This is the episode when dutch finally catches the cuddler rapist. Along with the fact that Danny finally goes undercover which she clarifies as one of the many things that shes wanted to do since she joined the force.
During this episode I noticed that there was a great character development that took place with Detective Wagenbach (dutch)played by Jay Karnes, also in the same sense, the development of David Aceveda played by Benito Martinez. At the beginning of the episode we are placed in a car with David Aceveda, who is apparently staking out the house or place of interest for the man who happened to sexually assault him a few episodes back. This brings a great point to mind in the way that David Aceveda is developing as a character in the way that he was obviously there to kill this man. Soon to be elected to council, this makes it an even more tender issue for him. The thing that I really like about this episode in the case of David Aceveda, is that it really makes you wonder what you would do if you were in his situation. Then of course, there is Dutch, who throughout the entire show has tried to make his mark on the earth, and ends up getting another case under his belt with this cuddler rapist case. This episode developed Jay Karne's character when he was interviewing the cuddler rapist near the end of the episode. I think that Dutch thinks that he has found his match with this guy, and he obviously thinks that there must be something special with this guy once he starts asking Dutch for help. I find it very interesting how Dutch ends up feeling like there's something missing in the puzzle with this cereal rapist/killer. He comes to realize that there is no such thing as a category for cereal killers, and when the guy is explaining to Dutch as to why he kills, it sparks an interest in Dutch that is only answered by him knowing for himself what this man is talking about. Dutch is unable to satisfy the killers wants in the aspect of finding someone that can help him, Dutch wants to be a better detective. In order for him to do that, he has to find out how these people think, and the whole death looking into the eyes thing seems to really leave a mark on Dutch. This episode was especially well written, and two thumbs way up to Jay Karnes on his amazing performance in the way that he adds more depth to Dutch.
Strays is an apt name for this episode, probably one of my least favorite so far. Why? Because it strays so far afield of the successful recipe The Shield has hewn to through lo, these 3 seasons. Okay, maybe that's a little too harsh an assessment. The episode has a serviceable enough storyline, with the Team stumbling onto a promising lead on a money laundering operation. Shane makes a rash move (what a surprise), and Vic gets more bad news on the home front. Danny goes undercover with the Team, and Claudette's budding romance seems to be going swimmingly. So, what's my problem with this ep, you may ask? It's the Dutch storyline. I think they bungled it. He finds the rapist, but then in what I think is a bit of misguided writing, he begins to identify too strongly with the guy. And the ending... too, too weird and out of character for me. Oh well, there's always the next episode... and, who knows- Bobby may still walk out of that shower yet.
Dutch finds himself out of his depth as he interviews the "Cuddler." A Strike Team bust sets up a major sting operation and Dani goes undercover for the first time. Shane feels he may be dead weight and persona non grata re: the Strike Team.
The insightfulness of the writing on this series never ceases to amaze me. Jay Karnes is superb as the smarty-pants Dutchster gets in way over his head, trying to neatly classify the "Cuddler," who refuses to be easily branded.
The final scene, when Dutch reacts in rage to the cat's hissing and scratching, will stay etched on my mind for quite a while.
The shifting moral compass of the various members of the Strike Team is absolutely fascinating. Shane veers from rage at Mara from having stolen from him to protective "daddy" as he feels Vic has disrespected her. Lem, while exasperated with Shane for having essentially created the mess, is nevertheless concerned that Vic just might make Shane's fears come true. And Vic, apalled as he is at Mara's duplicity and subsequent presumptiousness, can still not bring himself to break ties with Shane.
I am simply mesmerized by the quality of the storytelling in this series. I believe this is the best American dramatic series ever produced, far superior to The Sopranos.
Stray is just another great episode with the usual only with more character development this time. There's a lot to the episode like in a lot of episodes but of course the biggest is with Dutch boy. Don't miss this one or you'll be missing big, Dutch is a whole new person now. Wish I could give more.
Dutch finally catching the rapist is the focus really besides from Danny going undercover and all that. The money trail that seems to go more under hell and somebody reveals who took it, and more. Man it must suck to watch the show on TV and have to wait another week for a new episode, I've been watching the dvd all day and finished like 7 episodes.
Besides from Dutch, Shane decides to get married very unexpectedly and go to Vegas to do it, which I think may thin out relationships, man I love it when this show makes you think more will happen, more bad stuff. Vic's daughter Megan now will probably have autism as revealed, which I can only imagine will make the life with his wife even harder. Not to mention the money train secrecy will be under more risk if Vic has to hire more therapists to help two autistic kids now.
And finally Dutch catches the old grandma rapist. Even though the show has a lot of non Caucasian males and females committing crime the show does have its run of crazy white guys, which makes the show more real that way. Dam he was a crazy guy and interesting at the same. At many points I wanted to kill the guy myself but at the same I wanted to hear his thoughts. Then after he's all gone and dead Dutch does something weird and unexpected in the end.
He kills a meowing cat by his house after what he remembered hearing from the rapist of how he choked a dog once.
Strays has one of the most shocking endings ever in TV history. But before we get to it...
the episode had plenty of plots; but the most interesting was, without a doubt, the granny raper's storyline. Dutch interregates him, but it's not just another interregation.
'Granny raper' admints everything, however, he wants to be understood: why he did it. He wants to know the reason. Dutch thinks he knows, but he doesn't. And... then there's the ending. Dutch obviously isn't a killer. But to understand killers, you need to kill. The ending scene is a very critical moment of The Shield: many turned away from the show because of this: I had doubts too, but in the end, in The Shield, nobody's good or bad: everyone's IS good AND bad. Some people are more good than bad, some are....
Anyway, the ending. Dutch chokes a cat. 'Just' a cat? No, it wasn't 'just' a cat. The scene was so detailed, it made my heart stop: the cat fighting for it's life, Dutch looking deep into it's eyes.... and then it dies. Certainly, I eliminate animal cruelty. But since no animal was harmed, I'm safe to say: it was all worth it for the shock value. The other parts of the episode were pretty weak: The Strike Team is in trouble as usual, the money is wounding their friendship; Shane's girlfriend is a pain in the ass; no big plot advancement, except for Dutch of course.
Was this episode great or what. Especially for Dutch as finally he caught the serial rappist. As he got the insight of who this man i didnt know what to think as i was dumbfounded intrigued and everything else thats the beauty of the shield this episode w
Strays has to go down in history as one of the greatest shield episodes ever, but the thing that shines throughout the episode was dutch finally catching the cuddler rappist. That part was amazing as we got a true insight of why he was rapping those innocent old women. Of course dutch was left dumbfounded and got so into it he had to expeircence death himself and he did this by killing a stray cat. When he did that he didnt get the feeling the rappist did the feeling of power when killing something this was certainly a great episode.