The Shield: Possible Kill Screen
(S07E12) "How much memory does that thing got?" - Vic
One down and one to go.
Victor Samuel Mackey. Hard to believe, that after seven seasons, we didn't even know Vic's full name. If you think about it, there's a lot we don't know about him and his past - other than what we've seen him do. A list of deeds that's now on record with the United States federal government. Uncle Sam just gave Vic a free pass.
When I spoke with Shawn Ryan recently, he mentioned that in all his research about dirty cops, when two of them went off the radar like Vic and Ronnie did, one eventually looks out for himself and turns against the other. So while it was shocking to see Vic hang Ronnie out to dry, were you really that surprised?I said early on in the season how amazing it was that Ronnie had turned into such a pivotal character. A guy who had no lines at all in the pilot episode is now going to take the fall (along with Shane) for every terrible thing Vic ever had a hand in. And the worst part is that Vic is going to lead him on into thinking he's got a deal coming too. Ronnie has no idea that his fate is sealed.
Another thing I've mentioned at least a few times over the course of this season are the brilliant looks some of the actors have been giving. These faces and expressions that just say 1000 different things - especially Shane. This episode, a few others stepped up. I loved Dutch's face when that gambling bum told him that the guy who robbed them was named Trap. Wagenbach made this smug look as if to say, "Only Shane Vendrell would use such a stupid alias." It's no Cletus Van Damme, that's for sure.
Olivia had a brilliant look too. This all-knowing realization in the I.C.E. interrogation room, when she saw Vic for who he really was and the game he ran. It was pure terror and disgust at the same time.
But before she even got to that, there was Vic's face - the long pause. You want immunity? Tell. Me. Everything. His face went white, and he looked mortified as all those past actions came up in his head. Terry Crowley. The money train. Margos. Then it was like a light bulb clicked. A sigh as that mortified feeling turned to relief. How good it must have felt to spew out all that evil and know that he can't get hurt by it. I think what amazed me the most was how his entire impetus for signing the deal was Corinne's safety. It still hasn't crossed Vic's mind that she might be working against him.
More thoughts on "Possible Kill Screen":
Yes, before you ask, Shawn Ryan did verify that he got the idea for the episode title from The King of Kong. If you don't get it, watch this clip from the documentary. We're almost at the end.
Shane's Wal-Mart line was priceless.
I'm still amazed at the downward spiral Shane has taken. Robbing old vice collars at a gambling hall? How is that a good idea? The icing on the cake was when he had to do those two lines of blow to keep his cover. As if things couldn't get any worse for Shane, now he's high. Mara finally breaking is going to be the end, though. She wants to go home?
The one thing I don't get? Why Olivia and Chaffee weren't more curious about Vic demanding immunity. Doesn't that scream, "I've done something terrible?" All it would have taken was one call to Wyms to get the Cliff Notes.
Rita didn't know about the calls to Dutch. Do the math. If she didn't make the calls, Lloyd did. That means only one thing.
I think it's hilarious that Billings' legal issues are still around. Now that's a failure of the system, for a guy like that to still potentially get off. It's like a mirror of Vic's situation, only with no dead bodies and capital crimes involved.
That final scene with Dutch and Claudette was amazing. In the interview I referenced previously, Ryan said that during a few takes, CCH Pounder actually dropped the F-bomb, and he considered fighting for it to stay.
The possible kill screen is no more. This could have been the end for Vic, but he's going to fight to see one more day with a job that has dental and life insurance coverage. I'll stop talking now. Who's got predictions for how it'll all end for Victor Samuel Mackey?