The Shield - Season Two
Fox Home Entertainment -
2003 - 744
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If you thought the first season of the Emmy-winning mega hit The Shield was impressive, then the second season does not disappoint. In fact, it surpasses it. This show is by far the best cop drama on TV due to the "take a chance" attitude of the entire cast and crew. The "in your face" way of showing these remarkable pieces of work is second to none and puts its competition to shame. NYPD Blue canï¿½t touch this show, neither can any of the Law & Order renditions where you find the defined good guys are the cops and the defined bad buys are the crooks. The Shield will turn you upside down. It will have you questioning whether or not to cheer for the cops who may cross the line in order to get scumbag drug dealers or gang members and it lets you inside the turbulent personal life of the main character, Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis).
Mackey does a totally legit interrogation.
ï¿½ Episode I: "The Quick Fix":
Detectives Dutch (Jay Karnes) and Wyms (CCH Pounder) investigate why gang members are being burned at the stake while Mackey hires a private detective to find his family and figure out why his estranged wife left in the first place. When Mackey needs funding from the "retirement fund", he finds out that Vendrell (Walton Goggins) has "invested" their money in drugs coming from Mexico and to make matters worse, these drugs are poisoned. Meanwhile, Capt. Aceveda (Benito Martinez) is trying to avoid a city council investigation by a civilian auditor.
ï¿½ Episode II: "Dead Soldiers":
The new leader of the Mexican drug dealers, "Armadillo" is starting to really piss off Mackey and the Strike Team and when their informant gets knocked off; Mackey treats Armadillo to a little street justice. One problem, Detective Wyms starts investigating and sees a connection between Mackey and Armadillo and a series of murders. Meanwhile, Lanie Kellis (Lucinda Jenney) starts the internal audit of the Barn by the authority of the city council.
ï¿½ Episode III: "Partners":
Mackey is visited by his former partner who wants to put some "street justice" to the dirt bag loser who sued the department for a false claim of brutality. Meanwhile, Dutch and Wyms investigate the torture of a woman who has a chance of still being alive.
ï¿½ Episode IV: "Carte Blanche":
To solve a murder at a jewelry store, Mackey and Vendrell pretend to be dirty cops (big stretch) and learn of something called a "money train" while a department sponsored guns for toys drive turns up a weapon which may be linked to an unsolved murder.
ï¿½ Episode V: "Greenlit":
Capt. Aceveda and Mackey form an alliance to help stop Armadillo and his idiots from selling drugs to school kids. While all this is happening, Officer Danny Sofer (Catherine Dent) is being harassed by the wife of a guy she blew away and Officer Julien Lowe (Michael Jace) officially goes back into the closet by announcing he is marrying a woman.
ï¿½ Episode VI: "Homewrecker":
Capt. Aceveda trades his suit in for a uniform and he and Officer Lowe hit the streets and investigate a stolen bike while at the same time Dutch, Wyms and Mackey investigate the murder of 7 women at a battered womanï¿½s shelter. The civilian auditor puts her nose where is clearly doesnï¿½t belong by calling in the Feds ruining any chance of catching the murderer without any gunfire.
ï¿½ Episode VII: "Barnstormers":
Mackey, now living out on his own when his family is finally found, gets a little sick of hearing the abusive relationship going on across the street, and decides to bring the battered woman into protective custody. Meanwhile, the dept. learns of mandatory budget cuts and Aceveda tells Dutch he better get back on track and needs to prove his worthiness soon.
ï¿½ Episode VIII: "Scar Tissue":
While the Strike Team along with Wyms continue the search of Armadillo, Wyms starts to find out some rather incriminating information about Mackey by talking with his wife, Corrine. Dutch and Danny investigate an assault case involving a guy spraying bug spray in peopleï¿½s faces.
ï¿½ Episode IX: "Co-Pilot":
A flashback episode which takes us back to the first day of The Barn and we see the initial tensions between Mackey and Aceveda. The Strike Team is formed and Dutch and Wyms discover they are going to make a good partnership. Aceveda learns that despite his rank as Captain his power is not what he thinks it might be.
ï¿½ Episode X: "Coyotes":
The civilian auditorï¿½s report is leaked to the press and it was not good. This news sends both Aceveda and Mackey into panic mode and to make things even worse, old Asst. Chief Gilroy shows up and begs Mackey to smuggle his out of the country in order to avoid to going to prison.
ï¿½ Episode XI: "Inferno":
To turnaround the bad press The Barn received from the leaked report and to make the auditor look stupid, Mackey learns of that one of the countryï¿½s most wanted criminals is in Farmington. Aceveda agrees to do whatever it takes to bring him in. Meanwhile, Dutch and Wyms investigate a store employee who claims she was raped by the owner.
ï¿½ Episode XII: "Breakpoint":
The Strike Team is ready to bring down the Armenian mob and get their hands on the "money train", but Mackey gets diverted by an investigation of a missing teenage boy which leads him to a Nazi group. Aceveda is upset and the mandatory cutting of personnel and Julien is totally embarrassed by the ranting of his former lover, Tomas who tells everyone in the Barn that they were lovers.
ï¿½ Episode XIII: "Dominoes Falling":
When Wymsï¿½ ex-husband is found murdered by gang members, Mackey, Wyms and new Strike Team member Tavon (Brian White) investigate. While investigating this, the other members of the Strike Team and ready to steal the "money train" and are forced to start without Mackey. Meanwhile, with the news of his past, Julien becomes the victim of a "blanket party" by police officers who were let go due to budget cuts.
As is standard for TV shows, donï¿½t look for anything too spectacular in the video department. What they have done to make the show more appealing was impressive. The graininess and uses of colors such as amber and blue provide a noticeable difference from other cop dramas. The predominant use of handheld cameras to shoot the show provides the viewer with the feeling of being right inside the action. Very often while filming the crew did not take any special measures to go to block off streets or to do much extra casting. Instead, the background traffic and people were shot live.
This is television, and as such there arenï¿½t the huge production budgets of major blockbuster motion pictures. Donï¿½t look for enveloping 5.1 audio or any DTS encoding here. You wonï¿½t get any effects that will blow up your back speakers or your subwoofer, either. Though there is the occasional gunfire and a lot of screaming and punching which makes your rear speakers perk up from time to time, the overwhelming majority of the audio comes from fronts and the center, as is characteristic of the medium.
I would have to say that although this DVD is better than the first season, Fox spent about as much as you would at Jack in the Box on the supplements, with the cost of super sizing the order on the menu. You do get some interesting commentary on several of the episodes, along with a behind-the-scenes look at the 2nd season wrap party. There are five featurettes and a season three teaser. There are also some DVD-ROM goodies, if thatï¿½s what youï¿½re into. For me, however, I would expect that a show that does as much to stir things up as anything on the air, that they would take some more chances on sprucing up the DVD content.
This show definitely ranks as cutting edge and just down right fantastic. You will pop in one episode after another until the end and then you will be begging for more. Bring on Season 3, we are more than ready.
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