I enjoy “The Shield.” I enjoy its intensity, its exploration of the gray areas of morality, its sick humor and its hot women. But I contend the show was crippled by its pilot episode and still suffers from the decisions made back then.
Vic Mackey’s murder of a fellow cop in the pilot crossed a line that robbed future episodes of tension. The viewer couldn’t sit on the edge of the seat wondering “Will he or won’t he?” when we already know he had killed a cop.
Will he set the Mexican drug lord on fire? Ho hum – of course, he would. He already killed a cop. Will he torture this guy or plant that evidence or steal this money? Who cares? We already know how far he’ll go.
His decision also clashes with some later examples of his conscience bothering him. I seem to recall he set up some crook to take the blame for the money train robbery, and then was upset when that crook was murdered. It’s hard to take any of that seriously when we know he, personally, is a cold-blooded murderer.
Perhaps it does add some drama to the Shane-Lem situation, however. Can Mackey judge Shane’s actions considering what he’s done himself?
By the way, the inspiration for this post was my recent re-watching of the pilot and “Co-Pilot,” along with the announcement of a seventh season. http://featuresblogs.chicagotribune.com/entertainment_tv/
Anyone agree? Disagree?