Close.

Meanwhile, Dutch and Claudette are summoned to Mission Cross; taken in was an unconscious hooker (checked in with the name “Olive Martini”), but she disappeared. Back at the barn, Aceveda rags on them pretty hard about following up with 911 and checking security cameras.

Vic makes a visit to Antoine Mitchell, looking for Cyril’s dealer. Words are had, of course, but it’s all just words as Vic gets a call.

They’re in the car, they’re driving… OMG KID ON BIKE THROWS SOMETHING AT WINDSHIELD AND SHATTERS IT! THE PUNK MUST GO DOWN! And of course he does, as we get our first real Vic Mackey moment of the season… wear your helmets, kids, because MACKEY RAMS THE BIKE WITH THE CAR! Flying over the hood of a parked automobile doesn’t stop him, though, and he runs into a convenience store, straight to the cooler to wash down the drugs on him. Vic, Ronnie, and Lem are in tow (yes, Lem is hanging around) as they realize he’s swallowed them all. What to do, what to do? YES, GRAB A BOTTLE OF MUSTARD AND SHOVE IT DOWN HIS THROAT! MUSTARD ‘N’ DRUG VOMIT COCKTAIL!

The kid still doesn’t talk, though… until LEM grabs a bottle of something a little stronger and threatens to go in for more than just vomiting. Suddenly, he’s all up for conversation. Lem, good to see you still have a chunk of the Strike Team in ya after flipping out like a nutjob at the end of last season.

Vic to the shopkeeper: “Cleanup, aisle 4.”


Rawling and Aceveda butt heads over the garage sting; Rawling would like to pursue Sperling’s lead, but Aceveda wants to kill it and hang the disaster on Mackey’s head.

We find out that it was a female who got the drugs from the mustard puke guy. The dead female, by chance. The dealer points Vic to “under hell,” where Cyril stays. Vic and company go pick him up, not without a few gunshots and threats of suicide, though. They get the name of his dealer — Bennish — and call for a warrant.

Meanwhile, Wyms and Wagenbach find their assaulted hooker. She won’t give up her attacker, but guess what, she’s HIV+ and has been on the street tricking with this knowledge for the last ten months. That’s homicide, hon. Aceveda goes into the interrogation room alone, unplugs the monitor, and sympathizes with the woman until she feels comfortable enough to give up enough information to go after the guy.

And we cut to see Shane and his new partner bustin’ up another G and his hoes. This time, Shane swings a blow job for his partner as a means of showing authority to the gangbanger. There’s more than just a smidgen of tension between Shane’s quasi-copwork and his partner’s ethics.


Rawling and Mackey took Sperling aside, out to a police cruiser. What name does he have? Why, its a Russian guy who owns almost all of the taxis in this part of town. Just by chance, Sperling’s company puts all of the radios into these taxis. It’s a big name, one who is known for chopping the taxis of his competitors. Very interesting, indeed.

Aceveda and Rawling once again speak, butting heads on Aceveda’s last day. Rawling notes that many of Aceveda’s recent actions were more settling of grudges than thought-out policework. She offers to share credit with Aceveda when it comes time to make the deal regarding the Russian dude. Aceveda takes the file and says he’ll think it over.

Meanwhile, Vic heads to bust Bennish, but the roof… the roof… the roof is on fire. We don’t need no water, because the WHOLE mother is burnin’. But look, a bunch of scooters out front. As Bennish appears, Mackey notes that there was a grand theft of scooters recently, and he wouldn’t want to go to prison and be known as the “red scooter bandit,” so he talks a bit. Is Mitchell involved? He’s not saying, but he IS saying that he and other dealers were given the instruction to push out all of their crack to make room for tar heroin.

The cause of the fire was listed as cooking grease, which leads Vic in the direction of…

WAIT! Before this finishes up, we flash to Aceveda. He’s in the barn, re-watching the surveillance tape of the hooker rape, and HE’S RUBBING ONE OUT! OH ACEVEDA, YOU SICK FUCK! WE’RE SO PROUD TO HAVE YOU ON THE CITY COUNCIL!

I love this shit.

Back to Vic, as he meets with his old pal Cal, the restaurant owner. Cooking grease, that’s not obvious. There are pictures of Cyril all over the guy’s place. And it goes further. There are dresses. When he turned 18, Cal was going to get him the operation, and then they could be together. Oh, he’s so upset, he’s in tears, his poor Cyril. But rather than completely freak out, Vic calmly tells Cal to get rid of the pictures and the dresses, and says he’ll send over a detective.


Visiting with the representation in the class action lawsuit, we learn that mercury was used as a preservative in a vaccine that both Vic’s youngest kids received. The costs to have each child examined by a medical expert will be high, however.

Aceveda and Rawling speak for one last time, as Aceveda announces that he took credit for the Russian dude, AND stapled Mackey to continuing the garage sting, thereby eliminating any chance of him getting back out onto the street (or heading up the anti-gang force which Rawling wants to implement). So long, you prick.

Gilroy’s funeral is well-attended, partially thanks to Vic and his spreading the word. Rawling takes Mackey aside and tells him the bad news about Aceveda’s punk actions, but Vic swears he can do both. He’ll be heavily watched, she notes; he’s going to have to play it by the book as much as humanly possible. But he wants it, and he’ll do whatever it takes.

Vic and Corrine speaking with Gilroy’s wife, she reflects on how Gilroy’s inability to keep his pecker in his pants, his criminal tendencies, and his other vices ruined their marriage and their lives. Corrine tactfully doesn’t say a word to Vic, but it certainly seems as though the parallel hasn’t slipped past his radar.

(If this means the end of hot Mackey sex, I’m done recapping.)

Aceveda is shown packing up the last of his things, INCLUDING A COPY OF THE RAPE TAPE.

Hooray, the men’s bathroom WORKS!

And… we see Vic surveilling a meeting between Shane and Antoine Mitchell’s men. GUNS ARE DRAWN! Vic runs with his in tow, but things cool off before anything crazy happens…

And that’s it… CREDITS!

After a rather bland and expositional season opener (which, sorry, this is how most seasons start), it’s nice to see some Mackey Justice popping back up into the mainstream. And it’s nice to see Lem can’t give up the ol’ Strike Team spirit. And wow, they did a great job on making Aceveda look like one hell of an icky, icky dude.

We’re progressing nicely… stay tuned for episode three and beyond, where our previews show us Mackey getting full control of all gang-related cases. This could be fun.

Mmm, mustardy.


Jonathan Widro is the owner and founder of Inside Pulse. Over a decade ago he burst onto the scene with a pro-WCW reporting style that earned him the nickname WCWidro. Check him out on Twitter for mostly inane non sequiturs