17 April 2006

Four Minus One Equals A Sad Season Ender

Shane, you coward.

For some strange reason, watching The Shield's 5th season made me uncomfortable. I guess it's the mood. Everyone felt dirty or was doing something dirty and watching it felt likeI was a witness to it and it was something I didn't wanna be part of. In fact, I didn't like the way the story was going. I couldn't stand it (and yet I was able to finish watching it ha-ha!). I felt the story was getting weak.

But for all it's worth, it's the only season where I got so deeply affected by the outcome --- the loss of someone vital to the story, that I could only stare at the monitor when the credits ended.

Utter shock.

Shane, you're a bastard. How could you?

Anyway, I thought I could come up with another primer, like what I've done for Grey's Anatomy. The Shield is an underrated show and deserves to be highlighted. But it is already five seasons long, so I'll try and blog a short reference to probably one of the best cop shows to hit TV in the 2000s.

The Shield's future isn't certain. Reports say that Shawn Ryan, the show's creator, might not continue with another season after the last. (Season 5 is cut into two parts. The first half ended March 2006, the second part will be aired in 2007).

Anyway, here is a short, short primer:

What is it about?

It is a cop show that portrays cops, not as heroes, but as corrupted law-breaking law enforcers.

What's it like?

It is packed with action. Too much action at times. But what makes it interesting is the characters are very much "human" or they clearly portray human weaknesses. Bad things happen to bad people, as they say. With or without a badge.

Why would I watch it?

  • Because it is intense.
  • Because the dialogues are very smart
  • Because it has a very compelling story

    Who are the primary characters?

    The Strike Team
    They use force and violent means to extort information or a confession from the bad guys, so that peace is maintained in the streets. Their forte: gang-busting, robbery and drug control.

    They are a tight knit group, with four members. Any attempt to include a fifth man is usually foiled. Why? Because the fifth man is the outsider. He must not witness the fact that the Strike Team is not your garden variety type of hero-cops. They go deep...underground. They launder money for their own agenda. Whichever gang can protect their interest the best, they give protection against authorities.

    They get dirty to play dirty.

    They are probably your worst kinds of criminals.

    Detective Vic Mackey is the head of the Strike Team. He is married (divorced in Season 2) and has three kids. Two of his kids are autistic and have to go to a special school, which can cost quite a lot. On a cop's salary, he won't be able to afford the fees. So he uses a lot of his kickback for his kids' tuition. Vic is also romantically involved with one woman cop, Danni, who in the last season, bore a son but didn't say who the father is.

    Detective Shane Vendrell is the right hand man. He and Vic are tight. In Season three, we see a weaker side of Shane. The dark side is much more stronger in his case. The Money Train Heist which was the highlight of this season, caused his friendship with the other members of the Strike Team to disintegrate in the following season. Shane is married to Mara, who is a real estate agent. Shane's darker side comes into play again for this last season. He did something that even the leader, Vic, is not aware of.

    Detective Ronnie Gardocki is the third member. He's their tech guy. Ronnie has very little participation but is an important part of the team, still. He does gadgets and logistics.

    Detective Curtis "Lem" Lemansky, the last man on the team is the one with the conscience. Back in the Money Train heist, Lem decided everything they went through was not worth it (as it was about to be foiled by their superiors), he burned all of the money they took from that heist (millions!). In season 5, Lem was busted and sent to jail for another crime he committed in Season 4 (he took a pack of drugs from evidence, this upon instruction of Vic).

    For more of The Shield check Wikipedia for tons of information from Season 1-5

    The Shield
    Season 5 Episode 11 - Post Partum
    Original airdate: March 21, 2006
    Network: F/X