It may not have caught on here in Blighty, but the brutal, corrupt cop drama The Shield is still doing great business over in the States. As US fans look forward to the show’s seventh and final, final season, us Brits are still wondering what transpired after Season 2’s epic money train heist...
Unsurprisingly, the swiped swag has left one hell of a bad taste in the mouth on both sides of the law, as both the robbed Armenian gangsters and former police captain-turned-city-councillor Aceveda begin to – accurately – suspect Det. Vic Mackey’s Strike Team. In order to save the Team’s bacon, Lem (Kenneth Johnson) destroys the drug money stash, leading to in-fighting with near-fatal consequences... Meanwhile, Mackey (Michael Chiklis) is stranded on the sidelines, struggling to save a family life that’s breaking apart before his eyes.
Okay, so the newest untouchable supervillain, Margos, (writer Kurt Sutter) may lack the spark of last season’s deceased Mexican psycho Armadillo, but episodes like season opener ‘Playing Tight’, the Chiklis-directed ‘Slipknot’ and humdinging finale ‘On Tilt’ are the sure sign of a series on fire. Throw in textbook extras including a sackload of deleted scenes, episode commentaries and superb feature-length documentary ‘Breaking Episode 315’ and, along with The Wire, this remains one of the edgiest, rawest shows on telly.
BEST BIT Strike Team nutjob ‘Dutch’ Wagenbach baiting then strangling a kitty in the episode ‘Strays’. Gruesome, sure, but also an incredibly powerful dramatic moment.