The Shield – 711 – Petty Cash

“Petty Cash, the latest episode of The Shield is another episode from the show that has multiple meanings in context. In this case the petty cash refers to the hundred grand that Shane and Mara had stolen from them in last week’s episode (Party Line). It’s not just petty cash in the literal sense but also petty in the method Shane uses it to try and stitch Vic up.

Shane is ahead of the game at this point, he’s aware that Corrine is working with Claudette and he attempts to use this to his advantage. At the end of the last episode he demanded a hundred grand from Vic, knowing that the only way Vic could scrape together enough would be through illegal methods. He also knows Claudette is out for both him and Vic, so he has Mara set up a deal. Vic will give the money to Corrine who will then hand it over to Shane. Bringing Shane in on a deal and leaving Vic stitched up for good.

Shane has no intention of being there, he’s just using Claudette and Corrine to set Vic up and get rid of his number one problem. But Vic is still underestimating his opponent, he assumes that Shane is just concerned about the money and sets a dangerous plan into play. Vic runs as the go-between for the Mexican cartel and the One Niners, he takes two hundred from the One Niners as a down payment for drugs and embezzles half of it. Vic’s not too worried about being caught at this time, he’s confident the ICE deal will come through for him, the Mexicans will go down and he’ll be left sitting pretty as a federal agent.

Meanwhile Ronnie is attempting to stay in the Barn in order to intercept a letter from Shane, but Claudette has other plans, she sends him out teamed with Julien to investigate a shooting. It’s great that these two characters are paired together again; they’re great on screen together and complement each other well. It’s just a shame that their positions with regards to Vic have left them on opposite sides, if Ronnie wasn’t such a dirty cop and friends with Vic Julien and he could have been excellent partners. Still, as Ronnie’s stuck out of the building he relies on Billings to intercept the letter for him. Billings, always looking to work on his man-crush agrees. But his natural laziness results in him forgetting. Fortunately for Ronnie he gets back to the Barn and intercepts the letter (from Cletus Van Damme), unfortunately for Ronnie the letter is nothing more than a dummy letter.

What Ronnie doesn’t realize is the letter was meant to keep him out of the way while Vic delivered the money, this would land Vic right in the mix. But events (and Vic’s luck) conspired against this and it’s now Ronnie who’s the man with the charge stuck on him. He looks like he’s at least losing his badge and most likely going to jail, that’s a pretty terrible end for a character I’m really fond of. Ronnie notes that Shane didn’t turn up to Vic and wonders why, Ronnie has great instincts and always thinks well but he defers to Vic too much still. So when Vic is dismissive of Ronnie’s concerns they move on.

There’s so much more to say about this episode; right now things are moving in many, many directions and all of the characters are chasing after their end games. It’s impossible to say who will succeed and who will fall. Will Vic get his ICE job and walk away from this one last time? Will Ronnie crack and run? Will Shane get his justice for the slaying of Lem? Can Claudette nail Vic where so many others failed? Is it possible that Acevada will become mayor? Will everyone get killed in a Blake 7 style ending?

Only the future and the final two episodes will tell. Stay tuned for one of the greatest shows in the history of television ending. Until those final credits roll take nothing for granted, it’s end game time.”

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