Monday, September 25, 2006

Wire week 4 talk for the On Demand'ers

Here's where you can talk about "The Wire" episode 4, "Refugees," until the review thread opens on Sunday night.


Anonymous said...

I'm confused by the dialog in the opening. "you want it to be one way," then "but it's the other way." What is Marlo talking about? I couldn't help but think that maybe the guard knew Marlo from before. Maybe he's a former soldier? Interested to hear what others think.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Marlo meant that the guard wants the world to work in a way where decency and hard work are rewarded, when in fact it works in such a way that the Marlos of the world have much more money and power than good blue-collar folk like himself.

I'm going to deal with this at greater length in the review, but Marlo having the guard killed is one of the most despicable things anyone on this show has done. Consistent to who Marlo is, but despicable -- mainly because there was nothing to be gained by it. (Wallace, for instance was a threat to testify against the Barksdales).

Alan Sepinwall said...

No worries, Black Thought. I had to check my notes to be sure the death occurred in that episode.

The deeper we get into the season, the tougher it's going to be for me to avoid letting my comments be colored by the future. There are a couple of subplots in this episode in particular that I don't know what to say about now without giving something away.

Anonymous said...

So, did Marlo accept Prop Joe's offer or not? If he did, they why did Joe sic Omar on him? If he didn't, then what was that handshake all about?

Alan Sepinwall said...

He didn't accept it. The handshake was a sign of respect for Joe coming to Marlo's turf and making a decent pitch, even if Marlo didn't want to swing.

Anonymous said...

I see. Thanks, Alan.

Anonymous said...

I don't disagree that Marlo killing the guard was despicable, but I would argue with your contention that there was nothing to be gained. The guard "talked back," and from Marlo's point of view, that constitutes a threat ... anyone who doesn't treat Marlo with respect is a candidate for death. Marlo doesn't fear the same things other people fear ... he doesn't think he needs the co-op, because everyone's afraid of him already. And the reason they are afraid is because Marlo will kill anyone who doesn't genuflect. Marlo isn't really in "the game" ... in that respect, he's more of an outsider even than Omar.

Anonymous said...

Steve raises an interesting point about Marlo being 'outside the game'. The episode is all about Marlo's lack of respect:

1. Pocketing the lollipops just becasue he can.
2. Riling the security guard knowing that Chris will be around momentarily.
3. Contempt for the elder poker players.
4. The whole 'Town Car' dialog.
6. The half-interest in what Prop Joe was saying.
7. Total blow-off of what the East Side boys are facing.
8. Taking Bodie's corner when he clearly doesn't need it.

Over and over, he makes clear that he certainly doesn't believe the rules apply to him. Hence he knocks off a taxpayer.

Remember that this was the same action that got McNulty started on the Barksdale case, when they killed the witness to D'Angelo's crime. Couple that with the casual toss of the badge, and we can all see where this is headed.

What I don't really get is why Prop Joe sets up Omar. Sure Omar becomes a minor problem to Marlo, but if Avon and String could track down Omar, why couldn't Marlo? Why would Marlo be less lethal to Omar than Stringer, and how does Prop Joe benefit? In that case, why not bring Mouzone back from NYC?

Beyond the traditional Wire themes, anyone else notice Michael's clear discomfort around Cutty? Two guesses about what happened in Michael's past.

Anonymous said...

Alan, what's Prop Joe up to? I see three options:

1) He knows about the game and is just trying to make some easy cash (yeah right). Perhaps he is inspired to do this suddenly because Marlo is annoying him a little now after rejecting his offer, so he figures why not rob the kid.

2) He thinks robbing Marlo will show the kid that he would be wise to join the co-op (but I could never see Marlo coming to this conclusion).

3) He figures starting an Omar-Marlo beef will ultimately yield a dead Marlo (but this seems like a rather unsure way of killing Marlo).

Each potential motive has its flaws, so I'm having a hard time deciding what Prop Joe's up to. Can you give me some help? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I sort of hope that security guard's badge being left in the lawn isn't how the cops end up finding all Marlo's bodies that are hidden in the rowhouses.

The other potential way I see the bodies being found (that seems like it might be foreshadowed), is rookie homicide detective Greggs proving to be a natural in her new role, and sniffing out Lex's body very quickly. The fact that all the cops were hazing her so much seems to suggest that she might surprise some people, and maybe this is how she'll do it.

Anonymous said...

I think the bodies will be found by the kids (mainly Namond, Dukie, Micheal and Randy). I get the feeling that Randy dropping dime on the school graph artist is foreshadowing...and somehow he get's caught up as a material witness, which I believe will get him separated from his foster mom for fear of his safety (a tragic ending).

I think that Kima, Freamon, and Bunk will chase the phantom bodies on Marlo, while Herc actually learns how to be PO-Lice and starts a real tap of his own on Marlo with Dozerman...unbeknownst to their lead dog.

I think that if Omar gets set up for time in Jail like the previews indicate...Bunk will make another run at him about the Stringer murder, or like Marlo says, he'll never make it out of jail.

I think Bodie is dead meat...which will make Namond the next best apprentice to hold the Barksdale package.

I think Micheal will eventually join Marlo and Chris...after a falling out with Cutty over not coming clean about his abuse issues. Dukie will probably join the prezbylewski family, after Prez realizes how gifted the young man is.

The old trail on the Prop-joe/New-Day Co-op drug package may wake up the sleeping "Money-trail" scandal again right about the time Marlo takes his fall....oh yes...he will fall. And I believe that the thought that he could actually bag the REALLY big one will bring McNulty back out of his semi-retirement...I just hope he leaves the Jameson on the shelf.

I wish Alan could tell me how "hot/cold" I am about the story would do a salty dog like me some good.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I have no doubt it's number two-- Joe wants Marlo to understand that he can't always see trouble coming and that strength in numbers is the way to go. Omar taking the diamond ring just by asking for it, just as Marlo took it from Andre, was the writer's way of hammering home the idea that Marlo was learning a lesson about his own vulnerability.

I agree there's a good chance Marlo will still dismiss the offer. But even if he does, I think taking a chance on it was wise on Prop Joe's part.

Anonymous said...

I know Dozerman's name, but I can't remember when or if we have seen him before.

Any help?

Also, I've noticed a trend in the last few episodes in which one or two scenes before the finale scene, there is a giant climax (Cacetti dropping Royce, the classroom slashing, Omar knocking over the card game.)

Has the show always been built in this structure or something new I've noticed?

Anonymous said...

Dozerman was the cop who was shot in season three...the one whose stolen gun became such a huge priority for the Baltimore police dept.

Anonymous said...

What the hell happened at the end?
I can't understand what Omar's boys said!