In other news: I caught up on the last season of THE SHIELD, and I have one question: why did nobody tell me that THE SHIELD's final end credit clips were set to a Concrete Blonde song? ("Long Time Ago," from WALKING IN LONDON.) You are all fired! It's almost never that I get a montage for which I actually recognize the music as soon as it starts. As for the finale itself, it didn't have anything even *close* to the ending I predicted way back in first season, probably because Shawn Ryan does not have my near-pathological obsession with symmetry.
The problem is that I now want THE SHIELD post-series something, be it a fic or a sequel, and I can't decide what I'd rather have.
The way the show ends is, as I've said, not what I had expected, but it totally works. Vic brilliantly, if desperately, bluffs his way into an immunity deal and a job with the federal government by facilitating a major drug takedown. The ICE agent who works out his deal has, as a contingency, that Vic will get immunity for everything he confesses to on the record. The deal is signed, and Vic starts his deposition with the ICE agent. She's expecting confessions of corruption, extortion, maybe drugs; instead, the first thing she gets is Vic confessing that, oh yeah, he *shot another cop in the face.* But to get his deal, in one last betrayal, Vic fucks Ronnie over: he tries to get a deal for Ronnie as well, but when it doesn't come through and Vic is in the clutch, he takes the deal for himself, letting Ronnie go to prison.
Vic gets the job he wanted. And the immunity. But his ex-wife, who helped try to build a case against him, takes the kids into Witness Protection, so he loses his family. He betrayed Ronnie, Lem is long dead now, and Shane -- well. And the ICE agent, horrified at what she helped him get away with, gives him his job: Vic gets his three-year contract with ICE, and he'll spend it in a cubicle, in a suit and tie, writing summaries of files. Not on the street. Not doing anything that Vic would love to do. She sends him, in short, to Vic hell.
It's a *great* ending. I had expected, from season one, that Vic would wind up dead in the end -- and that Julien, who started out as the straight-arrow rookie, would be corrupted over the course of the series and would be the one who eventually pulled the trigger on him. Didn't work out that way at all. Vic lives, but he loses damn near everything. And now I want the post-series fic. Or maybe a sequel, especially if it's radically different in tone.
Things that occurred to me, with varying amounts of horror:
1) An office sitcom. Except one of the guys in the office happens to be Vic Mackey.
2) Cross-over: Vic gets interviewed by Clarice Starling. Think about it.
3) You know how HOMICIDE and LAW AND ORDER and all the cop shows now (but I think HOMICIDE started it) do those shows about some old retired detective getting consulted on one case? Imagine, say, fifteen years from now when some young detective in Farmington goes, "Man, I think I've got a break on this cold case. Can we bring in the original investigator? ...um, Vic Mackey?" And the old-timers' faces go white.
4) Cross-over: Vic finishes his contract and enters the private sector. Stark Industries needs a security trouble-shooter. And Obadiah Stane would like Vic a lot.
5) I want to see Claudette and Vic reluctantly team up for some reason. As long as Claudette figures out a way to fuck Vic over big-time at the end.