POSTED BY STUART LEVINE

One thing’s for sure: In the finale of FX’s "The Shield," you won’t see Vic Mackey eating onion rings as the screen goes dark. There will be no "What happened?" moment.

At the TCA panel for the seminal cop show that begins its final season on Sept. 2, showrunner Shawn Ryan said he knows expectations will be high when the series end its run.Shield

"I’ve paid a lot of attention to finales of the shows that I’ve admired," he said. "There are shows that I thought were fantastic that had what I thought were weak finales and shows that had really great finales. We want to fall into the latter category."

CCH Pounder, who plays Claudette Wyms, had no doubt how this one would be perceived.

"I think it’s the greatest finale ever, hands down," she stated, boldly. "It blew my socks off. This finale is what Vic Mackey deserves."

There are several ways to interpret that, of course, and nobody was willing to give any examples.

Added David Marciano: "I can’t concur with my co-star. You know, with ‘The Sopranos,’ there were mixed reviews about the finale. But I will tell you with this finale, there will be no mixed reviews. You will get your money’s worth. Money back guarantee."

Michael Chiklis, who appeared via satellite from Boston, was quick to let the viewers decide for themselves.

"It’s in the eye of the beholder," he warned. "You guys haven’t seen it yet and I don’t want to blow it. Shawn did a tremendous job writing the finale. Whether or not you guys see it that way, that’s entirely in your hands. … What thrills me about the finale is you will not see this coming. You will not know what we do. Then when you look back, you’ll go, ‘Holy cow, that’s exactly right.’"

The episode was directed by Clark Johnson, who also directed the pilot. Johnson has had a terrific year, as co-starred in David Simon’s "The Wire" and also directed the finale of that series as well.

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