Creator Shawn Ryan knew precisely how to end his masterpiece THE SHIELD last night. Everything about the final episode of this landmark program was dead-on perfect. Everything. I sat in twisted agony on my couch as all of the pieces fell into place, and the fates of all of the characters were sealed. I have been watching this show since the very begining and I never missed an episode. For the last seven years (or thereabouts), I have been enthralled by the antics of Vick Mackie and his Strike Team. And last night, when Ryan's executive producer credit flashed on the screen, I was able to breathe a sigh of relief: it all came together in the end. Mackie didn't die, but his life is forever changed for the worse. Shane ate a bullet, but only after he killed his wife and son, who were innocent pawns caught up in his web of deceit. Gardocki is going to jail, and it was crushing to see him being hauled out of The Barn. Claudette has terminal cancer, but her spirit will live in that precinct for ever. And Dutch finally got his man. During the final five minutes, I kept telling myself that the show was going to end with this shot, or that shot. But in the final moments, with Mackie looking out that window of his new office and hearing the screaming sirens of cop cars on the street below him, I felt haunted by all that has happened in this brilliant show. When Mackie tucked his pistol behind his back and walked off frame, wearing a face that suggests he'll never stop fighting crime, I clapped out-loud and felt beyond satisfied. Everyone deserves Emmy's for this season; I hope the show gets rewarded next year. Damn am I going to miss hanging out with this crew.