To call this week’s episode of “The Shield” a disappointment would be to admit that the cast/crew did something wrong, and, well, that’s just not the case. Nevertheless, I found it to be less eventful than most shows, and that probably has something to do with the fact that with four episodes to go, Shawn Ryan and Co. seem to be holding off on playing their final hand. This is something that I warned against a few weeks back, and though it isn’t so bad that it feels like the characters are just standing around waiting for the end to come, this week’s episode felt like it was stretching out the story a little more than usual.
The spotlight was shifted to Shane this week now that he’s on the run from the cops, and though his initial check-in with Corrine doesn’t go as planned (he knows Vic is there coaching her the minute she asks too much), Shane really seems to have a handle on how to properly evade capture. For starters, he’s not planning on leaving LA anytime soon, since he knows the entire police department is out searching for him, and he’s quick to trade in his flashy Lexus for another car with clean papers. The wrench in his plans, however, is that Mara forgot to bring Jackson’s medicine with her before leaving, and the kid’s whooping cough could escalate into pneumonia at any minute. This forces to Shane to head to a nearby pharmacy to pick up new medicine, and when that causes some bad reaction, Mara begs him to take Jackson to the hospital. It’s there that Vic finally catches up with him, but when he pulls out his gun to take Shane down, a squad car pulls up and the cops arrest Vic instead.
Now, I find it hard to believe that every cop within the city limits wasn’t shown a picture of Shane before heading out on patrol, but even if they didn’t recognize him in the dark, don’t you think one of the officers would have at least pulled Shane and Mara aside to take down a statement? It seems like a pretty sorry excuse for Shane to get away, especially considering the circumstances. Still, he’s free for the time being, and though he suggests that Mara go turn herself in so that she may properly take care of Jackson, she refuses, claiming that family sticks together. And for all the trouble that Mara has caused over the last few years, you’ve got to respect that she’s still standing by Shane’s side.
The only really interesting Strike Team-related event of the night is when Claudette, officially tired of all of Ronnie’s lying, gave him an ultimatum: either tell her the truth about why Shane was gunning for him or risk losing his job. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ronnie tells her just enough (including Shane’s murder of Lem) without incriminating him or Vic. I’m not exactly sure Claudette actually buys into or not, but at least Ronnie has bought himself a little more time at the Barn. Unfortunately, he no longer has a Strike Team to run now that Claudette has disbanded the team, leaving him chained to a desk until Shane is captures, and Julian forced to head back to the street with Tina.
The rest of the episode was made up of little mini-subplots that weren’t especially productive, but they still proved to be more interesting than the main story. Dutch still believes he can prevent Lloyd from turning to the Dark Side; Billings taps into his inner Vic Mackey in order to get a registered sex offender thrown back in jail; and Aceveda wrestles with Pezuela over his increasing control of his campaign. Pezuela is starting to get really cocky now that his boss is in town (“The dick is up your ass, and I am the one who decides if and when it comes out.”), and it’s only a matter of time before DEA takes him down. Or is it? They’ve already screwed it up once before, so what’s to say they won’t do it again? And where in the world is Danni? She was clearly planning on skipping town at the end of last week’s episode, but has anyone actually realized that she’s gone?