Sunday, January 27, 2008

"The Wire," Season 5, Ep. 4: "Transitions."

Not that you need to be told by now, but this post has spoilers. If you haven't watched Ep. 4, go away. Now.

R.I.P. Prop Joe. It was a good long run. A great character that the writers on the series were able to shade in exceptional ways. But you should have seen this coming. Marlo was using Prop Joe and Marlo only lives to get what he thinks is his. You know, the crown and all. I'd have to say the killing of Butchie was more of a surprise. Once the Greeks had essentially said that insurance was a good thing, Marlo had already used up the wisdom that Prop Joe dealt out. How to launder money. How to open an offshore account. How to get a passport and check on your money. How to find a shady lawyer to do something with it. In the end, Prop Joe - like Butchie before him - was sold out by Cheese. Prop Joe didn't want to believe that kin would sell him out, but Cheese is all about the cheese, period.

I love that these episodes are, as usual, packed with layers and meaning. Just a quick addressing of the notion, raised in comments, that this season feels rushed because there's only 10 episodes (previous season have been 12 or 13, depending). Part of that is true. But all series that are fortunate enough to know when they're going to end - a real rarity in the industry - by circumstance need to have a quicker pace if they are going to tie up storylines from past seasons. In the case of "The Wire," that's four seasons. Not insurmountable, but plenty. And let's remember that David Simon is a much different storyteller than David Chase. "The Sopranos" was never going to wrap up loose ends because Chase has almost zero interest in doing that. He believed that they were all one hour movies, not necessarily related to any episode prior. I'm not sure he always stayed true to that, but certainly with "The Sopranos" now infamous ending, he stuck to his guns when it mattered most. It appears that Simon wants to go for closure where possible, to wrap up some character evolution, and so if the season seems to be moving quickly, well, that's because it is. I find no fault in that. A storyteller who wants to reward his faithful viewers with conclusions should be cut a little slack if he needs to achieve that by ramping up the speed.

Also, as an aside, I know that it has become some kind of predictable sport to start nitpicking Simon and Season 5, but as I've said before it will take the conclusion of all 10 episodes to do a real post-mortem. And beyond that, whatever happened to giving a guy credit for what he's done in the past. I'm passing no judgment on Season 5 until the appropriate time, but I do know this: Simon dropped four incredibly brilliant seasons into the bin of TV history and he deserves some props for that.

Ah, Prop Joe. How about that last scene?

“My nephew? Boy was always a disappointment…But I treated you like a son,”
he says to Marlo, who has crept in courtesy of Cheese. “I wasn’t made to play the son,” Marlo said, driving home two truisms of "The Wire" - people rarely change (Marlo was gonna get Joe no matter how kindly or paternal Joe was) and no good deed goes unpunished.

“A proposition for you, then. I’ll just step away…” Joe says, deftly played more than a few steps shy of begging for his life, which was a wonderful way to write it . “Joe, you’d be up in the mischief in no time,” Marlo says, with more than an ounce of truth. And then - those cold as steel eyes. That unfeeling killer on display. “Close your eyes. It won’t hurt none,” Marlo, says.


Now, we have other aspects in play here as well. Let's see, where to start....Scottie? No. McNulty and Freamon finding another dead body to frame - this time with bite marks. Nope. Carver learning a hard lesson from Randy's mishandling by Herc's incompetence. "It matters," Carver said. "It all matters." Uh, not that either. What other strand deserves notice after burying Prop Joe's character?

Oh, yeah. Omar back. “I’ma work them. Sweet Jesus I’ma work them.” Him walking down the alley (there's your intro reference again) was almost iconic. He's going after Marlo's henchmen, make the snake pop its head up out of the hole.

Ah, so much to discuss. But listen, I've got my hands full with work and some recurrence of the nagging RSI bullshit, so this post is going to be shorter. I had some e-mails saying I always get the major quotes and leave only scraps for eager commenters, so no better time to ease off on that and let you pick up the slack. Some great dialogue this episode, as usual. Here's what I've got:

+ Burrell looking defeated (though also dangerous with that putter in his hand, standing behind Daniels) was wonderful to behold. And his little act of forgiveness to Daniels at the end - what does it matter anyway now that he's got his golden parachute? - is all for naught now that Nerece has the goods on Daniels.

+ “Have it say, ‘Butchie – woe to them that call evil good, and good evil. Sign it, your true and loyal friend, Proposition Joe.” In his own way, Prop Joe was a Renaissance man. Good with flowers, too.

+ “Out of respect for the man’s skill set, I’m gonna take myself out of the line-up tomorrow after the meeting.” – Prop Joe on Omar coming back. I just loved that line.

+ The Greek: "These are volatile times. It’s not unreasonable to carry insurance. Who can say what tomorrow will show us.”

True dat. R.I.P. again, Prop Joe.

+ “Christ, you’d think I was putting Ray Lewis out to pasture. I’ll I’m trying to do is dump Burrell.” – Carcetti on having to sell the store to oust Burrell.

+ “Some of your feature work is a little raw for what we do here at the Post, language-wise.” Oh, Lord. That was smug.

+ “A few more clips, a little more seasoning, we’ll take another look, okay?” But not nearly as painful as that. And oh, yeah, Scottie, you can just throw away that Post sticky. You're not coming back there just yet.

+ “I ain’t paying you to be my mother.” – Michael to his, uh, mom.

+ Clay Davis and the Grand Jury. “He’s pretty cool about it.” – Sydnor. “The coming out tells the tale.” – Freamon.

+ Bond lays claim to the Senator, tips the press. But Clay Davis knows how to take a punch and come up smiling. What I like about the sleaze that comes from Davis is that it's been that way since the first time we saw him. Lying, or being in denial, is just part of his genetic make-up.

+ Burrell allowed to go out with a shred of dignity, indicting pompous mayors whose mission blows in the wind, and with fickle voters. “You will eat their shit. Daniels too, when he gets here.” That last bit was great subtlety. He's letting Rawls know that his time will be short.

+ An aside to those people hoping Rawls "gay moment" will be resurrected by Simon, well, it's not out of the question because Simon appears to be closing a lot of loop holes (and he does like to stick it to people). But my guess is the Rawls gay bar scene is Simon's version of the Russian in the woods on "The Sopranos."

+ Cheese is given Hungry Man by Marlo. “Give a gift, get a gift,” Chris says. And then he gift wraps Prop Joe. But Cheese is too stupid to know he's on the clock now, too.

+ “Ervin was a year before me at Dunbar. He was in the glee club.” – Prop Joe to Herc (while both were reading the paper - LOVED that scene). And later, when it's clear Herc wants to know what he was like: “Stone stupid.”

+ LOVED the smile on Daniels face as he has the last word on the ushered out Burrell, sitting at the desk in Major Ops.

+ Alright, time to shut it down for me. A lot to dissect in this episode. I'm not watching in real time and thus avoiding HBO's heretofore brutal promos - giving away too much every week - so here's hoping you're skipping those as well.


Greg said...

Yo Tim, I thought Daniels was smiling because Rawls' gay lover called looking for "William". He was amused.

zoz45 said...

I was hoping to be first, or close to it, this week. I'll comment later. I had an idea for Tim and for us, as well. Since Emmy voters don't give a damn about this show, then maybe we can have our own "The Wire Only Awards," at the end of the season. Best Po-lice, Best Cornerboy, Best Episode, etc.. . Anyone down for this? Tim?

pnm said...

zoz45 - great idea. Would this cover all 5 seasons?

For now, I'll nominate Carver for most improved po-lice.

lieber said...

zoz45, I'm in.

There were so many quiet but dramatic exits in this episode:

• Daniels exiting Burrell's office

• Burrell exiting the grand jury

• Scottie exiting the Post

• McNutty exiting Beadie's house

• Prop Joe exiting this world
Man, Marlo's one stone cold m f er.

I hope one of the threads that gets tied up is Randy's fate. If not, I'll stew on that til I shed this mortal coil.

George D from the 415 said...

No one who reforms anything in this world gets away with it. Stringer paid the price so you knew Prop Joe would too.

Anonymous said...

I thought I heard that Scottie's prose was a little "wrought" for what we do here at the Post. If you can recall his description of Camden Yards on opening day. Without cringing.

Also, was that Ziggy's running mate from Season 2 sippin' on a beer at the bums' compound?

lieber said...

ps Tim

Thanks for your review of Breaking Bad.

It is freaking good.

George D from the 415 said...

it's the small things i love, Omar, not whistling, Marlo licking his lips at Cheese's frustration during the Co-Op Meeting

bdgavin said...

I was sad to see Joe fall. I knew where it was going but hoped it wouldn't get there. Will Slim Charles join up with Omar? I can't see him aligning with either Marlo or Cheese. Could Avon use his knowledge on Marlo as leverage?

Also, many people compare The Wire to Dickens. I think it's also somoething Upton Sinclair would write for if he were alive today. Sinclair was born in Baltimore.

Brian said...

Yes, I think that was Ziggy's buddy hitting the bottle in the homeless camp. Great to see another Season 2 character pop up.

-I loved that quick look on Marlo's face as Cheese stormed out of the co-op meeting after being dressed down by Prop Joe. He knew he had him in his pocket. I thought back to the look on Cheese's face a couple episodes back when Marlo suggested Prop Joe let one of his men..Slim..have a shot at some corners. Planting the seeds...

-Gus' running deconstruction of the press conference was priceless.

-Marlo to Herc: "you ever find that camera?" Hearing Herc tell Carver to "do whatcha got to do," I wonder if Herc will end up playing a role in Marlo's downfall. That's if Omar don't drop him before the po-lice can get to him.

-Loved the opening framing of that Carver-Herc scene, with the bottles and cans from many a previous parking lot bull & beer session. Some things never change.

-Omar coming up on Slim Charles reminded me of Omar's encounters with Brother Mazone. Slim & Omar are old school players in The Game, and you can sense a certain respect between them. Slim has always been pretty cool & collected, but you could see his realzation that he had just cheated death (for now) as he glanced at his bloody hand.

- Beadie to McNulty: "Jamesons and Listerine, it's your scent." You tell him Beadie!

Alan said...

The TiVo Community thread on this episode led me to the link, which is an interview of David Simon by Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy) from last summer.

Brian said...

I see George D beat me to the Cheese co-op fustration scene.

I forgot to add to my comment about the Slim-Omar scene: Didn't Slim say something to the effect that if Prop Joe had indeed been the one to sell Butchie out, he'd take Omar to PJ himself? If so, it just goes to show how over the top Marlo's way of doing things are viewed by the old school players. It's all a part of the game until you start breaking all the rules.

Trixie said...

Man, oh man. Prop Joe trying to negotiate to the very end. It's Baltimore ... nobody lives forever.

Marlo to Herc: "Hey, you ever find that camera?" Priceless.

Carver telling Herc that it mattered. My heart stopped when I thought Carver was going to follow up with bad news about Randy, beyond what we know from the end of last season.

I, too, love the connections between the characters - how they came up together in the same place but took very, very different paths. Prop Joe's recollection on Burrell: "Stone Stupid." Wonder if the kid buying the test off of Joe in the "prequel" short was supposed to be Burrell.

Omar with the code, listening to reason from Slim Charles. Reminiscent of the scene after he shot Brother Muzone before they took out their mutual enemy, Stringer Bell. Hmm.

That poor child that survived the massacre of his family. Kima: "How do you come back from something like that." Did anyone else think of Dexter?

B-More Wire Head said...

R.I.P. Prop Joe

Regarding Burrell...

Herk to Prop Joe - “I gotta ask...How was he?”
Prop Joe - “Stone Stupid”. Priceless

McNulty is a serial screw-up. And to think he actually cleaned up for second. But I suppose nothing last for ever (the ongoing thread of the Wire).

Terror I’ve seen thy face and it is called - Marlo

And to think I was afraid of Snoops character...Marlo Stansfield is on some next level cold bloodedness.

Marlo - “I wasn’t made to play the son” . “Close your eyes it won’t hurt none.”

Poor Joe should’ve seen this one coming. Marlo was learning as much as possible in a short period of time. When that happens and that’s a problem, because once a person learns everything they want to learn from you, you’re no longer necessary.

I love the drama and the tension. I can’t wait for the showdown between Omar and Marlo’s people.

leftymn said...

greg--Daniels' smile was not one of amusement; it was an expression of self-satisfaction. Not only has he been promoted, but he thinks he has finally shed his past. Of course, he also believed that it was "morning in Baltimore," or whatever that line was, and that hasn't panned out. Neither will this, since, as Tim said, Nerece now has the goods.
I too was wondering whether they might somehow bring back Rawls' gayness in some way. But we now know from Tim that it doesn't happen in any of the next three episodes, at least. C'mon, Tim! It's a tiny issue, but it's there.
As for the fast pace and the wrapping up of storylines (at least the important ones) I so much prefer that to Chase's approach on "The Sopranos." Every time I think about the lame ending to that series it just pisses me off.

B-More said...

Maybe somebody can help me out, in the episode where Snoop and Chris murder that rival dealer's family, a little boy runs out the back door and Michael doesn't shoot him. That little boy had close cropped hair (no braids).

In the scene where Kima finds the little boy in the closet, that's a different little boy wearing different clothes and he has braids.

So are there two kids who were in the house and if so, where is the little boy that Michael let get away?


CasualObserver said...

Great posts, all. Tim, and all, one quibble: I think the Post told the reporter that his prose was a little "wrought" (e.g. overwrought, purple), because he responded that he could write it "dry" and that it was the Sun making him do it the purple style.

But maybe I just need hearing checked? The dialogue is so rich in this series.

Looking forward to other comments. One question: when Prop Joe said Butchie kept it quiet like "a puppy walking on cotton" wasn't that an echo of the more vulgar phrase "quiet like a mouse pissing on cotton" from a character here some seasons back? If so, who?

CasualObserver said...

B'more: I think it's supposed to be the same kid. Presumably now he is safely in foster care or with relatives. Different hair could mean 3 things: continuity problem, passage of time, or hair extensions. It's a cultural thing for women and some of their children to use extensions to change a look.

leftymn said...

On further review, I agree that the editor at the Post used "wrought," not "raw," to describe Scott's prose. Makes sense, since characterizing Scott's prose as "raw" would be a sharp cut, and the editor's tone wasn't (sharp, that is).
I don't know what happened to the boy who ran out the back door, but I'm fairly sure it's not the same kid that Kima found in the closet. The boy in the closet was practically a baby--maybe 4 years old--while the runner was more like 7 or 8. Four-year olds don't run like that.

CasualObserver said...

leftymn, I think you are right that it's not the same kid and that I probably misunderstood poster who raised issue.

It makes sense with the social services, the schools, and BPD all being strapped and dysfunctional, and Kima working alone on a triple homicide (or was the kid a victim?) that the kid who got away (if he did)may not have been found or picked up yet, and this second kidmay be able to tell more (if he's found alive) than the little kid the authorities used the play therapy on as Kima watched.

Maybe the little kid will open up and tell the authorities about his what, brother, cousin?

Alex said...

This episode really got me thinking about Marlo, and what makes him different from the other gangsters on the show. In season four, Namond's mother berated Bodie, who called Madame WeeBey a "dragon lady" and then said that the incident gave him "some insight." When Namond asked what that was, Bodie said something like, "Now I see why you is what you is."

How did Marlo become what he is? Did he, like the little boy Greggs hoped would be her witness in the home invasion case, suffer some kind of horrific trauma as a child? Or is he, as one of the homicide detectives once said, just plain evil -- "the spawn of the devil?"

What do you make of that soft, gentle voice and those directions to relax and breathe easy? Was Marlo genuinely fond of "his father" Joe, even though he thought he had to get rid of him? Or was Marlo getting some kind of sick pleasure out of posing as a West Baltimore Dr. Kevorkian, killing with "mercy" this time?

ferrethead said...

I don't think that Daniels realized the significance of that personal call. He was just enjoying the moment.

What I liked most about Burrell's 'eating shit' comment to Rawls, was that was exactly the same thing that the former mayor told Carcetti in Season 4.

Did we see a glimpse Herc finally getting a clue?

Tim, I know you said to skip the previews, but I just can't help myself. Until you actually watch the ep, you don't know if they gave too much away, or not. They serve to whet my appetite, so that it is agonizing to wait the whole week - even more so now that they finally turned the OnDemand on where I live. (I've watched the entire season of "Flight of the Conchords" and the first 6 eps of "Rome", so far.)

Anonymous said...

I couldn't help noticing how quickly McNulty responded both times a new body showed up. Further proof that the biggest force driving him isn't drinking or getting laid -- it's being a po-lice, even in the sick, twisted way he's doing it this season.

Anonymous said...

I loved how sweet Kima was with Elijah. "It's been a long time since I built a house, I hope I remember how." I also caught the former dock worker in the homeless camp. "Does your dog bite? He's got teeth, don't he?" Times must have gotten worse at Patapsco since Season 2 if the dock workers are living in a homeless camp.

luckystuff said...

re: Daniels' phone call.

It could've been personal, or it could've been a dim-witted reporter trying to follow-up on a story that already happened. Or it could've been just some bureaucrat somewhere.

I think Daniels was smiling out of irony. Here's there at his new desk, trying to see how it fits, trying to adjust to this new big important step in his life and career. Then, the world calls, and it doesn't know nothing nor care a whit about his new promotion. And his first offical act, basically playing secretary/operator for his boss.

And speaking of Sinclair, I just saw 'There Will Be Blood.' Parallels between that The Wire are plentiful.

panraven_fan said...

No time to write much right now, but perhaps I will have time later tonight.

First, R.I.P. Prop Joe. It's strange how one can have such affection for a "cold-blooded gangsta." Because of HBO's crappy previews and all the hints from Marlo's actions, I saw this coming (side rant: I HATE the HBO previews!!! ARGH!)

Anyway, a few favorite favorite moments:

Prop Joe: "Quiet as a puppy walkin' on cotton." Love it!

Cheese, while walking down the alley with Chris, making another military/intelligence analogy (this time, CIA) to acknowledge respect for Marlo's soldiers (recall: "dayum, y'all some Semper Fi mf's! Where Cheese go to enlist?") This has got to be a precursor of things to come.

Narese, deciding to take a peek at her new booty obtained from the visit with Burrell. She knows that she's regained her influence in the Police Dept.

Gus, running down the press conference and then getting chided for his lack of "collegiality." Reminds me of days in another corporate life (not news, btw).

Clay Davis: any appearance, to be honest but, "I came in here to help, but y'all out for blood!" His character reminds me of a guy I knew in college and who was quite involved in politics but never made a career out of it.

Marlo's look at the close of the episode...such satisfaction. Contrast that with his unfeeling response after having sex in the back seat of his truck with the Barksdales' planted woman in an earlier season. He doesn't show emotion very often, but when he does, it's powerful and telling about his psychology.

I am a bit unhappy about some of HBO's apparent promotional choices this season. The constantly revealing previews cheapen the experience for me. Oh well.

Lots more to discuss, but I'll save it for after work!

Alex said...

The Wire's use of parallel plots is brilliant. Early this season, Rhonda explains that the prosecution of Clay Davis is going to be like a spiral -- start with accomplices and then work steadily closer to the main target. Now, if I understand Omar's plan, he intends to the use a similar strategy -- a "spiral" approach to isolate and then bring down Marlo.

wirewatcher said...

i like how seeing that within each group - police, newspaper, drug gang, politicos - there are similar roles.

i realized that both lester and prop joe had the fine motor thing...

prop joe with his repair of small appliances

lester with his miniatures

and both have a real "elegance" adn "renn. man" quality (as TG noted)

they are both very much in their respective games... and hovering somewhere outside of them... playing on a different level than the others.

fenerio said...

So 4 down and six acts to go. So much (you put the 'b' in subtle) is nuanced, unexpected and hilarious, "I gotta know...?' 'Stone stupid', that I am gonna miss this and the decons that brought another whole level to savor and enjoy. I am also enjoying repeats of 'Homicide: Life on Streets' every 9AM on WGN. Its so good to see a resurrected Mr Johnson as Gus. He gets my vote for Versatilty.

luckystuff said...

So, seeing as how the show's called 'Transitions,' what all transitions are to be found? And, if it can be pulled off, we'll keep in mind the 'buyer's market' quote.

Transitions that happened:
Burrell out, Daniels in. The senior unwittingly replaced by a junior.

Marlo ousting Prop Joe as head honcho. This time junior is definately behind it. (And so did that other junior, Cheese.)

Burrell survives with his parachute, because he has the scoop his superiors need. Prop Joe's insurance, his 'connect,' goes out from under him, and when it's time for his exit, he's got no future pastures: no blue ribbon committees, no plaques, nothing. Furthermore, while the people who fill the chairs can 'transition', the people themselves do not. So he's got to go.

Transitions that didn't:

Rawls as acting comissioner. He's just keeping the seat warm.

Scottie at the Wa-Post.

So white guys can't get promoted in B'mo'? Neither one has what the buyers want: political connections, or journalistic skill. No pull when you're on the wrong end of the market.

So what about the Greeks? Are they a fixture in the transitioning world of Baltimore power structures? Do they get to choose and anoint the kingpins, or do they merely have to sell to whoever is buying? They have no distribution network on the ground, so they're basically forced to sell to someone on the other end (so long as the money's clean, and all the procedurals are careful enough). They also seem to follow some imperial advice: great powers should not involve themselves with the politics of small tribes. By the scale of global narco-trafficking, the chiefs of Baltimore don't matter. So maybe they could do something about it, but they don't care. Institutions are not friends.

As for the other transitions of Cheese, Colichio (angry cop from intro), Omar back, Kima as parent, etc. I see all that as fairly minor in the scheme.

Acanthus said...

"I wonder if Herc will end up playing a role in Marlo's downfall".

Damn, brian. Why didn't I think of that? You guys are good.

Off the top of my head, I don't think he's learned enough or changed enough to help take down his current boss.

Lester- I've only see season 4 and this season so far, but his joining McNulty on this thing just doesn't ring true for me. I know he's held himself back careerwise by being uncooperative with the higher ups, but I can't imagine him going so far as to do something that if he's caught at it, will result in the loss of his whole career.

Anonymous said...

Rawls' being gay isn't gonna resurface. First, we see Rawls in the bar. Then, we see Rawls disingenuously thumbing through Landsman's girlie mag. Finally, in the last episode of season IV, we see Landsman chuckling at bathroom graffiti about Rawls -- Landsman knows and prob others too. That's the end of it.

Beadie now joins D'Angelo and Randy as the most devastated characters in the series.

"Woe to those that call evil good and good evil." What a THEME! E.g., McNulty and Freamon 'Good' po-lice? Carver 'Bad' b/c he's gonna write up Colicchio? Epic.

I foresee doom for Omar -- remember in Season 1 how he "used to love them [Greek] myths"? How he is a walking Urban Legend? Butchie Omar's oracle? Omar vowed to Bunk "No more bodies"; going back on that vow now will be his undoing, and the Myth will be complete.

novelera said...

As far as cold bloodedness is concerned, I saw some similar traits between Marlo and Narece.

Can anyone comment on why Cheese wanted Hungry Man "got". If I ever knew, it's gone from my brain?

Loved McNulty clicking those teeth!

detroitnewsie said...

Novelera, Cheese was miffed with Hungry Man complaining at the coop meeting about Cheese stepping on his turf; the fact the Prop. Joe repriminded Cheese in front of everyone further angered him, and tipped Marlo off to the breaches in Prop Joe and Cheeses' relationship which he then exploited in his ruthless Marlo way.

Boy Howdy said...

I'm surprised that Prop Joe's last proposition was so weak. He should've said to Marlo, "don't you want my password? I can't take it with me." Then maybe he could've made some kind of deal as he undoubtedly had more stashed away than Marlo.

Also, whatever happened to Stringer?

talli said...

Boy Howdy: "Whatever happened to Stringer?"

that made me laugh. You must be new around here.

Catch up on Season 3. It would be a real shame if you had to learn it via these forums.


spearchamp said...

Can't decide which line was better - Joe's "skill set" observation about Omar, or his recollection of Burrell at Dunbar. I'll be happy to call it a draw . . .

BTW - in case there is any doubt about the weasliness (?) of managing editor Klebanow - he actually seemed to enjoy Gus's profane riffing during the Carcetti press conference; yet once Gus got on him about not having a regular beat reporter at the mayor's office, Klebanow reverted to form with his "collegial" rebuke. A pox upon that man.

Speaking of rebukes - did anyone else feel echoes of "The Godfather" when Joe told Cheese to cool it at the co-op meeting? I half-expected him to turn to Marlo and say, "As you can see, I've spoiled my nephew . . . ".

RC2010 said...

Long live Prop Joe!

Dodiad said...

Omar: "Make that snake stick his head up out the hole."

Gotta keep that old Devil way down in there!

Doje said...

When Slim and Prob Joe are talking outside of the flower shop, as Joe says 'Marlo is Marlo man...' the camera goes wide, pans a bit, and Joe is blocked out by the telephone pole. Very clever foreshadowing

crazyassbunnycolvin said...

Did anyone else catch this? Lester's former partner, Oscar, is Sesame Street's Gordon!

Nobody? Two things are eternal, The Game and Sesame Street.


Gus: (to Jim) You'd take the "crab" out of crab soup.

Voguette said...

Goodman, thanks for the comments on the so-called ‘rushed’ season and the nitpickers. Last couple decon entry comments I skipped over half the content. I watch The Wire for the pleasure it gives my heart and mind, not for rhetoric or writing/filming techniques. Still, what keeps me reading this blog is the consistency of finding a couple (or more) gems of insight each week.
A small point I’d make re. Simon and closure: There will be more (sad and otherwise) for characters (major and otherwise) and plotlines (ibid), but for the gods of Wireland I don’t believe there will be any twilight. Simon has said it’s the ancient Greek gods (playing with humanity) who inhabit (literarily) the institutions in his novelized Baltimore. “The gods will not save you,” said Burrell in an early series. So obviously there will be no closure re. the drug war, the police, city hall, etc. (In Hollywood there would be.)
On that note, I am preparing myself for more fictional death, but I must say this last one really got to me. Minutes after ep. 4 sank in, I felt the need to go to a funeral. Prop Joe. That huge sorrowfully placid face. Now that’s a nuanced actor, projecting with closed eyes.
How is it no one has mentioned (excuse me if I missed it) the ‘first colored man’ to own his own home in Baltimore county. That photograph, that living room. Old school, indeed.
I am haunted by Marlo’s quiet voice, the tenderness he allowed this one murder. What’s up with that?! Seriously. Many (perhaps even me in the past) have proclaimed Marlo pure ‘evil’. Nope, sorry. No such thing in Wireland. We don’t know Marlo’s story, have not been given a single clue about how he became “Marlo”. Yep, I was stunned by the killing of the citizens. And by murders over mere personal slights. So that tender guidance into death took me by surprise. Who is this guy? (And I realize that even with the end of ep. 10 we may never know.)
Goodman, you say Omar walking down the alley is ‘almost iconic’. Not almost, babe. Omar in full kit walking down an alley at night is the thing itself, an icon fit for the gods.
Chilling: knowing Narice has hold of that file on Daniels. She’s become one of the scariest females on TV. (Scarier even than Condoleeza Rice.)
Chilling: the camera panning back and revealing The Greek. I think he and Marlo are a match in several subtle ways. The quiet demeanor, the nods that brings suffering and death, the attitude re. the “business” of life.
No reason to do anything with Rawls’ gayness. I mentioned it once, just knowing he’s a closeted-gay-police-executive explains a lot. Persons who hate themselves in the particular ways of self-denial make great bullies.
Re. parallels: the fallen faces of two fallen forces – Prop Joe and Clay Davis. If these were real people I’d want Richard Avedon to photograph them.
Now we have two odd school-time couplings, paired variant paths taken: Prop Joe and Burrell. Omar and Bunk. (Made me wonder about some of my former classmates.)
Someone thought Daniels was smiling ironically. Maybe. It seemed enigmatic, even that he might be wondering at the amazing un-believability of it all.

Pizzadrone said...

Late to the party, but I noticed that several people mentioned that Marlo killed Prop Joe after learning everything he needed from him. The irony to me, is that last week's episode seemed to highlight how far Marlo still has to go. The scene at the bank showed someone who's on the right track, but still completely out of their element. He is absolutely out of his element and over his head with The Greek. Killing Joe might be the mistake that eventually kills him.

Jesse D said...

Tim, you do not need to defend this show against the nitpickers. If they are nitpicking, they are not enjoying it as much as they should. OBEY. You've already seen the shit walk on water.

It will not end the way you want it to. Things will happen that will piss you off. That is certain. RIP Stringer Bell.

Analysis of this show is required and pleasurable (it's better than sex), but it's good to not try to predict every move. Enjoy it, too.

Two months from now, it will all be over and we will be left holding our Charles Dickens. Even better, we get to listen to the late comers enjoy The Wire (you are way too fuckin late, it took fuckin Newsweek and Teri Gross to get you into it, you suck).
For now, soak it up.

Doje said...

Prop* Joe, whoops... and r.i.p.

suzyq2 said...

Well said voguette. Iconic indeed. I immediately rewound the scene of Omar walking down the alley just to luxuriate in it. And thanks for describing the feeling I share but couldn't quite put my finger on- I realize now I feel the need to go to a funeral too.

lieber--good call about the exits, I noticed the same thing. Foreshadowing The Wire's own exit perhaps.

I am curious if word will go out that Prop Joe has been killed or just that he went away as he had planned? I think how that news is relayed on the streets will have a big impact on future events. I'm thinking Omar.

I was growing weary of the nitpicking too, thanks Tim for your comments about it. And as far as the "shortened" season goes, what episode of any season of The Wire hasn't been packed with lots of stuff happening and layers and layers of complexity? Just The Wire doing what it usually does. No doubt at all.

lifeisgood67 said...

I, too, think that Herc may contribute to Marlo's downfall, but in accidentally or unknowingly. That would be true to character. And a reinforcement that "it all matters" -- sometimes it matters for the better and sometimes for the worse.

Prop Joe is in some ways reminding me of D'Angelo and Bodie: once we see how their thinking is to moral? evolved? nuanced? for the game, time's up. Gus next (figuratively)?

ferrethead said...

I wouldn't call Marlo 'evil', just as I wouldn't call cancer 'evil'. And, make no mistake, even in something as disfunctional as the drug trade, there is bad and there is cancerous. Marlo needs to consume everything in his path. It wasn't enough to take over West Bmore, he had to have it all. Not enough to *get* the good dope, he has to control the distribution. With Prop Joe gone, I can't imagine the co-op will remain, only the king. One thing Marlo has forgotten, once you get to the top, there's only one way to go...

You know what's f*cked up? Cheese cried when he had to shoot his dog, but he hands his uncle over like it's nothing. Prop Joe had two chances to give him up, first to Marlo since Cheese was in charge of security when the shipment got stolen. And, also, in this ep, both he and Slim Charles *knew* it was Cheese that gave Butchie up, but he needed proof. He sure got it last night - in spades!

BTW - I don't remember who said it, but Landsman does NOT know that Rawls is gay. He laughed at the graffiti because it was funny. Also, whoever wrote that graffiti doesn't know that Rawls is gay - in some circles, calling someone a c*cksucker is the ultimate insult. (In the commentary on the DVD, David Simon makes a point of commenting on this.)

ferrethead said...

Oh, I forgot one more thing - Marlo saw the good in Michael, and had to consume that as well. (Sorry for the double post...)

panraven_fan said...

one more thing, I noticed that nobody mentioned the obvious but excellent shirt that Marlo was wearing at the end of the Ep, "Royal Addiction." Brilliant.

BTW, I rescind my earlier nitpicking but I will stand by my criticism of HBO's methods of promoting the show this season. I love the series, having purchased the first four seasons separately (and season 3 twice after lending my firt copy to a friend). I still wish that we had 12 or 13 episodes. Regardless, I'm glad for the ones that exist.

Pizzadrone, I agree that Marlo has shown how far he still has to go ("It ain't easy civilizing this mf"). Also, someone else mentioned that there is so much we don't know about Marlo. One of the Homicide detectives called him "the devil's spawn" when Kim and McNulty were originally trying to get a bead on him. One of the commenters from Season 3 mentioned that they thought he was also shown in Season 1, trying to sell drugs to Freamon outside of the gym when he went to get a pic of Barksdale (in addition to Michael, who was watching the gym from across the street). I've never been able to verify either, as the commentaries don't speak to it but it is an interesting assertion. One easily makes the connection between the lives the children lead and the lives of the adults in "the game." Not a far stretch to see Namond becoming a Burrell someday while Randy becomes a predator after all of the abuse he's endured. Regardless, "all the pieces matter." I'd love to see a similar treatment done at a national/international level.

Non seq...Interesting that Omar targets Monk first. Monk is the one who shot Cutty and had the great line about the dolphin, if I recall correctly.

lieber said...

Oh, good God, I'd like Gus's take on the state of the union.

All that applause.


I guess a collegial atmosphere is important.

bdgavin said...

I rewatched Episode 4 tonight. This time, when I heard that Omar is going after Marlo's soldiers first, I thought about what this will mean for Michael. Will Omar and Michael be pitted against each other at some point? Just last week I was thinking Michael could be another Omar. A successor perhaps?

Bo said...

This season is revolving around Omar and Marlo, and McNulty and Snotty. The latter two need to come in to conflict, like the former two, that seems to be the direction. The last man standing? Gotta be Omar, he's the best anti-hero in television since...forever.

I'm contrasting McNutty's slowly losing it to the cop in Homicide (Tim) who started out innocent, and ended up murdering a killer who he knew would never go to prison. The arc in Homicide never quite rang true, but this one (for me, anyway) really does.

With all of the rich characters and plot threads I could do without the newsroom storyline entirely - much as I enjoy Clark Johnson, who is a terrific actor. Too much to dig through already, and so far the newspaper storyline hasn't added much that isn't obvious. If there's a payoff to that line, it needs to come soon, we've had enough character moments about the earnest one, the ambitious climber, the crusty old timers, etc., it's as if a whole other miniseries were being back-door piloted on us (I know that's not the case, I'm just sayin', that's how it plays).

Prop Joe's death was well played, but the plot line was a bit unsatisfying: after all that time he wouldn't see this coming? Wouldn't think Cheese would sell him out in a heartbeat? Would think Marlo was loyal to anyone but Marlo?

Ah, B'more, only six more to go, I feel like we hardly knew ye.

Another Fan said...

As long as we're talking about "doppelganger characters" again this week.... It strikes me that Scott is essentially the Herc of the newsroom: a dim-witted incompetent with a raging sense of entitlement, eternally baffled by the fact that the world somehow keeps failing to recognize how special and deserving he truly is.

Scott's desire to move up to a bigger paper almost perfectly mirrors Herc's urgent need (over the past couple of seasons) to get his "stripes": Neither man seems able to articulate any clear reason for wanting what he wants, other than the extra status it would confer; neither has any particular talent that would justify him actually attaining that status, nor any greater contribution that he might make if he did attain it; and neither one cares in the least whether he gets what he wants honestly or dishonestly, just so long as he gets it. (Remember how sincerely proud Herc was of himself after he'd "earned" his stripes by walking in and interrupting the mayor's blow job? That would be Scott, if and when his made-up stories landed him a gig at a more prestigious paper -- as if success were simply a puzzle that he'd finally found a clever way to solve....)

I keep thinking that Gus subtly reminds me of somebody, too, but I can't quite put my finger on it. (Kima, maybe?)

CasualObserver said...

anotherfan, interesting in the parallels of Scott and Herc. To me though, Herc in his bumbling still has more humanity than Scott. Two things that stick out: when he walked in on the mayor, he was first clueless and thought he had ruined his chances rather than enhanced them. Also, when it was time to finally quit running and admit some things, he did. He has more "redeeming social value" to me so far than Scott. And he works in a more dysfunctional and dangerous place than the newsroom, despite the parallels, so his flaws become more understandable.

These are minor quibbles. Great job.

ppage said...

Won't make specific comments about the Wire except to say I saw episode 5 last night on demand & would have easily stayed up to 5 am to watch the rest of the season if it had been available. I'm hooked.

Tim, care to comment on the publisher of the SF Examiner pimping his paper last week? Why the verbiage on the front page basically extolling the virtues of a free paper?

talli said...

One of the critical transitions that has yet to be touched upon is the shift from having a veteran and well connected police reporter with twenty years under his belt to an eager and willing cub, but a cub nonetheless.

Woe is Alma as hell is about to descend upon her. A serial killer is on the loose, politics are swallowing the police department and there is a gang war about to explode.

It was a wonderful scene when a squad of employed but networkless reporters tried to squeeze a quote from City Hall with no luck. Twig, packing his deadwood into a cardboard box, mercifully delivers for the Baltimore Sun.

Don't matter how many 20 somethings they can hire, it can never make up for the worn soles of a veteran beat reporter.


Fred34 said...

How good is the Wire you ask? I watch it the first time for the sheer thrill of the masterpiece. The second time to catch the suBtle nuances I missed the first time around. And the third time is to translate for my gf who doesn't speak Eng. Oh and if she has the misfortune to try and interrupt I go ballistic and explain that this is the ONLY show I care about so whatever it is that's on her mind will have to wait till its over.
It's not very original but I'm just giddy that Omar back - can't put into words. Also I'm dying to get a little more into Kima's life now - looks like it could happen (she kinda fell off as a character of late).

Oh and when are they going to come up with a song, "Marlo's Eyes"? The serene look as he lulls Prop Joe - almond eyes 3/4 closed as usual. Then just after the gun goes off we watch his gaze become intense - for the first time ever in the show - as we can imagine that he is either watching Joe's soul depart, or ,even more horrific, that his intense stare is consuming the soul altogether. Whatever it is, way heavy, way creepy and way sociopath. Just fabulous photography, acting, casting, you name it.

Last thing, re: people hoping Omar comes out on top - given the Greek tragedy theme it's hard to say if anyone is destined to come out on top except the sytem(s).

ferrethead said...

Am I just a cynic, or did it occur to anyone else that the reason Kima wanted to spend time with Elijah was to figure out how to reach her witness? She used the same technique as the interviewer/therapist in getting Elijah to interact with her... I love Kima, but I don't think she's above using someone in this manner to solve her case.

suzyq2 said...

ferrethead, I was thinking Kima wanted to connect with some kind of childhood innocence after seeing that young boy so traumatized by what he had witnessed. But in retrospect, that's probably way too naive, I think you're on to something. Above all else, Kima has a hunger to be good po-lice, like McNulty--but not so self destructive. I think it's the reason her relationship broke up, isn't it? She couldn't settle down and get into the family thing.

Voguette said...

Fred34: Your para re. Marlo's eyes makes me want to see that scene again (which of course will happen). From his first entrance on this show those eyes have been mesmerizing at the least. (I recall the chilling effect of them when he first looked into Michael's eyes in S4 after the boy rejected his school clothes money.)
I daresay if one went through all the seasons there would be many closeups of remarkable gazes, including blind Butchie's. Recall Chris's gaze after he shoots the old man, and Omar's when he hears of it.
My first thought when Kima went to Elijah was that she was going to pull a McNulty and use the boy to get at her witness. Then relief that she engages him in play and that she needed a taste of goodness in her life. But now Ferret and Suzy have me wondering again. Maybe it will be more naturally coming and Elijah will give Kima a clue re. the traumatized boy.

CasualObserver said...

voguette (and all): I saw elements of both motives in Kima's behavior. Behind the oneway glass, she was saying something like "how do you come back" from a trauma like that suffered by the child witness--seeing his family blown away.

This empathy seems to have reminded/made her feel guilty about her own abandonment of her child with Cheryl. When she reaches her own resistant child with "building a house" maybe the wheels turn about how to get the child victim to open up. Both kids have been "abandoned" albeit one in a traumatic way.

The Watcher said...

I've been reading this blog ever since season 3 and never commented before, but throughout that time I've truly savoured reading the very intelligent thoughts and commentary of everyone who contributes here. Thank you all, and thank you Tim, your discusion has really enriched my appreciation of the show, like a literary commentary with real vibrancy.

Needless to say, this season is wrapping its web around me with the same inexorable, intricate momentum as its predecessors. There was one small point in the last episode (ep 4)that I'd appreciate some input on though:

Why exactly is it that Marlo represents "insurance" to the Greeks (i.e. against the risk of shipments being robbed - as Marlo argues) any more than Joe did? After all, neither Marlo nor the Greeks knew about Joe's (admittedly enforced) collusion in Omar's hijack - did they? Is this something that Cheese had told Marlo? It's just that I don't quite understand why the Greeks would feel any need to abandon Joe in favour a young gun they don't know and have never dealt with, simply because he was persistent. These very same men were so cautious that they were prepared to abandon a whole shipment of product at the docks in season 2, just to be on the safe side... And in any case, weren't they still paid for the shipment Omar took?

In a similar vein, did it strike anyone else as strange that The Greek revealed himself as boss by stepping directly into the negotiations with Marlo? Joe had been dealing with his outfit for several years (is that right?) and there was no hint that in all that time, he had ever met the big man, or even become aware of his existence. Is the idea that The Greek was so impressed with Marlo's drive that he decided to break his usual habit? I'd be interested to know your thoughts...

Alex said...

You raise some great questions, watcher. All we can say for sure is that the Greek has decided that it's in his interest to sell through Marlo instead of Prop Joe. The reason for that is anyone's guess at this point, but I have a feeling the Greek is going to take Marlo to school in a very humiliating way. As an old basketball coach used to say, the strong take from the weak, but the smart take from the strong. (I don't mean to suggest that Marlo isn't smart, but I do think that from the perspective of the Greek and his organization Marlo probably seems young and amateurish.)

Guldevito said...

I agree Watcher the whole ease of which the Greeks excepted Marlo did seem a bit odd. I think it may be safe to assume there is something else at play there. I'm sure they do their homework on the happenings in the street and maybe figured Marlo was the new power and didn't want to interfere that closely with the "transitions" that were inevitable. I love the Wire and this blog. Peace!!!!!

pnm said...

As have many of you, I've been waiting quite a while for the gay Rawls story to resolve, and a chilling thought just occurred. Wouldn't it be just like The Wire for Rawls to be outed somehow (a reporter?) during his "seat-warming" tenure as Commissioner and use it to his advantage to secure a permanent post as a minority. Great job security if it all came out.

I have not watched ahead of Sunday's episode, so if I'm right, and I'm sure I'm not, please don't hate me...

ferrethead said...

The impression I got was that the Greek was showing Marlo respect, while tactfully giving him the kiss off. "If we tell him no, he would just come back." Of course, in insisting that everything go through Prop Joe, they pretty much signed his death warrant. In that, I think they seriously underestimated Marlo. I doubt they'll make that mistake again. Other than that, they don't REALLY care who moves the product, and if Marlo's the only game in town, he'll be their new partner.

ferrethead said...

pnm - I doubt that there will be any movement on the 'Rawls is gay' subject. Simon gave us a glimpse into who the man is, and why he is the way he is. Sunday night's call was a shout out to those of us who have been watching, a call back of a prior episode. I think Tim mentioned that there is a lot of that this season. Honestly, Rawls is a rather odious person, and any storyline about him should highlight his true sin - one of those slick characters who find themselves in positions of power and never miss out on an opportunity to abuse it. (Sorry - again - for the double post.)

RotoJeff said...

Talking about parallel characters, how about Michael and Avon? Besides the simple boxing comparison (and note that Avon's picture was still up in Cutty's gym and the end of Season 4), the two both play strong roles, looking out for the weaker members of their extended families (Avon - D'Angelo; Michael - Randy, Dukie and Bug). Both are smart, but not necessarily the sharpest of the people they hang out with. I don't know the backstory on Avon and how he ended up in the game, but we do know that Michael was basically pulled into it. Hopefully his character doesn't devolve like Avon's.

detroitnewsie said...

All this talk about the all too easy acceptance of Marlo by the Greeks has me wondering if Avon is behind any of this. Why should he have to choose between backing Marlo or Joe if he can contribute to the fall of both? Although it is not like Simon to not at least drop a little hint if it was going this way, but I agree this whole situation with the Greeks went a little too smoothly. Remember, when the Greeks acknowledged and allowed contact with Marlo, they also admitted Chris and Snoop into the picture-pretty risky given how little we, let alone them (Greeks), know about the history of these two.

RotoJeff said...

One more too little, too late post for this week:

I love how Burrell made the Judas reference with the ministers, only to see Cheese become the real article.

Anonymous said...

Tim, I discovered your decons in S3 and have been hooked ever since. They really do help to enrich the experience that is The Wire. I also love all the comments that the posters leave. You guys really do bring many things to light. I love visiting here and bouncing my ideas off of what's been said.

Anyway, this is my first post and these are just a few things that I'd like to say about the other comments I've here.

to trixie: I loved the Dexter reference you saw in the scene with the little traumatized boy..."how do you come back from that?" I'm sure it wasn't intentional but a fabulous connection between two of my favorite shows. I'm going to hate to see The Wire go.

to b-more: The kid that Michael let get away was not the same one that Kima found in the closet. If I remember correctly, when Michael saw it was a kid that he was going to shoot, there was a close-up of the child running and showed it was Bug (not literally, but that's what Michael saw in that instance). This is why Michael couldn't bring himself to pull the trigger. I'm wondering, like some of the others, if "the one that got away" will resurface.

Re. Marlo and his "insurance" with The Greek: I did not see that they were accepting him as their new partner. They were very firm on the fact that they deal with Prop Joe only and didn't what to have to have more people knowing their names and becoming more exposed. Marlo's argument was against single-point failure. If The Greeks only deal with Joe and something happens to the shipment, where does that leave him and his people. His push for a secondary line of distribution to him is the "insurance" that's being referred to in this discussion (not Marlo to the Greeks). The Greeks see his point and the value of insurance, but still make no agreement that this deal is done. Remember, when Marlo left out they were trying to give him his money back (yet again) and he tells them to keep it towards expenses. You can only say "no" to free money and the gift-giver for so long...Marlo is almost a master of disguising his self-centered ideas/motives and presenting them in a way that gives him insight into his next course of action. The Greeks understand the need for "insurance" and after the coversation they have, Marlo feels he has their consideration for such a deal. He plants the seeds for dissention in the co-op meeting, salivates at Cheese's reaction, and moves accordingly so that he can collect on his "insurance". Marlo is an extremely cold, yet calculating individual (for the most part). His lust for the crown and thirst for power, however, makes for a very toxic elixer. His indulgence in it may be his downfall.

Lastly, R.I.P. to Prop Joe. Too bad he didn't heed Slim Charles' warning earlier..."Watch Marlo...boy up to some $h*+"

Sorry so long for my first post. Felt that popping my cherry should be a memorable experience :D

Voguette said...

Checking in. Anonymous @8:40 AM: very fine post. Made me think and want to see the last two episodes again simply with your insights in mind. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I, as much as everyone, loves Omar's character and now his quest to destroy Marlo; but what aboout this show would suggest that Omar will succeed or we have anything but a crushing end to this storyline?
Unlike every other character in The Wire, Marlo, purely evil and not bound by any rules, has never suffered a single defeat or setback, except if you want to count being robbed by Omar of pcoket change. Every corner he wants is his; he embarrasses the police when they try to arrest him; the cockeyed plan to get money into the Marlo investigation will fail; as soon as the homeless murders become a press case, there is no way Rawls lets him work it. Worse, it will be Bunk, and then what will he do?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why Freamon was working on the teeth for the bite marks like making his intricate minitures?

novelera said...

I agree, very fine post by Anonymous at 8:40. You perfectly expressed what I had been thinking about how the Greek and his cohort view Marlo. I knew what I felt about "insurance" but couldn't find the right words to post it. They don't really want to do business with Marlo, more or less told him Joe was their man, but couldn't deny two things: if Joe weren't around they'd need a backup and Marlo is relentless; he won't go away and they might end up needing him.

ferrethead said...

The 'serial killer' has added biting to his m.o. That's why McNulty was clicking the teeth at Freamon at the 'crime scene'. Adding the sensational angle that will make the story more newsworthy.

CasualObserver said...

ferrethead, not sure but I think anonymous meant that Freamon was changing the existing bite impressions on the teeth. I'm not sure how he came by the set of teeth, but if they "belong" to and are identifiable to any person (living or dead), he has to change them so they don't match the individual for forensic purposes.

I saw him playing with the teeth but somehow missed him "working" on the teeth, so I'm guessing here.

That's what I love about the show. You can watch it a bunch of times and still miss background, foreground, a bit of dialogue that, when finally picked up, makes a huge difference.

ferrethead said...

Oh, I should have been more clear. He probably wanted to give them some sort of identifiable 'bite print' (?). Again, they really want to jazz up the case, so the press can't ignore it. I guess if you can't have a white college student, a serial killer of the homeless is the next best thing...

suzyq2 said...

Thanks so much everyone for the fine posts regarding the insurance thing, I was confused about the fine points of it. I'm planning on watching the last two eps again before ep 5, so these explanations and discussions will be immensely helpful.

Anonymous, no apologies necessary for long posts when you've got lots of good stuff going on. Re: Omar, he may not come of this unscathed, but I don't think Marlo will either. The Wire isn't about "evil will win out" which is what the message would be if Marlo skates through scott free to the end. The message is more like "shit happens to everyone." :)

Bo said...

You just know this fake serial killer thing will bite McNutty in the ass. What happens when another detective arrests a suspect? Or somebody starts committing copycat crimes?

McNutty is going down over this, Bunk is the oracle of the obvious on this one.

Bo said...

I'm watching Law and Order, and the thinly veiled Larry Craig character is played by the guy who plays Rawls in The Wire - well folks, this is probably as close as we'll get to seeing the Rawls storyline play out.

Great bit of casting, a shout-out to us Wireheads.

Anonymous said...

bo said - McNutty is going down over this, Bunk is the oracle of the obvious on this one..

What if McNulty's game actually pays off? What if McNulty and Scottie's stories get bought. Remember the very first scene of S5-Episode 1 -- the bigger the lie, they more they believe.

Whether McNulty survives the game or not, the end result will show the continued lack of faith in our society. So I would expect the corners to continue running, some po-lice to remain frustrated, but a logical conclusion to some of the stories. Maybe in this age of globalization, the yankees will come take over BMore. Remember they were kicked out in season 4...

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see this story, buried in the middle of the newspaper, but it could have easily been an episode of The Wire. Now every example of police brutality I read about resonates in a different way for me because of this great show.

Anonymous said...

I'm a first time commentator on this forum, and I agree with all those who have posted so far that reading Tim's review and all the comments completely enriches the experience that is the Wire. I wanted to share a few thoughts:

- I think Marlo has ruthlessly created a perfect opportunity for himself to take over distribution rights from the Greek. They don't have much choice now but to deal with him. The Greeks intentions at the meet, whether to get him to scram by giving him hope that a deal might be possible sometime in the future, or whether they were actually considering an insurance policy, is a moot point now.

- The co-op's over, thats for sure. Marlo is a one man show, and now he doesn't need the co-op.

- The foreshadowing this season has been incredible. Picking up on the observations so many have made, I think the theme for this season is a Greek tragedy. Greek tragedies don't have Hollywood endings - it will be brutal, with most of the characters either getting killed, going to jail, or being devastated (like beadie). When the dust settles, it will probably start from square 1, with strong overtones of episode 1 season 1 in our minds. The message will be - its all just a cycle, the game will always be the game. But that's the Wire, isn't it? We love it because it skips the BS (much like Gus), and just brings on a whole lot of the 'real' stuff.

Best TV drama EVER. As my fellow Wire addict said the other day, the fact that a show like Grey's Anatomy picks up the plaudits, while the Wire doesn't even get a mention is simply a disgrace.

novelera said...

Great new commenters. I'd just like to ask the "newbies" to select a nickname. It's a lot of fun recognizing repeat posters and their points of view. We're a community here, and Anonymous seems pretty flat at the top of a really great insight.

wiregroupie said...

Anon: Thanks for the link to the NY Times piece.
life imitating art and all that.. along those lines...

In case anyone missed it, there was a great piece in the WSJ last year about Snoop. It includes quotes from the family of the girl she was imprisoned for killing.

dellwhistler211 said...

I, Anonymous@8:40am, will now assume the persona of dellwhistler211...word to Omar. No Doubt. I look forward to actively participating in post-watch commentary with you, my fellow wire heads, as we witness the greatest show ever's swan song...

lieber said...

novelera, great idea.

dellwhistler211, glad you thought so, too.

Anonymous said...

Best idea yet - Omar for President

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the Wire has influence up the coast.
Last night on Law and Order the beginning
of the episode involved a gay legislator who
was entrapped in the Larry Craig fashion,
foot tapping in a restroom stall. Who did
it turn out to be? --- why our good friend Rawls.
Of course he had changed his name and job.
Is John Doman being typecast:-) ?

Guldevito said...

The scene where Carver is trying to reamagine the incident with Colicchio is very reminiscent of the season one episode where Daniels does the same for Carver,Prez and Herc when they go to the towers and screw things up. Did anyone pick up on that? Also,I like to wonder if Chris and Snoop had seen the kids in the home invasion, would they have killed them? One more thing if this wasn't the last season and say it went on for 7 or 8 seasons I would love to see the outcome of the kids in Kima's case. Again I love the Wire ansd this Blog. Peace!!!

k.papai said...

So far this is the best episode of this 5th and final season. RIP Joe! So many layers, as Tim said, so many and so well done. How much cut do the Greeks get for laundering the cash from Marlo?
I love the Bal'moer Sun stuff, the Burrell exit, the grand jury, and Marlo's gang bangin' chick with the one guy all tied up. Soldiers all.
Finally, McNulty's (wife?) Beaddie totally dissing him on the Listerine/Whisky breath.

grandma said...

I've been reading this blog since S3. I've watched The Wire from the beginning. Its getting to be like reading a great novel that you don't want to end. I'm already anticipating the sadness at the end of the show.

panraven_fan said...

Hi all...instead of watching one of the four movies I rented tonight, I decided to re-watch Eps 1-4. After watching part of Ep. 1, I was compelled to write a few observations that were interesting in light of Ep. 4.

First, the rift between Cheese and Prop. Joe/Hungry Man/The Co Op became very clear. During the first viewing, I thought that Cheese's reaction was disgust aimed at Marlo (i.e., loyalty to his uncle) but now it seems that his disgust was aimed at

Secondly, Gus knows that the kid is making up his stories because he actually gets on the phone with Narese and Jeff after the Fat Face Rick story. Given that Scott ("Templeton") wasn't even summoned to talk to Narese, I think that Gus realized the lie that was being put forth by Scott.

Also, did anyone notice that Sydnor wears Ben Sherman "Penguin" shirts? Is this some sort of product placement or are they trying to subtly underscore his age? I love the show's attention to detail. If you really want to get a kick, check out when this same actor was in The Corner. He looked like such a kid then!

Ok, I'm going to go. This post was started last night but I got distracted doing other things so I'll have to finish my re-watch tonight!

Sam said...

Had a question-
during the WPost interview-the editor asked Scotty if he had anything to do w/ a specific story from the previous year and that it was "good work" or something like that-did anybody pick up on the story? was it the bodies in the houses? or something related to the pier/docks (grainery maybe? I seem to remember that from season 2)? just curious if it was a reference to one of the earlier seasons? and of course Scotty is such a tool (just shakes his head-I am sure he wants to blame someone else that he wasn't involved in that story)-anyway just curious. Thx.

Calinks said...

Marlo! How could!? How could you freaking do Prop Joe like that!? He showed you everything. Man, I am pissed! This is worse than my main man Bodie Braudus. Damn! Marlo makes Avon look like Barney the dinosaur.

This has just jacked my whole world up. How the hell do you kill Prop Joe? The co-op is DONE, Marlo is DONE. Just a matter of time until all of this crap catches up to him.