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The Shield dials it down a notch

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[Morethings index for The Shield] Season 2, Episode 10 “Coyotes”
Air date: 3-11-03

The show seemed oddly just a little light in tone, at least relative to the general tone of the series. Quick review makes me realize that this may be the least violent episode of the series to date. There were no murders, tortures, or even major fist fight. The worst direct act of violence was the new Strike Team trainee kicking over a perps chair before Lemonhead pulled him off.

This toning down of violence suits me. It’s a little bit of cleansing the palette so as not to be so jaded that the depictions of violence are ineffective. There’ll doubtless be some ugly stuff next week to make up for it. They gave the the ol’ ultra-violence a bit of a rest.

In fact, the show does not suffer from this less violent tone. They got great drama and intrigue from the Gilroy resolution. It set tests for Vic in terms of his ideas of loyalties and practical personal considerations. Not having people shot or tortured to death doesn’t mean that there’s nothing going on.

Note how hard he’s struggling to keep it between some kind of lines, but hasn’t quite figured out where they are. He’d have a LOT more legitimate reason to just eliminate Gilroy than he ever had for Terry in the pilot.

The denouement was outstanding. Having Gilroy pay what turned out to be his own hitman, then handing those instructions to Shane slammed the lid pretty well tight shut on Gilroy- without having to kill him.

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