TV Review: ‘The Shield’ Series Finale
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By David Chen

The Shield
Series Finale
Starring Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, Catherine Dent, CCH Pounder, Jay Karnes, Laurie Holden
FX Network
Air date: November 25, 2008

After 88 episodes of groundbreaking, gritty television, The Shield is finally over. It was a crown masterwork of police procedural drama, utilizing such creative storytelling that viewers should feel blessed simply to have witnessed its unfolding. But if there’s been one flaw with this show, it’s that it’s always been just a little bit too in love with its main characters. Time and time again, we’ve seen Vic and his Strike Team worm their way out of every single legal conundrum and gang-related bear trap that has been thrown their way. This crew has done some pretty sick, twisted stuff over the past few years, and they had much to atone for leading into the finale. Creator and showrunner Shawn Ryan had plenty of opportunities to send some of these characters to jail or to kill them off, but he always seemed reluctant to do so. Not that we ever really wanted him to: It seems a warmed over observation, but part of the brilliance of The Shield was making you root for every single one of these characters. With season 7 being the show’s last, Ryan had nothing to lose anymore; he could deal with the characters and bring their arcs to a conclusion in whatever way he wanted to. The question after all these years of torture, corruption, and murder is, would Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) walk away? Or would he finally get caught?

With just one 90-minute-long episode left, I desperately wanted there to be a reckoning, some final closure for all the injustice that has been doled out, or at least some closure. To a huge extent, this series finale thoroughly delivered.


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TV Review: ‘Sons of Anarchy’ Episodes 6-8

Sons of Anarchy
Episodes 6-8
Starring Charlie Hunnam, Ron Perlman, Katey Sagal
Wednesday @ 10 FX Network

When I watched the first five episodes of Sons of Anarchy, I was a torn on whether on not to stick around. On one hand, there was plenty of untapped potential and decent acting for the FX series but on the other hand, the show really did not have much to offer. The storyline had this feeling of been there, done that but this has not stopped audiences from tuning in. The series has just been picked up for a second season. Thanks to the wonderful folks at FX, I was given the opportunity to find out with a preview DVD of last week’s episodes along with two upcoming episodes.

For those unaware, Sons of Anarchy revolves around life in a motorcycle gang of the same name. Set in fictional California town Charming, the gang is led by Clay Marrow (Ron Perlman) and his step-son/Vice President of Sons, Jackson Teller (Charlie Hunnam). When Jackson finds his father’s old journals in storage, he discovers that his father’s original concept of Sons as a peaceful organization does not match up with the current incarnation Clay runs, which is knee deep in guns, drugs, and violence.

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TV Preview: ‘The Shield’ Season 7
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By David Chen

The Shield
Season 7
Starring Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, Catherine Dent, CCH Pounder, Jay Karnes, Cathy Cahlin Ryan
FX Network
Premiere: September 2, 2008, 10PM


It’s been over a year since we’ve seen a new episode of The Shield and, for me, it’s like waiting for an older brother to come home from a brief stint in juvie: Although deep down you know he’s a bad influence and you probably shouldn’t hang out with him, you giddily can’t wait for his return. When we last left Vic Mackey, he had seized Cruz Pezuela’s blackmail box full of material that could compromise every city official in LA. Pezuela was about to use the box as leverage to buy massive portions of Farmington uncontested. Vic was determined to take him down, but with only days left on the job, how would he complete the task?

Unlike 24, where years can transpire between seasons, The Shield has always tried to give us a continuous storyline, regardless of how much time has taken place in real life. Season 7 continues that trend, as the opening scene occurs only hours after last season’s finale. In the season premiere alone, a woman is bound up and gagged as bait for a cop, Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) painfully tortures a criminal for information, and someone is murdered in cold blood. The Shield is back, baby. As the season continues, we see Vic and Shane scrambling to deal with their new Armenian boss, Rezian, while Vic and Aceveda simultaneously try to figure out an angle on how to take down Pezuela.

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