"The Shield" seems to up it a notch with every season. I remember watching the very first season and thinking to myself that there was no way this show could get any darker, more intense or more outrageous. I was proven wrong when I saw the second season, but yet again I made the wrong assumption and thinking there was no way in the world that the next season would be more devastating and brutal.
After seeing Season 3, I have finally learned my lesson and will no longer make that silly assumption. This is because "The Shield: Season 3" takes you even further down the rabbit hole that is this amazingly dark and take-no-prisoners cop drama that pretty much breaks all of the rules. You are given some deeply flawed characters... and yet, we still want to learn more about them and even care what happens to them.
After successfully robbing the money train, the heat is on the Strike Team more than ever. Vic needs to keep his team in line until the dust settles, but that proves to be an impossible task as emotions and paranoia run high among the other participants. Captain Aceveda is still trying to maintain his political career while taking care of The Barn, but something horrific will happen to him that will leave him never being the same again. Claudette is still striving for the position of the "top dog" at The Barn and doesn't make things easier for Vic when she decides to include a Decoy Squad, while keeping a close eye on Vic and his team. Still, Vic has other problems to deal with, and I'm not even talking about his family issues. The Strike Team is in constant danger of being the latest victims of the Armenian Mob, who is willing to kill anyone involved with the whole money train robbery. This is only a small part of the fun that lurks in this explosive third season.
The show is still extremely dark and brutal at times, but it still gets in a lot of the ironic humor in it as well. Fans of the first two seasons will most likely enjoy this new season, as each episode is engaging and addicting. The great writing and execution is still there and by the time you finish these 15 episodes, you'll want more. Michael Chiklis does an excellent job of playing "Vic," and even though there are times you really hate him, there are also times where you cannot help but root for him.
This show is not for those who get offended easily or are extremely sensitive. Just like the other two seasons, these guys pretty much get away with ANYTHING (the only exception I've seen is the usage of the F-word). This is definitely something you'd think you would catch on HBO. There's a lot of violence, language, disturbing situations and content, and there is a pretty horrible rape scene... but it's not what you would think. Anyways, just be cautious. If you can handle the first two seasons, then you shouldn't have too many problems dealing with Season 3. Extras included are commentary on selected episodes, deleted scenes and a making-of documentary.
"The Shield: Season 3" delivers the goods when it comes to addicting and mesmerizing TV. All of the episodes are highly entertaining and you will find yourself having a hard time putting the DVDs away. Once you start, it is VERY hard to stop watching. If you haven't seen the other seasons, then I'd recommend checking those out first, although it is possible to get the gist of what's going on without doing so. "The Shield" has definitely kept its edge, and Season 3 proves that big time. -Michael Crane