The Shield Series Finale
Starring Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, Catherine Dent, CCH Pounder, Jay Karnes, Laurie Holden
Air date: November 25, 2008
After 88 episodes of groundbreaking, gritty television, The Shield is finally over. It was a crown masterwork of police procedural drama, utilizing such creative storytelling that viewers should feel blessed simply to have witnessed its unfolding. But if there’s been one flaw with this show, it’s that it’s always been just a little bit too in love with its main characters. Time and time again, we’ve seen Vic and his Strike Team worm their way out of every single legal conundrum and gang-related bear trap that has been thrown their way. This crew has done some pretty sick, twisted stuff over the past few years, and they had much to atone for leading into the finale. Creator and showrunner Shawn Ryan had plenty of opportunities to send some of these characters to jail or to kill them off, but he always seemed reluctant to do so. Not that we ever really wanted him to: It seems a warmed over observation, but part of the brilliance of The Shield was making you root for every single one of these characters. With season 7 being the show’s last, Ryan had nothing to lose anymore; he could deal with the characters and bring their arcs to a conclusion in whatever way he wanted to. The question after all these years of torture, corruption, and murder is, would Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) walk away? Or would he finally get caught?
With just one 90-minute-long episode left, I desperately wanted there to be a reckoning, some final closure for all the injustice that has been doled out, or at least some closure. To a huge extent, this series finale thoroughly delivered.
[WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE FINAL EPISODE OF THE SHIELD].
The Shield Season 7
Starring Michael Chiklis, Walton Goggins, Catherine Dent, CCH Pounder, Jay Karnes, Cathy Cahlin Ryan
Premiere: September 2, 2008, 10PM
SPOILER WARNING: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE SHIELD: SEASON 6 AND MINOR SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST FEW EPISODES OF THE SHIELD: SEASON 7.
It’s been over a year since we’ve seen a new episode of The Shield and, for me, it’s like waiting for an older brother to come home from a brief stint in juvie: Although deep down you know he’s a bad influence and you probably shouldn’t hang out with him, you giddily can’t wait for his return. When we last left Vic Mackey, he had seized Cruz Pezuela’s blackmail box full of material that could compromise every city official in LA. Pezuela was about to use the box as leverage to buy massive portions of Farmington uncontested. Vic was determined to take him down, but with only days left on the job, how would he complete the task?
Unlike 24, where years can transpire between seasons, The Shield has always tried to give us a continuous storyline, regardless of how much time has taken place in real life. Season 7 continues that trend, as the opening scene occurs only hours after last season’s finale. In the season premiere alone, a woman is bound up and gagged as bait for a cop, Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) painfully tortures a criminal for information, and someone is murdered in cold blood. The Shield is back, baby. As the season continues, we see Vic and Shane scrambling to deal with their new Armenian boss, Rezian, while Vic and Aceveda simultaneously try to figure out an angle on how to take down Pezuela.