Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Shield: Writing is fundamental

I'm off to Manhattan for the CBS upfront press breakfast (aka Lox With Les), where I've been led to believe that the throwing of eggs will not be required, so far as the fate of "HIMYM" is concerned. I haven't seen "Veronica Mars" or "House" yet and may not get to them until tonight or even tomorrow. Not that I expect any earth-shattering plot developments on either one, but the Cone of Silence is up.

Spoilers for "The Shield" coming up just as soon as I find that arm I misplaced...

Not much was going to be able to live up to last week's Biblical confrontation between Vic and Shane, but "Exiled" did a good job of moving the pieces forward and showing just how dangerous Shane can be once, like Tony Soprano, he completely sets his conscience aside and focuses solely on self-preservation. How the hell does Vic get Shane now without bringing down himself, Ronnie and maybe Corrinne and the kids? Are we heading towards a situation where the Armenians get one over on Shane just like Antwon Mitchell did a few years back? And if someone other than Vic winds up killing Shane, is Vic screwed, regardless?

In other developments, somebody refresh my memory, please: was Aceveda always this much of a putz? I have vague recollections of him once being a half-decent, fairly smart cop who was always undercut by his own vanity and ambition, but maybe I give him too much credit because he was Vic's main opposition for a couple of seasons. Because giving up Hernan's identity to his developer buddy was one of the five dumbest things done by a character on this show (others include Aceveda staying alone in the house where he got raped, and anything from a large menu of Shane's activities), and I have no doubt that he's directly responsible for Hernan's disappearance.

Beyond that, I liked the little snippet of Dutch and Claudette working as a team again as they figured a way to hang onto the Mexican diplomat's money -- and, therefore, the Mexican diplomat. (Anybody know if that stat about 33% of all U.S currency testing positive for drug traces is true?) And while Mara's far from my favorite character on this show, this episode reminded us why she's the perfect woman for Shane, as ruthless and tunnel-visioned as he is.

What did everybody else think? And a reminder from the comments of last week: I understand that the final three episodes are available on-line somewhere because they already aired in France. If you have seen them, DO NOT DISCUSS THEM IN ANY WAY HERE. Don't hint, don't ask questions, nothing. Are we clear? This has been and will continue to be a spoiler-safe site.

16 comments:

jim treacher said...

"was Aceveda always this much of a putz?"

Only from the very first scene of the very first episode.

"Because giving up Hernan's identity to his developer buddy was one of the five dumbest things done by a character on this show"

Yeah, it took me a second, but then I was like, "Wait, did he just...? Idiot!"

If Dutch and Billings don't come to blows (or, more likely, slaps) before the season's out, I will be disappointed. Don't ask me who I'd be rooting for, though.

BF said...

"was Aceveda always this much of a putz?"


Always. Remember when he stole the kid's bicycle?

Anonymous said...

I thought Vic may have accidentally given up Hernan when he gave the head Mexican guy his burner cell phone and left him in the interrogation room with it. The guy could have easily gone through the call list and seen Hernan's number show up in there from when he called Vic. I guess since the guy was a Mexican and not a Slavadoran, it makes more sense that Aceveda's idiocy was the cause; but it may play out differently.

Anonymous said...

Shane needs to move to Neptune and run for Sheriff.

Dark Tyler said...

Alan, I'm wondering if this episode sort of convinced you that the show does indeed have another season in it. When I was watching The Scene from episode 6 I was all like "OK, so, they'll be killing each other for the next 4 episodes or what...?" but when this one begun I saw how the writers found a way to delay the inevitable for a bit.

And it felt completely natural, too.

DonBoy said...

Note Katey Sagal, unbilled, as Gilroy's widow. She's married to Kurt Sutter, a Shield producer.

anon said...

As the commenter above noted, both Vic and Aceveda took actions that could have compromised Hernan -- they mentioned the burner phone twice. I thought the point was to leave the issue ambiguous for a little while.

And some darkly funny moments from Michele Hicks's Mara, too:
S: Did you tell Vic about Lem?
M: I think he might have figured it out.

dark tyler,
I can see how they close out this season (cat and mouse), but what seeds did you see for next season in this episode? Again, since Vic can't retire I assume he superheroically solves the San Marcos thing, but that's not really an arc for the new season. And since Hernan looks like a goner and I hear the actor who plays Hiatt is in a new pilot, I don't see what would carry through to season seven.

Anon

Homertojeebus said...

I definitely thought the cellphone would be some kind of giveaway, but the developer is a good bet too. I also don't buy Assinvader diming out Hernan. He could have explained it a bunch of ways without getting that specific. Why not say the cops had a mole with the Biz Lats? No, this was just crappy writing.
What ever happened to the skullatio cellphone pictures of Acevedo?

Anonymous said...

can see how they close out this season (cat and mouse), but what seeds did you see for next season in this episode? Again, since Vic can't retire I assume he superheroically solves the San Marcos thing, but that's not really an arc for the new season. And since Hernan looks like a goner and I hear the actor who plays Hiatt is in a new pilot, I don't see what would carry through to season seven.

Just have some faith. You are not giving this show as much credit as it deserves.

What ever happened to the skullatio cellphone pictures of Acevedo?

Wait and see.

Dark Tyler said...

I can see how they close out this season (cat and mouse), but what seeds did you see for next season in this episode?

What I meant is that with this episode's development, it's not that hard to imagine the show lasting for more than 4-5 episodes. Shane has incriminating info on Vic, so Vic cannot kill him. If I got it correctly, the main worry was that after Vic found out the truth, there was no way he could co-exist with Shane no more, and the show could not exist any more at all. I don't see that as such a problem after this episode's developments.

jim treacher said...

"If you have seen them, DO NOT DISCUSS THEM IN ANY WAY HERE. Don't hint, don't ask questions, nothing."

Seems pretty clear to me, anonymous.

anon said...

dark tyler,

Oh I see. I'd always assumed Shane had some backup plans worked out from when he and Army were working for Antwon. But his execution was sharper than I thought, using Gilroy's wife to draw Vic out. This was a nice callback to Vic using Guardo's girl to draw Guardo out.

anonymous,

Just have some faith. You are not giving this show as much credit as it deserves.

I was just suggesting that I think most of the storylines in last night's episode (San Marcos, Hernan, will the Barn stay open, and the implicit "what happens to Hiatt") will play out by the end of the season -- except for the Shane stuff, probably. Offhand I can't recall the show ever letting a major case like San Marcos linger over more than one season, unless Vic committed the crime (Armenian money train). And the Barn, of course, is always in crisis; it's just the nature of the crisis (too few cops or too little money or too little community support or whatever) that fluctuates.

I've already suggested that Vic saves his job via San Marcos, but the suitcase full of money last night also opened the door to Vic getting dirt on some people high up in the government. But all of that is just plot mechanics to get to the seventh season. As with past seasons, I think the initial direction for the new season will be set much closer to the finale, if not the first episode of the new season. A new thug or a new captain (Anthony Anderson and Glenn Close in the season four premiere), an unexpected alliance (Aceveda suddenly protecting the Strike Team in the season two premiere, due to his political ambitions), a crisis out of left field (Corrine leaving at the end of season one, say, or the messier-than-expected money train heist at the end of season three) -- doesn't _The Shield_ usually save these types of things for finales or premieres?

Anon

Filipe said...

This was a nice callback to Vic using Guardo's girl to draw Guardo out.

Yeah, that was good. And also a good reminder that Shane's claim last week that he just learn from Vic is very true.

SJ said...

Is it just me or does too much stuff happens in one day at the Barn? It's weird to bring this up in season 6 of the show, but I always thought that it seems nigh on impossible as to how efficient Vic Mackey and others can be on the show.

cgeye said...

Katey Sagal has done some of her best work, here: Inobtrusive, quiet, centered, toe-to-toe with some intense men. Thought it should be said out loud....

Anonymous said...

Howevermany days later (and a few thousand miles, at least,myself) I have to ask - *did* you ever watch House? Interesting (though never really changing anything) things are finally happening there (season 3 - not good until the end)

I am STILL in the Veronica free zone, having not seen an ep since they determined who killed the dead person in the last arc. (there - that was vague beyond the call of duty, i hope)

--Pam