This was one of the few endings of a TV series that I actually liked. It fit with the heart of the series and punched the audience in the gut like a Strike Team shakedown. It had a great balance of tying up story lines, while still shocking us and making us face the possibilities of how dark our own souls could get if faced with the situations the characters in the show faced. I will never use the term "Family Meeting" again, that is for sure! Shane walked the edge and fell on the dark side we always knew he would, while making the audience actually feel for him before the end. Walton Goggins proved his wealth of talent the past few seasons by taking his dumb hillbilly character to a deep and complicated place. I hope he has a long and successful career after his brilliance in this show.
This episode was a great combination of all of the things that made this series so great: brilliant, layered writing; strong characters; amazing acting; and an ability to show how the dark side of humanity is right there next to us all the time. The scene with Claudette and Vic and the reading of Shane's note was exceptional with Vic not having to say a word, just like his last scene stuck in cubicle hell with pictures of the past his only companions - respect, friends, family, his balls - all things taken from him. It was like watching an amazing big screen actor commanding the camera with their face a clear window to the soul of their character.
Vic's family found peace in the end in the only way we knew was possible - in a life without Vic. The fact he did not get to say goodbye was a fitting slap in the face for a man who gave lip-service to being a caring father but in the end could never be a man they could respect or feel safe around.
In the end we were shown that Vic was ultimately a selfish creature, as he ended up with just himself - the ultimate reward of the selfish.
I will miss the grit, the rule breaking, the eye into the underworld in a realistic way that the show provided, and lament the gutless TV drivel we are being spoon-fed now with no real characters that doesn't push boundaries or force us to look at ourselves and society critically. My utmost respect and thanks to all of the cast, crew and writers of The Shield. This show has left a mark on me, just like one of Vic's "interrogations".