Given the heavily serialized nature of The Shield, it’s necessary to discuss future episodes to fully appreciate what’s happening now. In these reviews, the first part will only reveal events up to and including the current episodes, and the second part will be marked with a SPOILER warning and will reveal events from future episodes. Commenters, please mark SPOILERS for first-time viewers. (You know why.) Wad VanDerTurf has generously indexed my reviews of previous episodes here.
“Vic, it’s done.”
At Lem’s graveside in the first minutes of “Animal Control,” we see all the aspects of Vic Mackey and most of the elements of The Shield. There is the plotting that leaves the characters at its mercy: Aceveda, spooked by the killing of Robert Martin, will surrender the blackmail box in one more day, and there goes the leverage over both Pezuela and the Armenians. There’s the rigor of the plot, as Vic comes to an action that could not have been possible any earlier, or any later, in the series. There’s the ability to find visual beauty and grace on the fly, with Ronnie and Vic in shadows, and beautiful compositions that never distract from the action. There’s Vic’s mad talent for plotting and also for improvisation, as he comes up with a plan that will solve most of their problems in a single action: lure the Armenians out of hiding with an offer to sell them the blackmail box, have Shane run the meeting, then set up Pezuela’s crew to kill them all and use that as evidence against Pezuela.
It’s a plot that’s rooted in the entire story of The Shield. More than that, it’s rooted in the two tragic flaws of Vic. This moment is why it’s so necessary that Vic has been able to get away with almost everything, and it’s why it’s been so necessary that Vic play the Armenians and Pezuela so well. It’s led Vic to think he can do this, that he can control everything and get away with it. A Vic who had failed on too many of his schemes would have learned some humility, and he wouldn’t try anything as crazy as this. What we’ve seen Vic do makes it completely plausible, even necessary, that he would try this.
The other, deeper flaw in Vic is that self-righteousness, and that’s the “why” of this act. Ronnie’s reasoning is, as ever, pragmatic, and it’s so much like Shane’s reasoning for killing Lem: “as long as he’s out there, we’ll never breathe free air.” Vic agrees with that, but the capstone of his plan is that it will “finally give Lem the justice he deserves.” He starts the scene by invoking his promise to Lem; for Vic, this act is a moral necessity. It’s one more example of The Shield’‘s old morality; revenge is as ancient a moral obligation as burial. Shane is Vic’s former best friend, a cop, a husband and father, and Vic will lure him to his death, and that will be the right thing to do. Vic’s need to be right has never pushed him so far, or been so risky.
Missing from this scene is anything about Shane’s file on them. Back in “Money Shot,” Shane gave what he falsely claimed was the last copy of the file to Vic, and Vic looked like he knew Shane was lying. It’s possible but not very likely that Vic believed Shane; it’s a bit more likely (which is still pretty darned unlikely) that Vic and Ronnie think that if Shane dies in the line of duty, that will keep the file from being released. My reading of the plan is that Vic and Ronnie know that sooner or later, Shane will use the file against them, so they might as well kill him and deal with the fallout right now. (More on this soon.)
This final episode of Act Three, part two now gets underway, and accelerates. What makes it so insanely suspenseful is that we don’t yet know the full plan. The teaser makes it clear that Shane is going to die, but the rest will be revealed to us piece by piece:
1) Vic and Shane set up Rezian to buy the blackmail box from someone in Pezuela’s organization; there’s a great, almost West Wing-style walk-and-talk of Vic and Shane working their way through some junked buildings on their way to set up Rezian. It’s one of those Shield settings you can almost smell, and you’re glad you can’t.
2) Vic gets Pezuela to send his enforcer, Rios, to show up at the meet and kill everyone. He does a neat job of incepting Pezuela on this one, reluctantly giving up the information that the Armenians are seeking to purchase the box. It works, and once the hit goes through, Vic will have a crime to pin on Pezuela as a last shot to remaining a cop. That will require the help of
3) Olivia, who will offer to get the shooters out of the country as a further setup. The scenes between Vic and Olivia are so essential to this episode, and to the whole story. Olivia’s like Lem; she wants to turn herself in, saying she’ll never be clean, explicitly saying she wants to do the right thing. Her voice has some of the pleading and fear that Lem had for so long. Vic, both needing her help on this and genuinely wanting to help her, keeps arguing from both sides of his character. He says “you always have other options” (a Mackey mantra, and his voice has a salesman’s smoothness on that line), and he also talks about how bad Pezuela is, how they can’t sacrifice her and let him go. It’s not clear how much Olivia would have gone along with this, because this part of the plan gets tripped up. A drawing of the shooters goes up in the Barn and Danny IDs one of them as the guy who attacked her in “Coefficient of Drag.” That leads to heightened surveillance on Rios, and Vic accepts that he’s not going to take down Pezuela with this. In a quick, urgent scene (events keep accelerating), Vic gets Pezuela to switch shooters.
4) The final element gets put in place by Ronnie. With Vic distracting Shane, Ronnie jams or removes the firing pin on Shane’s gun. This scene, by the way, is like the planting-the-bug scene in “Money Shot,” but this time it’s done right. Shane, Vic, and Ronnie are all in the same space, and we can see that; the shots alternate between inserts of Ronnie disabling Shane’s gun and shots of Shane and Vic that show us that Shane can’t see what Ronnie’s doing. In fact, these shots show us that even if Shane was looking in Ronnie’s direction, he probably wouldn’t see anything unusual going on.
All through “Animal Control,” there are parallel stories that play into the theme of admitting you’re evil and accepting consequence, serving as bells tolling for the remnants of the Team. In the first bell, another figure from the past comes back, the always welcome Tavon. He has the classic entrance, walking in on the rest of the Team being all conspiratorial, and acknowledging it–”oh I’m sorry, am I interrupting something?” Vic and Ronnie go up to him and Shane stays distant. That’s effective, because for the rest of the episode Tavon will close the distance between himself and Shane, and come closer to getting Shane to admit the truth about the past–Tavon never hit Mara. In their last scene together, Tavon has Shane backed up against a fence, and he’s gone to full but restrained anger. (Brian White’s performance is so strong, and so modulated, as he gradually increases the pressure on Shane in all their scenes; Goggins plays that last scene with his face frozen in pure fear.) His exit line is a moment of pure third-act recognition: “now I know who you really are. And so do you.”
Dutch and Billings’ case-of-the-week centers on Jeff, a sleepwalker who may or may not have killed someone. (It’s also brings in Claudette, who welcomes the opportunity to do some old-school police work.) It’s another story about knowing who you really are, but here Jeff thinks he’s worse than he is, tormented by his fantasies of a “rape stand” and the possibility that he killed someone. Confronted with the fact that a woman has turned up dead, his quiet “I want to speak to a lawyer” is devastating; it makes his suicide later less of a shock but gives it more of an impact. The sight of his naked skin next to the lurid blood everywhere lands hard, too. When Dutch finds out later that Jeff didn’t kill anyone, it triggers a moment for him to know who he really is, and admit it to Billings. (It’s a cruel thing to use someone’s death for someone else to learn, but that’s the sort of thing that people, like police or doctors, who deal in death on a daily basis will do.) Dutch admits how Claudette made him a better detective by challenging him, and “for better or worse” (remember the language of marriage, it’ll come back) Billings is his partner and he needs that from him. It’s another example of the kind of great acting Karnes gives, completely naked in his need; he improvised the moment of touching David Marciano’s arm. Marciano, for his part, is just as good, showing Billings acknowledging what Dutch is saying with the slightest change in expression. (I also love how he poaches Dutch’s sandwich like Dave Toschi in Zodiac.)
The final bell, tolling only hours before Shane’s scheduled death, is Corrine, playing the most powerful variation on knowing who you are. She’s taking drugs to help her sleep and to cope with all the chaos around her (you can clearly see this happening at least as far back as “Game Face”) and of course Vic will have none of that, going into his authoritative/intimidation mode. Vic spends so much of his life finding the weaknesses in others and then exploiting them, he doesn’t know any more how to be sympathetic. When Corrine gives up the pills, Vic protests that he’d never use that to get custody of their children (of course, next episode he’ll be serving Danny papers for custody), and Corrine’s voice and face are just pure defeat as she says “we both know who you are. Just please don’t do it.” It’s the voice of someone who knows who Vic is and has known for a very long time. Corrine’s accepted the truth of Vic on a deep emotional level, even if she doesn’t know the details. Vic knows all the details of what he’s done but still can’t see himself as the bad guy, and in his next scene, we go into the most critical moment of the series for that split.
All through the episode, Vic has been getting visibly more uncomfortable dealing with Shane. Here, he’s been interacting with Shane more than any episode since “Chasing Ghosts,” and it’s causing him to see Shane as a person and not as a target. (It’s the method of The Shield: empathy over judgment.) The combination of Chiklis’ facial acting and the cutaways to that face that tell us that; as in “Postpartum,” we can see the reactions and we can see that Shane can’t see them. The final break comes when Shane offers to transfer after the Armenian meet is over, which takes place just before the scene with Corrine. Ronnie’s completely unmoved, but it shifts something in Vic and he wants to call it off. Vic declared that he was gonna kill Shane at the end of “Chasing Ghosts,” and now that it’s so real and not that many minutes away, he wants to back out.
The exchange between Vic and Ronnie reveals so much about both their characters, so quickly, and it drives the suspense even higher. Ronnie won’t back out, appealing first to practicality, saying “we’ll never gonna get another chance this clean”; it’s not the perfect option, but it’s their best option. Vic responds (again, the mantra) “we still have a choice,” and Ronnie shifts to appeal to Vic’s righteousness from the night before: “do you think that Shane gave Lem a choice?” and Vic takes a pause before he says “I’m not Shane,” and there, right there, is the essence of the last ten episodes, the revelation that the incidents have been leading towards. The entire fight at the abandoned auto body shop in “Chasing Ghosts” was Vic declaring that he was not Shane. Since then, every aspect of Vic’s identity is under siege, his family turning away from him, his status as a cop hanging by the thinnest possible thread, his status as Lee’s father about to be legally nullified. All that defines Vic now is his cry to Shane: “I would have spared Lem!” Now he’s finally forced to decide and to act on his words; now his conscience–even more than that, his identity–demands that he spare Shane.
He can’t, though, because of two mistakes, both entirely in character for him. The first is that he can’t control Ronnie. Since the beginning of the season, really since Ben Gilroy, Vic has always mistaken alliance for control; he’s always believed that partnering with someone means that they’ll do what he says. (The Dark Knight Rises’ Bane would have something to say about that.) He’s so confident that no matter who goes against him, it seems to come as a surprise every time. That’s what a tragic flaw is like–you can’t give it up because it would mean becoming a different person; Vic can’t imagine Ronnie making an independent choice any more than he can go through with the hit on Shane. Vic reveals how he thinks next episode when he says “I called an audible and you didn’t back my play”; in Vic’s mind, he’s the quarterback and everyone who allies with him is a player under his direction. But Ronnie has decided, he decided at Lem’s grave, and feels none of Vic’s indecision or hesitation; he has the morality of a bullet. Also, I suspect Ronnie realizes the impracticalities of calling Shane out of there at this point. It’s one more time we see something that goes at least as far back as “Dominoes Falling”: your plots have their own momentum, and you can’t always stop what you started. In the car, down to a few minutes before the hit, Ronnie refuses to give Shane’s location to Julien, and Vic can do nothing about it.
Note that, once again, David Rees Snell shows what great acting is. Chiklis and the Goggins are great actors, with Chiklis registering every shift in Vic on his face, and Goggins playing the last scene of the episode with such calm, it’s almost religious grace. (That’s appropriate for a moment when he’s still alive out of sheer luck.) That’s great acting, but neither of those things define great acting. What defines great acting is the same thing that defines great dialogue, great set design, great cinematography, great music, great lighting: it’s doing what is necessary for the work. What is necessary for that scene is that Ronnie be a wall that Vic throws his words against, and that’s what Snell gives. Ronnie gives Vic nothing here, and that’s what makes Vic–and us–realize that what’s going to happen has to happen.
Vic’s second mistake was there from the beginning, and it’s what defines hubris. He thinks he can control everything, and doesn’t count on the random moment that has Shane walk away just in time to avoid the hit by the Mexicans. (There’s no huge, dramatic buildup; we see Shane seeing something and hear quiet footsteps, and then it happens so fast, in two shots that take five seconds. Violence on The Shield is always quick, brutal, and absolute; SUCH IS OWNAGE, as ZODIAC MOTHERFUCKER has remarked. It’s actually a smart move for Shane to try and fire back–he has excellent cover and concealment–and that’s how he discovers what Ronnie did to his gun.) That kind of moment, the plan blown by chance, comes up a lot in storytelling, and there’s something fundamental about it. A character making a plan is very much like an author telling a story, arranging a series of incidents according to plausibility, but it’s only the author who has complete control of events. (Ian McEwan made this the subject of Atonement.) Hubris, then, is a character putting himself or herself on the same level as the author, and the random moment that screws everything up is the way authors remind their characters and us that nothing human gets to do that. (Want to hear God laugh? Make a plan.)
The ending of “Animal Control” is as great as the ending of “Chasing Ghosts,” and it fits in with a (possibly intentional, I have no idea) pattern of Shield season finales. The season finales have been an alternating sequence of catastrophes and portents of catastrophe, with the catastrophes finishing seasons 1, 3, and 5 and the portents in 2 and 4. There’s a neat visual signature here: catastrophic endings always conclude with a final moment of a character alone: Vic in 1 and 3, and Shane in 5, as he falls one step behind Ronnie and Vic. The final images of 2 and 4 are people with other people (the Strike Team with the Money Train $ in 2, the bar scene in 4). The ending of season 6 doesn’t fit the pattern, because it’s not really an ending, but the endings of the two parts of Act Three do. “Chasing Ghosts” has the catastrophic break between Vic and Shane, and it ends with the shot of Vic alone; “Animal Control” ends with Shane, Mara, and the portent of the line “they think I’m too stupid to even realize it.” That gets realized in the very next episode.
Not immediately, though; the teaser for “Bitches Brew” leads us through the bureaucratic fallout of the blackmail box, plus one more thing. Aceveda hands off the box (minus Olivia’s file) to ICE and gives Vic an appearance, a supporting role, and an alibi for his meeting with Rios, which has been caught on video. Benito Martinez brings out that expression and tone he always gives Aceveda when Aceveda’s lying, expects you to know it, and expects you to accept it because it’s best for everyone in the room. JC MacKenzie’s IAD cop is back (he was back in “Game Face,” but I remember him most from season three) and gunning for Vic’s job; it’s right after the meeting that Vic’s hearing gets jumped from two weeks away to right now. There’s also a long shot of him outside the hearing room with a big-ass grin on his face. The result of the hearing: Vic’s fired, no pension, effective ten days from now.
The PBA rep isn’t credited, but he’s a masterstroke of casting and acting. Small, neat, precise in his diction, a pure bureaucrat with an intact marriage, and South Asian, he’s just about what you’d get if you designed an anti-Vic. His race also calls to mind what Gilroy said about himself and Vic in season one: “we’re dinosaurs.” Without any effort, this guy makes the point that older chunky white cops are not what the future of LA will look like, it’s gonna look like him and Tina.
Vic’s identity and career as a cop are down to almost nothing, as Pezuela fires him too. He’s still following the rule of “you always have other options,” rejecting Claudette’s offer to leave now and save some of his pension. The option he creates: ally himself with ICE, go undercover for them, get himself back in with Pezuela by giving him the blackmail box. This means getting Olivia’s file back from Aceveda, and in a great, quick scene, he does; Vic pitches that without the box, ICE squeezes Pezuela, who gives up Olivia, who gives up Aceveda with Vic’s corroboration. The way Aceveda hands over the file (and the fact that it’s right there in his briefcase, and right on top) lets us know how much he’s OK with it. It’s the same feeling as his play in giving up the box that morning, just from the other side; Aceveda always offers the most expedient option, and he always takes it.
Meanwhile, though, the fallout from the failed assassination attempt on Shane develops, and Vic doesn’t see any of it yet. It’s not just because he’s doing other things; he’s following in a great tradition of tragic heroes–Lady Macbeth, Titus Andronicus, Lear, Willy Loman, Mary Tyrone, Shelly Levene–who progressively lose their shit as they head into the last act of the story. All of them start getting profoundly disconnected from reality. Vic starts protesting to Ronnie that since he did so much to create Shane, he has to fix him. (That Vic thinks this is a situation where the word “fix” applies is already pretty delusional.) Ronnie says “that’s why you got to put him down,” and Vic goes off on a tangent about Cassidy’s partying habits, and he’ll fix her and he’ll fix Shane too, and Ronnie’s “I wish that you could hear your goddamn rationalizations” and his what-the-fuck face are priceless. Then, Vic argues to Danny that he needs to take responsibility for Lee because that will demonstrate his responsibility to his children with Corrine. (I would have thought that you demonstrate your responsibility to your family by, y’know, being responsible to your family, not by being responsible to a child you fathered by fucking another woman. Just sayin’.) He caps all of this by serving Danny papers to have his paternity proved and force her to give him rights over Lee, which drives the fixability of that situation somewhere below zero. As Danny says to Corrine “with Vic, it’s all about him, all the time,” and that’s true of the classical tragic heroes, too. All of them started to see everyone who wasn’t entirely on their side as an enemy, and that’s where Vic’s headed.
Danny Corrine gets what’s driving Vic: “this baby gives you a do-over?” and, again, there’s the essential truth, appropriately revealed in the act of recognition. Vic’s always tried to fix things, because fixing things means moving forward, not looking at the past and acknowledging the harm you’ve caused. With Becca, he pleaded for a second chance too, but he never realized that you can’t get a second chance until you truly admit you’re evil. Vic’s always done this, but now it’s progressing into full-on delusion: ignore the past long enough and you’ll start not seeing the present, too; treat people only as extensions of your will and pretty soon no one’s on your side, and you won’t even know. He thinks Shane’s back on his side (Ronnie knows better–he says “as long as he’s alive, we’re not all right”) and thinks Danny’s agreeing to a deal with him at the end, literally not seeing her packing.
Another major exploration of Vic’s delusion will be with another returning character: Farrah, played so well and so frighteningly by Mageina Tovah, who makes her both pathetic and terrifying. Her performance, and the way she’s filmed, are pure horror movie: that first shot of her approaching Vic, teeth and memory rotted by meth, skin erupting, and looking like she’s made of dead twigs, feels like the bathroom scene in The Shining. Just as in “Bottom Bitch,” Vic insults her, fights her, and then does exactly what she wants, and gets used by her to take out another man, Bombay, who killed her partner Amber. (Farrah leads them to raid Bombay’s meth lab, and then calls Bombay and warns him, so he’ll come out shooting and get killed by the cops.) She keeps bringing up Connie to torture Vic’s conscience (hmm, never noticed the alliteration there before), keeps leaning forward from the back seat of cars to get in his space, and there’s a great shot of her after Bombay has been killed, looking like some demon out of an Expressionist film. Farrah’s whole life is manipulating men to get what little she can, and Vic will always fall for it. Her final taunts (“may not be so pretty any more, but I am walking, talking pussy, and you let me lead you around by your dick! You ever thought about just cutting it off, free your mind once and for all?”) are unforgettable, and they’re made more powerful by knowing that she’ll most likely OD inside of a year. Vic can successfully manipulate cops, gangs, and Mexican cartels, but he’ll always be at the mercy of the cheapest hookers and junkies, as long as they’re women. Vic walks away looking like George C. Scott in Hardcore–you just know his brain is yelling “turn it off! Turn it off!” and the last shot of Farrah, leaning back against the car in a horror parody of a pinup girl, is so vicious and exactly right for her exit.
Another figure from the past comes back: Patrick St. Esprit’s Lester, still working private security but expanding their market share by breaking into homes themselves. Lester’s partner got shot, which Dutch and Billings find out only after Lester does a little striptease for them. (Billings has in fact stepped up his game after last episode’s conversation with Dutch. Also, The Shield rarely passes up any opportunity to objectify its men.) Lester still remains a businessman first, and he and Dutch have a professional little negotiation (“I walk on the B and E’s.” “Trespassing and vandalism, gotta make sure you’re outta the home protection business”) before he confesses.
The break-in that set this all in motion was a few doors down from Claudette’s home; when Dutch went to investigate, he saw Claudette’s home an utter mess. He hires a woman to come and clean Mondays and Thursdays, and it’s never been more clear how much Dutch and Claudette love each other than when he tells her. He’s so patient with her, and Claudette moves between humor and such a painful confession that she has no energy at the end of the day to do anything. Loving someone long-term means you know them, know their weaknesses, and you do for them what they can’t. Dutch knows Claudette’s just too proud to accept this, and that’s why he says he’ll pay for the cleaning, so “I know she’s doing the job.” The shot that concludes this scene, looking at them from outside the office, is classic Shield. On another show it might seem isolating, placing the two of them in separate frames-within-the-frame, but here it has the same visual syntax as Claudette’s fall in “Man Inside,” like a moment simply caught by someone who happened to be looking in that direction. The Shield’s good relationships are such a powerful contrast to the disintegrating Strike Team and the ever-shifting bureaucratic alliances, and they’re moving because the writers and actors take the time to explore them, to give them actions and consequences, just like the rest of the story. Dutch and Claudette are something real, with their own lives and their own stories, not a counterexample in an argument. It’s effective because The Shield doesn’t try to connect all its stories, all the time.
The overarching plot in “Animal Control” generates an elegant symmetry with “Bitches Brew.” In the former episode, Vic devised a plan at the beginning, and then it was revealed to us throughout the episode; in “Bitches Brew,” the elements of a plan keep appearing, and then Shane constructs a plan from those elements at the end. Shane works the case of Bombay with Vic; there’s the raid on Two-man’s place, ending with Ronnie administering an old-school Strike Team-style beatdown on him (and there’s a quick look of hatred from Ronnie to Shane that lets us see how much Ronnie wishes he could be doing this to Shane; ups and shouts to JonGorski for bringing this to my attention). There’s, finally, another hooker, Capuchina, coming in to the Barn and the Strike Team clubhouse to reveal Two-man’s history of beating up “low-end” hookers and killing Amber, giving Shane leverage over Two-man. All of that leads to Shane appearing in Two-man’s home, echoing the end of “Game Face,” two episodes back. Walton Goggins gets such praise, from myself and so many others, for his ability to play desperate and crazy, but he can play so many shades of calm as well. His determination here (“you don’t know how goddamn serious I am”) feels so different from his almost transcendent relief at the end of “Animal Control.” That determination makes sense, because he’s going to blackmail Two-man into killing Ronnie.
Classical storytelling requires a progressive reduction of possibilities; drama requires the progressive stripping away of layers of conflict. After the pilot, with Shane tortured by the killing of Terry, Vic and Shane could have fled, could have turned themselves in. After the Money Train robbery, the Strike Team could have cashed out with a launderer at 40 cents on the dollar. Vic could have recognized Rawling warning him at the end of “Ain’t That a Shame.” After Lem got flipped by Kavanaugh, he could have just taken the jail term, or, later, the Team could have taken the one-year offer than Aceveda negotiated. After “Chasing Ghosts,” Vic could have accepted what had happened and admitted to himself he would have done the same thing, or Shane could have simply fled immediately. (This is a partial list; you can pick your own roads not taken.) None of these things happened, because none of these things are what the characters would choose. All these possibilities, all these chances, have been closed off; the conflict has come down to something much simpler, with fewer possible outcomes, the inevitable outcome of dramatic storytelling. Now, the conflict between Vic and Shane, promised at the end of “Postpartum,” revealed at the end of “Chasing Ghosts,” has gone far past the point of argument, much less negotiation. Vic and Ronnie tried to kill Shane; Shane will try to kill Ronnie. The conflict has been burned down to its oldest, most primeval, most inescapable form. From here on out, it’s a fight to the death.
Next week: either a double-length article or two articles to include the Scenic Route from “Parricide.”
THE SPOILER DISTRICT
Looking at these episodes, I’m struck how little there is to say here. Everything has been put in place; there are events that lead to other events, but the time for planting things that will go off later is over. (The one last detail that counts is Mara telling Shane to pick up medicine for Jackson.) This is later, and now everything’s driving towards the end. It’s necessary for classical storytelling, where the end is the consequence of the events that already occurred, not the result of new things that get brought in near the end. A good counterexample to The Shield’s method would be Lost, which just kept introducing wayyyyyyyy too many things in the last season and disrupted the feeling of an inevitable ending. Once Two-man fires the shots in the first minutes of “Parricide,” the next six episodes have to go down as they do.
In these episodes, the love that Shane and Mara have is so clear; the way she holds him at the end of “Animal Control” is so moving. That doesn’t, as we’ve talked about before, make her a good person, becuase in the opening scene of “Parricide” she becomes a full-on accessory to first-degree murder. Shane and Mara are a quite deliberate contrast to Vic and Corrine, who grow farther apart this season. Even the moment in “Animal Control” of Vic telling Corrine she’s safe after the Armenians have been killed has them isolated from each other, and outside her home; it’s shot like the meeting between Vic and Shane at Lem’s grave rather than a domestic scene. And yes, I am engaging in a little foreshadowing from “Parricide” when I say “Corrine’s accepted the truth of Vic on a deep emotional level, even if she doesn’t know the details.”