Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The Shield: Coefficient of Drag

Last night was the seventh season premiere of The Shield. We start off shortly after the end of season six with Vic retaliating against Shane for kidnapping his family in last year's finale. Shane is able to convince Vic and Ronnie that he was trying to save Vic's family from the Armenians' retribution for the Money Train Heist. During the episode, Vic and Ronnie corroborate much of Shane's story, but plan to keep a close eye on him. Vic also has Shane convince the Armenians that their biggest threat is the Mexicans…and not the perpetrators of the Money Train Heist.

Later in the episode, Vic and Aceveda disagree on how to use Pezuela's blackmail stash (obtained in the finale). Aceveda wants to use it to build a case against Pezuela and nothing else. Vic also wants to build a case, but wants to use some of it to help keep his badge. Since he knows Aceveda won't budge, Vic goes to Pezuela to tell him an employee of his is selling the blackmail stash. He also sets things in motion for a gang war between the Armenians and the Mexican gangs.

Back at The Barn, a man comes in and confesses he hired a friend to kill his wife. Since he was already tried and acquitted, he cannot be tried again for the same crime. Looking at the old case files, Dutch sees the man got off the first time around because of some shoddy police work by Billings. He calls Billings in (he’s currently suing the department for “injuries” suffered in season six) and tricks him into breaking down the false testimony of a trial witness. Armed with a tape and the newly closed case, Claudette and the force rescind their settlement offer and force Billings to return to work.

A solid episode to kick off the final season. It wasn’t mind blowing, but sits comfortably with those of previous seasons. One of the biggest shocks of the episode was a quiet shock as opposed to the big ones we’ve come to expect (Lem getting killed, Terry, Aceveda’s rape). Ronnie kills an unarmed, injured Armenian hit man. In the past, Ronnie always seemed to be untouched by the filth his fellow Strike Team members did. Sure, he was heavily involved with the Money Train heist and all the banger shakedowns, but he never got into the really bad double-cross/murder stuff everyone else did. The shooting seemed to take Ronnie off his game for the rest of the episode. On a his career front, Ronnie was offered a job in SIS that he is considering taking (especially if Vic is forcibly retired), but Claudette put him in charge of the Strike Team. It’ll be interesting to see how the murder will affect his career choice (sure to come later this season).

The clips from upcoming episodes make this look like another high-octane season with plenty of bloodshed between the Mexicans and Armenians. I’m already looking forward for next week.

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