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Small Talk: The Shield

Started by xiombarg, April 03, 2003, 01:17:01 PM

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Well, I finally got to see The Shield. It was the season finale.

The edgy camerawork made my wife sick but I liked it. Very gritty, very morally ambiguous. I ate it up with a spoon.

Anyone else seen it? What do you think?

I had been told to see it in relation to the cop angle forUnsung.

I'm glad I did. There's some prime Unsung territory there.

(spoilers follow)

From an Unsung perspective, Vic Mackey, the main character, faces a lot of Lapse checks -- when confronting David Aceveda about Danny Sofer's firing, and when he has a choice between stopping the Domino shooters or helping his buddies on a highly illegal raid on an Armenian mafia money transport operation. In both cases, he passes the check -- he doesn't go postal on David, and he decides to stop the shooter. (Or, depending on the perspective, he Lapses both times, from the perspective of whether he's helping his friends -- depends on the group's perspective on Responsibility, neh?)

There's a definate Lapse in that episode when Julien Lowe attacks one of his fellow cops when they're harassing him about being gay (at least, they think he's gay). And there are several instances of characters deciding to do something nasty, the sort of thing that wouldn't cause a Lapse, but might cause a Responsibility check at a penalty to reduce Responsiblity -- particularly the brutal beating of Julien at the end of the episode.

But the way Vic walks the line is what makes it resonate well with Unsung. Is it about standing up for other cops, or making good for one's family, or stopping the gangs? What, really, is he trying to do? A lot of his behavior could easily be interpreted as particularly clever Lapses -- small Lapses, which accumulate in a big score at the end, but still with a moral edge, since he wants the money for his family.

In fact, Vic, as a character, is why I didn't like the Enemy mechanic that someone suggested for Unsung -- I like there being some ambiguity as to where a character's Responsibility lies.

I dunno if I'm making any sense here...
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Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer -- Dance, damn you, dance! -- UNSUNG IS OUT