In the final moments of The Shield series finale, Vic Mackey whips out his gun and leaves ICE. No one knows where he went — not even creator Shawn Ryan.
“I have some ideas where Vic Mackey is, but I don’t know where Vic Mackey is until someone puts me in a writers’ room with a group of these people and some people who aren’t here and give us a week to sort it out,” said Ryan, gesturing to his writing team at the show’s panel during the ATX TV Festival in Austin, Texas, Saturday.
As writers Kurt Sutter, Glen Mazzara, Scott Rosenbaum, and Charles “Chic” Eglee looked on, Ryan suggested the time has come to revisit the story. “Usually my first idea [and] instinct isn’t the right one. I have some thoughts — I’d love to hear their thoughts,” he said. “I’d love for somebody to pay us for a week to sit in a room and [figure it out].”
Ryan made the comments seven years after the finale, titled “Family Meeting,” and 14 years after the crime drama’s debut. Still, memories of creating FX’s first original drama remain fresh — especially when it comes to working with Michael Chiklis (Vic). Speaking with Entertainment Weekly editor at large Lynette Rice, Ryan explained how he doubted his writing talents during the “frustrating” casting process, when they struggled to find the right man to bring Vic to life. But then Chiklis walked in and nailed it in eight minutes. After the actor left, “there was a pause and I turned to [director] Clark Johnson, “ recalled Ryan, “and I said, ‘No, I’m a great writer.’”
As the audience laughed and clapped, Ryan summed up his connection to Chiklis. “It was a lesson that the writer is literally zero without the actor, and the actor’s zero without the writer,” he said. “It is a marriage where we both need each other.”
EW tweeted about the moment, writing, “#TheShield showrunners have nothing but glowing things to say about @MichaelChiklis as Vic Mackie.”
Chiklis took notice, replying, “The feeling is mutual. #TheShield.”
He also retweeted EW’s message about Ryan’s desire to write more of Vic’s story.
Entertainment Weekly is on the scene at ATX in Austin, Texas. Go inside the TV festival with all our coverage, available here.