Season 3, Episode 4 "Streaks and Tips"
Air date: 3-30-04
So who's to blame for Tavon's apparent demise? Not that there isn't generally blame enough to spread around, but reluctantly I must conclude that it is primarily Tavon himself.
Of the three people involved, Shane certainly looks like the biggest JERK. He more or less purposely picked a fight with the "as long as you know your place" business, and then referring to Tavon as a "darkie." He deserved the beating he got.
However, Tavon clearly threw the first punch- and that's where he takes on the responsibility. Yes, he was there in the first place trying to be nice and, as Vic had put it, take one for the team. He was being the MUCH bigger man- until he let Shane bait him.
Now, Mara obviously did the main real damage in the fight by swinging a clothes iron by the cord up side his head. She clearly reacted badly to a fist fight. However, she just walked into the room and found Tavon on top of the father of her child. Shane is getting beaten very badly, and has blood running down his face. What's she supposed to do?
Mara simply miscalculated the use of force in a moment of crisis. She came into a scene of violence, and panicked. She's a woman- and a sickly pregnant woman at that. Tavon and Shane are cops- trained professional users of force. She is not. She likely thought that her baby's father's life was at stake, and grabbed the first thing at hand to stop it. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if Tavon weren't on top of Shane and beating him to a bloody pulp she would never have attacked him.