When “The Shield” first premiered on FX in 2002, the series was heralded as the forerunner of a new era in cable TV programming. With its gritty camera work and complex plotlines, “The Shield” paved the way for edgy shows like “Nip/Tuck” and “Rescue Me,” for which audiences should be thankful.

Season three of “The Shield” provides a compelling look into how an L.A. policeman and his motley crew of fellow cops (called The Barn) abuse criminals in brutal displays of violent justice. The Barn’s chief, David Aceveda (Benito Martinez), takes part in what might be the season’s most dramatic plotline. After being raped at gunpoint, he sets out to regain the confidence and self-worth he lost by exacting vengeance on those who stole his dignity. The emotionally wrenching performance by Martinez will keep audiences watching for more.

The nonstop action doesn’t let up as the season progresses. The Strike Team, led by Vic (Michael Chiklis), faces harrowing challenges throughout the season, most of which conclude in a high-octane climax. Despite a few similar story arcs, the thrills are more than enough to keep audiences entertained.

Visually, “The Shield: Season 3” translates well to DVD. The gritty, sometimes shaky camera work makes an easy transition from television to digital. In many instances, the colors and lighting on this accurate and appealing conversion look clearer and more brilliant on the DVD set than when viewed as a simple television broadcast.

Unfortunately, “The Shield” DVD set lacks any worthwhile special features. Besides season three’s episodes, only a bonus documentary, a few deleted scenes and commentary by cast and crew serve as extras. While the commentary is a nice treat, it is only available on a few episodes, and it should have been incorporated into more of the season’s episodes.

“The Shield: Season Three” DVD warrants a buy on the show’s merits alone. The episodes are faithfully reproduced, and the additional scenes, while not necessarily awe-inspiring, add to each episode. For fans, this set is a must-have.


Show: 4 out of 5 stars

Picture/Sound: 4 out of 5 stars

Features: 2 out of 5 stars

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *