Honestly, I don't know what to say or write about this episode at all. UN-F**KING-BELIEVABLE. Best. Episode. Ever. Finest hour on television. Seriously, I thought I was going to struggle to write about next week's episode but this weeks. What on earth is there you can say about that? Seven years, all culminating in one gigantic build up that lays out the foundations for next weeks complete S**t storm...
Read about just pure awesomeness beyond the link, seriously...
So much to talk about, so much happened. But there's no way I can manage to talk about this in chronological order, so I'm just going to have to vomit out whatever thoughts arrive as they do.
Vic actually did it, he actually sat down and confessed to every single last crime he committed, even the original sin of shooting Terry Crowely. ICE offered him immunity to every crime he confessed to and he laid them all out there, that scene was just incredible. The silence as Vic sits there, willing up the nerve to lay it out and actually bring every little (and big) crime he was involved in to save Corrine was just stunning. That scene, the look on his face. The look on Oliva's and her superior's face as they hear his confession. They were just amazing. But then to have Claudette and Dutch walk in and see what's happened, Claudette's expression, her reaction, her realisation that they pushed Vic into this and have set him out of her legal reach. Her attack on Dutch afterwards, blaming him for it. The terror, the loss, everything her face and actions said. It's just incredible.
I've said in the past that Claudette serves as the polar opposite to Vic, she's the straight laced, law abiding cop that stands as a foil to Vic's corrupt, cut corners thug with a badge. But both of them sit as examples of just how much you lose when you're a positively or negatively charged personality. They're the two extremes of the spectrum in The Shield and they've both lost so much for their positions. But Claudette has had no end of setbacks in recent times and now she's just lost her white whale. If Vic goes down in the final moments it's going to be hard for her and it'll probably cost her everything, she needs to be careful that he doesn't become her Moby Dick.
The biggest splash to come from Vic's confessions apart from the immediate reveal of the demon underneath that bald head hits Ronnie. Vic has always stood by his friends but family comes first, he wasn't willing to betray Ronnie until he thought Corrine was in danger. Then he sold Ronnie out, it's clear it wasn't easy for him but he did it. Now Ronnie is up not just for the $100K but for every single crime he committed over the years. This is such a massive betrayal that Ronnie has stepped up as the number one potential for ending Vic's life. But, at the start of this season Ronnie killed and this has three potential meanings, first it was to move Ronnie into a situation where he would be just as dirty as the other two and thus deserving of this Norse saga sized dumping, second it shows that he's able and willing to kill, but three it slightly lessens the impact of any potential shooting of Vic that Ronnie might pull. If Vic was Ronnie's first murder it would be staggering, it could be hard anyway but I'm not sure that this is the way they'll go. Regardless, Ronnie is Effed up Swan Lane in a golden stream with nothing but a newspaper boat to protect him. In short he's screwed no matter what and while I suspect that Vic has realised avenging Lem isn't important to him any more, Ronnie might be a different case.
Likewise Shane and Mara are ragged and at the end, the romance of being on the lam has gone for them both. Shane has taken his last few steps into hell, reduced to robbing people and even taking drugs. Mara is falling apart after her shooting of that young lass and injuries in the cold opening. They're both wanted murderers now and I suspect it's not going to end well for either of them. Walton Goggins has been phenomenal this season, both Shane and Mara have become better rounded characters who, while not redeemed, are likable in their own fashion. What's happened to them is just awful beyond words, but what's going to happen is probably worse.
In a continued theme of 'Who's screwed next?' Acevada could be in a lot of trouble, Vic's deal has certainly closed the door on Ronnie and it may have closed any deal on him as well. Vic knows pitch perfect how to play Acevada doesn't he? Even after all these episodes Victor Samuel Mackey can play David Acevada and make him dance like a puppet. I suspect Acevada's deal with ICE is going to go sour and his 'end game' of a mayor ship is in serious jeopardy, if not his life.
Dutch is a likely candidate to at least have an attempt on his life next week. The Lloyd serial killer storyline has been building up towards this and there is almost certainly going to be a crack at him in the finale. It's been signaled so far in advance that I'm not sure the attempt will succeed. I'm going to go all out on a limb and predict that Billings will save Dutch in an ironic fashion but maybe die or at least get seriously hurt in the process. Proving to Dutch that Billings is a good man in his way.
There's a good question hanging over the fates of Danny, Julien and Tina. They were all present in this week's episode but right now they don't seem to fit properly into the picture. Danny is going to be looking after Vic's kids during the final episode, it's hard to say how things will fit there. Tina on the other hand has been on the receiving end of Shane, and while he treated her well considering, she is prone to violent overreactions. Julien on the other hand is McSuperDooperCop once again, he spotted Shane's car and came within a whisker of catching him. I'm sure Julien's mighty policing instincts will have one final card to play in the last chapter.
I guess I'm blind hoping that Tavon will make one final return, I think he's already had his revenge on Shane. He called him out for what he really is and Tavon must be sat at home chuckling to himself about the news reports. Still I'd love to see him take down Shane in the end.
There we are, some wild speculations, some thoughts, some hopes. But what is there to say, this was easily the finest episode of The Shield to date. I lost count of the number of moments that elicited an absolutely visceral response from me. But the moments that will haunt my memories are all coming up in picture form here.
Vic realising that his deal was OK'd and mistakenly assuming Ronnie was included as well. This is the most human I've seen Vic since Lem died.
Ronnie likewise thinking that he was safe, moments after this he almost collapses to his knees.
Vic's contemplation and realisation that Ronnie isn't included. Which is followed by his unwillingness to abandon his man and last friend.
Vic in fear over Corrine's impending arrest.
But the big three are these.
Vic literally just as he opens his mouth to confess about Terry's murder. Look at the fear and commitment in his face, every moment of him in this interview before this moment was stunning as well.
Olivia looking like she's going to throw up as she realises just what she's done to ICE and herself.
And the pay off.
Claudette's face at the words "Full Immunity" simultaneously hilarious and devastating at the same time.
Simply amazing. Perfection distilled. I can only imagine just how amazing the final episode is going to be at this point.