The Shield – In Memorandum

Six years I’ve waded faithfully – or is it blindly? – through The Shield‘s rising turpitude, its serpentine storylining brushing unseen against my immersed body, the show’s writing satisfying the need to resolve each ep’s crime-of-the-week while each season’s caper escapade escalating crisis builds towards a season ending that’s as welcome – and inevitable – as dementia. Lately I’ve been flashing on Alan Moore and Neil Gaiman‘s comics runs in the eighties and nineties – each and every ep, I’m led down back-of-my-hand familiar back- and dead-end-alleys, and each time I reach the end, whatever I find is a). not what I expect and b). the most obvious or logical thing in the world.

My TradeMe connections brought me right up to Season 6. The final season (Season 7) is half-way through its run in the States as I type this. And thanks to my leetle frien’, I’m just a few days behind them.

It’s all building towards a James Ellroy ending. And just like in Ellroy’s L.A. Quartet, the following thoughts are uppermost in my mind with this final season:

  • no good turn goes unpunished;
  • the rule of unintended consequences applies supreme;
  • things, no matter the best of intentions, will not – can not – end well.

So often in film and television these days, I recognise the portents and the foreshadowing, and can comfort myself that, even if/when things go bad, I was braced for it. But now, despite six seasons of faithful viewing, and with only seven eps to go, my sleeps in between are fitful with drowning dreams…. I can’t contemplate the show ending. It has to, I know that. I accept it. It’s the how that scares the bejesus out of me.

Mr Ryan – I’m in. All the way.

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