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October 30, 2014

The Shield: Possible Kill Screen

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Nov 19th 2008 1:50AM

Michael Chiklis(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?

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Phil

My prediction:

ronny shoots vic for letting him go down!

November 27 2008 at 10:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Missy

What a show, what an ending. Too many questions left unanswered, though. Why did Dutch kill the cat? He should have turned out of the interrogation room either with a smile knowing he was framing Lloyd or he should have taken some trinket of hers out of his pocket so we knew that he killed her. What was that whole Steve/lawsuit story line? Who cared? They could have used that time and film to focus on something relevant to the show. Why did they bring Dani back? She should have had a stronger presence in the current plot, or why bother? What happens with Aceveda? Does he have something to do with the shooting of Andre 3000's character and is found out in the end, throwing away his mayoral chance? I think Shane and family ended the only way it could have, I would have liked Ronnie to have ended differently, but the characters always got their just desserts in the end...even the members of the Strike Team. Now my big question is what happened to Vic? You know he would NEVER settle for a desk job. He lost his team, his friends, his kids, his job as well as the one he thought he had secured with I.C.E., but most importantly he lost his power, the thing he cared for and craved the most. He had less than nothing. The way he looked at those pictures as he put them on his desk, like he was looking at them for the last time. I think, in order of believability, he either went into Olivia's office and shot himself sitting at her desk, took his gun to try to get Ronnie out of jail and going down in a blaze of gunfire at the Barn (probably by Dani, thus ending her custody worries or Claudette, giving her Vic in the end but pushing her health over the edge), he went to look for his kids, or he chucked it all and headed for Tijuana, though not likely. There had better be big Emmy nominations and huge wins for the acting/writing of this show, Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins and CCH Pounder especially. My Tuesday nights will be empty now, but I thank Shawn Ryan for bringing the Farmington gang into my life for the past 7 seasons.

November 27 2008 at 1:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Tdober

Perfect ending would have been.......

Dutch sitting in his chair at home with a drink in his hand just staring straight ahead.... Camera fades back and we see the kid's dead mother in a chair across from him !! Camera fades to Black....

November 26 2008 at 11:00 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Havok

I feel the Shield is an incredible show and it belongs in the same category as the best shows out there.I put this show in the same category as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the best SCFI show --Farscape.Not since Farscape have I loved a show so much until the Shield.It has great acting and the story lines are amazing.I hope maybe one day they will make a Shield movie and show like the aftermath of what happend in the final show....Farscape did that after it ened .Again if anyone ever wants to see a great show...buy the DVD series of Farscape...it was a beautiful show and I feel it belongs right next to the shield.Great job Chicklis ..I will miss The Shield after the dust settles.

November 24 2008 at 2:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Havok's comment
Ben

as good as CSI??? The Shield blows that crime scene show out of the water. The acting, writing and directing are light-years ahead of any of the Law and Orders or CSI's. Sorry, don't mean to sound harsh, but it's true...

November 24 2008 at 9:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CC

VIC DESERVES WHATEVER HE BRINGS ON HIMSELF. THEY SHOULD OF QUESTIONED HIM WANTING IMMUNITY.RONNIE AND SHANE ARE BOTH GOING TO DEAL WITH ALL VICS PROBLEMS WHILE VIC IS GETTING AWAY FREE...AGAIN THIS IS MY FAVORITE TV SHOW AND IM REALLY GOING TO MISS IT! PLEASE DO ANOTHER SEASON!!

November 23 2008 at 5:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lew

This is and will be the most realistic cop show of all time.

I will miss this show. It brings to light that cops are human and more evil then the criminals they hunt.

It brings reality to the world that law enforcement is now the most organized crime mafia in the world.

I am not disrespecting law enforcement but when you pick up the paper and read whats really going on it makes me think of the shield. Forget Law and Order or NYPD or CSI and any other cop show. This is how they operate and this is what law enforcement is doing when they are not being good guys.

The shield is the most dramatic realistic testosterone rush I have ever seen on television.

I am disapointed the show is over and will turn off my TV on tuesdays at 10pm Forever.

November 22 2008 at 12:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bestshowontv

If Vic doesn't get away clean but lose all of his friends and family, the show basically isn't being true to itself. The overall theme has been that while Vic gets away with all his misdeeds, karma catches up with him in other parts of his life. His home life comes undone in the first season and continues on a downward spiral, he loses his friends, his wife and his kids for parts of the show.

The show has always been about justice, but unconventional justice, in that it isn't based upon man made laws. All the drug dealers, rapists and murderers that get their comeuppance but not in a jail cell. Either through Vic and the striketeam dealing with them, or fate intervening in some other way. The show has always followed the themes that Vic's himself follows. We learn literally nothing we didn't already know about Vic in this episode ( which incidentally, for the confession alone is the best episode in the whole series). We already knew that he could do all the things he did and walk tall with a reasonably clear conscience. But there is no "bad guy" on this show, not even Vic. There are characters that you're attracted to and characters that you dislike. It's never been about good or bad, it's always been about reality, and reality is that there are always two viewpoints to every situation, and neither of them are necessarily right.

Vic sells out ronnie ( apparently, but with shawn ryan you can never be sure) and on one hand you can say he did it to protect himself, but on the other you can say he did it to protect his wife, which would follow the code of ethics Vic has always adhered to. He always put his family first, then his team, then himself. That's why they bothered to show him turn down the deal when he could have saved himself but left ronnie out to dry at first. It shows that his decision wasn't a purely selfish one and even during his confession ( when he's being absolutely truthful without even bothering to justify his actions) he says that even though ronnie is going down, at least corinne will be free of it all.

As for my predictions, the only one im comfortable with is related to dutch's storyline. Proven time and time again, nothing in the shield ever goes unfinished ( see tayvon's return, something id predicted since he left the show, and i'm pretty certain we've not seen the last of him either). Dutch's attempts to get closer to serial killer's and their mindset hasn't been explored in a while, so in this last episode i expect the cat scene to be in the "previously, on the shield" flashback. It's a near gaurantee that dutch either kills the boy, or helps the boy kill his mother.

No matter what happens, it's got to be a hell of a show to surpass this week's ep, and i'm 100% certain i'll be starting at episode 1 again because i'll be missing the show.

November 21 2008 at 7:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mrmar

Vic has already warned Ronnie to run, BEFORE Olivia made it clear he was not to. Remember, Ronnie wanted to skip 2 eps ago, Vic talked him out of it. Vic's faults are many, but remember his virtues-- over-riding sense of loyalty to friends and family. Ronnie was "In the wind" before Vic went back to the Feds. Plus Vic thinks on his feet better than anyone, and is a slippery SOB to boot. He wouldn't let his buddy get trapped in this mess.

The Feds were not setting Vic up, as some have suggested here. Olivia's horror at Vic's misdeeds, and her boss's disdain of Claudette, were all too real.

Now as for Dutch, I am intrigued by the suggested tie-in with the cat incident. Opens a whole pantheon of possibilities, like maybe the straight-laced button-down choir-boy appearance masks a serial killer? Hmmmm, THAT would be a revelation!

More likely, though, is that Psycho-Kid was holding a gun on his mom when Dutch showed up, and she was protecting both of them. I think the kid takes a few shots at Dutch in the end, possibly when Dutch and Billings are least expecting it, and Billings gets hit.

Claudette will take early retirement, and Dutch gets the Barn. Her mental state at the elevator, and her realization of how far gone she really is, will force her to quit. She is too much a professional to hang around when she knows she is slipping like that.

Shane and Mara-- most likely part of the body count the critic mentioned, but how it happens, I can only guess. I don't think he and Vic will meet up and shoot it out in the end-- for Shane to find Vic would be such an improbable coincidence that all plausibility would go out the window. Shane is a fugitive, with a wounded pregnant wife and a 2 yr old. How would he know where or how to find Vic? More likely, Julian and Tina find him and he forces them into a shoot-out. Shane, Mara, and Tina die, Julian survives.

The 4th body will be Acevedo-- I HOPE! Can't stand that guy. He will weasel his way into the Beltran bust, trying to make political hay as a brave cop doing his duty, and Beltran will blow his freaking head off, just before Vic shoots Beltran.

Vic will survive, and will not go to prison. His cleverness will save him, like it always has, but he loses his family, friends, every thing he holds dear. Corrinne will never warm up to him again, or let him see the kids, and Dani was gone because she was making some arrangements to safeguard their son from Vic, like hiding him at her mother's until she can get the custody thing finalized.

WHEW!! What a wild ride it's been! After waiting so long for this season to come around, it' hard to believe the end is so near.

THANK YOU SHAWN RYAN, MICHAEL CHIKLIS, ET AL; FOR THE GREATEST TV SHOW EVER!!

November 21 2008 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
spoiler

Vic will turn himself in.

November 21 2008 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jee

Damn...what can be said...only 1 90 minute episode left and i still have no idea what will happen...but i'll try and guess...the small things 1st

i think Claudette's illness will get the better of her...she'll drop out and Dutch will become captain of the barn...but only after a showdown and an admission to the kid that he too harbours the dark thoughts of a serial killer.

Julian will have another gay moment...

Shane will crack and kill Mara to save her from jail..and he and his son will run.

as for Ronnie...either Vic will tell him that he needs to run or he'll figure it out for himself

as for Vic....who knows...he'll either run with Ronnie or will burn for him....or he'll get killed by the Cartel saving Ronnie's ass...and his last words will be to tell him that he needs to run cause Vic burned him to the feds

November 21 2008 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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