The Shield – 707 – Bitches Brew

We are seven episodes into the final season of FX’s legendary series The Shield.

Here is the low down, from Rev:

After last weeks episode ‘Animal Control’ it was going to be hard to sustain the same level of tension without over playing events and being forced to continue raising the stakes. Fortunately for us The Shield knows when to simmer and when to boil and ‘Bitches Brew’ simmers throughout while Shane, Vic and Ronnie attempt to pretend that everything is OK.

The strike team are called in to deal with a prostitute who was apparently killed by her pimp Bombay; the witness is a familiar face (at least for those with amazing memories) she’s Farrah, another prostitute who played Vic for a fool back in the third season episode “Bottom Bitch”. Vic is naturally less than pleased to see her, but is forced to work with her in chasing down Bombay. We get a bit of old fashioned strike team beat down this episode, but it’s clear from the way everyone is acting that tempers are frayed. Shane is more cautious than usual while Ronnie takes out his anger on a potential witness/suspect Two Man by beating on him and hurting his jaw badly. By the end of the case they locate Bombay and he flees, opening fire with a machine pistol, so Julien is forced to shoot him.

Elsewhere in the Barn things are nothing more than business as usual, Dutch and Billings are starting to click as a team after Dutch offered Billings an olive branch of respect by admitting he needed his help. This episode they’re both working on a case of home invasion that turns out to be a scam designed to encourage new home owners to sign on for security protection. During the investigation they encounter Lester (returning from season six) a man who Vic describes ironically with the statement “If you think he did something s**tty, he probably did.” Lester gives us an insight into one potential future for Vic, and it’s not a pleasant one as the man is a small scale thug who preys on the weak.

Vic’s home life continues to implode while he pushes Danny hard over the Lee’s parental rights, with everything else in his life falling apart right now Vic would be best off walking away from this particular problem for the moment. But because Vic is Vic he feels the need to push everything until it ends up how he wants it and he pushes too hard. Treating Danny like Corrine just doesn’t work when they’re very different people and all he manages is driving Danny away, by the looks of it for good. This is bad news not just for Vic but for Claudette as well who will be losing a talented sergeant and able assistant.

Claudette herself is running on marked time the same as Vic, she’s always been the straight laced parallel of Vic in the series, while he’s willing to bend and break the rules to get an advantage she’s not willing to do it even if she disadvantages herself. Her reward for this is a captaincy that she cannot hold onto due to decaying health. But Dutch is finally dealing with this in a sensitive manner and it’s great to see him offer her help in a way that she can accept.

The culmination of this episode has two twin thunder-shocks left in it’s tail, the first is when Vic realises that Farrah has once again played him like a fool and used him to get Bombay killed. While Julien has been treated as an outsider in the team Vic still considers him one of his own and finding out that they were both used in this manner is enough to trigger his outrage. The second one involves the man who actually killed the prostitute, Two Man, Shane visits him in his house and offers him a simple blackmail. Kill someone or go to jail for the murder he already committed. Two Man has no problems in doing this and when he asks who Shane replies “How’s your jaw?”

It looks like next week Ronnie and possibly Vic are facing attempts on their lives, after which all bets will be off.”

Read Rev’s unabridged version.