...two perfect series finales.
As TV viewers, we've been conditioned to not let ourselves get too attached to good shows because more often than not, good shows get canceled early. Or, on the flip side, they go on far too long beyond their prime and the series finales end up falling short as unsatisfying afterthoughts.
So it's always a breath of fresh air when a truly quality program ends not only at its peak, but it ends with a series finale that does the entire run of the show justice. It doesn't happen often, and this year we were fortunate to say good-bye on a high note to two of the greatest cop dramas ever made, The Wire and The Shield.
(S07E13) "Family meeting!" - Shane
Seven seasons, 88 episodes, and it all comes down to this. Vic Mackey, one of television's greatest anti-heroes, finally got what was coming to him. The Shield is over and Tuesday nights across America just got a little less exciting. Shawn Ryan has crafted some masterful Vic Mackey moments since 2001, but this episode (and Michael Chiklis' acting in it) easily stand apart as one of the show's greatest achievements yet.
Over the past several years, TV fans have been fortunate enough to be able to say a proper good-bye to some of the medium's finest dramas ever made. Alias, The Wire, The West Wing, The Sopranos, and Six Feet Under have all bowed out within the past four years, and the list could go on. They all got "endings" - whether you liked them or not. However, none of them (save for The Wire and for entirely different reasons) were as consistently riveting as Vic Mackey's exploits on FX's The Shield.
Since the seventh and final season began airing, FX has sent critics the first 11 episodes. So, despite the fact that I've been in the know, I've tried to avoid sounding like "I have a secret" in my episode reviews. Still, I was in the dark like everyone else when it came to how it all ends. So imagine my glee when I received an invite last month to attend a screening of the show's final two installments followed by a Q&A with Shield creator Shawn Ryan.