DVD Review: The Shield - The Complete Fourth Season
Release Date: December 26, 2005
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
· Michael Chiklis
· Glenn Close
· Catherine Dent
· Walton Goggins
· Michael Jace
· Official Site
by Chad Maddux
Published: December 20, 2005
The Shield is described as an in-your-face cop drama. That description is accurate. It breaks the conventional presentation of cop dramas as it features corrupt cops that, despite their corruption, do their jobs effectively.
Michael Chiklis is perfect for the show and stars as Vic Mackey, the leader of the elite unit known as Strike Team. They operate under their own rules but the fourth season introduces a new captain that will shake things up. Glenn Close joins the cast (for this season only) as Captain Monica Rawling. This superb actress adds some punch to this award-winning series.
The Shield airs on FX and is now the longest running running series in FX history. Its fifth season has already been filmed. The unique style of the show along with the tough strories make the show an incredible treat.
The fourth season features thirteen episodes that aired from March 15, 2005 through June 14, 2005. During this season, the new Captain, Monica Rawling, plans to implement her new gang policies as Vic struggles with his past. Vic tries to find a teenager but gets his fellow cops caught in a shootout. The city is near a gang war as Monica and Vic tried to find a way to prevent more carnage. Vic must prove his worth to Monica as he hunts down an escaped convict. Vic and Monica bust a major heroin operation. Vic and Monica strike a deal with the DEA to bust Antwon's tar heroin operation but the bust leaves them empty-handed. A brewing scandal involving Vic and a videotaped bust forces Monica and Vic off of a sting.
Two informants are found brutally murdered; Monica and Vic try to get all of their informants of the street before they end up dead. Two officers disappear while responding to a call, and Monica orders her units to tear the city apart to find them. Monica learns that Vic and Shane have been hiding information from her. The Strike Team uses their powers to track down the cop killers. Monica and Vic uncover a link to the murdered cops. The Strike Team work to put Antwon back in prison after he strikes a deal with DEA to get out.
In addition to the incredible season, this set is full of bonus features. The only feature explicitly labeled as a bonus feature in the DVD menu is the documentary "Under the Skin." This 1 hour, 47 second featurette is an extraordinarily in-depth look at the show. This is the longest documentary I've ever encountered on a DVD's bonus features. The cast and crew discuss, at length, many aspects of the show which are intertwined with behind-the-scenes shots and actual scenes. The documentary is so long that it has been broken down into 11 episodes for easy navigation. The documentary might be a bit long but leaves no question unanswered.
Eight of the thirteen episodes feature optional commentary tracks. There are also a total of 42 deleted scenes. Of those 42 deleted scenes, 37 also come with additional audio commentary tracks. This level of commentary tracks is rarely seen. I've never seen audio commentary tracks that accompany deleted scenes. The designers of this set did an excellent job of packing in plenty of extras.
The set has four single-sided discs that are stored in individual slim clear cases that all slide into the outer box. The DVD menus are also worth noting. They are some of the most spectacular designs of any DVD I've viewed. They are an assortment of pictures (made to look like polaroid photos) tacked to a bulletin board with the menu options placed in the middle. The options have also been placed in a vertical line which eliminates the awkward navigation required of some menus when menu options are haphazardly placed around the screen. Overall, this set is incredible and is definitely a worthwhile investment for any fan of the show.
Also available for purchase: Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3
New episodes return in 2006 on FX.
|Episodes and Bonus Features of Season Four
15 Deleted Scenes**
14 Deleted Scenes**
Back in the Hole (Extended Episode)*
A Thousand Deaths*
7 Deleted Scenes**
Ain't That a Shame*
6 Deleted Scenes*
"Under The Skin" Documentary (60:47)
* Episodes denoted with an asterisk feature additional audio commentary tracks.
** Additional audio commentary tracks are available for deleted scenes (five deleted scenes from Disc One do not have additional tracks).