NOTE: This blog post contains spoilers of the series finale of The Shield which premiered on Tuesday, November 25. If you are waiting to catch an encore airing, or plan on watching the episode on the internet or DVD, skip this post.
The series finale was 90 minutes of television that went nowhere.
Hell, the entire seventh season was 13 episodes of disjointed plot lines that went nowhere. Consider some of these plot lines that they started at the beginning of the year:
Vic wanting to be involved in raising his lovechild with Danny? That storyline culminated in Danny leaving the Barn in the 7th episode and only returning in the 12th episode after Vic had quit. And after the 7th episode, there was no mention of his desire to be involved in this kid’s life anymore in the whole season.
The conclusion of Dutch’s investigation of a budding serial killer, responsible for murdering a classmate and his own mother? Forced and full of clichés.
And consider where the characters were left at the end of the series:
Lem, the only character on the Strike Team that had a conscience? Killed by Shane at the end of the fifth season.
Ronnie, the person least responsible for the Strike Team actions (following Lem’s death)? With Vic selling him out and cutting a deal for himself, Ronnie is looking at a life-long prison sentence.
Shane? He murdered his pregnant wife and their son, and then committed suicide.
David Aceveda, who alternated from investigating Vic when it benefited him politically (investigating corrupt cops looks good), to allowing Vic to run wild when it benefited him politically (low crime rates look good)? On his way to becoming mayor.
Claudette Wyms, one of the few characters on the show to have a moral compass (remember she went so far as to ruined her chance at becoming Captain several years ago to do something she felt was morally right)? Terminally ill with Lupus.
And Vic? Complete immunity as part of a deal with ICE (they had no idea what they were getting). His only punishment? Sentenced to three years of desk duty to fulfill the conditions of his deal. For all the crap that he was responsible for, he gets three years in purgatory. Sure, ICE put his family in witness protection and he gets no contact with them, but for all the stuff he did, that’s it?
In the end, he won.