The Shield – 705 – Game Face

“Last week on The Shield events took a serious turn for the worse when Vic discovered that one of his allies is not as solid as he thought. The revelation at the end of last week’s episode dropped a huge unexploded bomb shell into his lap and now Vic, Ronnie and Shane need to run damage control until they can assess the situation.

Elsewhere in the Barn Dutch continues to try and prove that Lloyd – the young lad from last weeks episode – has the makings of a serial killer by enlisting the help of another familiar face, Leon the FBI profiler who helped with the Kleavon case in season five. Speaking of which, Claudette also has to face a serial killer of her own when Kleavon himself returns with a deposition. So while Dutch chases around after a lad who may or may not be a serial killer in the making (certainly Lloyd is a sociopath, but that doesn’t automatically mean serial killer) Claudette has to face up to a confirmed and confessed one in Kleavon. One who displayed a real grudge against her during season five.

Kleavon has returned with the intent of using a deposition against Claudette; combined with knowledge of her lupus, to get the death penalty off the table. Now some other cop show would have Claudette triumph and watch him get taken back to county to await the death sentence, but The Shield is not some other cop show and Kleavon succeeds in his manipulations. He’ll be in jail for a long while but he won’t get executed for his crimes.

Kleavon isn’t the only one concerned with past crimes in this episode; while Vic continues to ride along the wave of confidence that he is still in control Shane confronts Ronnie in a tense but revealing scene. This season we’ve had a lot of evidence that Ronnie understands just how bad things are and knows they’re not getting out while Shane has commented quite a few times about the easy solutions just to find Vic shutting him down (a lot of Shane’s easy solutions involve a potential loss of innocent life mind you). But this episode has Shane confront Ronnie and after both of them acknowledge that there is an irreparable rift between them over Lem’s death; Shane reveals that he can see the trouble they’re in clearer than Vic. Both of them confront the reality of their situation together despite the divide between them and it’s clear that Vic is deluding himself now.

Vic isn’t just under pressure from work related sources, he’s also feeling a great deal from his home life. Danny wants him out of Lee’s life but Vic is unwilling to do so, he doesn’t want to abandon his son. This is an admirable sentiment, but a foolish one considering how poor he is in family life. But although Vic is a master at deception, he’s also unfortunately a master at deceiving himself and this is no clearer than when Corrine reveals that Cassidy was at a Pimps and Hos party

This week we also get some actual honest to goodness Strike Team action while the team are sent after some kidnappers by Olivia. It’s good old fashioned police work that uses a few more familiar faces from previous seasons, the young car jacker girl Dina appears in the course of the investigation and Burnout is used to help rescue the girl without revealing that the police were directly involved in it. This gives Julien a chance to once again stand up front and centre, while the rest of the Strike Team have been running about taking care of the messy gang war they created Julien has been solidly plodding along performing superb police work. Last week Vic and the others had to even work around Julien because of his skills, this week he puts them all to use and shines. It’s clear that the Strike Team has finally got a solid, decent and law abiding member in it’s ranks, sadly he’s cut out of the loop and unable to work properly because he’s surrounded by three corrupt cops. If there’s anyone who could rescue the Strike Team project after Vic is gone it’s Julien, he’s superb police.

Finally Vic confronts Olivia about her situation and she tells him everything and then exclaims, “I’m in this so deep, and I don’t know how to get myself out.” Vic responds “You’re talking to the right guy.””

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