Monday, October 4, 2010

The Shield - Season 5

If season 4 was intense, season 5 kicked that feeling into overdrive. A bumbling detective recurring character has taken over the captaincy of the station, but unlike previous years, the guy who commandeers his office is who Vick really has to worry about. Forest Whitaker guests all season long as Lieutenant Kavanaugh, a member of Internal Affairs who has it out for the strike team. It's an inspired performance, the best on the show, as he plays a man creepily obsessed with bringing down corrupt cops, willing to do a few uncouth things himself to get it done. He's provided the single greatest threat thus far to Vick's continued success, and he's just as scary when he loses as when he wins.

New subplots for the other cops to keep them busy. There's pregnancies and new, troublesome rookies to train and personal squabbles that get in the way of casework and yadda yadda. Claudette and Dutch's investigations are still generally interesting if a bit too focused on shock value still, but I really could do without a lot of the padding of all their personal crap. Luckily the end of the season puts Claudette in the position she should be, primed to face off against Vick. That's a conflict that has plenty left in the tank for the final two seasons. Also, the end of the arc for the strike team itself is pretty incredible, both in the sense of being a bit hard to believe and also an effectively shocking way to tie off a thread that was starting to get out of control. It's clearly going to lead to more conflict down the road, and probably a showdown as dramatic as anything in the last decade, just going on how the characters have been built over the course of years now. Definitely excited for the last 23 episodes.

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