We're about 12 hours away from the beginning of the end, as the final season of "The Shield" starts tonight. I was planning to do a series episode guide, but that kind of dedication (50+ hours of tv, plus hours and hours of recap) are much easier when you're not on deadline.
Instead, I'll do an episode recap the day after each episode of the final season airs. Check back tomorrow for the first part.
In the meantime, here are the questions that remain as we enter the twilight of Vic Mackey:
--How will Vic coexist with Shane now that he knows Shane killed Lem? And how can he exact revenge on Shane without the damning 'Strike Team manifesto' coming to light?
--How will Ronnie react to the fact that Shane is still alive? He seemed mighty pissed last year, the first time we've ever seen any real emotion from the mustachioed one, and Ronnie's always been the smartest of the team when it comes to keeping his nose clean. It's the quiet ones ya gotta watch...
--How will Shane keep the Armenian mob off of Vic's family now that they've been greenlit? And how will Shane extricate himself from this self-made mess?
--Vic and Aceveda have made shaky arrangements before...now that Vic knows about Aceveda's rape, will they be able to band together once and for all to stop Cruz Pezuela from taking over the city? Or will their individual agendas (Vic's stop-at-nothing desire to stay on the force, Aceveda's ruthless political aspirations) bring them both down?
--How will Julien fare as a full-time member of the Strike Team? And will his sham of a marriage finally be put to the test?
--Dutch and Danny finally kissed after years of awkward flirtations (Danny doesn't quite know how to be a girl, Dutch doesn't quite know how to relate to human beings). Is this a one-time fling, or have they both finally found a companion? (Lord knows Dutch needs one before he turns into a serial killer) And if this is something substantial, how will Vic react considering he's the father of Danny's child?
--With Billings seemingly coming back, will Dutch be able to forgive Billings for setting him up to get burned by Tina? And will Billings's headaches ever stop? AND WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE QUIK MEALER????
--Will Tina ever bring anything to the table as a cop? And after Hiatt's affair with Tina and his screwup of the gang initiation case, have we seen the last of Vic's one-time replacement? (and could a former member of the Strike Team, nearly killed by Shane's recklessness and racism, make a return to the squad?)
--Claudette seems to be keeping the barn open...barely. Now that Vic seems to have finally found his ace in the hole (the elusive cell phone pics of Aceveda) that will allow him a stay of execution, will she be able to keep crime down while keeping Vic in check? And I'm guessing we haven't seen the last of her Lupus flareups...
--Will Kavanaugh's words come true? Will the universe take out its trash in Vic? Or will Mackey ride off into the sunset after bringing down Pezuela and Shane?
--Will the murders of Curtis Lemansky and Terry Crowley ever truly be avenged?