Hey everyone. BellaSugar here. Buzz has let me guest-blog because, well, I won't shut up about The Shield. I know what you're thinking: "Another cop drama? Yawn." Yeah, that's what I thought, too, but trust me: This is easily the best show on TV. The first episode of the seventh and final season airs tonight at 10 p.m. on FX, and if you aren't watching, you're missing out. The Emmy-winning acting is marvelous, the writing is tight (seriously, no plot line is left unfinished) and you'll be amazed by how much drama is packed into each episode.
A little background: Inspired by the real-life story of a corrupt anti-gang unit in the LAPD, the show focuses on the Strike Team, a group of dirty cops. When I say dirty, I mean filthy: They've killed fellow officers, knocked over the Armenian mob, and aren't above a little police brutality on the side. When we catch up with Detective Vic Mackey, the team leader, he's fighting to keep his badge — and plotting against his partner, Shane Vendrell, who murdered another member of the Strike Team. Oh, and did I mention that his teenage daughter is getting involved with some illegal dealings of her own, that he's the baby daddy of another cop's child, and that he's stolen a list of files used in an elaborate blackmail scheme? Juicy stuff.
I've checked out the first eight episodes of season seven in advance, and for you fellow fangirls (and fanboys) who are already hooked, I've got a few thoughts if you read more.
Caution! There be very mild spoilers ahead.
I'm only eight episodes into the 13-episode season, but here's what I can tell you: The Shield does not disappoint. The writers roar into the first episode, packing every word, every action, with meaning. This show isn't going to go out with a whimper, or even a bang: I'm confident that loyal viewers will be rewarded with an amazingly explosive ending to the show. Here are a few thoughts on the action thus far. I won't give away any big spoilers, just hints — but trust me, you won't want to miss a minute!
- Vic has trouble. Big trouble. Retaining his badge should be the least of Vic's worries at this point. The Armenians didn't take too kindly to finding out that he ripped off the money train, and his deal with Aceveda is uneasy at best. And wait until you see how Vic's knowledge of the drug trade comes close to home. Vic's starting to realize that you can't outrun your past — but that doesn't mean he won't try.
- Claudette is hangin' tough.You think Lupus would keep a tough cookie like Claudette down? She's working twice as hard to prove her mettle, and we get a glimpse into the pressure she puts on herself to get the Barn into fighting shape. She's playing the part of a take-no-guff captain, even accompanying the Strike Team on some intense busts, but her health problems trip her up in a way nobody could see coming.
- Ronnie is large and in charge. Ronnie is leading the Strike Team — in name, at least. No spoilers, but let's just say that if you thought Shane was ruthless, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
- Shane's making nice. Man, does Shane have his tail between his legs. (Or does he?) Keep an eye on Mara, too; it seems that her tolerance for Strike Team shenanigans is much lower than that of Corinne.
- A few familiar faces return. That's all I will tell you!
- Other characters' development is solid. Mostly. When we last saw Dutch's dorky partner Billings, he had hit the city with a meritless $3.4 million dollar lawsuit; his laziness threatens to derail the Dutch-man's detective work. Officer Tina Hanlon isn't the rookie she used to be, but let's just say you wouldn't want her watching your back. Julian is the only underedeveloped character so far; he's hangin' with the Strike Team, but there doesn't seem to be any real reason for his presence. Let's hope the writers give his story line the attention it deserves.
- Overall: William Faulkner once said, "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past." That sums up this season of The Shield. Even if you want to repent for your sins, can you? And what kind of price do we pay for our transgressions — if we realize them at all? As always, the characters' rubbery morality raises these questions, and as we speed to the end of the series, we might just find out.
Any other Shield fans out there want to chat? Let me know — like I said, I'm obsessed.
Photo courtesy of FX.