The Shield, season seven -- an early look
FX is calling it the final act. Not the last season or the final season. Nothing jarring like "the end." The final act sounds more Shakespearean than Shield - which, if you think about it, is appropriate. For six seasons we've watched one hell of a twisted play unfold before our eyes. We've rooted for the bad guy, applauded wrongdoing, cheered for recklessness, and shared laughs over how bad Vic Mackey screwed over this One-Niner or that Byz-Lat. However, as all good stories do, the time has come for The Shield to end.
The Shield returns to FX on Tuesday, September 2 for its final 13 episodes. Now prepare to be jealous - FX sent the first eight episodes to press outlets! That being said, I'm basing everything I'm about to write only on the first two. That's all I've watched because a.) I'm a fan too and don't want this to end, and b.) I don't think I could have watched all eight right away and then written a spoiler free early review. I'm also pointing this out because any other early reviews you may read on the Web might potentially have way more info than you care to know. I don't want to wreck this for anyone, so rest assured that I've made every effort to keep this light on details.
OK, here we go.
The season premiere picks right up after the end of season six - later on in the same evening after Vic walked out on his review and stole Pezuela's blackmail box from Aramboles. What unfolds after that is arguably the most in-depth (and often confusing) plot featured on the show to date.
After Vic confronts Shane about kidnapping Corrine and Cassidy, the truth about the Armenian threat comes out and Vic and Shane are forced to work together for the first time since Lem's murder. Trust is an issue. With one side playing the Armenians and the other playing the Mexicans, believe me when I say that the first two season seven installments are the definition of "edge of your seat."
As you'd expect, numerous other plots are addressed. You'll be on the floor laughing as Billings gets brought back into the fold (he and Dutch collaborate on a couple of great murder cases) and it's going to be gut-wrenching to watch Claudette as her Lupus continues to affect her performance as captain of The Barn. Additionally, with Hiatt gone now, there's an open spot for a new minor character and Laurie Holden has joined the cast as Olivia Murray, a Fed with an interest in any and all things Mexican - The San Marcos murders, Pezuela, Aramboles. Needless to say, you know Vic is going to take advantage of her.
Ultimately though, the only question that really matters is how will it all end for Vic? Get away? Die? Go to jail? Without having watched more of the season yet, it's hard to define what would be considered satisfying in this instance, but my gut says the ending can't be good. For a guy with this much hubris to have done so much wrong, it has to crash down at some point and there are definitely a few moments early on in the season that allude to that.
Even though Kavanaugh is out of the picture, I'm still waiting for the original sin (murdering Terry) to come back and haunt Vic. However, I suppose with the murder of Lem, it did. And now, with the mess Shane has created by getting in bed with Diro and Rezian, Mackey already has his hands full and unfortunately, we've reached a point where he's going to start dropping stuff.
Rawling (Glenn Close) had a great quote way back in season four: "Let me guess - you're either with Vic Mackey or you're against him." Three seasons later and the scales have definitely tipped to one side. Two guesses, but you'll only need one.