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TV Review: The Shield – “The Man of the Wrath” or “You can knock me down, but don’t take my Gucci!”

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Season 6, Episode 8 –

Tonight’s antepenultimate episode of The Shield didn’t deliver the punch I expected. Is it me, or did not much really happen? It wasn’t that it was bad, necessarily, just not up to par (except for a plethora of fabulous one-liners). They set the bar pretty high with this show, and I’m looking for a bit of the old fire. I hope the season finale will deliver.

Okay, so Hernan might not be dead as I predicted last week, but given that the leader of the Byz Lats (who was the one who was left alone with the cell phone) said he knew that the Ecuadorians had a snitch, I believe he did check the cell phone as I suspected.

Shane is getting in deep with the Armenians. The gas station owner he threatened for them turned up dead with a gas pump shoved down his throat. So he goes to talk to the mob leader and ends up dealing with his religious “damsel in distress” daughter, Diro, who says her father is traveling. He is actually dying in a hospital and she is running his affairs, legal and otherwise. She gives Shane more money, and asks him to look into some robberies at their buildings. He discovers that it is a den of savvy Russian hookers (the blond actress was great) who were shook down by a trio of ex-cons. Diro seems to be trying to settle into her father’s shoes and is looking to set up a partnership with Shane.

A well-bred woman gets attacked outside a store in a funky neighborhood, and when Dutch and Steve question her at the hospital as to what happened, Dutch tries to establish the story: that she was knocked and the thief took her new handbags. She replies, “They weren’t handbags, two were evening clutches and one was a keepall.” You get the picture. Steve seems rankled by her privileged attitude: I like him more every week. Seems the store is selling very well-made designer knock-offs and a vandal thought her purchases were real. When he and Dutch are discussing how they don’t understand the women’s quest for handbags, Steve says, “Get a lunchbox, hit a mugger with that at least you can cause some damage.” The night before the store is going to be shut down, Tina and Corrine go to buy some Fendi clutches and Louis Vitton, and there they run into Danny. Seems the illegal bag biz doesn’t pose any ethical issues for them, but then again, what I would do for a good Coach leather tote. Claudette then sends Dutch and Steve to investigate a series of castrations, a case about “missing bags you boys can relate to.” Love it.

Hernan’s girlfriend (with badly blended lip-liner) contacts Vic and gives him a message, supposedly from Hernan. There will be a robbery at a gun shop that he wants them to protect the innocents but not blow his cover. Is she telling the truth? They arrange a road block and car jacking—brilliantly pulled off—so they can get the guns back. But later Hernan is a no-show at their meeting place, and is supposedly on a plane to El Salvador. Vic thinks Hernan is responsible for hacking up a gang member who was accused of being a snitch, possibly to cover himself. I’m just not sure. Something isn’t ringing true.

Hiatt seems to be studying at the Vic Mackie School of Strike Team Management. He is going around Claudette and breaking rules as needed. He tells Vic that Claudette’s been playing him from day one, that he will still be forced to retire, and Vic doesn’t seem concerned (could be his politician connection, now THAT reminds me of the old Mackey!). Shane gets to Ronnie and tries to reconcile, filling him in on some of Vic and the team’s past transgressions. He tells him that if he ever wants the real scoop on Vic, to give him a call. Ronnie confronts Vic about his murder of Terry, and Vic comes clean.

Cracking, stacking, and packing: Aceveda meets with some political advisor who tells him he should redraw the lines of his districts to influence the voting. His investor (the dubious business guy) gives him a donation check for $100,000, and tells him he will get the second half when he solves the San Marcos case (is this legal?). Aceveda goes straight to the barn to harangue Claudette, and when she suggests he might have been the leak on Hernan, he says, “Claudette, this is me!” as if that is supposed to make her feel better?

I want so badly to be on the edge of my seat waiting for next week. Though so many aspects of The Shield are still extraordinary, I’m sitting comfortably in my chair, far from the edge. Now, several people commented that this will be the last season for The Shield, but there is no indication of that and I read that it has been renewed for a seventh and final season. I want them to make me wish for next March (okay so I’m exaggerating a little, work with me here) so I can see what happens. Will they do it? I guess we’ll find out next week.

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About Ann Hagman Cardinal

  • Mat Brewster

    Yep, everything I have read was this was going to be the last season, but then they decided to sign a contract for one more. The way this episode went, I wish they’d stop.

    This episode was everything I don’t like about the show. Few of the characters did anything significant. I have always loved Dutch and they used to give him season long arcs to catch seriously bad dudes. Now he jokes around with Steve, drools over hot cop and rounds up a hand-bag cartel! Seriously, that’s how you treat one of the best characters?

    All the girl characters prissed and preened and wound up at the handbag store. Kind of funny, but mostly lame.

    The one really cool big – hacked up dude in the trash – didn’t get nearly enough air time, and even Shane is proving boring.

    Here’s hoping they turn up the gas next week.

  • RRB

    Totally disagree. The conversation between Ronnie and Vic about Shane and the killing of Terry was wonderfully ambiguous. Up till now, Ronnie has always been on the permiter of things. But he is an extremely pragmatic person, who seems to be suggesting something needs to be done about Shane, et. al to “put this all behind us.’ It may turn out that Ronnie is the most cold blooded of thm all. One more season is necessary to let all of this play out.

  • JAMES

    Hernan is definitely dead due to the phone sharing. don’t be fooled; the only reason he got a “message” to vic via his girlfriend is probably because the salvadorans killed him and threatened his girlfriend out of suspicion. she was probably upset that he was a cop as well and contacted vic with the info of the gun robbery. You’ll see that hernan is NOT visible when the guys leave the car and make their getaway…nor is vic able to pick him out. I think the salvadorans just wanted to make sure that the police didn’t interfere with the robbery and used Hernan as cover. All of a sudden he texts vic about a “flight” to el salvador? obviously the salvadorans have no other use for him and decided to make him vanish with a mysterious flight OUT OF THE COUNTRY! the guy is clearly dead. Think about it.