The Final Act
(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.
(S07E09) "What? I'm supposed to be Shane Vendrell to whatever Vic Mackey plan you've hatched?" - Dutch
I've got to say - Dutch annoys me sometimes. His high 'n' mighty, holier than thou act can be a bit tiring. Especially when he's being hypocritical about it. For him to say no to Steve and chastise him for setting up that sex offender is completely ridiculous and I'm so glad Billings called him out on it. Dutch has been faking sexual attraction to Rita Denton for weeks now, all in an effort to draw info on Lloyd - completely unethical! It's just humorous to me that he consistently draws a line and then steps over it anyway.
(S07E06) "I'm not Shane." - Vic
There are way too many layers to that quote. For Vic to say something like that and to actually believe it just goes to show you how delusional a person he truly is. For him to actually believe that he's somehow better than Shane Vendrell is just about as hypocritical as it gets. Bad behavior leads to more bad behavior by setting a precedent and if you're a longtime fan of The Shield, you know the original sin: Terry Crowley.
(S07E03) "I don't need the box. I have you." - Vic
Quicksand. Vic and Ronnie finally uttered the one word that has been lingering over The Shield since the beginning. Sure, as a team, they've had some wins and some losses. Despite the fact that they seem to keep coming out on top, it's finally becoming clear that they've been slowly sinking all along.
FX is calling it the final act. Not the last season or the final season. Nothing jarring like "the end." The final act sounds more Shakespearean than Shield - which, if you think about it, is appropriate. For six seasons we've watched one hell of a twisted play unfold before our eyes. We've rooted for the bad guy, applauded wrongdoing, cheered for recklessness, and shared laughs over how bad Vic Mackey screwed over this One-Niner or that Byz-Lat. However, as all good stories do, the time has come for The Shield to end.
It's coming. Finally. Tuesday, September 2nd. There's been lots of speculation about when The Shield's seventh and final season would return. First it was supposed to be last month. Then, because of the writer's strike, it got bumped to September - but nothing was confirmed. Well now it's official. FX has updated The Shield website and 9/2/2008 is the day "The Final Act" begins. 13 episodes and it's over for good. In the meantime, FX has added some fantastic cast on cast interviews to the site featuring CCH Pounder, Benito Martinez, Michael Chiklis, and... wait for it... Kenny Johnson. Lem, back from the dead! Well, not really, but after the jump I embedded one of the interviews between Chiklis and Johnson where they talk about Lem's demise. It's good stuff and based on the set-up of the site, it looks like more interviews will be added each week. I'm hoping they bring back some other old favorites like they did with Lem. I'd love to see Walton Goggins face-off with Anthony Anderson, considering the history Shane and Antwon have. Who'd you like to see?
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