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August 31, 2015

The Shield: The New Guy

by Keith McDuffee, posted Apr 24th 2007 11:18PM
the shield kevin hyatt
To say the Strike Team experienced a shakeup in tonight's episode would be an understatement to say the least.

Claudette once again shows her brilliance by leading Vic along into thinking he's got a chance to stick around at The Barn. Somewhat surprisingly it works like a charm. Vic chums right up to his new replacement of all people, and Julien being added to the team is met with no fuss. Vic is one well-behaved little puppy.

Claudette also knows how to keep Hyatt's head in the right place with regards to Vic's reputation on the streets and in The Barn. I'm not sure if Vic has any idea what kind of brick wall he's hitting with her sitting in the big office upstairs.

Meanwhile, Hyatt seems to know how to balance making his presence known to the team and keeping a somewhat low profile. Of course, to Shane, Hyatt could sit behind a desk at the station and still be felt as muscling in too much on Strike Team business. This is a little surprising, since Hyatt's not there to replace Lem.

Random thought: Aceveda's pronunciation of "machete" reminded me of a hysterical SNL skit from seasons past.

And speaking of Shane, it's interesting to see the extreme about-face he's taken regarding Lem's death as he expresses it to the Team. Before Guardo was shot dead, Shane seemed pretty quick to just let things be for a while. Now that Vic feels maybe a tad better about things, now Shane comes unraveled. It's a trip down a road that Shane's likely not going to come back from.

The package delivered to the Strike Team was heartbreaking. To see "Birds of America" and "Dreams And What They Mean" amongst the light reading Lem meant for his time in the joint illustrated a part of Lem's personality that we never got to see. In fact we got more insight into Lem's personality in that one short scene that we did with Lem alive, and once again we, the viewers, are forced right back into disbelief that Lem is actually dead and died the way he did. He'll never get to broaden his mind with those books.

I'm not sure what to think of Julien becoming a member of the Strike Team. If I was asked last season who I'd think would be asked to join the team from the existing cast, he certainly wouldn't have been my choice. But come to think of it now, he's a younger, stronger guy compared to many of the other non-Strike Teamers we've come to know, and he can be tough when he needs to be. So maybe the choice isn't such a bad idea after all.

I don't feel like it's a stretch to say that the final scene in the waiting room of the hospital was an Emmy-worthy performance by Chiklis. I'm not sure I've seen pain on Vic's face like that since Corinne left him many seasons ago. Everything hits him all at once, with Corinne behind the glass and his failed attempt at saving someone taking its toll on him. His calls out to Corinne about her dream about Lem, muffled by the glass, was powerful stuff.

rating 7Just for that last scene alone, I'll give this episode a seven out of seven on the TV Squad rating scale. That's definitely not to say the rest doesn't deserve it, though.

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Julian does not belong anywhere near the Strike Team. He is not "wired" to do that kind of work. He isn't angry enough, or have the mentality to beat the crap out of people or make the kind of connections it takes to do the kind of work the ST does. He has too much of a conscience and is too soft spoken to be taken seriously in any kind of a position that requires that kind of strength.
Billings is an ass; and a sexist pig on top of it. Claudette may think she has the upper hand with Vic, but I suspect he will find out about her ploy to placate him, and make her pay for it. I can't wait, but am also dreading the showdown when Vic finally learns that Shane is Lem's killer. It is going ti be amazing to watch it all come down to Vic and Shane's confrontation. I suspect it will be so raw and for the characters and the viewers. So help anybody who tries to call my house that night. I have loved this show from day one, and it just keeps getting better and better. Emmy's all around!!

May 01 2007 at 11:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Dude...Scott Brazil is dead. I don't think he directed this episode.

April 29 2007 at 2:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There is no way Shane cares for this young girl at all. It's an underage girl, for god's sakes. Shane has always been about being selfish. On the surface, he plays the loyal lieutenant... brother to Vic ("sometimes brothers fight") - but if it came down to it, he'd turn on Vic for his family or to save his own ass pretty quickly. If Antwon Mitchell had been able to keep Shane under his thumb despite Vic's efforts, I don't doubt he'd still be working for Antwon today just to save his own neck. Finally, his most selfish act, killing Lem, speaks for itself.

April 26 2007 at 12:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i wasn't totally sold on the episode until the last scene and then i was literally holding my breath. when it ended it was like a punch in the gut, i was praying there'd be more. Great episode, this show is fucking awesome.

April 25 2007 at 6:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hotboudain- Dutch's partner's name is Billings.

April 25 2007 at 3:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Also creator Shawn Ryan is on a roll. Check out his work on The Unit as well. I don't know why that show gets no love on this site but it's a great show as well

April 25 2007 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Shane & the pro; he's on such a downward spiral he's just gasping for anything or anyone to ease the pain. Obviously, Vic's not going anywhere since we know they're still one more season to go. He'll find out Claudette's scheme either from Hyatt or even Aceveda. Dutch & his partner (can't think of his name) give some much needed humor to this show. Excellant excellant hour of TV.

April 25 2007 at 2:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

That scene was so captivating and brilliant. I was just speechless after that.

Shawn Ryan, Scott Brazil, well done

April 25 2007 at 1:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I gave up on last week's episode, and turned the TV off after 30 minutes. I'm glad to see Vic return to form this week. I really got sick of the whole 'It's Clobbering Time!' persona he had the first few episodes.

This, indeed, was a grrrreat episode. Since Vic's the star, I wonder how effective Claudette will be in removing him. In any event, his replacement looks to make for good TV this season.

April 25 2007 at 10:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Julian being added to the Strike Team is appropriate. Remember in Season 1, when Aceveda added him to the Strike Team because of his honesty and to basically be a snitch? Mackey didn't completely trust Julian then and I don't foresee it happening now. I expect Claudette to do a similar thing as Aceveda. Although she has Hyatt in the similar position of watching Mackey, she has known Julian for all of these years and could actually trust his observations/analysis of the Mackey situation. Did you see how she struck Hyatt's observations down as Mackey's being on his "best behavior?"

Can someone explain to me about Shane and the prostitute? Does he have feelings for her or is it just a sex thing? Last week, he was getting his needs met and now he is being so protective over her. That part of the Shane story seems a little disjointed to me.

Overall, an excellent episode.

April 25 2007 at 9:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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