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September 1, 2015

The Shield: Postpartum

by Keith McDuffee, posted Mar 21st 2006 11:52PM
the shield lem shane
One of the things I love about this show is the play on words of its title: The Shield. A shield means protection. In particular, the shield a police officer carries, his badge, is protection. Take the shield away and you're just another citizen. When you're accused of wrongdoing, you've got nothing to hide behind, and there is no backup.

There are those things that make this show hard to watch, such as what happened to ex-Strike Teamer Tavon a while back, to Terry in season one and then, of course, what happened tonight. When you've invested this much into The Shield like I have, scenes like that are hard to take.

Usually I'd go on about all sorts of things that happened in an episode of this show: the interaction between Dutch and Billings, Danny's baby. But not tonight.

The scene with Shane and Lem was some of the most gut wrenching dialog to watch. From the moment we knew Shane was going to be the soul person to greet Lem, you knew, maybe just a little bit, what was going to happen. You didn't want to believe it, but you sort of knew it. Lem shows his camaraderie toward Shane, congratulating him on the news that Shane's soon to be a dad again. For that not to sway Shane for the decision he was about to make is just hard core. Hard core.

Though Lem has done some things in the past that may have caused the Strike Team some grief and angst, he was the most stand up person of the Team. He was constantly torn as to what was right and wrong, and he fought with the decisions he made all the time. But in the end, he stood up for his Team and never meant to take them down with him. He took the sacrifice to go to jail for them, but that simply wasn't enough.

A grenade in the car wasn't enough to take poor Lem down right away, which was one of the worst things to see on this show in all its seasons. I have to imagine Shane thought a grenade in Lem's lap would surely be a quick death, and the fact that it wasn't was pure torture for both of them.

Shane has clearly taken over as prime evil element of the Strike Team. First Terry, then Tavon and now Lem. And he does it all with a straight face, right to the Team. Will Vic show him more mercy when he finds out what happened, or will this linger for seasons to come, never to find a resolution?

Whatever happens, the character of Lemanski will be missed; I hardly could say Lem had no redeeming qualities.

The Shield is said to return this fall for more episodes, and it's not clear yet if this will be its final season. Until then you can catch reruns of the show on Spike, Fridays at 10 Eastern.

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I’d wager that this is the greatest season finale of all time (series finales not included). Whenever someone asks me for an example of a classic season closer, I give them “Through The Looking Glass”.

June 21 2011 at 2:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I argree with Dave, All your points are so true, it was out of charcter fpr shane to kill off his one of his best friends, and why would he grab a grenade for the hell of it with out him even knowing what he wanted to blow up yet?? Thats a really good point right there. Crappy writing, and thats really a first for the creators of the shield. LOts of holes in that season =(
-if kavenough doesn't either die or go to prison this season, im not buying the dvd's
I hate him so much, ya got nothing buddie give it up already!

April 08 2007 at 11:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ok...I cried...again.......
I have not been like a lot of you, the avid follower, I had been known to catch a bit here or there but afriend of mine got me hooked this season (that and the fact that I really admire Forrest Whittaker)

I really thought we were going to lose Lem to the system and that he was going to pass on because of his illness. Though maybe he knew and did not share that his days were numbered and so it was easier for him to take the fall.

I didn't like that thought, but Lem being the phenomenal person that he was, yeah he was a bit crooked too but he had the heart, the way he was with kids, saving Kavanaughs life when letting him die meant sure freedom for himself,and the fact that they really zeroed in on his throwing up blood a lot more, it made sense to me.

Normally I am far from wrong...I even scoped the ring thing w Kavanaugh when he was first talking to Shane (I noticed that the camera will sway to something quickly, but naturally enough so that it doesn't stand out)

I knew something was going to happen when Shane walked to his car, but I thought it was going to be a bullett and then maybe poison in Lem's food to make it look like he had succumbed to his illness.

When the grenade hit, I screamed and cried. I am not into TV at all so for something to hit me this hard has just knocked me off center.

I have FORCED myself to watch the episode again that night, then friday and now yesterday. To hear him call Shanes name with that child like love/trust he had to watching him look at Shane after the deed was done, to the final closing of his eyes then onto VIC wanting to touch him just breaks me up.

I even found myself talking to the friend that got me hooked on this show, listening to me babble, I even devised a way they can bring him back from the dead ( hey I remember they did it with Sue Ellen on Dallas lol)

I have just this weekend purchased all of the past episodes of this show.

It is rivetting....and Shane??? Didn't like him but I felt sorry for him........but not anymore....... I am getting a new widescreen so i can be up front close and personal when Vic tortures him!!!!!!

March 27 2006 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Although I felt uncomfortable through the whole scene, I thought they might hold Lem on gun point, but not kill him, and I was not even thinking about the bomb. Two things that made the scene chilling:

1. Lem saying it was his favorite sandwich, before getting blown up, AND
2. Of course, him being alive, to die a slow death.

I am happy that they did not over-dramatize his death--less was more. WOW! Too bad Shane was responsible for destroying my two favorite characters--Tavon & Lem.

March 25 2006 at 1:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I just wanted everyone to know that they are repeating the seasone finale tonight at 11pm est.

March 24 2006 at 8:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The place where Lem was killed -- Is it the same place Shane took vic when he promise Antwon to kill him??

March 24 2006 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I am wondering now, in hindsight, what will become of the $5k wire transfer to escort Lem to Mexico? Was Shane planning this for himself? Is that why he used his own cash?

I must also say that, I too felt physically ill when that grenade went off. I never saw that one coming. After all that family talk and what not. Damn.

March 24 2006 at 1:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
FX Viewer

Kasaundra, FX will repeat it this Sunday at 10p. Don't miss it!

March 24 2006 at 10:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I wouldn't be surprised if it comes out that Lem was the father of Danny's baby. That would make a hell of a twist, plus give more motive for revenge on Vic's side, since he obviously cares so much about the baby.

March 24 2006 at 10:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lem came a long way from "Pensacola: Wings of Gold" to The Shield. Shows you how great writing can make an actor, ala Chris Meloni from Oz and now Law and Order. I think Vic was in on it. Vic and Shane discussed, out of the presence of Ronnie, how the money train could have come up except if Lem had raised it. Vic and Shane don't know that Dutch raised it, but fact is, although only to the lawyer, Lem did tell her about it. I agree with Michael. The look Vic gave Shane at the meet meant something. Why didn't Vic question why Shane was arriving so much later when Shane never reported a tail on him earlier? I think Vic tasked Shane with feeling Lem out about going to Mexico. Recall Shane asked him why he showed up at all if he wasn't going to Mexico and had a look of frustration and resignation on his face. Vic knew that if Lem refused to go to Mexico, he could not have had any deal without ratting the rest of them out. And, Lem offered to do it to the lawyer. If and when Lem refused to go to Mexico, Vic needed to be able to take him out but not be there when it happened, so he told Shane to do it and Shane, still seeking Vic's approval, did it. Recall Shane was going to do anything to get back in Vic's good graces last year. Finally, Vic knows that the grenades will point toward retaliation by others and away from him or Shane. I agree with others, there were many other ways to kill him and some that would have suggested suicide, so to use the grenades had Vic's cunning thought process all over it. I am still curious as to what he said to the informant and as others have noted, why the big show of dismissing her in disgrace. Either way, Lem was weak. He participated in many of the "bad" activities, but then thought his own sh*! didn't stink? He tried to burn the money train money; he left the team last year! His so-called conscience was his delusion. He was weak. He said he "had it all figured out." Really? Go to jail, get shanked by Antwoine, rat out the rest of the team, and that's his plan. He had to go and Vic knew it and knew he couldn't be present at the time it was done. But, it all could have been avoided had Lem agreed to go to Mexico. You can't live and act like they do on the Strike Team unless you know the possible price. Lem didn't.

March 24 2006 at 1:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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