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Detective Victor Samuel "Vic" Mackey, portrayed by Michael Chiklis, is a fictional Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, former Los Angeles Police Department detective and the former leader of the Strike Team, a four-man anti-gang unit in the FX crime drama series The Shield. Mackey was a corrupt yet effective police officer; he stole from drug dealers, routinely beat suspects and committed murder on at least three occasions. While two of the victims were violent gangsters, one was a member of his own team who was secretly working to expose Vic and his unit. Mackey sees his tactics as a means to an end. Despite his misdeeds, he is a devoted father and a loyal partner to his teammates and will readily protect those he sees as innocent victims.

On Bravo TV's countdown of the 100 Greatest Television Characters, Michael Chiklis described Mackey as "a cross between Hannibal Lecter and Dirty Harry."

Early life

Little is known about Mackey's early life, although he once mentioned that his father was a bricklayer. In Season Five, he told Lt. Jon Kavanaugh that he had been a police officer for at least 14 years. In one of the DVD commentaries for Season Four, Michael Chiklis mentions that the main characters on the show are from the same areas as the actors who play them, which would imply that Mackey is a native of the Boston, Massachusettsmarker area.

Mackey's morality

Vic Mackey's morality is a classic example of selfish consequentialism. Mackey feels that his actions are justified if they produce the best consequences only for himself and those close to him. While he had a solid status as a family man, he committed adultery with several women, including his fellow officer Danielle "Danny" Sofer. He once raised his hand and swore to uphold the law, yet regularly committed serious crimes for professional and personal gain. Mackey's personality is often viewed as amoral or machiavellian, believing that "the ends justify the means." This often earned him comparisons to another popular antihero, 24's Jack Bauer. However, this ultimately led to his downfall, which he narrowly avoided until the very end of the series.

Despite all of the crimes and immoral acts he has committed, Vic is ironically considered the show's "hero." His brutality is usually directed towards dangerous criminals whom he considers deserving of their harsh treatment at his hands-i.e. rapists, child molesters and mass murderers. Even when he has broken the law himself, he has often justified it to himself by doing so in order to solve what he regards as more serious crimes. For example, in the First Season finale episode, Vic cornered a teenaged murder witness and threatened to plant crack cocaine on him unless he violated the neighborhood code of silence and revealed who murdered two police officers.

Character history

Early in the series, Mackey extorted money from drug dealers and openly stole their money or drugs. The purpose was to support him and his team's retirement and provide a legacy for their children. Later, he justified stealing gang money to help pay for his kids' autism treatments as well as alimony to his ex-wife Corrine. In the second season, Vic helped his ex-partner and training officer, Joe Clark, bring down the man who forced him out of the LAPD, only to take a bullet in the alley in which they busted the perp.


Relationship with Shane

Detective Shane Vendrell was Vic's best friend and had been for many years before the show began. They were partners before the formation of The Barn and eventually set up the Strike Team together, with Vic as the leader. Shane's friend Curtis Lemansky and Ronnie Gardocki were brought in to fill out the team.

The strength of Vic and Shane's friendship is evident in how they will go to great lengths to save each other from certain situations and how Vic keeps Shane in the loop on all of his deals, while he leaves Lem and Ronnie out of most things. However, as time goes by their relationship becomes strained when Shane enters into a serious relationship with Mara, who is jealous of their close friendship and very demanding for Shane's time.

After the team rob the Armenian Mob of millions of dollars, only to have it burnt by Lem who feared that the money would tear them apart and cost them their freedom, Vic and Shane's issues come to a head with Shane accusing Vic of taking other people's side against him when they are supposed to be best friends, and Vic calling Mara a bitch who has got Shane so twisted that he can't think straight anymore. The two fall out and the strike team is disbanded.

Shane and Vic reconcile after Shane gets involved with drug lord and gang leader Antwon Mitchell, who kills a young girl using Shane's gun. He offers to hand her body over to Shane in return for the body of Vic Mackey. Shane contacts Vic to meet him alone. Not knowing Vic knew all along Shane was suppose to kill him. After realizing Shane's innocence, the two work together, along with Ronnie and Lem to save Shane's career and get Antwon behind bars. Once this is successfully done, the Strike Team are reunited and become close friends once again.

When Jon Kavanaugh launches an investigation into the Strike Team after arresting Lem for stealing drugs, Vic goes to great lengths to try and save him, even trying to strike up a deal with Antwon to get Lem protection in prison. When the deal goes sour, Lem is forced to go into hiding. Vic, Shane and Ronnie plan to escort Lem to a ranch in the mountains of Mexico where he will be safe from the law and any enemies who may want to kill him but the plan goes awry when Acevada tells Vic that Lem is talking about the Armenian Money Train robbery. Vic confides in Shane that Lem may also talk about the murder of detective Terry Crowley.

Shane and Lem meet and when Lem refuses to go into hiding in Mexico, a distraught Shane blows him up with a grenade. When Vic learned the truth, he blasts Shane, telling him,
"I had the chance to pull the trigger on you once, and didn't, and Lem lost his life because of it!"
He told Shane that if he ever saw him again, he would kill him. Shane drove off in a huff, calling Vic a hypocrite.

At the end of Season Six, Shane kidnapped Vic's family and locked them in a cargo container in East Los Angelesmarker. Although Shane did this to protect them from Armenian mob boss Diro Kesakhian, Vic was enraged. At the beginning of Season Seven, after he learned the reasons behind it, Vic grudgingly allied himself with Shane in order to protect his family from both the Armenian Mafia and Mexican drug lord Cruz Pezuela. As time passed, however, Vic and Ronnie decided that the time had come for Shane to pay with his life for murdering Lem. They arranged for him to be assassinated by Pezuela's Mexican drug cartel. Although Shane's Armenian employers were all murdered, Shane escaped and pocketed the payoff money.

Shane decided to retaliate by blackmailing a small time pimp into murdering Ronnie and preparing to murder Vic himself. When the pimp revealed the truth to Dutch Wagenbach, Shane fled the Barn and went on the run with his wife and son. The series came to its climax as Vic resigned from the police force and set out to insulate himself from prosecution by hunting down and murdering Shane and Mara Vendrell.

However, Shane began blackmailing Vic by threatening to surrender and testify against him unless he was kept ahead of the manhunt. Ultimately, Shane was horrified to learn of Vic's immunity deal during a cell phone conversation. As a result of Vic's taunts, Shane murdered his pregnant wife Mara and son Jackson by poison. As his fellow officers kicked down the door, Shane shot himself in the head.

Relationship with Ronnie

The loyalty of Detective Ronnie Gardocki to Vic and the Strike Team was tested several times, such as when crime lord Armadillo Quintero burned Ronnie's face and threatened to file an excessive force complaint unless Mackey forced Gardocki to recant his statement. When the Strike Team temporarily disbanded at the end of season three, Ronnie was the only one to stay by Vic's side when Shane and Lem went their separate ways. Ronnie often played Devil's Advocate to Vic, forcing him to address truths Vic would rather ignore. In particular, in the wake of Shane's confession to Lem's murder, Ronnie pressed Vic to kill Shane even when Vic had second thoughts and tried to halt their first assassination attempt. Gardocki felt justified when Shane tried to murder them a few days later. Captain Wyms disbanded the Strike Team after Ronnie's assailant fingered Shane. As a result, Vic resigned from the Department and Ronnie returned to regular detective duty.

Ronnie felt panic at the thought of Shane, by then a fugitive, being arrested and confessing to the many crimes committed by the Strike Team and even considering running to Mexicomarker. However, Vic dissuaded him and tried to arrange ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) jobs for the both of them.

When ICE offered Vic immunity but not Ronnie, Vic refused to accept unless Ronnie received a similar deal too. However, after witnessing the staged arrest of his ex-wife, Corrine, Vic took the deal and confessed to everything. After a disgusted Agent Murray informed him that he had implicated Ronnie in "enough shit to send him to prison for the rest of his life," Vic promised to "string him along" until after the arrest of Mexican drug lord Guillermo Beltran.

After Beltran's arrest and the largest drug seizure in ICE history, Vic and Ronnie were summoned back to The Barn. Believing that they were both safe forever, Ronnie was shocked when Dutch Wagenbach arrested him for "The last three years." Enraged and devastated by Vic's betrayal, Ronnie shouted profanity at his former mentor and demanded to know whatever happened to protecting the Team. Vic was noticeably crushed by seeing his only friend arrested and denouncing him. In Vic's cubicle, he put a cropped Strike Team photo in a frame on his desk; Shane is removed and so is Ronnie, Vic unable to look at them after his responsibility for their respective fates.

Relationship with Lem

A running theme in the last few seasons of the series was Vic's regret towards what happened to Lem. As a result of the Money Train robbery the team convinced Lem to participate in, he developed great fear and health problems from having to live with the aftermath of the robbery, which included innocent lives in the crosshairs of the Armenian Mob and the Armenian Mob, Captain Aceveda, Detective Wagenbach and the Department of Treasury all looking for the culprits. His burning of the money to elude capture ignited antagonism between him and Shane Vendrell, which ultimately brought the entire team's existence to an end.

When the Strike Team eventually returned, Vic had Lem get collateral from a drug dealer to ensure a tip regarding the whereabouts of a body that could implicate Shane was correct. The brick of heroin was soon seized by IAD and Lem became a means with which Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh could take down the entire Strike Team. Lem's loyalty was tested when he found out Vic killed Terry, but he remained loyal to the team. After an arrest caused by Vic and Lem's viewing of a personal moment between Kavanaugh and his ex-wife, Lem decided to plead guilty to the charges. But with Vic unable to fulfill a deal with Antwon Mitchell to ensure Lem's safety, Vic made Lem go fugitive. Before Vic and Ronnie could meet up with him, Shane killed Lem with a grenade. In the aftermath, Vic undertook several actions to avenge Lem's death, including torturing and killing suspect Guardo Lima and trying to murder real killer Shane Vendrell on multiple occasions after he learned Shane's role in the death. Lem remained the one Strike Team member in the Strike Team photo in Vic's cubicle at ICE.

Relationship with Julien Lowe

In the early days of the Strike Team, Mackey was nearly taken down when rookie Officer Julien Lowe caught Vic and the Strike Team stealing cocaine from a crime scene. Although Julien approached Captain Aceveda and promised to testify against Vic and the Team, Mackey swiftly obtained leverage against his fellow cop. While arresting a wanted fugitive, Vic noted that the latter was having homosexual relations with Julien. Holding the upper hand at last, Vic threatened to denounce Julien to to the entire precinct. However, he offered to falsify the arrest report in exchange for Julien recanting his allegations against the Strike Team.

Although the devoutly Christian Julien vowed to deny Vic's accusations, Vic smugly retorted,
"I don't have to prove you're gay, in this house all I have to do is say it, with all the gory details."
A terrified Julien immediately caved in to Vic's demands. After this, Vic repeatedly attempted to be friendly to Julien, with varying degrees of reception. However, when Julien was offered a position in the Strike Team, he at first refused, saying that he did not wish to work alongside Vic Mackey. He only accepted the promotion after being told that Vic would soon be fired from the department.

Although Julien continued to serve alongside the Team, the corrupt activities of Shane, Vic, and Ronnie were carefully conealed from him. After Shane was caught in a botched attempt to murder Vic and Ronnie, a horrified Captain Wyms disbanded the Strike Team permanently. Julien was returned to uniformed patrol, but was promised a swift promotion to Detective.

Relationship with Aceveda

The tension between Mackey and David Aceveda has evolved in different ways since the birth of The Shield. Although Aceveda privately detested Mackey, he was not above breaking the law himself. He also frequently blurred the lines between investigating Mackey and protecting him.

In the first season Aceveda was heavily bent on proving Mackey's guilt, putting all his effort into taking him down. While Mackey detested Aceveda's political ambitions, Aceveda continued to label Mackey as "Al Capone with a badge."

At the start of the second season, Aceveda, not wanting a scandal in the midst of his political career, agreed to watch Mackey's back if he could make the Strike Team appear to clean up their act and exhibit professionalism at all times. This created a very subtle, bumpy friendship between the two. This "friendship," however, ended when Aceveda left for his City Council position, but not before writing a scathing letter that damaged Mackey's career.

At the end of the sixth season, Aceveda continued to push for progress on the San Marcosmarker killings, a massacre of several Mexican immigrants by unknown assailants, mostly at the behest of Mexican real estate developer Cruz Pezuela, who was also financing his investigation committee into a possible run for mayor. Aceveda also used his political influence to ensure that Mackey was forced into early retirement at a Review Board Hearing. However, events took a wild turn, as a graphic photo taken by Juan Lozano of Aceveda's rape suddenly reappeared in the hands of Pezuela, who gave it to Vic as a way to save his job.

Vic attempted to use the photo against Aceveda, only to have it denounced as a fake and to have Aceveda's lawyer threaten him with a lawsuit for slander and blackmail. Mackey later returned with the memory card, the background story of the photo, and all the existing copies. Aceveda was stunned to hear about Cruz Pezuela's involvement in the photo, and after listening to Mackey's theory, agreed to help him in his investigation into Pezuela's activities. The scope of the operation stunned both of them; Pezuela was helping the Mexicanmarker drug cartels buy into Farmington, and planned on using various businesses as fronts for money laundering, drug trafficking, and prostitution. Aceveda received the memory card as a symbol of trust between him and Mackey, and the two decided to investigate Pezuela, in hopes of shutting his operation down.

Later, Aceveda met with Vic, who had walked out on a Department Review Board hearing and stolen a car full of blackmail material from one of Pezuela's couriers. Aceveda was shocked to learn the dirty secrets of many of the most influential people in Southern California, including public officials, mayoral aides, and the heads of special interest groups. Vic then asked him, "Is this enough to save my job?" Aceveda responded with a look of assent. Letting David take his own vehicle, Vic taunted Pezuela's courier and drove away.

As the series wound to a close, Aceveda and Vic continued to collaborate in order to destroy Pezuela's drug cartel. Their friendship ended, however, when Vic destroyed Aceveda's attempts to blackmail ICE Agent Olivia Murray with information from Pezuela's box.

After Vic arranged an immunity deal with ICE, Aceveda was enraged that Vic could never be prosecuted for any of his crimes. They two collaborated one last time, however, in order to arrrange the arrest of drug lord Guillermo Beltran. While speaking over the phone, Aceveda expressed satisfaction that ICE had realized that, "they have a reptile working for them." Mackey, however, reminded Aceveda about his prior statement about "respecting each other's endgames."

Other relationships

Mackey's training officer and first partner was Joe Clark, who taught him how to deal with violent street criminals and also how to bend the laws to his advantage. Clark was eventually dismissed from the force for beating a suspect. Clark's legacy to Vic was the justification that they always "did more good than bad." At the same time, Vic looked at Clark's life: a broken man, poor and devoid of family and friends, as his own possible future. He rededicated himself to support his friends and family in light of the crimes and trouble he had caused them. In Season Six, Mackey re-encountered Clark, who had become a for-hire enforcer who used his intimidation skills from his days as a cop to earn an income. Mackey participated in one raid, but like what he saw earlier, realized this type of occupation was both dangerous and unnecessarily cruel. This led Mackey to further self-contemplation.

Vic also hired a PI named Gordy Liman (played by Mark Rolston) to help locate his family during season two.

Mackey also had a close friendship with a prostitute, Connie Reisler, whom in an unseen story he found "lying in a bathroom in a pool of bloody crystals," trying to end her pregnancy with drain cleaner and a plunger. He told her if she ever needed any help she could call him, and they developed a deep bond. Connie was killed in Season Two while shacking up with a murderer in a criminal informant assignment. Since her death, Mackey occasionally checks in on her son, Brian, who is in foster care.

For many years, Vic had a on-off sexual relationship with Sergeant Danny Sofer, and was the illegitimate father of her son Lee. In Season 6, Vic's daughter Cassidy angrily confronted him after listening to her mother talking about the baby's paternity over the telephone.

Family life

Mackey was married for a little over 12 years to his wife, Corrine. However, problems between the two resulted in the marriage disintegrating. Though he had often cheated on his wife, he was devastated when she left him. He loves his three children very much and would do anything for them. At the end of Season 6, he refused to parade his autistic children in front of a department review board, despite the fact that Aceveda told him that it could save his job.

In season one, his son Matthew was diagnosed with autism. Later, his youngest daughter was diagnosed with autism as well. These family problems, and the necessary financial support, are the overriding factors as to why Mackey continues to pursue money illegally.


The Crowley murder

Arguably, Mackey's worst crime was the murder of the fifth and then-newest member of his team, Detective Terry Crowley. Crowley had been sent by Captain David Aceveda and the Justice Departmentmarker to build a Federal case against the Strike Team for colluding with drug lord Rondell Robinson. Vic was secretly warned of this by his friend, Assistant Chief Ben Gilroy.

Later, while Vic and Strike Team members Shane Vendrell and Crowley were raiding the home of a rival drug lord named "Two Time," the dealer stepped out of the bathroom with a pistol and was promptly gunned down by Vic and Shane. However, as Detective Crowley walked into the room, Vic picked up Two Time's gun, looked Terry right in the eye, and shot him in the head. Vic and Shane then rigged the crime scene evidence, claiming that "Two Time" stepped out of the bathroom, shot Terry, and was slain by their return fire. Captain Aceveda, however, was certain that Mackey was behind it and set out to send him to prison for it, but he never succeeded.

At the time, Shane was deeply troubled by the act, telling Vic,
"We killed a cop."
Vic calmly told him to,
"Get over it and don't bring it up again."

In Season 5, Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh of internal affairs made it his personal mission to send Vic to prison for Terry's murder. He commandeered the Captain's office in "The Barn" and plastered it with grisly photographs of the Crowley murder scene. He even tried to force a confession from Vic by ordering him to revisit the crime scene and describe what happened in front of Terry's weeping brother. Vic, however, calmly stuck to his original story and Kavanaugh's crusade ultimately ended in the destruction of his own career.

In Season 6, after learning that Shane had murdered fellow Strike Team Detective Curtis Lemansky, Vic angrily defended his murder of Terry Crowley against Shane's comparison by saying,
"No, that's different!
That son of a bitch, he was a traitor!"

As the series moved toward a close, Vic finagled a Federal deal for full immunity from prosecution for every crime he admitted to. Using Shane's memoirs as a guide, he spoke in detail about everything the Strike Team had committed, included the murder of Terry. As a result, he was regarded as scum by his former colleagues at the Barn and was trapped in a cubicle by his new employers at I.C.E.

Other crimes

Mackey and his team have committed several crimes like extortion, money laundering, smuggling, drug trafficking and obstruction of justice that would likely earn them long prison sentences.

Murder or accessory

  • After a war between two rival dealers escalated out of hand, Mackey shut them in a shipping container overnight to work out their differences; in the morning, one had murdered the other.
  • Mackey murdered Armenian Mafia enforcer Margos Dezerian, who had been ordered to find and murder those responsible for the Money Train Robbery. Dezerian had been getting closer to the Strike Team and had left a string of grisly murders in his wake, severing his victims' feet to indulge a fetish. Vic deliberately leaked the name of an informant to Margos, who broke into the informant's house in order to kill him. Instead he found only Vic. After Margos dropped his gun and surrendered, Vic shot him dead and rigged the crime scene to look like self defense.
  • Mackey, along with Gardocki, manufactured a fictitious gang war between the Armenian mob led by Ellis Rezian and the Mexican cartel represented by Cruz Pezuela. Mackey set up the execution of Rezian along with some of his top lieutenants in order to remove any knowledge about his past criminal activity and avoid further transgressions by the Armenians against his family.
  • Mackey, as an accessory to murder, allowed Gardocki to execute Armenian hitman Ari Zadofian in order to prevent further attacks against his family.
  • The team kidnapped, brutally tortured, and murdered Salvadoran drug lord Guardo Lima, who was falsely believed to be Lemansky's murderer, and then burned his body to destroy the evidence.
  • After the capture of Armadillo Quintero, Shane and Lem had him stabbed to death by another criminal in the same cell to keep him from revealing Vic's involvement in the drug trade.
  • Mackey struck a deal with Antwon Mitchell in order to secure the jail house safety of Lem, in which Vic, Ronnie, and Shane helped the One-Niners to break into a police warehouse. In the course of the crime, the criminals shot and killed the policeman guarding it. They also murdered Kern Little, whom Vic used to work with and was on somewhat friendly terms with. Vic allowed Kern to die rather than help him, and covered up both his murder and the murder of the guard, although Vic was clearly distressed by the ordeal.
  • Vic also handed over the two Salvadoran gangsters who had carried out the San Marcos murders to a rival Mexicanmarker gang to be tortured and murdered. It should be noted this was done to stop the bloodshed and put an end to the gangland war in the aftermath of the San Marcos massacre.
  • The team tied a Russian arms dealer to a chair wired with C-4 plastic explosives as a scare tactic for information about the murder of two Farmington cops. However, this caused the terrified dealer to panic and tip himself over, thereby detonating the explosives and blowing himself to smithereens.
  • Mackey helped his friend and former Assistant Police Chief, Ben Gilroy, kidnap a gang member. This individual had witnessed Gilroy's hit and run killing of a fellow gangster while the two were dealing drugs late at night. Gilroy murdered the gang member (to Mackey's great surprise and anger) and then insisted that Vic help him dispose of the body. They dumped the body in a rival gang's territory in the hope it would be interpreted as a gang murder.
  • Vic assisted CI and friend, Connie Reisler, in covering up a murder. Reisler, a prostitute, had murdered a john while under the influence of crack cocaine, believing that the john was about to harm her. Mackey told her to tell Homicide that the man assaulted her and she killed him in self defense. Mackey, under intense anguish, physically struck her in order to make her story appear authentic.
  • Vic and the team planted the remainder of the marked Money Train cash on patsy Neil O'Brien, who was subsequently killed, along with his bookie, by the Armenians.


  • Mackey beat and tortured a suspected pedophile with a phone book to find out where he was hiding the young girl whom he was planning to sell into slavery. Vic told the man,
    "Good cop and bad cop left for the day.
    I'm a different kind of cop."
    Aceveda, Claudette, and Dutch watched in silent disagreement, but Vic's methods were successful.
  • Vic kidnapped a Russian Mafia boss to prevent him from firebombing a building full of Mexican immigrants.
  • Turned a police attack dog loose on a rape suspect, allowing the dog to mutilate the man's genitals.
  • Vic revealed the name of a criminal informant of then estranged partner, Shane Vendrell, to the Latino cigarette-smuggling boss he was informing on. Mackey wanted to exchange this information for the whereabouts of an arsonist and a Russian Mafia boss, both of whom were planning to firebomb a building full of illegal immigrants for financial gain (an additional benefit was the undermining of Shane's case and the exposure of his CI). The cigarette-smuggler at first refused to believe it, saying of the CI,
    "He's like a brother to me."
    To convince him, Mackey revealed a key piece of personal information that only the informant would have:
    "He said he popped your sister's cherry when she was only 14.
    Said it was so tight he thought it was her asshole.
    Said he told you he was helping her with history homework...
    You do whatever you feel is appropriate with that information.
    I'll see it doesn't blow back on you."
    The CI was never heard from again.
  • Mackey physically attacked Mexicanmarker drug lord and serial rapist Armadillo Quintero, beating him up with a heavy Law book and severely burning his face on a stove. Vic was enraged that Armadillo had brutally raped a 12-year old girl and ordered a rival druglord and personal friend of Vic's to be burned alive.
  • After kidnapping a suspect off the street, Mackey stacked tires around a his body and threatened to light him on fire if not paid $350,000 plus an additional $50,000 for, "ruining my day." It must be noted that these crimes transpired on Mexican soil and the offense would have to be adjudicated by the Mexican law enforcement system.
  • To get a confession, he nearly drowned a man in a barrel of used motor oil.
  • He threatened to throw a man out a window after forcing him to write a crudely misspelled suicide note.
  • Mackey drove a suspect into an enemy gang territory and rolled down his window, telling an enemy gang member that the suspect made sexual comments about his sister, and waited for the car to be surrounded by enemy gang members before telling the suspect that he better tell him what he wants to know or he would, "have to find another ride home".
  • Handcuffed a teenager to a metal pole and shocked him with his own stun gun.
  • Mackey used the pointed edge of a murdered police officer's badge to repeatedly stab and torture one of that cop's killers. He did so to extract information on the suspect's partners about the multiple murders of uniformed police officers and then simply to punish the suspect for being part of the crime.
  • Mackey assaulted the owner of a pawnshop at knife point to learn about the location of two kilo of cocaine which he and the Strike Team stole (and later lost) during a raid on Armenian drug dealers. Earlier in the day, Mackey and his partner, Shane Vendrell, entered the home of a car thief and assaulted him in pursuit of the same information.


  • Mackey and his team hijacked a police evidence van to steal a key piece of evidence (a gun) used in the hijacking of commercial trucks. The Strike Team used this evidence to prove the innocence of an accused man and then to frame three gang members who were actually guilty of the original crime.
  • The Team has embezzled tens of thousands of dollars from seizures, arrests, or other police-related activities.
  • Robbing a total of two million dollars from a Money Train, a money laundering operation run by the Armenian Mafia, during which several people were killed (although not by the Strike Team). The money stolen was later revealed to be traceable evidence planted by the US Treasury Departmentmarker.


  • Julien Lowe was blackmailed to get him to recant his allegations against the Strike Team.
  • Mackey threatened to plant crack cocaine on a teenager unless he told who he saw ambush and kill two Farmington cops.
  • Vic attempted to blackmail City Councilman David Aceveda with photos of his rape.

Covering evidence

  • The team functioned as a go-between in allowing drugs to flow through Farmington.

Internal Affairs

During the Fifth Season, Vic attempted to throw Internal Affairs Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh from his game by sleeping with Kavanaugh's ex-wife. Vic then waited until the next time the moralistic Kavanaugh taunted him with his coming downfall and smugly quipped,
"Allow me to remind you of a few things you may have forgotten: I didn't kill Terry, you've lost your leverage over Lem, and your ex-wife's pussy tastes like sweet butter."

Horrified, Kavanaugh rushed to his ex-wife's house and demanded to know whether it was true, only to be told,
"What did Vic Mackey do?
He made me cum...

In response, Kavanaugh's hatred of Mackey consumed and completely overwhelmed his conscience, leading him to begin breaking the law himself in destroy the man he regarded as, "pissing all over," the entire police department.

After a failed attempt to rape Corrine Mackey and an unholy alliance with imprisoned cop killer Antwon Mitchell, Kavanaugh fabricated evidence, implicating Vic in the murder of Detective Curtis "Lem" Lemansky. When Holland "Dutch" Wagenbach and Claudette Wyms exposed his actions, Kavanaugh was stripped of his badge and imprisoned. Soon after, Vic visited Kavanaugh in prison and gloated over his victory, but the disgraced Lieutenant remained unfazed. "One day," he told Vic, "the Universe will take out its trash." Vic responded by saying, "Looks like it already has."

Attempt at Full Immunity and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Investigation

After Cruz Pezuela persuaded the homicidal druglord Guillermo Beltran to visit from Mexicomarker, it became apparent that Beltran was the major focus of an ongoing ICE investigation. In exchange for developing a Federal case against Beltran, Vic decided to protect his ex-wife Corrine, decided to arrange for full immunity by admitting to all the crimes he has committed, including the execution-style slayings of Detective Terry Crowley, Margos Dezerian, Guardo Lima, and many others. After he had detailed all of his crimes, a horrified Agent Olivia Murray realized that this immunity deal was certain to severely damage her career. She asked Vic if he had any idea what he had just done to her. Vic, however, had only one response: "I've done worse."


When Shane next called and demanded Vic's assistance, Vic sadistically taunted his estranged partner, saying,
"Ronnie and I work for I.C.E. now.
I cut the deal last night, full immunity for everything all of us ever did.
I even used your little black book with all our dirty deeds as a guide.
Forgot a few things, you know that?"
He added,
"The trouble with you, you're always trying to be as smart as me, but now I'm walking away clean and you're the pathetic asshole headed for Antwon Mitchell-ville."

Although devastated, Shane said,
"You know, you always thought you were twice the family man I was, a great Dad, a loving, misunderstood husband, right.
If your family loves you so much, why did they turn on you, huh?
Corrine's working with the cops, buddy.
She answered one of our calls and handed the phone over to Claudette, who tried to get us to come in, with you as the big catch, you know that?
The mother of your children has been playing you.
She would rather see you go to prison than hug one of your own kids again.
Whatever happens to me and Mara, at least we'll be together for it.
Who you got, Vic?
Tell me, who you got?"

Seething with hatred, Vic snarled,
"When you and queen bitch are serving your mandatory life sentences apart, I'm going to check in on Jackson and this other kid once a year on their birthdays.
I'm going to tell 'em some good old stories about Ma and Pa. Muss their hair, take 'em out for an ice cream..."
A devastated Shane screamed, "You don't even get to see my kids, EVER! You understand that!" Vic grinned and retorted, "Well, I'll send you a postcard from Space Mountain."

Realizing that his family was going to be split up and destroyed, Shane arranged for his wife and son to drink a liquid laced with poison. As his fellow officers from the Barn kicked down the doors, Shane shot himself in the head.

In his suicide note he said,

"I guess enough painkillers can make even the worst kind of hurt go away.
The thing you need to know is that Mara was innocent and Jackson was innocent.
They'd didn't know what they were drinking and their last moments together were happy ones.
They left the way I first found them, perfect and innocent.
They were innocent and they're in heaven now and we'll always be a family.
The guilty ones are me and Vic.
Vic led, but I kept following.
I don't think one's worse than the other, but we made each other into something worse than our individual selves.
I wish I'd never met him.
I see it all now.
There's no apologies I can make, no explanations I can give, I was who I was and I can't be that person any more.
I can't let myself..."


In the aftermath, Captain Wyms summoned Vic and Ronnie back to their former precinct. She then brought Vic into the interrogation room and read Shane's letter aloud, while showing him photographs of the Vendrell bodies. Although Vic was devastated, he refused to show any sign of his feelings, regarding this as a weakness. Yet devastation turned to outrage when Vic realized that Captain Wyms was watching him on the security camera, and relishing his humiliation.

When an infuriated Vic tore the security camera out of the wall, Claudette was elated, likely believing that she had enough to void Mackey's immunity deal. Vic, however, instantly quipped, "Send me the bill!" In response, Claudette snarled, "First installment's due now."

As Vic watched in horror, Ronnie Gardocki, his last remaining friend, was placed under arrest by Detective Dutch Wagenbach inside the Strike Team's former Club House. When Ronnie asked what he was being arrested for, Dutch icily retorted,
"The last three years; the Armenian money train robbery, covering up Detective Terry Crowley's murder.
Mackey gave the Feds everything, even worked out a nice little immunity deal for himself, not for you, though."
Enraged and devastated, Ronnie was handcuffed and led away while screaming profanity at Vic, and demanding to know whatever happened to protecting the Team. As his former colleagues eyed him with frigid loathing, Vic left the precinct for the last time.

The End

Certain that Vic would murder her and the children as retaliation for her attempts to send him to prison, Vic's ex-wife Corinne pleaded with Claudette and Dutch for protection from him. In response, they approached I.C.E. Agent Olivia Murray and advised her that taking Vic's children away was the best means of hurting him. Before sunset, Corinne and the children disappeared into the Witness Protection Program.

In the aftermath, Vic begged for the opportunity to say goodbye to his children. Agent Murray, seething in hatred, retorted, "You said goodbye to them the moment you shot another cop in the face."

Murray further vowed to make Vic's three years at I.C.E time a living hell by taking him off of the streets and demanding that he type a ten-page report every day. Forced to attire himself in an uncomfortable suit and tie, Vic was trapped in a cubicle prison, completely alone. He scattered his desk with pictures of his three children from his marriage with Corinne, and a photo of himself drinking beer with Lem. There were no photos of Shane, Ronnie, Corinne or Lee, the illegitimate child he fathered with Sergeant Danny Sofer.

Hearing police sirens, Mackey looks out the office window longingly. He returns to his desk and fights back tears as he stares at the photographs of his lost children. Suddenly, his eyes harden. He then removes a handgun from his drawer, holsters it beneath his shirt with a sneer, and walks off into the night. This marked the end of the series.

Personal information

  • Mackey appears to favor a Smith & Wesson Model 4506-1 pistol in .45 ACP and carries a snub-nosed Smith & Wesson model 640 revolver as a backup gun. In season 7, Vic reveals that his personal firearm is a Desert Eagle chambered in .357 magnum.
  • Mackey wears a Cartier SA Must 21 Chronograph wristwatch.
  • Mackey's sunglasses are Polo Sport 1048 H4A (silver frames), though The Shield newsletter states the 1071s are a close match as well.
  • Personal Vehicle Was A Blue 2003 Dodge Durango Licence plate #2PCE496 and later a 2006 Dodge Charger
  • Badge Number 4152
  • Was once awarded the LAPD's highest honor, the Medal of Valor, for courage under fire (Season 2, Episode 4).
  • Uses a Motorola i850 as his personal phone.

Other Media

  • Michael Chiklis voiced Vic Mackey in the Robot Chicken episode "Monstourage." When messing with a Haitianmarker Witch Doctor's staff during a drug raid, Vic ends up switching places with Ben Grimm. Thinking that "Ben" has returned to normal, the other Fantastic Four members are overjoyed. However, when Doctor Doom attacks the city, Mister Fantastic is constricting him when Vic walks up and shoots the villain in the head. Horrified, Mister Fantastic screams, "Ben, what did you just do?!" Vic grins and quips, "He was resisting arrest. Looks like a clean kill to me." He then wipes the fingerprints off his gun and plants it in Doctor Doom's hand. Later, Vic wonders what happened to "that Ben guy they were talking about..." Meanwhile in Farmington, The Thing snarls, "It's clobberin' time," kicks down the door of a drug den, and batters a group of gang members to death. At the same time, Shane Vendrell turns to Lem and asks, "Does Vic look different to you?"
  • Victor Mackey was mentioned in the television series Weeds. When trying to solve a murder puzzle for class, Shane Botwin asks his brother Silas for help, and together, they come up with the mantra "WWVMD-What would Vic Mackey do?"
  • On an episode of The Office, "Frame Toby", Dwight Schrute suggests to Michael Scott that they should plant drugs on his enemy Toby Flenderson in order to get him fired. When Michael asks if that is legal, Dwight says, "No. But everything they do on The Shield is illegal."
  • In another episode of The Office, "Casual Friday", Ryan says "What you gotta do, is you gotta go down to that warehouse and you gotta crack some skulls. Chiklis style." To which Michael replies "Yeah. The Commish." Which makes Ryan say "Yes but, Chiklis, Shield style. Not Commish style."

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