Tuesday, February 7, 2006

The Sheild Season 4 Review

I stumbled onto the Shield late one Thursday night in Season one. My first few minutes was of a cop show in a Church with no men's bathroom
By the end of the show I had seen Mackie crack a child molester in the face with a phone book and I found myself cheering for him.
I remember the look on Aceveda's face when he had to ask for Vic's help, wanting to close the case and knowing he needed a man like Vic to do it.
Since then I have not missed an episode of the show in 4 years.
I won’t spoil it but Season 4 does step away from the procedural cop type drama of the first season. In season one you got more of a back door sense that you were looking into these guy's lives, whether you wanted to or not.
Season 4 is more political maneuvering.
Glen Close MADE season 4. You watch her saunter her way in, start slamming doors on some people and kicking Mackie in the Ass to get him back on the ball after all that money train BS (The money train was a plot I was all but sure they were never gonna pull off. While watching it I could not help but think of Priest's money train in THE CREW. When they did succeed in robbing it I was kind a relived when Lem burned the stash because then I didn't have to spend the next season worrying about who was going to get shot in the face over it. ((I spend every episode of the shield worried which cast member is not going to make it. I am not satisfied till the credits role Shawn Ryan's name and the music comes blaring in.))
Season 4 was a little off the other seasons but to watch all the detectives, who had heretofore lost their mojo, kick and scream to get it back, you had to love the struggle for redemption all the while making bad choices.
I still have some problems with Tavon being dismissed from the show. I believed Aceveda when he said there should be a minority on the strike team. The idea of an all white unit kicking in the teeth of Latino’s and blacks disturbs me on an internal level. Still every week I cheer for them.
You have to see season 4. I taped the entire thing and I still plan to get the DVD set for my collection.
I love the set ups in the show. There are all these moments where you are watching two people who just need to sit down and have a conversation, instead they are punching each other in the teeth.
Often ignored is Wyms’ partner Dutch, who has always been my favorite.
If Wyms is the moral center then Dutch is the brains, the cold, socially inept sad sack milquetoast who gets called in to break the cerebral cases but can never get the respect he deserves. I hated when David Mamet directed Dutch strangling that cat. Yet I sort of understood why he would explore it with his almost maniacal desire to get into the mind of a killer. I remember that in season one it was mentioned that Dutch wanted to become a great detective that broke big serial murder cases. I think he has gotten away from that motivation lately. He has this affectionate bond to Wyms that is as pathetic as it is endearing, and for that I love the character. Him crying in his car after breaking that case really hurt me to my heart. Vic yelling at him in season 3 “You go back to being a joke around here!” Yeah, good TV.
That is another reason I love the show, I feel like it has a real heart to it. These characters piss me off, I mean really make me mad sometimes. I know the writing is good when it knocks me out of my comfort zone and has me yelling at Shane “Why in the hell would you do that?!” And yet I can't turn my eyes away. Once it gets up and running I dedicate myself to the hour of TV.
Season 4 is it, Oh, and I forgot Anthony Anderson as Antwon Mitchell. I had really low expectations for him after his turn in Barber Shop and kangaroo jack (I work with kids so I have seen it, but even they hate that movie.) He really brought a classy brutality to the role. Scene to watch: him and Vic nose to nose after “signs of a break in.” You can feel steam coming off their backs. Another scene that will sit in your mind: Antwon and Shane: "When I say... I want you to ask…?" I can’t give it away but you will know it when you see it.
At first I was a little annoyed by the plot because the addition of yet another drug kingpin mirrored the plot of the last 3 seasons but this year was a doozy, You will literally spend every minute of the show wondering who is going to shoot who in the back.
A little side note, every season the big drug kingpin usually gets taken down by episode 10 to make way for Mackie and the crew trouble in the last two episodes. I watched season 1 and 2 on a drive down and back to Florida and noticed that little trend. Same thing happens in 3, and not surprisingly in 4, (but in 4 there is a kind of twist on the formula that I won’t reveal.)
I can’t say anymore without giving away the spoilers. I would not want to do that, you have to see the show for yourselves. There is no way I could do it justice, but I want to sing the praises of this wonderful show that has eaten up at least 52 hours of life, and that does not count reruns and multiple viewings.
Check it out for yourself
The Shield Season 4

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