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'The Shield': Mackey unleashed

April 25, 2007 | 12:49 pm

Mackey1 That was quite an ending.

"The Shield" delivered another solid hour this week but it was the last two minutes, in which Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis) let loose with a raw, animalistic fury in a hospital waiting room, that really stood out.

Still distraught over the death of former partner Curtis Lemansky (Kenneth Johnson), Vic's pain colored one of the show's more intriguing street stories: a deadly gangland power struggle set off when several gang members try to leave the life and go straight. In the episode's final moments Vic rushed the critically wounded "revolution" ringleader to the hospital, but it was too late.

Chiklis (who won an Emmy in the show's first season, and deserves consideration again) played the resulting meltdown for all it was worth. The sequence was a classic example of what makes Mackey such a riveting character: seeing his closely guarded internal pain manifest itself in frighteningly intense external rage. And the public setting allowed several other characters to witness the event, including Captain Wyms (C.C.H. Pounder) and Vic's ex, Corinne (Cathy Cahlin Ryan).

Earlier in the hour Wyms revealed a savvy plan to push Vic out, forcing him into retirement while making him believe he still has a shot at staying at work. Will what she saw deter her from rattling the monster's cage? Or make her even more determined to rid her squad of Mackey for good?

(Photo courtesy FX)