Folks, I’m starting to feel like the old Shield is back. Things are heating in the barn with the arrival of new rooster: Hiatt, Mackie’s replacement and the new leader of the Strike Team. And right from the start Claudette continues to demonstrate increasingly administration-like behavior by lying to Mackie about a fictional retirement hearing to keep him in line during his last three weeks.
Just when I thought Shane couldn’t get any more depraved, he is giving the team a hard time about how they are forgetting about Lem — ironic given he was the one who murdered him. In addition, he is having an ongoing sexual relationship with a “tweener” hooker, pumping her for more than information.
The team is trying to protect a group of seven gang bangers who are purported to be trying to go straight, under the leadership of Vantes. Mackie and Hiyatt have to team up to stay one step ahead and keep as many as they can alive. Mackie begins to associate keeping Vantes alive with Lem.
Aceveda's behavior is one thing that remains consistent; he is playing whatever side he has to in order to ensure his political security. He is being pressured by a local business bigwig to solve a Mexican mass murder, supposedly done by Salvadorians. He gets the case transferred back to the Farmington so he and Claudette can get a win and ensure both their futures.
Danny is adjusting to being back at work, struggling with being a working mom, pumping breast milk in between busts, and calling her day care provider from the squad car on its way to a street slaying.
Dutch is surprised to hear that Tina transferred out (she’s the new PR model for the district), but he continues to prove his superior detective skills by finding important connections that are working towards solving a particularly disturbing rape case involving a runaway who has “go home” carved into her stomach. Steve calls Dutch on his pursuit of Tina and going after Mackie’s ex, a trend that he calls “shitting where he eats.” I’m liking Steve more and more every week.
Claudette offers Julien a chance to join the strike team under Hiatt. Though Julien is hesitant and concerned about being accepted by the team, he agrees to take the new position. This should provide some interesting future storylines given the contrast of the team’s unconventional ways and Julien’s conservative beliefs
I like the new guy, Hiatt (played by Alex O’Loughlin). Besides being un papi chulo (a cute guy), he is livening things up at the Barn with some new blood, new energy, a very strategically groomed day’s growth of beard, and dark sunglasses. And despite Claudette’s warning, he is impressed by Mackie, which only brings him closer to my heart.
The episode started out somewhat slow, but ended on a very strong note, with Mackie flipping out after Vantes dies in the hospital. Sobbing about Lem, Vic tears up the waiting room while his colleagues and ex-wife look on. Michael Chiklis’ performance was particularly powerful in this scene. Here’s hoping that the tension continues. And judging from the coming attractions, next week should be a good one (and you doubted my theory that Shane would fess up!).