The BEST Episodes of The Shield

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Network: FX

The story of an inner-city Los Angeles police precinct where some of the cops aren't above breaking the rules or working against their associates to both keep the streets safe and their self-interests intact.

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Family Meeting

#1 - Family Meeting

Season 7 - Episode 13 - Aired Nov 25, 2008

Officers in the Barn investigate a woman's disappearance and the arrival of a large drug shipment; lives change forever.

star 8.73
1,243 votes
Directors: Clark Johnson
Writers: Shawn Ryan
Possible Kill Screen

#2 - Possible Kill Screen

Season 7 - Episode 12 - Aired Nov 18, 2008

Olivia joins forces with the Strike Team to catch a Mexican drug king and his shipment. Meanwhile, Dutch cleans up Billings' mess, and the death of a woman associated with the Strike Team prompts an investigation by Claudette.

star 8.33
1,220 votes
Directors: Billy Gierhart
Writers: Adam E. Fierro, Evan Bleiweiss
Post Partum

#3 - Post Partum

Season 5 - Episode 11 - Aired Mar 21, 2006

As Vic prepares to help Lem get out of the country to begin a new life in Mexico; Kavanaugh and Aceveda attempt to capitalize on the situation by using this as means to try to take down the leader of the Strike Team. Dutch decides to file for a transfer. Meanwhile, Shane tries to cut off the investigation by taking extreme measures and Danny finally confronts the father of her child.

star 8.09
1,227 votes
Directors: Stephen Kay
Writers: Adam E. Fierro, Shawn Ryan
Circles (2)

#4 - Circles (2)

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Jun 4, 2002

In the aftermath of a riot, cops are being lured into ambush shootings by a rash of bogus 911 calls. Surprisingly Mackey and Captain Aceveda must work together to stop these attacks and solve the problems in The Grove, while Assistant Chief Gilroy tries to pit the two against each other to save his own job.

star 8.09
1,397 votes
Directors: Scott Brazil
Writers: Shawn Ryan

#5 - Parricide

Season 7 - Episode 8 - Aired Oct 21, 2008

A local priest may be protecting drug dealers; Dutch and Billings close in on attempted cop killers; Corrine learns uncomfortable truths about Vic.

star 8.07
1,195 votes
Directors: Guy Ferland
Writers: Gary Lennon, Kurt Sutter
Of Mice and Lem

#6 - Of Mice and Lem

Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired Mar 14, 2006

To the dismay of his friends, a weary Lem is thinking about accepting a deal from the D.A. where he has to plead guilty to the heroin charges. With no other choice, Vic reluctantly meets with Antwon in order to ensure Lem’s safety in prison. Meanwhile, unforeseen circumstances that are beyond Claudette and Dutch’s control might cause irrevocable damage to their friendship.

star 8.04
1,209 votes
Writers: Charles H. Eglee, Kurt Sutter
Dominoes Falling

#7 - Dominoes Falling

Season 2 - Episode 13 - Aired Apr 1, 2003

When a gang execution hits close to home for Claudette, Vic, Tavon, and Dutch work together to find the culprit before anyone else gets hurt. Shane, Lemonhead, and Ronnie are forced to choose between hitting the money train without Vic or letting it go. Meanwhile, Danny receives some life changing news and Julien's harassment reaches a whole new level.

star 8.04
1,353 votes
Directors: Scott Brazil
Writers: Shawn Ryan
Spanish Practices

#8 - Spanish Practices

Season 6 - Episode 10 - Aired Jun 5, 2007

Claudette notices Hiatt's mistake when he makes an arrest, and Billings delivers shocking news to the department. Vic forms an alliance with Aceveda, while he waits for his review board hearing. Meanwhile, Shane's life keeps spiraling out of control.

star 8.03
1,205 votes
Directors: Paris Barclay
Writers: Scott Rosenbaum, Shawn Ryan

#9 - Trophy

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Feb 7, 2006

Via a bug planted in the clubhouse, Kavanaugh monitors the Strike Team as they investigate an illegal prescription drug ring that is proving to be deadly for the people of Farmington. While working on a missing person’s case, Dutch attempts find out what Claudette is hiding.

star 7.98
1,186 votes
Writers: Kurt Sutter, Renee Palyo, Tony Soltis

#10 - Kavanaugh

Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired Feb 28, 2006

Kavanaugh seeks the help of Antwon Mitchell in his ongoing quest to take down the Strike Team. In the midst of this, Kavanaugh has a lot on his mind as his ex-wife reenters the picture, and he reluctantly agrees to let Vic send Emolia undercover to infiltrate a Salvadoran gang that is stockpiling grenades.

star 7.95
1,151 votes
Directors: D.J. Caruso
Writers: Scott Rosenbaum, Shawn Ryan

#11 - Recoil

Season 6 - Episode 9 - Aired May 29, 2007

As progress is being made in the San Marcos investigation, Vic receives bad news about his career. Meanwhile, Shane and Diro become business partners as she prepares to take over the Armenian mob.

star 7.91
1,045 votes
Directors: Guy Ferland
Writers: Adam E. Fierro, Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain

#12 - Pilot

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Mar 12, 2002

While the Strike Team ramps up their control of the streets, David tried to crack corruption in the Barn by recruiting Terry to help him take down Vic, only to result in Terry's death. Meanwhile, Dutch and Claudette investigate the murder of Nancy Reborg only to discover her missing daughter has been sold off by her addict father to a child molester.

star 7.90
2,266 votes
Directors: Clark Johnson
Writers: Shawn Ryan
Party Line

#13 - Party Line

Season 7 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 4, 2008

While Shane remains holed up in L.A. with Mara and Jackson, Corinne decides to cooperate with Dutch and Claudette, who's now spearheading the LAPD effort to bring down Vic. Meanwhile, Vic plays Aceveda, Pezuela, Beltran and ICE against each other. But Ronnie's tempted to simply give up and run to Mexico. "And you should run too man" he tells Vic.

star 7.89
1,253 votes
Writers: Angela Russo, John Hlavin
Baptism by Fire

#14 - Baptism by Fire

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 10, 2007

Kavanaugh acquires what he needs in order to apprehend Vic who is preoccupied with getting revenge on Guardo. Claudette finds herself under the political microscope as a result of the San Marcos incident, and Danny receives some news about her future at the Barn.

star 7.88
1,124 votes
Directors: Guy Ferland
Writers: Scott Rosenbaum
On Tilt

#15 - On Tilt

Season 3 - Episode 15 - Aired Jun 15, 2004

When Aceveda confirms that the Strike Team is the target of an Armenian mob hit, Mackey must take matters into his own hands. Meanwhile, Whym's career is on the line when she disobeys Aceveda's orders to put a case to rest that may prove the innocence of convicted felons.

star 7.88
1,354 votes
Directors: Scott Brazil
Writers: Glen Mazzara, Shawn Ryan
Scar Tissue

#16 - Scar Tissue

Season 2 - Episode 8 - Aired Feb 25, 2003

When Vic discovers that Ronnie has been burned as payback, the rest of the team does everything they can to put an end to him. Meanwhile, Claudette makes headway on her investigation against Vic after a conversation with Corrine, and Dutch takes Danny under his wing as they try to find the suspect of a Thai Town beating.

star 7.82
1,250 votes
Directors: Paris Barclay
Writers: Kurt Sutter
On the Jones

#17 - On the Jones

Season 6 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 3, 2007

With the Barn grieving over the loss of one of their own, Vic's out to avenge his friend's murder, but finds himself in the crosshairs of Kavanaugh. Claudette assigns the Strike Team to investigate the torching of a methadone clinic. Meanwhile, Julien and Tina look into a robbery/assault at a porno shop, and Dutch makes a horrifying discovery in San Marcos.

star 7.81
1,172 votes
Directors: Michael Fields
Writers: Kurt Sutter
Animal Control

#18 - Animal Control

Season 7 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 7, 2008

Vic sets into motion plans to end the gang threat as his relationship with Cassidy deteriorates; Dutch and Billings investigate a possible sleepwalking murderer.

star 7.80
1,099 votes
Writers: Angela Russo, John Hlavin
Dead Soldiers

#19 - Dead Soldiers

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 14, 2003

As Vic gets closer to finding his family, the Strike Team focus their attention to Armadillo after he burns down Tio's HQ. Now Vic must prevent Claudette from finding out the truth about his connection to Tio and his men. Meanwhile, Dutch is followed around by the new civilian auditor to solve a meter-maid murder, and Danny and Julien try to clear up issues between feuding neighbors.

star 7.78
1,269 votes
Directors: John Badham
Writers: Kurt Sutter
Ain't That a Shame?

#20 - Ain't That a Shame?

Season 4 - Episode 13 - Aired Jun 14, 2005

Monica, Vic and the strike team work together to put Antwon Mitchell back behind bars after his deal with the DEA released him from prison. When Vic reveals his suspicions of David's connection to both Antwon and an inmate's murder, David must protect his political future at any cost. When the murder of an over-protective father leads Claudette and Dutch back to a foster home they had previously investigated, Monica makes an unpopular decision that helps seal her fate.

star 7.76
1,214 votes
Directors: Stephen Kay
Writers: Glen Mazzara, Kurt Sutter, Shawn Ryan

#21 - Mum

Season 3 - Episode 5 - Aired Apr 6, 2004

Vic struggles with Claudette's new supervision of the Strike Team. Marked bills lead Aceveda and a federal agent closer to the truth about the Armenian money-train heist in an episode with a recurring motif of people not reporting crimes against them.

star 7.76
1,252 votes
Directors: Nick Gomez
Writers: Kurt Sutter, Shawn Ryan

#22 - Greenlit

Season 2 - Episode 5 - Aired Feb 4, 2003

David works with Vic and the Strike Team to take down a dealer giving heroin to school kids, while Dutch and Claudette help a woman find her Alzheimer addled mother.

star 7.76
1,271 votes
Directors: Terrence O'Hara
Writers: Kim Clements
Back in the Hole

#23 - Back in the Hole

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired May 24, 2005

Vic and Monica go head to head with Antwon, and do everything in their power to get him to admit to being involved with the cop killings. Monica is shocked when Vic and Shane confront her with the information they've been hiding regarding Antwon and Angie's body. Shane and Army wonder if they'll be able to pass the lie detector test Monica is forcing them to take. Meanwhile, after another young black woman is murdered, Dutch and Claudette hope to prove their suspicions correct with their recently relocated Texan.

star 7.74
1,145 votes
Directors: Scott Brazil
Writers: Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain, Shawn Ryan
Judas Priest

#24 - Judas Priest

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired Jun 7, 2005

Vic and his crew track down the Russian who was involved with the cop murders, but they lose control during his interrogation and the hit man dies in an explosion before they can get any answers. Meanwhile, Aceveda is blackmailed by the man who assaaulted him. Plus, Rawling's seizure is on the verge of being shelved.

star 7.74
1,208 votes
Writers: Charles H. Eglee, Kurt Sutter, Scott Rosenbaum
Tapa Boca

#25 - Tapa Boca

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 31, 2006

With the IAD investigation in full force, Vic seeks legal representation from Becca Doyle for the Strike Team. Also, a suspicious Vic decides to confront Emolia after he begins to doubt her loyalty to him. Meanwhile, Dutch and Claudette investigate the ghastly murder of a pregnant woman. Tina continues to make mistakes while on duty.

star 7.73
1,170 votes
Directors: Guy Ferland
Writers: Elizabeth Craft, Sarah Fain