A couple observations on The Shield as I have just finished the series. The show is quite a ride. Convoluted and twisting like a wounded snake. I am impressed with the depth of the series, the details and the way every episode builds the story to the conclusion.
I’m relieved that it’s over. Because when you get into a good story that is well told, you put yourself into the story, immerse yourself in it… and with this one, I felt dirty. When it ended, I actually breathed a sigh of relief that it’s done.
Over all, this show told a story and told it well. It’s not a happy story. It’s a story of Failure. It’s one that is hard to look at. On one hand, you have Bad People doing Bad Things for Bad Reasons. Then you have Good People doing bad things for Bad Reasons. Then you have Bad People doing Bad Things, for Good Reasons. It’s hard to keep track of who the good guys are and who that bad guys are.
Vic Mackey just might be the most interesting character in TV’s history. His loyalty to his Team is amazing, and trying to overcome Bad Choices with more Bad Choices is an interesting lesson. Vic has admiral attributes in some of these things… the fighting for his Team. His loyalty to his wife was a bit weak, but this show has few people of real integrity and strength. In the end… SPOILER ALERT – Don’t Read Further.
In the end, he loses everything. His team is all dead and imprisoned… and Vic… he’s not in Jail, but in a prison of his own making.
The lesson for us all: That Line. When you see it before you and you have a choice, take a second. Choose not to cross that line. Because that price is going to be more than you are going to want to pay.
This was a good ending. This is how you end a story like this. It’s impressive that The Shield was a complete story… It had a Beginning… the journey… and it had an ending. A good ending. Not a happy ending, by any means. But an ending fitting of the story – and to me, that’s important.