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"The Shield" Possible Kill Screen (TV Episode 2008) Poster

(TV Series)

(2008)

Trivia

The title of the episode refers to the concept of a 'kill screen' in video gaming. A kill screen is when a video game breaks due to a programming or design error not accounting for a player's skill. One of the best-known examples is the 256th level of 'Pac-Man', which cannot be completed under normal circumstances. The title has two meanings within the episode, the first being the memory limit on Agent Murray's recorder, which is strained by the amount of Mackey's crimes. The second is that Mackey has become so adept at 'playing the system' that he has broken the game of life, by attaining immunity for his crimes.
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Vic's full name is Victor Samuel Mackey.
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Billy Gierhart, a longtime assistant director on the series, had been pestering creator Shawn Ryan to direct an episode. Ryan postponed the discussions and when he eventually agreed to grant Gierhart a directing slot, he was horrified to discover that it was for the critical penultimate episode of the entire series in Season 7. Ryan considered simply telling Gierhart the show was too important for a first-time director to handle, but then decided that he had both made a promise to a friend AND that Gierhart would be able to do a great job. In fact, based on his work here, Gierhart has gone to direct several episodes of other Ryan-led shows, most notably "Sons of Anarchy."
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