The Shield – 703 – Money Shot

“Money Shot, latest episode of The Shield continues to deepen the ravine which Vic, Shane and Ronnie have found themselves trapped. The fabric of lies around which Vic’s life is constructed has never looked thinner but it seems Vic himself is still oblivious to how precarious his situation really is. As usual Vic’s family life interferes and it’s up to Shane to come through with the guns that Rizen wants.

This week’s episode focuses mostly on the strike team, Vic decides to directly approach the Armenian kingpin Rizen so he can manipulate both the Armenians and gain tighter control over Shane. It’s a high risk move because now the Armenians are aware of who exactly Vic is, Rizen didn’t know him by site before this week. This means Vic is now in direct contact with both gangs, potentially one side could realise he’s playing them off against the other with a chance spot. Meanwhile, the rest of the strike team is struggling to perform decent police work. Ronnie and Julien are forced to follow up an investigation into a drug dealing porn merchant undermanned. A situation which literally bites Ronnie when he’s attacked by a guard dog after being required to enter a house without the support of the complete strike team.

It’s clear by the end of the episode that Ronnie is tired of the entire thing, in the final scene he turns to Vic and makes it very clear that he can barely stomach being around Shane. While Vic seems somewhat oblivious to the true nature of the situation he’s dug himself into Ronnie is under no such illusions and he tells Vic just as much. It’s clear that Ronnie is beginning to think less and less of Vic and now more than ever he regrets the things that have happened.

Elsewhere in the Barn Dutch and Billings are assigned to a missing persons case, a young girl has reported her friend missing. The family on the other hand claim that Wan (the girl) is not missing, Billings is content with this but Dutch feels there is something wrong. When Wan turns up again it becomes clear that she was abducted and sexually assaulted, this is one of Billings’s hot buttons (he’s a father himself as he told Vic previously) and it sparks him into action. Eventually it becomes clear that the girl was abducted and sexually realigned at the wishes of her brother, the family was shamed by her homosexual leanings. This results in one of those bleak scenes The Shield is so good at delivering, where Wan’s friend (and clearly lover) turns up concerned but is driven away by Wan. Ironically it seems that the terrible treatment Wan suffered has managed to achieve exactly what was intended. It’s a black story that draws strong comparisons with Julien’s own journey earlier in the season, it’s something of a shame Julien wasn’t involved in it – but it seems the writers of the show have decided to forget about Julien’s sexual struggles these days.

Money Shot is a great little episode with plenty for every character to do, after last week’s comparatively weak strike team story it’s good to see the show back to it’s strengths. All three stories were solid, but the most powerful performances came once again from the David’s (Rees Snell & Marciano) with Ronnie providing the bleak reality of their situation direct to Vic in a powerful scene and Billings delivering the comedy for contrast elsewhere.”

Read Rev’s extended review.