The Shield: Season 2 (2003)


Season 2
The Shield

Critics Consensus

The Shield solidifies its status as an exceptional thriller with a sophomore season that doubles down on the squad's moral ambiguity.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 12

98%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 43

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 7, 2003

Armadillo Quintero (Danny Pino), a Mexican drug dealer, is in L.A. and is making his presence felt, brutally murdering two captains from rival gangs. Mackey (Michael Chiklis) has hired Gordie Liman (Mark Rolston), a private detective, to track down his missing wife, but he's not having much luck. While Mackey's been preoccupied with his domestic situation, Shane (Walton Goggins) has been increasing the Strike Team's involvement in the drug trade, and using their "retirement fund" to do it. When Mackey tries to take some of the money out to pay Liman, he finds out it's all tied up in a huge cocaine shipment. Things get worse when the shipment turns out to be tainted, nearly killing one of Tio's (Cedric Pendleton) men. Mackey soon learns that Armadillo and his brother, Navaro (Emilio Rivera), based in Mexico, are responsible for both the gang killings and the tainted drug shipment. Lanie Kellis (Lucinda Jenney), a civilian auditor, is investigating "The Barn," so Aceveda (Benito Martinez) asks Mackey to keep his act together, but Mackey decides to bring the Strike Team to Mexico to get their drug money back. The team takes Navaro hostage to get the money. Back in L.A., no one is willing to come forward against Armadillo except Mayda (Chelsea Rendon), a little girl whose brother Armadillo murdered. Dutch (Jay Karnes) wants to let her testify, but Claudette (CCH Pounder) is frightened for the child's safety. They bring Armadillo in for questioning, but don't have enough to hold him. Julien (Michael Jace) asks a struggling single mother out on a date. Lanie lets Aceveda know that his enemies on the city council want her to find dirt on him. He tells Mackey that he'll watch his back if Mackey gets his head back in the game.

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Air date: Jan 14, 2003

Mackey (Michael Chiklis) and the Strike Team bust some thugs that recently joined Armadillo's (Danny Pino) gang, and leave the team's calling card as a message. Armadillo responds by torching Tio's (Cedric Pendleton) drug crib, and leaves a dead pig at the scene with Mackey's card. Mackey tries to bully Claudette (C.C.H. Pounder) off the arson case, but Aceveda (Benito Martinez) tells them to work together. Claudette soon finds out that Tio is registered as one of Mackey's informants. She also finds a safe in the burned-out building, which contains Tio's cash and coded ledgers. Danny (Catherine Dent) and Julien (Michael Jace) investigate a complaint that a woman makes against her Syrian neighbor (Veena Bidasha), whom she accuses of being a terrorist. Dutch (Jay Karnes) takes Lanie (Lucinda Jenney) along as he investigates the shooting of a meter maid. Claudette finds the ledgers and questions Tio about who the person listed as "landlord" is. Tio's been coached, but Claudette starts to suspect what Mackey's up to. Mackey has Tio's boys burn down one of Armadillo's gangs buildings. While Claudette goes to investigate that arson, Mackey and Aceveda cut Tio loose. The dispute with the Arab neighbor turns violent, and Armadillo commits another murder, pushing Mackey over the edge. This episode was directed by John Badham (Saturday Night Fever).

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Air date: Jan 21, 2003

After viciously assaulting Armadillo (Danny Pino), Mackey (Michael Chiklis) storms off into the night. Claudette (C.C.H. Pounder) begins to investigate Tio's murder. Someone dumps a severed arm on Dutch's (Jay Karnes) desk, and he desperately tries to find the girl it belongs to in the hopes that she's being kept alive by whoever maimed her. After identifying the victim through fingerprints, he questions a couple, Marcy (Melanie Lynskey) and Bob (Marc Vann), who live nearby and claim to have seen the victim arguing with a man. Things take a strange turn when Dutch learns that Bob was charged with kidnapping years earlier. Dutch tries to bully Marcy into turning Bob in before it's too late. Joe (Carl Weathers of the Rocky movies), Mackey's old training partner, shows up with a plan to get revenge on Fleetwood Walker (Garland Whitt), the thug who successfully sued the department and ended his police career. Mackey helps him uncover Fleetwood's recent criminal activities before things turn sour. Danny (Catherine Dent) finds out that the wife of the Arab man she shot is suing her and the department, claiming she acted out of racial bias.

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Air date: Jan 28, 2003

Aceveda (Benito Martinez) gives Mackey (Michael Chiklis) a medal after the Fleetwood Walker bust. It turns out it was Lanie's (Lucinda Jenney) idea. The cops at "The Barn" also add a new twist to their annual "Toys for Guns" drive -- a raffle, which also gets them the address of everyone who turns in a gun, so they can trace back the guns that have been used to commit crimes. One is linked to an old unsolved murder case of Claudette's (CCH Pounder), and the trail eventually leads to Manny Sandoval (Jonathan Neil Schneider), a lowlife loan shark Claudette's been after for years. But Dutch (Jay Karnes) is having doubts about his own investigative instincts. Someone steals a bunch of diamonds using Shane's (Walton Goggins) badge, which was stolen in Tijuana. Mackey finds out they belonged to the Armenian mob, and convinces Aceveda to let him and Shane "pretend" to be corrupt cops and run a sting operation. But Aceveda wants Shane transferred off the Strike Team to make room for a minority applicant, in order to help the team's public image. Mackey and Shane find out that the "money train" of urban legend, through which the Armenian mob launders all the money they make in the western United States, actually exists, and Mackey decides to start planning the Strike Team's robbery. The Arab woman, Yahssira Al-Thani (Veena Bidasha), whose husband Danny (Catherine Dent) shot, claims that she has another witness to Danny's alleged racial insensitivity, but Aceveda continues to support Danny.

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Air date: Feb 4, 2003

Mackey (Michael Chiklis) and Shane (Walton Goggins) tell the team about their plans to take down the money train. Lem (Kenny Johnson) thinks it's a bad idea to take on the Armenian mob, and he bows out, making Shane and Mackey question his loyalty to them. Connie (Jamie Brown) shows up with a tip about a guy, Felipe (Jonathan Hernandez), who's giving heroin to school kids. Vic ends up giving her a CI contract. It turns out that Felipe is handing out free samples at schools throughout Farmington, and he's working for Armadillo (Danny Pino). Armadillo approaches Danny (Catherine Dent) on the street with a message for Mackey. He threatens to tell what he knows about Mackey's drug connections if he gets caught. Julien (Michael Jace) invites Danny to his wedding to Vanessa (Monnae Michaell), and Danny feels compelled to point out that Julien is gay. He insists that he's "reformed." Claudette (CCH Pounder) and Dutch (Jay Karnes) go looking for an old woman with Alzheimer's who's wandered off, and Dutch's newfound cynicism rears its head again. When Mackey decides to use Felipe as an undercover informant even though he's underage, Aceveda (Benito Martinez) objects. But when a three-year-old dies after ingesting the heroin he found in his brother's backpack, the captain knows he has to turn Mackey loose. The Strike Team decides that they have to get to Armadillo first and kill him before he can talk, but their sting doesn't go according to plan.

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Air date: Feb 11, 2003

Aceveda (Benito Martinez) finds a minority candidate for the Strike Team, but Mackey (Michael Chiklis) manages to scare the guy off. Danny (Catherine Dent) tells Julien (Michael Jace) she won't let his fiancée know about his "former" homosexuality, but she warns him that his secret could come back to haunt him. Worried about the threat from Armadillo, Mackey has a high tech security system installed in his home, and asks a PI friend to secretly keep an eye on his wife and kids. Danny is forced to apologize to Yahssira Al-Thani (Veena Bidasha) after the woman complains that she made threatening phone calls. As part of a new program for captains, Aceveda goes out on patrol with Julien, and bungles the investigation of a kid's stolen bike. Mackey, Claudette (CCH Pounder), and Dutch (Jay Karnes) investigate a massacre at a battered women's shelter, from which a young boy was kidnapped. The trail leads to the boy's father, who is holed up with a prostitute, so Mackey asks Connie (Jamie Brown) to use her connections to help him. While Dutch and Claudette clash over how to interrogate a uniform cop who's a friend of the firefighter suspect, Connie, thinking of a financial reward, takes her informant work a dangerous step further.

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Air date: Feb 18, 2003

The Strike Team rehearses for their planned robbery of the Armenian money train. Ronnie (David Rees Snell) seems particularly worried about being "greenlit" by Armadillo (Danny Pino). Aceveda (Benito Martinez) criticizes Dutch (Jay Karnes) for his handling of a recent case, in which he let Marcy (Melanie Lynskey) and her husband leave the station while a young woman was dying in the trunk of their car. When Dutch asks Marcy how she fooled him, she says, "I just let you fool yourself." Mackey (Michael Chiklis) is forced to deal with a domestic disturbance in the hotel where he's staying. Emma (Marguerite MacIntyre) criticizes his two-fisted technique, but it's clear that she's attracted to him. The Strike Team finds someone to launder their money for them. Tulips (Nichole Hiltz) returns to the station with a hot tip for Shane (Walton Goggins). Shane doesn't want anything to do with her, but Mackey insists that he follow her lead and make an easy bust. Danny (Catherine Dent) gets passed over for promotion because of the bogus complaints against her. Dutch becomes unsure of himself when a woman is found strangled in the park. He defers to Claudette (CCH Pounder) as they interrogate Stu (Mike Bruner), the obese suspect. Julien (Michael Jace) tells Vanessa (Monnae Michaell) that he's in a sexual reorientation program.

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Air date: Feb 25, 2003

A maimed Ronnie (David Rees Snell) tells Mackey (Michael Chiklis) that Armadillo (Danny Pino) did it. Claudette (CCH Pounder) tells Mackey she wants to help him find Armadillo, but Mackey doesn't want her help. The Strike Team dips into their retirement fund, spreading money out on the street to get info on Armadillo's whereabouts. Aceveda (Benito Martinez) tells Julien (Michael Jace) he's up for a promotion, and Julien marvels to Danny (Catherine Dent) about how well his life seems to be going. With Claudette busy trying to figure out what Mackey is up to, Dutch (Jay Karnes) enlists Danny's aid in solving an assault case. The Strike Team finds an informant, Little Pop (Frank Gallegos), who wants to get back at Armadillo for cutting him out of the drug trade. Corinne (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) shows up at the station after someone tries to break into her house, and ends up having an informative conversation with Claudette, which makes Mackey very angry. The Strike Team finds Armadillo, but before they can get to him, he turns himself in.

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Air date: Mar 4, 2003

This episode takes us back 14 months, to the origin of the Strike Team. A less hardened Mackey (Michael Chiklis) convinces Gilroy (John Diehl) to let him handpick and run the team, which will be based in a new satellite precinct, the Barn. Aceveda (Benito Martinez) gives them their first case, a drive-by shooting of two prostitutes. Mackey's informant, Connie (Jamie Brown) tells him it was a pimp/drug dealer named Lionel Phipps (Dayo Ade). The Strike Team butts heads with Aceveda, who likes to do things by the book, but demands immediate results. Mackey finds himself forced to cut corners, using Connie and a dealer who works for Phipps, Rondell Robinson (Walter Emanuel Jones), to plant evidence and bust Phipps. Danny (Catherine Dent) and her new rookie partner, Julien (Michael Jace), find a bloody, naked woman who has been kidnapped and raped. Claudette (CCH Pounder), Dutch (Jay Karnes), and an old vet, Tom Gannon (Ray Baker), take on the case, which leads them to a kidnapping ring that targets illegal immigrants and to a "ransom broker," Latigo (Richard Yniguez), who claims to be helping the families in exchange for a cut of the ransom. Dutch has never heard of Claudette, but he's in awe of Gannon, who once solved a major murder case. Gannon gossips about Dutch behind his back and plays pranks on him. Dutch soon discovers he works well with Claudette anyway. Aceveda seems eager to replace Mackey, and convinces Gilroy to let him pick his own man for the Strike Team, the ill-fated Terry Crowley (Reed Diamond). This episode was helmed by actor/director Peter Horton.

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Air date: Mar 11, 2003

Lannie's (Lucinda Jenney) scalding report on the Barn is leaked to the local newspapers, causing major embarrassment for Aceveda (Benito Martinez) and the Strike Team. Gilroy (John Diehl) calls Mackey (Michael Chiklis) to tell him that he's escaped house arrest, and that the DA wants him to rat Mackey out, so it would be in Mackey's best interest to help him get out of the country. Mackey is forced to deal with Gilroy, who may be setting him up, while a new officer, Aceveda's minority candidate, Tavon (Brian White), tries out for the Strike Team. The new police chief, Bankston (Ron Canada) lets Aceveda know that he plans to clean house, and Aceveda will have to resign after the city council election -- win or lose. While Claudette (CCH Pounder) works on a case -- involving an old woman who died of a heart attack around the time her home was broken into -- Lannie asks her for assistance in cleaning up the Barn. Danny (Catherine Dent), who's been tipped off by Claudette, angrily confronts Mackey about the murder in the holding pen that she's being blamed for.

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The Shield: Season 2 Photos

Tv Season Info

A corrupt and brutal LA detective runs an elite squad by his own rules in a neighbourhood ravaged by drugs and gangs.

Critic Reviews for The Shield Season 2

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (4)

It might make depressing viewing for those who prefer to see the world in black and white, but The Shield controls the middle ground, which is bathed in 1,000 shades of grey.

Oct 25, 2019 | Full Review…

The Shield is as gritty and dangerous and rude as before, a bracing wake-up from the stultifying sameness of most network dramas.

Oct 25, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

Episodes like this [finale] are why they came up with the word "game-changer."

Aug 14, 2018 | Full Review…

The cop show so different it tells you it's different about a dozen times every episode just in case you don't notice it's different, The Shield is back for a second season of belligerent chest-thumping.

Aug 30, 2017 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

The second season of The Shield is probably the least flawed hour of television that I have ever seen.

Oct 28, 2019 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

It's to Chiklis' credit that as powerful a force as he is on camera, he doesn't eclipse the work of others.

Oct 25, 2019 | Full Review…

If you come to The Shield just for a look at the bravura acting of 2002 Emmy winner Michael Chiklis, you'll stay to appreciate a daring police drama whose growing moral complexity redeems its occasional excesses.

Oct 25, 2019 | Full Review…

The writers, producers and directors are among the best in television, good enough to make you feel positively righteous in rooting for Mackey to hold the thin, blue line against the forces of darkness.

Oct 25, 2019 | Full Review…

The chiseled Chiklis imbues Mackey with incredible intensity and anger that almost makes you forget how implausible it is for him to get away with practically everything he does on both sides of the border in pursuit of his idea of justice.

Oct 25, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The Shield has taken a visible turn this season, structuring its horrors so that they pertain acutely to current anxieties.

Nov 19, 2018 | Full Review…

With Mackey and Aceveda forced to work together, "Shield" creator Shawn Ryan has diffused the Road Runner-Wile E. Coyote dynamic...It's a shakeup that ought to ensure more surprising twists in episodes to come.

Nov 19, 2018 | Full Review…

With half as many episodes as a typical series, the show doesn't get as bogged down in personal matters...which keeps things taut.

Aug 14, 2018 | Rating: 8/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Shield: Season 2

  • Jan 19, 2021
    The plot thickens.. and gets a bit complicated

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