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The Shield: Vic Mackey is a Bear-Killing Fuck-Machine. Saturday, April 14, 2007

Posted by Holly in Holly/Magnolia, The Shield.


This one goes out with black-hearted affection to my boy Jeebsy, whose fashion advice this week has been indispensable.

I meant to address something last time. I have a slight concern about covering this whole season: Namely, that there are only so many ways to express my undying devotion to this one hour of television. There’ll be a lot of “AMAZING shot” this and “FANTASTIC line delivery” that and “DID YOU SEE VIC JUST BEAT THAT GUY’S FACE IN WITH A LEAD PIPE IS ANYONE ELSE INCREDIBLY TURNED ON” what have you. My love for Mackey and crew has outlasted every adult relationship I’ve had (and left me wanting a cigarette more often, knowwhamean?). So don’t expect much to change week to week in terms of analysis, because The Shield is Just. That. Good. And fair warning, bullet points are an irresistible crutch, as I’m usually left mewling for oxygen when the credits roll (also, the pun still makes me giggle). Paragraphs are for real writers.

Sounds boring? There’s the back button, you fucking pantywaist. Still interested? Jump with me, won’t you?

  • As predicted (though, seriously, they had to kill Lem for this to happen?), there are lines for Ronnie tonight! And plot points! Team Ronnie! That said: He’s my television boyfriend and all, but what is with that oddly formed beard this week? It’s distracting.
  • If I were Vic, I woulda swiped a plot point from Veronica Mars and planted pics of Kavanaugh’s wife in his own house. Tell me that wouldn’t be awesome.
  • Oooh, Dutch being a hardass with Ineffectual Chickenshit Cop Whose Name Escapes Me After Six Goddamn Years. Don’t make me grudgingly like you, Dutch boy. Just don’t.
  • Kavanaugh’s suit is very well-cut. There. I said something nice about him. Now can he PLEASE be killed off already? (A commenter graciously informed me last week that I’m not supposed to like Kavanaugh and Shane. I know how television works. They’re foils. I get that. They’re here for me to hate on, and it’s fucking working, is my point.)
  • New sunglasses on Vic? Can’t tell, but they’re fucking hot.
  • The strike team’s take to the radio–yet another example of something that could’ve been drama’d up with a slow zoom and an ominous chord, but was shot and acted perfectly. I should really come up with a shorter way of saying that, since it’s gonna come up a lot.
  • You know, for all my talk last week about Shane’s guilty conscience, my entire focus was on the murder itself. It never once crossed my mind how much it would add to it if Vic went down for Shane’s crime. How did I not even think about that?
  • Tonight’s first HELL YES shot: Ronnie unholstering his weapon before entering the house. The second: when he looks down at the very end of the teaser. The Shield crew are the best in the business at making perfect flashes of moments, split-seconds that stay in your mind for years.
  • OK, this was just adorable: The last shot in Guardo’s girl’s house, before they cut back to the Barn? Vic runs his hand over his head but the way it’s framed it looks like it’s Shane’s hand petting him. I had to rewind it two or three times to make sure, but I’m going to pretend he was giving him a pat because it makes me giggle.
  • Wait, somebody explain to me how all twelve homicides got dumped on Claudette. I understood all the words Aceveda said, but how does that work, exactly?
  • For some reason the Comfort Inn decor in the girl’s house is delighting me to no end. Vertical blinds? Really?
  • Yeah, guys. You’re totally right. You can’t be seen with Vic. Break up The Team. Because that really worked out well for you last time.
  • Rescinded. I like the idea of the guys in the Barn spying for Vic.
  • Michael Chiklis is going gangbusters (sorry) this week. There is tension radiating from every sinew in his body. The only part of him moving is his mouth, and he’s mesmerizing.
  • GAH. We’re in the interrogation room, and now Whitaker’s GOOD EYE is twitching. Somebody wipe that vague smile off his face with a bullet already. (The character. Not the actor. Who is very good at his job, which is to make me hate his ass.)
  • Wow, Shane is making a decent case for Vic’s innocence. From my notes: “opposite day?”
  • Something’s coming. Something’s coming now, in this hour; I can feel it already, because even Shawn Ryan wouldn’t take Mackey out of the picture in the second episode of the second-to-last season. It’s all heading to a dead stop, and it’s happening tonight.
  • I have just seen a scene with Dutch and Tina (the one in the break room) in which Dutch’s behavior did not creep me out. From my notes: “end times?”
  • From my notes: “SUPPORT your VOICE, Whitaker, my GOD”. From the diaphragm, sweetie. It’s a cute acting choice, but fucking drop it and quit whispering. I do not find you sinister.
  • WHAT. SHANE. YOU WANT TO TELL INTERNAL AFFAIRS YOU HAD A GRENADE THAT “ACCIDENTALLY WENT OFF”? Strategically, that’s right up there with “I may have committed some light treason”. Thank god, for a minute earlier I thought they were gonna try and turn your country ass into a redeeming character with a modicum of intelligence. My mistake entirely.
  • The scene between Vic and the gangbangers being played out in the mirror tinted windows is another nice stylistic touch, and one I’ve never seen used this well.
  • No thanks. I’m good with the contact high.

  • Another moment of close calls well done with the multiple weapons being drawn. No dramatic camera pulls, just cli-cli-clicks from every corner and a a tight shot of Vic’s face.
  • There’s what’s beginning to sound like real panic in Vic’s voice, unsettling in its rarity. The tensions in his body are beginning to manifest themselves in tremors, and it’s not doing a whole lot for his already less-than-cuddly disposition.
  • I’m gonna show up with a hell of a lot more than one in the chamber.

  • I was in the middle of typing how unsure I was about Corrine in this scene–remember that time she took he kids and left Vic because she thought he was dangerously unstable, and
    she’s defending him?–until she called out Kavanaugh. So THAT’S how this is gonna go down. Nice to not hate Corrine for once. Loving the modulated horror in Claudette’s tone as well.
  • Dutch, of all the people who shouldn’t judge what others do or do not seem capable of…YOU KILLED A CAT WITH YOUR BARE HANDS. I’m just sayin’.
  • VERY nice speech from Madam Captain to Dutch there. Best scene of the hour so far. CCH Pounder can rock genteel badassery like just about no one else on television. Lovely work from both actors in this scene.
  • It’s not much to look at, but it brings the truth out in people.

  • Hey, Julian’s here! Hi, Julian. Bye, Julian.
  • What are you gonna tell your son about this time in your life?

  • “…but I framed a guilty man.” And there you have it. Not with a bang, but a whimper. See ya, Kavanaugh.
  • I’m really digging the actress playing Nadia. She’s got an intensity rarely found in day players on some other cop shows I can name. (Or series regulars in The Black Donnellys–did you really think I’d go a whole column without taking a shot? You must be new.) A reading on a line as simple as “Guardo told me never to talk to cops” was spot-on enough to make me watch it four or five times. It’s the tilt of her head. It’s her eye makeup. She’s something. Hope she sticks around.
  • “I fail to see the humor.” No, Claudette, it’s not just you.
  • Iconic moment alert! Kavanaugh, straightening the gun and badge on the table. Nice shot.
  • I wasn’t crazy about the way they finally got him out of the way using Corrine, of all people, but I’m beginning to see where this is going now. It’s not as pat an ending as it appears (I mean, of course it’s not). Interesting point of foreshadowing here–Kavanaugh’s kicked the Mackey habit. Who will Vic’s actions poison next?
  • BRILLIANT shot in front of the car, best of the season, hands down, of Vic’s face with Shane’s reflection behind him. Just perfect.
  • Sergeant Danny! Suh-weet! I miss Danny.
  • Exactly appropriate physical chemistry with Shane and Ronnie when Claudette dropped the bomb there. You can really see the history with the actors resonating as history with the characters, and it’s one of the best things about The Shield–this cast has been with us for six years now, and that kind of cohesiveness absolutely cannot be faked or bottled.
  • Vic’s beat the system again…and now they’re stuck with Nadia. From my notes: “everything’s going to be fine.”
  • The lighting in this safehouse? CREE-PY.
  • Every second he gets to breathe and Lem doesn’t is unacceptable.

  • All right, last scene. Vic and Kavanaugh, and bars between them, only the guy in the celll isn’t who you thought it would be. And if I start quoting this last scene, if I start listing every line that lays the emotional arc of the season out, I’m just gonna end up transcribing the whole thing, which wouldn’t even begin to do it justice. Just know that it’s positively sinister. And it’s perfect.

Oh, this is getting so, so good. Anybody got a light?



1. Baba Oje - Saturday, April 14, 2007

That’s many a bullet. I need to start watching this show, I’ve heard nothing but good things. What happened to Lost haiku?

2. Holly - Saturday, April 14, 2007

I got scared after what happened last time.

Actually, I was busy with KSK last Wednesday and working late the week before. Double LOST haiku’ll be up tomorrow, then resume its regular Wednesday night slot this week.

3. chiswede - Saturday, April 14, 2007

SAAP’ed. There, I shortened it for you.

4. Holly - Saturday, April 14, 2007

No, I meant the whole concept. Like, moments of dialogue or action that would be ridiculously overdone on any other show on television, but are so immediate and raw and believable here, because it’s them. I need a code word for it, but the only one that comes to mind is “mittens”. What’s that about?

5. Hank Scorpio - Saturday, April 14, 2007

Thanks for not killing me with a meat hook for accidentally blurting out that Kavanaugh was gone.

6. Hank Scorpio - Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mittens? Clearly you’re obsessed with kittens.

7. DougOLis - Saturday, April 14, 2007

Claudette with some epic lines this week: Very Shakespearean line:

“the truth may not lead us down the path we want”

Very Biblical line:

“I fixed a lot of wrongs inside these walls.”

writing it down doesn’t make it seem so, but her delivery definitely did.

best line from the last scene even though it’s all perfect:

“but I won’t be the one hearing my dead friend’s screams in my head

Whitaker’s delivery and Chiklis’ reaction (his face drops ever so slightly, but it’s there) gave me chills. I’m going to miss Kavanaugh. I may have liked him before, but that last scene made me wet my panties.

8. DougOLis - Saturday, April 14, 2007

blockquoting on wordpress apparently doesn’t work well with short lines

9. jebushchrist - Sunday, April 15, 2007

So I thought it couldn’t get better. I have Holly recapping my favorite show. Then, this week, Kavanaugh’s finally gone (he wrecked this show for me last year – I think it was the gum) and I get a shoutout. The only thing that would make my Shield experience complete would be if they could bring back Armadillo from Season 2.
You listening Ryan?

Excellent work again H.

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