The Shield: I’m Gonna Git You Sucka Friday, April 6, 2007Posted by Holly in Holly/Magnolia, The Shield.
What more appropriate (and expedient) way to cover The Shield than with bullet points? Get it? GET IT?? This one goes out to the memory of Scott Brazil, the show’s co-executive producer and occasional director, and to a Mr. H. Scorpio, whose geek adoration and impatience to read this have been an inspiration this week. Put the chillns to bed early, sweetheart; I’m comin’ home loaded.
- Let’s get this one out of the way: I am SO MAD I COULD SPIT about Lem’s death. I’ve never liked Shane or his weaselly face or his shrew of a subplot wife and he is dead to me. Here’s hoping he’s dead to everyone by close of the season.
- We’re kicking off the continuing reign of music supervisors with a little slow, soulful Johnny Cash as the episode opens. I thought nothing on this show could affect me more profoundly than the use of Smashing Pumpkins’ “Disarm” last season, but the framing of this hour with “I Hung My Head” is hitting pretty hard.
- And then there were three. Will the shrinking of the team lead to more screen time for Ronnie? His mild mannerisms and quiet diligence have always attracted me, and he’s the one regular that’s never seemed quite fully realized as a character.
- First reluctant cry of the hour: “Here’s the twenty-one you deserve.” I’m wrecked already, Shield. Well played.
- Ladies and gentlemen, Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker as Kavanaugh. I personally don’t care for him as an actor and his droopy eye unsettles me, but he could do worse than staying on this show.
- I’ll try my very best not to make this a running theme, but–Black Donnellys?? Y’all listening? THIS is how you do a crime drama. Pulling a conscious and uncooperative person out of car window is incredibly difficult, and overused in these kinds of scenes, but the choreographer, whoever he is, is making this work.
- Same principle’s at work with the dialogue, and this is where you really start to appreciate the chemistry that comes from having such a cohesive bunch with so much history reading the lines. Lines like “We still make the rules.” “You wanna end a career, you do it straight up to someone who’s still alive.” “Don’t disgrace him.” ” I’m just the face of the decision.” Simple words, words that would be soapy and trite in the mouths of others, are rendered stark and real, and yes, gritty when whey’re flying from the maws of Michael Chiklis & Co.
- I’m not wild about Dutch in general, but he’s got some great moments this episode, and first among them is the reaction shot when Kavanaugh tells him he’s got Mackey on the suspect list. Is Kavanaugh feeling any actual guilt about the death of a fellow cop, or has he been utterly consumed by his frustrations with The Team? This isn’t a question that’ll have clear answers, and it’s one more thing to love about the show.
- Oh, the Lem Was A Dirty Cop spin by City Hall is gonna be another heartbreaker of a subplot. Not to mention a good way to put Aceveda right back where we need him on villains’ row.
- From my notes when it was revealed Lem never turned on the team: “shane’s face oh my god SHANE’S FACE.” That kinda says it all.
- Danny? looks ROUGH. And it’s very strange that, given her history with these guys and seeing Shane in obvious distress, she wouldn’t mention a word about Curtis to him. If Paul Haggis were running this show, the teaser for next week’s show would reveal that she was distracted because she believes her baby to be Lem’s. Do not argue this point. You know it would happen.
- Permit me to geek out on a camera angle for just a second: If it were a frame longer, it would have been overdone , but the shot of Shane’s badge as he holsters his weapon after talking to Danny was masterfully done, particularly with a handheld camera.
- And here we go with the perennial Mackey-Kavanaugh Rumble In The Barn, but it feels like they earned it this time. I like that the cards are on the table in front of everyone right damn away. I’m a simple girl–let’s dispense with the cat-and-mouse of last season and get straight to the haymakers, yeah?
- Was I the only one who heard Kavanaugh turning on a little Latino accent with Emolia?
- And introducing David Aceveda as Lando Calrissian. Had no choice, my lily-white and shapely ass. It’s a trap!
- Kavanaugh’s not lying very well to Dutch, which is out of character for him in a big damn way. Portent of craziness to come, or an actor still getting his swing back after a long offseason? Time will tell.
- I totally forgot about Vic’s looming forced retirement, and lord knows the writers relish the subplot pile-on and that’s something to admire, but it’s so pedestrian that it almost distracts from the other threads.
- “Could use some tightasslube yourself, sparky.” TINA! Little Tina with the putback! Welcome to the big leagues, sugar. Keep ’em coming.
- Vic’s protectiveness to Shane really got to me, just for a second. Another thing the showrunners around here do really well: portraying the tighter-than-brothers bond between The Team without resorting to soft lighting, tinkly music and long, meaningful looks. Mackey’s mask drops for a second and you see the love there, the history, it’s conveyed in a SECOND. God, I love this show.
- DAMN. Did NOT see the scene with Corrine and Danny coming. I get such a kick out of the badass, smashmouth dialogue the writers throw down when it comes from the mouths of MILFs. Also: No denial it’s Vic’s kid. Last season, she almost had me convinced it wasn’t.
- A season of Shane trying to become a dead hero could get very interesting very fast. I feel like this point should be longer because at this stage it’s the only thing that could redeem him personally and dramatically, and it’s truly a fascinating possible path, but I can’t think of anything else to say, other than to hope this thread continues to its logical conclusion and he goes down like a sweet muffin.
- “GOOD GIRL”?? LOLZ!!!!!1 Dutch will sleep with Tina. Dutch will sleep with Tina and it will be comedy gold. I have the gift of prophecy. You heard it here first.
- Has Claudette’s hair been that red? It’s not very flattering. Her delivery of, “Her story’s a little neat”, however, was nicely done.
- Dutch using traffic cameras to trail Kavanaugh was telegraphed in the first act, but I don’t care. Here’s why: Dutch chasing Kavanaugh chasing Vic chasing what’s going to turn out to be his best friend? That’s some fine television.
- I’m liking the dynamic of Dutch and Claudette back together, even unofficially. Always thought they were an interesting team.
- Two things: Why does the chief wear a uniform and why does he buy that shit-eating grin of Kavanaugh’s after the fight? I’m sure there’s an easy explanation for the former, but I’m ignorant of police procedures. Anyone?
- The matter-of-fact porn talk? Is awesome until, “Guess who’s wearing the Nixon mask.” Then, it’s art.
- I don’t wanna talk about the grandma porn. I just don’t. And that ADR is totally unnecessary.
- Vic, wrapping things up with the “street tactic” speech. Outstanding work by Michael Chiklis in this scene, particularly in taking what could have been a terrible exit line (“You just stepped onto a whole new playing field. I hope you know the rules.”) and selling the hell out of it.
- I don’t mean to slam the lines as written, by the way. I’m just pointing out that it takes a special breed of actor to carry words like this, words that are easy to read but hard to say without sounding like a total prat. I think the staff of The Shield has done a stellar job, year in and year out, in assembling and maintaining a cast that has that ability.
- Oh, man. I would’ve laughed out loud if there had been just a tiny beat between “Dutch?” and “Bloody cat prints.” The Dutch Kills A Kitten episode appears to have been a one-off, but that would have been a nice throwback.
- The “three, possibly four…” reveal of the massacre at the end took me entirely by surprise. Of course, that might have been because I was still giggling at seeing Dutch on the screen with so many cats. Either way, well done.
- I rewound it eight times and I can’t tell what the last line Kavanaugh says is. Anyone?
There are shows that ramp up slowly, like roller-coasters, ratcheting you to the top of a hill, then racing down. The Shield launches you up straight away, affording only the briefest glimpse of what lies ahead before throwing you into a spiral. Welcome to the new season, everybody. It’s gonna be one loud hell of a ride.