The leanest season of The Shield so far conversely and infuriatingly happens to be the series’ magnum (.44) opus. After the shock murder of a key player at the close of the last series, Vic Mackey’s (Michael Chiklis) lawless, hopelessly fractured LAPD Strike Team is threatening to fall apart for good. It hardly helps that our chrome-domed crusader is on his last legs, railroaded into early retirement by his superiors and hunted like a dog by Lieutenant Kavanaugh (Forest Whitaker in mind-blasting, Emmy-sniffing form), who’s ironically become as crooked as Mackey in his increasingly desperate efforts to bring the big guy to count. Meanwhile, the chase is on to make Season 5’s cop-killer pay – in 10 episodes screaming with seat-edge tension. The humdinger of a finale makes the wait for the seventh and final series almost unbearable. Thankfully, the usual trove of commentaries and featurettes help ease the pain.