The Shield made TV history in so many ways. It put FX on the map. It signaled new possibilities not only for the police drama, which it turned on its head, but for basic-cable programming, which had never gone this dark or explosively, explicitly bold. This week, the show made history again, wrapping its remarkable seven-season run with one of the most searing and satisfying series finales of all time. (Read the full recap here.)
Series creator Shawn Ryan cunningly mapped out a way for Vic Mackey, that dirtiest but most gifted of ham-fisted detectives, to get away with murder, while also making him pay for his crimes in the most gut-wrenchingly ironic and savage way possible. (Get Ryan's thoughts on the series and the finale in our postmortem Q&A!)
One week earlier, in a scene that even by The Shield's shocking standards was a riveting jaw-dropper, Vic confessed everything, including his murder of fellow cop Terry Crowley that had haunted the entire series, as part of a deal granting him total immunity. Everyone who watched this go down, from his federal handler Olivia to his boss Claudette (the amazing CCH Pounder), was horrified at the reality of the monster in their midst.
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