Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Shield: Petty Cash

Only two episodes left. It’s hard to believe the whole thing will be over. The writers are still ratcheting up the tension week by week.

This week, it’s all about Vic handing off the $100,000 that Shane asked for last week. To get the money, Vic arranges a meet between the gang bangers and Beltran’s Cartel. Acting as the go-between, Vic ends up getting $200,000 from them: 100 for him and 100 for The Cartel. Vic is busy weaseling his way in with Beltran and ICE, so he has Ronnie deliver the cash to Corinne. Unfortunately for Ronnie, Claudette, Dutch, and Julian were watching the handoff. They now have Ronnie on tape aiding a fugitive. Claudette really wants Vic, so she tells her crew to maintain cover and let Ronnie walk.

Since Claudette tipped her hand last week, Mara and Shane know the meet was going to be watched. Shane doesn’t show. Instead, he and Mara first try to knock over a stash house (right after a police raid) then they rob Mara’s real estate office – in front of the cleaning crew. After getting only 50 cents on the dollar for the stolen checks, Shane and Mara realize that they have no friends left in the world besides each other. For at least the third episode in a row, the credits roll after seeing the two of them together.

Julian gets some work of his own this week. He and Ronnie are assigned to look into the shooting of a promising football player. Julian shows some good detective instincts in working the angles and sniffing out the real reason for the player’s death. Claudette also enlists him to help in her Vic Mackey sting.

Ronnie continues to be the voice of reason. After hearing Vic’s crazy plan to get cash for Shane, he tries to talk him out of it. He sees the scheme has more of a chance to go sideways than to actually work out. Ronnie’s still one of the few characters who can see the whole picture. Vic is scrambling without his badge and can’t see some obvious setups coming his way. Claudette caught a whiff of Vic and now has blinders on to anything else. Too bad for Ronnie that he’s the only former Strike Team member that is on tape doing something illegal.

The writers are paying clever homage to some of the early stories (Cletus Van Damme and Van Bro) and their inspiration (Rampart Division) while keeping focused on the endgame. As much as I don’t want the show to end, I can’t wait to see how everything plays out.

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