The Shield: Season 3 (2004)


Season 3
The Shield

Critics Consensus

The Shield offers viewers no buffer between themselves and the corruption of Vic Mackey's crew -- and the series remains all the more compelling for it, compounding each of its vividly-drawn characters' complicity and compromise to harrowing effect in an explosive third season.



Critic Ratings: 14


Audience Score

User Ratings: 35

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Air date: Mar 9, 2004

Two men are found executed with their feet cut off, and it's soon determined that they're members of the Armenian mob. While Dutch (Jay Karnes) investigates the case, Vic (Michael Chiklis) and his Strike Team realize that the Armenians think the "Money Train" robbery (from season two) was an inside job. A routine drug bust leads to a cache of ammo, which Vic discovers intended for a large number of MP-5 weapons that were stolen from the military. Vic works his contacts in the Byz Latz and the One-Niners in an effort to track down the guns before they are used in a potential gang war. Claudette (CCH Pounder) clashes with Aceveda (Benito Martinez) when he delays turning control of The Barn over to her. Corrine (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) hires Owen (Vincent Angell) to tutor Matthew (Joel Rosenthal) and informs Vic that she is going back to work to help pay for it. Vic also argues with Shane (Walton Goggins), who wants to buy a car for his new girlfriend, Mara (Michele Hicks). Danny (Catherine Dent), working as a school security guard while she appeals her firing, learns that Aceveda can get her back on the force if she'll agree to keep an eye on her fellow officers for him. An agent from the treasury department shows up at The Barn to speak with Aceveda because some of the money stolen from the Armenians had been marked during a sting operation.

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Air date: Mar 16, 2004

Unaware that some of the "Money Train" cash has been marked by the feds, Vic (Michael Chiklis) decides to use some of it for a sting operation to track down the stolen military weaponry. Vic and Shane (Walton Goggins) pose as white supremacists to buy the guns, but things go wrong when Garza (Guillermo Diaz) the Byz Latz gang leader who's supposed to sell them the guns, double-crosses and outflanks them, making off with their cash. The Strike Team has to scramble to get the cash back and find the weapons in order to avert a gang war, all without letting team member Tavon (Brian J. White), who wasn't in on the "Money Train" heist, find out what they're up to. Garza is also apparently involved in a murder case that Dutch (Jay Karnes) and Claudette (CCH Pounder) are investigating. It's an apparent gang hit, but the only witness, Esteban (Jeremy Ray Valdez), is a bookish young man, a friend of the victim who claims he didn't see anything. Vic tries to use Diagur (Frankie Rodriguez), Garza's number two man, to take down Garza. Claudette goes over Aceveda's (Benito Martinez) head in an effort to get her promotion. Julien (Michael Jace) and his partner, Tommy (Matt Gerald), face a charge of excessive force, and Danny (Catherine Dent) returns to work.

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Air date: Mar 23, 2004

Aceveda (Benito Martinez) uses his political clout to bring in the Decoy Squad, an elite unit from another division. To placate the disgruntled Claudette (CCH Pounder), he puts her in charge of both the Decoy Squad and the Strike Team. Vic (Michael Chiklis) is none too happy about sharing his space with another group, particularly while the Strike Team is trying to figure out what to do about the marked money they stole. The two groups team up in a prostitution sting, which nets a local politician, causing some political friction for Aceveda (Benito Martinez). Farrah (Mageina Tovah), a prostitute, recognizes Vic from his work with his murdered C.I., Connie, and offers to help him bring down her pimp, Smooth (Faruq Tuaheed), who recently kicked her to the curb. Vic wants nothing to do with her, but Claudette orders him to work the case. Dutch (Jay Karnes) is called in on a rape case in which the victim was an elderly woman. He brings in Paul Fets (Brent Sexton), a local registered sex offender, for an interrogation. Shane's (Walton Goggins) problems at home with Mara (Michele Hicks) continue to have an impact on his work.

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Air date: Mar 30, 2004

Mara (Michele Hicks) is pregnant, and Shane (Walton Goggins) announces to his co-workers that he's getting married, while Vic (Michael Chiklis) bites his tongue. Tavon (Brian J. White) wants to transfer out of the Strike Team, but at Vic's behest, he agrees to try to make peace with Shane. Danny (Catherine Dent) gets a domestic disturbance call that brings her to Julien's (Michael Jace) house. Dutch (Jay Karnes) tries a new interrogation tactic on an attempted murder suspect. When it backfires, he's forced to call upon the harried Claudette (CCH Pounder) for help. Aceveda (Benito Martinez) forces Danny and Julien to partner up again. Claudette assigns both the Strike Team and the Decoy Squad to a high-profile robbery/carjacking case in which a prominent homeless advocate was killed. Vic and Waylon (Gareth Williams), the leader of the Decoy Squad, decide to compete to solve the case, and make a friendly wager. Whichever team nabs the culprits first wins, and the losing team has to streak through The Barn.

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Air date: Apr 6, 2004

After his car accident, precipitated by his violent altercation with Shane (Walton Goggins) and Mara (Michele Hicks), Tavon (Brian J. White) is in the hospital with possible traumatic brain damage. Vic (Michael Chiklis) visits Shane at home to find out where he was last night, and sees through the couple's shaky cover story. Claudette (CCH Pounder) and Vic clash over his team's latest assignment, but it leads him to a bigger case involving a Byz Latz member sneaking contraband into Chino. Vic finds out that Aceveda (Benito Martinez) and a federal agent are interrogating his smuggling suspect, Aranis (Manuel G. Jimenez), about some marked bills in the money collected in the bust, and realizes that some of the cash from the "Money Train" robbery is marked. So while Aceveda and the fed try to track down the rest of the Byz Latz money, Vic is racing against them to make sure they don't find it. Vic's moves inadvertently lead to Aceveda having an ugly run-in with a couple of gang members. Julien (Michael Jace) and Danny (Catherine Dent) try to protect a woman who's being stalked by her ex-boyfriend. Dutch (Jay Karnes) and Claudette are called in on another two rape cases involving an elderly women, and realize that there's a serial rapist on the loose.

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Air date: Apr 13, 2004

Tommy (Matt Gerald), Julien's (Michael Jace) old partner, gets word that his ex-wife and son have been found murdered in their home. A detective from Wilshire division, where the crime was committed, is questioning Tommy as though he were a suspect. This enrages Vic (Michael Chiklis), who sees it as a territorial pissing match between the Wilshire captain and Aceveda (Benito Martinez), so Vic gets Julien and Danny (Catherine Dent) to join him in going "off the grid" to find the killer. This leads to some complications, as they find out that Tommy may actually have been involved in the deaths. Danny threatens to report them to Aceveda when Vic's tactics go too far. Vic also learns that Corrine (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) has more than a professional relationship with Matthew's (Joel Rosenthal) therapist, Owen (Vincent Angell). Aceveda orders Dutch (Jay Karnes) to give a press conference about the serial rapists, despite his protestations. Forced to talk to the press without having made much headway in the case, Dutch decides to bait the rapist by questioning his virility. It seems to work, as the criminal contacts a reporter, offering to talk with Dutch face to face, on camera. Aceveda gets an unhappy visit from his wife, Aurora (Camilia Sanes), who, unaware that he's recently been sexually assaulted, wonders why he hasn't come home for a few days. The Strike Team and the Decoy Squad team up again, this time to catch local thugs who have been assaulting gay hustlers. When Shane (Walton Goggins) asks why he's been singled out to go undercover as a decoy, Trish (Nicki Micheaux) tells him that none of the other cops "look gay enough."

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Air date: Apr 20, 2004

The president's in town, so The Barn is operating with a skeleton crew, which gives Vic (Michael Chiklis) and the Strike Team a window of opportunity. They somehow have to get the documents denoting the marked bills from the "Money Train" heist, which Aceveda (Benito Martinez) got from the treasury department, out of Aceveda's safe. Vic also has to deal with the mother of a teenaged girl who disappeared. The mom says a local street singer has written a narcocorrido detailing the girl's murder and burial. When Vic goes to search for the girl's body, he finds eight other corpses, all young illegals who died from exposure to methane. Vic also arranges an assignation with Lauren (Natalie Zea) of the canine unit, despite the fact that she's involved in a relationship. Aceveda gets rough with a suspect, and confides in a friend about his traumatic recent encounter with the two gang members.

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Air date: Apr 27, 2004

Ronnie (David Rees Snell) discovers that there is 7,000 dollars missing from the "Money Train" stash. He and Lem (Kenny Johnson) suspect Shane (Walton Goggins), but Vic (Michael Chiklis) doesn't believe it. Shane, meanwhile, decides to buy an engagement ring for Mara (Michele Hicks) from Taylor (RonReaco Lee), a fence. Julien (Michael Jace), desperate to have a child with his wife, visits a doctor about his sexual dysfunction. Dutch (Jay Karnes) takes Danny (Catherine Dent) out to look for the "cuddler" rapist, and later learns that an elderly woman was sexually assaulted and murdered just a few blocks away. A minor oversight by Claudette (CCH Pounder) endangers the lives of Trish (Nicki Micheaux) and Waylon (Gareth Williams), who are working undercover to bust a gang-related contract-murder business. Waylon's cover is blown, putting the cops in the precarious position of needing to alert Waylon not to go forward with the sting, without putting Trish in further jeopardy. Tommy (Matt Gerald) returns to the station to beg for his old job back. When neither Julien nor Danny seems enthusiastic about helping him, he takes drastic action.

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Air date: May 4, 2004

Corrine (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) is attacked at the hospital by an Asian man (Xuyen Tu Valdivia) she's trying to patch up. Vic (Michael Chiklis) argues with Owen (Vincent Angell) over whether or not she should go to the station and file a report. Vic plans to hunt down the perp regardless. Called away on other police business, he asks Julien (Michael Jace) to alert him when they catch the guy. Vic learns that the feds have traced some of the marked bills from the "Money Train" job to a bank in Indio. A talented young black graffiti artist is found lynched, and despite the fact that the victim had no gang affiliation, gang involvement is suspected. When a local Hispanic priest affiliated with Los Profetas is stabbed to death soon afterward, with the signature of the One-Niners, Aceveda (Benito Martinez) fears, rightly, that a gang war could erupt at any moment, and puts all of his available manpower on the case. Claudette (CCH Pounder) comes into conflict with Waylon (Gareth Williams) again over an assignment, and Vic continues to play both sides against the middle, offering to help Waylon get his Decoy Squad transferred out of the division, while appearing to support Claudette. When Vic puts his trust in the wrong gang leader, he tells Aceveda that it's because he's no longer in touch with the streets, and he needs to have the Strike Team turned loose again. Aceveda finally tells Aurora (Camilia Sanes) that he was sexually assaulted, and she is not as understanding as one might hope. This episode marked the directorial debut of star Michael Chiklis.

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Air date: May 11, 2004

Shane (Walton Goggins) now knows that Mara (Michele Hicks) stole the 7,000 dollars from the "Money Train" stash to send to her mother, Stella (DeLane Matthews), in Indio. At first, he tries to keep the information under wraps, and he and Mara come up with a cover story in hopes of keeping Stella quiet, but when Stella starts demanding more money, and gets a message to contact the Treasury Department, he tells the rest of the Strike Team. Lem (Kenny Johnson) points out that Mara would rat out the rest of the team to save Shane. Vic (Michael Chiklis) tries to keep everyone working together. The team finds a patsy (Jim Budig) to take the rest of the marked money. Aceveda (Benito Martinez) has been tracking Juan (Kurt Caceres), the Byz Latz gang member who assaulted him, and when Juan commits a convenience-store robbery, Aceveda is there to stop it, shooting one of his accomplices, while Juan escapes. The local media hail the captain as a hero. He assigns the Strike Team to help him find Juan. Vic realizes that Aceveda had been following Juan, and suspecting that it might have something to do with the stolen loot, he warns Byz Latz leader Diagur (Frankie Rodriguez) to get Juan out of the country. Dutch (Jay Karnes) and Claudette (CCH Pounder) use parking tickets to find a suspect in the "cuddler rapist" case, and interrogate the man's wife (Rebecca Pidgeon), leading to a huge break in the case.

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The Shield: Season 3 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.


Michael Chiklis
as Det. Vic Mackey
Benito Martinez
as Capt. David Aceveda
CCH Pounder
as Det. Claudette Wyms
Walton Goggins
as Det. Shane Vendrell
Cathy Cahlin Ryan
as Corrine Mackey
Catherine Dent
as Off. Danny Sofer
David Rees Snell
as Detective Ronnie Gardocki
Michael Jace
as Off. Julien Lowe
Kenny Johnson
as Detective Curtis "Lemonhead" Lemansky
Jay Karnes
as Det. Dutch Wagenbach
Natalie Zea
as Lauren Riley
Autumn Chiklis
as Cassidy Mackey
Nicki Micheaux
as Detective Trish George
Andrew Borba
as Vince Peabo
Matt Gerald
as Tommy Hisk
Joel Rosenthal
as Matthew Mackey
Aisha Hinds
as Annie Price
Michele Hicks
as Mara Sewell
Brian J. White
as Detective Tavon Garris
Gareth Williams
as Detective Waylon Burke
Vincent Angell
as Owen Thigpen
Rif Hutton
as James Freeman
Tom Yi
as Detective Rodriguez
Khary Payton
as Kaliel "Lil Psych" Wilks
Camilia Sanes
as Aurora Aceveda
J.C. MacKenzie
as Detective Kouf
Michael Benyaer
as Goma Magar
Daniel Dae Kim
as Thomas Choi
Lydia Look
as Tracy Pok
Matt Corboy
as Ray Carlson
DeLane Matthews
as Stella Sewell
Jernard Burks
as "Pretty Boy" Pyrums
Mia Wesley
as Gail Linley
Dominic Hoffman
as Louis Spearling
Sandy Mulvihill
as Ms. Emerich
Jose Ramon Rosario
as Pastor Gus Cruz
Tommy Hinkley
as Captain Steve Briggs
Larry Sullivan
as Detective Craig Milne
Nina Jane Barry
as Officer Cacuzza
Chris Guyton
as Big Crunk
Ron Canada
as Tom Bankston
Simon Rhee
as John Cho
Gichi Gamba
as Marlon Gault
Caroline Macey
as Doctor's Daughter
Nigel Gibbs
as Assistant Chief Roy Phillips
Laura Gray
as Patty Klopp
James Ryan
as Soren Arnovic
Efrain Figueroa
as Jorge Machado
Mo Chow
as Derwin
Cari Golden
as Rommi Cohen
Jim Zulevic
as Detective Camara
Mark Luna
as Suspect
Clark Gregg
as William Faulks
Mike Batayel
as Yervant
as Arno's Wife
Vahe Bejan
as Kail Saffian
Oded Gross
as Jon Nadler
Benita Marti
as Rahdika
Rudy Moreno
as Javier Sanchez
T.J. Hall
as Randall
Juan Carlos
as Spotter
as Xiomara
Glen Badyna
as Larry McBride
Chris Palmquist
as Dean Warrison
Bunnie Rivera Siler
as Irma Maldonado
Arnell Powell
as Darantay
Nathanial Moon
as Officer Ben
Yelyna de Leon
as Valentina
Dwayne L. Barnes
as Olias "Link" Linkletter
Patrick Montes
as Dr. Ausanta
Paul Hewitt
as Mark Baron
Elizabeth Jayne Hong
as Screaming Korean Wife
Kiran Rao
as Dr. Genty
Wanya Green
as Taniesha
Ken Cosby
as Clerk #1
Joe Ordaz
as Gallegos
Yvans Jourdain
as Storeowner
Rita Jett
as Clerk #2
Suyun Kim
as Korean Hostess
Luis Robledo
as Otilio Ramirez
Teres Byrne
as Rachel Carlino
Susan Oh
as Korean Woman
Larry Cedar
as Stan Carlino
Ken Garcia
as Chaydez
Peggy Miley
as Lou-Anne Klopp
Dennis W. Hall
as Prison Guard
C.W. Pyun
as Korean Man
as Clerk #5
Herzl Tobey
as Armin Chorekian
Kurt Caceres
as Juan Rizano
Herman Wilkins
as Jantell Davis
Aydiee Vaughn
as Clerk #6
Yuji Hasegawa
as Korean Man
Jeanette Miller
as Isabel Nelson
Christopher Smith
as Random White Clerk
Cal Gibson
as Albert
Steve Sotelo
as Ranchero
David Raibon
as Van Bro
Afemo Omilami
as Agent Nell
Tom Choi
as Sheriff
Chris Williams (XII)
as Agent Quigley
Derek Mears
as Crazyhouse
Baadja-Lyne Odums
as Diana Peabo
Julieta Espinoza
as Crying Woman
Roger Marks
as Yosef Rabinowitz
Yoann Cifuentes
as Avram Rabinowitz
Tom Holiday
as Reverend
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for The Shield Season 3

All Critics (14) | Top Critics (6)

In any discussion of TV's best series, The Shield deserves to be ranked with The Sopranos. Vic Mackey and Tony Soprano are the poster boys for great drama.

Oct 25, 2019 | Full Review…

Season 3 of The Shield has been what good television drama is all about -- an interesting, breathing mix of story, characters and actors, hitting on all cylinders.

Jan 30, 2019 | Full Review…

All you need to know is that Close is terrific as Rawling, in or out of uniform; that Chiklis as Mackey, who looked vulnerable last season, is all puffed up again, as if testosterone were natural gas.

Nov 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Season three ends as it began, with an across-the-board restructuring, and this one really sticks.

Aug 14, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Now, after watching this scene - which might possibly be the most brutal ever shown in an ad-supported TV show - I'm not sure I can recommend "The Shield" anymore.

Jun 12, 2018 | Full Review…

The third season of "The Shield" may not be as visually entertaining as its previous seasons, but the drama and political tension of the major plot lines skyrocket behind the creative team of writers and the amazing ensemble cast.

Oct 28, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

But once The Shield grabs you, it's awfully hard to turn away.

Aug 14, 2018 | Full Review…

The fact is "The Shield"...hit lower lows each season. That we still feel empathy for their characters is a testament to the kind of brilliant storytelling each trades in.

Mar 29, 2019 | Full Review…

This third-season finale certainly didn't disappoint.

Mar 29, 2019 | Full Review…

The Shield's moral center perpetually shifts, as the Team members struggle to maintain their sense of balance, caught between the outright villains and their own dishonesty.

Jan 30, 2019 | Full Review…

Comparisons to "The Sopranos," though understandable on many levels, are unnecessary. "The Shield" remains a compelling dramatic series on its own merits.

Nov 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Mackey exudes the kind of squad-room machismo and street daring that make him a cop's cop -- and a cop fan's cop as well.

Aug 14, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Shield: Season 3

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