Season two developed the characters of Mackey and his crew to new levels. If you haven't seen the show I won't ruin anything for you, but everyone is put through the wringer in these thirteen episodes. We get political intrigue, interoffice machinations, great police drama with healthy doses of sex and violence. Unfortunately that's what most people focus on.
Chicklis deserved the Emmy for the quiet moments as well as the brutal ones. This actor has got a slow burn like no other. There are moments where he says nothing but we can tell all the alternatives he is running through his head by simply looking at his eyes and physicality. This season brings Mackey to a crossroads where he has to make some serious decisions about where his life is headed and we feel every emotion he is going through thanks to this beautiful, bald man.
That having been said, this is not a series for the faint of heart. There are scenes of physical torture, violence against women, hostage situations and raw sex. You are forewarned.
If your stomach can take a brutal, skillfully written, brilliantly acted police drama there is no better way to take up space in your DVD player than The Shield.
The DVD retains the same grainy documentary-like resolution of the TV show and it works in that regard, rather than looking like a bad transfer (other FOX shows are not as lucky in this way).
The episodes themselves remain strong. The season arc was unpredictable - the sense I had of where things were going midseason proved completely off. This is a good thing - the show's strength is its ability to move in surprising directions. Strong and compelling writing is central to The Shield, but my theory about its success is that it is has the best casting on television. Every one of the actors does terrific work with their roles. Michael Chiklis deserves all the plaudits he has received, but credit is also due to C.C.H. Pounder, Jay Karnes, Walton Goggins, Michael Jace, Catherine Dent, and Benito Martinez among others. Their characters are complicated and unpredictable and this is why The Shield is such a success.