If I have ever had a real complaint about “The Shield” during its staggered, six-year run it’s that despite pulling every conceivable scam and crime (including torture and murdering a cop) during his usually successful attempts to do his job that karma never caught up with LAPD Detective Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis).
However, judging from rumors about this evening’s series finale—which Chicago Tribune TV critic Maureen Ryan called the best she’s ever seen—that karmic avalanche has finally arrived, and it’s going to collect more than a few bodies.
Follow up comments to come later.
But here's an advance bit of speculation: I read on Maureen Ryan's column today advice for viewers to keep watching after tonight's final credits roll. I'm wondering if the implied extra scene won't involve a cameo by Forrest Whittaker as Captain Ahab-like I.A. investigator Jon Kavanaugh, who nearly went nuts (and ended up in jail) trying to bring Mackey down.
Am I smelling irony, or no?
PS (10:56PM; CST): Well, that was pretty much a perfect ending. Very powerful and understated all at the same time. Vic lost everything, and is trapped in a place worse than prison because it has removed what he thrives on most: control.
However, I think the most telling detail about that final scene was the look of determination on Vic's face after he removed his sidearm from the lockbox, and left the office. My guess is that he was going to find his family.
As for the final fate of the Vendrell family, I found it pathetic that Shane (well-played, as always, by actor Walt Goggins) blamed all his problems on Vic when I never once saw the latter putting a gun to Shane's head to do anything - such as, drop a grenade in Lem's lap and run. Plus, Shane claiming that his wife was "innocent" in their whole ordeal was as much a crock considering that Mara helped orchestrate an armed robbery, shot a woman in the back, and conspired to help Shane kill Ronnie and Vic (after they had tried to grease Shane).
I guess the whole point here is that in a drama like "The Shield," innocence does not exist in any form.