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Nightmare Fuel / The Shield

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"Every scar is a victory."
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  • "Cherrypoppers": Undercover as a pedophile, Vic is forced to watch an underage girl have sex with an adult male in a room full of pedophiles in order to obtain probable cause for a no-knock warrant. Adult Fear at its ugliest display.
  • Some of the squatters in the Season 1 finale. Friendly reminder that empty and abandoned buildings in urban areas can contain some... kooky characters.
  • This series has so much nightmare fuel to offer, but one thing that stands out: Armadillo Quintero (pictured right) gets arrested. He's a known murderer and rapist. A 12-year-old girl, against the wishes of her family, tells the police that he killed some people. He's held for several hours, in which he finds one of the girl's hair clips which fell off in the interrogation room while they were interviewing her. After they're forced to release him for lack of evidence, the girl disappears...then reappears in a daze, with a dove tattooed on her face—something established earlier in the episode as the mark Quintero left on a girl that he had raped and brutalized.
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  • Ronnie Gardocki's ultimate fate, being arrested and made into the scapegoat for the crimes of the Strike Team, especially having been Locked Out of the Loop. In a situation where being stabbed to death during your first night in county lock-up awaiting trial is considered the LEAST awful thing that could happen to you, the scenario is made even more horrifying when you consider that Ronnie was the least evil of all of the Strike Team members, meaning his fate is literally a fate worse than death.
  • Vic Mackey's confession also counts. Watching Olivia's reaction to Vic telling her that he murdered Terry Crowley, then move onto confessing to even WORSE sins of abuse of authority and greed, you get the reaction of someone realizing that they've been conned into allowing a monster to forever escape punishment for crimes that are beyond the pale of corruption and evil. Also toss in Claudette's reaction, in which she is so utterly broken by her failures and complicity in allowing Vic to continue to get away with his crimes by turning a blind eye towards them (though her superiors had a hand in that), that she can't even bring herself to try and break his immunity for justice, just shame and humiliate him. Even the other federal agent overseeing Vic Mackey's confession is disgusted. But at least Olivia's superiors — or for that matter the other Feds — won't be turning a blind eye to him. Fun three years.
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