The Shield

Season 6 Episode 2

Baptism by Fire

0
Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Apr 10, 2007 on FX
9.3
out of 10
User Rating
176 votes
13

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Kavanaugh acquires what he needs in order to apprehend Vic who is preoccupied with getting revenge on Guardo. Claudette finds herself under the political microscope as a result of the San Marcos incident, and Danny receives some news about her future at the Barn.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • In a desparate attempt to bring down Mackey, Kavanaugh becomes the very thing he hates. At the same time, Claudette finally shows Kavanaugh who is in charge. While this occurs Mackey's desire for revenge burns even hotter while Shane looks on.moreless

    9.8
    This season of The Shield looks to be the best so far. The entire cast is at the top of their game in this exciting and extremely well written episode. CCH Pounder gives her best performance to date which, I believe, is worthy of an Emmy nomination. Here Claudette shows that she has truly earned the rank of Captain and deserves to be where she is. This is only the second episode of the season, but it looks to be a great roller coaster ride for the rest of the way.moreless
  • I had heard through the grapevine that S6 wasn't so good, so I steeled myself to expect a letdown. I'm still waiting- so far (and I know it's still early yet), this season is blowing me away. And this ep stands right up there with the best of the series.moreless

    9.7
    Man, could Mackey's cojones be any bigger? He goes on the run from his own department, yet still continues his dogged pursuit of Guardo, trashing the rulebook (even more than usual) along the way. The scene where he stares down an entire batallion of bangers is priceless, vintage Vic Mackey. This is one baaaad mofo! The tour-de-force performances continue to come at you non-stop: Cathy Ryan as Corinne finally has a moment where she proves she can actually act her way out of a paper bag; CCH Pounder more than earns an Emmy nomination; Walton Goggins continues his jaw-droppingly intense immersion into the role of Shane; and Forest Whitaker finds so many new nuances every week in his interpretation of Kavanaugh that his performance should be required viewing at Acting 101 classes. But this is Michael Chiklis' show and, as usual, he turns in a smoldering, terrifying portrait of a man dancing on the edge of the abyss. This episode wisely foregoes the traditional case-of-the-week format to focus on the rich interactions among this sparkling cast, and the show is all the better for it.moreless
  • Solid.

    8.0
    The second installment of the season is solid. Classic Shield episode... – great drama with alot of character development… and amazing performances. What I love about Shield so much is the way Vic tries to control the situation. No matter how messy it is, he always finds a way out. This is no expectation – last episode Kavanaugh planted fake evidence into Vic’s appertment to prove him guilty, making Vic’s day somewhat troubleful… in the top of that, Vic’s only goal is to catch Lem’s „killer”. And that is exactly why Vic simply ignores Kavanaugh completetly, and goes after his own head. It’s so ironic, really. Lem being a hardass about every decision Vic makes – every decision which takes him one step closer to danger… yet he shouldn’t – Vic already found the killer, it’s Lem!



    Can’t deny, the writers really shook things up with this. But on the long run, it doesn’t pay off. I believe that, even after seeing only 2 „Lem-less” episodes. The main issue is that without Lem, it’s just Shane and Vic. Ronnie’s way too underdeveloped, and it’s way too late for the writers to develop his character. Too much time has passed. He’ll always be there, drop one or two absolutely bland lines, but that’s it. Lem’s a big loss, because the „team” isn’t the same without him. The show’s dynamics have changed dramatically.



    The episode’s most interesting aspect is how Kavanaugh tries to be Vic. Obviously, he fails. But, in my opinion, the biggest fault of the episode is that, he fails too soon. It’s not easy to act as a criminal, but Kav’s experience, and personality – I believe – would allow him to pull a Vic Mackey. I was also a little unsatisfied with Emolia’s conclusion. Somehow, I feel that, her character is more hated than felt sorry for. That’s exactly why I just couldn’t agree with Kav’s decision. He obviously confessed because Emolia was pushing him, and perhaps, even if Kav’s silent, Emolia’s story would’ve been bought, at least, he could’ve won some precious time.



    With Kavanaugh in prison, I really doubt we’ll see him again. As he said, he made peace. Which means, he won’t be attempting to escape, or do anything from behind bars. This was the exit of Kavanaugh, and the brilliant actor who portrayed him, Forest Whitaker. Amazing performance! Dutch and Claudette were absolutely out of focus this episode, they didn’t get a seperate storyline this time, only a few lines. Truth to be told, it was just the way it should have been. Kav’s line, is, in my opinion foreshadowing the final season of The Shield. Vic can’t play this game forever. Once, somewhere, sometime, he’ll get busted. So will Lem. And I can’t wait for that moment!



    Bottom line is, this was a great Shield episode. Although a major character’s exit wasn’t as brilliant as his entry, the episode kept me on the edge of my seat all along. Writing: 2/3

    Direction: 2/2

    Tilt: 2/3

    Acting: 2/2

    Overall: 8/10moreless
  • This is one of the best episodes since the last 3 seasons!

    9.6
    This is one of the best episodes since the last 3 seasons! Since the series lost in detective-like plot and not enough action (for me), i felt tringle on my nerves again! Not AS superb AS at the time of the moneytrain-robbery, but very cool though. GREAT! It's like the earlier time - go to mexico, fight dangerous thugs... and finally Kavanough got what he deserved. This character already irritated me, because he got boring during the last season. Now he's behind the bars, who thought! hehehemoreless
  • Kavanugh walks on the wild side, then breaks down; Vic continues his ill-informed crusade to avenge Lem; Shane feels bad.

    9.5
    Another great episode. Where to begin?



    I know that a lot of fans hate Kavanaugh. They hate Kavanaugh for the same reason they've hated Aceveda since "Pilot" and the same reason that they were mildly angry with Claudette in Season 2 and Dutch in Season 3 - because he's an adversary for Vic. Being an "enemy" of Vic, especially when it's a fellow cop, automatically demonizes said character in the eyes of fans.



    And because of that, I think that a lot of people miss out and the great character arc that Kavanaugh has had, starting with "Extraction" and ending (apparently) with this episode.



    For all intents and purposes, the Kavanaugh we saw in "Extraction" was the good guy. He was Johnny Law; the guy who enforced the rules; he who watched the watchmen. As last season progressed, we slowly saw Kavanaugh's case against Vic transform from just another case into a personal vendetta. So personal, in fact, that for a brief moment Kavanaugh was willing to sacrifice everything he believed in if it meant taking down Vic Mackey.



    I really, really like that Kavanaugh turned himself in. The writers could've gone a hundred different ways with this - Dutch could have figured it out, Claudette could've figured it out, Emolia could've ratted, Vic could've killed him, whatever - but the fact that he turns HIMSELF in is what makes the end of this character arc kind of beautiful. I love that Kavanaugh sees what he's on the verge of becoming and, in some ways, what he's already become, and puts an end to it immediately. Here we see Kavanaugh's "sink or swim" moment, and unlike Vic, he does the backstroke.



    I'm also really loving what's going on with Vic in this episode. I don't think that we've ever seen him this completely obsessed with anything before. He's completely obsessed, and what Shane says to him at the end of the episode is completely right (even if it is to stay his own guilt) - Vic's bullheadedness is going to end up getting him caught or killed or worse. Great episode. I can't wait until next week.moreless
Benito Martinez

Benito Martinez

Councilman David Aceveda

Catherine Dent

Catherine Dent

Officer Danielle "Danny" Sofer

Cathy Cahlin Ryan

Cathy Cahlin Ryan

Corrine Mackey

CCH Pounder

CCH Pounder

Captain Claudette Wyms

David Rees Snell

David Rees Snell

Detective Ronnie Gardocki

Jay Karnes

Jay Karnes

Detective Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach

Michele Moreno

Michele Moreno

Consuela

Guest Star

Jerry Hernandez

Jerry Hernandez

Young Salvadoran

Guest Star

Julian Scott Urena

Julian Scott Urena

Rocha

Guest Star

David Marciano

David Marciano

Detective Steve Billings

Recurring Role

Chaney Kley

Chaney Kley

Asher

Recurring Role

Onahoua Rodriguez

Onahoua Rodriguez

Emolia Melendez

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Gang member: You got no bullets, cerdo. All that smoke make you forget?
      Vic: I got one in the chamber, dickhead. Your homeys were too stoned to notice. One of you shoots me, my muscle twitch takes out your bad boy here. So, either you and I are gonna leave this basement together, or we're gonna leave this life together. You decide.

    • Vic: You've been a very busy boy. Planting evidence. Coercing witnesses. Assaulting my ex-wife.
      Kavanaugh: I learned from the master.

    • Vic: You preach all the existential bullshit you want. But I'm the one going home to my bed, while you're still here.
      Kavanaugh: I'm at peace. Are you?
      Vic: Soon enough.

    • Kavanaugh: (to Claudette) At least I have Mackey out of my life. He's not my problem anymore. He's yours.

    • Kavanaugh: I fed her the story. Coerced her statement. Planted the evidence in Mackey's house. But I framed a guilty man.

    • (The Strike Team are finally able to come out of hiding after Nydia leaves her home)
      Ronnie: How long does it take to eat a salad?
      Shane: We should be glad she didn't take a dump.

  • NOTES (1)

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: February 11, 2008 on Network 10
      Czech Republic: September 11, 2008 on AXN
      Finland: September 10, 2009 on Nelonen

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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