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The Shield Series Finale

11/28/2008 5:40:49 PM permalink

Damn, it's finally over.  In my opinion, The Shield is one of the best shows ever created.  Wire to wire, all seasons were excellent.  I think Season 4 may have been the weakest cause they broke up the Strike Team but it was still damn good.

Anyway, I'm sad to see it end but the last episode was e:xcellent.  Things I didn't like about the ep:

1.  Shane killing himself and his family.  Sure the guy died which is what I wanted, but he had control in deciding his fate.  I would've like to see Mackey get to him or maybe Antoine Mitchell in prison.

2. They gave a nod to the Julian gay thing, when they hadn't brought that up in loooooong time.

3. I thought Dany didn't have any purpose  since she was brought back late in the season.

4. I wanted Dutch to get the kid.

I found a review of the show,  I'll post it here since I agree with some of the stuff.  Eric Gordon from IGN wrote it. Here it is:

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November 26, 2008 - Spoiler Warning: If you haven't seen The Shield finale yet, let it be known – it is discussed in detail here.

It's been a long and wild ride with Vic Mackey and the Strike Team, and at last it's over.

The Shield finale was fantastic. It delivered a satisfying and impactful conclusion to the stories and characters that mattered the most on the series, and gave the audience a lot to chew on, as we discovered just what fate had in store for Vic Mackey.

There's a lot I loved about the finale, so let's get the minor negatives out of the way, starting with how Danni was wasted, and seemingly didn't need to be brought back at all. She was given almost nothing to do, and it seemed like they wanted to include Catherine Dent, but couldn't figure out what to do with her. The fact that Tina had more notable scenes than Danni is a shame, considering Danni's been part of the show since the beginning.

We were also cheated a bit in that we were never shown what would could have been an amazing sequence – when the rest of the Barn were told by Claudette and Dutch that Vic and Ronnie were indeed as dirty as you can get, and that Vic had in fact killed a cop. It seemed clear when Vic walked into the Barn near the end of the episode that everyone now knew the truth, as they looked at him with resentment, but it would have been great to see supporting characters like Danni, Julien, Tina and Billings get to show their specific reaction to learning this news, especially given the relationship history some of these characters had with members of the strike team. From Danni's affair with Vic, to Billings' man-crush on Ronnie to Julien's time on the Strike Team, there was a lot that could have been examined here.

 

- FXThe return of Andre Benjamin's character Robert Huggins – a comic book store owner turned mayoral candidate – initially seemed out of place given what needed to be dealt with, but in retrospect, it led to some good scenes for some of the supporting cast, including his face off with Aceveda. And the moment where Huggins died from a gunshot wound as Tina shows him her button supporting his campaign was surprisingly touching.

There's been some debate in the IGN office about the storyline with Claudette and Dutch attempting to break teenage murderer Lloyd, who attempted to frame Dutch for his own murder of his mother. I was glad to see Dutch and Claudette get one last crack at interrogating a perp, but was surprised not to get that satisfying moment where Lloyd finally admitted the truth – Claudette telling him he was a suspect really wasn't the same thing. But that's okay, as what this storyline did show, along with other moments, was that life will go on in the Barn, and you just know that sooner or later, Claudette will crack this little creep.

The finale had Claudette admit to Dutch she didn't have much time left, while also warmly acknowledging their wonderful friendship – easily the best and sweetest relationship on this oh-so-rough series. Claudette saying she'd come to work until she couldn't anymore was a sad but wonderful statement from this great character.

Now let's move on to the even more blatant, fawning praise aspect of this review, shall we?

What was integral to the finale was to give a dramatically satisfying wrap up to the story of the Strike Team in general and of course to Vic Mackey in particular. And wow did Shawn Ryan deliver, wrapping things up for the Strike Team in ways both horrible and pathetic, that all felt incredibly "right" in terms of where these characters were destined to end up thanks to the road they'd gone down.

Shane killing his family and then himself is truly awful of course, and unforgivable. And yet it seemed completely in character and the inevitable result of what had occurred. Shane was fueled on paranoia, despair and drugs – and when he learned Vic had made a deal that meant he no longer had any hold over him, he lost the last tiny sliver of hope. And yet he had made a promise, both lovingly to Mara and furiously to Vic, that he would keep his family together and that they would not be split up. In his incredibly screwed up, skewed mind, killing them all was doing just that. The image of Mara and Jackson dead in bed together is chilling, and wow, the episode title is given sad and creepy resonance once you know what it refers to.
 

An excellent moment in the show was when Claudette informed Vic he was in the wrong chair in the interrogation room, and made him get into the prisoner's chair. Vic may have not gone to jail, but this was the scene in which he was going to lose his last shred of bravado. Claudette read Vic Shane's suicide note and it was an incredibly riveting sequence. I loved Shane saying that Vic lead and he followed, but they were both just as guilty – but the most damning line was the simplest one, as Shane wrote, "I wish I'd never met him."

By the end of The Shield, this is clearly a sentiment almost all the other characters feel about Vic. His presence and actions slowly but surely left a path of destruction in his wake – Corrine feels she has to flee into witness protection with her kids, and it's hard not to agree that's the right choice. Vic's influence on the Strike Team was clearly toxic, and his murder of Terry set into motion a domino effect through the entire series that finally led to nothing but death and despair.

Ronnie is arrested in the barn, sacrificed by Vic for the deal he made with ICE – the only person on the Strike Team who will face justice on the legal side. But would anyone claim that the other three original Strike Team members got away with anything? Certainly you can't say that for poor Lem and for Shane, who are both dead now.

 

- FXBut what about Vic Mackey? For years, fans wondered if Vic would go to jail, get killed or simply "get away with it." But Shawn Ryan had a great curve ball in store. Because legally, yes, Vic got away with it all. He won't go to jail for the crimes he committed. But watching the end of the episode, it's also obvious that Vic is going to pay for what he did for the rest of his life.

Furious and ashamed that she let Vic manipulate her, Olivia chains him to a desk for the three years ICE employs him. And the Vic Mackey we see at the end is a shell of a man – emasculated from the things that defined him, from his job as a cop to his tough guy leather jacket. And he's lost everything and everyone he held dear. Vic setting up the pictures on his desk at the end speaks volumes -- and allows the excellent Michael Chiklis to once more project an amazing amount of meaning without saying a word. Vic's got pictures of his kids, who are now in witness protection somewhere, and who he may never see again. And he has a picture with Lem, the only Strike Team member he stayed close with… but who is dead. He looks at them with love, but he doesn't really have them in his life anymore.

It's not hard to think Vic might eventually screw up and violate the terms of his ICE deal, setting himself up to finally go to jail. But even if he somehow plays by the rules for those full three years – though showing Vic keeping that gun in his desk makes you wonder – it doesn't matter. He can't get back the things his actions caused him to lose.

The Shield had felt very Shakespearean to me once Lem died. Shawn Ryan was telling a story about a man whose arrogance and tunnel vision had set into motion events he couldn't eventually control and which were leading towards a horrible end for the Strike Team. The final episode of the series also shows what a great morality play this has all been. In the end, Vic Mackey gets what he deserves. He gets nothing. Knowing Vic as well as we do, it's possible to feel pangs of pity for him, but at the same time, he clearly dug his own grave – His just happens to be shaped like a cubicle, instead of a coffin.

Damn, this was a great show.

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I thought this series finale was much much better that another series I really liked, the Sopranos.  I hated the fade to black.



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HANSO'S MANIACAL PERSONA

hanso
Date Joined: August 24, 2006

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