“The Shield” Searches for Shelter

“The Shield” is winding down, with just three episodes left to the series’ finale. I am very excited about tonight’s episode. When the show is on lately, I am actually really keyed up. I “feel a thrill up my leg” to steal a line – much mocked by his on-air cohorts – from Chris Matthews. From the very first show, when Mackey killed a fellow officer in cold blood, we knew this show would be a wild ride, and different from other cop shows. To have such a flawed main character was a great risk. How can you root for a man who does such terrible things?

But seeing Mackey’s love for his children, and his heartbreak over seeing two of his children suffer with autism, made it hard to really hate him. It’s a credit to the writers that they were able to humanize him after that great, but shocking, opening episode.

Heather Havrilesky of Salon wrote a great piece today on the show called “Rebel Without a Badge.”

She says that Corrine, Mackey’s ex-wife, decides to flip on Mackey when she learns from Mara, Shane’s wife, that Mackey killed fellow cop Terry and was involved in countless illegal acts. I think the final straw was realizing that Mackey might kill Mara’s unborn child. As a mother, that was too much for Corrine to take.

I read an online post that intimated that Olivia could be playing Mackey as well, that she is connected to Terry Crowley, the cop Mackey killed in the first episode. Intriguing. Would be fitting.

For me, somehow I can forgive Mackey more than Shane. Shane killed his teammate and friend, Lem. And Lem was a sweetheart – at least compared to the rest of the team. And Shane’s choice of Mara, the child of a gold-digger who seemed close to being one herself, doesn’t help his likeability factor.  Didn’t Mackey always warn Shane not to trust Mara? Will she end up flipping on him?

Heather hopes Mackey ends up on a Mexican beach swilling margaritas. I hope he can somehow salvage a relationship with his children. Lots of prison visits? Relocating the whole family under Witness Protection? Maybe Mary Shannon from USA’s “In Plain Site” could be his Marshall. That’s another fav show of mine – but that’s for another blog.

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