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August 31, 2014

The Shield: Party Line

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Nov 5th 2008 3:01AM

Michael Chiklis and Benito Martinez
(S07E10) "You should run too, man." - Ronnie

It's arguable that smarter words have never been uttered by anyone on The Shield before. Run? Um... yeah! The word "duh" comes to mind. How else can Vic possibly protect himself other than just disappearing? With all the pieces to this puzzle, there's just too much chance that something doesn't fit. It's a testament to Vic's ego and hubris that he's still willing to hang on for the remainder of the ride, but longtime fans have to be wondering how this can possibly come out clean for him.

At least Ronnie is getting cold feet. But no sooner was he ready to run for the Mexican countryside before Vic was able to assuage his fears and reel him right back into this mess. The puppet master and his puppet, or as Shane called Ronnie, "little Vic." Talk about a transition for Ronnie over seven seasons though, huh? He's pivotal to this story and yet, here's a character who was simply background fodder with no lines in the pilot episode. Gardocki has come a long way... depending on how you define "long way" of course.

(L-R): Ben Bray as Santi, David Rees Snell as Ronnie, and Michael Chiklis as Vic.Desperation seemed to be the theme in this episode as everyone nears the end of their personal tolerances. Vic and Ronnie actually went to Santi and the Byz Lats to put a hit out on Shane and Corinne finally cracked under the pressure of Vic's manipulation and signed a deal with Dutch and Claudette. You know it's bad when your own ex-wife is working against you. Not that I blame Corinne. However, the highlight of this episode was by far just watching Shane and Mara play house while the rest of Los Angeles runs around like mad. Despite the fact that the whole empty house/empty life metaphor was being shoved down our throats, it was still mesmerizing to see these two act normal for a moment -- grilling, singing and dancing. It took unspeakable tragedy to make them act like a family for the first time. It's sad really.

But I think it just shows how they're breaking down. The family act, something that is completely unlike them, is just a front for the fear of it all ending. Take that scene where Mara and Shane were in the pool. "Close you eyes" she said. All they can do is daydream now. Wyms grabbing the phone from Corinne at the end was perfect too. After Mara got off the phone with her, she actually look relieved as if to say, "we have an out."

Moving on to Aceveda, I personally think this is some of the best acting Benito Martinez has displayed in the entire run of the series. Seeing him step up to Vic, then Cruz, and finally Beltran was amazing. I never knew he had that side to him. Ever since "the incident," he's been such a passive individual and David is finally letting it all out. Of course, it's all in vain because Vic always comes out on top in those battles.

More thoughts on "Party Line" --

  • I think I may have mentioned this before, but Vic's gun is HUGE.
  • Ronnie is a fool if he thinks Vic is going to be able to somehow fold him into his demands with I.C.E. and Olivia. Vic may have some sway, but it still seems like big risk for Ronnie. Even Vic has to realize that it's just an empty promise at this point.
  • Pezuela must be an idiot. Doesn't he realize that Vic asking him to stall is simply so Vic has more time to nail Beltran himself? Does Pezuela actually think that this will somehow help get him off with no charge? Fool.
  • The look on Cruz's face when David had him in the corner was priceless. He knew it was over and his eyes said it all.

With only three episodes to go, we can expect things to start picking up speed. There was a lot of foreshadowing in this episode and with the end of the line coming, it's all answers from here on out.

Do you think Ronnie should have run?
No way. He's been loyal. Vic will come through on his promises.79 (17.5%)
Absolutely. Eventually, Vic is going to reach a point where he can only look out for himself.372 (82.5%)

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24 Comments

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Maria

Ronnie is going to kill Mackey:(

November 20 2008 at 9:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

With the massive conspiracy to get Vic, I think Claudette and Dutch have no idea that it is going on. Kavanaugh learned the first time no one can be trusted and if anyone does know, Vic will eventually find out.
And there is no way Cassidy kills Vic. Just because he had an affair doesn't mean it would make it believable for his own daughter to kill him. I like the idea of her actually finding out and alerting Vic.

November 06 2008 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
khamel

there was a story before the start of filming for this season where micheal chiklis was asked about the ending of the show. he said shawn ryan told him to go home and write how he (chiklis) thought it would end and they would compare notes the next day. chiklis claimed that he independently wrote the same ending as ryan. while that might be exaggerated a little, that leads me to believe that it will be less complicated and more reductive - in that the end will be the culmination of all the shit that has happened to vic's character over the years.

my thought is that instead of the daughter turning on vic, i think shes going to help him out. shes going to find out her mom is working with the cops, tell vic about it and hes going to figure out a way to make it seem like he knew about it all the time and spin it into his deal with the feds. i've got to believe ronnie gets away with everything and shane dies and mara and the kids live.

November 06 2008 at 11:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to khamel's comment
Gabriel

i agree with khamel.
cassidy will help vic.

kavanaugh will never be coming back.. just forget him.

what i think will happen is aceveda gets killed, shane gets arrested and kills himself in prision, vic walks somehow, and claudette either dies (fortunately) by herself or commits a crime trying to nail vic and get arrested.

November 06 2008 at 3:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John in Dallas

I think it's interesting how desperation has made everyone so delusional - Shane thinking he can buy a house in California for $100 grand?

November 06 2008 at 8:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to John in Dallas's comment
Jim

They were planning to run to Colombia, bro. I guess their money will go a lot further down there.

November 06 2008 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pvarine

I hope Tavon ends up killing Shane and unknowingly taking care of Vic and Ronnie's problem. 'Cause as soon as they put their mugshots on the news, Tavon's gonna find out they're on the run. At first I thought his "So now we know who you are" comment to Shane was just moral superiority, but now I'm kinda hoping it was a threat!

Re: the massive conspiracy to net Vic... given Claudette's moral superiority complex, I just can't see her taking part in a sting that would get "innocents" killed, even if those innocents are gang members.

November 06 2008 at 7:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

I feel ya, but I feel there is no way Olivia is being completely truthful with Vic and for us fans who have seen every episode, we know Feds are NEVER a good thing when it comes to Vic Mackey. Plus, there has to be a reason Danny hasn't been around. Has anyone noticed how Claudette hasn't said a word about her right-hand-woman hasn't been there in days?? Danny is far too big of a character to just disappear in the storyline like Tina has. And what about the serial killer Dutch is trying to get? And what about Tavon? So many questions to be answered...

November 06 2008 at 2:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pvarine

I really, really like that shocker ending, but there's been too much bloodshed for the whole Mexican Mafia angle to have been a police-engineered ruse... unless, for some reason, an agency flipped Beltran or Pezuela and they're using him... but that would mean ICE is in on a massive, resource-draining sting whose ultimate purpose is to catch Vic Mackey... doesn't figure.

I keep coming back to the Dutchman's quote in, uh, I believe, season three: "I'm tired of people getting away with murder." It was the episode where he almost planted evidence on a suspect. I'd really like to see an episode with a sort of recreation of the Antwon-Vic-Rawling interrogation, only with Dutch and Wyms, with Mackey playing the role of Antwon.

November 06 2008 at 1:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

I keep hearing how this season is going to "blow the viewers' minds." With that being the only info we're given I have a sneaking suspicion Forest Whitaker's character Det. Kavanaugh is going to show up in the end. My idea is all of this stuff with Pezuela and Beltran is a made up act to let Vic fall into. What I mean is this is all made up by kavanaugh and in the final episode when Vic thinks he got away with another crime Kavanaugh walks out and puts him behind bars. And in the final scene, Vics walks into his cell which he finds out is sharing with Antwone Mitchell. Something/someone has to come back from the past to bite him in the ass, and Kavanaugh and Mitchell are his two biggest enemies who are still alive.

November 06 2008 at 12:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ben

I keep hearing how this season is going to "blow the viewers' minds." With that being the only info we're given I have a sneaking suspicion Forest Whitaker's character Det. Kavanaugh is going to show up in the end. My idea is all of this stuff with Pezuela and Beltran is a made up act to let Vic fall into. What I mean is this is all made up by kavanaugh and in the final episode when Vic thinks he got away with another crime Kavanaugh walks out and puts him behind bars. And in the final scene, Vics walks into his cell which he finds out is sharing with Antwone Mitchell. Something/someone has to come back from the past to bite him in the ass, and Kavanaugh and Mitchell are his two biggest enemies who are still alive.

November 06 2008 at 12:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pvarine

A few quick notes:

- I love that while Billings does so many idiotic things and is considered to indeed BE an idiot by Dutch and Wyms, he has no difficulty seeing right through Dutch's lies about Corrine ("Dutch and Claudette are playin' I-Got-A-Secret...")
- For a second, I thought Aceveda might actually cap Mackey. But how could they possibly do the last three episodes with no Vic?
- Even with all of the walls closing in on him, all Vic has to do is get to Shane and Mara and he's in the clear. Corinne's word doesn't mean much without corroboration from the Vendrells, and it's hard to see them getting very near The Barn without Vic or Ronnie finding out.

November 05 2008 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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