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WATCH: The Shield Premiered 19 Years Ago Today

  • On March 12th, 2002, FX premiered The Shield, a dark police drama with a pilot episode that blew people's minds with this last minute twist ending.

    The episode established that Michael Chiklis' horrible cop Vic Mackey was a fan of excessive force and relished police brutality, and that he had a strike team that was willing to look the other way on his most egregious offenses. It was also revealed that one of that team, Terry Crowley (Reed Diamond), was helping LAPD Captain David Acevada (Benito Martinez) build a federal case against Mackey. 

    Cue this raid on a drug dealer named Two-Time, one that Crowley asked to join. Once they invade the house and shoot the dealer dead, Mackey takes the gun from his hands and straight up shoots Crowley in the face with it, stunning viewers.

    Chiklis won an Emmy for his performance in this episode, although it could not be more 2002 with Kid Rock's "Bawitdaba" playing over the entire sequence. Series creator Shawn Ryan has said he listened to the song constantly while writing the script.

    The Shield ran from 2002 until  2008, ending after 7 seasons with Mackey still on the loose, showcasing just how hard it is to get a dirty cop off the streets.

    Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.

    TOPICS: The Shield, FX, Michael Chiklis, Shawn Ryan