"It's all gone to s**t so fast. Everyone is falling now."
This week the quote comes not from the show by from my brother who watched this episode with me at my place. We've been sat for forty minutes watching just about every single last thing on the show fall apart and everything that, well, everyone has worked for fall down.
Read about the end times beyond the link...
Almost every single character was brought low this episode, there was one rising star amongst it all and more on him later, but for the rest? Vic unable to do almost anything without his badge. Shane forced to scrabble about squatting while his little boy suffers with hooping cough. Billings planting evidence (or having it planted) to remove a registered sex offender from his ex-wives neighbourhood. Dutch manipulating Lloyd's mother. Julien being busted (at least temporarily) back down to uniform. The Strike Team disbanded. And to cap it all off, Ronnie cracking when confronted by Claudette and providing a story that is bedded in enough truth that he might just pull it off.
Acevada is the only person who seems to be on the ascendancy now, he's playing hard ball with I.C.E. over Pezula. It's making him somewhat unlikable, but I can completely understand what he's doing and why he's doing it. Becoming mayor is his chance, his step to walk away and make a difference. Working for I.C.E. is putting that at a risk. But the way he delivered his ultimatum was exceptionally cold. I suspect being close to Vic all these years has tainted him, much like it taints everyone. Regardless, it's great to see the I.C.E. case build up to a massive target, it's a shame that Vic doesn't seem able to hang his coat tails on this one yet. If he can do something there it might save him somewhat.
Lets move onto Vic, he looks so tired and worn out now. Left scrambling around in the dark with absolutely no chance of salvation. It's clear that he's a man with few options left and almost nothing to lose,
The hospital scene was a little, weak overall, the build up was amazing, but the payoff afterwards was a little weak. No questioning of Shane and Mara by the arresting police officers, not even an attempt to detain them, especially as you have Vic with his gun levelled at a man, his wife and their child. Surely other members of the LAPD could put that together, you'd think that something would be released to other districts. It was a great moment as he levelled his gun at them, shame the writers didn't know where to go from there. Vic should have bugged out and started running before the police fully arrived. Mind you, the way it did play out was the best one fore Vic, he would have been on CCTV otherwise.
Just in case you're wondering, Vic is chasing after them with a Desert Eagle, his police sidearm was a S&W 4506.
Ronnie played his hand so well, if Shane and Vic don't screw things up for him he now has a good shot at turning away from this dark time in his life and moving on. Claudette was quite right not to let him carry on the Strike Team after what happened, but hopefully he'll get another chance at things. Then again, he could still end up catching a bullet before it's all over.
I'm thoroughly impressed with Julien, he's come out of his time on the Strike Team as a complete straight edge, refusing to leak information to Ronnie under any circumstances. He knows enough to understand what would happen if he did and he knows not to break the rules. But I can't help wonder if Tina is leaking information to Ronnie anyway, he did seem very well informed for someone who's supposed to be confined to a desk and kept out of the loop.
Dutch's serial killer pursuit heats up here. I'm starting to get a little concerned about what's going to happen to him, Lloyd is definitely a serious threat, both to his mother and to Dutch. If he isn't careful he could end up becoming a victim to his greatest obsession. The irony of Dutch being killed by a budding serial killer isn't lost on me.
In an episode with so much going on it would be easy to lose Billings, but instead his given a strong story to play with. The parallels between Vic/Shane and Billings/Dutch were obvious, I don't think the show needed Dutch to spell it out for the viewers. It could be the start of a dark path for Billings, he idolises Vic enough already, he doesn't need to start emulating Vic as well.
And last of all, Shane and Mara. Reduced to running around LA barely one step ahead of Vic, desperately hiding. Forced to squat, reduced to threatening over the phone. It's incredible how far and fast they've fallen in the matter of moments. The phone conversation between Vic and Shane was electrifying, gone were all the pretences and the two men were able to admit just how much they hated each other. Likewise the conversations between Mara and Corrine show the difference between the two women, Mara is a complete shrew, but she's strong and capable. Willing to back up Shane all the way, refusing to take the easy way out and even able to turn Corrine away from Vic.
Utterly brilliant episode with so much tension and action it was untrue. It seems everyone is set to implode at this point and only a few people look able to escape from the train wreck this show has become. I can't wait for this final month to pan out. I'm more excited than I was watching the final episodes of 'The Wire' and the end of last season's Dexter.
OK few things to consider before we leave:
• Vic has a blank passport. That's an insurance option for him there. New life, fresh start.
• Vic's pushing hard with I.C.E. I'm not convinced he'd get a post in the department, but it would be wonderfully ironic if he did. Having Vic wander into the Barn one final time in his I.C.E. jacket just so he could stick it to Claudette would be great.
• Ronnie is one heck of a prodigy, he's not only learnt from Vic he's evolved beyond him. Shane doesn't know how to do things right, Ronnie does.
• Still no sign of Danny. One last appearance for her please!