Home > Television, TV Reviews, TV Shows, TV Spoilers! > Did Vic Mackey Go Out With Guns Blazing In “The Shield” Series Finale?

Did Vic Mackey Go Out With Guns Blazing In “The Shield” Series Finale?


It’s tough to swallow, but “The Shield” is over. After seven seasons of white-knuckling, cringe-inducing moments, we learned the fate of Vic Mackey and the wake of his self-destruction. Up until now, my favorite season of “The Shield” was season four, which featured Glenn Close as the Captain of The Barn and Anthony Anderson as the evil Antwon Mitchell. The final season, in my opinion, has now bested all before it and given one of the greatest endings to a television series ever.

Of the 88 episodes of “The Shield”, last night’s 90-minute finale packed in signature moments for every recurring character and also delivered some of the most powerful, gut-wrenchingly intense stuff from the show’s entire history. If you thought that Vic Mackey’s problems had reached their boiling point with last week’s brutal confession, well, you were wrong.

There were lots of different ways that Shane and his family could have ended up. Now, I would be lying if what happened was one of the things I considered. Even as all of the desperate attempts to run or turn himself in fell by the wayside, I did not think that Shane would quietly poison his pregnant wife, son, and then shoot himself. It was one of the saddest and most painful things I have ever watched. The fact that, other than the gunshot, it was so quiet made it even tougher to sit through. I’m not sure if I was even breathing.

There haven’t been many accolades thrown at Walton Goggins’ portrayal of Shane Vandrell over the years. Even though Shane was just as guilty as Vic (I’ll get to him shortly), Goggins was able to make his very flawed character become a sympathetic character. Even the suicide note conveyed what everyone should have known all along: Shane was a follower and Vic was his leader. Unfortunately for Shane, it took him too long to see that the path he chose was the wrong one.

The events with the other detectives at The Barn were quite captivating as well. Jay Karnes got one last interrogation as the great Dutch. This one may have been his best and most interesting because he was personally involved in the case. It was a fulfilling conclusion to a case that he worked all season and showed again that Dutch was indeed the best cop at The Barn.

Now…let’s get to the real meat and potatoes from last night. Why not start with the entire sequence of events that Claudette Wims set up? When Vic was asked to go to The Barn for some questioning, I knew that he was in for some trouble. Once Claudette got Vic in the interrogation room, read Shane’s suicide note, and showed Vic the photos of the crime scene, it was without a shadow of a doubt CCH Pounder’s crowning achievement on this show. Vic barely said a word and for maybe the first time ever, you felt that his presence wasn’t the largest one on screen. I’ve been saying it for quite some time, but Pounder deserves to be remember once we reach Emmy and Golden Globe time.

Of course, Claudette wasn’t done with Vic yet. She waited until Vic could watch them arrest Ronnie. By doing that, she took the last thing that Vic had left: loyalty. He turned on Ronnie to save his own skin. Just listening to Ronnie fall apart because of Vic’s betrayal was heartbreaking.

Then, Vic’s true punishment came: emasculation. Upon showing up for work at his new job with ICE, Vic learned that he was being put behind a desk as an analyst for three years. We get to see Vic, in a suit and tie, wind down his first day as an analyst. Vic gets out pictures of his three children, who he will never see again, and sets them up on his desk. He pulls out a picture of he and Lem. He sits in complete silence as the office lights are turned off. He reaches into his bag, pulls out his gun, and tucks it into the back of his dress pants, puts on his blazer and leaves his office.

This was one of the greatest finales in TV history. Even more so, the final scene of Michael Chiklis alone at his desk should stay with “Shield” fans for quite some time. It was amazing to watch an actor play a character like Vic Mackey with such bombast for so long just sit and convey everything that he lost with silence. It was an amazing performance from an actor that one would assume had played all his cards as a character long ago. It turns out that there was still one thing left for Michael Chiklis’ Vic Mackey to do: lose.

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  1. November 28, 2008 at 2:45 PM

    Vic doesnt lose….oh no, he never lost, Vic will still manhandle the system somehow, unfortunately the show is over so that sucks….It was a great finale I can say that, lots of surprises, I completely enjoyed it!

  2. November 28, 2008 at 5:00 PM

    I’d like to think that Vic never loses either…but he lost big time.

  3. Julian Roberts
    October 9, 2009 at 11:21 AM

    They should make a show called “I.C.E.” and Vic gets unleashed on society again that would be sweet

  4. June 14, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    Hey fans of The Shield, The Shield is out on Blu-Ray and DVD! Finally!
    The Shield DVD

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