"Dominoes Falling"

April 1, 2003
Actual length
Production Code
Written by
Directed by
Special guest star(s)

Guest starring

"Dominoes Falling" is the thirteenth episode of Season 2 of The Shield and the Season 2 finale. It was originally broadcast on April 1, 2003.

As Captain Aceveda prepares to fire some of his employees, Vic and the Strike Team prepare for the Money Train heist. Meanwhile, a gang shooting strikes close to Claudette. Finally, the harassment against Julien escalates to dangerous levels.


At night, Detective Shane Vendrell appears at Corrine Mackey's house to ask her why she had Vic arrested. As he knocks insistently on the door, she tells him that she only filed a complaint because he had broken into the house. Shane scoffs at her telling her how Vic had paid for the house. Corrine then asks him to leave because the kids are sleeping, while Shane tells him that they wouldn't let him post bail for Vic and that he really need for Vic to be focused on his job. However, Corrine calmly asked him to leave.

The next morning, Vic met with Shane and blasted him for going to his house at night. At this point, Lem and Ronnie arrive and Vic asks them the status about the Armenian Money Train plans. Ronnie tells them that the operation is definitely going out that night. Vic asks for the new collection point, but they tell him they don't know. Vic asks about the man that ran the previous site and Lem tells him he's called Armin Chorekian but they don't have his address. Vic then tells them to follow him to see if he leads them to the new place.

At this point, Lem asks how they would be able to pull their plan off at a new location when it took them two months to prepare for it on the previous site. Shane and Ronnie argue that they still might use the same plan. Vic then tells them that he feels no guilt, since the Armenians money was being used for prostitution and other illegal activities. Vic then tells Ronnie to prepare the truck while Shane and Lem follow Chorekian.

At David Aceveda's campaign headquarters, a group of reporters interview him and his wife Aurora. One reporter asks him jokingly who did he vote for, while another asks Aceveda about the report he filed recommending the Strike Team to be fired and Aceveda answers that he felt they weren't meeting the standards expected by the department. When she asks him why he recommended himself to be fired as well, he told them that since he was their commanding officer, he should submit himself to the same standards.

Chief of Police Tom Bankston arrives at his office while Mackey waits for him. As Mackey greets him, Bankston tells him about Aceveda's recommendation to fire them all. As they walk into Bankston's office, Vic argues that his team is responsible for more than 50% of the drug and gang arrests in the district. However, Bankston tells him that he is more worried about his methods than he is with the results. Mackey accepts that he and Aceveda had clashed about that before, but Bankston assures him that won't be a problem since Aceveda will be resigning after losing the primary. Bankston then tells him that he believes in doing things well and right and asks Vic if he believed the same. When Vic agreed, Bankston dared him to prove he could or he would fire him.

Vic returns to the Barn when Aceveda is arriving. As he gets out of his car, Vic asks him how he dared to put his team on the termination list. Aceveda dismisses him telling him that he has to inform 27 people that the Chief of Police fired them. Aceveda then tells Vic that he should be on desk duty for the day, considering his arrest the previous night. Vic defies him telling him that the Chief wants him making arrests and that's what he would do. As Aceveda walks away, Vic tells him sarcastically it was nice knowing him.

Lem and Shane watch from a distance as Armin Chorekian uses a pay phone to make a call. As Chorekian is talking, Shane and Lem agree that the fact he has made so many phone calls probably means the Money Train operation is greenlit. As Armin prepares to move again, Lem and Shane follow him.

Back on the Barn, Aceveda approaches Detective Claudette Wyms and tells her that her ex-husband was just killed in Dresden. He then tells her that her daughter, Bonnie, was there as well. When Claudette asks him if she was okay, Aceveda tells her she is but that she was a witness. He then tells Detective Dutch Wagenbach to take the case while ordering Claudette to limit herself to observing. When Dutch argues that he has a personal involvement in the case and that he should probably hand the case to Detectives Brent Kirkland or Marlon, Aceveda tells him that they would be short-handed that day and that the case was his. Aceveda then asks Brent and Marlon to come up to his office. Dutch and Claudette then walk away.

As Jeff Franklin lies dead on his car, Dutch and Claudette arrive to the scene. Claudette embraces her daughter, Bonnie, who is still in shock. Dutch takes her blood-stained coat as evidence as Bonnie cries on Claudette's shoulder. Officer Danny Sofer tells Dutch that Bonnie was the only witness. Dutch then asks her to tell the M.E. to hurry up in picking up the body while Claudette and Bonnie are still embracing.

Lem and Shane are still following Chorekian, who is driving considerably slow. Shane, who is one car behind him, assures Lem that it was a good sign, since he was trying not to be stopped. When he stops at a yellow light, the driver behind Chorekian hits his car in the rear bumper. Chorekian gets out of the car angry as the driver apologizes and tells him he thought he would continue. Chorekian tells him that the light was yellow and the driver goes to his car to look for his papers. When Chorekian notices Shane and Lem behind them, he approaches them. Shane tries unsuccessfully to back up and hide, but it's too late. Chorekian asks him to be his witness for the insurance. When Chorekian asks for his name and phone, Shane reluctantly gives him his cell phone and tells him his name was "Cletus Van Damme".


Tavon threatens Lops with a gun.


Lem, Vic and Shane look at the stolen money.



Guest starringEdit



Featured MusicEdit

  • "Overcome" by Live
    • Heard during the final scene montage.

Episode TitleEdit

The title might refer to the E-Park Johnnies ceremony of drawing dominoes to see who will go out to kill civilians. However, the dominoes reference might be an analogy to the consequences of the Strike Team hit on the Armenian Money Train, which will be felt during the following seasons.


  • International airdates:
    • Germany: April 29, 2006
    • France: September 19, 2007
  • This episode is the season finale of The Shield's second season.
  • When Detective Vic Mackey finds out that Shane Vendrell went to talk with Corrine at night, he refers to him as "Jethro", possibly a reference to Jethro Bodine, an ignorant character in The Beverly Hillbillies.
  • According to Captain David Aceveda, he had orders to fire 27 people. The only employees of the Barn that were confirmed to be fired on-screen were Officers Paul Jackson, Ray Carlson, and Danny Sofer. Detectives Brent Kirkland, Marlon, and Officer Randy were called up to Aceveda's office as well, which implies that they were fired as well.
  • When Armin Chorekian asks Shane his name, he tells him it's "Cletus Van Damme", possibly taken from popular action movie star, Jean-Claude Van Damme. "Cletus" is a name commonly associated with country people.
  • David Aceveda is a Democrat. A reporter also says that Farmington is 82% Democrat.


  • Reporter: David, who'd you vote for?
  • David Aceveda: I'll give you a hint. He's Latino.
  • Aurora Aceveda: And he's handsome.

  • David Aceveda: Consider yourself on desk duty for the day.
  • Vic Mackey: Where do you get off trying...
  • David Aceveda: I heard about your arrest. Congratulations. Go clean up your own house instead of continuing to mess up mine.

  • Armin Chorekian: I'm Armin Chorekian.
  • Shane Vendrell: Cletus van Damme.
  • Armin Chorekian: Thank you for your help. I call you.
  • Curtis Lemansky: Cletus Van Damme?

  • Vic Mackey: You fired Danny?
  • David Aceveda: The Chief's office did.
  • Vic Mackey: She doesn't deserve that. You got to do something.
  • David Aceveda: Armadillo died because Danny didn't properly pat down the prisoner.
  • Vic Mackey: Ah...
  • David Aceveda: Unless you have something to share with the Chief, this conversation's over. Do you? or are you a coward? (silence) Too bad. She was a good officer.

External linksEdit

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