By Wyatt Earp | November 27, 2008
Tuesday was a sad, sad day.
It was the day that one of my favorite television series of all time, The Shield, aired its finale. After seven glorious seasons, it is over. I’m pissed. Don’t get me wrong, the series constantly produced terrific, gripping episodes, and I am glad they are going out on a high note, but that fact that they are going out bums me a little. Well, okay, a lot. Here’s why:
Vic Mackey is everything that a police officer wants to be. Now, before you write that hate mail and notify Internal Affairs, let me elaborate. Yes, Vic and his Strike Team committed terrible, horrifying acts – from blackmail to murder. That part of him can be escorted out the door. However, he also got results, and that is the part about him that a lot of police officers appreciate.
Mackey got results by stretching – and breaking – the rules. He did it by foregoing search warrants. He did it by smacking around the thugs that thought they owned the streets. He did it by thumbing his nose – and giving the finger – to his supervisors. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is exactly what every police officer would like to do once in a while.
Police officers are constantly told that they should be held to a better standard, and should always follow the rules. That is true. However, there are too many times when following the rules gets you squat. You interrogate a toad that you know is guilty, but you can’t prove it. He states he wants a lawyer, and the conversation ends. And even though you know it’s wrong, a tiny part of you wants to smack him over the head. You can’t do that, but Vic can.
Take the earlier post. A man points a gun at police officers and gets released on $800 bail. That angers you, and nothing would feel better than punching him right in the smug little face. You can’t do it, but Vic can. In fact, Vic can do a lot of things we can’t do – and that is the reason we watch. We don’t condone it in real life, but we cheer him on while watching his scenes. It’s cathartic.
While I loved the series and enjoyed the final episodes, I was disappointed in the finale. I won’t release any spoilers, since I just saw the episode last night, but suffice to say that it was a sad ending. I was okay with how they settled the Vic issue, I didn’t like how they settled the Mara/Jackson issue, and I hated how they settled the Ronnie issue.
Shane? Yeah, I was okay with that.
Either way, I want to thank the actors, writers, and producers of The Shield. Seven years of entertainment earns them a 21-gun salute.