yeah, i thought that too, but when mac went along with it he actually looked actually quite malicious/vindictive. it surprised me that mac didn't do more to bring flack in line but it surprised me even more when he seemed to take as much fun from it as flack had. it's quite unusual for mac to stray from his line of fairness. i agree, she's been very quiet - i guess maybe what happened before has affected her more than the others realise (as with flack!) and maybe she's keeping out of their way or saying as little as possible to avoid having to talk to them, maybe she feels if she does talk to them more than she has to (i mean about stuff other than work) she might either show how bad she's feeling or it might get the better of her and stella doesn't break down, as we know - even after all access she was pretty set on being strong in front of the others, maybe she just doesn't want to risk losing her calm/strong exterior? true but if she's having a hard time too perhaps she is avoiding it, either because she's too wrapped up in how she feels herself or because of what i just said ^ yeah, good point. i get the distinct impression (from past seasons as well) that mac doesn't do talking about stuff very easily - he's very insular and is the world-champion of "i'm fine". i think he does know flack's not right and i think he maybe wants to say something but knows how he feels when people intrude on him in that way (and i'm sure he sees it as intrusion) and doesn't want to do that to someone else, and perhaps the fact that flack's situation is quite similar to things he's been through makes that feeling even stronger. i think you're right that maybe he doesn't know what to do as well - he's very focussed on his work, perhaps talking about personal stuff is a bit beyond him. he's always been very able to talk to people about stuff that affects him/them at work, but he rarely seems to get involved in personal things - using all access again, he didn't seem to want to talk to stella about what happened or her feelings (he left it to flack) but went to process the scene. it's almost like keeping such things in a strictly work context is the only way he can deal with them, his own personal life/feelings are very shut down (even from stella) and to me it's like his emotions only come out when it's something he can link to work. i thought blacklist was a great example of that actually - even when this guy was getting really personal about mac's father, he didn't show an awful lot of emotion - you could tell it was there but he didn't get externally angry, he didn't shout at the guy or anything like that, because it was a personal issue - even though he got pretty angry about the guy's methods and motives, he didn't allow it to get into a discussion about how he, personally, was feeling (i thought this even when he was comparing his dad's death to the killer's, he was still quite measured at that point). compared to how overtly angry he gets when he's interviewing difficult suspects/perps (in crimes that have no bearing on him personally), it's a massive difference - he really lets rip at them. i've always thought it's like he lets rip in work context because he feels the nature of the job allows him an outlet for all the stuff he's keeping bottled up in his personal life. and this is why i relate to mac so much, i'm exactly the same, i hate talking about personal stuff, i only let rip when there's a justifiable object, i find people asking me how i'm feeling invasive, and i'm a definite contender on "i'm fine"