Monica Rawling

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Monica Rawling
The Shield character
First appearance "The Cure" (episode 4.01)
Last appearance "Ain't That a Shame" (episode 4.13)
Created by Shawn Ryan
Portrayed by Glenn Close
Gender Female
Occupation former police officer
Title former Captain

Captain Monica Rawling is a fictional character from the FX television show The Shield, played by Glenn Close,[1] who received an Emmy nomination as Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance.

Character history[edit]

Monica Rawling succeeded David Aceveda as Captain of the Farmington precinct. A morally strong woman, she tried to redeem Vic Mackey and Ronnie Gardocki by involving them in a controversial asset forfeiture program designed to clean up Farmington, by destroying the neighborhood drug trade. The program was extremely unpopular with the local citizens, yet she continued to keep the seizures in place, believing that they did more good than harm.[2][3]

Rawling had a history in Farmington, starting as a patrol officer with partner Rich Nelson. In "Back in the Hole", drug kingpin Antwon Mitchell reveals that Rawling and Nelson had an affair, but that Nelson eventually returned to his family. Mitchell claimed that Nelson planted evidence on him that put him in jail for 13 years. When Rawling told Mitchell that Nelson had died of cancer, Mitchell appeared pleased, saying that Nelson has said he would "piss on his grave". When Mitchell murdered a 14-year-old girl turned police informant, Rawling was determined to take him down. A video recording of him confessing the murder to Shane Vendrell and also ordering the death of Vic Mackey provided the means to send Mitchell back to jail. However, after finally proving that Mitchell was responsible for ordering the brutal stabbing deaths of two Farmington police officers, Rawling learned that David Aceveda had arranged an immunity deal for the imprisoned drug lord. Learning that the DEA was using Antwon's information to build a case against the Salvadoran drug cartel which had been supplying him with heroin, Captain Rawling ordered Vic and the Strike Team to build a case against the Salvadorans first.

The DEA was enraged that Rawling had forced them to "eat shit," and subsequently threatened to cut off all Federal funding to the LA area unless Rawling was fired. Although the Chief immediately complied, Monica Rawling was allowed to remain at the Barn until Mitchell was delivered to the police station and formally arrested for the Farmington cop killings.

Vic informally visited her one last time in her residence in Farmington and wished her good luck for the future before departing. Right after closing the door, Rawling broke down in tears, visibly devastated from the realization of being fired for trying to do good. She was the only member of the Farmington Police Division to not attend the celebration of arresting Mitchell at the local bar. She is seen one last time in the series alone in her house, sitting on the couch while drinking a beer.

Relationship with Vic Mackey[edit]

Before Rawling arrived at the barn, Aceveda disbanded the strike team and wrote a burn notice on Mackey. This made Mackey "untradable" because no other department would take him afterwards. As Rawlings put it, he was the "red-headed stepchild of the barn before (she) came."

Rawling gave Vic more responsibility, and took him on as a sort of right-hand man, despite Aceveda's protests.[4] Despite a few arguments, their relationship was usually cordial. While Mackey serves as a good cop, he was also a political liability.[5]

Early in the season, Rawling opens an investigation into Mackey to prove to Aceveda that Mackey was clean. This eventually leads to IAD Lieutenant Jon Kavanaugh's investigation into the Strike Team.


  1. ^ "Playing the Field". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  2. ^ "Crashing the boys' club". The Los Angeles Times. 2005-03-13. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  3. ^ Ryan, Maureen (2005-03-15). "Close adds intrigue to `The Shield'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  4. ^ "Glenn Close joining cast of ‘The Shield’". MSNBC. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  5. ^ Maynard, John (2005-03-13). "Glenn Close Encounters 'The Shield'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2010-03-02.