Sunday, February 24, 2008

"The Wire," Season 5, Ep. 8: "Clarifications."

(This post is going up a bit early because I'm covering the Oscars on Sunday night and won't have time to write it then. Not that you need to be told, but this de-co contains spoilers. And I'm sorry to say, one of the most depressing spoilers I've ever written.)


You can prepare yourself all you want for what happened in this episode - because anybody who really understood "The Wire" knew it would end like this - but the sight of Omar falling won't soon be forgotten. He was going to "get got." He already had his superhero moment. He will live on as a legend in the streets of West Baltimore (and in TV critic history), but he was never going to survive this season. No chance. Still - it got to you.

Before I go into this a little deeper, let's be clear on something. "The Wire" stayed true to its mission, its storytelling goal, its innate honesty. All the things that make this series so much better than anything else could be seen in Kenard acting completely on his own and mowing down Omar, the most feared Robin Hood in West Baltimore. The fact is that Omar ended up being a character far greater than he was originally envisioned. Credit here goes to the writing, of course, but also to the outstanding work of Michael K. Williams, who turned Omar into a cult hero, took a few clipped scenes and made them levitate and forced his character to grow. And when that happened, Williams had the chops to create one of the most captivating, intriguing and - dare we say it - lovable villains in television history. Unfortunately, Omar is not back. Omar is dead. And as true as that is to the spirit of the series, it really takes an emotional toll.

True dat.

Omar had to fall. You knew that. Or you should have. He wasn't a classic anti-hero in the truest sense but there was something in him that made you root for him. The man had a code. Amidst the chaos and urban decay and relentless downbeat cynicism of both West Baltimore and "The Wire" in general, the character of Omar was one the audience could root for and take satisfaction in when his brand of vigilante justice prevailed. When he knocked over Marlo's card game? Not to be forgotten. A triumphant, brilliant scene. And there were a lot more. But that's not how "The Wire" is. This isn't Rambo. What made his death more powerful - hinted at by a lot of savvy folks - was that it was Kenard, the littlest corner boy, who took him down. Kenard is hard. He looked at Omar, in his gimpy-limped current state, and he had no respect. That's life on the street. They're getting younger and younger. There was a cruel precision and truism about it. And it was handled deftly, without passion. And later, in the episode, Omar's was a tale told with frankness, not fondness. Few other dramas would have handled it that way.

Omar was a brilliantly conceived character. I'm going to miss him. But there was a lot of other important turns in Ep. 8. McNulty is coming unraveled just when his ruse - as ill-conceived and asinine as it is - has begun to pay dividends. Lester is close - not just "two more weeks" as usual. The police work that comes from good funding is getting good results.

But the overall lesson here, in Ep. 8, is that corruption is king. There's a corruption of the soul in Carcetti, who has lost his way more than ever (politics will do that). There is Clay Davis' corruption going unpunished - unless Lester has some more corruption he'd like to employ and level at Davis. The corruption of life - the lessening of its value - ends with the shortest corner kid around taking down Omar - a pumpkin shot, no less. There's corruption of the heart with Beadie realizing how low-down and unreliable McNulty is - then finding out no matter how bad she thought it was, it could always get worse. Scott's ethical corruption is blowing up in his face. At least McNulty's corruption at work looks like it will lead somewhere - but who doesn't think the end result will be so tainted it won't stick?

That kind of rust? It never sleeps.

Here are some more thoughts:

+ “A lie ain’t a side of a story. It’s just a lie.”- Hanning, the scarred vet. Here's the problem with Scott: Even a great story that tells itself isn't enough for him. He always wants more.

+ “The bad news, gentleman, is we’re actually gonna have to catch this motherfucker. The good news is, that our Mayor finally needs a police department more than he needs a school system.” – Rawls.

+ Great direction on that shot – last part of the punchline just shows McNulty surveying the crowd, silently, his eyes alive but dead, thinking, “I did it. I just sold them the lie.”

+ All hail Poot - he got out still breathing. At least so far. But he's out and off the corner. “Shit just got old.”

+ Poot telling Dukie he's too young to get a job in the shoe store: “So I guess you just gotta bang a little while longer, then come back and see if we got something.” Man, that's a visceral punch to the stomach for those who think Dukie needs to be saved.

+ One of the things I love about "The Wire" is that whenever it heads into complicated storytelling, nobody freezes up and sells out - like they would at the network level. There are so many times during these episodes when the dialog gets dense and the motivations murky and you think, "What? What’s happening? What’s the connection here?" It's not an easy show to follow. And that's high praise.

+Pulitzers run on the calendar year. After the New Year, who cares about the homeless?

+ Kenard drops Omar. Just as he was getting his Newpo’s. Might have seen this coming when Kenard was the only one who didn’t run just a few scenes earlier when Omar appeared.

+ “And we didn’t have coffee. We had chocolate milk.” - Hanning, illustrating how many little lies Scott is capable of.

+ “Bunk once told me, ‘I’m no good for people. Everyone around me, he said.” – McNutty.

“Was he drunk?” – Kima. “Yeah, but still.” – McNutty.

+ A shorty lit Omar's ass up. Bunk: “How short?” As short as Kenard.

+ Then the hoppers rolled him for souvenirs. That’s not old school. That’s Old West.

+ Bunk looks at Omar's list of Marlo's people. “Back on the hunt, were ya?”

+ “Write up the fire. Scratch the murder. We don’t have room.” - Gus, deciding what gets four inches in the paper. And so it goes: R.I.P. Omar Little, age 34. A death that nobody who gets the Sun will ever learn about.

+ “Juvenile suspect is being sought.”

+ Damn. The Quantico guys who gave the profile of the non-existent killer just totally nailed McNulty. The look on his face. God, rewind that.

+ “He likely is not a college graduate but nonetheless feels superior to those with advanced education. And he is likely employed in a bureaucratic entity – civil service or quasi-public service, from which he feels alienated. He has a problem with authority and a deep-seated resentment of those he feels have impeded his progress professionally…the suspect has trouble with lasting relationships and is possibly a high-functioning alcoholic.”

+ McNulty: “They’re in the ballpark.” A great scene. One we'll remember fondly as McNutty goes down.

+ Beadie’s note: “Jimmy. One possible future. Be back tomorrow or the next day. Or not. Think about it. B.”

+ McNulty: “Fuck.” – He’s rocked.

+ Chris Partlow. We’ve got your DNA. Come on down.

+ Feds walk away from Clay Davis – to teach the city a lesson about power and structure.

+ “No shuckin’, no jivin’ just good ol’ police work. How about that, Jimmy.” – Bunk.

+ McNulty: “Without my bullshit, you’re still waiting on lab work.”

+ “If someone picks up a phone around here your shit is critically fucked….Two nights and a road car.” – To play some golf at Hilton Head. Oh, Jimmy, the end has got to be near. Now you're not God, nor "boss." You're just a guy in over your head, getting shook down for a golf weekend.

+ Marlo’s never even heard of Kenard, doesn’t even know why he did it. He just wants to go to Atlantic City. He looked happy. Chris look more than mystified at the strange ways of the street.

+ Quanico guys: “You’ve caught a strange on here.” Ya think?

+ “Many are trapped for hours in darkness and confusion.” – on Gus’s computer.

+ The police work from Freamon to get Marlo is good. It’s efficient. It gives you hope. They’ve been down for so long. It so strange to feel a ray of hope on "The Wire."

+ Dukie looking for a job. Seems to have found one with the Junk Man. It might not be selling sneakers with Poot, but it's a start.

+ Clay Davis! Alive and well. And happy to be playing politics for two seats on the liquor board. Did he look like it was all a whole helluva lot of fun or what?

+ Carcetti laying down the soul and the gospel in his new campaign for homeless protection. What I like about him most is when he says “Thank you,” he exits the microphone like a rock star, head turned, with conviction, like he gave it all he had and he’s out, let the cheers come cascading down.

+ What the hell is Lester doing with Clay?

+ Carcetti’s wife, long the benign non-player, is used in this episode to show that it’s not what he can do that matters to Carcetti anymore, it’s winning, period. The end is justifying his means, but it wasn’t always like that. He’s changed.

+ “Now that I’ve done all this and I’ve watched myself do it, I can’t even stand it.” – McNulty to Beadie. I loved that scene. It's so subtle. A small booze buzz from McNulty. A wake-up call sent by Beadie as she takes the kids and walks out of her own house. Just tremendous. He wants to confide, and does, but he's looking for a shoulder to cry on because he's not the hero he thought, and Beadie nails him for making a unilateral decision that will adversely affect her kids. There's a lot of phenomenal television in that little scene.

+ They had the wrong tag on Omar. But they fixed it in the morgue. And then they zipped him up. And the music kicked in. That’s damned sad. What an amazing character.


Anonymous said...

Great job, Tim. I remember that when the biting element was introduced to the fake serial killer, McNulty explained that the killer was "maturing" and taking on new, specific behaviors. Both McNulty and Scott seem to be doing the same thing.

As far as what Lester was doing, I think he is trying not to blackmail Clay but to entrap him. The Feds won't touch the contaminated loan fraud case in its current state, but if Lester can entrap Clay to offering a bribe, or otherwise fake him out, there may be a new cause of action for the Feds. Waving cash around--see "Tennessee Waltz" scandal. And remember Lester has great attention to detail.

I was crushed by Omar's death and his fall from legend. Kennard has replaced BNBG with little short fella with a big gun.

McNulty profile was great. This episode truly had laughter and tears.

Oh, I think Beadie wrote: "OUR possible future."--CasualObserver.

Jen said...

RIP Omar - it seemed like there was a small moment of silence in the store before he was taken down that made me think (sadly) that this would be his end. I loved the scene where Gus finally puts Scott in his place by editing his piece and Scott went running to sulk (yay for Gus - I'm going to miss Clark Johnson when this ends). Like McNulty, Scott's luck is starting to run out.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the double post, but one more minor chord here recently seems to be the women (the store clerk, Beadie, Ms. Carcetti)looking on in horror at the things some guy has done or said. In the case of the couples, it's a look of "I don't know this person" and the stranger is of the intimate type. In the case of the store clerk, it's just a scream at the sudden violence arriving in such a small package, followed by the relief at the lowering of the gun she thought would be taking her life too.--CasualObserver

luckystuff said...

RIP Omar Little.


I like how they connect the scenes to each other in this series. Right after Beadie gets done telling McNutty it's all about family, and how no one else really gives a **** when it comes to it, we see a diligent worker. One guy, on the job, attention to detail (take that Scotty boy) making sure the body gets the right tag. Nope, not much more besides family. Maybe they ID your body right if you're lucky.


One little thing about the Kenard shooting. After he kills Omar, he looks visibly disturbed, which I suppose is natural in a nine year old. Now the only thing this really connects to in the show, is Hanning, the Iraq Vet, who has his own psychological disturbances since his experiences over there. Figure in the reminder at FBI headquarters that there's, oh, 300 or so a year of these, and that adds up to a lot of potential psychological trauma. Is Gus really sure this isn't Beirut? And if so, does that disconnect doubly condemn the Sun for missing this as a piece of news?

luckystuff said...

Follow-up thoughts on Omar:

- Was killed getting Newports, his weakness.

- Went back on his word, given to Bunk. Apparently, the Gods, or the Writers, don't look after liars.

- Marlo put out a bounty on Omar, right? Will he pay off Kenard?

- No one, not Marlo, etc, could get at Omar. He died cause of 'the streets.' How else to get a child to shoot someone in cold blood?

- Apparently, the glass at the Korean lady's store wasn't bulletproof (unlike that of Old Face Andre).

- Before he went, Omar yelled that Marlo wasn't man enough for these streets. Apparently, neither was Omar. And if not he, then who? And in that case, if I'm Marlo and I got my millions, maybe I'm going to Atlantic City too.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Kenard pouring lighting fluid on the cat when Omar walked by? What a sick kid! I wished Omar had noticed. And isn't it ironic that Scott makes up quotes and profiles from the air but when he really interviews someone, they come back to bite him? Were Scott's errors on Hanning so bad?

Trixie said...

Omar bagged up. For me, single most shocking moment on television ever! I got lulled into thinking about Newpo's and wondering if he's eating Honey Nut Cheerios while he's hiding out and Bang! It's all over. Then pan the camera down and it's SCARY LITTLE DUDE! Wow. Wowee, wow. That was some master foreshadowing - the scene where Omar shakes down Michael's corner and Kenard has no respect.

I think I'll stop wondering where the last 2 episodes are going. I'll just sit back and let them take me where they will. Then I'll nurse my PTSD with some kindler, gentler fare. That glass of wine with Maisy sounds pretty nice.

Anonymous said...

anonymous at 11:35, I'm with the war vet. The vet wants to tell the true story for his comrades, who might see it. Scott had a good story and either is a shitty listener or felt the need to embellish--who knows how much of it he changed from what the guy told him. The guy has PST while his buddy was the one injured (hands blown off)--vet probably has survivor's guilt.

Scott will tell a lie (coffee, not chocolate milk--it wasn't macho enough) when the simplest, best thing is to listen and tell the truth.--CasualObserver

The Tap said...

R.I.P. Omar Little. I was lost for words, but then - as usual - Tim said them for me!

Some thoughts:

- The second Omar walked into the store, I knew he was going to get got. There was something extremely familiar in that scene to a previous scene from one of the earlier seasons. Can anyone remember what happened in that scene from the earlier season?

- I have a sneaky feeling that, although Gus may have won this battle, he's lost the war against Scotty. The bosses love Scotty, even though he's a lying scum bag, and unfortunately in real life, usually people like those don't 'pay', they get rewarded. People like Gus with principles, on the other hand, usually get fired. Anybody see that one coming, or is it just me? Also, how does this parallel story tie in with McNulty's fate.. especially with only two more episodes to go?

- Just wanted to give kudos to the writers for the scene where the code gets cracked (can't remember the name of the cop who works with Lester). Genius (as we have come to expect from the best TV Drama ever).

- Anybody see Kennard getting revenge on Dukie for pushing him over in one of the earlier episodes, or was Dukie's subsequent beating 'enough'? Kennard seems like he'd get carte blanche after taking out Omar, and Michael no longer has enough street cred, compared to Kennard, to protect Dukie anymore..

Anonymous said...

I understand The Wire, I'm a Wire O.G. and one of the original Cheeseheads, and I disagree that Omar had to die. For the plot, the melodrama, and David Simon's need to falsely claim that the story, not the characters, drives the bus, yes. But for a decent ending to a mythological character, who was THE most groundbreaking persona in TV history, no. No, no, no. But I've been in grief for weeks now, having seen the leak, and I'm still in no shape to defend my position. But I will. I can't even remember my password.

panraven_fan said...

First, I'm happy that I sort of figured out the code on the clocks, even though I incorrectly ascribed it to GPS rather than a physical map. I should have figured out that much because of a few facts:
- Marlo's team is not likely to have GPS units
- Baltimore's GPS numbers don't match with the times

Either way, it was cool to see them realize what it was. That is the same satisfaction that I've received when looking for a pattern in data at a client during my former life as a mgmt consultant.

RIP Omar. I've been sad ever since watching this episode a couple of days ago. He could have gone out in a firefight but that's not really his thing, unless it's man a mano, I think. It was saddening to watch the lack of importance of his death - from the rifling through of his pockets by the hoppers (including his "shotty"), to the failure of Gus to print anything about it, to McNulty's reaction (interesting news but he gets past it quickly), to the ignominious mixup of the tags on his bodybag. Simon & Co. made it clear that the game stays the game. Nobody is safe from it.

Interestingly, does anyone see how McNulty's recruitment of Carver indirectly results in Omar's death? Had he gone to the logical choice for help (someone in a district where the homeless were found, for example), the two officers - Dozerman and his partner would not have been in place for Omar to stick up that particular corner and expose himself to Devil-child Kenard. McNulty really is bad for everyone he touches!

Still, Omar fell because he basically got sloppy and didn't think through his set up. Marlo consistently relies on the little kids to be his "eyes and ears" on the street. This much was clear in Season 4 when he paid everyone except Michael, when the camera was stolen, during the setup at Monk's apartment, etc. Omar failed to recognize the pattern because he missed the obvious youthfulness of the Stanfield drug empire.

I'm still sad about the way Omar fell. It's hard to see Kenard as fierce after the way he was introduced in Season 4 but I guess it's illustrative of his hardening in response to the streets. Man, I still can't believe it, even watching it again as I type this post.

Kudos to the smoking scene where the one reporter says, "I interviewed Dick Cheney once."

Does anyone notice the prominence of the "Support Our Staff" signs? Funny double joke, given the layoffs and in light of the Iraq war bumper stickers, "Support Our Troops."

Also, who thinks that Chris and Marlo will take their trip to Atlantic City before Bunk issues the warrant for the murder of Bug's dad? It just seems like Bunk is a step behind and his fealty to McNulty will be a reason for it...

BTW, there was someone with a lovely profile sitting in the lobby of the Sun. Interesting selection. She had great posture too.

I was glad to see Scott's lies catching up with him but I agree with The Tap that Gus will suffer, not Scott. "The bigger the lie, the more they believe" especially going into Pulitzer season.

Bunk's look when the other detective (forgot his name) says, "you shoulda let me give him the years..." It was nice to see that Chris and Snoop could be nervous and have to convince themselves that Omar could fall.

What did Marlo mean when he said, "When we're done with this n---a we supply, you and me got some time in AC" after telling S&C that Omar fell? I got the AC part but what's the bit about this guy they were supplying? Seems like a detail that was supplied for a reason???

Aside from the on point profile of McNulty by the FBI, it was a nice bit of levity to see the LE pissing match that took place re: Kaczinski.

I keep finding it curious that Gus misses the drug/murder stories even though he picked up on the Fat Face Rick story. I guess he's thinking of what will "sell" or the Fat Face Rick pick up was unusual.

Anyway, I'm going to finish re-watching this episode and try not to post too many follow ups. Can't believe that it's almost over!

panraven_fan said...

Ok, I couldn't resist posting again. I think that there will be blowback on Freamon for his threat to Clay Davis. You can't mess with a guy who has connections to the West Baltimore drug trade. I'm just guessing.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Scott skulking off after Gus stood his ground.

McNulty realizing that it really doesn't matter without family, then to the scene of Carcetti's wife being disappointed at his dealing. I disagree with anyone who thinks that Carcetti has changed; he was fundamentally always about himself. His infidelity and attitude during the squash game with Tony Gray during Season 4 showed that it's really about "winning" rather than some higher principle of public service. If anything, power has made Carcetti truer to his nature.

The parallel between these two storylines seems to echo Freamon: "The job will not save you."

Does anyone else think that Jimmy's manic depressive or something? I mean, he's surely the high functioning alcoholic that they mentioned but he seems like a guy who is done, dead, finished. I wonder if he'll be physically finished at the end of the season.

Damn. Omar's dead. Still can't believe it.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Omar got killed because he got sloppy. I think he got killed because it was the logical thing to happen next given the turn of events.

He was "in retirement" when he heard that Butchie was tortured/murdered. He then came out of retirement to go at Marlo, resulting in Donnie's death. That stakeout was his only sloppy moment.

(BTW, where's Reynaldo? Dead? Still back in Puerto Rico?)

Omar was going all over the place killing Marlo's muscle so that Marlo would come after him, and burning/flushing the drugs and/or money because it wasn't about that anymore, but about Butchie's being tortured and Donnie being killed.

It almost looked like suicide-by-gangster (like suicide-by-cop)because he just didn't care any more. I loved Omar limping around and challenging Marlo to "dance." Broken in a beautiful way.--CO

Anonymous said...

Only two more episodes -- sigh...
Omar's death was shocking, unexpected and without any glory. Just another day in the hood.
McNulty's scene with the profilers was indeed priceless.
He should have kept up appearances, not spread around all the extra resources to anyone who asked. In one case it helped (black cop), but he's left himself too exposed. Given the amount of people that know the truth, and the amount of people that suspect something 's amiss, there is no getting out of this one clean. Good, old impulsive McNulty ...
- sdv30

George D from the 415 said...

I was taking a quiz on The Wire and who killed whom this week and Omar was listed. I immediately stopped and turned away. I went and downloaded the episode and watched. Even though I knew it might happen (I hoped the quiz was wrong) the way it happened so early in the episode and the virtual lack of lead up was downright shocking. My friends around me couldn't tell why I was freaking out. I watched the rest of the episode in complete shock. RIP Omar. Kenard came at the king and did not miss, But I will always wish he had. No Doubt.

Anonymous said...

one unmentioned point: when Omar walks up to the cops in the car, and tells 'em about the hoppers on the corner to go bust up, the aforementioned cops were supposedly to be in unmarked Enterprise rentals--and yet they get id'd so easily.

Anonymous said...

Over at Sepinwal and The House Next Door they've got these threads for On Demand viewers. During this past week something came to light in the comments section and it was confirmed by David Simon:

Kenard first appeared in Season 3. He was one of the little boys pretending to be Omar, witnessed by Bunk when he pulled up to the crime seen for Tosha's death at Omar's big shootout at a Barksdale stash house.

So the same little boy who said, "I want to be Omar" as he jerked the stick they were using as a machine gun away from the other boy, ends up being the child who kills him.

amazing! please check out the commetns section for Sepinwal if you want to read more.

girlina said...

As this show is so close to your heart (like a hooker who loves their work), I must express my sympathy for your loss of a fantastic character. For a nanosecond, I wish the show took place in New Orleans, so the writers could have a jazz funeral for Omar.

Alex said...

Rest in peace, Omar, and many thanks to Michael K. Williams for all of the truly great work he did on the show.

I thought Omar's decline and fall was handled with great intelligence and subtlety, but for my money the closing scene was cruel. The message: Omar wasn't so special--once he got himself "lit up," he was more or less interchangeable with all of the other random corpses in the morgue.

Anonymous said...

I always wonder why Marlo's crew don't have police scanners. Seems like a logical thing to have.

Dan H said...

You had to know that Kenard was going to kill Omar as soon as you saw him look up from dousing the cat in lighter fluid. I actually kind of ruined the scene for my wife because as soon as Omar began asking for his cigarettes, I started saying "That's it, here comes the kid . . ."

Omar's death just shows that there are no heroes in The Wire's world. McNulty thought he would be a hero, but that idea is gone. Omar thought he could ride into town and get vengeance. Even sadder than Omar dying, I think, was seeing him standing in the street, calling out Marlo, but no one listening nor caring. He may have been a legend, but no one will know it, just another anonymous corpse. A sad ending, but great writing.

Anonymous said...

Anybody else notice that Omar wasn't limping when he entered the store to get his Newports? The wife and I rewound that scene three times and couldn't detect a limp. Small detail but...a flaw in consistency or direction? After being trained for 5 seasons to mark every detail, this one seems weird...

That Guy said...

Omar death while sad i think we all knew, deep down in our heart, that it had to happen. It just had to be continue to be real, as so many people here have asked for. That being said it wasnt a happy scene.

I loved the War vet's comment regarding drinking, "Do you think I fucking sleep under a bridge sober?"

so many lines so many thoughts, so little left. I think thats the saddest part knowing its coming to an end. Its why i cant watch ahead because i want to make it last.

Anonymous said...

Loved Arthur, the FBI name dropping serial killer media whore

other FBI guy: "Art was the lead investigator on the unabomber case"

Kima "didn't that go on for like 18 years?"

McNutty "and didn't his brother turn him in?"

Anonymous said...

to chime in on the "women looking on in horror" idea, what about Kima's visit to where lester and sydnor were working?

B-More Wire Head said...

One of the best scenes in out of all of the seasons. (R.I.P.) the Omar death season ranked up there with the late Stringer Bell.

But I must be honest, Omar brought it on himself. He was extremely sloppy with this particular vendetta. In the past he utilized the art of stealth. But it would appear that he was begining to believe in his own legend and that got him dead.

Kennard is viscious. That lil bastard was attempting to set a cat on fire. Talk about a cold individual.

What I found interesting is that Kennard went for a head shot. Reminds me of when Chris was mentoring/schooling Michael. And he instructed him to go for the head because a dude might be wearing a vest.

When Marlo told Chris about the death of Omar, Chris looked almost dissappointed. I think he respected Omar and looked forward to his pending confratation with his nemisis.

Scott is exactly what's wrong with the media. Just makes you think, how many Scotts there are working for newspapers.

Anonymous said...

I think the look Chris had when Marlo gave him the news of Omar's death was - I can't believe that a little kid got to Omar before I did. This makes me look bad.

Aeschylus said...

Man's happiest hours are pictures drawn in shadow. Then ill fortune comes and with two strokes wipes the drawing out, and grief itself's hardly more pitiable than joy.

Anonymous said...

the women looking on in horror angle might have some pull.

kima, mrs. carcetti, beadie, the storekeep. that's 4.

any other women in queue? Pearlman? Junior Sun reporter Guttierez?

women who don't count: narese, snoop. Ex-Mrs. Daniels. Namond's mama.

Clay Davis's date?


Btw, my money is on Freamon using Davis to piece together the higher-ends of the money laundering, etc. But is he going to go after bigger fish (like a governor?) or just have Davis explain the whole thing to him, so he can take down any other legislator he pleases?

Christopher said...

Some interesting clips folks pointing out on another forum( from the 3rd season:

Look at the kid wanting to be Omar:

Great scene with Bunk and Omar:

This was just a fantastic episode. One of the ones with so much going on you can't believe it was an hour.

Anonymous said...

i know i left the post anonymously, but I did call the fact that Kenard would be the one to take out Omar (see prev. ep. breakdown, about 70 posts in - and yeah, others talked about Kenard being all "ominous" and that but I was the first to say he'd take out Omar).

But why the hell was Omar's birth year 1960 if he was supposed to be a 34 year old dude?

His body bag tag said 1960 and this series is in now way set in 1994.

But that would make someone who did die in 1960 48, maybe the age of the other body who was being bagged up?

I just think there may be more of a story/plot twist to the name tag switch at the end. Like the ghost of Omar lives on b/c his body was never found at the morgue. Like Chris and Snoop were the spooky boogymen for the kids, Omar will live on as the "Omar gonna get you" guy.

Called it.

Andy said...

If there was one character I wish would have survived it was Omar. It was nice to know that their was someone above the dealers living by a code in West Baltimore.

Trixie said...

Anonymous at 12:01: I saw the 1960 birthdate, too. Omar's tag (that was on the wrong body) said: Decendent: Little, Omar AA.M. (African American Male, I assume) Cause of Death: Gunshot. DOB: 8/15/1960. Is anything accurate in Bal'more?

Everytime I think that Carcetti has a soul, I remember a scene back when he was getting into the mayor's race. The one where he's watching himself in the mirror while getting busy with the woman (the campaign lady, if I remember correctly). This episode, he watches himself on the television screen while having the conversation with his wife. Carcetti loves Carcetti.

Can't wait to see what the questions are that Freamon is going to come back to Clay Davis "in a couple night's time" with. Lester always sees the big picture (thinks long) and follows the money. He has Clay over a barrel. Does Clay have information/can get information that will somehow be instrumental in the case against Marlo?

Panraven_fan: According to my closed captioning, Marlo said "When we done with this next resupply, you and me got some time coming in AC."

Anonymous said...

Any theories on how this wraps up? Is Marlo getting caught... I'm hoping he gets taken out b/c the trial thing won't stick on him for long.

Anonymous said...

Only on The Wire would it be acceptable for one of the greatest TV characters ever to be killed like that. I feel we need more time before moving on damn.

Andy said...

Omar turns and looks when the door opens in the store so he saw Kenard but figures the little kid is harmless and then his head gets blown off.

When the female reporter is describing the homicide to Gus... 34 yo black male shot, police searching for juvenile suspect... its one of many times the murder is downplayed. In the end this major player who went against every big dealer in Baltimore is just another statistic. Through The Wire we've seen the details and stories behind the stats.

Gus tells the young reporter, Mike, to spend a few weeks with Bubbles and see what develops... The Wire?

Loved McNulty's "proud" moment when Bunk had to ask for his help with the lab work

Laura's Husband said...

Tobacco will kill ya...first Ofc. Joe Coffee all those years ago on Hill Street Blues shot while purchasing some Garcia Vegas and now Omar Little while getting some Newpo's.

Anonymous said...

After watching the scene of Lester, the woman, and Clay in the bar, I am wondering what the role of the woman there is. There's something about the way the scene sets up that makes me think she may be part of the sting. You know, like Marion Berry: B***h set me up. Lester does seem to have old friends help him out a lot.

Haven't watched ahead yet. Just saying there was something very noirish about the scene.

Anonymous said...

“Many are trapped for hours in darkness and confusion.” – on Gus’s computer.

Looked it up--it's the headline from a story in the NY Times by Robert McFadden about the bombing of the World Trade Center, Feb. 23, 1993.

Tom said...

Wow, anonymous at 7:48 Pacific, good hunting on the headline.

b-more wire head, you're right about the power of Omar's death scene comparing with Stringer's fall. And the latter was amazing, so that's saying something. I noticed the kid with the lighter fluid, but while thinking "sick little bastard" didn't make him out to be Kenard. You're also right about Omar getting sloppy; it seems the transformation of his character after taking flight was not for the better.

It all makes me wonder if Omar sensed, post-flight, that the end was near for him, and at minimum wanted to go down with guns blazing. I'm pleased that my hunch that Marlo would never take the bait was correct.

R.I.P., Omar. Michael K. Williams, thank you for five seasons of amazing acting.

Loved Dominic West in the scene where Jimmy realizes exactly whom the Quantico boys have profiled. It left me giggling on my couch.

Amy Ryan? Not for nothin' was she Oscar-nominated. Damn.

It's shocking, and then sadly not shocking, to see Prop Joe and Omar reduced to four paragraphs -- or worse, nothing -- in the back of the Sun's Metro section.

panraven fan, I'm a man with eyes, so I noticed posture and profile in the Sun lobby as well.

Tom said...

anonymous at 6:49 Pacific: The woman with Clay Davis could be an Ockham's razor situation: Lester asks her to excuse herself so that he can have a discreet conversation with the Senator. Knowing Lester, he probably told her he had arranged to buy her a drink at the bar for her trouble.

Anybody else flash back to Smooth Lester and the ex-stripper with the bad eyesight from way back? It made me smile to recall that Lester is The Man in so many ways.

Anonymous said...

Omar. Indeed.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know why Omar's dob was listed as 1960, but they said he was 34?

Anonymous said...

I think the whole point of the tag scene was to show that Omar was actually 47 or 48 years old, but passing himself off as younger (like many a Cuban baseball pitcher!). It's part of the mythology. I think it was purposeful and not an accident at all. In fact, that is all I've been thinking about since I saw it. OMG, Omar was actually an old dude. Kind of makes some sense.

The only other explanation would be pure mistake on the morgue's part. This show doesn't let something like that through by accident.

Anonymous said...

Hook, line, sinker.

Anonymous said...

“A lie ain’t a side of a story. It’s just a lie.”
Man, every reporter out there ought to have this tattoed on their ass. I keep expecting to read a story someday that covers "both" sides to the theory that the earth is round.

Ghost of Bodie said...

For the Tap: As Roger Clemens would say, you have "misremembered" who it was that clashed with Kenard last season over the stolen stash. It was Namond, not Duquan, who was ripped off by the lying little shit but then bowed out of the confrontation. It was Michael who shook his head in disgust at Namond and then beat the little bastard Kenard senseless, restoring order to the corner hierarchy.

Kenard was back in line this season, working Michael's corner with an apparent new regard and respect for middle management. But now that he has Omar's scalp on his wall, perhaps Michael's punches won't be completely forgotten?

Namond has been absent this season living with Bunny Colvin (who has been busy busting out of Sona this year on "Prison Break"). Now that we've caught up with Poot at the fake ghetto Foot Locker, it's probably time for a Namond-Colvin cameo in one of the final two eps.

Moving on, the FBI profiler scene was priceless, and some of the best eyebrow-acting in TV history from the obviously impressed McNulty. And don't disregard the quick cutaway shot of the FBI man seeing McNulty's odd facial reaction as the profile was being read.

The FBI's "media star" profiler intruding on that scene seemed to be a thinly veiled reference to John Douglas, former head of the FBI's profiling unit who has authored a handful of books ("Mindhunter," "Obsession," etc.) on criminal profiling. Interestingly, those books often refer to the abuse of animals at a young age (Kenard about to torch Hello Kitty) as one of the earliest and most common traits of a future serial killer. The shallowness of this FBI expert was perhaps Simon's private salute to FBI guys who have helped him in the past and whose disdain for Douglas needed to be vented.

Sigh ... So disturbing to see Omar get got. With sadness and respect, I join those many others here in thanking Michael K. Williams for such brilliant work over these years. And to the writers/producers for recognizing the gem they unearthed and keeping alive a character who was originally supposed to get whacked in Season 1. Omar is television legend, and will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I thought the ME switched the ID tags at the end. Wasn't the other dead guy one of the old drunk cops from season 1? The ME had a smirk on his face as if he was pulling a practical joke or something.

spearchamp said...

Regarding the conjecture about Omar's age . . . don't forget that he and Bunk were in school at the same time (Omar being a few years behind Bunk - Omar reminding Bunk about his lacross prowess in an episode in S1). I think it's fair to say that Bunk is on the north side of 40, so it would not surprise me if Omar was indeed in his 40's.

So much to ponder for the final few episodes . . .

Charles Dickens said...

Ah ... Doppelgangster? re: A Tale of Two Cities. re: Omar. re: "The Dickensian Aspect"

Anonymous said...

Not so sure re: Omar's age. There are two pieces of information that contradict the 1960 date. Recall that Omar was a classmate of Bunk's - or possibly a few years behind him. Bunk's got to be in his early to mid-40's with a teen-aged kid and no schooling beyond college. Also, in the HBO shorts (dated 1985), Omar looks like he's around 9 or 10 years old...12 at most, which would have certainly made him closer to the 30-something age that we were originally led to believe. I don't know what the 1960 date is intended to signify. Perhaps since he was a ward of the State, the date was incorrect. Or maybe this is just intended to be set in the mid-1990s. Not sure, really.

Alex said...

So now that there are only two episodes left, who are you most worried about? I've had a feeling that McNulty won't get out of the series alive ever since he strangled the corpse. We're going to see one more "detective's wake," I'm afraid, and I think McNulty (or possibly Lester "Baby, I could die happy" Freamon) will be laid out in the bar while the guys sing those Irish songs.

Also, I hate to say this but the writers seem to be up to something with Bug. He hasn't said or done much this season, but we are reminded again and again that he's around. I assume Pelecanos will write the next episode (Price and Lehane wrote the last two), and his novels have some truly heartbreaking depictions of mayhem involving young children . . .

Anonymous said...

Anon at 6:51 PM, the Omar-goes-up-to-the-unmarked car was priceless also because they didn't seem to know who he was, apparently. It was a parallel scene to Chris looking up records in the "criminal, definitely" records hall, and not being recognized either from a few episodes back. Also echoed the false alarm being used to get rid of the unmarked cars guarding Randy's foster mom's house in S4.

Anonymous said...

alex, I keep checking back here, and good question. At this point I am worried about anyone who gets a lot of screen time and/or who reappears suddenly after an absence. Some poster (forgot who it was, but great observation)noted that Prop Joe told about his back story right before he was killed, and Omar had a bunch of scenes leading up to his death, starting with the tear in the eye for Butchie and ending with calling Marlo out to the empty, mean streets.

So now I'm worried about anybody who has shown serious screen chops. That would include Dukie's little dance.

Speaking of Dukie, is he going to be the new Bubbs, and have Dukie's Depo? That rag man scene!--CO

Jesse D said...

Gus should be ok. If the paper has a policy on unnamed sources than he can't be fired. That doesn't mean the M.E. won't put the quote back in. Or that Gus decides to quit.

Kennard, that little bastard, will get dropped. Marlo wont risk it.

Cold, cold way to end Omar. At this point, the entire wire world is so disgusting to me that there is nothing left to salvage. I guess that's the point. The show needs to end.

The last two episodes are going to be explosive.

Michael K. Williams and the writers have left us the most indelible character in tv history. RIP

greg said...

I really enjoyed this episode, but it's just kinda sad that there's only 2 left.

I think I'm one of the few who didn't get upset at how Omar died. It made sense. Everyone was expecting some big battle or something, and in the end, he's shot while buying cigs at the store by some kid who happened to have a gun , and happened to pull the trigger. Very random, senseless, etc.

The theme of lies and corruption this season has been really intense. We ended S4 with a little hope for our band of Balmerians, and since then everything has gone to Hell. It's kinda scary.

novelera said...

So sad to see Omar shot by a ruthless "shortie". Watched The Wire on East Coast DirectTV feed right before watching The Oscars, and was sad for most of the Oscars! Kudos to Simon and to Michael K. Williams for creating a fictional character that could move you so much. I'm not surprised it happened, but my "hope against hope" side wanted to see him get his revenge on the stone-cold Marlo.

The poster who said that Lester might be hoping to catch Clay Davis trying to suborn the investigation helped me out. I couldn't figure out where Lester was going since the Feds shut him down on going Federal, a clearly rotten political move.

I sure hope Scott doesn't win out over Gus. Simon's relentlessly dark plotting and refusal to grant any victories to the good guys may doom Gus, but I hope not.

I love The Wire and its complexities, but I sure hope it doesn't end without some justice for Marlo.

Anonymous said...

Now that Omar is dead I can't even get excited about the rest of the season. I didn't realize how much that plotline meant to me. I guess I'll get over it by next sunday. I hope so anyway.


Day-day said...

?? 4th District U.S. Congressman Albert Upshaw = 4th dist Albert Wynn

detroitnewsie said...

Who here wouldn't kill for an Omar Little action figure of their own?
Nothing I can say on MK Williams that hasn't already been said. I know he will never get another opportunity for such a rich character, but jeez I hope someone snatches him up and puts him to work in something worthy of his talent. Ditto for much of the cast-how do we prepare for the end of this epic ride????? (I have heard rumblings of a Wire movie {prequel to the series})

Would love to hear some comments on Chris and Snoops agitation when pressed by Michael-will Marlo's unwillingness to come down to the street ultimately be his downfall?
(Omar sucessful despite his death?)

Also score Omar for the piece of paper listing Marlo's muscle that will undoubtably give the po-lice the leg up. Omar illustrates what some good old-fashioned neighborhood policing could have accomplished and how out of touch
the department is with the street.

The message throughout the Wire has been that the police/justice system just can't match the efficiency of the justice of the street. (Remember McNulty's response to Stringer's death-all his machinations over 3 seasons, only to have the job swiftly dispatched by Omar?)

Marlo being out of touch with his street will drop his organization as well. He relies on Chris and Snoop, they start filtering what comes through, organization feels the pain of higher costs, lost product, no profits and comes back on him.

Just as the street manages its own, will Clay be blackmailed by Freamon only to have Davis dispatched by the bigger fish up the money line? (and will the leaked supoenas tie into this line?)

I forsee Gus mentoring Mike in turning Bubble's story into a book.
I too was wondering about the junk man...thinking he could be a mentor for Dukie but looking for signs just the same that he was a junkie.

Some comments here have led me to wonder if Kenard might go after Bugs to get back at Mike, and also out of jealousy, since Bugs gets so much love and support from M and D.

The strands coming undone simultaneously for both McNulty and Omar was poetic and dizzying-each becoming bolder and sloppier;

detroitnewsie said...

another point of irony, remember Omar's comment when doing surveillence S4- "ain't nothin, it's just a kid"

AccidentalVisitor said...

b-more wire head said he thought Omar got sloppy. I disagree somewhat. Omar got desperate because he was going up against a foe that turned out to be more clever than him. Marlo's crew was much more prepared than the Barksdale gang and Omar could not get anywhere near Marlo. Or Chris, Snoop and Monk. Omar may have survived the trap set for him in the apartment, but he escaped that brush with death a broken man, both literally and figuratively. The former was obvious but the latter was almost as obvious. Omar had to resort to all sort s of violence and theatrics in order to draw attention and bait his targets. But its not working and he knows it which makes him even more desperate. Even worse deep down he may have been thinking to himself that he could not beat these guys. That revelation came as a surprise to him based upon the look of fear in his eyes when he was pinned down in the ambush in the apartment complex. He was overmatched/ He should have never came back to Baltimore.

Rebecca Lisanne said...

Re: someone snatching up Michael K. Williams for more great acting roles:

I'm holding my breath that David Simon is going to hang on to his phone number and ring him up when he's ready to start shooting his next series for HBO. Michael K. Williams with a NOLA accent? HBO, time for me to re-up.

sueinsf said...

accidental visitor: I agree Omar got desperate, but not because Marlo was so clever. Remember, a man's got to have a code. Somebody calls you out up and down the street, destroys your stash, kills / maims your muscle - you man up and deal with it. But not Marlo, he sits back and counts his money while his goons go after Omar. So yeah, I think Omar got frustrated, desparate, fed up...and maybe a little unhinged. And paid the price by the hand of that Marlo-wannabe. No doubt.

Anonymous said...

You can call me Anon-Harry if responding.

What to say. Wow!!

It has been 2 weeks (or maybe 3) since I saw the Omar shooting, and I am still charged.

I normally keep away from spoilers, and here's how I got suckered in this time.

We all saw the spiderman shit. That did it for me. I got on the internet and tried to find what happened!!! Many searches and not much info. And that time I only used to read Tim / Slate and a bit here and there.

Then I google "Omar Dead" and something similar, and wow, there's the leaked scene of the shooting. That did it!!!!

Ever since that day I have been downloading the show before they are shown (and I am one of the 1% who do not have On demand due to "Dish"). And although there were many websites saying this was a deleted scene from season 4, it proved to be a relief only for so long. When I saw episode 8 (a week back), and saw Omar walking past Kennard and the cats, I knew what was next, and kept on watching the rest in a daze - knowing what was going to happen, but helpless at not being able to do anything - as if I could.

Congratulations Michael Williams on an outstanding performance. Omar is once in a life character. RIP Omar. I have always liked Wire, but this was one of the high (or low) points that can not be forgotten easily.

bdgavin said...

All season, I've been thinking that Michael would be the next Omar. More recently, I was thinking that someone like Kennard or another in Marlo's crew would drop Dukie, and that Mike would retaliate by going solo. Mike has questioned Marlo's reasoning a few times this year. I just thought he'd eventually go out on his own.

Imagine if Kennard continues to "pretend" to be Omar--he downs someone Michael cares about (because Kennard does NOT HAVE A CODE--if , anything he's more sociopath) and Michael eventually kills him, picking up Omar's shotgun, literally or figuratively.

bdgavin said...

And FINALLY!!! I was wondering what happened to Poot. I thought he'd come back for revenge, but he ended up getting out of the game altogether... I just wish he could have been more helpful to Dukie. I love the reintroductions to past characters.

ferrethead said...

Wow! I was explaining to a friend who doesn't watch, about why it absolutely SUCKED to see Omar killed last night. I told her that he was a bad guy, not just a little bad, or roguish, but capital B bad. However, you respected him because, unlike the villains of the show, he had a code. I don't recall ever seeing Omar do something 'evil'. (By which I mean, kill for pleasure - or set a frickin' cat on fire!!!).

On the corner, right before his death, that was panic I saw in Omar's eyes. Frustration, desperation, and panic. He was driven out of retirement to avenge Butchie's death, and being thwarted at every turn. Omar wasn't used to failing, and he looked lost. I don't think he expected to make it out alive, but I do think he thought he would 'win' - by killing Chris, Snoop & Marlo. He was thrown completely off his game, and taken out by Kenard. I hate to apply this word to a child, but that shorty is one evil motherfucker.

The range of emotions on McNulty's face during the profile...somewhere, it stopped being funny for him. I loved the scene with Beadie when he talked about telling the story, and at the start you think you're the hero. No sympathy there, just disgust at yet another selfish act. I think the only wake we'll see this season will be for Jimmy's career...and no one will be there.

Lester's up to something. I don't think it has anything to do with Davis' case, that's dead in the water. Somehow, Lester has figured out a way to make it pay in protection for his career, funding for a permanent major case squad, something...

What's important isn't whether Gus loses his job, but that he is leaving behind a true reporter, by mentoring Fletcher.

Gus on Bubbles selling the Sun - 'not exactly a growth industry.'

Anonymous said...

Anyone think Freamon is going to blackmail Clay to cover his and McNultys ass when the crap hits the fan. Good to have a saenator in your pocket. The scenes with Chris,Snoop and Mike all season seem to implicate that Chris may be having a change of heart and agree with Mike while Snoop always gets pissed with Mike. There is something going on there.

Alan said...

Here's a possible way for McNulty to fall (and Templeton to rise):

Templeton finally admits to the paper that he has been writing fiction, including the original phone call. The paper turns the 'serial killer' story around and unmasks McNulty., with Templeton writing a first-person story detailing what went down, leading to a full series about the whole operation with his byline. For that, he wins a Pulitzer and a promotion (or the NY Times hires him).

Jeff Shell said...

I was surprised that it was Kenard who shot Omar. Although now, looking back and seeing that it was Kenard with the lighter fluid and the cat (and that he was the only one who didn't run), I'm.. less surprised?

I thought Kenard was mostly talk. Like he was one of those kids who started talking smack when he was really little and got away with it because "look, he's so precocious! don't kids say the darnedest things?" And as he grew, he could probably still use that to his effect because who couldn't help but laugh at the little guy playing tough? For Kenard, he found a way to survive and rise up in the streets young and fast.

When Omar came up on Michael's crew last week, Kenard didn't start talking smack until Omar left, which I took for blustering while so many people thought of him as cold.

And when Kenard shot Omar... I wonder what his face was like as he made the shot. We saw how he looked afterwards.. Was he amazed that he had done it? In shock? Suddenly scared because he just grew up about five years in a single second and knows the tough guy speech schtick can't save him when the cops come calling? Or is he happy, realizing that killing was even easier than he thought or played?

He's an interesting one. The feeling I took away from the end of Season 3 when Avon was being hauled off by the five-oh's and Omar was watching was: there's always another. They cut off one head, another one grows back, smarter and more vicious than the last.

Wasn't it Poot or Bodie who told Carver early on in Season 3 how they've always heard about the younger ones, the "crack baby's babies", and laughed it off? (Carver's response - "look around motherfucker, does this look like the dawn of a new day to you?"). Kenard seems like one of those crack baby's babies.


Anyways, regarding Scott. And McNulty. They need to watch Shattered Glass. Anyone watch that, about the kid who worked at The New Republic and fabricated many of his stories? That was a weird movie to sit through as it reminded me of the kind of lies I tried to pull off in middle school. "They didn't give out mid-terms today. The computers were down..." And then I'd have to maintain that lie and of course it would never hold. It's so strange seeing adults trying that. And all having the same response/reaction that I saw in Stephen Glass (in Shattered Glass) and now in Scotty (and a bit in McNulty, but his motives and potential impact are different). Those lies seldom go away. Except maybe for Clay Davis and wealthy downtown developers... For everyone else... Ugh. For me, it's intense and gut-wracking to watch! And it's all out of control now.

I hope that McNulty's antics don't hurt the careers of Daniels and Carver (whose progression has been one of my favorite long-running story lines). There are a lot of good po-lice in the system that McNulty's touch could poison.

And yay for Clark Johnson. Just hearing his voice again made me want to go back through old seasons of Homicide. Which is doubly fun as so many other actors from The Wire and Oz had small roles (just saw an episode with Jim True-Frost (Pryzbylewski) last night).

roxie said...

Can't believe Omar gone. My housemate was getting anxious when we saw Kennard attempting to set fire to the cat-she worries about violence against animals. As Omar rounded the corner the cat ran off free, she breathed a sigh of relief. Who knew in that moment that Kennard would let the cat go seeing an opportunity to off a legend of the streets.
RIP Omar and many thanks to Michael K.Williams for such a memorable character.

Nice Dolphin said...

"Marlo Stanfield is not a man for this town" O Little

Panraven_fan: According to my closed captioning, Marlo said "When we done with this next Air Supply C.D., you and me got some time coming in AC."

I like the disgusted women idea hadn't thought of that but that is why I read this blog

The saintly Gus given Fletcher the time to hang out with Bubs seems over done but we do need at least one happy ending as Tim predicted.
"Not exactly a growth industry"
Gus on Bubs seeling the morning Sun

I was wrong that we got our last laugh from Mcnulty in last weeks He provided a few more from the opening at Construct and the FBI profiler scene.

"We didn't have coffee, we had chocolate milk" and so goes Gus's career. Trying to bring down Scott will likely end worse for him than Scott"

Mcnultty tells Carver who was a rat in season one who flipped info for stripes and Kima who wouldn't falsely ID a barksdale banger who she knew shot her but didn't actually see??? Can't see either of those plans backfiring

I got a $20 says Kenard never sees a nickle of Marlo's $250,000. The man has no code and 1 bullet-$250,000 =$249,990. Hopefully this happens before Dukie sees him again.

Was disappointed in Jimmy's reaction to Omar's death.
"No shucking no jiving just honest police work" Bunk

"Playing that race card...shameful"
Clay Davis with 2 seats on the board in his back pocket

The scene with Sydnor in his car with the map was shot in a way that had me almost covering my eyes. Thought for sure he was going to cathc one in the head sealing Jimmy's fate even more with that blood on his hands.. The wire still capable of suprising me...and he cracked the code.

"Family and a few friends that are like family that all any of us get" Beadie
poor Jimmy his family is indiffernet and other family like Kima & Bunk have all but turned their backs on him.

Those who know their history may want to see who is writting the next episode and look back at his other contributions to the series and I can't wait for next Sunday

alex said...

What a great episode that was. A few more thoughts about it --

I wonder if Bubbles is going to tell his tragic story about Sherrod to the whole city, via Fletcher's profile, after he couldn't tell it to a small group of fellow addicts earlier in the season.

It amazes me how frightened Chris and Snoop are of Marlo. It seems to me that Marlo wouldn't be all that much without THEM, but they fear him all the same. Chris didn't withhold Omar's taunts from Marlo because Marlo had "enough on his plate." He was scared that Marlo would blame him and Snoop. And his terror is bringing out a warm, sympathetic side of Snoop that I never thought we'd see. In two scenes she has tried to cheer him up--like a little sister whose brother lost the big game by throwing an interception . . .

A stick-up man getting killed by a corner boy is kind of like a junkie's fatal overdose -- Omar didn't know exactly when or how it would happen, but it was a likely outcome as soon as he became "addicted" to stealing from drug dealers. The incredible thing is not that Omar was killed by a child --it's that Omar lasted as long as he did in such a dangerous line of work.

panraven_fan said...

nice dolphin, thanks for the clarification. lmao.

i woke up this morning and chuckled to myself about that line, "nice dolphin, n---a" because it never fails to crack me up. then i got to the office and read your post. comedy.

lester could be setting up a sting but as someone pointed out, he's probably covering butt as much as he's trying to take down marlo and crew. he realizes that jimmy's let this thing spiral out of control. recall at the bar in episode 1 or 2, lester's the one who says, "every plan, a weak link." great foreshadowing as he, kima, and bunk watch mcnulty stumble in a drunken stupor as he tries to put on a decent face for that night's conquest.

interestingly, there is a parallel between mcnulty's drunken self-aggrandizing personality and carcetti's drunken (with power) self-aggrandizing personality. each has continued to do vile things in the name of a principle but the principle really is one of self-service at the expense of everyone else. maybe this has already been pointed out by someone, so feel free to scroll right past my mental meanderings.

cooter said...

When kenard was going to set that kid on fire it hit me in gut. I live in baltimore and a few year ago there was rash of animals being set on fire in the city. As many of you know, torturing animals in an early sign of sociopathy.

I think they were clearly showing the path kenard is taking might make him the next cold blooded marlo

cooter said...

Whoops, that would be cat, on fire not kid

bdgavin said...

I didn't notice until watching later, but it does seem Chris is hiding his feelings for Marlo in some regard. When Marlo brought up AC again Chris almost seem contemptuous of him. Chris was stone quiet when Mike was bringing up Omar that you couldn't read what was on his mind.

Anonymous said...

bdgavin, I agree about the Chris-Marlo dynamic. Maybe there's a bit of jealousy or even contempt at Marlo's cavalier attitude. This seemed evident even in S4 at several points such as in the rim shop when Marlo wanted more money for the next card game and when Chris and Snoop had to take out the security guard at the convenience store.

suzyq2 said...

Wow. 79 comments already. I didn't watch until last night and had had Omar's death spoiled for me Monday when I was reading a blog about the Oscars of all things. The guy who did it certainly got ripped a new one as they were quite a few rapid Wire fans who hadn't seen Ep. 8 either.

Anyway, The Wire has to be the most heartbreaking show of all times. I feel the way I did at the end of Season 4 and this season isn't even over yet. For me, I've realized Omar represented some hope that Marlo wouldn't win. At least the guy with the code could beat the guy without one. I thought, sure, Omar probably won't make it in the end, but I didn't see THIS end for him, however fitting it is. No epic shootout with the towering dark forces of evil, just getting blind sided by the littlest newest force of evil on the block. How true dat. It's the way of the streets. Props to the guy who called it. When I read that last week, I thought, no way. But the telltail signs were all there. When Omar was walking by and I saw Kennard pouring lighter fluid on the cat I knew it was going to end badly (and all I could think was that can't be REAL lighter fluid, it's got to be water, please don't let them light it on fire, please, let's not be that real even if it would be "fake"--I can watch people being maimed and killed in the most appalling manner, but not animals!).

I don't want Marlo to "win" but don't have much hope anymore --certainly can't count on McNulty to get it done. Omar didn't just die, hope did.
And yes, I'll add my admiration for the creation and manifestation of one of the greatest characters ever. Michael K Williams, you'll probably never win an Emmy, but in our hearts, you've got one.

BTW, I thought the ME switched the tags at the end too and couldn't figure out what that was about. I'll have to watch again.

Lots of great comments here, lots of food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Checking back in, two more Omar comments:

One on the tag business. On another blog somebody figured out that instead of merely mixing up the tags between the white heart attack victim and Omar (a mistake figured out and corrected by the medical officer in the last scenes), the clerk who wrote the info appears to have scrambled the info beyond that, like making tags from a list and losing the place. So even with the names and races corrected, the identifying info is still wrong.

I don't know if that's right. But it goes with the budget-cut temp help aspect (clerk who didn't understand "et al")in the prior episode...I do think the guy who switched the tags back was just amused by the incompetence--probably have to have gallows humor to work there.

One more: when Donnie and Omar were staking out the condo, one of the things Omar asked was, "No kids in there, right?" The irony of being done in by a kid after having a code to the contrary...CasualObserver

Christopher said...

I predict Michael kills Marlo. I also think that people are missing the boat on Kenard. I think Michael's whole crew looks up to him, including Kenard. Michael is the next generation of boss and every boss needs their psycho (Kenard).

Anonymous said...

In general, alot of comments of the form "soandso is the next soandso" kinda go counter to the Wire's main m.o. (not necessarily comments in this post, just comments picked up in general--maybe mostly from season 4.) I'd just like to disabuse us of the habit.

Kenard is not the next Omar; Mike is not the next Marlo; Randy is not the next Stringer Bell.

All these people have different trajectories. Aside from only having 5 seasons to work through the storylines, the writers would probably shy away from creating the same archtypes and simply filling them in with new faces a la daytime soaps.

One of the open question in Wire-land is whether things get worse, or stay the same. Kenard is obviously a vote for the latter, but Carcetti is probably evidence for the former. But the question is worth asking, and not merely dismissing off-hand, as the "he's the next who" formula seems to imply.

- anon

lifeisgood67 said...

I read an Omar-death spoiler on another blog last week ("I can't believe that little kid shot Omar")Gee thanks, dude. Thanks to everyone on this blog for keeping it "clean".

On the Jimmy/FBI profiler scene: I did find it funny, but mostly I found it both painful and hope-insipiring. It was Jimmy's wake-up call: you're a disgruntled & rensentful bureaucrat, a high functioning drunk with no close relationship. SLAP. And then came the knock out blow from Beadie.

Hitting bottom can bring hope -- not in the way that most TV shows where once insight is gotten all it set right -- but in the way of The Wire. Some small ray of hope.

lifeisgood67 said...

Or maybe it will just feel better when Jimmy goes down to know that he finally "got it" -- who he is, his impact on the world & people around him.

bdgavin said...

Dominic West did say in an article that as the McNultys and the Omars fade away, you're going to see who the next generation is.

bdgavin said...

But I agree that saying this person is the next so and so would simplify the show too much. The Wire is anything but.

dja said...

87 comments and no one picked up on the Sopranos reference? Damn, yo. Omar's in the store, bell rings, he looks up, and then, bang! But no black screen, no months of speculation, no symbolism or poetry just another body and just another killer.

And Rawls: "I mean, I'm into a little kink now and then, but chewing on a homeless fella?"

Voguette said...

Goodman: You're always good, but this decon was one of your best, 'heart' came through more than usual.
I'm over 60, and honestly I can't recall feeling as physically and emotionally stunned over a TV show as I did when Omar got hit. I was very saddened over the Prop Joe death, but we at least had a few moments to realize it was going to happen. Omar? Death like lightening; didn't hear the thunder til later(recalling that Kenard did not run away). Yet it all fit. Our 'hero' was utterly alone in the world, crippled and in pain physically and emotionally, killing uselessly, even looking bedraggled and unkempt. It was time is all (however much we all wanted him to live forever, leap tall buildings and serve hollywoodish justice).
Aftershock: seeing Kenard standing there with the gun. "Crack baby's baby", indeed. (see Jeff Shell above for reference.)
ghost of bodie: love your compliment of "best eyebrow-acting in TV history". Made me larf.
Someone commented on Carcetti's nature. Yes, I recall that scene of him looking at himself in the mirror while fucking a stranger, watching himself on TV and video, then and now. Walking away from the mike 'like a rockstar' was a very astute comment by someone. Kudos to the actor or director for that. The character of Carcetti has been brilliantly written (and portrayed) so that as the viewer of a fictional character I am nearly sold on him when he talks the talk. Yet it's obvious he fools himself, as does McNulty, as does Scott. Makes me admire Clay Davis for at least telling himself the truth. Crikey, what a brilliant show.
One last thing - "Every boss needs their psycho." Great line, christopher.

Anonymous said...

Re: Carcetti. Yep, he is getting corrupt at a pace that alarms even the wife, but I don't think he is pure evil. I remember a scene from, maybe S4, walking by the water with Jennifer? and saying how he loved the city and hated what it had become. I don't think he was lying to himself then. It's just that here he is getting to be mayor of a city that may be ungovernable (aren't all major cities somewhat so?) and he got ambushed by deficits and by the shiny bowls of shit he had to eat.

Every character the show paints as more-or-less good, they show his corrupt side; and every character they paint as more-or-less evil, they show his good side or why he got that way--almost all, eventually.

The evil character here may be the broken systems themselves. If "no good deed goes unpunished" where is the incentive for good deeds after a while?

I don't think so-and-so is the new so-and-so, exactly, but some of the roles (drug lord, police investigator, whatever)can definitely be filled by people who are worse in those slots. Neither D'Angelo nor Stringer was as ruthless for no reason as Marlo--think that's what drove Omar nuts, and makes Michael question?

I like the "at least Clay Davis knows what he is" angle. Hey, he seems proud of it.

twobserver said...

David Simon must feel pleased that his cast shares his disdain for the 42 minute network television police procedural. So much so that four of them have appeared on Law and Order this season. Rawls, Michael, Nerese and Prezbo. It's all in the game...

Anonymous said...

Prediction re McNulty:

I've only watched through episode 8.

I think there's a good chance that he kills himself.

He's lost everything: his wife, seemingly his 2 kids; Beadie; he fell off the wagon after having walked the line well enough to join Beadie and her kids.

BPD had its finances drained, which squashed his/its ability to do good po-lice work.

Bunk (and one assumes Kimma (sp?) can't stand McNulty's illegalities in the name of catching Marlo. The odds go up if the plan doesn't succeed.

In the opening montague (sp?), Simon shows the picture of the Irish cop, who was celebrated royally at an Irish rake in (I think) Season 1. The scene has the entire barroom drinking, laughing, singing to honor the cop and the life he and they all lead.

I can see this being the last scene of the entire series, with McNulty as the dead honoree.

Anonymous said...

While I hate to say anything about "The Wire" is predictable, the framing and camera work in the bodega prior to Omar getting clipped (slightly unsteady, superslow zoom) told me right away his end was at hand--the Kenard angle was more of a shock, but not at all shocking.

BTW, if you're an OnDemander or have visited the HBO website, you've probably watched the "prequels" featuring young Prop. Joe, young Omar, and Bunk n' McNulty's first meeting. And now two of the four featured characters are dead... the foreshadowing is ominous. Were this a broadcast network boilerplate drama, it would be safe to assume that McNulty is going to eat his piece. But this is "The Wire" so it won't surprise me if an overweight, hard-drinking, cigar-chomping, stressed-out-by-all-the-absurdity-with-which-he's-forced-to-coexist Bunk blows a gasket and ends up being the one layed out on Kavanaugh's bar.

Final thought for twobserver: "Wire" stars are all over the "Law and Order" franchise. It serves Simon's desire to use little known New York/East Coast actors
to widen the gap between "The Wire" and Hollywood (by the same token, just about any L&O ep that features a Mafia theme will undoubtedly have a "Sopranos" actor somehere in the mix). Also, Simon has a long relationship with L&O producers, who also produced "Homicide", so these appearances are not surprising.

suzyq2 said...

And after all, these actors have to eat. Simon can move on and create a great new show, but the actors have to take what's out there. And we know what's out there don't we. If they held out for shows of the quality of The Wire, well shiiiaaaaat, they wouldn't hardly work a'tol, would they.

peteydubbya said...

my man had an interesting take over at

"It didn’t occur to me until the morgue scene at the end of this episode, but this season Omar’s story arc had an interesting parallel to the life of legendary outlaw Billy the Kid. Billy began his killing spree after the death of his boss John Tunstall in the Lincoln County Wars. The killing of John Tunstall was brutal and deliberate just like that of Omar’s friend and confident Butchie. Billy then joined with others in hunting down and killing everyone associated with killing Tunstall. Omar began hunting down Marlo and everyone associated with the death of Butchie. Billy was once surrounded in a house by his enemies and escaped by the skin of his teeth. Omar was surrounded by Marlo’s crew and survived by jumping out a high-rise apartment window. And in the end, Billy the Kid was shot by surprise, by Sheriff Pat Garrett who was hiding in the room he walked into. Omar was killed by youngin’ Kenard as he waited at a corner store for cigarettes. Uneventful, unspectacular deaths of two outlaws. Neither went down in a blaze of glory."

wpbooks said...

To Anonymous 2/28, 9:50 am, in re: the opening montage, I think the photo you are referring to is of original producer Robert F. Colesberry who played a detective early on and died during production. I always figured he was in the open as a tribute more than a foreshadow. But maybe you're on to something....

cooter said...

hate to break i to you roxie, that was a different cat!

Anonymous said...

anon at 10:53 a.m., I actually agree with you and the possibility occurred to me last week when I noticed how much more they seem to focus on Bunk enjoying his cigars this season. They even made mention of him wanting to get a job at the cigar shop in Ep. 2 (?) of this season, possibly in an intention to underscore his chain-smoking habit. I could also see his death being largely the result of the hubris of two men: Carcetti and McNulty.

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 2/28, 10:53 a.m.

Re Bunk not McNulty eating his gun: I can't think of many tv shows which (after some seasons) had its putative lead character (or in the Wire's case, 1 of many lead characters) commit suicide. My opinion is if McNulty did do it, not many would consider that "broadcast network boilerplate drama".

Bunk hasn't lost anything, other than his respect for McNulty. He's just received the lab work that gets him Chris. Also, apparently, he hasn't lost his young son (remember the McNultys and Bunks at the Oriole baseball game).

McNutty, on the other hand, has had all personal and professional valuables go down the drain. Even if the plan works and it gets Marlo, there's no way to prevent the law from putting McNutty in the slammer. And I don't think OZ has been renewed.

To wpbooks:

Look at HBO's The Wire episode synopsis, season 3, ep. 28 (Dead Soldiers): the dialogue quoted from Landsman regarding the late Ray Coles sounds like it could be used if McNutty is laid out on that pool table. My vague recollection is that the photo is the cop character Ray Coles, from that episode.

Anonymous said...

Aargh. And wasn't it "Brother Ray" whose old case McNulty used to plant the first fake (the other detective had caught a real one)red ribbon in the file? Odd foreshadowing? I would hate that...

But does McNulty have to go out as a suicide? Maybe any number of other things--or nothing--will happen.--CO

Anonymous said...

my morning paper had a case of a dentist who had given phony forensics testimony in 2-3 child sex abuse cases claiming the victim had bite marks that matched an accused. They found out his lies through new DNA evidence that cleared the alleged perpetrators. The parallels to the storyline were something to read. I guess you --can't-- make this stuff up.

wpbooks said...

To Anonymi, or is it Anonymouses 3/1/08 12:36 am and 6:30 am

Look who played Det. Ray Cole....Robert F. Colesberry....I think the allusion is a tribute not a foreshadowing. It would be too pat, and I don't believe McNulty is suicidal, he'd just get involved in another obsessive 'detail' case or otherwise. But it is The Wire, and it's getting pretty ramped up...but I feel certain the whole Cole thing is a way of keeping one of the original key behind the scenes players still in 'the game' since he can no longer be with us otherwise. It's a loyalty thing not a plot device.

Anonymous said...

Here's the thing: Omar had to die. Nobody wanted to see it, but he had to. Omar is the strongest symbol on the show for the individual (as opposed to the bureaucracy.) The show outlines how, in Simon's words, people are worth less and less today because of our failing institutions. Omar was so exciting to all of us because he was wildly competent and ran with no crew: not Barksdale, not Marlo, not the cops, although he could have done all their jobs better. He represents the power of one, in some way. Of course he had to die, sad as it is. There's at least some hope in Michael.... I think. Or Duqie. Or Gus. None of these characters are perfect (although Gus is a little too saintly for this show IMO), but they at least represent some modicum of individualism. RIP Omar.

Calinks said...

Man oh man....


Seeing Omar get killed upset me two fold. Early on, while watching season 1. I was so excited over the show I began looking for blogs such as this. I had found one and I thought it was safe. I was reading and just barely stumbled upon a post talking about how Kennard looked at Omar with no fear and that could have been foreshadow his death.

I immediately stopped reading and left. I didn't know who the hell Kennard was at the time so I stated listening out for names. I thought maybe it was one of Omars lovers or something. After a while I thought that maybe that poster was just predicting Omar's death.

Season 4 rolls around and I hear that kid being referred to as Kennard. I thought, what? Don't tell me this punk gets Omar. Nothing happened in season 4 so I thought I was safe. Then as soon as I saw the scene where Omar stuck up Michael I knew it was over.

Man that sucked! I hate that I knew it was coming and I hate that Kennard took out a LEGEND. Omar's pride and code got the best of him. If he just would have laid low until he could heal and think things out, he could have gotten Chris, Snoop, or maybe Marlo. If if he did have to die he could have at least went out on top like Bodie.

Nope, some punk ass kid lights him up. Omar looked so sad too at the end. There have a been a couple times in this series where Omar has looked very lonely and sad to me and Michael K makes it so palatable.

Regardless of what anybody says. Omar Little was a hard ass dude and none of his enemies were ever able to one up him. Even Marlo fucking Stanfield and his vicious crew couldn't put a totally out gunned Omar down.

I hate Kennard with the passion of a thousand suns. I am really pissed now because I don't think we will get any justice for Marlo. As another poster said, Omar provided hope. Even seeing Marlo is cuffs wont really satisfy me. He needs to get got, he's done too much evil.

As another poster infered. At this point I don't even fell like I care about what happens. I feel empty. It's like no matter how this goes down I still wont be satisfied. I now realize that Omar was the one character I feared for the most. The one character I couldn't stand losing from an entertainment stand point. I feel robbed.


I don't think Kennard is going to get that money either. I bet Marlo would have bad a regular gangster or whatever but he isn't paying some 10 year old punk that kind of money. I hope he refuses Kennard and Kennard shoots him in the back of the skull. That would lend that little punk ass a but of redemption in my eyes.

P.S. I don't know how this happened, but I didn't eve nsee those kids as messing with a cat. For some crazy reason, my brain registered it as them playing with toy fire trucks. That's how I remembered it. When I went back to see the cat thing everyone was talking about I was shocked. How the hell did that happen? I could have sworn those were toy trucks. When people said that was Kennard out there I didn't believe it cause I couldn't imagine him playing with toys.

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