The Shield

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jesus the mexican boi
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Re: The Shield

#26 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:40 am

The dramatic tension is everywhere in that episode. My God-- what's going to happen to Dutch and Rita??! That was one of many parts that had me breathless... Or Dutch and Billings? I fear that Rita's son is going to do something horrible and Billings will stand by and let Dutch dangle as payback. Like I said, every character is coming into play. It's like Shakespeare -- the details are everything.

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Re: The Shield

#27 Post by Highway 61 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:34 am

Just caught up with the penultimate episode. My god. It really says something that the darkest moment of a show as violent as The Shield was silence.

And I'm sorry, but I just have to repeat what I said last week: Chiklis is too damn good to act in shit like Fantastic Four and Eagle Eye. Please let there be a producer or director out there who will give this incredible talent the movie career he deserves.

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Re: The Shield

#28 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 3:18 pm

To be fair, I think his dream role was to play The Thing. But otherwise, you're right on the money. There are many other examples I can think of, actors who started on TV who never made it to Hollywood who should have. I can almost understand why some people hate on Clooney for example, even though I think he's done fine work for the past decade. Especially in light of the fact that he's snubbed a brief return to ER this season.

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Re: The Shield

#29 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:00 am

A.V. Club Interview with Shawn Ryan.

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Re: The Shield

#30 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:45 am

Wow...just...fucking wow. Best finale to a series I can think of.

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Re: The Shield

#31 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:54 am

It was magic, tragic and perfect. Goodbye, Vic.

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Re: The Shield

#32 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:57 am

I'm going to have to Bogart that line somewhere else lol.

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Re: The Shield

#33 Post by Highway 61 » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:20 pm

I don't think there's any ending that could have satisfied me. I was hoping for a bloodbath; instead we got pitiful and unnerving, which did work very well. In particular, Shane's fate and the Vic/Claudette confrontation devastated me. My biggest gripe is that the killer kid and especially Andre 3000 did not need to be in the finale.

Now that it's all over, I've been trying to rank the seasons, but they blend together so well that I can't. Plus, the show began as a great ensemble piece in its first two seasons, and then shifted entirely to the Strike Team and Dutch and Claudette, so I have trouble comparing the two eras. That said, my rough ranking (from best to worst) goes like this:

Five
Four
Seven
One
Three
Two
Six

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Re: The Shield

#34 Post by jesus the mexican boi » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:47 pm

The killer kid and Andre 3K were there to tie up Dutch and Aceveda storylines. I thought the killer kid could have played out a little more, and put Dutch into a position of having to rely on Billings after he'd "burned" him, but I thought this was still satisfying. Andre 3K less so. I thought the cellphone photo of Aceveda would rear its ugly head (harhar) in the finale, but instead we get the suggestion that Aceveda's future political career is uncertain. Claudette's scene in the interrogation room with Vic was the most powerful moment of the finale for me, laying the blame for that horror right at Vic's feet. That Vic is stripped of his power, becoming a suit in a cubicle at a desk job, is also fitting, as is the final moment, when he shows that even after all that, he's still Vic, the last man standing. A perfect cap.

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Re: The Shield

#35 Post by julianw » Sun Feb 15, 2009 10:59 am

Just noticed in todays papers that the final season of the Shield will be on Five US in the UK starting on Monday.

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Re: The Shield

#36 Post by swo17 » Mon Aug 24, 2009 12:06 pm


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Re: The Shield

#37 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Feb 28, 2013 1:26 am

I've been starting to re-watch the series, via Netflixed-DVDs. I was surprised to find out the entire series was shot in 16x9, since I'd only seen it full-frame on FX. The show felt a little more claustrophobic that way, which helped with the tension.

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Re: The Shield

#38 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Mar 06, 2013 12:43 am

I'm continuing, via Hulu. It's in full frame which takes me back. AV Club has also started reviewing the show, starting with the pilot. Article went up today.

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Re: The Shield

#39 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Thu Mar 21, 2013 11:45 pm

Finished season 7 today. Someone lamented in another thread about how Chiklis isn't getting work the same caliber as this, and while that still holds true, at least he has a network show again now that seems to be pretty solid ratings-wise. And Goggins (Shane and his family in those last episodes had me damn near tears) is doing good on Justified, not to mention his supporting-player gigs recently for Spielberg and Tarantino.

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Re: The Shield

#40 Post by Polybius » Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:19 am

The Walter White discussion in the Breaking Bad thread (which I don't have a strong opinion about, not being heavily invested emotionally in that show) reminded me of the somewhat similar reaction to the end of The Shield, specifically the ultimate fate of Vic Mackey. I don't know why I never posted anything after the finale, especially since I was active in the thread all through the last season.

It didn't color my view of the whole series (the way the Lost finale did, almost making me sorry that I had bothered to watch the show at all) but I was still pretty unsatisfied with Mackey essentially skating away after causing so very much mayhem. I know that he lost his family (somehow I doubt that he couldn't find them eventually if he really wanted to) but that's hardly any sort of penance for his various actions, most notably the original sin of the series, his cold blooded murder of an undercover cop assigned to his squad.

I stand by all the praise I lavished on the show earlier in the thread (and could go on much longer in elaborating on it) but that finale, with him adjusting to his new reality and obviously not having changed in any measurably positive way and, frankly, not laying in a ditch slowly bleeding out, still rankles me.

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#41 Post by swo17 » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:44 am

Breaking Bad spoilers:

[spoiler="The Shield and Breaking Bad"]His "new reality" was a bureaucratic hell. He may have outsmarted the penal system but the show certainly presented that he would be miserable in his new, lowly position. Kind of the opposite of the ending of Breaking Bad.[/spoiler]
Last edited by swo17 on Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Shield

#42 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:41 pm

Spoilers discussion moved here.

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Re:

#43 Post by Polybius » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:33 pm

swo17 wrote:Breaking Bad spoilers:

[spoiler="The Shield and Breaking Bad"]His "new reality" was a bureaucratic hell. He may have outsmarted the penal system but the show certainly presented that he would be miserable in his new, lowly position. Kind of the opposite of the ending of Breaking Bad.[/spoiler]
I don't think so. It was rather clearly implied in his last scene, when he hopped up and went out toward those sirens, gun in hand, that he was going to be anything but meekly accepting of that fate.

Further, I think it was obvious that he was meant to be seen as, if not heroic, at least his own man and someone to be taken at that face value, regardless of what a worthless piece of shit he'd clearly been shown to be, which seems to be a central complaint about Walter's demise.

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Re: The Shield

#44 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:46 pm

I think the ending is more true to Vic Mackey and the realism of the series than an explicitly moralistic one where he is punished. I mean, it's clear he's a total piece of shit who easily gives up even his most basic values (his treatment of Ronnie was especially shabby) and loses everything he's ever valued and that has ever given him meaning: family, friends, his job, his reputation, his power. And yet he's a survivor; once again, he's found a way to survive. Contrast this to Shane, who never was a survivor and whose progressive downward spiral is something Mackey would never find himself in.

So, yeah, they could've ended the series with a moralistic judgement, but it's far more appropriate for it to end this way, with justice not served but injustice not rewarded, either.

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Re: The Shield

#45 Post by Polybius » Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:15 am

I would normally be receptive to that but Ryan explicitly said right at the start of the first season that he wouldn't let Mackey skate away from the consequences of his actions when all was said and done.

It was a major factor in my deciding to invest time watching the show because when it premiered, the advertising strongly suggested it was going to feature a Dirty Harry Callahan ends-means calculus and I was definitely not interested in sitting through that, especially from the same people who had more or less granted Joel Surnow carte blanche to wipe his ass with most every norm of civilization on their sister network. To put it plainly, I feel that he either wimped out or was misrepresenting his intentions all along.

Add to that what I mentioned earlier in the thread, the legion of dumbasses I encountered online then who were cheering his every move as being for the greater good, many of whom were thrilled with his final fate. That fact (specifically it's echo in some of the reaction to the Breaking Bad finale) is what started the wheels moving in my mind last night and caused me to recheck this tread to see if I had ever shared my problems with the ending.

All in all, it's not that big a deal. It was a fantastic series, second only to The Wire in it's era. There's just a small bad taste left in my mouth at the end.

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Re: The Shield

#46 Post by Mr Sausage » Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:25 pm

Polybius wrote:I would normally be receptive to that but Ryan explicitly said right at the start of the first season that he wouldn't let Mackey skate away from the consequences of his actions when all was said and done.

Then the problem is that you presupposed what Ryan meant and were upset when the series didn't line up with what you had assumed all those years ago. Mackey plainly does not "skate away" from the consequences of his actions: he loses everything and admits responsibility for every crime he ever committed. It's one of the great points of the series that that first crime, killing Terry Crowley, is never forgotten or ignored; it continues to haunt the team up until the final season and is the very first thing Mackey cops to in that final episode. You seem to've assumed that facing the consequences of your actions means being punished by some institution or other (prosecuted or killed, evidently); but it also means not being able to escape from the responsibility of having committed certain acts, not being able to deny them. Mackey escapes death and prosecution, but his choices alienate him from everything and everyone he most values and forces him to admit to all of his heinous acts. There was no crime Mackey was able to pretend he didn't commit; his facade came crashing down.

Mackey does not escape from his crimes. He isn't rewarded for them or in spite of them, either. He barely survives. He sees everything he ever loved and valued disappear. That he is still not broken by this is true to his character, but that fact doesn't make his future any brighter. The ending is in keeping with the spirit of the show: it's not moralistic, it's not contrived, it very much following the logic of its characters.

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Re: The Shield

#47 Post by Polybius » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:44 am

I think the main thing here is that you've accepted it more at face value than I have.

I never thought it was contrived and I didn't want to see a Hays Code type ending but to me (and it's possible that I'm just being hypersensitive here), that ending (of him staling off toward The Action) was a clear wink to the audience of people who endorsed him and his career unreservedly, that he (and they) were essentially right all along.

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Re: The Shield

#48 Post by zedz » Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:47 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:Mackey does not escape from his crimes. He isn't rewarded for them or in spite of them, either. He barely survives. He sees everything he ever loved and valued disappear. That he is still not broken by this is true to his character, but that fact doesn't make his future any brighter. The ending is in keeping with the spirit of the show: it's not moralistic, it's not contrived, it very much following the logic of its characters.
I've just made my way through the whole series, and I think this is exactly right, and that Mackey's real comeuppance on the show is the moment in the Barn when Claudette reveals him to be a rat in front of everybody whose opinion he values. Going right back to the the beginning of the series, Vic had largely defined himself by his (bogus) values and his reputation (specifically the fact that he's popular amongst his fellow cops, a fact that he's played against other characters in every season). In one fell swoop, Claudette destroys all that, and exposes him to his cronies and colleagues as a self-serving hypocrite who betrays all of his supposed core values right up to the most fundamental one: loyalty. His justification for killing Terry in the very first episode was that he was a rat. Who's the rat in the last?

Of course, this isn't the resolution Claudette wanted, but it's the best she could engineer under the shitty circumstances, and it's pretty damned effective.

I thought the resolution of the Aceveda storyline (and the fate of the otherwise irrelevant mayoral rival) was intended to read as confirmation that he's still in bed with the gangs, despite the cartel guy being out of the picture. We know he's capable of exactly this strategy (getting the gangs to execute a very personal hit on his behalf - and this hit is purely personal, as the guy is not a realistic rival), and here we see that he's becoming even more entrenched in corruption. The new Pezuela, even. (What I would have loved to see as confirmation of this, and the tying up of another dangling loose end, would be the simultaneous appearance of the body of Aceveda's erstwhile S&M hookup, a coincidence that would only be meaningful to him and to us. And you just know that that's one timebomb he won't be prepared to let tick away indefinitely.)

A very enjoyable series, and it delivered the kind of emotionally satisfying ending that so many others can't quite finesse, but for me it always had the DNA and many of the flaws of its more conventional network antecedents. The acting was generally fine, but couldn't always paper over the shortcomings of the writing. Broad strokes aside, Aceveda tended to be written as a different character from season to season, according to the immediate needs of the plot, and Claudette - the most rounded female character by far - was consistently underwritten. Her 'character' moments were either of-the-shelf set pieces (talking points about racism or sexism, family business subplots that are done and dusted in an episode or two) or sentimental claptrap (oh my, a terminal illness), and CCH Pounder was swimming upstream all the way to create a memorable character out of those odds and ends. The other female characters fared much, much worse. And then there's the token, self-loathing, gay character. I was rolling my eyes when that plot unfurled in the first season but was prepared to watch and wait in case they took it somewhere interesting. Imagine my surprise when they took it nowhere at all, and the guy was 'cured' of his gayness and lived happily ever after, doing nothing of interest ever again. Hallelujah, I guess.

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Re: The Shield

#49 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:05 pm

There's a super sweet deal on the complete series box set at bestbuy.com now. 29.99 (with free standard shipping).

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Re: The Shield

#50 Post by domino harvey » Tue Feb 11, 2014 3:56 pm

Only one dollar more at Amazon

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