Monday, February 25, 2008

The Wire week 9 thread for the On Demand'ers

Final verse, same as the first eight: talk about "Late Editions," the penultimate episode of "The Wire" (and the last one to be shown early On Demand) here. Do not talk about this episode in last night's review thread, and do not talk about the series finale if you happen to know anything about it. All spoilers will be deleted. And since I've seen the finale, I'll know if someone's trying to be clever with a "guess" about something that actually happens.

Also, as I mentioned in the episode 8 review thread, I'll be talking to David Simon sometime before the finale for a retrospective interview, and I'm open to outside questions -- whether about this season, seasons past or the series as a whole. Obviously, some will be answered with the finale, but fire away in the comments for this post. (I'm asking here so that the On Demand viewers aren't asking questions in the regular review post that give away stuff from this episode.)

252 comments:

1 – 200 of 252   Newer›   Newest»
Knockout Zed said...

R.I.P. Snoop. Your profane ass will be missed.

KZ

Tim Masterson said...

What an episode. I'm a wreck right now. That last scene, with Dukie staring down his future, made me so sick I nearly vomited. When you think of everything that kid has been through, starting with his family stealing from him to get high, to where he almost made it to, his arc has been the most tragic (unless the finale has a Bubbles relapse, then so help me, god, I may hunt David Simon down).

The gamut of emotions run in that episode was boggling. The joy of Namond's success, the hope for Bubbles, the contempt for McNulty (and a few others. I'm looking your way, Herc), the struggle for Greggs, and the overall sadness for Michael and Dukie. That was a lot to take.

I hate that we have to wait two weeks for the finale. I can't wait to see it. I just hope I can take it.

Scotty P, only 20 said...

Aw man, and I just got done explaining that the reviewers and critics were just in the dark about everything as we were! Ha, oh well, I'm still going to read everything you write when it's time.

Man. Even in the middle of this season, I had no way of knowing just how the season could be wrapped up, much much much MUCH less the entire series. But after everything that happened in this episode (with Reginald, Marlo's crew, all Templeton's lies popping up like an ivy rash on Gus, the boys of summer, Freamon), it's... I can see the bright (or dim, depending on whether Herc's big mouth screwed all our favorite characters over once again) light at the end of the tunnel for this amazing series.

The most powerful moment in this episode, out of many strong performances from Kima, Bubs, Michael, Dukie, Bug, hell everyone) for me was definitely Marlo. The ruthless, unemotional kingpin of Baltimore finally unleashes his mighty rage in finding out about Omar coming at him. It was so powerful because... well you know because! It's Marlo! He is the King and he wears that crown boldly. I don't remember who commented or reviewed that Marlo is a man who never speaks one word more than what needs to be said, but that has been in my head every time I watch his scenes. His fury at learning that Omar was calling for him, that Omar put his name on the streets, and that he didn't know about it? To think we thought he was a coward. I know I definitely should have known better when that family was killed earlier this season.

I'm happy the end is near. I am going to miss seeing these wonderful characters every week for a quarter of the year for the rest of my life, but nothing lasts forever. Thank Mr. David Simon from all of us fans for a brilliant television show. I hope when I begin to finally mature I won't lose myself nor my care for others and their lives. He and Ed Burns and everyone who have made The Wire what it is have taught me so much about human life, human history, human fallacy, people themselves that I will carry to my grave. And Mr. Alan Sepinwall, thank you for commenting every week and being one of my only outlets (inlets? sources?) for both my love for The Wire as well as many other television shows.

Heh. And thank HBO On Demand for getting us both into the series when Season 4 came around.

Anonymous said...

Wait, what? No On Demand for the finale? Damnit.

You said it Tim. That stuff with Duke was too painful. I could see the good for Bug, as much as it hurt him and Mike. But Dukie? Damn. That's just too damn cold. And there's nothing he could have done, I think.

I said it somewhere else, but I don't know what to feel, and for whom. It's just up and down for everyone. Good for Kima. Good for Lester. Good for Bunk. Good for Carver. Good for Daniels. Good for Bunny and Namond. But, fuck you Herc. You redeemed yourself already. You bought in to the dark side completely? Fuck you, you had your redemption. Didn't you see it?

One more.

Nicholas said...

Dear David Simon,

First off, thank you so much for co-creating what I consider to be one of the truly great works of narrative art of our time or any time.

Questions:
1.You and others have mentioned the show's parallels with Greek tragedy. The Wire may portray eternal truths of human nature that can be found in Athens or Baltimore; but where is the line drawn between contemporary issues and eternal ones? How has the power of modern institutions influenced our understanding of human fate and free will?

2.
How would you like the Wire to influence the way people think and the way people act? What can people do to stop the various tragedies that we behold on this show?
In writing and planning this last season, with its concern for the problem of the communication of social ills, are you sending a message to viewers about the problem of how the art and drama of the Wire may not be effective in spurring people to action?

3. Was Omar's death, its circumstances and its cinematographic portrayal sending a message to viewers who desired to see him triumph or just portraying reality of the situation...or both?

4. Is there a WRONG way to watch the Wire? How free is the show to interpretation, in your opinion?


Sincerely,

Nicholas Garklavs

Anonymous said...

I haven't liked most of this season that much, but the last two episodes have been fantastic. One thing I didn't follow, though, was Marlo's cell number being the same as the number on the paperwork. i thought the whole idea was that they were rerouting the wires to avoid that exact problem. Also, couldn't they have solved the Marlo's phone number thing by claiming that that phone number came from a Fuzzy Dunlopesque CI (which would make the wiretap ok) rather than pretending the wiretap was something it wasn't. I know this might be sort of nitpicking about a really great episode, but I want to buy into the plausibility of any tragedy on the scale that would result from letting Marlo go free,

Bodie Broadus said...

A few rambling thoughts while I sit here in stunned silence as the last semblances of Michael and Dukie's childhood's have been extinguished...

I don't know if I should applaud Kima for doing the right thing, or hate her for selling out Jimmy. My biggest issue with her is that she seems to think that McNulty and the cop Carver wrote up are analagous...while McNulty clearly at least had good intentions with the serial killer plot. Do you the ends justify the means? I can't decide.

Snoop was right about Michael never being one of them. Michael still has a conscience, and thinks about his actions.

The conversation where Dukie recalls the piss balloon battle with the terrace boys floored me, despite having heard it in advance on the soundtrack HBO released. Michael traded in his childhood to protect his brother, and was able to help out his best friend in the process. He wasn't killed, but the life he gained in that bargain is over. His farewell to Bug[as well as Dukie's]...my realization that Dukie looks like he'll end like Bubbles...I'm convinced David Simon is trying to break me.

Herc and his big mouth. My understanding is that they could currently prosecute Marlo and his crew b/c they seized the cell phones and all the evidence on them is admissible. If Herc tipped Levy off on the wiretap's existence...just when I thought when he redeemed himself by getting the number to Carver in the first place...

Omar's death has increased his legend, with Spider revealing that Pimlico boys with AK-47s were responsible, not little Kenard. Silver lining?

Bubbles coming to grips with Sherrod's death was uplifting at least. ::sighs:: I hope there's at least ONE happy ending for us there.

Malcolm said...

Great episode. I loved the scene where Michael killed Snoop, how she told him how he was always smart and accepted her impending death just like so many in the vacants. I also enjoyed evacuation being defined for us once again. Bugs departure had my eyes tearing up like crazy. I hope that Michael relocates, hopefully further than East Baltimore, and gets back into boxing. One and a half hours left.

Holly Martins said...

What a roller coaster. I was thrilled to see Marlo's crew in handcuffs, horrified when I thought it was going to get Michael killed -- and god, at least McNulty and Lester don't have THAT on their consciences -- proud of Michael for being smart enough to stay alive, then horrified all over again when I realized I was proud of a teenager for successfully shooting someone in the head... consumed by hatred for Herc, and contempt for Carcetti and his slimy non-Norman adviser... then the ending just destroyed me, Michael saying his goodbyes. Jesus.

One thought -- Levy may be figuring out the fraudulent wiretap (f*** you, Herc), but after that conversation with Clay Davis tonight, Lester's got leverage over Levy. Couldn't he say, don't fight this or I'll have you investigated? That's blackmail of course, but at this point a little blackmail seems like child's play.

Then again, if Daniels and Pearlman take action themselves and go public with the truth about the made-up serial killer, I guess that might not matter.

Good for Kima for having the guts to do the right thing when no one else would... as much as I didn't want her to.

And it was great to see Namond. Is that the only happy ending we're going to get?

I'll have to take some time to tamp down my embarrassing adulation before I come up with questions for David Simon.

Anonymous said...

I find it interesting having read all of these blogs that for the most part there seems to have been unanimous feeling regarding certain characters. For example, everyone seems to have become so disappointed with McNulty's behavior that there has developed a level of disdain for him. This has, for some, carried over to similar feelings in regard to Lester, Sydnor and anyone who is mixed up in the elaborate serial killer scam.

For me, being less morally squeamish than those with these inclinations, I'm wondering if I'm indeed alone in hating Kima a great deal more than McNulty for unnecessarily snitching. Who benefits from the truth being exposed? Her talking to Daniels was dreadfully annoying. I watched the episode with two friends and we were all upset at her decision.

Anonymous said...

Snoop: "How my hair look man?"

...What a fitting ending for a character who Stephen King referred to as "the most terrifying female villain to ever appear in a television series." She went out like a true soldier.....

So many things happened this episode, and I have a few questions... but I need a while for it to settle if you will.....One episode left in the greatest television series in the history of American television.

R.I.P. Snoop

The Markitect said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Markitect said...

So many, in my opinion, series defining moments. Obviously the scene between Lester and Davis has to be among one of the most satisfying conversations in the series' run. But Bubbles' speaking on Sherod's death was up there too. Of course there was Michale and Dukie's scene too. So much to talk about. A couple of minor moments too that I wanted to mention...

When Lester was talking about the girl he has waiting at home, did he say Shardene?? If so, that might be the best cameo as of yet.

Obviously the guy in the evidence room was another great throwback. Couldn't get himself to fall down those stairs, but found a nice lazy to place to land nonetheless.

And Dukie watching what was obviously supposed to be Dexter: nice touch, Simon. Here we have the exact aspect of popular culture that Simon is critiquing this season. This whole situation has blown up in the way it has because nothing could get off the ground (supposedly) without a loose serial killer to peak people's interest, a la the same way a show like Dexter is able to reach such popularity. And perhaps the same reason a show like this cannot be popular.


What. An. Episode.

I can't believe there are only 90 minutes left...

The Markitect said...

In what would be a nightmarish long shot, did anyone seem to get the feeling Marlo was eyeing Lester really close when he was in handcuffs? As if to make the guy?

Anonymous said...

How can the people that vote for emmys or other awards watch this episode and not realize The Wire is one of the best shows ever. I dont care about awards it just really bothers me that the show can be ignored.

F#ck Kima. Why did she have to survive that gun shot. I hope she pays for her good deed. She doesnt care about all those bodies in the vacants or the boy that saw his famly killed. The worst action in the history of the show.

RIP McNuly. I just dont see how he can make it out, too many people know for Daniels to cover it up. No matter what you think of his actions the bottom line was to stop a man who had terorized the city. I just hope McNulty makes it out without having to go to jail.

Props to the kid that plays Michael, that was an amazing performance. "It looks good Girl" I always thought Mike and Duke were the next Avon and Stringer, but it doesnt look like it. I dont really see how Mike will be able to make out. Even though it seemed obvious that Chris and Marlo really didnt think it was him. The scenes with the kids sayin good bye was powerful man.

Herk is still a punk, it looks like Levy might end up on the other side of the interogation room though.

Lester mentionin the stripper from season 1.

I wonder what the Greeks reaction to the bust will be? I can see them maybe killin Marlo

The lazy detective from Season 1 showed up.

Oh man, simply as good as any hour of tv I have ever seen. You guys that were complainin bout the season look like fools right now. This wait is goin to be tough for the finale

domino87 said...

George P Pelecanos, you did it again. Cementing the fact that he always pens stunningly great episodes and is my favorite author, for real. How the fuck am I going to sleep now?

I love how everything is coming together at the end. McNulty's lie is being exposed as are all of Templeton's. Marlo is going down, but so may Levy. Just as Bubbles finally redeems himself, Dukie may be headed down his same path. Right after Omar's demise we see Michael, another player with a conscience and smarts rise up.

Also the reveal that Levy was in cohorts with Clay Davis in conning Stringer Bell the entire time.

Just incredible storytelling all around.

And the previews for the finale, I won't say anything but. Holy. Shit.

Michael said...

Work tomorrow would've been bad enough... now I have to kill myself tonight. I love every second of this show but I wish I didn't

Baltimore Chick said...

Levy wanted Herc to leak Marlo's cell # to his old police buddies. (Guaranteed defense $). OK, Herc takes the bait, but blew his "good deed" by letting Levy know (in a broad sense), that a wiretap was used to snare Marlo. However, Lester also blew it when he stared down Marlo while picking up Marlo's cell phone (at the arrest scene), and then picking up the clock.Marlo's wheels were turning (while sitting in jail), at the mention of a wiretap.He knew it was illegally obtained, given only 4 people had his number. The case will be thrown out, the only way to stop Marlo is death. SO GLAD SNOOP IS DEAD. I never agreed w/Simon using a real life convicted murderer for this role. Felicia profited from taking someone's life-disgusting! I know the man who plays the elderly church deacon is a former convicted drug kingpin from the 60's/70's. Was he also a killer?

Question for David-Will there be a "Wire" Movie (prequel), as hoped by some of the cast members?

Comment question-Who was the woman Mike paid to take in Bug?

Gish said...

You know what scene made me tear up in frustration? That press conference, with Carcetti, Rawls and Daniels taking credit for the bust. It's moments like that where I completely forget I am watching a fictional show and I just want to punch somebody.

Anonymous said...

We get it Alan, you're "connected." Kudos! Bragging that you've seen the final episode (under the guise of blocking spoilers), is just silly. I'm now convinced you did not guess Kinard would kill Omar, you either saw that episode in advance, (how many other critics get to see the series finale?), or you had inside info.

Alan Sepinwall said...

We get it Alan, you're "connected." Kudos! Bragging that you've seen the final episode (under the guise of blocking spoilers), is just silly. I'm now convinced you did not guess Kinard would kill Omar, you either saw that episode in advance, (how many other critics get to see the series finale?), or you had inside info.

Believe whatever you want. I'm just interested in full disclosure. HBO sent out the first seven episodes (to every critic) months ago, but held back 8-10 so the Omar spoiler wouldn't get out. (And it did, anyway.) 8-10 didn't show up (as part of a regular HBO mailing) until after episode 8 was already available On Demand.

Gish said...

Since we are calling Alan out, I think he may have seen those Cupid episodes before. If you read carefully, he often mentions his feelings "the first time" or "back then." Fess up, Alan.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Fess up, Alan.

Dammit, you caught me. I thought we agreed over donuts and coffee that we wouldn't talk about this in public.

Anonymous said...

David Simon question- I know the first time former Baltimore Mayor O'Malley saw the "Wire", he was pretty pissed off at you. You reminded him of your initial meeting & that the show would show an urban city in decay, & he agreed to let you film & name the city as Baltimore. You've stated after you told O'Malley, (since he was offended), you'd film in Philly, but the setting would still be depicted as Baltimore. He backed off, since he didn't want the lucrative filming revenue going to another city. Since Carcetti is clearly based on O'Malley, was Carcetti's mention of O'Malley (as a former Baltimore Mayor), in this final season, a thank you to O'Malley? Also, great job on portraying the City Council President (now Baltimore's Mayor), as uh.....someone with questionable ethics (as noted by the current investigation into her influence as the Council President). Are your testicles made of steel?

dcdame said...

When Lester was talking about the girl he has waiting at home, did he say Shardene??

Yes, he did. IIRC, Lester has been wearing a wedding ring (at least I noticed one in some eps), so I've assumed they got married at some point in the series.

Who was the woman Mike paid to take in Bug?

His aunt. He comments to Dukie (or vice versa) that he really does have an aunt (presumably someone he'd mentioned before, off camera, but whose existence Dukie may have doubted).

Anonymous said...

Another great episode. A couple quotes that caught my attention:

The tagline, "Deserve's got nothin to do with it," was also spoken by Clint Eastwood in Unforgiven, when Gene Hackman says to him "I don't deserve this." Intentional or not, its an interesting parallel to a western that, like the Wire, absolutely did not glorify the violence it portrayed.

Also, the first part of Bubbles' monologue at the meeing--about nobody calling him back--was lifted from Pelecanos' Drama City.

Dan said...

I watched this episode at exactly 11:55 - I remember because it was only minutes after the Oscars finished - and I honestly couldn't fall asleep for a solid hour afterwards. This may have been the most heart-wrenching episode in this show's history.

"How's my hair look, Michael?" "You look good, girl." That exchange brings me to tears just thinking about it. Especially putting it into context with Dukie and Bugs. Seeing the man shooting up in the barn/shed/garage at the end just killed me. As Bubbles makes his way out (finally), Dukie steps in to take his place.

I agree with those who have harsh words for Kima. I can't see what good it'll do to bring McNulty down. When Carver reported the white cop (forget his name) it was because he was a hot-headed punk who was never a good copy doing good po-lice work. McNulty is a different story. He crossed the line, but to serve the greater good. I just can't stand to see him be brought down by his "friends." With only 90 minutes left, I can't see this ending any other way.

Fantastic episode. I still feel teary eyed....

Holly Martins said...

I don't blame Kima -- I blame McNulty for putting her in a position where she had to either compromise all her core values to keep quiet (like Bunk has), or do the right thing and rat out a friend in the process. He put her in a terrible position.

Good call by the anonymous commenter (8:56) who referenced "Unforgiven" - I knew I'd heard that line before, and in more ways than one that's a great comparison for the Wire, especially this season. A very gray moral universe, the truth not what it first appears to be, corrupt institutions overpowering individuals (a big revisionist-Western theme in general), trying to do the right thing and having it blow up in your face...

fuzzydunlop said...

Anon, nice call on the Drama City reference. I knew that scene felt familiar. For anyone who's going into Wire withdrawals in the coming months, you can always read the collected works of Simon, Pelecanos, Price and Lehane.

I noticed that one of the editors on last week's New York Times story about John McCain's ties to a lobbyist was Rebecca Corbett. She's one of Simon's models for Gus Haynes, and the regional affairs editor who's skeptical of Templeton's work is named after her. I guess Corbett's supposed to be one of the good guys, but running that story -- with the allegations of a romantic relationship in the nut graf, backed up only by anonymous sources -- is shoddy journalism at its worst.

Matt Zoller Seitz said...

The Markitect: "And Dukie watching what was obviously supposed to be Dexter: nice touch, Simon. Here we have the exact aspect of popular culture that Simon is critiquing this season."

Yeah, this seems to be a bit of a tradition on the cable channel -- shows poking fun at other shows. I seem to recall that "The Sopranos" did this in Season Six, showing somebody watching "Deadwood" and grooving on the profanity.

Alan Sepinwall said...

I seem to recall that "The Sopranos" did this in Season Six, showing somebody watching "Deadwood" and grooving on the profanity.

That was actually "The Wire," end of season four. Cutty's in the hospital and the guy in the next bed is giddy over hearing Al Swearengen utter his favorite curse word.

Chip said...

I don't know that Dukie/Bubbles is the right parallel. Unfortunately, it seems more like it is Dukie/Sherrod being mentored by the araber/Bubbles.

Anonymous said...

My favorite scene of the episode had to be the wordless exchange between Lester & Marlo. He finally landed his white whale, and instead of saying something contrived like any other TV series would have him do, Lester simply looked at him, picked up Marlo's cell phone -- ignoring the cash lying right next to it -- picked up the clock and looked back at him. A completely satisfying "Gotcha, m.f.'er" scene -- everyone hails Pelecanos' scripts (and rightfully so), but it's what wasn't said that had me cheering.

The end scene between Michael & Dukie was heartbreaking. As Dukie walked off alone, I immediately flashed back to the scene where Frank Sobotka was walking towards The Greek (and his fate).

As for McNulty, this is going to end badly for him. I thought the talk with Beadie near the end of episode 8 foreshadows a lot -- I don't see his career surviving this now that Daniels & Ronnie know, and if you take away his badge you might as well be killing the man.

Matt Zoller Seitz said...

Thanks Alan. I must have confused that with the Season Five episode of "The Sopranos" where Junior sees Larry David onscreen looking like him and says, "What am I doing on TV?"

Josh said...

So I have to wait 2 whole weeks for the finale? Thats going to be tough.

Considering Simon's use of cycles I feel like we are watching the younger characters fall into familiar roles. Dukie heading down the addiction route like Bubbles. Kenard could easily become the next Bird, Weebay, Snoop or Chris. One other thought popped into my head as a possibility. Now that Marlo wants him dead and he may well be labeled a snitch, what does Michael's future hold? This comes across as contrived, but could he be the next stickup man like Omar? His heart may never have been part of the game but he is still trapped on the streets. Half of me wants to see him returning to Cutty and the gym but I would be equally satisfied if he decided to rebel against the game like Omar.

television inspection club said...

Tim Masterson, you said it all. I am glad to see other people were as wrecked by this episode as I was. I literally sobbed at the end. The tears had started when we saw Bubs talking about Sherrod, and saw Namond on stage, giving his report about AIDS in Africa (thank god one of those kids is doing ok). I cried when Michael shot Snoop, for him crossing that line from which he could not return. I was even crying for Snoop, despite everything she did. When Dukie and Bug were saying goodbye my heart broke a million times and when I didn't think it could be any worse, Michael dropped Dukie at that junkie place. That's when I lost it altogether.

It's a hard call about Kima. I think the thing that makes me the most angry is that between her snitching and Herc snitching, Marlo is going to get away with it.

And the Greeks are never going to get touched. I guess it's that way in life, too. The biggest fish get away.

I appreciated the Shardene shout-out, but the Stringer Bell shout-out made me angry at Clay Davis all over again (even though I was glad for a Stringer shout-out).

I know it's "just a tv show" but I can't believe how emotional this is making me. I guess it's fiction based on true life. The last 60 pages of House of the Spirits made me cry this way, I think because it was rooted in truth as well.

It is making me want to do something. It's not hopeless, is it? That's not what DS was trying to say when Bunny Colvin said to Carcetti, "There's nothing to be done"?

Anonymous said...

"Also the reveal that Levy was in cohorts with Clay Davis in conning Stringer Bell the entire time."

Actually, what Davis said was that lawyers like Levy won't let them near people like Bell anymore without protection, because of how badly Davis and the other politicians had milked Bell. Levy wasn't part of it.

"He comments to Dukie (or vice versa) that he really does have an aunt (presumably someone he'd mentioned before, off camera, but whose existence Dukie may have doubted)."

somewhere in the fourth season -- I think it's just before Carver chases them after Donut steals the car...
Namond: "Ku Klux Klan live in Howard County, I know that for a fact."
Michael: "Nigga, my aunt live in Howard County. You simple."

Always liked that line.

dcdame said...

Ah, I'd forgotten about that scene re: the aunt (but recall it now).

Bug broke my heart, crying in the back seat of the car at his aunt's (I wonder if he even knows her). Heck, the entire scene was heartbreaking. At any rate, let's hope that means a brighter future for Bug.

Tiffany said...

Wow! What an amazing episode. I'm breathless, many hours later. Just a few thoughts, though:

(1) I loved the way that Snoop went out. "How's my hair look?," while smoothing back the cornrows. "It looks good, girl," from Michael. In context, that was exceptionally kind of him, and just speaks to his larger character.

(2) Bug crying when he was being dropped off at his and Michael's aunt's house broke my heart. As did Michael's aunt's clear rejection of Michael. He's only been in the life for about a year -- why was she so cold to him? Michael isn't irredeemable. Heck, Michael only got into the game because he didn't know how else to protect Bug from that snake of a baby rapist. The other scene that hurt was when Dukie tried to reminisce about the piss balloons and Michael didn't remember it. The actor who plays Michael handled that scene brilliantly. His voice literally broke because he couldn't remember such an innocent (if nasty!), childhood prank. He really isn't a child anymore. As for Dukie, he was looking at Michael and seeing the loss of the only real family he has ever had. You know, it always bothered me that the kid I liked the least last year -- Namond -- was the one who made it out. Honestly, it's good that he made it out, because every child deserves a chance, but why couldn't it have been the one with the gentlest soul?

(3) Kima's action does pose a conflict. On the one hand, good for her -- at the end of the day, how can you trust a system that is populated with people who refuse to uphold the best precepts of the system? Marlo is such a deep menace that perhaps the means justify the ends here, but on what basis do you determine the future situations where that principle will also hold true? Would illegal means have justified the end of taking down the Barksdale crew? What about Prop Joe's outfit, or any other member of the co-op? I don't know how to answer that question. Admittedly, it kills me that Marlo and his people are going to walk because the evidence against them is all fruit of the poisonous tree, but it heartens me that there is a cop like Kima whose integrity (well, professional integrity -- I haven't forgotten her cheating on Cheryl!) is so strong that she'll rat out friends and SEND THEM TO JAIL because she genuinely believes that the system is more important than capturing one thug. We could debate whether the cost of the principle is simply too high, but isn't it true that principles OUGHT to cost us something? It's easy to have principles when doing so costs nothing at all.

(4) Jamie Hector was mesmerizing in his jail scene. Gosh, it was such a wonderful depiction of how so many young men in the inner city end up heading down the wrong path. Too many of them feel like they have been disrespected in every other arena of life, and consequently, they WILL be respected in the arenas that they CAN control. From Marlo's perspective, the only thing that he really, truly has is his name, and it MUST be respected. At that moment, we not only saw how this relatively laconic, charmless individual was able to rise to the top of his organization. He's ruthless in pursuit of protecting his name, both as Marlo and as "the king," and that ruthlessness will generate fear. Kudos, Jamie Hector.

(4) To quote Curtis Mayfield, "I'm So Proud" of Bubs/Reginald. 'Nuff said. And the Sun reporter's tale is going to be excellent. As Gus instructed him, this gentleman is going to write what feels true, and in the end, I bet that will help redeem the Sun after the Templeton mess.

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant episode. Just amazingly well done.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bodie Broadus said...

For anonymous 1:44 PM

Just an FYI to you and everyone else on this thread, there's no on demand preview of the finale, so be prepared to feel terrible about this one for 2 weeks before being hit with our final 90 minutes with the city of Bawlmor.

I don't know how I'm going to make it 2 weeks.

mywaydimag said...

What Kima did bothers me slightly only because McNulty told her out of consideration for her. It's not as if she found out on her own.

On the other hand maybe she's worried about going to jail herself and/or losing her badge. In that case I can't say I blame her.

discipline said...

We haven't seen Pryz's cameo. I have to think that we will still him. Hopefully, Dukie will be in that scene as well. I think that he is too smart to go down the junkie road.
At least I hope...

Anonymous said...

I can't figure out how Kima even knew about what Carver did to Colicchio.

Anonymous said...

Please do not talk about the PREVIEWS for the final episode. that is all

Anonymous said...

She wasn't afraid of getting in trouble, she wasn't a part of the conspiracy.

It was obvious she did it out of contempt for what McNulty did, hence the conversation she had with Carver before turning McNulty in.

She did it because "it was the right thing to do", but her actions do not sit well with me in terms of remaining true to her character. I could see Landsman doing it or some other kiss-ass character, but Kima and McNulty always seemed to have that fuck the powers that be connection that would prevent her from turning him in.

Turning him in won't just lose him his badge, like Colichio, he could go to jail for a long, long time. Seemed against her principles to me.

Anonymous said...

"but Kima and McNulty always seemed to have that fuck the powers that be connection that would prevent her from turning him in."

I think that last season, Kima started growing away from being an up-and-coming McNulty and instead learned at the feet of the Bunk.

Bunk seems more in line with her. Nobody wants to be Jimmy.

vadmspartan said...

You either laugh or you cry when you watch The Wire.

The Good: Namond, despite being completely unlikable when first introduced, has turned out really well. He's made it out of the streets and seems to be happy being a part of Bunny's family. One of the rare good endings for a character arch. It's also great to see that Bubbles has finally found salvation and redemption in his life. He's suffered too much the last few years. I hope Fletch story of him gets the Pulitzer although with Templeton being the chosen one under Whiting and Klebanow, I doubt this very much.

The Bad: Just about everything else. I felt a feeling of exhilaration as the cops rounded up Marlo and 90% of his crew. They really put some fucking dope on the table. That feeling didn't last as Herc just couldn't be loyal to his buddies, just this once. It looks like the case could get thrown out which looks really possible. But I would think that Carcetti would try to hide this somehow, this could be the fuel to power his run for governor. Of course too many people know and it might be too difficult to do that. Not that I want him to succeed of course.

I'm of two minds about Kima. I had a gut reaction to hate her for snitching on her friends but I knew that she would be the one to do something. I remember watching the scene a few weeks back where she interviewed the family of one of the "serial killings." She personally saw their pain, this must have affected her as I think it would affect anyone really. I don't know if she was right or wrong to do what she did.

Finally, loved the story Spider heard about how Omar went down. Even though he didn't go out in some cinematic blaze of glory there will always be myths about him on the streets. Granted I would have rather seen him killed in a gunfight against AK wielding Pimlico gangbangers.

Anonymous said...

"I think that last season, Kima started growing away from being an up-and-coming McNulty and instead learned at the feet of the Bunk.

Bunk seems more in line with her. Nobody wants to be Jimmy."

But then why didn't Bunk turn Jimmy in? Bunk knew from the get-go and his real cases were beging negatively affected by Jimmy's bullshit. I think this was an act of good conscience by Kima and nothing more, which is why I take issue with it. Characters in the wire are always motivated by something. Covering their own ass, getting elected, actually getting the bad guys, money, loyalty, and I just can't buy that Kima's motivation was "doing the right thing"

Anonymous said...

"But then why didn't Bunk turn Jimmy in?"

Bunk's relationship with Jimmy has always had a slightly patriarchal air to it; Bunk showed Jimmy the ropes and all that. He's horrified, but he was trying to make Jimmy understand *why* what Jimmy was doing was wrong.

Same reason Bunk couldn't tell Beadie what Jimmy was doing, even though he knew he should.

"and I just can't buy that Kima's motivation was "doing the right thing" "

*shrug*... it happens sometimes, even in a cynically-constructed world.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Guys, again, no talking about stuff in the previews.

Carmichael Harold said...

I don't know about that Anon. As far back as the first season, with the chance to put her own shooters down by fingering them on Bunk's say so, she refused and said, "[s]ometimes things got to play hard." While she's followed McNulty's lead with poor personal ethics, Kima has always had a strong sense of professional ethics.

television inspection club said...

I felt a feeling of exhilaration as the cops rounded up Marlo and 90% of his crew. They really put some fucking dope on the table.

You know what's funny, I did not feel happy or exhilarated when they had all the guys in a row. I felt sort of empty. Maybe it's because on The Wire, we don't get big moments of justice, and part of me was waiting for the other shoe to drop. It must have been something about the way it was filmed, or the way the scenes were cut -- I will watch it again tonight to see.

As far back as the first season, with the chance to put her own shooters down by fingering them on Bunk's say so, she refused and said, "[s]ometimes things got to play hard."

You're totally right - great observation.

Anonymous said...

"You know what's funny, I did not feel happy or exhilarated when they had all the guys in a row. I felt sort of empty. Maybe it's because on The Wire, we don't get big moments of justice, and part of me was waiting for the other shoe to drop. It must have been something about the way it was filmed, or the way the scenes were cut -- I will watch it again tonight to see."

I loved how quickly it all happened. It really undercut any elation I might've felt because, like you, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

childermass said...

Alan, does this mean you now have the finale in your possession? If so, are you going to, or have you already watched it?

Agree that this episode was fantastic. I wonder who the leak in the prosecutor's office is? Levy definitely knows about the fake wiretap now, but I don't think he knows that Herc gave the number up. He would fire Herc in a heartbeat for breaching confidentiality like that, plus it wouldn't help run up his legal bills much as it's easily thrown out of court. Illegal wiretap, can't use any evidence gained from it, so nothing from the cell phones, hence nothing from the meeting place, hence no drugs. Herc did mess up big time by wanting to be the big man in helping to bring Marlo down. Because of that, Marlo will be set free, most likely.

childermass said...

Alan, scratch that question, just read your review where you say you've seen the rest of the season.

Tim Masterson said...

On a lighter note, drunk Lester talking about Shardene being ready for him to get home was hysterical.

(sadly, it just reminds me of how much Lester has to lose)

p.s. has anyone seen the Wendy's commercial with Levy? That's sorta disorienting.

The Markitect said...

Obviously McNulty's scheme is going down in flames. But there are a number of things that could impact it in some way. First of all, Levy's leak could somehow work its way in here. Templeton's lies, once found out, could also work their way into how this stuff reads. The bad publicity this will bring is also going to mean somewher something is going to be skewed so the mayor makes it out as unscathed as possible. That file on Daniels is still out there too, and I have a feeling its part isn't over. Finally, McNulty's scene at the train tracks with Freamon seemed to show the guy might even be willing to take the wrap for this if it comes to.

Also, I've wondered, now that Snoop has been killed, and Michael is on the lam, is it possible they could be fingered as the CI? They're dead, who is to say otherwise?

I'm not saying any of these things will pan out in a way where anyone would get off clean, but there are a number of loose ends waiting to come together.

As for Marlo's side, lets say he does get off legally, I think his life as a kingpin would still be over. Snoop is dead and Chris has a murder charge. Even if he hadn't heard about Omar's trash talking, that doesn't mean everyone else has; his reputation is severely tarnished. Plus, with the big arrest, it seems Marlo would be too hot for the Greeks to keep doing business with him.

Where has everyone found out the finale won't be going on demand? Don't they say "see every episode one week early" at the beginning of every intro?

Wallwriting said...

So many people upset with Kima ratting out McNulty seem to claim that the ends justify the means... but what end? This isn't the first time McNulty has broken rules and lied to get a major case file opened or reopened. In fact, that was how the Barksdale crew was taken out. Was Baltimore better off with Barksdale gone and Marlo taking over? With Marlo gone, won't there be someone just as bad, if not worse, to fill his shoes?

The ends McNulty is going for doesn't exist, and the entire point was that he wasn't doing this to reach an end, he was doing this for the sake of ego--so that someone he thinks is beneath him wouldn't win.

And McNulty's actions--which in the end won't make anything better for the city--are clearly hurting people. We've seen it from the parents of one of the victims falling over themselves with guilt to Bunk getting shut out of forensics evidence because of this bogus case.

If you're going to use an "ends justify the means" argument, I'd say that speaks in favor of what Kima did, which is going to do a lot more good than McNulty's fake serial killer case.

Anonymous said...

"Was Baltimore better off with Barksdale gone and Marlo taking over? With Marlo gone, won't there be someone just as bad, if not worse, to fill his shoes?"

If that's your argument, though, then there's no point in policing the drug trade at all. I don't think even David Simon would be that cynical.

Besides which, without Prop Joe around to tutor him, any upcoming crown-wearer isn't going to be around for very long.

"And McNulty's actions--which in the end won't make anything better for the city--are clearly hurting people."

McNulty's actions directly led to the death of Snoop, so that's one notch in the "better" column already.

Anonymous said...

Also:

"If you're going to use an "ends justify the means" argument, I'd say that speaks in favor of what Kima did, which is going to do a lot more good than McNulty's fake serial killer case."

Will you still feel that way if every case that got any jolt from McNulty is smeared because of it? Which is to say, her snitchin' could lead to Chris Partlow being set free, and other known-murderers.

You're saying that, if Marlo falls somebody else takes over, fine; but if Marlo doesn't fall, how does Kima's action acheive any good at all?

Tim Masterson said...

Who is to say that Kima's actions will reach the public, anyway? Is it really impossible to think that Daniels will allow this to be covered up knowing what is at stake?

JZ said...

So many points already made, but you know what made me smile? The pretty woman addict hitting on "Reginald" while he spoke.

"Obliged," Bubbles said, with a twinkle.

Awesome.

Other points:

1. Seeing Namond speaking. Boy has the gift of gab and it's now it's being used for good.
2. No Kenard?
3. Ronnie looked like she was going to smoke McNulty herself.

Dan Jardine said...

The shout out to Dexter was funny.

But I ain't ashamed to admit I cried like a baby during Bubble's speech. I was so afraid for my man Bubs all season long, and to think he's gonna make it fills my hard heart with immeasurable joy.

domino87 said...

Yes, he did. IIRC, Lester has been wearing a wedding ring (at least I noticed one in some eps), so I've assumed they got married at some point in the series.

IIRC Lester was a widower and has worn a ring since the first episode he was in. It may be a different ring then the one he originally wore though.

Actually, what Davis said was that lawyers like Levy won't let them near people like Bell anymore without protection, because of how badly Davis and the other politicians had milked Bell. Levy wasn't part of it.

Really? It was late and I only watched it once but I got a different meaning from that scene. I thought Clay said that the lawyers bring their clients to him and then "get paid on both ends". He goes on to talk about about Bell and says "we bled that motherfucker dry". By we I thought he meant him and Levy. I may be wrong though, I'll have to rewatch.

Questions for David Simon:

1. What had to be cut from S5 when you received the shortened order of episodes?

2. When will you find out if your New Orleans project has gotten the green light?

3. Do you have any other projects in mind if the New Orleans one doesn't get the green light?

4. What is the meaning of the symbolism for the trains and train tracks on The Wire?

Anonymous said...

"Really? It was late and I only watched it once but I got a different meaning from that scene. I thought Clay said that the lawyers bring their clients to him and then "get paid on both ends". He goes on to talk about about Bell and says "we bled that motherfucker dry". By we I thought he meant him and Levy. I may be wrong though, I'll have to rewatch."

It definitely wasn't early when I watched it, but my memory is that he says that Levy does serve up his clients to guys like Davis now, but the trade-off is that they don't get unrestricted access. Davis briefly reminisces about the unrestricted access he and others (Krawcyk, etc., I'd assume) had to Stringer Bell, and how great it was to bleed him dry behind Levy's back.

It fits with the end of season 3, where Levy says, "If you had brought me this sooner, I would've warned you."

dcdame said...

OT, but Wireheads will understand why I'm mentioning it. . . so many elements remind me of the show.

There's a horrific story ongoing in Baltimore right now about a man who killed his 3-y.o. son by throwing him off the Key Bridge (the big bridge that was prominent in Season 2) into the Patapsco River below (where the dead woman was floating in S2 ep1).

There's another article about the crime in today's Sun, and the tail end made me think of McNulty:

When police showed Nelson a picture of the bridge and asked him where he was standing when he threw his son into the water, Nelson pointed to the midpoint of the bridge, according to documents.

Baltimore City has jurisdiction over the case because witnesses reported seeing Nelson's parked car near mile marker 482 on the bridge, which is within city limits.

AccidentalVisitor said...

Kima is simply doing her job though I disagree with her. I can respect her sense of professionalism and her need to do what she feels is right. It can't be easy for her.

Stopper474 said...

in the end, Kima and Snoop are the same.

They are soldiers. There is certainly a moral question for Kima. It serves the greater good, but in the end, is it worth it? What crimes are going unsolved because of the man power shift? What will happen with the fallout? What has been destroyed? This could lead to even greater distrust between police and the public.

In the end, Kima doesn't want to be involved in a freelance operation involving a fake serial killer. LEster and McNulty see the ends justifying the means. Kima doesn't. She doesn't agree with the orders, but she follows them

Snoop doesn't want to kill Michael, but those are her orders. Michael's closer to McNulty. He's not fit to be a soldier, and that all the cops are asked to be. Even the commisioner, he's a soldier for the mayor.

Abe said...

regarding Kima/Snoop and Michael/McNulty. This is broad way to put it, but it has been touched on by Snoop more than once, and I think it applies to Kima's similarity to her, at least in the current season: The "why" doesn't matter, it's just "do". A killer kills, a police enforces the law. M/M can't help but ask "why" - to the point that it seriously threatens life & liberty. Snoop doesn't have to consider why, maybe Kima is tired of considering it?

Holly Martins said...

As to the ends justifying the means... on top of all the other harm it's done (remember the poor disabled homeless guy kidnapped to some random DC shelter?), McNulty and Lester's scheme came THISCLOSE to getting Michael murdered. If that had happened, would there even be any real debate?

If McNulty gets through this -- I'm not sure that he will -- I think he'll be a better person for it. Not that that's exactly a happy ending, but I guess it's something. He's seemed really humbled the last few episodes; he finally took a good long look at himself. He's always been one of my favorite characters and it kills me to see him in such a giant mess, but there's no denying the guy's left a huge trail of destruction in his wake over the years.

Anonymous said...

Ok,
I have one question for people on this? Do you really think Herc foolishly slipped on the wire tap? I know it seems obvious that he's spelling it out for Levy, but Levy IS his boss. He is paid to be a liason for the police. Levy obviously knows there is some form of a wire tap (seeing how he has an inside informant) so Herc can't totally hide it. What do you think? I think Herc did his job and protected his friends as much as possible.

SJ said...

Alan any chance you could provide us with a copy of the finale? ;) I can't wait for nearly 2 more weeks!!

It was nice to see Namond and Colvin. They have shown every character except for Prez.

"Yo mr. C, you even know the mayor??"

Anonymous said...

Alan,
I know you are not going to give spoilers of course and I would not want them. But I gotta know were you happy with the finale? Is it going out as strong as it came in?

Anonymous said...

It just occurred to me while reading the other comments that a) Levy has a snitch in City Hall, and b) Herc's comments raised some red flags with him, so c) since his snitch told him nothing about a wire, Levy is going to have plenty of reason to look quite closely at how the police investigated his client.

Also, I'm not seeing the Kima hate. From where I stand, she spent several weeks getting jerked around by McNulty, pulling her away from real police work to chase phantoms, while McNulty stroked his ego by faking out the bosses and to build a case against Marlo (and she knows him well enough that it's not about cleaning up the streets of Baltimore--it's about proving that he's the smartest guy in the room).

Tim Masterson said...

Anonymous said...
Ok,
I have one question for people on this? Do you really think Herc foolishly slipped on the wire tap? I know it seems obvious that he's spelling it out for Levy, but Levy IS his boss. He is paid to be a liason for the police. Levy obviously knows there is some form of a wire tap (seeing how he has an inside informant) so Herc can't totally hide it. What do you think? I think Herc did his job and protected his friends as much as possible.


This is actually a good point. Herc has no reason to believe that the wire was set up under false pretenses. He has no reason not to tell Levy since he has no reason to think it won't come out eventually. It more like, "They got him with a wire. It's what they do."

However, Herc should have shut up about the phone number.

jjcardis said...

I can't even read Dukie's name (much less type it) without welling up.

I completed my undergrad in 2007 with a writing degree, but the education I've received from The Wire is greater than anything I was taught in school.

These characters and this city will be sorely missed.

The Big Law said...

Ask Simon about the movie that Dominic West mentioned in that interview.

childermass said...

I think Herc foolishly slipped. He read how the police gathered the probable cause for the title III, and it mentioned nothing about a wire tap. Nothing. It mentioned an informant who told them about the phones and the clocks. Since Herc is familiar with making up informants, he should have put 2&2 together here, but he's never been the brightest bulb so it's no surprise.

Also, I think if Freamon is able to get word that Snoop was killed before he gets into hot water, he'll be able to make her the CI. But then, it's marlo word that she didn't know anything about it, combined with Levy's inside person who will likely find out all the dirt know that Kima has spilled it and it won't be enough and Marlo will walk.

Also, here's a good interview with David Simon that explains some of his choices for this season so far:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/114438?from=rss?nav=slate

jjcardis said...

Also...

I feel like all of us who were glad to see Namond would have to be prepared for a change of heart in some hypothetical Season 7 of the show. It strikes me that his character/personality, coupled with his gift of gab, would lead him straight into a position such as that of Clay Davis. Something to speculate on.

Zach Haldeman said...

I feel like all of us who were glad to see Namond would have to be prepared for a change of heart in some hypothetical Season 7 of the show. It strikes me that his character/personality, coupled with his gift of gab, would lead him straight into a position such as that of Clay Davis. Something to speculate on.

The Namond/Clay Davis parallel from last season about taking money from anyone giving it away certainly lends a tiny bit of credence to your theory, but I seriously doubt it. Namond is being brought up by Bunny Colvin, and I'll be damned if Bunny Colvin's gonna raise the next Clay Davis.

domino87 said...

McNulty and Lester's scheme came THISCLOSE to getting Michael murdered. If that had happened, would there even be any real debate?

Yeah, but even if they had obtained the evidence to bust Marlo legitimately, he would have tried to take out Mike since he talked to the cops. The attempted hit on Michael was more because of the game being the game than McNulty and Lester's lie affecting him.

Chip said...

Another line of the week:

"Go down to Walmart or some sh*t and see if they take care of you while you laid up for a while." - Snoop

Chris Metz said...

The one thing from Levy's perspective is, he doesn't know that everything was shut down. The lie Carcetti told the press about how they never went down on the vacant killings investigations appears to be nothing but the truth to everyone, so Levy has no reason to suspect anything funny.

Now, the fact the paperwork and Herc tell two different stories is a different animal altogether.

I had the impression he was selling out the cops in that scene, but it was just from how I interpreted it.


What are personal values worth in a system that is destructive to the ones that serve it?

Anonymous said...

Alan, your blog is the best Wire discussion on the internet, With the show ending, I think the last thing I can hold onto for would be for you to re-cap the excellent first three seasons.

Episode 9 Thoughts:

- Don't think anyone has mentioned this. Both Gus and Snoop use the same line about it "just being their turn", Gus referring to Narese, and Snoop to the person her and Michael are meant to be killing

- It's been mentioned already, but Jamie Hector nailed that scene in the jail. First time Marlo hasn't been completely level headed, and his acting was bang on. I've long thought Hector was underrated on this series, mostly because his character shows little emotion - that's the point. However this scene in the jail had the hairs on the back of my neck standing, it was 3 seasons worth of build-up to hear Marlo loose his cool

- Meant to say this in the ep. 8 thread, but I think one thing that was lost in the shorter episode order is the tension between Chris & Marlo. Watching carefully, the seeds of conflict probably started in the Rim Shop scene in episode 4 of last year. Also, Chris has always been against going at Omar head-on. However, the scene in 59 where Chris is checking out the re-supply, he seems very unhappy. Combine this with the brief scene in 58 where Snoop comforts Chris by assuring him they'd get Omar, leads me to believe there's more to the Partlow storyline that would have been in there with 2 extra episodes.

- Love Lester just staring down Marlo - after everything, he was just happy to see him in cuffs, didn't need to say anything or get in front of news cameras. Unlike Herc, the credit doesn't make him feel any better about it.

_ As someone with a brother, the Bug/Michael scene was very sad. Tristan Wilds was great all episode long, especially the last two scenes

Thoughts on the last Episode (haven't watched the preview)
- The Penultimate episode usually sets things up to be settled in the last. Lots of McNulty/Templeton most likely, because of how much plot there is left with the reaction of their lies.

- Marlo, Cheese & Monk will probably be released. Watching the episode a 2nd time, I realized Levy explained to Marlo that they didn't have a Wire, but learned from an informant where the re-supply was. Since the info did come from a wire, most of this information will be inadmissible.

- How about this: since Bunks DNA test was filed under the homeless killing, will that also be thrown out and thus, the warrant on Partlow dead? He might be able to get another test no problem, but might Partlow be out long enough to do some damage on the street?

Anonymous said...

regarding Kima/Snoop and Michael/McNulty. This is broad way to put it, but it has been touched on by Snoop more than once, and I think it applies to Kima's similarity to her, at least in the current season: The "why" doesn't matter, it's just "do". A killer kills, a police enforces the law. M/M can't help but ask "why" - to the point that it seriously threatens life & liberty. Snoop doesn't have to consider why, maybe Kima is tired of considering it?


I see that parallel as well. Michael is "the McNulty" in Marlo's crew. Always asking questions, second-guessing, challenging authority, the smartest guy in the room, thinks he knows better than the bosses.

I was amused when Michael uttered McNulty's line "What the fuck did I do?" when Carver picked him up. He had that same McNulty expression on his face too.

Snoop/Kima follow orders, respect authority and do as they're told. It irritates them when these Michael/McNulty types make waves.

Michael and McNulty never fit in.

childermass said...

re: anonymous @8:57
yeah, it would inadmissible in that form, that's why the "informant" told them about the phones and why they'll get the title III retroactively to get the information then and build the case that way. That's why it's critically important that it does not come out that the information did not come from the wire. I do think it comes out that it came from a wire, so ultimately, they will be on the street.

@Chris: I don't think Herc was selling the police out as much as validating his role in bringing down Marlo, something he's wanted to do for a long time. He could have said more but he didn't

Anonymous said...

I'm extremely irritated by Dominic West's comments that there will be a "new Omar" and a "new McNulty".

I find that entirely trite and contrived. It's like the audience wants Michael to turn into a stick up kid and condemn him to a miserable life of robbing and murdering drug dealers just so they can feel some sick sense of justice for Omar. If not some "twin", Anthony or Renaldo, then Michael will do. Just as long as the audience can get their vengeance. It doesn't matter the price. Omar must be replaced at all costs. Even if that means cramming another unique complex character into a little Omar box.

Every time I see people yapping about how Michael must be the new Omar because he has a moral code, I feel disgusted! Once again, you are only glorifying this life of violence by viewing Omar as some superhero Robin Hood who must be replaced. It's the same twisted thinking that contributed to Kenard turning into a sociopathic monster.

Seriously, enough of all this "new Omar" talk! Omar is dead. There was only one Omar. That's what makes him Omar. He was one of a kind. The last of a dying breed.

Logan said...

Is there any chance Rhonda is the leak? I can't really see why she would be, but it would certainly seem to be the connection for how Daniels could keep the fake serial killer plot quiet.

Anonymous said...

Another question for people in light of this episode. People are already calling this the best episode in Wire history. Where does it rank? Top 10? Top 5? The penultimate episodes tend to rank high. Can't say where I'd place this one for sure, but I know 3 that would make it for sure:

1. Middle Ground (season 3, ep. 11)
2. Cleaning Up (Season 1, ep. 12)
3. That's Got His Own ( Season 4, 3p. 12)

George Pelecanos on all 3! I wouldn't hesitate to put "late Editions in the top 5. But the season finales have all been excellent. Season 2 had many excellent episodes early on, when you think of how carefully crafted the story was. Episodes 5 and 6 of season 3 were also both excellent.

As for "late Editions", I think why it's resonating so much, is for the first time, the season 5 storyline have emotional pay-off. Regardless of how you viewed the serial killer storyline, these last 2 episodes have been excellent, classic Wire.

Logan said...

To follow up on my prior comment re: Rhonda...last week I said that Daniels couldn't possibly be the leak, since he had control of the evidence, so why would he be telling other people? Well, Rhonda is the one who passed the leaked documents along to Bond, so I gotta assume she has nothing to do with it either.

I still hope somehow the cops walk and the bad guys stay in jail

Anonymous said...

McNulty and Lester's scheme came THISCLOSE to getting Michael murdered. If that had happened, would there even be any real debate?

This is completely wrong - Michael's attempted execution was due to the fact that Chris was arrested for murder (Bunk's warrant) - something which Michael had knowledge about; it had nothing to do with the fake serial killer.

I don't believe that the fake serial killer story will ever reach the (fictional) public - the cops didn't plant evidence to frame anyone. When was the last time you read or heard about police inventing a crime in order to gather real evidence to catch real criminals? It will be dealt with in-house (McNulty and Freamon will likely be fired).

Of course, this doesn't mean that Marlo (and crew) won't get off - but it can't be a coincidence that Freamon has just gotten some insider info about Levy, just as Levy is obviously about to make a move.

Anonymous said...

I think I spotted a goof. The time on the clock in the beginning is 8:50, but Lester tells him to go to square G-10 ... shouldn't 8 be H?

childermass said...

In watching the episode again, I think that Levy makes the connection between Herc and the number as he understands completely that an illegally gotten number can't sustain a wire and a fabricated CI is needed to justify it. Herc, of course, doesn't get this after he tells Levy he has "no idea" where Freamon got the number from, but Levy makes a quick glance at his rolodex.

Anonymous said...

I Dont know if it has been mentioned or is true or is the first time that Omars girl Kim or w/e her name was, was at the meeting with Bubs- sjhe mightve been in a previous ep earlier-iunno. Kima, Landsman, Mcnulty beat the shit out of Byrd in the interrogation room in Season 1 but now she cant with-hold a lie. You got to be kidding-LESTER THE MAN AS ALWAYS. Little bitter we didnt get to see Slim but great writing by Pelecanos- Hes a great writer(who i happen to know)

Patrick said...

For me, "Final Grades" (4x13) is the best episode of the series, followed closely by "Mission Accomplished" (3x12). This episode's definitely up there, certainly top ten, maybe top five, but I don't think it's quite up to those two legends, or 3x11 or 4x12. The thing that made those episodes so great was the relentless emotional onslaught, and I think the comparatively less engaging newspaper storyline kills some of this episode's momentum. It's not that it's bad, it's just that a scene like the trip to Walter Reade or Gus and the guy having breakfast take the intensity down and give you an emotional break that wasn't present in "Final Grades."

But, that's really my only knock on this one, everything else was really amazing, particularly the Michael/Dukie stuff at the end, and the deep pain you still felt in Colvin when he returned.

Anonymous said...

Question for Simon

What was the point of the Nick Sobotka cameo? Are we really to believe he is hanging out on the docks of Baltimore and endangering his wife and little daughter? Seriously, that scene just annoyed me. Vondas and The Greek would have his head. Unless his family is still in witness protection, I don't see Nick being that stupid as to risk their lives.

On a different note. I think Levy said "all the details matter" or something to that effect to Snoop and her limping cohort. That is also a famous Lester line from Season 1.

Anonymous said...

Kima is going down. She snitched on a cop. No matter what her reasons, this is not going to go over well with her fellow cops.
More importantly, the breaking of this case is being touted by the brass, the mayor, and the DA's office as proof of the things that do go right in the city of Baltimore. Kima telling the truth is going to hurt Rawls, Daniels, Bond, Perlman, and Carcetti. While Daniels and Perlman might want to do things the right way, I doubt the rest do. Rawls and Carcetti have eaten too much shit to give up their thrones and their ambitions now. Carcetti threw Kima under the bus to get himself elected mayor, and there is now way he is going to let her derail his gubernatorial campaign. Meanwhile, Bond is still smarting from the Clay Davis disaster. He can't possibly expect to survive an election losing the city's two most high profile cases in years.
That seems like three powerful figures and three powerful institutions for her to take on. Haven't we seen other characters get chewed up and spit out by the institutions they serve when they tried to do the right the thing in the previous season finales?

SJ said...

I have to say season 5 has been the "weakest" one so far. It's still outstanding of course, but everything moved a bit too fast and wasn't as compelling as the previous seasons. Maybe the last episode will change my opinion but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

Uh, that should be no way he lets he derail his gubernatorial campaign, not 'now way.'

Anonymous said...

Definitely, Michael is the next McNulty. In the conversation with Snoop right before he shoots her he asks her, "Why, what did I do wrong?" when she told him Marlo ordered his murder.

She replies, "It's how you carry yourself. Always apart, always asking why - when you should be doing what you're told. You was never one of us, and you never could be." Sound familiar?

He also has the same twisted sense (or lack of sense) of right and wrong, and this moral obliviousness is also leaving a sea of devastated relationships in his wake. Looks like they're both going to be unmoored from the institutions that anchored their lives, I see them both cast adrift and utterly marooned at the conclusion.

Fascinating show on so many levels. Like many, I was disappointed with some aspects of Season 5 but these last two episodes stand up there with the best work of the entire series. Looking forward to the finale, but I'll be very sad to see it all end.

Anonymous said...

If I were Kima, I'd be looking over my shoulder - don't forget, "No good deed goes unpunished."

Anonymous said...

Definitely, Michael is the next McNulty. In the conversation with Snoop right before he shoots her he asks her, "Why, what did I do wrong?" when she told him Marlo ordered his murder.

She replies, "It's how you carry yourself. Always apart, always asking why - when you should be doing what you're told. You was never one of us, and you never could be." Sound familiar?


Snoop sounded like Daniels/Rawls/Landsman in that speech.

I think the series will end with both McNulty and Michael lost and set adrift, if they even make it out alive (which is doubtful).

Anonymous said...

It's amusing that Kima is being derided as a "snitch" when the murder police are always pressuring others to snitch. Like Bunk threatening Randy and Michael. Even going as far as to sau he'll throw Randy in jail. He was pushing them to snitch and laying guilt trips. Now Kima snitches and people are up in arms?

Hypocrite much?

McNulty's illegal activities were jeopardizing the entire police department. He's a dirty cop and his actions were criminal.

Kima, like Carver, did the right thing. She should be commended.

John I said...

Killer episode. The Wire will be sorely missed. When it's gone, at least we can still watch the real thing unfold:

http://tinyurl.com/3y2cnu

(Violent Baltimore drug gang indictment)

-j

holly martins said...

Anonymous said: "This is completely wrong - Michael's attempted execution was due to the fact that Chris was arrested for murder (Bunk's warrant) - something which Michael had knowledge about; it had nothing to do with the fake serial killer."

I didn't get that impression. Chris was arrested based on DNA evidence, and knew it; the cops didn't need anyone to talk. It's when Marlo and his crew are sitting in the holding cell trying to figure out who gave them up on the drug charges that Michael's name comes up -- they think there must be a CI, as the warrants claim, though of course there isn't any. Michael is one of the only major players who wasn't arrested, and suspicion falls on him because of that, and because he's questioned orders in the past -- and yes, he does know about Chris, but that's just part of it. At least that's how I saw the scene.

Obviously there's a long and complicated series of events that led to this moment, but McNulty and Lester's fake case played a big part. Without the fake CI, Michael wouldnt've have been put in that kill-or-be-killed position -- or at least not right then. (We've seen Marlo kill people in the past for just getting taken down to the station, but that doesn't seem to have been the case here).

It's just one of the many unintended consequences of McNulty's crazy, drunken plan, which has been vastly more destructive than he ever imagined.

Anonymous said...

They are a ways up, since the thread from this episode is (rightfully) the most active we have seen all season... but I wanted to respond to a few comments that I very much disagree with.

One commenter mentioned their happiness after the "Dope on the Fucking Table" photo op.
Another comment, responding the the observation that locking up a Marlo changes nothing, suggested that this rather cynical view of the drug trade is not what Simon believes.


This seems ironic, because it is part of one of the least cryptic themes of the wire: Real problems are systemic and do not have simple solutions. Moreover, a "more of the same" approach to drug policy is futile, and that law enforcement is not an effective measure against a social problem such as drug abuse.

One of the aforementioned posters did not believe Simon thought law enforcement is powerless against the drug trade. I completely disagree with this statement, and even though I had always assumed it went without saying, maybe it is a good question for Alan to ask Mr. Simon. (Do you believe law enforcement, even in a magical department with only Shakima Greggs clones working and an adequate budget, can ever make a major dent in the negative effects of the drug trade?)

straight outta silver spring said...

Already 107 comments 24 hours after the on demand airing. I read about 10 comments. Before I go back and read the rest, I wanted to vent my feelings. I apologize in advance because I am sure all of this ground has already been covered, but I have to say something while I still have this pit in my stomach (just finished watching ep9 for the first time 10 minutes ago).

INCREDIBLE Episode.

It was so incredibly exhilirating watching the guys take down Marlo's crew. It felt so good. Such incredible payoff as we've been waiting for this for years.

Just when Jimmy has gained perspective on what he's done, his crazy plan has netted the exact outcome he wanted and then at the same time Kima goes to Daniels.

I'm not ashamed to admit at this moment I fucking hate Kima. I know she did the right thing. But Jimmy's bullshit DID allow the police to do real police work and they did take down a real killer.

Right now, it's amazing, but I feel pretty damn raw. I'm sure I'll get over it, and again, I know Kima did the right thing...

or did she?

Another thing. I realize that the fact that this show has never won any Emmy's is a bit like a badge of honor. This so is too fucking good for any stupid ass emmys.

But gotdammit.

Jamie Hector.

Micheal K. Williams.

Dominic West.

Clark Johnson.

Clarke Peters.

Sonja Sohn.

Seth Gilliam.

Wendell Pierce.

Andre Royo.

Aidan Gillen.

Reg E. Cathey.

Isiah Whitlock Jr.

not to leave out the boys

Tristan Wilds.

Jermaine Crawford.

How can the actors and writers on this show NOT get some fucking love?

so much other incredible stuff to talk about in this episode. I know it's all been covered however so I want to get back to reading it.

Thanks for letting me vent.

Anonymous said...

Great episode, but one thing, Kima is a snitch. No more, no less.

No good deed goes unpunished, McNulty should have let her toil away without cluing her in. He got soft and lost perspective.

If you start something, by God, finish it. Kima was one person too many he told.

Anonymous said...

A few observations:

Although I had never seen this as a fault, through the three seasons we have known him, I have never seem exactly what made Marlo a kingpin while, for example, Chris is an underling. Clearly, Chris had more formal training in weapons and fighting, and from the information we are given, Chris is very much capable of making executive decisions.

The scene with Marlo in prison really changed this for me; finally I could see the leadership, anger, and most importantly the arrogance that all of the leaders of The Wire share: Carcetti, Avon, etc...

Also, I think this season, since it featured Marlo's crew and organization even more prominently than before, really explains better why Marlo had the rent-a-cop from the store killed, and why he had the pathological urge to beat the elder poker players regardless of how much money he lost.

Thats it for now.

Anonymous said...

Kima snitching is McNulty's own fault. He couldn't keep his big mouth shut. He was telling everyone about his plan, handing out overtime and cars, kidnapping a homeless guy, acting reckless and wild. It was only a matter of time before he got busted. Same with Bunny and Hamsterdam. You can't keep a secret that big if you keep announcing it to more and more people!

Kima has a moral code. Everyone needs a code. It defines who you are.

Kima saw how McNulty was corrupting her idea of real police. It was some shameful shit. At the end of the day, McNulty is just a dirty cop and everything he has done is tainted. Kima saw that McNulty was poison and she refused to drink the Kool-Aid.

That moment between Kima and Daniels was powerful. I was so proud of her for speaking out.

Anonymous said...

Kima spilled the beans to save her ass & pension-pure & simple.

Jeremiah said...

David Simon questions:

1. Is there anything in the show that you feel didn't live up to your expectations?

2. If you had decided to do a sixth season and do research into the Latino population influx, how would that have figured into the show overall? A new Latino crime boss to take Marlo's place? Any details you can offer?

3. Will you be putting a blooper reel and Dominic West's infamous audition tape on the season 5 DVD? Deleted scenes? Are there any plans for a complete series box set?

Anonymous said...

We learn early on that Marlo was a known killer. Marlo Black was feared, so I think it's safe to assume he got a big rep when he was young for killin folks.

While watchin the episode the 2nd time I started crackin up when thinkin about what McNulty and Lester did. I don't know what it says about me, but I agree with their actions. Marlo's regime has taken things beyond the expected damage of the drug-trade. Yes, someone will be there to step up and take the crown when Marlo falls that doesn't mean though that it is not worth going after him. The level of violence definately increased under Marlo.

I realize the family of the fake killer will suffer. That is horrible. The cops that are wasting their time is bad too, but as another poster mentioned they are not lockin up innocent people. Lester/Jimmy did it cause they are good police and couldn't allow the system let Marlo walk free.

Alan can you please just say what you thought of the finale. I dont think that is askin too much.

Anonymous said...

On the above post I meant to say how the victims' families would suffer

Chris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Schneid said...

Alan, you are the man, plain and simple. your recaps are always incredibly thought provoking, and the quality of commenters on this blog is top-notch.

I am a 25 year old man not accustomed to shedding a tear but damn if i didn't well up a lil bit during Bubb's speech and Michael/Dukie's last scene. God damn compelling drama.

I can't wait to see what slick Lester does with all that info he got from Clay.

Grat to see at least of the boys get a good send-off and good for Bunny to give Carcetti the Big F-U.

loved Namond's line.

Don't know if i can wait two weeks!

Chris said...

Questions for Mr. Simon:
1) I agree with the prior post that the pacing seems to have been considerably faster than other seasons (though my mind could be playing tricks on me because it has been a while since I've seen the prior seasons). If you had your choice, would you have wanted to use more episodes to tell the story of the final season?
2) What I've gotten as the biggest lesson from the Wire is that the system - the institutions and the culture that is a part of it - crush the idealistic and well-intentioned. I'd be curious to know if the steady degradation of Carcetti from wild-eyed optimist to typical politician is the same kind of fate he might expect to befall Barack Obama, were he to become president and assuming that he is as optimistic as his campaign paints him to be. Does Mr. Simon believe anyone can truly galvanize large institutions the way that Obama's fans hope he can? Or does he believe that without a groundswell social movement (like the civil rights movement), no one individual can truly transcend the system?
3) About what point during the writing of the final season did Mr. Simon realize how he would resolve the storylines of the major characters, especially McNulty, Marlo, Omar, Michael and Bubbles (Reginald!)? Were these all sketched out at the beginning of writing this final season, or did the fates of these characters resolve themselves in Mr. Simon's head during the writing of episodes this season? I'd be especially curious to know if there were any particular triggers or reasons why he resolved certain character's storylines the way he did.

I've watched a LOT of TV over my lifetime (a comfortable substitute over having a life). The Wire has been the greatest television show I have ever seen in my life.

Daniel said...

I didn't think it could get any better than Episode 8. Nine topped it. Just an indescribable experience, filled with the most achingly beautiful moments of the entire series.

I was basically immobile and held breathless through three scenes -- Bubs' speech, and the tearful goodbyes between Michael and Bugs' and between Dukie and Michael.

This was an intense episode, but I was struck by how the power of the scenes mostly stemmed from the silence between the characters' words. That silence allowed you to focus on one character at a time and channel whatever emotions they were feeling -- Bubs, Dukie, Michael, even Bugs. Of course, it helps that the roles were so powerfully acted.

My favorite moment, or at least the one that affected me most: The final scene with Dukie and Michael, when Dukie tries to share a memory from a "summer day past" that he cherishes, one that involved the boys when they were younger.

When Michael tells Dukie he didn't remember that day, it was painfully moving and telling, because it revealed the brutal truth about Michael -- that he was in too deep, that there was no turning back for him. Or as he tells Dukie, he's "too hot."

The moment was flawlessly positioned.

A couple of scenes earlier, in Bubs' speech, he talked about a fond memory of his, a point in his life when he felt good. He says he yearned to feel that way again. He goes on to talk about a time when he was alone and had nobody to turn to, and how he refused to get high that day because he knew if he did, he couldn't get that good feeling he'd been yearning for in his daydreams.

It occurred to me that this pleasant memory that kept Bubs from re-entering the dark side is something that Michael now lacks. He no longer has memories of when he felt good, and because he doesn't, he has no motive to turn away from evil, as Bubs did.

In Bubs' scene, we witnessed a cleansing. It was the opposite in Michael's scene -- we witnessed somebody who can't remove the dirt from his life.

Just..... horrible.

As with other episodes in The Wire, though, behind the harsh, depressing moments, there were a couple of scenes that really, really made me laugh out loud.

Scott: "The Dickensian aspect."
Whiting: "Exactly!"

The way Whiting's face lit up just killed me.

Cop: "This fucking guy stinks."
McNulty: "He probably evacuated."
Cop: "What, he left and he came back?"
McNulty: "No, he shit himself."

This exchange totally caught me off guard and had me rolling. For those who remember, this was a play off a scene in which Alma reports that 20 people were evacuated from a building. She's told by an editor that her usage of the word "evacuate" is incorrect. Buildings are evacuated. If a person is evacuated, he would be getting an enema.

As usual, The Wire rewards the viewers who pay attention.

jiggga said...

A Couple of things

Clay Davis and Levy are most certainly working together. Davis told Freeman that Levy "Only let you rob one of his customers so much" before he steps in and schools his clients. That's the way the lawyers make money on both ends of the scam. It really puts his meet with Stringer from season 3 in perspective. While we all knew Clay Davis was screwing him, it turns out his own lawyer had knowningly allowed it to happen.

The reason I think Kima is getting such a hard time is because she didn't follow the appropiate code when she told on McNulty. We all can agree that what McNulty was doing was wrong and that a reasonable person might expose the situation. Kima, the cop who wouldn't identify the thug who shot her because she didn't see him, is such a person. The problem is that she didn't talk to McNulty first. She's not an outsider to the situation, she is a close friend and equal of McNulty. Therefore, after expressing her displeasure at the situation, she should have at least notified him of her intentions first and encouraged McNulty to confess first before she did. While its obvious that she's been distraught over what to do about the situation, the fact that she can't giver her friend and coworker the courtesy of a heads up before is what I didn't like. That's the difference between her and Bunk (Carv's situation was not necessarily the same because he was a superior officer). Some situations are sp dire that they call for immediate action, and while reasonable people can disagree, I don't think it was necessary for Kima "do" McNulty without at least first giving him the chance to redeem himself.

Mrglass said...

RIP Snoop. For some reason, one of my favorite characters.

Do we really need all those "shout outs"? The scene with Bunny and Namond didn't bring much, we already knew Namond would be fine at the end of season 4.

Another great and sad episode nonetheless. Really can't wait for the finale.

Only one question for David Simon:
is he going to make another TV series after The Wire?

Mrglass said...

And I really wonder about all those positive comments for Michael: do you think Marlo, Chris, Snoop, Avon etc... all had perfect childhoods? David Simon is showing us yet another killer in the making, there is no reason to cheer on him.

Anonymous said...

holly martins said: I didn't get that impression. Chris was arrested based on DNA evidence, and knew it; the cops didn't need anyone to talk. It's when Marlo and his crew are sitting in the holding cell trying to figure out who gave them up on the drug charges that Michael's name comes up -- they think there must be a CI, as the warrants claim, though of course there isn't any...It's just one of the many unintended consequences of McNulty's crazy, drunken plan, which has been vastly more destructive than he ever imagined.

Holly, you're ABSOLUTELY wrong - you're projecting - go back and watch the episode again. When they read Chris' murder warrant it says 'from information received', and they try to guess who gave that information (it was Chris' mom). Marlo says 'only of us people who knew about the deed (the murder) was us right here.' Then they throw out the names of the only other 2 that knew: Snoop and Michael.

Also, when Michael asks Snoop why they wanted to kill him, she says 'Chris locked up behind somethin' he done for you, and you downtown with the police.'

There's no doubt about it - the hit was because of the murder charge - nothing to do with the drug arrests. How could it? Michael didn't know about the clock code or the resupply date/time - and that was what the fake C.I. was supposed to have told the police.

Anonymous said...

Holly, one last thing to add to my comment above:

In fact, Michael WAS responsible (but not in the way that Marlo and crew suspect) for Chris' arrest. He made the mistake of telling his mom that Bug's dad wouldn't ever be coming home - before they heard he was murdered.

This lead his mom to understand he had knowledge/complicity in the murder, and lead to her statements to Bunk about who he hung out with (Chris, etc), which lead to the DNA comparison.

So in fact, Michael inadvertently gave up Chris.

Anonymous said...

So in fact, Michael inadvertently gave up Chris.

...which lead to his undoing (the end of his days in the Marlo crew). So Michael was ultimately responsible for his own 'expulsion'.

Pretty much exactly as is happening to McNulty...

Dan said...

Logan - re: Ronnie being the courthouse leak.

I have been thinking about this episode and this show in general pretty much non-stop since I watched ep. 9 Monday at midnight. Last night I thought the same thing about Ronnie.

What if Ronnie is the leak and Lester finds out before Daniels and Ronnie can go public about the fake serial killer. Or even after they tell some people, but before it gets to the media. Lester can "blackmail" Ronnie into keeping her mouth shut. Or even better, what if Lester gets tipped off about Daniels' secret file?

I think both of those situations are plausible and would fit in nicely with "the bigger the lie, the harder they fall." Both Daniels and Ronnie's "lies" in that case would be worse than McNulty/Lester's....in my opinion.

Lem said...

@Alan:

Some questions for The Man:

- What's with Omar's DOB being 1960 at the end of the 5.08?
- What's with Omar not limping when he buys his newpowts?
- How did the idea of the 6-story jump came in the writing room?


And also, maybe more importantly, we want to know what he thinks of the idea of the prequel movie that W. Pierce talked about? We want a real, definitive answer on that, a yes or a no! :p

Thanks.

fuzzydunlop said...

lem, just in case Simon doesn't answer your question about the six-story jump, this is what Michael K. Williams said about it in a New York magazine interview:

"That actually really happened. Omar’s character is based on a brother named Donnie Andrews. [On The Wire, the real-life Andrews played] the gentleman that got shot and killed in that apartment with Omar. I said, 'Donnie, man, what happened that night? What was going through your mind to jump through the window?' He said, 'Michael, I wasn’t thinking. There was no time to think. I was just trying to escape some hot ones.' Your partner just got murdered. You got people gunning at you. And there’s an open window? What are you going to do?"

http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2008/02/michael_k_williams_of_the_wire.html

fuzzydunlop said...

el_k_williams_of_the_wire.html

(second half of the link from above).

Anonymous said...

Wow!

What an amazing, amazing episode! I would have to say that is quite possibly the best episode of the entire series. Some thoughts, and my apologies if I repeat what has already been said:

-The sequence when taking down Marlo's operation was very intense. Edge of my seat the entire time. Reminiscent of season 3 when they get ready to take down Avon's safe house while Slim and company are sitting on Marlo at the rim shop. Two of the best sequences of the series.

-I really hate Kima for snitching, mostly b/c the plan, amazingly, worked out just as Jimmy and Lester had hoped. They got the resources they needed and actually got Marlo, even solving one of the 22 murders in the process. I also have much more hope for Jimmy to get away with it now that his plan has come to fruition. (more on that)

-Gut-wrenching scenes from Bubs, and Michael/Dukie.

-Thought Snoop overplayed her hand a little much and made it a little too easy for Michael to figure out what was going on. I guess that is a product of them thinking he was just a kid and would never entertain the thought of taking out one of the higher ups.



Predictions:

-I think Jimmy gets away with the whole thing. We've seen Carcetti reveal himself as more and more slimy in this season, and only concerned with getting to the state-house. We have also seen a constant theme of the number-two and three men protecting their leaders by keeping them ignorant to what is really going on. (see Chris and Snoop not telling Marlo about Omar's slandering) I think it is totally plausible that we have Daniels and Rawls take this to one of Carcetti's advisors (probably not Norman, but the other guy) and he realizes how much this will hurt the mayor and instructs the police brass to sweep it under the rug. They are then forced to not take action against McNulty as he can always blow the lid off the entire thing.
And wouldn't it be just great to see the series end with some foreshadowing of McNulty actually moving up the chain as a result of the massive amount of dirt he has on the entire department and the mayor--which was all created by him int he first place?

Anonymous said...

"But Jimmy's bullshit DID allow the police to do real police work and they did take down a real killer. "

It also led to Jimmy being blackmailed by that lazy, no-good Barlow into giving him a free trip to play golf at Hilton Head. It led to Bunk's ACTUAL lead on Chris Partlow being neglected to pursue fake homicides that weren't, and to Kima being taken off a triple homicide to make a totally unnecessary trip to Quantico.

So it's not purely "the common good" being served by Lester and Jimmy here (plus, I suspect that Levy would have, thanks to Herc, caught onto the wiretap ANYWAY, which means that all the money that Jimmy got to pour into that will have been wasted when Marlo gets off, regardless of what Kima did.)

Kima did the right thing - a man (or a woman!) got to have a code, and Jimmy and Lester crossed an uncrossable line in their eagerness to "win", to "beat" Marlo. They (especially Jimmy!) don't care about whether someone worse will replace Marlo or what happens with the drug trade - they care about not letting him "beat" them, and that's not about being good police at all.

theblankscreen said...

A question for David Simon

Does he know if George Pelecanos going to be involved in any more TV projects?

Terry

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to comment on Marlo's line "my name is my name". It recalled Vondas towards the end of Season 2 "my name is not my name", showing the difference between them. The Greeks probably already regret hitching their wagon to Marlo; I wouldn't be surprised at all if they have him killed before the end.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, great call, anonymous at 10:45 a.m.! And I think even if Marlo ends up back on the streets (which it sounds like they are setting up because of Herc's blurting out the thing about the wiretap to Levy), he's probably going to have a lot of problems with the Greeks now - do they want to do business with him any more after this? Prop Joe seems much more like their kind of guy - no publicity, everything very quiet and businesslike.

sphalen said...

Wow. The ending of that episode from Michael killing Snoop to him leaving Dukie, god damn. I've never felt anything so emotional on screen. There have been plenty of amazing Wire episodes, but this one hit me harder than all of them. Just an amazing hour of film from start to finish. Thank you David Simon.

I've seen a lot of comments that have criticized Kima. I think what really put her over the edge was when she was interviewing the families. She saw that McNulty's plan caused real pain. It's like what Carver saw with Herc's fuck up, "It all matters." Then when you think about him abducting a homless fellow and other unintended consequences like Michael becoming a marked man because of a phony CI, McNulty may have done some good by getting Marlo locked up, but he also caused a lot of pain. In the end, does it even matter if Marlo is locked up? It just paves the way for the next drug kingpin.

I don't think McNulty is really going to be all that mad about being ratted out. I think he'll ultimately be relieved.

Predictions for the final episode: I believe Daniels will tell Rawls about the phony serial killer and they'll bring it to the mayor. However, I can't see Carcetti doing anything other than trying to bury it. If this was to get out, his gubenatorial bid will be done. He has consistently shown that he values becoming governor over everything else and it seems like it would be inconsistent for him to own up to this. Anyway, I believe that once that happens Daniels will retire. There's no way he'll want to be commissioner if it means dealing with this bs.

Austin said...

Two crazy predictions:

1. Rawls is the leak. Through investigating him on this, his homosexuality is exposed, and he is fired from the squad. They have foreshadowed Rawls and his sexuality (remember when Daniels took over his desk and got that call from a random dude and told him they had the old number?) since outing him in the gay bar, and I can't imagine they'd leave it out in the finale.

2. If Marlo goes down, it's at the order of Avon Barksdale, and Brother Mozune is the killer. At this point, the cops can't get Marlo, Omar didn't get him, if he is to fall, wouldn't Avon be the best one to put him out? Only Slim Charles would be an alright decision based on the fact that Marlo took down both of Slim's bosses, or possibly Michael on the run playing defensively. Still, a Barksdale/Mozune clipping would be the coolest thing ever

Jordan Ginsberg said...

Re: Rawls's sexuality,

I'd be surprised if that were used against him. That aspect of his character always struck me as more to do with explaining why he is the way he is -- i.e. self-loathing and subsequent mistreatment of others -- rather than something that will come back to bite him in the ass.

(His provclivity for "kinky shit" notwithstanding.)

Anonymous said...

"Clay Davis and Levy are most certainly working together. Davis told Freeman that Levy "Only let you rob one of his customers so much" before he steps in and schools his clients. That's the way the lawyers make money on both ends of the scam. It really puts his meet with Stringer from season 3 in perspective. While we all knew Clay Davis was screwing him, it turns out his own lawyer had knowningly allowed it to happen."

jiggga - watch the scene again, you missed a key line. Clay Davis says that he (and the others) were able to milk Stringer Bell dry because they convinced him to stop running things by Levy.

He says that Levy brings clients to them, but only lets them get a taste, but that they got around him with Bell.

Logan said...

I don't think we'll ever hear about Rawls' sexuality again, even though we all want to (like the Russian in the Pine Barrens).

Also, I don't know everything about how the courts work, but wouldn't there still need to be an actual leak from within the court system? Police officers, even the acting commissioner, wouldn't have access to sealed grand jury indictments, correct?

Anonymous said...

Argh, I love the Wire but it frustrates me so much! On a micro level, why can't Dukie just turn to Cutty or Prezbo for help? Why would someone as smart and wise as Prop Joe not foresee/suspect Marlo's ultimate goals and take steps to hinder him? I agree that Rawls is probably the leak. He puts his own survival/ambitions above anything, especially police work and it isn't much of a stretch for someone in Prop Joe's camp to happen upon Rawls in a gay bar much like Mouzzone's assistant did many episodes ago. Why would the Greeks ever allow their reliable trustworthy "customer connect" to fall to the unstable unknown young Marlo? Don't the Greeks value steady income? Why wouldn't Omar simply hire Mouzzone to assist him. He definitely had enough money. It makes no sense...
I guess part of the Wire's main theme is that all the individuals have tragic flaws that they cannot escape that ultimately do them in, much like Oedipus Rex...

Omar- need for revenge
Prop Joe- unwavering fidelity to family
McNulty- need to catch the elusive great whale
Marlo- lust for power
The list goes on and on. Institutions don't destroy people. Individuals' unwillingness to recognize and correct their flaws does.
All the characters (except the children who weren't mature to correct their own flaws) who changed themselves have managed to escape ruin- Carver, Kima, Poot, Cutty, etc.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, Oedipus Rex was about people not being able to escape their fate, the play has nothing to do with tragic flaws

childermass said...

re: Levy and Senator Davis. They did not work together on Bell. Davis says during the meeting with Freamon that he worked around Levy and bled Bell dry.

Lem said...

Thanks fuzzydunlop, knowing that makes the scene even more stronger.

dix said...

Someone further upthread complained about all the shout-outs but wouldn't you just love to see Namond's mom working a fryolator somewhere? Or Wee-bey. He might be a stone cold killer but he's our stone cold killer.

One part that got me during Bubbles' speech is when he glanced at the door hoping to see his sister then choked up a bit when she wasn't there.

Anonymous said...

I guess part of the Wire's main theme is that all the individuals have tragic flaws that they cannot escape that ultimately do them in, much like Oedipus Rex...

Omar- need for revenge
Prop Joe- unwavering fidelity to family
McNulty- need to catch the elusive great whale
Marlo- lust for power
The list goes on and on. Institutions don't destroy people. Individuals' unwillingness to recognize and correct their flaws does.

All the characters (except the children who weren't mature to correct their own flaws) who changed themselves have managed to escape ruin- Carver, Kima, Poot, Cutty, etc.



Good point. Sometimes we overlook that people CAN and DO change. Carver, Kima, Poot and Carver - they give us hope.

It is possible to leave the game. It comes down to their strength as individuals to make that choice to change. Carver and Kima learned from past mistakes and evolved for the better.

Cutty and Poot made the conscious decision to not play the game anymore. Cutty didn't go back for revenge on Fruit. Poot didn't go back for revenge on Bodie. That's the difference between them and Omar. He allowed the thirst for vengeance to destroy him. Omar saw himself as a martyr.

My hope lies now in the children. They are lost and immature - not fully formed yet struggling to survive and grow up. What choices will they make as adults? I wish David Simon had spent more time exploring this issue rather than that gratuitous newsroom story.

Anonymous said...

"Why wouldn't Omar simply hire Mouzzone to assist him. He definitely had enough money."

I wanted that as much as anybody, but you have to realize -- Omar had no way of contacting Mouzone, and Mouzone would have no reason that we know of to take the job.

If the Greeks hire Brother Mouzone, that wouldn't be too much of a stretch, I don't think.

Toby said...

My favorite moment, or at least the one that affected me most: The final scene with Dukie and Michael, when Dukie tries to share a memory from a "summer day past" that he cherishes, one that involved the boys when they were younger.

I'm pretty sure he said a "day summer past," i.e. just two summers ago. Mike turned into Michael that quickly.

Toby said...

Davis told Freeman that Levy "Only let you rob one of his customers so much" before he steps in and schools his clients... While we all knew Clay Davis was screwing him, it turns out [Stringer's] own lawyer had knowningly allowed it to happen.

No! That was Clay Davis' whole point - once you get past the lawyer, you can really pimp the dealers. Once Clay got past Levy, Stringer was his to manipulate.

Anonymous said...

The moment when Marlo stopped being the calm, under control kingpin and let loose his rage was mesmerising. Some good acting there!
I stand by Kima and her decision, McNulty had built a house of cards so tall that when it comes down it would leave devastation in its wake - and it would come down. Better to stop it dead and let the damage limitation get started.

Herc on the other hand is dead to me.

Anonymous said...

"Argh, I love the Wire but it frustrates me so much!"
It's always good to remember that carachters only know what they know.

"On a micro level, why can't Dukie just turn to Cutty or Prezbo for help?"

First as bright as he might be he is just a teen and what he sees is that the junkman gives him work, so he is someone he can trust. And what can he expect from Cutty or Prez? Cutty might let him sleep in the coach or a few days, but that would be it. Cutty and Prez would have to give him to social services sooner or later and that is not something Dukie wants.

"Why would someone as smart and wise as Prop Joe not foresee/suspect Marlo's ultimate goals and take steps to hinder him?"

Because he didn't had any of the info that we had and he didn't have the benefit of dramatic shape that gave up how everything Marlo was learning from him was preparing the terrain for Marlo to make a move.

"Why wouldn't Omar simply hire Mouzzone to assist him. He definitely had enough money."

Why would him? Omar wants to take down Marlo, hiring an outsider to help would go against his style.(And on a more meta-level I doubt the writes would want to repeat themselves by hook up Omar and Mouzone again).

Jay said...

There's only one person I can think of who makes sense as the leak: Judge Phelan. I don't see anybody who is in the position of influence and stature, who's also shown himself to be open to breaking the rules.

It'd a great bookend to him being the place where McNulty started in s1e1.

Anonymous said...

Jay said... There's only one person I can think of who makes sense as the leak: Judge Phelan. I don't see anybody who is in the position of influence and stature, who's also shown himself to be open to breaking the rules. It'd a great bookend to him being the place where McNulty started in s1e1.

Good point. Plus, they just showed the judge asking Ronnie to pick up a check recently (showing that he's open to a little massaging) - much like Clay Davis.

Anonymous said...

Best episode thus far of the season. Every scene was important. Much like Marlo's brevity with words, Simon & Co. do not waste any time telling their stories.

Several parallels have been made between characters. One that I haven't heard, but that jumped out at me watching OD, was between Monk and Michael. Early on in S4 Marlo sends Monk over to the corner boys with a wad of cash, to give to the hoppers for "new clothes 'n sh*t" for the first day of school, and adds "can't have you lookin' all raggedy on the first day." Michael ends up refusing Marlo's money, and earns his respect...Michael leaves Bug on his Aunt's doorstep with a shoebox full of blood money, and tells him to have her buy him some 'fresh things' and can't have him lookin' all...and then he stops himself. I wonder if he remembered these same words from Monk, and if it was just too much to bear to finish.

Either way, such a heartbreakingly honest episode. I am really going to miss these characters who have come to mean so much.

driches said...

That is a nice parallel, Anonymous 3:42pm. Good catch.

Another parallel that I imagine has been mentioned but just occurred to me is that McNulty this season is taking non-homicide deaths and turning them into strangulations. The same thing he did with D'Angelo's murder in season 2.

Anonymous said...

i read on another blog and i've seen it here as well; kima bashing. for ratting out mc nutty and freemon? that is crazy!!! she has taken one for the team. remember?? she did not collect a pension and retire. she went back to work. she has shown professionalism in every moment of this show. why pollute her character with mc nutty's crazy scheme...which in the end we know are all about him and only him, not fighting crime. nuff said here.

marlo enraged? you gotta love that. he is simply 100% badass. when he said he's step to omar you gotta believe he would have. remember when omar put a gun to his head, how calm he was. he'll tell anyone in the coop (hardened drug dealers mind you) to shut the f* up to their face? wow. he's got ice in his veins. i'm a believer.

so happy chris and snoop will not see brighter days. their loyalty to marlo... kill without a second thoought has to come back on them. at least she took death with dignity. like prop joe as well.

not sure if this was discuss in past threads but did anyone notice marlo was not limping moments before he was killed?

i'd like to see wee-bay and avon, and brother mouzone one more time. they helped get this show off to the great start it had.

hope dukie makes is out of this hell. he deserves better.

childermass said...

I've been thinking about it being Phelan. He did come from the prosecutor's office originally, and that's where the leak is supposedly from, so he's obviously still got connections if he wants them. However, that doesn't jibe with him wanting to take down drug towers. However, we've been introduced to so few people from that section that if it's going to be anyone we already know, it's only going to be one of a few people.

Anonymous said...

childermass said...I've been thinking about it being Phelan. He did come from the prosecutor's office originally, and that's where the leak is supposedly from, so he's obviously still got connections if he wants them. However, that doesn't jibe with him wanting to take down drug towers.

Well, I hope it's not him, because I like him. But there is some circumstantial stuff (wasn't he dropped from his party ticket in one season - then somehow made his back on?) involving him 'bending' the rules slightly. Plus, you have to imagine, the more wiretaps, etc, that he signs - the more sealed indictments, etc, he might sell.

Anonymous said...

"Omar had no way of contacting Mouzone, and Mouzone would have no reason that we know of to take the job."

Exactly! I keep seeing this idea that Brother Mouzone is going to come back to kill Marlo - for what? He's a professional assassin - he comes in because he's PAID to do a job. The only reason he came back to help Omar kill Stringer was because Stringer had tried to set him up to be killed and Brother Mouzone didn't like that one little bit.

He has no animus against Marlo - it's not like he and Omar were best buds or something - so I see no reason, unless someone paid him, for him to return. And who would pay him at this point? The Greeks? Why? What would they get out of it?

Anonymous said...

"Plus, they just showed the judge asking Ronnie to pick up a check recently (showing that he's open to a little massaging) - much like Clay Davis."

Of all the things Phelan did, that one is not immoral or illegal. It's pretty standard -- they took a lunch meeting with him to get him to sign the amended wiretap papers and, because they called the meeting, they pay for the lunch. I wouldn't think that Ronnie paid for it herself -- at her level, she's got to have a credit card to cover business-related expenses.

Anonymous said...

I'm sticking with my Ilene Nathan theory. She proved earlier that she was willing to turn her back on small crimes perpetrated by Omar in exchange for information. It's possible that Joe was giving her information in exchange for the information she gave him, much like the FBI agent with the Greeks.

She makes more sense to me than Phelan (who wouldn't have the access and was not in any way responsible for sending people after Barksdale), or any other name i've heard. People have said Daniels, related to his "days in the Eastern" folder, but I don't see why he would pass it along if he were the leak (ditto Ronnie).

Truth is, it's probably some low-level nobody, same as Rawls's source in City Hall, same as Burrell's source in Major Crimes, etc.

Anonymous said...

I don´t understand how some of you guys can be so down on Kima. By the end of this episode - hell, by the end of last episode - even freaking McNulty would agree with what she did. He did some shameful shit and deserves to be punished – it's that simple. And it's the only way things can get better, in the long run.

That said, good Marlo's in jail. At least for now.

Tim Masterson said...

The leak is going to be somebody's cousin's boyfriend who works filing papers somewhere. It's going to reiterate that everything is connected.

Cagey said...

Just finished all 160 comments. whew.

Thanks for hosting such a discussion, Alan. I always say that a blog is only as good as its commenters. Kudos to you for having such a great core set of commenters.

One thing about the Lester/Clay Davis conversation - I think most folks got it right. Yes - Levy/Davis were initially on it together with the milking of Bell. But then, Davis said that Bell began sidestepping Levy (presumably to save on Levy's fees) and Davis pretty much cackled at how they were then able to milk Bell for even more. Davis commented on how pissed off Levy was about that.

Ben Guest said...

Question that I don't think has been addressed yet. When Michael drops Dukie off he says something like, "Do you know what they do there?" Is he referring to shooting up, or something more sinister like paying boys for sex?

Anonymous said...

I think he means the drugs.

If I recall correctly Bubs consulted with those guys last season about the best way to make a hot shot.

Anonymous said...

Mike was talking about drugs.
If my memory servers me right, those arabers are the same men Bubs talked to when he wanted to find a way to kill that asshole in season 4.

Anonymous said...

"When Michael drops Dukie off he says something like, "Do you know what they do there?""

Michael is *really* pissed off there. I think the read-between-the-lines is, "Of all people, you and I both have the same reason to hate drug addicts like this, so I can't believe you're even considering this."

It's the difference between the two -- Dukie has always taken whatever he's given and lived essentially on hand-outs, where Michael never would.

One thing I noticed in that scene -- Dukie misremembers. It was Namond who bought him the ice cream, not Michael. (I think that Namond bought Michael an ice cream too, in fact, one of the only times anybody gives Michael anything.)

Filipe said...

You and Dukie are both right. Namond bought it, but Michael forced him to pay ice cream for Dukie too.

Anonymous said...

if there was ever a time for the coop or barksdale crew to take back the streets from marlo it's now.

snoop, chris, micheal, and the young'un (the kid that got shot by omar, now on crutches) are all out of the game. also, omoar proved that marlo's team is not untouchable.

also the russians should be pissed at marlo for getting their guys lokced up and putting their operation at risk.

i will ask again? in omar's final scene did anyone notice he was not limping at all? i heard he did that on purpose as he as angered at having to be taken out by that pipsqeak kid.

if cheese catches a bullet in the end i'd be a happy man.

amanda said...

(1) Personally, I think Mike did remember about the piss balloons. I think he is forcing himself to throw away the last vestiges of his childhood (including Dukie and Bug), for his own sake as well as theirs.

(2) The epigraph "Deserve got nothing to do with it" (I apologize if I got it wrong)sums up the ethos of The Wire pretty well for me. I've seen people elsewhere complaining about the other kids being more deserving than Namond of being taken off the streets and nurtured, but they've got it wrong. It's not that Namond doesn't deserve it, it's that they all deserve it. No one deserves not to be born into an intact, functional, loving family. And the thing is, if we didn't know the kids, and if we came into the story at this point, we might look at them and think that Namond is a good kid because he works hard at school and behaves and that Michael isn't, because he's a killer, or that Dukie isn't because he dropped out, or whatever.

I guess what it's saying to me is that it's easy to look at people and see the outcome and maybe work back from that and impute something about their character and what they deserve...Especially when you don't know them or their life. It's easy to see that homeless person and figure that they fucked up something to get that way, or whatever. Well, I love this show because it challenges that view.

Jay said...

The other throwaway bit I loved was Zorzi during Carcetti's press conference lisping "Oh, you are SO butch."

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but I don't get the anger at Kima for going to Daniels. It seems to me that the same people who decry this No Snitchin' mindset among criminals and the poor people who are witnesses to and usually the victims of their crimes are suddenly hating on Kima for actually having a code of ethics. Isn't everyone always going on and on about how great Omar is because he had a code? Is no one else supposed to have one? Yeah, it would have been nicer of the cops had closed rank and not said a word, but then, the Blue Wall of Silence is a knife that cuts both ways. And it seems to me, you cant have it both ways.

Also, considering that Herc, who if you're going to be pissed at someone for shooting his mouth off is Public Enemy Number 1,clued Levy in to the bad supeona for a wire tap that will probably end up getting the whole case thrown out, the whole plan was going to blow up in McNulty''s face anyway. Even he saw there was no way out, as people were still pushing him to close his red ball.

Instead of hating on Kima, I'm asking myself what the hell Herc has been playing at. Was he pissed his former colleagues mad a huge bust after he got drummed out of the force? Was he afraid that with Marlo (and his big legal fees) no longer in play he'd no longer be needed working for Levy? Whatever it was, Herc.....that guy.....HATE.

dronkmunk said...

Did anyone see Rawl's effeminate finger snap while he was talking to the mayor? Very well played by Mr. Doman.

Anonymous said...

Re: Kima. It's not like she went to Rawls or Carcetti's office with this information. She went to Daniels, thinking that he might be able to pre-emptively deal with the fallout from McNulty's scheme before it completely destroys the Marlo case, the department, and everybody even remotely involved. She seems like she's actually learned from the mistakes of seasons past. If anyone here thought that McNulty's scheme would have worked if not for Kima, then you haven't been paying attention to The Wire.

Joel

Anonymous said...

Saw this down here in Philly. REALLY interesting sounding.

Any 'Wire' fans need a laugh?

The theme to comedian Gregg Gethard's next "Bedtime Stories," the monthly sketch comedy show he hosts, is all about HBO's "The Wire," which has only two episodes left, or one if you're ahead by watching them On-Demand. The show is a fundraiser for Project H.O.M.E., which works with the city's homeless. That's a good tie-in as "The Wire" has been dealing with the homeless itself this season. "Way Down in the Hole: A Comedy Tribute to the Wire" is 8 p.m. March 5 at the Shubin Theater (4th & Bainbridge). Tickets are $5. For info, write gregg_gethard@yahoo.com.

Anonymous said...

Lest we forget, Jimmy McNulty is one of the biggest back-stabbing snitches on the department. He always pulls rank and leaks information to Judge Phelan or his FBI buddy to get what he wants.

Daniel said...

I always thought Snoop was plain annoying, but I have to hand it to her -- the way she went out was pretty damn impressive. Her attitude toward life and death remained unchanged even when she was the one being got.

I'm very curious to know what experiences made characters like Snoop and Marlo and Chris the way they are. Given the way Snoop died, and how Marlo whispered those words to Prop Joe before killing him, it's obvious to me that they're tragic figures who've been f**ked over a hundred times over in the past. I'm even more convinced that if The Wire had been set 15 or so years earlier, we might be viewing Snoop and Marlo the way we view Michael now.

Anonymous said...

Alan, when you talk to David Simon, ask him please about how he feels about the outpouring of grief for Omar that I've been seeing all over the Internet and the media. I must have seen at least 5-10 real-life obituaries (one in Newsweek) for a character who didn't get an obit in the paper in the fictional world.

McKingford said...

I guess when David Simon said one of the characters would get through the series with their moral centre intact, he was talking about Kima. I've just finished rewatching Season 1, and her refusal to fudge on Id'ing Wee-Bay is a pretty close parallel with her disclosing the fake serial killer. (and, btw, she would have learned about Carver writing up Colicchio because it's the kind of incident that would have got around the cop grapevine pretty quick).

So this pretty clearly torpedoes Marlo's prosecution. The probable cause was obtained off the illegal wire, and without that p/c there's no basis to arrest and seize the phones. I can't see how this doesn't get disclosed to Levy; you have to figure that Daniels has to come clean (knowing Kima will disclose again, otherwise). Not to mention, Ronnie has an ethical obligation to disclose this information to the defence.

One thing I didn't understand was the need to reference an informant for the arrest of Partlow for murder. His DNA came back a match - simple as that; no informant is necessary. The fact that the testing may have been prioritized because of the serial killer is of no moment (I'll be pretty disappointed if they use that to cut him loose, because that will not be realistic).

Like many, I thought Marlo's scene in the jail was his best in the series.

As far as the leak, there's no way it can be Ronnie - remember, she was incredulous when she learned about it, and disclosed right away to Bond. I suppose it *could* be the judge, but that seems a bit of a stretch to me too. But watching the first season again, I was struck by some lingering camera shots of Phelan's secretary, as she has him sign authorizations, and makes a point about making x number of copies, so I'll put my money on her.

Funny - watching Season 1 again after this last episode, I thought there was a continuity issue, given Lester talking about his wife being up for loving, because back in Season 1 he was making the moves on Shardene...until I went back and watched this ep. again and realized that Shardene *was* his wife! You go Lester!

Final shout-out to Bubs. He's been one of my favourite characters, in part because he just nails the addict personality. His NA speech was great, and was one of my all-time favourite Wire scenes, along with the NA scene in Season 1 with Waylan - absolutely moving and perfect, and completes the circle.

SJ said...

"Ain't nothing wrong with holding on to grief....as long as you make room for other things too."
-Bubs

It was indeed a nice speech.

Also, Kenard talks!. The kid seems funny.

Jarvis said...

Here's my question guys. Once again it's about the phones and the taps. I thought that Lester and McNulty had covered their tracks so that the fake serial killer's cell phone number would be on the court papers (which Ronnie has), but the wire was actually hooked up to Marlo's cell. Therefore there would be no way to trace what Lester had done.

But when Cedric and Ronnie went to evidence control, the number on the court papers matched Marlo's cell. This seems impossibly stupid on Lester's part.

My understanding is that he could set up an illegal wiretap any time he liked with the equipment in Homicide - BUT he needed authorisation to get the hardware and software (Lester's not stupid enough to repeat Herc's mistake with the camera in season 4).

Thanks to anyone who can answer this - I'm a stickler for details.

Sam said...

OK this is a long shot but any chance Michael becomes the new Omar? It occurred to me he knows he is hunted, if Marlo bounces now b/c the seizure was based on an illegal wiretap (not an informant as claimed) does Michael take him out? He told Dukie he is "hot" so he knows that they will be coming for him-too well trained to sit on the corner and wait for them to do it. Just a thought-only thing positive I could see coming out of the situation (heartbreaking doesn't even begin to describe the scenes with Bug and Dukie).

And I thought the legend of Omar (taken out by the Pimlico boys w/ 3 Aks) was a fantastic touch.

My one complaint is that the season feels rushed (b/c of the fewer episodes) and the addition of the newsroom should have been earlier in the show-great scene at the press conference w/ the jaded courtroom reporter (don't forget the 'communities' was priceless)

And I agree with the markitekt that this season has been a critique not just of dexter but the CSI shows as well (hwo many times was lab a discussion point-underfunded, disorganizes, incompetent even)-a far cry from David Caruso and Gary Sinise's teams.

McKingford said...

I thought that Lester and McNulty had covered their tracks so that the fake serial killer's cell phone number would be on the court papers (which Ronnie has), but the wire was actually hooked up to Marlo's cell. Therefore there would be no way to trace what Lester had done.

I don't think this is how they set it up. Instead, the warrant *was* for Marlo's number, but Lester routed things so that only his (illegal) wiretap actually
captured Marlo's transmissions. The "real" wiretap sat dormant (the calls being routed around it), except when Lester & McNulty tapped into it to set up their dummy call.

The thinking was likely that since the two investigations were entirely separate, nobody would ever connect the two - the *actual* phone number on the tap is a pretty innocuous detail that would probably escape the attention of most; it's not like someone would even pay attention to the number, let alone twig to the fact that the same number was pulled off one of many phones involved in a separate police investigation.

Walter said...

RE: One of the aforementioned posters did not believe Simon thought law enforcement is powerless against the drug trade. I completely disagree with this statement, and even though I had always assumed it went without saying, maybe it is a good question for Alan to ask Mr. Simon. (Do you believe law enforcement, even in a magical department with only Shakima Greggs clones working and an adequate budget, can ever make a major dent in the negative effects of the drug trade?)
12:53 AM, February 26, 2008

Though I can't say I can speak with authority about another person's opinion, Simon makes pretty clear in "The Corner" what his views on the drug war are.
He pretty much writes that those on the corners (the junkies, the hoppers, the stash stealers, the burn artists, the lookouts, et al.) are pretty much the outcasts of an industrial working class that no longer exists. The high paying, low skill factory or port jobs that used to hire Baltimore's urban core (or those of any other American urban area) no longer exist and have not been effectively replaced by anything substantive.
The street corners have filled the void by creating not just an underground economy based on the selling of drugs that conveniently help one forget about one's problems while simultaneously creating a sense of euphoria no matter how wretched one's surroundings, but also have more importantly created a sense of belonging and identity.
People who were made to feel expendable and worthless in our society, who could not find a sense of worth or belonging in the failing institutions to which they had access, turned to something that was accessible, understandable, and gave them an identity.
The drugs sell themselves. If all the cocaine and heroin were to run out or be stopped at the border, there would still have to be something else because nothing else was being effectively offered.
There's this one part in "The Corner" were Simon talks about the Drug War metaphor as if it were an actual war. He writes something along the lines of: If we decided to wipe out blocks rowhouses, housing projects, etc. to save them from drugs, like the villages in the Da Nang delta we destroyed to protect them from the Viet Cong, the corner boys would be out selling napalm and agent orange as the next chemical fix.
It's much more than a drug or a police matter, but if we treat the drug problem as only a drug and a police matter we don't have to address the other factors. We can focus solely on the personal responsibility of one individual choosing to engage in a criminal behavior instead of the fact that we as a society have failed to address poverty and urban decay since the Johnson administration decided to fight the war on the North Vietnamese Army instead of the War on Poverty. We can tell ourselves that had we been in the same in environment, we would have gotten out without resorting to crime or addiction.
In conclusion, read "The Corner." That is all.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree w/the post about Lester silently letting Marlo know they caught him by a wiretap. Lester picking up Marlo's cell phone, then the clock-(all the while starring at each other), was not a wise move. Sure Lester busted his ass tracking Marlo, but his ego got the best of him.

Also agree that Kima snitched to cover herself. Some of her work on the home invasions went on the paperwork of the serial killer case. She's getting closer with her ex's son, she's getting older, she's not going to risk termination and losing her pension (and all of her honest work),to cover up something that was bound to come out anyway.

Anonymous said...

OMG.....I'm TERRIFIED!!! Let me explain:

Ok, so in anticipation of the grand finale I went back to watch all of season 5 on Demand which is a tradition of mine...anyway, upon finishing I decided to watch the prequels again and thats when it hit me.....

1st is Prop Joe right? Dead.

2nd is Omar right? Dead.

3rd is....Do you see where I'm going with this? Those two are characters that I identify with on so many levels and the mere thought is enough to hate David Simon forever....

Am I bugging? Or does anyone else see where I'm going with this? My girlfriend thinks I'm crazy but I swear a chill went up my spine as I watched the very last prequel.....

Anonymous said...

I couldn't happen to notice the references to one's name during this episode. There's Marlo's scene in the cell, Bubble's given name of Reginald and the fact that he introduced himself as such at the NA meeting and Bunny pointing out to Carcetti that it's not "Major" anymore but rather "just" Colvin. Someone else mentioned the Greek's quote from several years ago as a parallel to Marlo. Now, I'm going to have to go back and watch earlier episodes to see if there is a thread here. Did anybody else pick up on this?

Anonymous said...

Sam said...
"OK this is a long shot but any chance Michael becomes the new Omar?"

I don't think it's such a long shot. I thought that sentiment was strongly implied when Mike was sitting in the back of the cab scoping out Snoop, just like Omar used to do with his targets.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Re: the wiretap number, I don't have time to go back and rewatch the scene again, but early on, Lester explains that they would put down a bogus phone number on certain documents and a real one on others, because the phone company would need the real number for the tap to work. I imagine Ronnie had all the papers in her valise.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Thanks for hosting such a discussion, Alan. I always say that a blog is only as good as its commenters. Kudos to you for having such a great core set of commenters.

I'm lucky to have them, as they help tip me off to things like Kenard's debut in season three, or Vondas' "My name is not my name." I remember a lot of details about this show, but I'm not omniscient, and having a hundred-plus comments each week helps me focus some of my thoughts, either by seeing what people are confused/unhappy about or by people echoing thematic points I was unsure about.

Since the finale won't be shown On Demand, will that review suffer for me having to write on it with no help whatsoever? We'll see.

thomas roz said...

That last scene, with Dukie staring down his future, made me so sick I nearly vomited. When you think of everything that kid has been through, starting with his family stealing from him to get high, to where he almost made it to, his arc has been the most tragic (unless the finale has a Bubbles relapse, then so help me, god, I may hunt David Simon down).

I know that last part wasn't intended to be funny, but man if I haven't shared that quote with every "Wire" fan I know (and we've all agreed, by the way, though even Bubbles surviving this season has been a small victory.) Congrats, Mr. Simon. You made me cry over a TV show with the Dukie-Bug-Michael scene. A first, indeed.

television inspection club said...

Since the finale won't be shown On Demand, will that review suffer for me having to write on it with no help whatsoever? We'll see.

I'm sure your review will be wonderful, even without the collective brain to reference. It's funny, but between here and Television Without Pity, sometimes I feel as though I am taking a class on The Wire, or at least studying Cliff Notes (er, they're called Spark Notes now, right?). It's a wonderful thing.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think Levy has a problem here? He may have figured out about the wiretap, but if he uses the information to spring Marlo, isn't Marlo going to realize it was probably Levy or someone from his office who leaked the cell phone number? And wouldn't that be very bad for Levy's health if Marlo is back on the streets?

Hate the Player said...

On the issue of whether Levy was in on bilking Stringer, not only does Clay Davis make the point that Levy's absence was what allowed him to get real money out of Stringer, but if you will recall, when Stringer met with Levy in Season 3 in the shadow of City Hall, Levy basically told him that if he had come to him instead of dealing with Clay directly, Stringer would not have gotten hustled. So I think it is definitive that Levy was not in on that particular game.

As for Herc, as someone pointed out, he is doing his job. He is paid to be a police liaison (and Carver knows this), and so he is reporting back to Levy what he heard. In the grand scheme of things, it was his intentional use of his position to betray one of Levy's clients that was unethical, so if the warrant on Marlo blows up because of Herc's telling Levy what he has heard, it is only fitting, since his illegitimate action allowed it to happen in the first place.

Finally, Chris isn't going anywhere. His indictment is not sullied by McNulty's actions. Whether or not Bunk skipped the line at the lab is immaterial as it has no bearing on Chris's rights (plus, there would have been less backup at the lab without McNulty's shenanigans). So Chris is done.

Anonymous said...

Chris will be out in 10 years. They only have him on Devar's murder. Levy can argue that was obviously a "crime of passion" - that's 2nd degree murder. He could also argue extentuating circumstances since Devar is a pedophile. Juries hate pedophiles.

There's no DNA evidence to link Chris to the 22 row house bodies.

Keep in mind, Dennis Cutty only got 14 years for 1stdegree murder (he shot the man, called the police, and told them to come pick him up!).

Chris is out of commission but he's not done for good.

Anonymous said...

I doubt we'll see Michael again. He's gone. Maybe we'll glimpse him in the final montage. As much as the audience wants vengeance, Michael is not Omar. He's not going go on the hunt for Marlo to satiate our blood lust. He's a smart 15 year old kid. He knows the situation is "too hot" for him in Baltimore. He's not going to go to war with Marlo all by himself. That would be reckless and wild. Chris Partlow trained him better than that! Only a mythical superhero would do that. Michael is just a kid.

Hate the Player said...

True, I meant Chris is done for purposes of the last 1.5 hours of the show, not for life.

I am not sure the pedophilia would come into play though. He wasn't even convicted (as far as we know - didn't Michael's case file say the case was dropped?) and, if anything, it would not relate to his guilt but to mitigating circumstances as to sentencing, so there is a chance the jury might never hear of it.

Is it established that Cutty was in for 1st Degree murder? I know he did that to the dude on Pennsylvania and Gold or wherever, but I wasn't aware that this was what he served 14 years in the cut for.

Boy Howdy said...

In an episode which had Marlo, Chris, and company end up in jail, I got a sinking feeling when I realized that the song playing in the background in the scene at Walter Reed was "Jailbreak" by Thin Lizzy.

I don't know whether it means anything, but it's certainly an interesting choice of song.

Anonymous said...

Clay Davis gave Lester the dirt on Levy, so he has some leverage on him. Lester just got done blackmailing Clay Davis, so I don't think he's above blackmailing Levy to keep Marlo locked up. It's not in anyone's interest to see the scam serial killings and illegal wiretaps get publicized, so I think there's one gigantic coverup involving the streets, the police, city hall, the legal profession, the courts, and the newspaper.

Kima becomes the fall guy for snitching because no good deed goes unpunished. McNulty gets excommunicated from the force, which for him is a fate worse than death. My guess is that the corrupt institutions will prevail as always, the series ends with everything the same as it ever was while Baltimore swirls down the toilet.

Anonymous said...

"Lest we forget, Jimmy McNulty is one of the biggest back-stabbing snitches on the department. He always pulls rank and leaks information to Judge Phelan or his FBI buddy to get what he wants."

McNulty discloses information about bosses slowing down investigations or screwing them up. He doesn't disclose information on fellow officers' wrongdoing.

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