The Shield

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Tuesday 10:00 PM Mar 12, 2002 on FX
out of 10
User Rating
288 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Detective Vic Mackey leads an aggressive Anti-Gang unit called the Strike Team. They are ramping up their control in the Farmington district, while Captain David Aceveda is working to eliminate corruption in the precinct. Aceveda and Detective Terry Crowley team-up to bring down the Strike Team. Meanwhile, detectives, Dutch Wagenbach and Claudette Wyms, investigate a murder wherein a young girl was kidnapped by the victim's addict husband.


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  • Over the top

    Watched the first two episodes of The Shield yesterday. I kinda liked it, but man, it takes itself very serious doesn't it? I had *no clue* why the guy was shot at the end of the episode. Sure, he was going to 'rat them out', but to shoot him on his first mission. The could've just kicked the guy out of the strike force. If they really, really needed to kill him, wouldn't waiting a couple of missions be a bit smarter? Hope it gets better.moreless
  • An introduction to Vic Mackey and the world of dirty cops *Spoilers*

    This, the pilot episode of the shield, was a great start for an amazing series. We are introduced to an original story of drug dealers, gangs and dirty cops. There is alot going on in this episode...

    The Strike Team is constructed of 4 people: Shane Vendrell, Curtis Lemanksy, Ronnie Gardocki and the leader Vic Mackey. Aceveda, who is head of the Farmington police department for 4 months, doesn't trust Vic. He adds one new member to the Strike Team, Terry Crowley who acts as an informant. The Dutch and Claudette plot deal with a women found dead in her house with her daughter missing. The suspect of the murder, who is a drug addict and husband of the dead women admits to killing his wife, and also stating that he sold his own daughter. The Strike Team bust a drug dealers house in the last minutes of the episode, they take out the men. Vic turns to Terry and shoots him dead.

    Shocking ending to an amazing pilot. This instantly hooked me to the series.moreless
  • received dvd season 1 for xmas

    Been watching this human failure for 6 years. Since the time season 2 started. I only caught a few of the first season episodes. Now that its done I'm ready to start from the beginning. This is great, I will be enjoying watching this drama from the get go. I did not realize that Vic went and killed Terry in the very first episode. What a way to hook, line and sinker an audience. Everyone on the show looks so young and naive except Vic and his crew. The character changes in the cast over 7 years is nothing short of incredible. This show was blessed with a great plot and even better acting. Well done by all. KCmoreless
  • Pushes the envelope further than any basic cable TV network show of its time.

    I've been watching The Shield since the day it aired in March 2002, however I have never reviewed it online. Everyone else that has reviewed it (favorably) has summed it up for me so there's not much left for me to say..

    Except the my first viewing of this episode left me absolutely speechless. This show, at the time, pushed the envelope further than any other show on the air at the time. After Mackey and the Strike team chases down their suspect and pulls down his pants...exposing his arse on national TV I KNEW instantly that this show would be one of my favorites TV dramas of all time!

    Rarely do I side with the "bad guys" (except in the movie "Heat" and some others), but not once did I ever want any of the Strike Team members to get caught. From episode one, this show has kept me on the edge of my seating impatiently waiting for more!moreless
  • I have heard for many years that The Shield was worth watching. Now, with The Sopranos gone, I was looking for something to fill the void. I may have found it.moreless

    Don't get me wrong- I'm not ready to declare this series on a par with The Sopranos. I don't know if that level of quality will ever exist on the small screen (or anywhere else, for that matter) again. But this is a very good show in its own right.

    The pilot episode wastes no time in sucking the viewer right in to the gritty, violent world of Vic Mackey and his Strike Team task force cops. Vic does whatever it takes to get the job done, and his superiors have turned a blind eye to his questionable methods as long as he produces. That is, until now. A new Captain is after Vic's badge, and he is willing to use his own extreme methods to take this dirty cop down.

    This is a series that, like The Sopranos, couldn't be realistically done anywhere other than cable. There is plenty of cursing, violence and general bad behavior, though not the nudity and gore of an HBO or Showtime series. It's enough to get the job done with a credible sense of realism, though. The pilot and its gut punch of an ending made me want to follow more of this story, and that's all you could ask for. We'll see how it turns out. I still miss ole Ton' on Sunday nights, though *sigh*moreless
CCH Pounder

CCH Pounder

Detective Claudette Wyms

Michael Chiklis

Michael Chiklis

Detective Vic Mackey

Jay Karnes

Jay Karnes

Detective Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach

Michael Jace

Michael Jace

Officer Julien Lowe

Reed Diamond

Reed Diamond

Detective Terry Crowley

Walton Goggins

Walton Goggins

Detective Shane Vendrell

Michael Reid MacKay

Michael Reid MacKay


Guest Star

Ricki Lopez

Ricki Lopez

Miguel Michael

Guest Star

Max Perlich

Max Perlich

"Ponyboy" Harris

Guest Star

Jamie Brown

Jamie Brown

Connie Reisler

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Danny tells her date to wait a moment, she holds up one finger with her left hand. The next camera angle shows her doing it with her right.

    • At 9:08 Danni has a badge with a flag in the middle. At 40:44, the badge is different with a different design.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Aceveda: In this building, I'm in charge.
      Vic: Well, maybe in your mind amigo. But in the real world I don't answer to you. Not today, not tomorrow, not even on Cinco De Mayo.

    • Dutch: Our unsub's disorganized, probably has a record, no history of violence.
      Claudette: Unsub?
      Dutch: Unidentified subject.
      Claudette: You mean the killer.
      Dutch: Yeah.
      Claudette: Then just say that!

    • Dutch: (looking at dead body) Christ! You do not see a pair like that everyday.
      Claudette: It's called rigor.
      Dutch: Rigor or no rigor, that's a serious rack.
      Claudette: You wanna give 'em a squeeze?
      Dutch: How much time we got before the ME shows up?

    • Dutch: Okay, who took my Ding Dongs?
      Vic: What are you? In kindergarten?

    • Dr. Grady: What's in the bag?
      (From a brown paper bag, Mackey pulls a bottle of booze, a phone book, keys, a lighter and box cutter. He then lays them on the table in front of Grady.)
      Dr. Grady: What's that stuff for?
      Mackey: It's what I'm gonna use to get you to tell me where Jenny Reeborg is.
      Dr. Grady: Your turn to play bad cop?
      Mackey: Nah, good cop and bad cop left for the day, I'm a different kinda cop.
      Dr. Grady: (To the surveillance camera) I'm ready to see my lawyer now.

    • Vic: That's funny. I don't recall having signed up for an ethics lesson from a scumbag defense lawyer.

  • NOTES (6)

    • The character of Claudette Wyms was originally supposed to be a man, but a phone call from CCH Pounder's agent convinced creator, Shawn Ryan to change the detective to a woman. At Pounder's request, none of the original dialogue was changed, this was done so that the character would be able to "hold her own" and wouldn't have to "hold back" with her fellow detectives.

    • A scene was deleted where Julian gets a BJ from another guy, revealing that he was gay in the pilot. But the scene was cut so that it would have a bigger build when it took place later int he series. As a result, Julian is the only character not featured in the final musical clips. The deleted clip can be found on the Season 1 DVD.

    • Music heard during this episode:

      Theme Song: "Just Another Day " by Vivian Romero, Rodney Alejandro, and Ernesto Bautista from an unpublished CD.
      "Bawitdaba" by Kid Rock from the album, "Devil Without a Cause".

    • Later episodes have flashbacks involving Reed Diamond. In episode 2 there is new material with Reed in the flashbacks.

    • 4.8 million viewers tuned in for the series premiere.

    • This is the final episode for Reed Diamond.


    • Serpico

      This episode is very much like the 1973 movie Serpico, with Al Pacino. Terry Crowley plays the role of the honest cop, determined to bring down corruption within the Police Force. What happens to Terry later in the episode is similar to that of Frank Serpico, but only with a different outcome.

    • Dodger Stadium Was opened in 1962 in Los Angeles, California. The stadium can hold 56,000 fans, and hosted eight World Series games.