MoreThings index for The Shield]
Season 1, Episode 12, “Two Days of Blood”
Written by Kurt Sutter and Scott Rosenbaum
Directed by Guy Ferland
Air date: 5-28-02
One particularly interesting twist in the construction of the Vic Mackey mythology comes from his troubles when Gilroy melts down, starting in this episode. This is about the most precarious personal situation he’s been in during the entire run of the series. Yet it doesn’t (at least in any direct way) stem from Vic’s bad traits or corruption.
Vic’s classic season climaxing crisis comes NOT from Vic being bad, but comes just directly from his most positive traits, his ideas of loyalty and friendship. He’s getting in his worst trouble by having his best character traits turned against him. Brilliant writing.
One of the redeeming characteristics of the Mackey character is his honesty with himself. He’ll lie to anyone else, but he doesn’t try to trick himself. He does not always make excuses to himself for everything he does, but is often willing to entertain doubts about his own behavior. In subtle ways, the guilt weight of his original sin from the pilot clearly weighs on his conscience ever after.
Yet Mackey would look at his own actions during Gilroy’s meltdown and quite understandably think that he had tried very hard to do the right thing here. But Crikey, his old partner not only suckered him in to helping cover up a hit and run, but then committed a goddam cold blooded assassination of a witness to his hit and run right in front of Vic, and in such a way as to leave him publicly implicated. What the hell was Vic really SUPPOSED to do at this point?
Still, his attempt to help his old friend leads directly to the practical end of his own marriage- Vic and wife have not lived together since then in the series. He came within inches of being hung with murder of the witness. Much badness enveloped Vic.
You might take this to be an indication that Vic Mackey needs to re-examine his philosophical/moral premises, if his supposed best characteristics get him in the worst trouble. Something’s out of whack here.Powered by Sidelines