Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Shield: Franka goes to Farmington

Spoilers for "The Shield" coming up just as soon as I sign some autographs...

I'm going to be brief, because this is yet another episode about moving the pieces forward. In a way, it feels like this season and the Lem/Guardo storyline ended with episode six, and what we're in now is a prologue for the final season, especially Shane's involvement with the Armenians.

And that group is now represented by the awesome Franka Potente, of "Run Lola Run" and the first two Jason Bourne movies. This is a very different character for her, quieter and more calculating. When I first heard about the casting, I tried to talk Shawn Ryan into having her say "Scheisse" at some point, but I don't know that it would feel right coming out of her mouth. Still, Shane is in way over his head (as usual) dealing with this young woman, who seems so sweet and in need of protection, yet can casually order the castration of men who have crossed her.

The highlight of the episode for me, though, were the scenes with Ronnie and Shane, and Ronnie and Vic. Last year, one of the commenters suggested that David Rees Snell never got much to do because he wasn't a good actor. I think this season has shown that it was just a lack of opportunity, not talent. Ronnie's made a very interesting number two for Vic, smarter and cooler-headed than Shane -- and, as we discovered last night, maybe even more ruthless. Either he figured out the Terry thing a long time ago and made his peace with it, or he was able to make a quick moral calculation, but I got chills when he told Vic that he could have helped him cover it up better than Shane.

The counterfeit purse subplot was a decent throw-away, there mostly to show some thawing between Dani and Corrinne and between Dani and Tina, and I liked Hiatt winning brownie points with Vic at the same time he's losing them with Claudette.

As I've been saying for the last few weeks, this is NOT the place to discuss, even obliquely, the final two episodes, which have been available online since they aired in France. No hinting, no questions, no responding to other people's questions with "You'll see in episode 9." Got it?

What did everybody else think?


dark tyler said...

Man, Snell gave me chills in this episode. I love how Ryan has made sure that, before the show moves on to the final season, everyone around Vic is almost equally guilty of whatever befalls them. I expected Shane's revelation to deliver the final blow to the Strike Team, but then Ronnie went ahead and creeped me out. Wow.

Unknown said...

Last night's ep was one of the best in a long time, thanks in large part to Franka. I also agree about Ronnie. He's turning into a pretty cool character. I also think the actor has gotten slimmer and leaner during the run of the series, but that might just be the shave.
I had a huge argument with my brother last night about my constant lament on how they backed away from Vic's e-vil since season 1. He says the show could never have survived with Pilot Vic as the main character, that they had to soften his motivations and rationalize his misdeeds. I like the show now, but I say it would have been better had Vic stayed a true Golem. The narrative might have been difficult to maintain, but much more emotionally challenging.
Now, as the show winds down, perhaps Shane will become the new old Vic, completely off the rails and out for himself/his own.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way as Alan does on this season. This is definitely a build up to the final season. However, it is holding my interest very well. It's more of a calm before the storm situation instead of a feeling that the show is waiting this season out. Will the end of this season bring us the Vic-Shane showdown or will they play it out for another season?
You know this isn't going to end with Shane riding into the sunset and over to the vice squad. will Shane be Vic's downfall like they have hinted at since

I've always liked Ronnie. Even though he didn't have the biggest part, the depth was still there. Even in his quieter moments, you could tell that he oozed loyalty to Vic. Whereas Lem always had a feeling of innocence around him, I just never felt the same about Ronnie. Shaving his beard to show those burn scars from season 2 is no coincidence here.

And do you get the feeling that Hernan pulled a Vic on Vic? If Mackey were in Hernan's shoes, I bet he would pull the same thing. Lead the cops along by the nose hairs, helping them in bits and pieces(like with the guns) until the relationship is no longer beneficial. Then hop on the next plane to El Slavador. He was playing both the feds and the farm.

Anonymous said...

I think Ronnie has known how Terry died all along.

The whole purse thing was funny. Nothing wrong with injecting a little estrogen into the show from time to time!

How can Shane be so smart and so dumb at the same time?

SJ said...

I like the fact that they are showing new sides to old characters like Ronnie and Billings, even after six seasons.

Anonymous said...

Treacher: I tend to agree. IIRC, there was a scene in season 1 where Ronnie walks in on Shane and Vic while they're discussing Terry's murder and while it looks like he didn't really hear them, there's a momentary flash of recognition on Snell's face that suggests Ronnie just learned a piece of information but decided to store it for later use.

Anonymous said...

If Ronnie's cold-blooded enough to accept Terry's murder as unfortunate but necessary, why isn't he cold blooded enough to accept Lem's unfortunate but necessary murder? I don't expect him to agree with Shane wholeheartedly, but shouldn't he be sympathetic to Shane's point of view that Lem was a threat to the rest of the Strike Team?

After all, in this episode Ronnie basically told Vic "I should have been your number two instead of that f*up Shane" -- suggesting that he could have "protected" Vic better than Shane. As Shane has argued, wasn't killing Lem also a way of protecting Vic?


Anonymous said...

Is Ronnie working for IAD? Something isn't adding up in reference to his reaction Vic killing Terry

Anonymous said...

Does Shane have a death wish, or is he just blind to the problem he's creating in working with the one crime family that will have absolutely no compunction about killing his wife and children, as soon as they learn about his involvement in the Money Train heist?

Franke said it up straight: Her men will do whatever she says, because their families' lives are in her hands, to do with as she pleases. Even if she doesn't find out about the Money Train robbers, she owns Shane, now, as soon as her men killed the gas station owner, just after Shane threatened him. If Shane looks at her funny, his family is toast. Why doesn't he see that her family is a lot more frightening than Vic?