Monday, 15 March 2010

The Shield Season 5

As one star fades another rises. So enters Forest Whitaker as the Internal Affairs lieutenant after the Strike Team. But he has no idea what he's about to get into.

This whole series is basically Vic against Forest's character Jon Kavanaugh and it's a complete act-off that Michael Chiklis (Vic) relishes in. The idea is that they are still getting looked into from the death of someone who died in the very first pilot episode. Vic is usually ten steps ahead of everyone else and Jon isn't used to it. In fact, he just plain hates it. Soon personal lives start to creep into the mix and it all gets a bit crazy. Vic will do anything not to get caught, but more than that, he'll sacrifice whatever it takes so that his family, both blood and work, will not suffer - and I mean anything ...

With people watching their every step, more gang murders and serial killers, The Shield is just as gritty as ever. Except for one thing, this whole internal affairs thing? It takes up pretty much the ENTIRE series where, by the end, you just want it to be finished. It's a shame as Forest's character (who does physically seem to lose a lot of weight during the process) is a man obsessed, someone who likes being in control and when Vic is around, that's hard to do. He doesn't like getting played and he gets played - a lot. This series isn't as much about the Strike Team as it is about the downfall of Kavanaugh. It's almost Shakespearean sometimes (in a way) but sometimes Forest's acting is just too much for me. I feel like I'm definitely watching an Oscar winning actor rather than a TV character. Which is fine, but sometimes you don't have to turn it up to 11.

With a mesmerising final episode (the end of which is given away in the Disc 3 Special Features instead of final disc - idiots), it is a series which truly tests morality. You want them to get through but in essence, the Strike Team is guilty and Kavanaugh is doing the right thing. In this way, the viewer is almost entwined with the moral guilt running through the entire series. But I do have a problem with it all, Aceveda is trying to keep both sides happy but is more an irritant than anything. He pops up to cause nuisance and goes away again. Claudette is having a physically rough time and the new cop under Julian seems to be a mere distraction to split up the scenes. There's more little storylines like this, but really I wasn't too bothered - and that's the problem. This series is so focused on the Strike Team worming their way out of the situation, that it loses the facets that keep people coming back. It feels like a bloated chapter in a long book and even with the force of Whitaker, some amazing scenes and quite an engrossing storyline, it almost becomes too preoccupied with itself. I can't rate it as high as the other ones, but is still a decent watch. Also with Antwon returning to the fray, it gets put down another mark.

Rating: 6/10

1 comment:

  1. Season 5 was one of the seasons that was just "ok". I had a similar feeling on season 4. It's amazing how they slowly ramp things back up in season six and then head full force into an awesome season 7. They end the show with a perfect conclusion to it all. All around a great show.