Submitted by saulgoodman673 t3_11bamzv in television

Is it kind of like Atlanta where each episode is kind of doing its own thing, yet all of them are still connected in some way?

I’m currently on episode 5 I think, and while I’m still quite enjoying the show, I just want to know without getting spoiled accidentally by Google or something by Google.



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tinoynk t1_j9wvzyo wrote

It’s kind of a mix. Many episodes have a self-contained story, but a lotta the time that’ll be something like a Dutch/Claudette story while the Vic/Strike Team storyline may factor more into the overall serial aspect.

Overall I think it’s an awesome show, but there is a LOT of it and there are stretches where things drag, but there’s always awesome performances, and it really does get better as it goes along.

Basically the first 2-3 seasons are them getting away with all kinds of crazy shit, and the rest is that all slowly crumbling around them, and that second part is the best.


AF2005 t1_ja05srf wrote

I think the best thing about this show was discovering Walton Goggins. That’s an actor that can fit comfortably into any role. But in The Shield that was a man who had no business carrying a badge. A true thug and scumbag.


Cappy2020 t1_ja1wpvo wrote

To this day, still the best finale of any television show I’ve ever watched. The absolute catharsis I felt watching it has yet to be topped in my experience.


Col_Irving_Lambert t1_j9yah05 wrote

Stick with it. FYI, the Shield has the best ending in all of film and television, and I will die on that hill.


Lil_Mcgee t1_j9yic6t wrote

> and I will die on that hill.

With such a brave and controversial pick as well.

Sorry couldn't help myself.


drupoxy t1_j9wxxbt wrote

The first season or two are much much more episodic. By the end, they are very much focused on season plots instead. It's still episodic in the way that shows like Breaking Bad will be very connected but each episode still has a focus and contained story.

Very similar to Justified in this respect imo

I'd highly recommend sticking with it. The first season is ok but can be silly sometimes (a lot of the Dutch plot lines can get that way) and it grows a lot after it.


skellener t1_j9xaqe7 wrote

Serial. Everything goes back to the pilot.


InCharacter_815 t1_j9ymnx7 wrote

It's crazy to me how the entire series circled back to >!Terry Crowley!<. We start with (imo) Vic's most heinous crime, then aaaaall sorts of other insane stuff happens, you even garner sympathy for the likes of Vic and Shane, and in the end it goes back to that awful act. I think it's masterful.


RusevReigns t1_j9xniyu wrote

The Shield is kind of a transition show between old style of police show and new cable drama ones, so I think it felt obligated to have Dutch and Claudette do some B plot detective cases, but Vic storyline feels more serialized and split into seasonal arcs more than episodic ones, if I remember correctly.


ExtraGloves t1_j9xh07n wrote

Just watch it all the way through. It’s one of the greatest shows. It will get crazy. I just rewatched it for the 2nd time.


donsanedrin t1_j9xlv6f wrote

There is always some kind of overall season storyline. But within the season there are mini-arcs that may only occur over two to three episodes.

But, with every episode, there is a crime of the week B-story happening.

In the final two or three seasons, just about every episode will contain at least one or two scenes that relate to the overall story arc of that season.


i_kurrekt_gramur t1_j9ww6nl wrote

It’s serial, mainly. If I recall there will definitely be cases within the show that are tied up every episode, but generally, it’s a serial story. And a damn good one, too.


657653 t1_j9y1o4s wrote

Idk what everyone else is talking about. The shield is a fully serialized show where our main character (Victor Edison Mackey) has a 7 season arc. There are episodes where the main story doesn’t progress as much as others, or where it is just character building, particularly in the first season. There are 2 side arcs throughout the show (Acaveda, and Danny+julien) as well.


spitefulcum t1_j9y99ht wrote

it is serialized throughout but on an episode by episode basis the first three seasons have a lot more self contained episode


GeronimoSonjack t1_j9yhyog wrote

Well it's not fully serialised as the non strike team cops tend to have a case of the week each episode.


Lil_Mcgee t1_j9yj00v wrote

The strike team deal with a lot of episodic storylines as well in the first couple of seasons and there are instances where Vic's storyline overlaps with Dutch/Claudette and others at the station.

The show is constantly building on itself, it's definitely not a procedural that resets to a baseline at the end of every episode but yeah it's also not accurate to say it's fully serialised.

I think it's a good balance for long form storytelling, it gives the characters time to breathe, the world feels more realised when it's not constantly about the high stakes main plotline.


iamacannibal t1_j9ymqau wrote

People are saying that it is. It's not. There are some episodes where they have stories start and are wrapped up but even in those there are continued storylines from past episodes. Shit from the first episode is still relevant in the show's very last episode. It's all connected. There are short stories within it but overall it's all a long story and should be watched in order.


evanmav t1_j9z7tp6 wrote

The shield is for the most part a very episodic show. There typically is some sort of case of the week for most episodes, but like others are saying there is typically an overarching plot throughout the season and most episodes.

I'd compare it to Justified in that sense. But I'll say this, I'm not huge into episodic shows/procedural. But I absolutely love The Shield, it is one of my favorite shows of all time. I do think it gets more serialized in the later seasons but yes overall it is a show about crooked cops and a lot of the episodes are about a case.


ChalupaManBat t1_ja1jbay wrote

The Shield is a great show, it is gritty for today's time but it REALLY was for when it first premiered.

It becomes less episodic about two seasons in.


UmpShow t1_j9x5asa wrote

Pretty sure in the 'previously on' part of the series finale, they reference the pilot. So uh, I would not call it episodic. Extremely serialized.


Andrassy t1_j9xh494 wrote

Well that's missing a little bit of nuance. There's very important moments in the pilot that will be referenced all throughout the show of course, but it's still more episodic than serialized in the earlier seasons. The later seasons (4+) become fully serialized, I believe.


rcanhestro t1_j9xtdc3 wrote

from what i remember, many episodes tend to it's own story, but there is definitely a big season story overall.

many procedurals tend to follow this format (House for instance), but in the shield, the season plot is given more importance, and the episode plot tends to be a "side quest".


bluewrounder t1_j9yu5wu wrote

Love the shield. Lots of characters to hate on


apperrault t1_j9zve78 wrote

I love this show. I have it on my internal media center (And actually have the physical DVDs so I can "prove" that I own it and I watch it every few years. It is great. I watch the series SWAT because a character in The Shield is in it.

There are a couple of other shows that I watch every couple of years. Some are corney and I watch them kind of out of tradition, and others are just really good and stand the test of time



Foxlinger68 t1_ja0tkns wrote

It's a great series. 👍


averageduder t1_ja196bf wrote

It’s the best series in history for a lot of us. Stick with it. Warning, the show does slow down at points after some plot points. But the stretch from when Anthony Anderson comes on til the end of the show is my pick for best stretch in tv history


SkullLeader t1_ja1z4xb wrote

Yes and no - it gets more arc'ish the further into the show you get. And the arc bits tend to center a bit more on the "strike team" itself which are the core characters in the show. At the same time, there's a lot of crime / problem-to-be-solved of the week stuff going on with the side characters or the main characters.


anasui1 t1_ja3iuwc wrote

Shield is a matrioska in a sense that you have three main levels: the team one, their stories that encompass all the seasons until the finale; a level below there's the villain of the season one, a guy whose criminal activities run through the season, and below you got the hit of the week one where you have all sorts of episodic stories


DJROSAPARKS t1_j9x1ja6 wrote

Is it kind of like Atlanta….????


starsandbribes t1_j9xbsgc wrote

Out of all the TV series to compare to The Shield


saulgoodman673 OP t1_j9xki2e wrote

I know they are very different lol, but it felt better to compare it to a show like that than a show like The Wire or something which felt much more serialised than episodic, despite being similar genre wise.