MILD SPOILERS AHEAD
It's almost the end for The Shield, which makes me kinda sad. I loved this show from the moment my then-roommate (Dan) turned me onto it. I was pretty disappointed when the previous season ended last June. Not because it was bad, but because I had to wait a year until it returned. Turns out I kinda forgot about it.
There's not much resolved in this episode, but there is a palpable sense of things just starting. Like a rollercoaster going up the first incline it's only a matter of time until everything falls apart and people start dying.
Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) still has the box full of blackmail material and he's semi-teamed up with Aceveda to make use of it. His job is still on the line and the Strike Team is still barely hanging together after Lem's death. There's still tension between Vic and Shane, there too it feels like it's building to some (yet another) explosive interaction.
I'm really excited that this season seems to finally let the quietest (yet most capable) member of the Strike Team, Ronnie, get a real plot arc and character development. After the first episode it's a 50/50 call as to whether he plunges into the same abyss that sucked in Shane.
The side storyline of Claudette and Dutch is just as interesting as always. The scenes in this first episode where they have their way with the barely-disabled Billings are amusing little vignettes.
If there is a problem with the episode it's that it seems to be the same build-up that's happened every season/plot arc. Money, violence, gangs, Vic's family (*yawn*), blah, blah, blah. I'm hoping that the intro presages some heavy action. Still, I've got a nasty gut-feeling that the show is gonna go out below the awesomeness that was attained during Forest Whitaker's appearances. No amount of hacked-off feet can match that.
What say you?