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The Best Seasons of 'The Shield'

Updated July 31, 2020 814 votes 238 voters 25.3k views7 items

List RulesWarning - spoilers! If you want to see the best seasons without any spoiler elements, click "List View" under Options

All the seasons of The Shield have been thrilling, but which seasons really stand out? Detective Vic Mackey and his team blur the legal line when investigating criminal enterprises. Some of the most memorable episodes of The Shield come from different seasons, so picking the top season isn't easy. Some The Shield seasons focus on the Strike Team's success, while other good seasons reveal the duality of the program. To determine once and for all what the best seasons of The Shield are, let's rank every The Shield season from best to worst.

The Shield is a crime drama starring Michael Chiklis. The Shield premiered on FX on November 25, 2008. After seven seasons, The Shield aired its finale on November 25, 2008.

Vote up your favorite seasons of The Shield, and vote down any seasons that you really didn't enjoy, despite how much you loved any individual episodes. Is your favorite season of The Shield not as high as it should be? Be sure to vote it up so it rises to the top. It can be hard to put one The Shield season over the other when there are so many good ones, which is why you can vote on however many seasons you like.

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  • Photo: FX
    1

    The Shield - Season 5

    The fifth season of The Shield premiered on January 10, 2006 and contains 11 episodes. This season finds the Strike Team being investigated by internal affairs.

    This season features several unforgettable episodes including "Extraction," "Man Inside," and "Postpartum."

    Memorable moments from Season 5 include:

    • Lem is arrested.
    • Danny gives birth.
    • Shane murders Lem with a hand grenade.
    153
    11
    Is this a good season?
  • Photo: FX
    2

    The Shield - Season 7

    The seventh and final season of The Shield premiered on September 2, 2008 and contains 13 episodes. This season finds Vic striking an immunity deal with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    This season features several unforgettable episodes including: "Coefficient of Drag," "Party Line," and "Family Meeting."

    Memorable moments from Season 7 include:

    • Corrine enters witness protection. 
    • Shane poisons his wife and child before killing himself.
    • Vic takes a desk job at ICE.
    100
    8
    Is this a good season?
  • Photo: FX
    3

    The Shield - Season 2

    The second season of The Shield premiered on January 7, 2003 and contains 13 episodes. This season finds Mackey's team plotting to steal a criminal's fortune.

    This season features several unforgettable episodes including: "Greenlit," "Homewrecker," and "Dominoes Falling."

    Memorable moments from Season 2 include:

    • The Strike Team goes to Tijuana.
    • Armadillo burns down Tio's HQ.
    • Danny is forced to kill an Arab man.
    99
    19
    Is this a good season?
  • Photo: FX

    The third season of The Shield premiered on March 9, 2004 and contains 15 episodes. This season finds Mackey struggling to save his family.

    This season features several unforgettable episodes including: "Playing Tight," "Strays," and "On Tilt."

    Memorable moments from Season 3 include:

    • Lem burns the money.
    • The Strike Team splits up.
    • Mackey executes Dezerian.
    85
    21
    Is this a good season?