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What Am I Gonna Do Without Vic Mackey?!

December 4, 2008

Oh, The Shield. What a glorious show you were, jam-packed with drama, intrigue, and bad behavior. Okay, by “bad”, I mean “illegal and downright murderous”! But that’s just how Vic Mackey rolled! Got a mole on your team? Shoot him in the face! Got a rabid dog of an internal affairs officer sniffing at your heels, sleep with his ex-wife so his investigation looks like a personal vendetta.  Got money problems? Rip off the Armenian mob for over two million dollars. Few cop dramas have had the testicular fortitude to do even half of the shit they did on The Shield. The beauty of the show was the fact that you knew from the very beginning that Vic was an unforgivable monster, but you still rooted for him in spite of it.

**SEASON SEVEN SPOILERS BELOW**

A lot of fans speculated on how the show would end, believe that nothing would be more fitting for Vic Mackey beyond incarceration or death. Amazingly, the people behind the show got especially creative, not only letting Vic live, but get away with EVERY ILLEGAL ACT HE’S EVER CARRIED OUT!!

In the final season’s brilliantly executed storyline, Vic is ready to accept forced retirement from the police, as he collaborates with ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) to take down a major drug cartel, hoping that the bust will get him and fellow detective, Ronnie, federal jobs and immunity for all their vile misdeeds. All the while, his former partner Shane is bending over backwards to earn back his trust after Shane killed a fellow detective (Shane was always trying to be like Vic, but it almost always backfired!), but the two continue to lock horns until Shane tries to kill Vic, and the rest of the police force finds out about it.

This leads to the bulk of the season focusing on Shane going on the run with his pregnant wife and son, while trying to blackmail Vic into helping them evade police. Eventually Vic’s ex-wife gets tangled up in the whole mess, and that’s really when the feces hits the radiator!! While the detectives of the Farm are trying to track down Shane, they’re also hoping to catch Vic in the process, and are using her as well. When they try to catch him at a money drop-off, Vic gets spooked and his ex gets (pretend) arrested. In his desperation, Vic agress to sign his immunity deal with ICE, before one is ready for Ronnie, so that his ex can be included. The conditions of his immunity include admitting to every single criminal act his ever committed, starting with the cop he killed at the end of the first episode of the series. Naturally, Vic’s former captain is infuriated, having wanted to put Vic away for years, and having to live with the knowledge that he did everything he was ever suspected of doing, and can’t be touched! Even worse, once Shane finds this out and realizes he’s got no leverage to get clear of the police manhut, decides the best thing he can do is take his own life. . .and the lives of his wife, son, and their unborn child. Yeah.

Meanwhile, Vic and Ronnie make one last play to bust up the drug cartel for ICE, and it’s easily the biggest bust of their career. But it’s bittersweet for Vic, when Ronnie is subsequently arrested, and informed that Vic pretty much left him out in the cold. As you can imagine, he didn’t take it too well! but it doesn’t end there; Vic’s whole family is placed in witness protection, and he’ll probably never see them again, no matter how hard he tries. You want more? Well, whereas Vic thought his job with ICE would be as a field agent, he soon discovers that he won’t even be allowed to carry a gun, instead forced to do nothing but type up reports in a tiny cubicle. Nothing says “walk of shame” like the scene of Vic’s first day in the office, wearing a dreary grey suit and a black tie. For someone who lived to be out on the streets, taking down criminals, this truly is hell. Nothing could be more fitting in terms of punishment. Everything that mattered to him is taken away, replaced with utter loneliness and an emasculating job as a paper-pusher. Even with all that, the final episode ends somewhat open, as Vic leaves the office for the night, but not before taking out his own personal weapon and stuffing it into the back of his pants with a smile as he walks away. One thing’s for sure, I’m gonna miss the hell outta Vic Mackey.

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