The first season of The Shield almost instantly establishes Detective Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) as "Not Your Typical TV Cop." The leader of the Farmington District Strike Force, Mackey is mean, profane, violent, and some distance removed from honest. And it is not simply that Mackey is willing to beat a confession out of a perpetrator or plant false evidence to get a conviction: Our "hero" and several of his subordinates have strong ties with the Underworld -- and, as vividly demonstrated in the opening episode, Vic is perfectly capable of shooting down a "snitch" in cold blood to keep his peccadilloes from becoming public. Throughout season one, Mackey wages a battle of nerves with his superior officer, Captain Aceveda (Benito Martinez), who regards the detective as nothing more than a hoodlum with a badge and is determined to gather enough evidence to bring Mackey down for good. At the same time, Acevada knows that Mackey is "good copy" for the pro-police press, and he isn't about to ruin his most successful detective's career at the risk of destroying his own political ambitions.
Also introduced during The Shield's Emmy-winning inaugural season are Cathy Cahlin Ryan as Vic Mackey's wife, Corrine, and Joel Rosenthal as his austitic son, Matthew; Walton Goggins as Mackey's unpredictably dangerous second-in-command Det. Shane Vendrell; Kenneth Johnson as Det. Curtis "Lemonhead" Lemansky, who never speaks when cracking skulls will do; no-nonsense veteran detective Claudette Wyms (CCH Pounder) and her trepidatious partner Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach (Jay Karnes); Officer Danielle "Danny" Sofer (Catherine Dent), an ally and sometimes "mole" for Captain Aceveda; Sofer's gay partner Officer Julian Lowe (Michael Jace); and long-suffering Assistant Chief Ben Gilroy (John Diehl), whose principal job seems to be to cover Mackey's butt. Season one ends with the Farmington PD under siege from ambush shooters after a riot, forcing Mackey and Aceveda to work together to locate the assailants -- while the fed-up Gilroy schemes to use the situation to rid himself of both men! ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi