For the past couple of months, in the grading threads and elsewhere, I've seen a lot of posts from people who feel the show has been going downhill this season. So I thought I'd start this thread to kind of draw out what elements people think are missing from the show this season, and what you think the fix might be. For me, I feel the problem is in the characters and how they're being handled. The focus has been really heavy on Mac this year, but not in a good way. He's kind of morphing into his own version of Horatio--an expert on everything who always saves the day and sits in judgment of others. Remember in season three, when Mac could actually be wrong? I miss those days. Danny's badge has definitely been mishandled. I also remember the days when Mac would take Danny to task for his reckless behavior--and when Danny's reckless behavior at least had some twisted form of Danny-logic. Not reporting his badge missing--especially once he found out it was in the hands of Shane Casey made no sense whatsoever. And Mac not coming down on him for it is out of character, too. How would I fix it? I'd have Mac be wrong about something--really wrong. Maybe it gets someone killed. Or puts him at odds with Stella for more than one episode. The old Danny needs to make a comeback. The one that cared about something and was passionate. I think there should be major emotional consequences for Danny with regards to the inevitable showdown with Shane. Let's face it--Danny is at his most interesting when he's damaged. I don't need to see Stella on any more crusades. I'd rather see her facing a moral dilemma, or one related to her career. What if Sinclair offered her a promotion, or even Mac's job? What do you think the answer is? Or are you happy with the show this season?