on 22 March 2009
The brutally raw and powerful words uttered in the final episode of the equally raw and powerful seventh season of The Shield. After seven long years Vic an co. reach the end of the road; what a journey its been.
Picking up where season six left off Vic and Acevada hold an uneasy truce between them with the blackmail box in their possession. With Vic's forced retirement hearing looming ever closer he desperately hatches a plan to bring down Pezuela, to gain some significant creditability. The plan quickly becomes an entangled web drawing the Mexicans and Armenian's into a gang war as the FBI become involved. Vic and Ronnie must also contend with working with Shane again, while Claudette works to bring Mackey down as the situation quickly goes from bad to worse.
The final season sees the slow escalation of events, as all the ugly truths of the past seven years come up to the surface. Mixed in with the everyday cases of 'the Barn' season seven paints a vivid picture of scope and scale.
Michael Chiklis has always been fantastic as Vic Mackey and this season is no exception, from dealing with Shane to his daughter coming off the rails, we see Chiklis is a tremendously skilled actor; giving a tour de force performance of a man desperately clinging on to what little he has left.
Walton Goggins likewise gives an outstanding performance, particularly in the latter half of the season, where we see Shane crumbling and truly on the edge. Racked by regret and self loathing the performance proves to be truly captivating.
David Rees Snell's character Ronny has become more and more important with each passing season and the final season he proves to be an integral part. Dutch and Billings still bicker endlessly and prove some of the lighter moments of the season, Claudette struggles with her illness and her bond with Dutch is as compelling as ever. Julian, Tina and Danny are sadly relegated for most of the season, not playing a major role in the overall story, it would have been nice to seen more of them but sadly not.
The final episode "family meeting" is one of, if not the best, endings I have seen for any TV show. The final episode is The Shield at its very best, strong character driven performances and razor sharp exchanges; providing some truly unforgettable moments. The title's full bearing, apparent midway through, is all the more horrifying and hard hitting, Ronnie's and Vic's final scene is perhaps my favourite moment of the episode, with spot on performances from all the cast. And for Mackey himself? Just desserts? not quite. I wont spoil it but suffice to say the final scene devoid of any dialogue sums up the last seven years and their consequences perfectly. A truly unforgettable conclusion.
As the credits roll we are treated to photos of the past seven years, reflecting on the long road of The Shield. The show couldn't ask for a better conclusion as one of the best TV dramas ever draws to a close.
It's been one hell of a ride.
on 5 June 2009
After stumbling upon season 1 of the shield in a second hand store around 5 years ago, my life has not been the same again. I am a confirmed addict and have followed the misadvenures of the Farmington precinct ever since.
The finale of season 5 left me in shock for days. I honestly didn`t believe that could be topped, then I watched season 6 and was again blown away. Waiting for season 7 was torture as it was delayed due to the writers strike in Hollywood. Knowing that this was definately the final season (the show was originally only going to run for 5 seasons) I wanted something special. I was not disappointed. From the opening scene until the very last moment I felt like I was been beaten with a sensory sledge hammer. This season not only has the best ending in TV ever, it has moments that must have every writer and director in Hollywood pulling their hair out knowing they will never match the quality of work on show here.
The actors all deliver powerhouse performances. The script is flawless. the cinematography would not be out of place in the best Hollywood movie,
the direction is superb. All in all this is not only the best cop show ever it is the best TV ever made. If you have never watched The Shield do yourself a favour buy the first seasonand be ready for a ride you will never forget. It is a brutal, tragic, touching, funny rollercoaster ride featuring some of the most horrible anti heroes ever. You too will be an addict.
Finally after much speculation, after years of plotting, betrayal and revelation, 'The Shield' comes to a spectacular close. Fans will truly be in seventh heaven for this, the best entry of the series. If you're new to the show, then just go back to season 1 and you'll be hooked!
With forced retirement looming, Vic manages to secure a future by stealing a "blackmail box" belonging to Cruz Pezuela, a figurehead for the Mexican cartel. But while Vic plays 'gun-for-hire' with Cruz, he has to contend with the Armenian mob and his old partner Shane, who have greenlit his family following the Money Train heist. To keep Vic's job and protect their families, himself, Shane and Ronnie engineer a gang war to deal with both sides at once... and this is just episode one!
Everything that you hoped for from a Shield finale is delivered perfectly, thanks to the freedom that the writers are given, knowing this is the final season. Characters are taken to places they have never been before and their final destinations, although somehow inevitable, are shown in a stark, uncompromising fashion. But rather than going for shock value, the writers have concentrated on the characters and what they would most realistically do. The final two-parter is an emotional rollercoaster, crammed with irony and fantastic acting, which held no major surprises, but was extremely satisfying to watch.
While Michael Chiklis is undoubtedly the star and a solid, strong actor, the real highlight of the last few seasons has, for me, been Walton Goggins as Shane. His character has become one of the most interesting and conflicted I've ever seen and the heights to which Walton takes this adds an edge that no other has achieved on the show. I can't wait to see where he goes next, as with all of the cast and crew of the show.
There is a terrific family feel to the workings of 'The Shield' - demonstrated by the special features which are just as emotional as the episodes themselves. As usual there are deleted scenes and commentaries, but really do you need any more when there's a show of this caliber racing towards it's conclusion? I think not. R.I.P. Shield, we'll miss you.
on 24 December 2010
The Shield was never a conventional cops and robbers series, and in Series 7 it's not really even cops and cops. It's a study of moral and personal disintegration, which reaches a grimly predestined conclusion. There's always been a strong religious sub-text to The Shield, from the opening moments in a de-consecrated Church, the Barn, itself an indication of how a suburb of the City of Angels has become a bestial cesspit, appropriately called Farmington. Series 7 is about the desperate search for redemption of the remaining members of the Strike Team, through an increasingly desperate moral nightmare of violence and betrayal, where the members of the Team resort to trying to kill each other, and where there are many Judases, but no Jesus. Redemption, of a sort, comes to Mackey after his confession to the federal agency which has mysteriously intervened to save him, but no forgiveness. Perversely, Shane and Mara find a kind of redemption in their mutual love, even as Mackey's own wife finally turns against him. Hell, said the theologians, is separation from God. If Shane thought that he and his family would be reunited in heaven, the Mackey, separated from everyone and everything he has ever valued, could be said to be in Hell at the end. The fact that he's alive simply means he has more time to suffer. This is the extraordinary conclusion of one of the most astonishing drama series of modern times.
on 23 March 2009
I've been lucky enough to watch the final 13 episodes via the 'States' and I wasnt disappointed, in fact, this final season 7 made the series for me become on a par with both The Sopranos and The Wire. The finale episode and the penultimate episode 12 are probably the most superbly written, amazingly acted (Chiklis has never been better and thats saying something!), tragic, emotional, violent and best of all a fitting end for all concerned of any TV Show I have ever witnessed. Will Vic, Shane and Ronnie pay for their previous 6seasons of sins? I promise you'll find out for sure in this season. Simply brilliant. I agree with everything the first reviewer said in his brilliant review of the season. My own personal favourite moment (without spoiling) - Vic and a certain conversation/meeting he has with the Federal Agent Lady, when he starts laughing almost at his own realization of just what sort of man he is.
It's season 7 of The Shield - The final act - and the cat is well and truly out of the bag. As the noose begins to tighten round the Strike Team's neck you're in for a treat.
The Shield, as a whole, is a brilliant body of work and some of the most exciting TV I've ever seen. It pushed the envelope in the areas of both style and story. I'm happy to say that you'll find this same quality in every episode of the final season and every single frame of the final show, right up to the final scene.
The writing, as usual, is very clever with some great lines and ideas played out - it continues on from and concludes directly the story arc from season 6 - and it's interesting to watch how your own emissions shift as things play out: you start to feel for characters you despised and hate others who were heroes.
The docu-drama style of directing still looks great and adds an real edge to the build up and resolve of a web of deceit that had been slowly built up over previous seasons. As the Strike Team dissolves we're given a dark yet immensely satisfying conclusion to events, in what is some extremely powerful scenes and emotional and disturbing TV. The final episodes in particular are not an easy watch and often end in tragedy.
If you're expecting a happy ending for all involved - you'll be bitterly disappointed. The Shield stays true to its roots and gives you a tough, gritty, edge of your seat finale which is messy to say the least. But hey, with everyone in it up to their necks - was it ever going to end any other way?
on 11 June 2009
This is one of the best seasons that I've seen. I've only had it a day and I'm almost finished it.
All 7 seasons are so gripping, I watched the first 6 and finished them just before this one arrived, and I love it. The tension between Vic, Shane, Dutch, Aceveda, Billings and Wymms is so immense and it is REALLY hard to stop watching it. My one piece of advice... Don't start watching it when you are supposed to be revising for exams as you will not get much done.
All in all... SUCH A FANTASTIC SEASON. A MUST BUY FOR ANY FAN!!!!
Without doubt one of the finest cop shows to come out of the U.S.A.
I have seen every episode of the Shield and watched this series through twice and will watch again.
The premise of the Shield is very different, the main characters are bad, violent corrupt cops whose lives gradually fall apart
as the Police and F.B.I catch up with them.
There is a linear story line from the first episode to the last with diversions along the way.
The acting is brilliant, this show is very gritty and extremely brutal in places. However the violence is never gratuitous.
The whole series has a beginning, a middle and a very brilliant end, the final episode is one of the best final episodes i have ever seen to a series.
I won't include spoilers, this show is far too good for that, just buy every episode and enjoy.
You will not be disappointed but be aware, bad language and gruesome violence are quite graphic.
The Shield is in my all time top ten of all shows ever. Sensational.
on 13 July 2009
Well here it is the last series !!! not sure how I feel really as I write this I am two episodes off the grand finale...At the moment I feel the producers may have rushed through what is really the most important series of all time...I must say the tension is high and I have to take the phone off the receiver so no one can call but I can't help thinking I'm going to be disapointed..I honestly feel this show has been the best show ever made for TV I cannot think of anything that may come close other than the wire. When Vic shot Terry Crowley in the pilot you knew this show was going to be good and 7 series on it's still as good. I am a die hard shield fan and believe that Glenn Close and Forest Whitaker really took it to another level.
The characters portrayed by every actor are fantastic and all deserve huge credit. If you haven't seen the Shield buy it now if you watch nothing else before you die !! Now I feel emotional !
on 8 April 2013
Having missed Shawn Ryan's "The Shield" series on TV (don't know how), and having endured the longest coldest winter of my lifetime, and almost lost the will to live with the endless repeats of C.S.I., Morse, Midsomer, etc, I was persuaded by a friend to try this cop series out. And what a revelation it proved to be!
Admittedly, I was a little shocked at first at how dodgy Detective Vic Mackey was, and wondered if I could cope with the 'hero' being The Law on the Wrong side of the Law, (but then I do love 'Dexter'), so I stuck with it. And then, following the antics of our four corrupt cops (think 'Training Day' X 4, then add some), I became an addict, cheering Michael Chiklis's character on, as he and his entourage (including the enigmatic Walton Goggins as Detective Shane Vendrell - stellar performance) tackle drug-dealers, murderers, rapists, gangs at war with each other, the community and the police, whilst all the while being targetted by their own Internal Investigations (Lt. Jon Kavenagh played by Forest Whittaker - Series 5), and a succession of bosses, Captains David Acevada (Benito Martinez), Monica Rawlings (Glenn Close - Season 4), and latterly Claudette Wymms (CCH Pounder).
Because V.M.'s Strike Team are so fringe, they deal out justice to the bad guys in ways you find your inner vigilante-self applauding, a perplexing guilty pleasure, and yet you want them to get away with it.
Throughout the winter I purchased every boxed set, (mostly thru Amazon) anxious for more of Vic Mackey and Co.'s adventures. If I had thought that NYPD Blue was the best ever police drama I would see in my life, this series surpassed it. Series 7 is, as it says, and very sadly, the Final Act, the last series.