Heart-pounding. Intense. Gripping. Keeping the streets safe has never been more brutal. Season 4 introduced Glenn Close in a leading role and was the highest rated season yet. Live the suspense with THE SHIELD SEASON 4 o... more »n DVD!« less
Glenn Close joins the Barn and things are getting explosive. If you have already watched seasons 1-3, I do not need to sell you on 4- you will be knocking down the door to see it. Action and characters are raw and real. I watched all 7 seasons in one month!
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N. Durham | Philadelphia, PA | 09/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"At the end of the third season of FX's the Shield, crooked cop Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) and his strike team split up. As the fourth season opens, the Farmington precinct meets their new captain in Monica Rawling (Glenn Close), and it's not long before she makes herself noticed. With Aceveda (Benito Martinez) on his way to political office, Rawling makes her presence felt re-organizing the force with Vic as her right hand man, and they both put their sights on charismatic drug dealer Antwan Mitchell (Anthony Anderson). In the meantime, Vic's ex-partner Shane (Walt Goggins) works vice, and gets in way too deep with Mitchell, which leads to the reformation of the strike team in an effort to save Shane, and themselves, before it's too late. Sub-plots throughout the season include Aceveda discovering a dark side he never knew he had, Julian (Michael Jace) looking to be transfered as he opposes Rawling's approach to the seizures, and Dutch (Jay Karnes) finding romance with Vic's ex-wife (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) while trying to get both his partner (CCH Pounder) and himself out of the doghouse with the DA. Many agree that the third season was a step down compared to the landmark first two, and the fourth season delivers firing on all cylinders. Glenn Close is perfect casting as the no-nonsense new captain, while Michael Chiklis is excellent as always as crooked cop Mackey, who this season, appears to be searching for redemption. The Shield is back on track, and it's once again the best original drama on cable TV. By the end of the season, there is a big change for all the main players, and it will leave you salivating for what's coming next."
I was literally unable to stop watching this show.
M J Heilbron Jr. | Long Beach, CA United States | 01/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Season four is yet another amazing season for "The Shield."
Don't rely on the low "average" of stars as listed above...it's clear many of the reviewers have issues with things besides the show itself...(the letterbox thing, etc.)
From start to finish, this season was as good as any of the others, and in some ways better.
The obvious difference is Glenn Close. She brings a new vital energy into the mix, and stays away from all the cliches you'd normally expect. Don't prejudge her here.
The cast remains one of the best on TV, present or past. Chiklis has created a character for the TV Hall of Fame, and he is matched in every way by his castmates.
The season-long bad guy is played with startling menace by Anthony Anderson. As Antwon Mitchell, this actor primarily known for comedy will impress you beyond belief.
The season begins with a dissolved Strike Team, a demoted Mackey, and the new Captain (Close). The old captain, played by Benito Martinez, is dealing with all sorts of personal demons. The two detectives, played by Jay Karnes and CCH Pounder, deal with being in the D.A.'s doghouse. While it would be easy to go unnoticed when sharing the majority of your scenes with someone as powerful as Pounder, Karnes really has a breakthrough year here. The two lead cops, Danny and Julien, fill in side stories that weave into the grand tapestry of the whole season. I must single out Walton Goggins, who's Shane character dares you to take your eyes off of him. You can't. His manic desperation, cocky bravado, and the ability to make the most creative, livid, insulting lines of dialogue sound like poetry are hypnotizing. He has the ability to engender sympathy towards a character so clearly defective in so many mental processes.
The plot and dialogue are again the best in the business. The labyrinthine plot demands careful attention; I almost prefer watching with either the headphones on, or English subtitles, to catch every word.
There are incidents that refer and recall those from seasons past. Sometimes trivially, often not. If you are familiar with the previous three seasons, watch the episodes by first skipping the "previously on The Shield" recaps that start them off. It increases the shock value. It also increases the number of times you'll say "No way" to your TV screen.
This show forces you to examine your own beliefs on crime, punishment, race, religion, law enforcement, poverty, drugs, sex...
My DVD set is fine. No problems with playback. The video quality is sterling, as is the sound. One episode is 16:9, and it looks terrific. The hour long documentary at the end is a fine way to end your viewing experience.
I understand that this upcoming year of The Shield, beginning soon I think, will be it's last. It will be missed, but gloriously so.
This show is riveting. I was unable to stop watching it. When one episode ended, I immediately started up the next one. I polished the box off in two days, all while being the in-house trauma surgeon at a busy urban hospital on New Year's Eve. I'd pause the show while I went to go take care of a gunshot wound victim, then return to the show when my work was done...so on and so forth until I finished the last episode New Year's Day.
When somebody says they would rather watch a TV show than sleep, that says a lot. Now whether that says something about the show, or the individual I leave to you."
As Good as Television Gets
G P Padillo | Portland, ME United States | 01/25/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Glenn Close is one of my favorite actresses. "The Shield" is my favorite show. Why, oh why did I approach Season 4 with such fear and trepidation? Close immediately rattled things in the Barn and presented her Monica as a tough-as-nails, no nonsense, Captain who would not allow the wool to be pulled over her eyes. One of the best things this season was watching seen-it-all/ know-it-all Mackey develop respect for his new captain, and try - as best as he possibly could - to piece together loose ends he's left, and fight his perpetually tormenting demons. Chiklis and Close. On paper Chiklis and Close seem the most unlikely of duos - and yet, perhaps even because of this, become, instead, the most riveting screen partnership imaginable.
C.C.H. Pounder simply earns props for creating - and staying - one of the best damn, most straightforward, steadfast and honorable characters in any series history. She's taken an unglamorous role that in most hands could easily have become part of the scenery (and still earned Emmy nods) and instead has given us a complex, brilliant detective that can take off the gloves and go toe-to-toe with anything and anyone. She makes us care and she just rocks.
I mean no slight to the rest of the company: Goggins, Martinez, Karnes, Cahlin Ryan, Jace, Dent, Johnson, Snell, and company - I've merely run out of time. I will say ALL of them, perform - nay, LIVE their roles and do so at the highest level to make this ensemble one of the most formidable casts on television. As with the premiere season, Season 4 of The Shield takes television drama to an inspired level.
If you're one of those who needs their dramas nice and neat, with squared-off camera angles and movie score soundtracks, The Shield will wake you up as to how raw, powerful and soul seering television drama can be. While there have been other series that can stand alongside The Shield, none of them surpass it. It's as good as it gets. "
A glass half empty, glass half full season
Mike | San Jose, CA | 04/14/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Glass Half Empty Review: From the moment her character is introduced, it is obvious that Glenn Close's Captain Monica Rawling is positioned for a fall, and a big one. For those who have followed the Strike Team for 3 seasons, it's splintered. Suspension of disbelief is required as some elements are introduced into the season's plot. During the first few episodes, Anthony Anderson's bad guy Antwon Mitchell seems like another textbook "drug dealer hiding behind his fake community leader" facade. Glass Half Full Review: Glenn Close is good in her role...very, very good, and it showed no small amount of risk taking for creator Sean Ryan to "cleanse the palate" after Benito Martinez's Captain Aceveda's ascension to city council by introducing a strong female lead. The strength of The Shield lies in the fact that every character, from the most noble to the most evil, is flawed in some way (just like real life). Rawling is no exception. By splintering the Strike Team, Ryan has plenty of free space to peel back the layers of each character. Everyone evolves, including the Dutch-Claudette dynamic, Dutch's awkward blind date with Claudette's friend (caught on a surveillance cam and savored in the Clubhouse by Vic & friends), Dutch asking Corinne out on a date, Julian's refusal to break down the doors of a church stocked to the rafters with black tar heroin, and Aceveda's visit to...OK, that's enough teasers. The events of Season 5, particularly the Lem-Shane dynamic, pack a MUCH greater punch when you allow Season 4 to set them in motion for you. And Antwon? You'll find out that the hype surrounding this character is no hype when you hit Disc 2. Glass half empty, glass half full...a transitional season with no apologies, and still one of the best...if not THE best...shows on television."
Anderson and Close great additions for season four!
Eddie Lancekick | Pacific Northwest | 07/09/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"By now the quasi-criminal multi storied series "The Shield" has garnered enough fan support to trek on at a blistering pace. With season four, plotlines explode and more major changes that had built up from season three are laid out on the table with safeties off and the barrels pointing in all directions. The ricochet effect is fun to follow as we never know what is going to happen next, whether it is within a drug cartel storyline, the personal trauma outside of "The Barn" (the HQ of the Farmington police) or the character developments themselves.
The latter really was a jolt as we saw some supreme changes. Forget the linear path of the ricocheting bullet, can you say, "He did a complete 360??" You'll be saying that when you witness the choices some of the characters make. Aceveda, Vic Mackey, Shane, as well as some loopy loops with a man recently let loose from prison who is trying to act like a saint for the community (Anthony Anderson as Antwon Mitchell) while building up his drug trade at the same time. Farmington will also experience death, which makes the show come across even more "realistically" than past seasons. This climatic action will couple with the actions of Shane trying to go his own with another unit only to find himself, as we saw at the end of season three, begin to backfire on him. As mentioned in the title, perhaps the greatest part of season four is the introductions of the already mentioned Antwon Mitchell and superstar actress Glenn Close! Glenn plays the new police captain Monica Rawling and her no nonsense attitude and passionate micro management style rubs elbows with many at the beginning. In the show, her past has a connection with Mitchell as she had worked with a partner who ultimately played dirty cop to put Mitchell in prison for over a dozen years. Mitchell was no saint though; don't think he was one of those guys that were "wronged". Anderson, who's played in a ton of movies and television shows, really brings out the bad side of his character in great ways. I used to love watching his funny antics and mannerisms in "Me myself, and Irene". You won't find a fun loving pudgy kid here; Mitchell is all business, dirty, down, and ready to cross any line. He's also a leader and that is what scares the department as he holds meetings with community members in telling them to take back their streets from dirty cops.
Season four again shows Shane married, and now with a baby, but no longer in the department. He's now on his own with another department and quickly uses the trades of the craft of "dirty" cop he learned while working with the strike team to get close to Mitchell. Before he knows it, him and his partner "Army" (so named because he's an Iraqi war vet from the army) soon find themselves in deeper than they ever want to be. Before Shane knows what is happening, Mitchell has him wrapped around his finger, and the body of former strike team member officer Lemansky's CI (Confidential Informant) with Shane and Army's bullets in her as collateral. This plotline is superb as we see and more importantly, FEEL Shane's agony as he realizes he's in over his head. Mitchell offers him a way out that doesn't help matters: Vic Mackey's body for the girl's body. A body for a body. Little does Shane know that the Dodge Durango issued to him still has the video camera in it while he's doing some work with Farmington, and the conversation is later seen by the former strike team members. Close does a stupendous job as the new captain and at the same time she's battling her own demons on the surface. Aceveda, who formerly held the job, is now on the city council and doing everything he can to undermine her power. Her new "seizure" policy is working, but it's rustling up the natives to the point of an all out war. The policy is part of a federal law that allows the department to seize and auction off any item known to be bought with drug money. Before they know it, people are without cars and homes in many of the outlying neighborhoods, and the moral question comes into play. She sticks to her guns despite eventually finding that, like Shane, when you go down that path so long, even if you feel right about it, you can reach the point of no return.
This ultimately leads up to one of the biggest and most traumatic stories of the entire series history. One-night officers Scooby and Carl don't check in with dispatch after responding to a 9-11 call. After they don't turn up, and all out search is done throughout the area the next day. Eventually their bodies are found inside a seizure house. They have both been bound and stabbed to death. The loss of these two officers enrages the police force while at the same time leaving the community reaction as "we told you so". Meanwhile, back at "The Barn", Shane has now come clean and teamed up with his old strike team so that they can make a clean sweep of the "collateral body" and find Antwon Mitchell guilty of the cop killings. Things seem to come together but then fall apart. A misunderstanding about what "horses" the body is at (the strike team think stables, when it actually means in the same park area, a carnival carousel ride) leaves the team out of time before Antwon reveals where the body is. Now they have to tell the captain what is going on and hopefully not have Shane and Army lose their careers. Mitchell is eventually found guilty of killing the girl when he needed to squeeze Shane of power, but they soon tag the hit on the dead cops on him as well.
Things again take a turn for the worse: This is where Aceveda comes in. He was the former police chief now on the city council. During an altercation in a house bust in season three, Aceveda found himself outnumbered by a couple of hoods and in order to save his life he had to do something of sexual nature that was very disturbing and humiliating. The act was caught on cell phone. Jump forward to season four, now the guy is in jail and telling Aceveda that unless he gets him off that he'll tell the world AND show the picture. Aceveda turns to Antwon and lets him strike a deal with the DA to turn in the higher ups on the El Salvador arms deals that are pumping AK's into the streets. On the side Aceveda asks him to make sure for the guy who made aceveda do dirty deeds in the home to "miss the court date". Ultimately the man ends up a little worse for wear than Aceveda imagines, and Antwon goes with a plea bargain. When word of all this gets back the barn, Monica Rawlings as well as Vick Mackey (Michael Chiklis) are outraged. Oh I forgot to mention that the ordeal Aceveda went through seemingly unlocked some weird sexual fantasies of his own as he starts seeing a high-class prostitute. Yeah, like I said, he did a complete 360. I can only wonder who in season five is going to have their characters habits and actions get turned upside down!
Several of my friends felt that seasons three and four were not as good as the first two, but I disagree. If we had everything like the first two, we would be done. It would become a spinning wheel in the mud and eventually bog down to an end. Instead this wheel is always moving, always finding traction, and turning at any given time, even doing a "360" now and again! Great character twists, plots that have purpose and direction with surprising outcomes, and tight writing that doesn't leave a stone, or new leaf unturned, makes season four a season to remember. I only hope that we see more of Close and Anderson in the future, even though their fates were both pretty much sealed by seasons end."