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April 23, 2014

There is no Noloxone for Shield junkies

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 11th 2008 10:03AM
It's been more than three weeks since The Shield ended its seven-year run, and I still find myself wanting more. Not just wanting it. Craving it, needing it, willing to do anything for it -- the way one of Vic's CI junkies would gather intel on the One-Niners in the hopes he'll get to trade it for a taste of the sweet liquid heaven of Maxwell's Silver Hammer.

The ending isn't my problem. In fact, it's one of the better series endings I've seen in my lifetime. The show didn't go out all guns a blazin' in a fiery final showdown, with Shane or Vic waking up next to Suzanne Pleshette and realizing the entire season was just a dream that took place in an autistic child's snow globe.

It was a perfect balance of the two and a more fitting punishment than jail or death. With Mackey stuck behind a desk in bureaucracy hell, he's lost the one thing he thought he would always have, even if he got caught: control. And there's that infamous four minutes of silence that ends with Mackey tucking his hand cannon in the back of his suit pants as he leaves the office with police sirens blaring in the background. That leaves just enough mystery as to what he'll do next.

Some talkbackers out there may think the ending is lousy. But look at it this way: it's a hell of a lot better than Vic and company walking into a restaurant with his family to the bellowing rhythms of Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" blaring in the background as the screen cuts to black.

But what about the other characters? They were just as endearing and appealing as Mackey and his funky bunch, if not more mysterious and fascinating. The best of the bunch was Holland Wagenbach, known affectionately (depending on who's calling him by his nickname) as "Dutch," played brilliantly by actor Jay Karnes. He was the Barn's resident nerd, the down-on-his-luck pasty white guy who never gets to play in the PD's reindeer games and has less luck getting some than the protagonist of a Hank Williams' song.

The audience could go either way with Vic. He's a dirty cop who sometimes tries to do the right things for the wrong reasons and vice versa, so you could root for his survival or downfall. But with Dutch, he was always somebody's bitch, whether it was a crafty killer who occasionally eludes his smarmy grasp or another one of VIc's frat boy pranks. Nine times out of 10, you were always rooting for Dutch. The most interesting part of his character are the parts you didn't see. The show left just enough room by not focusing on every aspect of his life to let your imagination run like the opening of Chariots of Fire.

A couple of years ago, there was even talk of turning Dutchboy loose in a spinoff of his own. Karnes told the Knoxville News Sentinel that one of the show's producers wanted to give him his own series. Sadly, it never came to fruition, and now Karnes is on FX's newest gritty drama Sons of Anarchy. As fun as Dutch or Beverly Hills Dutch or Dutch's Oven might sound to watch, it's probably good that it didn't happen for various continuity and quality reasons. I held that thought up until yesterday, when this trailer for a new spinoff show surfaced on the web.

Click here to see the trailer since the video can't be embedded

Even though it's an obvious fake, this trailer got me more amped than a Mountain Dew laced with crystal meth. The alternating shots of Dutch going over crime scenes and manhandling suspects to fighting his never-ending battle with vending machines that holds his precious Ding Dongs look enticing and exciting. Plus, the blaring sounds of Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf," reminiscent of the time the Strike Team caught Dutch singing the song on tape in a police car after a humiliating bad date, promised more embarrassing hilarity than the announcement of a Bush White House press conference ever could.

But some of the clues the scripts left for what Dutch was like off-the-clock could be downright frightening. Like in Season 3 when he strangles an annoying cat outside of his home just so he could watch it die the way the "cuddler rapist" described it. Karnes told the Chicago Tribune there was a joke going around with the staff that one of the final shots of the series would feature Dutch walking into his basement where he has several bodies chained up and his last line is, "So, who had a good day?"

If that doesn't make the nerves in your spine tingle, you might want to get that looked at.

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Gabriel

I hate to say this but the series was ruined by that finale.

Seems like writers got pressured to end the show abruptly, without finishing up stories and picturing Vic as a monster, who HE IS NOT.

Again, I am extremely disappointed.

January 05 2009 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JT

Dutch in SOA is dead, we want a Dutch series!

December 11 2008 at 11:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
braden

It's naloxone. And anyway, you wouldn't use it when you have cravings. You would use it when you have overdosed. A good example of naloxone for the Shield would be if you had recorded 12 episodes and were in the middle of watching them straight through when your DVR suddenly exploded in flames and you were left with the local public TV station.

I'm an ER Nurse. Naloxone is my bread and butter.

December 11 2008 at 11:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Marky

I've always been stunned that people thought the ending was ambiguous, it seems obvious to me: Vic gets killed.

In the last seven years we've seen Vic and his team screw over hundreds of very bad people. The only thing that protected them was a gold shield and thousands of other cops that backed them up. Now Vic has lost his shield, and I can't see any cops rushing to his assistance, he's a confessed cop killer.

So Vic dies in a hail of bullets and Dutch works the scene and runs down the shooter(s). Bonus: Ronnie probably walks, since there is nobody to testify against him.

December 11 2008 at 5:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Marky's comment
DavidMac

What in the hell have you seen in Vic that makes you think he would do something for the benefit of anyone besides himself?

December 11 2008 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
const

Dutch-boy is free to other acting gigs. His character was killed on SOA.

December 11 2008 at 12:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DavidMac

I don't see how some of you think a murder working in a office is punishment. Like I said in the finale thread, if a man came and had sex with your mentally impared sister, killed your brother in cold blood, sold drugs on the side, framed innocent people, snitched on his associates and only got off with working 3 years at a government job making 60K a year with full benefits would you say justice was served?

Vic Mackey got off scott free and is going to find his kids. You better believe he is going to hold the info on the FBI chick over her head if she tries to screw him over.

December 11 2008 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DavidMac's comment
Joe stalin

Clearly you've never worked in an office. The lights .... they just drain the life out of you ...

December 11 2008 at 2:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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