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August 31, 2015

The Shield: Snitch

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Sep 9th 2008 11:02PM

Michael Chiklis
(S07E02) "Look, this list is like the standings in the sports section and every gang is making a playoff push." - Vic

The cohesiveness of the Strike Team has always been paramount to their successes. Trust is key and the second it ever lacked, people (Terry and Lem) got killed. More than anyone, Vic should know this. So for him to start this episode off by telling Shane that he doesn't trust him almost feels like the beginning of Vic's end. Regardless of Shane's past actions, Vic needs to trust him now if he wants his family safe, and more importantly, if he wants to save himself.

Am I saying it should be easy? No, of course not. And do I realize that Vic isn't privy to how deep Shane is in the Armenian mess? Yes, I do. Plus, it certainly isn't easy when he has Ronnie's hatred of Shane by his side either. Trusting Shane Vendrell is not something anyone should want to do, but Vic not realizing that he has to is a mistake.

However, because Vic is working almost exclusively with Shane, it's creating a rift between him and Ronnie. Now that Ronnie has killed for Vic, it strengthens Ronnie's desires to be "included" in the whole Armenian plan. He robbed the money train too. Getting matched with Julian while Vic and Shane run wild with Rezian isn't going to sit well with Ronnie for long. Much like Lem, Ronnie is quiet and stoic. While his moral compass is certainly far more crooked than Lem's was, Ronnie can still be saved and Vic isn't helping.

With Rezian now being protected from Pezuela's hit thanks to Vic's One-Niner connections, it creates a bit of a new dynamic from Rezian's point of view. Sure he got his ass kicked in jail still, but from what he can tell, Vic and Shane are 100% willing to keep him alive. He must feel like he has Shane whipped while all along, as I said last week, Vic is still the puppet master. Shane's luck with flipping Rezian's accountant (and getting the Armo boss out of jail) lends even more weight to it. As long as he thinks he has power over Shane and the chance of getting almost whatever he wants from a crooked cop, the potential for the green-light isn't going away. Plus, the more trust they earn from Rezian, the easier it will be to find out who else in his ranks know what they did.

Beyond that, Vic and Shane played more of a minor role in this episode as the foundation for the Armenian and Mexican feud is still being laid out. Rezian getting out of jail is the first big step, so I would expect this to escalate next week. What did take center stage in this episode was everyone else, especially Dutch, Billings, and Claudette.

Dutch and Steve are still comic gold together, most of it stemming from Billings' top-notch assholery. The guy can be a world class prick when he wants to be. But they work well together regardless, and when Steve prodded Dutch on at the crime scene for the cinder-block victim, I was waiting for Wagenbach to call everyone down to the station. Then he did! It was a classic moment for the detective.

Then, for the final kick between Dutch's legs, Steve was still the one who figured out the building manager was behind the murder. To be constantly upstaged by someone who is unequivocally worse at the same job you have must be incredibly annoying.

And that scene with Claudette and the young Spook Street thug? The back and forth between those two about the "N" word was arguably one of the top ten scenes on this show ever. Great dialogue. It was brilliant how she made that punk look stupid. Then, the public defender comes after Wyms for being racist? You've got to be kidding me!

More thoughts...

  • How many times is Vic going to take advantage of Olivia before she wises up? Using her to raid Aramboles' gun depot was smart, but didn't the convenience of Vic's intel raise a flag for her?
  • I love Danny, but this little feud simmering between her and Tina about clearing that room is so minor in the grand scheme of this show that I don't really care about it. It's the final season! We can't have a better story for these two?
  • The more things change... Vic might be trying to save his family, but that doesn't mean he shouldn't try to rebuild the nest egg, right? Lem burned most of the Armenian money, so Vic taking a weekly cut from Pezuela doesn't really come as much of surprise. Easy money though since Vic is creating most of the intel he feeds Cruz.
  • That scene with the snitching little old lady was funny as hell! Son in jail! Lesbian daughter! No grandchildren! Save me Jesus!

The biggest surprise of the episode? Cassidy. She actually tried to have Billings arrest her father! Whether Vic realizes it or not, he's raised a younger version of himself - she's brash, angry, and doesn't like authority figures. Sometimes the threat you least expect (fans of The Wire can relate if you think about Omar) is your biggest mistake.

Who do you think will wise up to Vic and Shane's game first?
Pezuela54 (38.8%)
Rezian36 (25.9%)
neither of them49 (35.3%)

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What makes this awesome tv? If it was on at 1am I would set my alarm...my goodness...the season started IN YOUR FACE like nothing ever happened!
Cassidy has been laying low for a long time...now she is older...watch out...
Billings and Dutch...abbott and Costello...but incredible chemistry
I think the Danny and Tina fued is going to be compelling and get out of control...where is JULIAN?
Claudette is losing her mind, but my god she handed that punk his behind...unreal acting...is that a real limp though?
Ronnie is laying low also...those 3 (vic/shane/ronnie) are going to pull us along this year...man I am sad it's going to end...but I am sure it will be better than Tony Sop.
Best show on tv and if you aren't watching you have a few weeks to go out and rent season's 1-6 to get ONBOARD...but if not, you just don't get it...I started the wire...zzzzzz...watch very first episode of the shield...1 season...first scene!!

September 10 2008 at 9:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Man this is why the Shield is the best show on TV and in my opinion better than The Wire. They have the mentality of project dwellers down, plus they mix it in with politicians, businessmen, and different law enforcement agencies. The show can't be beat, and I hate that we only have 11 more episodes left.

I must say though, that the Spook Street arrest scene and the snitch scene is soo true to life. I have seen actions like that in person, and it is so sad to see people that embrace and promote that mindset and frame of mind.

September 10 2008 at 12:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So are we taking odds yet on how many episodes till Cassidy ends up dead?

Actually, i got a better idea how this ends up. I think Cassidy will end up killing someone. Probably Shane or at least, someone who is a threat to Vic and the whole family. She'll do it in her parent's presence and they will both be forced to cover it up. Then Corrine will finally get a taste of just what Vic has to do to protect his family. She's going to see that sometimes a parent will become something ugly if it protects the ones they love and she's going to become a little ugly herself.

Or maybe just when things seem clear Cassidy will shoot her dad. I could see it going that direction as well.

September 10 2008 at 10:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I thought last week's episode cleaned things up a bit and set up a simpler plot for the finale, but I was wrong. The Armenian/Mexican storyline is more confusing than ever.

That said, the Spook Street scenes alone were worth the price of admission. The hate in that kid -- and the thought that there are really people like that -- was beyond disturbing.

September 10 2008 at 8:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think Vic THINKS he's the puppet master. He might be in too deep with Pezuela. He's not just some street banger, or even a crew chief; he's a well-connected international criminal. I don't doubt that he will work some genius angle with the Armenians, but Pezuela might be his undoing.

September 10 2008 at 2:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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