So long Vic Mackey

So it’s over – the last ever episode of The Shield was aired on Monday night. It was one of the greatest TV cops shows ever, possibly the greatest,* and in corrupt detective Vic Mackey, portrayed superbly by Michael Chiklis, it had one of the most compelling central characters in the history of the genre.
The ending was handled well – there was no final blaze of glory for Mackey, no explosive climax. He managed to foil the best efforts of his adversaries to prosecute him for his various misdeeds, but he still ended up paying a big price for his sins. Vic’s family were moved into witness protection to escape from him after his wife turned on and him tried to help the police bring him down. Ronnie Garocki, his fellow strike team member and his closest friend was hauled away by their former police colleagues to pay the price for their various misdeeds over the years, sold out by Vic himself. And the ultimate humiliation – after getting the job with the Feds he had been so desperate for he was relegated to a mundane desk job, faced with three years of pushing paper instead of being out on the streets busting the bad guys. The sight of Vic, dressed in regulation suit and tie, being lectured by the HR lady on the workings of the air conditioning system was a superb portrait of a proud man humiliated by the banality of his situation. Continue reading