Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Short, spoiler-free 'Shield' season 7 preview

"Jesus, Vic, everything we do to get out of this $*&% just drags us down deeper."

This quote is uttered early in the seventh and final season of "The Shield," of which eight episodes were sent out to critics last week and which I finally got done watching today in a marathon burst. And because the eighth episode ends up with several characters in unthinkable places, and because it's unclear whether FX will send out the remaining episodes, and because if they don't I'll have to wait more than two months to find out what happens next, I'm starting to regret my haste.

All I will say about them is that, as Shawn Ryan has promised, they are very much in keeping with the tone and spirit of "The Shield," and they feature the return of a number of figures from seasons past, from those I remembered well (Tavon!) to those I can't believe I almost forgot (Bottom Bitch!).

The one key difference is that, because we're close to the end, the plotting and quicksand nature of Vic's life -- as described in the above quote -- get even more intense as it goes along. This thing's gonna end in a trainwreck, and it's going to be amazing to watch, I think.

Look for a more fleshed-out review in next Tuesday's paper, and blog reviews of each episode from now to the end.


ADD said...

Can't wait for this to get started, both the show and your analysis. Thanks for the taste!

Anonymous said...

Is this show worth getting into? I've never seen an ep but only know of it by its rep. I'm more of a WIRE, MM, LOST, 24 kinda guy. Just curious.

bgt said...


The Shield ranks right up there with the shows you mention. I'd put it miles ahead of 24. It's very different from Lost and The Wire (and especially) Mad Men, but it's just as good in its own way. Like those three shows, it is at its core the work of a very talented creator who has stayed true to his vision from the beginning. Watch the first episode - I'd be shocked if you're not hooked when the credits roll.

Bottom line, The Shield has produced more of an emotional response in me than anything except The Wire in recent memory. There are scenes every bit as intense as the "Where's Wallace" and "You gonna take care of me now Sgt. Carver". It doesn't quite reach the heights of The Wire, but it comes damn close.

I've got complete faith in Shaun Ryan & crew to finish this off right - can't wait for the ride.

(and if we're lucky, the episodes will air early in France again)

Rev/Views said...

I'd certainly rank The Shield up amongst the greatest shows of all time (Along with The Wire obviously) and I'm not sure if I'm jealous that you got to watch 8 of the 13 episodes in advance or not.

All I do know is it's certain that The Shield has gripped me since it's first episode and has often managed to twist and turn in suprising directions. It's always engaged me when I've watched it (I started watching in 2003) and without it I wouldn't have seen other shows - especially The Wire.

I'm excited and terrified at the prospect of this season. I think if anything I'm looking forward to watching (and reviewing) it one episode at a time more than the final season of The Wire.

Don't get me wrong, The Wire was a masterpiece of writing and ended almost exactly as I hoped it could. But The Shield, well I'm left wondering if anyone I care about will make it out of this in one piece at all. It's such a visceral experience to watch...

Anonymous said...

THE SHIELD is easily one of the best TV series of all time. Not at all like THE WIRE, but superb nonetheless. This will be the first season where I'll be watching while reading this blog and I can hardly wait. IMO, it's the best series on TV now that THE WIRE is over and I'm not the least bit surprised that there are many fans of it here.

Anonymous said...

I watched about 5 or 6 episodes from season 2 I think, and they were awesome, but I didn't stay with it. I'm thinking of going through the whole series, but I doubt I'll get through it all in time for this final season.

I always wondered what would happen if Tony Soprano and Vic Mackey got in a fight.

Mo Ryan said...

What Alan said. Amazing stuff. Episodes 7 and 8 left me reeling.

I love The Wire too, but there were elements of that show's final season that I found disappointing. No disrespect to that show, which is clearly a classic for all time, but at this point, it looks to me like The Shield's final season will be more satisfying than The Wire's.

Just my two cents.

Anonymous said...

I watched the first season, enjoyed it, but haven't watched since (no good excuse). Should I watch the final season as it airs, or rent the DVDs of previous seasons and go that route?

Alan Sepinwall said...

I'd suggest going back and watching the older seasons first. The series, and the final season especially, are all about building on what's happened before, and how (to paraphrase the quote again) every one of Mackey's attempts to get clean keeps making things worse and worse and worse.

Anonymous said...

I am almost done with Season 2 on DVD, and have the others lined up for my two week post Labor Day vacation.
Alan, to prevent any spoilers for myself, when did you start recapping/commenting on The Shield? Season 4 or 5?
The only thing hindering my viewing pleasure is knowing that there aren't Alan Sepinwall entries for all the episodes! :)

BF said...

If Gustav causes me to miss this, I am going to be pissed.