Monday, January 28, 2008

The Wire week 5 thread for the On Demand'ers

You should have this memorized by now. This is the place to discuss "The Wire" episode 5, "React Quotes," until it airs on Sunday night. Do not discuss this episode in last night's review thread for episode 4, and do not discuss anything from future episodes. All comments with spoilers will be deleted.


Anonymous said...

So Scott knows McNutty is making shit up, does McNulty think Scott's making it up or does he attribute it to some wannabe prank caller? The case still has so little traction I'd say McNulty'd have to be surprised to get even the local nutjobs' attention, but still be depressed because the nutjobs might be the only ones who care.

If he suspected Scott of making it up, he'd be a lot more concerned about the whole ruse being found out, right?

bill komissaroff said...

Poor Dukie. Still looking for "love" in all the wrong places. Do you think he will reach out to Mr. Presbo?

Great to see Cutty and Clarence again. Cutty is looking healthy and Clarence is wearing his African tie!

God is in the details!

Anonymous said...

- interesting...why couldn't Lester listen in on Marlo's call....that noise?....When Vondas gave Marlo the cellphone he (Marlo) pushed a button and said, "oh shit..." as if they had something going where he couldn't be intercepted....

- the shootout between Omar and Chris and Co. was crazy....Omar escaping, but how? I assumed that he jumped into the terrace a level below.....

- the scene with McNulty and his sons was especially uncomfortable for me....reminded me of just how bad of a dad he when he left them alone in the middle of the night to get laid...or the front and follow incident....

- Scott is a real character isn't he? How long can he keep making stuff up before he gets caught?

- Bubs...good ole Bubs....I find it harder to connect with him as a clean character I must admit....but the HIV test scene was solid I thought...good to see Fran McCollough from The Corner as the nurse...

- Clay Davis had me dying laughing with his tactics...and yeah, it was good to see ole Clarence Royce....

- feel so sorry for Dukie...He's not built for the street life point blank...but where else can he possibly go?

- Looks like we'll be seeing Randy next episode....looking forward to it....

Anonymous said...

totally off topic, Alan, but did you see that ABC was fined because of a 2003 scene in NYPD Blue!!

Alan Sepinwall said...

totally off topic, Alan, but did you see that ABC was fined because of a 2003 scene in NYPD Blue!!

Yeah, I saw it.

Anonymous said...

So Omar is Batman. I have to say, I've disagreed with everyone who found the serial killer plot unrealistic (McNulty is a crazy dude and he really does think he's smarter than everyone) and I disagreed with people who found the Prop-Joe-taking Marlo-under-his-wing plot unrealistic (Prop Joe thought Marlo might have some shred of loyalty or morality. Oops.), but Omar leaping through a window and falling 3+ stories, only to disappear? I understand Omar is badass, but things like that simply don't happen, especially not on The Wire. Jumping through a window is enough to kill a person in real life, never mind the did-he-websling-to-the-lower-terrace theory. I always felt that The Wire did violence very well: brutal, quick, senseless. Often the victim is already dead before anyone knows what's going on (Fruit's murder comes to mind). But a protracted shootout followed by a leap to freedom? He might as well have done a slow motion front flip while the flames from a massive explosion licked his heels. What's next, wire-fu?
Of course, standard disclaimer, I worship the Wire, best show ever, etc. But didn't this scene feel especially, I don't know, un-Wireish?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Ronnie Mo. This season they have taken things to a (slightly) unrealistic level.

Anonymous said...

I'll agree that the gunfight was possibly the closest thing The Wire has come to an all-out action flick. Omar has always existed on the fringes of the realistic world, becoming somewhat a legend on the streets, an urban boogyman to scare the hoppers at night. And this scene seems to play totally into that mythology, the writers actively serving up what the audience want from the character. I haven't met one viewer of The Wire who doesn't love Omar. And in all honesty, all through that scene, despite the increasing hopelessness of his situation I was certain that he wasn't going to die. I'll admit, that the shootout was horribly tense and viscerally thrilling. But, it did seem to belong in a different show. Omar does have that effect on the show however. I'm reminded of another gunfight, in "Dead Soldiers" in Season 3, where Omar and his cohorts "bang out", after trying to take a Barksdale safehouse which is ready for them. Aside from Dante's "friendly fire" moment, it was a scene that seemed to belong in an entirely different sort of show.

Ultimately I can't hold this as a fundamental flaw with the show. In terms of plausibility, the show has managed to keep it everything pretty convincing. And who knows? Maybe it will all be explained next week...

Anonymous said...

Also, I can't tell you how happy it made me to hear Clay Davis roll out his trademark catchphrase once more, and to near self-parodic levels. That scene, and the shit-eating grin exchange between him and Royce were the comedic highlights of the episode.

Not too long ago David Mills described this season as being the "Strangelove of police procedurals". It was in the scene where Scott's lie collides head on with McNulty's lie, and the sight of Lester pleading Daniels for help, that this really started to become very apparent. The combination of mordant, black humour with the frustration and desperation as the character butt their heads against systemic collapse is perfectly captured. Lester's (and to a lesser extent Daniels') frustration is similar to that of Captain Mandrake's as he desperately tries to locate loose change for his phonecall to the White House.

Tim said...

Two scenes really hit home for me. The first was Bubs getting his AIDS test results. I'm still holding out hope that, no matter what happens to everyone else, Bubs can come through clean. From the first season, his story has been terrific.

The second was Dukie asking Cutty how to get out. I think that's one of the best points the show can make. For a lot of these kids, not only do they not know anything else but slinging on the corners, they don't even know that there are other options. A smart kid like Dukie could excel in the right environment. That's the American tragedy in The Wire.

Other things: Royce giving Clay the business was hysterical. -- It's kind of strange, but McNulty and Lester's plan actually worked. -- Wouldn't it be strange if Kima solved the triple murder without McNulty or Lester? -- Amy Ryan was terrific again. -- I loved the scene where McNulty trapped Templeton in his lie, but Templeton has got to figure this out soon enough. Could going to the press be McNulty's undoing? Eventually Gus has to smell a rat, right?

Anonymous said...

The McNulty-Templeton scene was great. The look on Templeton's face when McNulty confirms that, yes, the killer had spoken about "12" was hilarious.
Another scene I enjoyed was Munk coming in to the rim shop wearing his bulletproof vest, saying it was necessary if he was going to be used as bait. The realization at that moment that Omar didn't have the jump on Monk at all, and that Marlo was once again one step ahead of his foe, was very effective. It reminded me of Avon's attempt to set-up Marlo using the girl at the club, and almost getting himself killed in the process. Yes, Marlo is a ruthless, soulless, psychopathic drug lord, but he is also a stunningly adept tactician. Underestimate him at your own risk.
What are people's theories on the phone Vondas gave Marlo? Military grade encryption? If anyone could get some future-tech electronics, it would be the Greek.
Five episodes left. Bittersweet.

Haikal F said...

Can anyone tell what kind of phone it was that Vondas gave Marlo? Was it a Blackberry? I was thinking that maybe he was using it to send text messages or maybe even emails instead of actually calling anyone.

I think McNulty did know that Scott was lying and played off that and used it to get what he wanted. Quick thinking on his feet if I'm correct. Speaking of McNulty his character is getting sadder every episode. He used to be my favorite character and now he's turned all Ahab hunting for his whale.

Omar jumping off the balcony did remind me of Batman. It was highly unrealistic. But we don't know what happened to him, maybe he broke a leg. Maybe he has to call Brother Mouzone. I doubt that last point though.

Anonymous said...

Not much to add, but... I did think that if we never see Herc again, he at least redeemed himself somewhat. Even if Herc only got the # to avenge his stolen camera, He may have indirectly led to the bringdown of the Stanfield operation [I hope, I don't know] the same way his carelessness last season destroyed Randy's life.

Anonymous said...

I am not bothered with Omar’s jump from the building. It is consistent with the creators’ approach to his character. I am bothered and scared to death of obvious weakness Omar has just displayed. Or Marlo’s strength, however you want to look at it. Omar is my boy and I love him, but he is way over his head in this conflict. Just “having a plan” is not remotely enough any more. What a defeating and agonizing realization that is. If Omar stays true to himself and insists on maintaining his credo, he will not be able to survive. Marlo is the kind of enemy Omar has never encountered before and he will either have to change or die. Which brings me to: Chris has kids?!?! I cannot see the kids being there to introduce Chris’ humanity, ‘cause it’s too late for that, but I can see them as an ultimate test for Omar.
Michael has made a giant leap in transforming himself into a cunning participant of the game. His conversation with Dukie, and the whole shooting thing, gave a glimpse of our sweet, considerate Michael while being completely overshadowed by a focused, destructive “game playing” Michael. I cannot explain why but his “You are smart like that” line gave me chills. All I could hear was Marlo saying the same thing to Joe.
Chris has kids?!?!

Anonymous said...

Agree with most of the comments here about Superomar. I'm glad the character survived, but I was surprised in the way that whole scene played out.

It was a tough shootout to watch, because as I was watching it, I realized I didn't want any of the four to die. not this way, anyway. Michael coming out from around the corner made me blurt out a huge "oh no."

Where's Renaldo while Omar's tearing up the streets? With Donnie and Butchie gone, and his third ally laid up with a shot-up leg, is he going at everything alone from here on out? He should recruit Slim, now.

Earlier-season roll call for the week: Cutty, Royce, Vinson (the bald guy with the sunglasses at the rim shop - always wondered what happened to him), Elena, the McNulty sons.

Is there a backstory to the hostility Spider has for Dukie that I have missed? Once Dukie pushed down Kenard, I think he had to pound the kid to save face, but this seems to go back to the first episode when Dukie ran the corner.

Michael's accuracy on the firing range makes me think he's going to be shooting at Omar again soon Chris and Snoop need accurate gunners.

Glad to see Bubs is negative. I think they're writing some good breaks into his story line this season to see how he handles it.

I finally realized why I hate Templeton so much. I worked with a similar opportunist and I couldn't stand the siught of her by the time she left the company.

Damn, got a meeting. I really shouldn't be doing this at work.

SJ said...

I discussed the jump with other Wire-heads and though I was stunned at first too, a number of people kept bringing up examples about people in real-life survived long falls but with quite a bit of some cases they just got a scratch and that's it.. I think it is a bit of a stretch for the show but let's see how that plays out.

Btw Alan I thought you were going to post your Wire reviews alongwith the On Demand thread?

Alan Sepinwall said...

SJ, I said I was thinking about doing it, and that it definitely wasn't logistically feasible for this week. Maybe I'll start next week, maybe not. Given my workload lately, I have a feeling that I may wind up sticking to the current schedule, just because I wouldn't have enough hours in a week to write two different Wire reviews.

Anonymous said...

Wow, the shootout at the end had my heart pumping. The realization that Marlo/Chris were setting up Omar had me thinking that Omar was done, and Marlo was going to get that crown he was talking to Chris about.

I have a question regarding the static on the wiretap. Do you think it was due to Marlo's special phone? Or could Freamon have mixed up the wires, meaning that homicide got the call on their end?

Anonymous said...

This episode was great on several levels, and the scene with McNulty's and Templeton's shock that each was adding to the other's lie ALMOST made the ridiculous serial killer storyline and the ham-handed fabulist storyline worth it. But the episode also brought home my problem with the serial killer thing. Will people stop comparing this to Hamsterdam already!! Hamsterdam was a bit unrealistic but it was also an innovative solution to a seemingly intractible problem (or at least a problem where the current solutions are absolutely not working). What bothers me about McNulty's serial killer is not that it is illegal or risky to his career. And it's not even that it's out of character for him to be messing with real police work. It's that it's out of character because it betrays a fundamental lack of understanding of how the system works. McNulty (and Lester too) used to know the system and they were able to work it to their advantage, as often as they also would get screwed over by it. But here, I still can't figure out how this whole plan leads to them being able to do police work on Marlo. They know how police budget works (how could they justify the cops given to one case working full time on an entirely different case). They know how court orders work-- and a false CI might be something that Herc is stupid enough to try to pull off, but McNulty and Freamon are real police.
McNulty's behavior just doesn't make sense this season. It's like some kind of weird mashup of his behaviors from previous seasons, but without clear motivations.

bill komissaroff said...

Can anyone tell what kind of phone it was that Vondas gave Marlo? Was it a Blackberry?

It looked liked the back of an IPhone to me...

Chris has kids!!
I am guessing he is not probably not coaching little league.

Knockout Zed said...

The serial killer subplot finally paid off for me!!!

I was absolutely exhilarated watching the two fabulists complement each other's lies.

McNulty definitely let Templeton know HE knew that call was bull. One dude lying for ultimately altruistic reasons definitely trumps a climber like Templeton.

Anonymous said...

I had a few doubts for a while there, but while I guess not everyone agrees, to me it feels like everything's coming together now.

I was complaining a few weeks ago that Scott's fabricated stories were predictable and dull, that we've all seen the Jayson Blair/Stephen Glass Story before. And we have. But what we have NOT seen is the Jayson Blair Unwittingly Advances A Fake Serial Killer Scam With His Own Lies Story, and suddenly the character has a purpose and an interest for me. Almost everyone's already mentioned the scene with Templeton and McNulty simultaneously lying through their teeth and trying to figure out how on earth they were lucking out this much... instant classic.

I guess we knew the serial killer lie was going to spiral out of control, but man, it really is like watching a car crash in slow motion. You know Kima will figure it out, sooner rather than later... and jesus, if she and Bunk got fired for not turning in McNulty and Freamon, there wouldn't be a good detective left in the city. Also, while Kima might keep quiet, Gus sure wouldn't -- is there any possible way this isn't going to end in total disaster?

Other stuff:

-Trust Herc to be massively unethical even when trying to do right. I don't care how evil Marlo is -- if you're working for a defense lawyer, giving your client's info to the police is just wrong. McNulty and Freamon are arguably in the same boat with their illegal wiretap, but at least they aren't taking Marlo's money while they violate his constitutional rights.

-What an incredibly scathing, bitter, yet very funny scene with Royce at the Clay Davis rally. Brutally cynical, and such a close-to-the-bone political spoof -- it takes more balls to write a scene like that than a hundred shootouts.

-But that said, I did like the shootout. People have been wondering about realism issues this season more than I remember in the past (including me), but I wonder if the Wire was ever as realistic as we seem to think. As others have pointed out, Omar's always had a very mythic dimension to him.

Anyway, I'm happy to suspend my disbelief a bit if it's in a good cause, and generally when the Wire goes off the rails, it's in the service of a larger point that's very much worth making. That's not to say some plot elements couldn't be handled better -- but for instance, I'm assuming there's a reason the writers wanted the Greek back for this round; and if the payoff is there, I don't really mind if they never explain exactly why he's in Baltimore again. Obviously everyone's got a different tolerance as far as that goes, though.

The Markitect said...

I agree that the serial killer story is a lot more unbelievable than the Hamsterdam plot in season three. But, I keep thinking that Simon and Co. had to get to this right away because of the ten episode season. If Hamsterdam suddenly materialized in 2 episodes, it might come across the same way (of course Bunny's bag speech was also unbeatable). That being said, it seems to me, after seeing the Templeton scene and the ripples McNulty's scheme is making elsewhere in Baltimore, that the writers are acknowledging that this serial killer story is crazy, and I think there will be repercussions. I wonder, will Lester's shortcuts ultimately cost him getting Marlo? Its already stealing the spotlight from his career case, the Davis indictment, and allowing the state senator to position himself there.

A few other thoughts:
- I'm not sure McNulty attributed the phone call to Templeton's lies; I think he thinks its some prankster out in the street. Templeton, however, has to realize he has stumbled his way into a completely unbelievable coincidence. Its a stretch, and I doubt things will go this direction, but this desperate reporter is close to stumbling on a real reportable scandal, but would have to bury himself in order to expose it.

- Omar's jump...yeah, completely outlandish. But, like others, I was expecting him to die in the shootout; it really showed how Omar might really be out of his league for once. And, its my prediction that, since Omar has already taken out Stringer, the series might not take a similar path this time. Then again, it wouldn't be bad (and not impossible) to see Slim and Omar make a move together.

- Another parallel that I don't believe anyone has commented on yet (but I'm sure noticed), both city hall and Chris and Snoop are looking for someone they can trust to stand up and take one for the team.

- And finally, Levy has always been a character to hate, but last night was the first time I enjoyed it.

And really--the phone has me (and Lester) stumped. What could it be? Something that somehow detects wiretaps?

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the phone has some type of encryption feature that can be turned on and off depending on what type of phone call is being made and whether the call is being made to another phone that can decrypt the signal. Vondas talked about using the phone routinely to convince anyone that might be listening that the phone is innocuous. I assume we're hearing Chris calling Marlo on this safe line at the end of the show to tell him what transpired. Was there a point in the show (maybe when they all met at the tire shop) where Marlo handed out phones to his top lieutenants? I'll need to watch again.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe he has to call Brother Mouzone. I doubt that last point though."

Given that pretty much every single character from the previous seasons who is still alive has been brought back in some fashion, how can they avoid bringing back Mouzone?

Omar's leap didn't remind me of Batman or Spider-Man, it reminded me of 'Halloween'.

Anonymous said...

by the way, did anybody catch the in passing mention about the death of a certain Mrs. Broadus? Kinda figured they meant Bodie's grandmother, but I wondered what other people thought.

Unknown said...

I thought that McNulty realized Scott was lying, but Scott hadn't figured out what McNulty was doing. He seemed a little stunned, and caught himself, but McNulty definitely picked up on it.

I'm really hoping that Dukie goes to Prez for help. I loved his conversation with Dennis/Cutty. Although, in a way, I feel that TPTB sold Dennis a little bit short with his "I don't know how to get out of here" bit. Dennis actually saw his former girlfriend "get out", and frankly, he left the Game. He may not be making a ton of money, but he made a better life for himself.

At what point did they mention Mrs. Broadus? That would definitely be a Bodie shout-out, I would think.

Anonymous said...

I have to watch it again, but it was among a list of people who died.

Anonymous said...

The noise that Lester heard on Marlo's line was clearly a fax transmission. Vondas seems to have given him a portable device that allows you to type a message that is then faxed to the recipient. Anyone who has received repeated calls from a fax machine that has the wrong number knows that noise. It's genius because no one can decipher it audibly; you need the fax machine to translate the noise into an image.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Omar's fall, it's not so unlikely that he would escape with minor injuries. He fell onto grass and I myself was able to walk away from a 15 foot fall onto rocks when I was young and stupid. I would imagine the chances of getting hurt are excellent when you fall like that but there's also a decent chance you could drag yourself away to cover (note that the grass area was surrounded by bushes and trees).

Unknown said...

The one thing about Omar's escape is this: Omar has been scoping this place for days. He's not stupid, and I'm guessing he thought of an escape route. I do agree it's pretty unlikely a person could fall 3 stories and not get hurt (not to mention run through a glass window!).

What is the dude's name who died in the raid? The old-heads are really falling, one by one.

Anonymous said...

"Holly Martins said... -Trust Herc to be massively unethical even when trying to do right. I don't care how evil Marlo is -- if you're working for a defense lawyer, giving your client's info to the police is just wrong."

God Forbid poor Marlo gets his rights violated. After being responsible for about 30 murders [I've lost count] this really bothers you? I let out a loud "way to go Herc!"

Unknown said...

McNulty knows that Scott is lying, but Scott has a lot more to lose than McNulty. The thing is, Scott still thinks there is a real killer out there; only McNulty, Bunk and Lester know that the serial killer is a fake.

Anonymous said...

15 feet? It's a fourth story window. That would be closer to 50 feet.

I'm not saying it's not possible, but Omar better be injured next ep.

Anonymous said...

water said good to see Fran McCollough from The Corner as the nurse

Fran Boyd -- I looked for her in the credits and saw a "Denise Boyd" listed, but no "Fran Boyd." So, I just checked imdb, where she's listed as Fran Boyd and her credits are for The Wire and the Corner. But the name of the character played by Khandi Alexander on The Corner is "Denise Francine 'Fran' Boyd."

Maybe she's decided to use Denise as a stage name (maybe she's joined SAG and there's already a Fran Boyd). At any rate, it caught my eye.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the poster who suggested Marlo's phone can send emails, text messages & IM's. The fax theory is a stretch, not many of the high end phones have that capability. IF (by chance), Marlo gets busted for something he typed on his cell phone, and IF it comes out that Herc gave Omar's number to the cops ("When you catch him, ask him about my camera"), the case will be thrown out. (The whole lawyer/client priviledge thing),regardless of trying to pass off the intel as that of a CI. One last thought- What's it gonna take to kill that other psycopath-Snoop? I'm sick of the real life Snoop (Felicia Pearson), getting fame & cashing in on her appeal, when in reality, she's a convicted murderer.

Anonymous said...

"Marlo gets busted for something he typed on his cell phone, and IF it comes out that Herc gave Omar's number to the cops ("When you catch him, ask him about my camera"), the case will be thrown out."

I think that, when you put up an illegal wiretap, it would be thrown out of court no matter how you get the number.

Here's the interesting thing, though... if Marlo's lawyer (Levy) proved that the information was gotten illegally through his office, wouldn't he be disbarred?

Anonymous said...

"I'm sick of the real life Snoop (Felicia Pearson), getting fame & cashing in on her appeal, when in reality, she's a convicted murderer."

Considering that the alternative would be her out on the street actually murdering people, I'm completely fine with it.

Anonymous said...

I missed the reference to Mrs. Broadus -- was it mentioned when Alma was listing the overnight killings to Gus? The only woman I recall being mentioned then was one killed in a "domestic" situation, but maybe she was named, too. What did catch my ear was the mention of two Eastside killings -- "Joseph Stewart and ___ Mann" (I missed the first name of the latter). The first is Prop Joe and the second, I presume, is Hungry Man.

At the time, all I could think was that some "deadwood" old-timer at The Sun would've recognized those names and realized there was possibly a story beyond the usual drug soldiers getting hit. Actually, I expected Gus to catch on, since he recognized that Ricardo Hendrix (on the City Council agenda) was none other than Fat-Face Rick.

Instead, the killings passed without real notice.

Anonymous said...

Lester is planning on saying a CI gave him information about Marlo (should the wire tap turn up anything). Bodie's grandmother was mentioned as a homicide, as was Joseph Stewart (Prop Joe).
Can somone eleborate on the Greek's relationship with Joe? Did they want him killed so they could start working w/Marlo? Marlo mumbles (a lot), and last night when Chris asked him about the meeting w/the Greeks, I think he said something about faking grief. And in the last episode (when Marlo gave the Greek all that money), it seemed the Greeks were in Prop Joe's corner. Do they know Marlo killed him?

Anonymous said...

Snoop: I'm familiar with the actress's background having read a couple of articles on her, but I'm not sure whether she's renounced her previous life or is "cashing in on it" as somebody else said. I do think it's a legitimate question, made more difficult by the fact that it's somewhat hard to reduce the "Snoop" character from Felicia Pearson, the actress who is playing a character based on herself.

I think that one of the problems a lot of people have had with the newspaper storyline has been the way it portrays some of the higher-ups at the newspaper as unambigiously "bad", on a show that has hesitated to do that in the past. I personally am a little unsettled by the suggestion that drug dealers have sympathetic qualities and complex motives; but newspaper management does not. Make sense?

Anonymous said...

-@Baltimore Chick
Felicia did her time and paid her debt. Don't be a hater.

-I think the fax idea is unlikely. It sounded like any electronic communication (fax, modem, etc.) I'm betting high grade voice encryption.

-Does McNulty know Templeton is lying? When he was giving him that look in the newspaper office I thought for sure he did, but why didn't he mention it when explaining it to Freamon?

-Nice catch on the Mrs. Broadus death. I heard them mention Prop Joe and Hungry Man, but I'll have to listen carefully for Mrs. Broadus when I watch it again tonight. Her scene with Herc is still one of my favorites.

-While I liked the convo between Dukie and Cutty, I think they took it one step too far into maudlin territory with the "How do you get from here to the rest of the world" question. Man, I always feel guilty criticizing The Wire, but its brilliance makes missteps stand out more, like Jimmy Page hitting the wrong note.

-I think that was the longest Clay Davis Sheeeeeeeeeeeit in the history of the show. Maybe I can verify this.

Anonymous said...

"Lester is planning on saying a CI gave him information about Marlo (should the wire tap turn up anything)."

Keep in mind, the investigation itself is completely unauthorized.

"Can somone eleborate on the Greek's relationship with Joe?"

The Greek had no relationship with Joe. Vondas had a relationship with Joe, though. (Interesting, to me, that The Greek does meet Marlo, but is never shown meeting Joe, and Joe never visits that Restaurant either.)

"Did they want him killed so they could start working w/Marlo?"

In the last episode, he basically told them when he said "Maybe you guys want an insurance policy, in case something bad happens to Joe," and the Greek said, "Insurance is a good thing," or whatever.

"Marlo mumbles (a lot), and last night when Chris asked him about the meeting w/the Greeks, I think he said something about faking grief."

He said they overcame their grief.

Anonymous said...

"Does McNulty know Templeton is lying? When he was giving him that look in the newspaper office I thought for sure he did, but why didn't he mention it when explaining it to Freamon?"

I think it actually wouldn't occur to McNulty that Templeton was also lying. I think he just assumed it was a crank call to the newspaper.

It's cool because both of them just assume that the other one must be telling the truth.

"While I liked the convo between Dukie and Cutty,"

I agree with you -- too on the nose.

"I think that was the longest Clay Davis Sheeeeeeeeeeeit in the history of the show."


Anonymous said...

"Baltimore Chick
Felicia did her time and paid her debt. Don't be a hater."

Not hating, just sick of the constant worship of the "thug/gangsta"lifestyle. Snoop ((Felicia) is just one of many examples of this worship. By the way, she didn't even serve 5 years for the murder charge, and was busted as recently as 2003 on an illegal weapons charge.

The Markitect said...

About the Fran Boyd thing--that was her, but, like Alan mentioned, Donnie Andrews, the real life inspiration for Omar, was also killed. In real life, those two were married last summer.

Anonymous said...

"By the way, she didn't even serve 5 years for the murder charge,"

How much time do you think a juvenile should spend in prison?

"and was busted as recently as 2003 on an illegal weapons charge."

That's why I said, if it weren't for her playing a killer on a TV show, she would likely be (by her own admission) actually killing real people. I think her being on the show is the far lesser of two evils.

Anonymous said...

@Baltimore Chick
I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sounds judgemental with the "Don't be a hater." It came out wrong, apologies.
As to the real life story of Felicia Pearson, one thing The Wire has taught us is that things are more complicated than they seem. I read a great article about Pearson, and it also addresses the issue of her victim's family having to see their daughter's murderer on TV, playing a murderer. It's a good read.

J-bone said...

Hate to burst the bubble on Bodie's mum, but the women's name was Patricia Boggus according to the HBO close captioning

Anonymous said...

HBO's closed captioning isn't canon, though, and is frequently wrong.

Anonymous said...

It sounded like "Bogus" to me. Plus she was dead in a car, if my memory serves, Bodie's grandma didn't look like she could afford one.

Anonymous said...


Omar looked like he jumped maybe to the side, I don't know. Shht was crazy. All of you all who complained about the serial killer plotline should be eating your words. The scenes today were excellent. I'm startin to actually like Scott. LOL

The stuff with Dukie was good. "How do you get from here to the rest of the world" I wondered that at a point when my situation was better. Still nothin like Dukie, how sad was the target practice scene.

Wonder what Marlo is going to do since Chris failed? And I'm glad they mentioned prop Joe gettin those police documents

Anonymous said...

I started to read through the comments. Got through about 10 - 15 before I decided to stop and get my thoughts out.

The shoot-out itself did not feel out of place to me. I remember the shootout Omar and his crew had at the Barksdale stash house as well as the shootout between Bodie's crew and another crew that led to the stray round killing the young girl.

The scene proved that Parlow is pretty smart too. They were setting up on Omar the whole time - as we learned in the rim shop.

Now as far as Omar escaping. It was unreal, and I loved it. All due respect, but I think some people are ruining the show for themselves instead of just enjoying it. However, we don't really know what happened after he jumped out, I can't wait for next week to hopefully find out. Perhaps it is more realistic then we thought - not that I'm counting on that - I don't know what to think at this point.

So much more to talk about, but I want to get back to reading the rest of the comments. The only other thing I want to say is that it was beautiful to watch McNulty's lie and Templeton's lie come together. So great. Way to go David Mills.

Anonymous said...

first of all- do you people work? 53 comments already? I gotta catch up.

First responses, then thoughts.

-Re: the conversation about Felicia Pearson- I see the merit on both sides. But it is interesting to think about how Felicia's story is Michael's. Each lived through an unbelievably horrible neglectful childhood, turned into a murderer. If fictional Michael was able to rehabilitate himself years later and snag a role on a critically acclaimed program, you'd cheer a little inside wouldn't you?

-Re: Cutty/Dukie conversation. I guess I don't find scenes pedantic when I think the message is important enough to hear. (my bias) I struggle each day to expose my students to a world outside their ten blocks. However, it can be extremely difficult when that is LITERALLY the only world they know, and the only world their parents and even grandparents know. I guess I don't find it trite when it is the absolute, tragic truth.

-Re: SuperOmar. As a previous commenter said, Omar is mythic, so I'll accept it. Maybe he uses the trench as a parachute?

- Are Lester and McNulty aware Prop Joe is dead? You'd think it would help their case a little. I suppose it's possible we didn't see it, but a major drug kingpin is murdered- paid overtime or not- it should have been a big deal. Oversight by The Wire or example of police (or system) ineptitude?

-I totally cried during the Herc/Carver scene last week. This week I love how Herc "does good" by really doing bad, and we'll never know his true motivation. Marlo got him kicked off the force after all.

-I had always assumed McNulty and Templeton would collude together and lie, I didn't imagine the pure BEAUTY that was the scene at The Sun. Their faces as their lies collided were priceless.

-Also loved the way McNulty's kid's guitar was the background music to the elena/mcnulty convo, just a great directorial choice.

- Loved Royce's tie (not the first to mention it I know) and agree with fellow commenter that it's great how The Wire was willing to "go there" with that scene.

-Did anyone else notice that Michael K. Williams now refers to himself as Michael Kenneth Williams?
what gives

KcM said...

Great episode. I'd have preferred 12 or 13, of course, but Simon, Burns, & co. are definitely doing more with less.

Three amazing, mouth-agape moments:

1. Herc grabbing Marlo's cellphone number. Horribly unethical, and I can't say I condone it. But, for once, Herc screws up "right." Funny thing is, if Levy found out, he *might* even be somewhat sanguine about it, given his view of Marlo having a cell in the first place.

2. Marlo, Chris, Snoop, and Monk making it clear they were fully aware of Omar's stakeout. (Nice callback to the rim shop, although it's been awhile since we've seen Marlo with his pigeons.)

3. McNulty taking Templeton's lie and running with it. The look on Jimmy's face in that moment is high comedy and, while we're all waiting for Gus to tear Scott a new one, the sheer absurdity of that moment can't be beat.

Other thoughts:

* Clay Davis (and, ultimately, Royce) playing the race card in his defense was daring and pretty darned funny. As an Obama supporter, I'm tempted to bring up Bill "cough, Jesse Jackson" Clinton in SC here, but will forego torturing the analogy, for the risk of sounding too much like fellow Dylanhead the Happy Contrarian. Still, it definitely dovetailed all too closely with the week in politics, and showed how we often can't escape the race question in the media despite ourselves.

* Omar's leap to freedom. Unlikely, yes, but also well in keeping with the heightened sense of dramatic reality always surrounding that particular character. We'll see what kind of shape he's in next week, but I don't mind him escaping in unlikely fashion. After Butchie and Prop Joe the past two weeks, it was really hard to watch that scene, tho'. Omar, Chris, Snoop, or Michael all seemed like they could've taken a bullet.

* The Wire. It's good to see the show getting back to its namesake. But, while I'm totally sold on the serial killer storyline now, it's hard to watch the obvious "loose ends" pile up (now made explicit with the loose homicide wire attached to nothing.) Even notwithstanding Bunk, Templeton, Oscar, and -- probably soon enough -- Kima, we've got the police report from last week, the cop at the scene from the second episode, the guy at the morgue McNulty talked to, etc. Something's got to give.

* Dukie. I hope he finds a way out, either by connecting with Namond/Bunny or, more likely, Mr. Prez. Given his fondness for computers, doesn't he seem like a great candidate to take Prez's old gig monitoring The Wire somewhere? Michael seems too far in the game at this point to make it out ok, but I hope Dukie finds escape. (Of course, Dukie might take a bullet to wake up Michael too...who knows what will happen.)

Zach said...

I think McNulty knows Templeton was lying. When he said that they had received a similar call that morning, I thought he was baiting Scott to see his reaction. I think Scott's baffled look that there was another call when he had been lying about it confirmed for McNulty that Scott was lying.

Dana Henderson said...

I'm guessing that Marlo's new phone can either send pictures or email. Any data packet would make a sound like the one Lester heard. It's probably a lot more difficult to tap a photo being sent as well.

Zach said...

Oh, and I just had a revelation. Since David Simon has said that Omar is the only character not tied to an institution, perhaps that's the reason Omar's people (and maybe eventually Omar) are dying in this final season. To prove how destructive institutions are not only to the individuals they serve but those they don't. And now that I think about the whole institutions deal, Simon has said that Bubbles is beholden to his addiction, which acts as his institution. Now he is clean, but he's a man without a country, who may likely be swayed back to his addiction. Perhaps that illustrates the basic human need to belong to institutions, even if they only betray the people they're supposed to exist for. And maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about. But if Omar and Bubbles lose to the various institutions corrupting Baltimore, that'll be a sad ending.

Anonymous said...

Baltimore Chick said...

One last thought- What's it gonna take to kill that other psycopath-Snoop? I'm sick of the real life Snoop (Felicia Pearson), getting fame & cashing in on her appeal, when in reality, she's a convicted murderer….Not hating, just sick of the constant worship of the "thug/gangsta"lifestyle. Snoop ((Felicia) is just one of many examples of this worship.

I’ve heard your sentiments echoed by other fans as well and it irritates me to no end....

What bugs me out is that Tony Sirico who played Paulie Walnuts (brilliantly I might add, personal fav) on The Sopranos was a real life gangster who spent seven years in prison and I’ve never heard any complaints about that one..hmmmmm.....

dcdame said...

water said good to see Fran McCollough from The Corner as the nurse

Fran Boyd -- I looked for her in the credits and saw a "Denise Boyd" listed, but no "Fran Boyd." So, I just checked imdb, where she's listed as Fran Boyd and her credits are for The Wire and the Corner. But the name of the character played by Khandi Alexander on The Corner is "Denise Francine 'Fran' Boyd."

Maybe she's decided to use Denise as a stage name (maybe she's joined SAG and there's already a Fran Boyd). At any rate, it caught my eye.

Ahhh, good looking out on the info….always makes me feel good to see The Corner folk in The Wire since that was my first foray into the world of David Simon…D’Andre as Lamar…Tyreeka as the principal’s secretary in season 4 “not a goddamn thing in this place works like it should!” and Blue having a drink in Butchie’s bar while discussing Eastside vs. Westside……

Anonymous said...

I like how the season's tone of absurdity filters down into the details--like Clay Davis' 45 second 'sheeeit.' I agree with the sentiment that the McNulty-Templeton scene was worth the whole subplot, which for some reason I like more now that it has blown out of control. I also was wondering about something someone mentioned above--Prop Joe and Butchie have been murdered, and we've seen nothing register on the radar of any character in homicide (at least onscreen). Bunk at least knew who Butchie was, and Prop Joe has to be a known figure. I wonder if it will come up at all. If anything, this episode convinced me to keep the faith and trust the writers...even if they made Omar fly.

Jeremy said...

Wow, lots of good stuff, both in the episode and the comments. Did anyone notice that "Everybody wants to rule the world" was playing on the Jukebox in the bar when Jimmy was talking to the reporters at the beginning of the episode? A nice little touch in an episode that was brimming full of nice touches. Top notch.

Anonymous said...

McNulty/Templeton: I'm convinced McNulty knows that Scott is full of it, or at the very least he doesn't care and believes he has covered all his bases. Notice the look on his face as he asks whether the Sun would consent to a one-sided wiretap. McNulty knows full well that no newspaper will ever consent to that, but he needs to hear it from them so that he can make his case that it's the other phone that needs to be tapped. I'm wondering how he's planning to get away with the old number switcheroo, though. In order to get the wiretap authorization, he has to swear an affidavit, which includes information on the number to be tapped. The metaphorical aspect of this meeting between the police and the press is clear: each side strongly suspects the other one is full of shit, but nobody can or will say anything, because each party has their own agenda to pursue and the other party is a useful tool to further their agenda.

About Clay Davis, several future scenarios come to mind. Even if Lester was kicked off the police force and couldn't testify, the paper trail is solid. I don't see how he can avoid a conviction at this point, unless he can get someone to convince Bond to drop the charges. But we've already seen that the serial killer story has started to eclipse the Clay Davis story in the media. Most likely the senator will get convicted and only a few people will notice or care.

Hate the Player said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hate the Player said...

I hate to say the following because I have been religiously following this show from the first season and believe it to be the best thing I have seen in any medium. But this episode was, to me, unfortunate. It was so unrealistic, for a show that has always been grittily, sometimes cruely, genuine, that it smacks of shark jumping.

First, the Leap. I am surprised to read people saying they didn't know whether Omar would survive the shootout. Both in the trailer and the credits we see a scene where a car blows up while he crouches over someone (pretty sure it's him). Since that scene hasn't happened, clearly he had to make it out of that gunfight. But to do it by making like Bruce Wayne is really out of control.

Yes, of course it is possible to survive a four story fall - that NY construction worker just survived a 47 flight fall. But to not only survive but to be healthy enough to disappear within the 5 seconds it took Snoop and them to make it out to the terrace? Come on. And there is no way he fell in one of the other balconies because the way he jumped would have carried him out. I am sorry, I love the legend of Omar as much as the next person but his turning into Batman is absurd.

Also, if he is legendary enough to fly away into the night, when did he get sloppy enough to park out in the open in the same spot night after night? Even in the cab stakeout last year he was more careful.

Second, the serial killer thing is just too ridiculous. McNulty's pushing the story, and now coinciding with Templeton's unending fabrications, was absurd enough. But then the notion that Lester will somehow be able to create the case against Marlow without using his illicit wire is also beyond the pale. Let me ask you this: did the MCS have enough on Barksdale in Season One without the Wire? Even the cameras they installed, they got the PC from the wire. Now he will get all his info from the wire but be able to build a case without it? That is simply not as easy as it sounds. If this episode contained only one ridiculous notion or scene, I could take it. But the confluence of all of them was too much.

This episode was saved, in my mind, by very nice scenes between Dukie and Cutty and the scenes where both Elena and B. Russell try to reach, or figure out whether they can reach, McNulty. Especially the scene with Elena and McNulty was well done.

But I am sorry to say the rest of this episode had me shaking my head and questioning what I was watching, which has NEVER happened before with this show. Even the Hamsterdam plot, which people claim was unrealistic, had some element of truth to it (shoot, former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke, who appeared in Season 3, famously wanted to legalize drugs) and the social points it was making had merit. But this was too much.

That being said, the two previous episodes were good, I thought, so I will hope this was just an aberration.

Anonymous said...

Cartman said,

God Forbid poor Marlo gets his rights violated. After being responsible for about 30 murders [I've lost count] this really bothers you? I let out a loud "way to go Herc!"

Hey, me too, but (like many things I've cheered on The Wire) that doesn't make it right, when you take a step back.

My two cents on McNulty/Templeton: I didn't think it occurred to McNulty that there's another professional out there crazy enough to lie about something like this; I think he assumed Templeton had gotten a crank call, and ran with it. Templeton, on the other hand, is now on to at least part of McNulty's BS -- though as someone else pointed out, he can't expose McNulty without exposing himself.

Given how many people have commented on it, I've gotta believe that scene is headed straight for the Wire Hall of Fame.

Anonymous said...

I don't think that there is any question that McNulty is on to Templeton. When Templeton says, "He made another call?", there's an extended shot of McNulty's eyes briefly widening followed by a noticeable grin.

Anonymous said...

could be wrong but I think the grin may have come from McNulty realizing how he was going to get the wire tap for Lester.

That being said, I'm not sure if either of them do know, don't know, one knows, one doesn't, but the suspense is killing me.

Omar's fall looked to be about 3 stories. You can survive that. But I PREFER it to be fantastical.

I had forgotten about the blown up SUV in the opening credits, so yes it would appear the Omar will be able to exact some revenge.

I'm sorry the creators/writers of this show have built up so much good will and credit with me that I will follow the story they present. I just can't imagine them doing us wrong. Maybe I'm being silly, but it's just the way I feel. I honestly feel as though most of the complaints on here are a bit nit-picky. IMHO.

Anonymous said...

(and just to finish my thought)

and very debateable nit-picks.

Anonymous said...

I agree that at the moment Templeton showed too much surprise that the killer had made a "second" call, McNulty realized that the reporter was a liar. Up to that moment, McNulty assumed a crank call and was tailoring it for Freamon's wiretap. The smile on his face comes too late to be about getting Freamon's wiretap -- he was already on that when he began lying about the crank call being relevant and connected to another call to police headquarters. No, the smile was the key moment when McNulty realizes that the reporter is, like him, full of shit. Templeton realizes nothing and thinks there is a real serial killer who has really used the phone to call police, but not, of course, him.

Jarvis and Anita said...

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the terrific performance of Marlyne Afflack as Nerese Campbell. Afflack should have been credited in the opening titles - Nerese has become central to the action this season. Aside from being, in the words of Herc, "hot as balls", Nerese has shown herself in the last two episodes to be a ruthless and cunning political operator.

Her scene with Clay Davis was a highlight of the episode: did you notice the parallel between her demand that Clay "take the years" for the good of the Baltimore Democratic machine with Breanna Barksdale's similar appeal to D'Angelo in season 1? In the street or in the hall, the game is the game...

This scene made a really important point about how the rhetoric of tackling coruption mostly involves finding scapegoats while allowing the system that breeds corruption to continue much as before.

Anonymous said...

"Marlo got him kicked off the force after all."

Actually, Herc was kicked off for pulling over the Minister supposedly tansporting drugs,(based on false info from Bubbles). Bubbles was pissed that Herc didn't keep his promise to protect him from the thug who was beating & robbing Bubbles daily. The missing camera charge was just payback from the LT. who lost his position in "Special Crimes."

Does anyone else think Omar's lawyer wanted Herc to find Marlo's new cell # & pass it on to his police buddies? The lawyer's comments to Herc (about making money off of Marlo's tapped phone calls & subsequent need of a defense lawyer-to file motions, etc.), sure seemed like he was baiting Herc.

Anonymous said...

"What bugs me out is that Tony Sirico who played Paulie Walnuts (brilliantly I might add, personal fav) on The Sopranos was a real life gangster who spent seven years in prison and I’ve never heard any complaints about that one..hmmmmm....."

Valid point. The Mafia movies & TV shows attract similiar hero worship. On a side note-I'm still in shock that "The Sopranos" took the best series SAG award on Sunday night! After a 2 year wait, we get a big FU from David Chase with that lazy "it's all there" cop out ending. I guess it was payback to the audience for not embracing that moronic "Finnegan"Purgatory, & Vito in some sort of gay eutopia, storyline.

Footnote: Sirico was never charged with murder.

tconstantine said...

Theory time on how the "homeless killer" plotline will pay-off. The investigation's going to have to pin it on someone esp. with the mounting public interest.

Worst case scenario=Bubs (still full of self-loathing & guilt, unable to live in the present as noted this week...he will martyr himself)

Best case scenario= the crazy mean guy who was pushing Bubs around all last season

Anonymous said...

I think there was still just enough ambiguity that Templeton and McNulty might not have found each other out. Templeton had to be terrified when McNulty said there was another call - all McNulty gave away was that the caller sounded white and used the number 12. Fot all McNulty knows, he's just exploiting a crank call to the Sun. Both men would be wise to follow Lester's advice and never again report receiving a call. But we all know that's not going to happen.

Another earlier-season appearance I missed from earlier: Vernon Holley (the large mustached homicide cop) makes his first appearance of the season.

Anonymous said...

There was never any doubt that Jimmy knew Scott's lying. His face in the newspaper office was more than telling. Not only that he figured out this guy is full of shit but he figured out how to use him to get the wire going for Lester. He said it himself when he talk to Lester in the utility room. Also, Jimmy is a homicide detective and part of his job is to read people and figure out whether they are lying or telling the truth. Jimmy is not a lot of things, but awesome detective he is.
I thought that another detail was interesting. People in the newsroom know that the call was made from the payphone, but Jimmy got the wire for the cell phone. Obviously, he stated in the police paperwork that the call to Scott was made from a cell phone. The very second Gus gets in touch with police, other than McNulty, he will figure this whole thing out. Gus, too, is awesome at what he does.

Donny said...

First, any real fan of the Sopranos would not call the finale a "cop out." It was a fantastic ending....leaving viewers, critics, media, etc. to debate it for years. Did you want Tony and the gang to ride off into the sunset? Tony to get shot? Those are cliches.

Anyways, back to The Wire. As usual, I think everyone is diving a little too deep into the Marlo's phone ordeal. If you remember, Vondas showed Marlo the phone and within seconds, Marlo said "ahhhh" as if he understood what was going on. This is the same Marlo who doesn't know anything about anything in the business world. How is he going to look at a phone and know within 5 seconds that it's an encrypted phone or has fax capabilities?

Same with "flying Omar". I'm sure he ended up on a balcony below. The Wire would not have Omar "fly" or drop 50ft and scurry away unscathed.

The Bubs storyline is starting to bother me a little bit. Bubs has been so far removed from what the show is all about - the game, politics, police - that when they come back to his story, I almost feel...and I HATE saying I don't care. I mean I care about Bubs, obviously. But I guess the point I'm making is that his story is boring the hell out of me.

Anonymous said...

There are so many great things about this show, that I have never stopped to recognize how excellent Vondas is. "To call your girl, you can talk..." I have seen that actor in many roles, but this one makes me forget he was ever anyone but Vondas.

How bizarre to see a scary stone-cold killer like Chris having a sentimental moment with his nuclear family! I swear, if I saw him coming at me on the street, even knowing he is an actor, I would have to resist the initial urge to flee.

Damn, ol' Clay Davis is one smooth mofo. His million-watt smile on the courthouse steps illustrates how politicians can make the viewing public believe anything. Bond (and Carcetti) should have done the right thing and let this go federal. Carcetti: "He ain't getting up from this." Don't be so sure. How about Clay on the radio show? It's hard to see the dividing line between blind following and complicit corruption. The exchange between Clay and Royce at the rally is classic.

Nareese showed how she got to where she is. Smooth the way she talked Clay and Erv off the ledge, and the way she made it all work with Carcetti. She is dirty, but a survivor.

I sure would like to see Dukie make it out alive. It's interesting how he has retained a pureness in the midst of so much evil.

How disgusting is Levy? No redeemable qualities. Not even loyal to his clients, really. Will he end up cheating Marlo out of his money?

Scott is such a complete lizard. Unctious. Glad Gus is not fooled by him for a second, and gives Alma the recognition she deserves. Also, I like the way the guy at the homeless shelter messes with him.

While I can understand the utter frustration he feels, and how it has ruined him, McNulty is now completely unhinged. His kids look like they could use a father figure.

Like most politicions, Carcetti seems much less appealing now that he is elected. All the inspirational hope is replaced by doing whatever it takes to look good for the next step up the ladder.

Very cool to see how Herc and Carver have evolved/matured. Good point Alan. Carver's "it all matters" line last episode was poetic.

After Scott stages teh fake phone call, he's in a room with Jimmy and others. Great expressions on Jimmy's face as he contemplates that they have both been BSing each other.

Omar the ghost.

Anonymous said...

77 comments and it's Tuesday? Wow. We all love us some Wire.

This episode was the highlight of the season for me. Why?

1. "SHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIT." So loud, long, and awesome.

2. Herc reminding Carver to remind Marlo about the camera if and when they take King Royal down.

3. Gus coming *this* close to telling Templeton and McNulty they are both full of sh*t.

4. That last scene. I was getting ready for the gym and I stopped everything. Every movement. I don't even know if I was breathing. I thought Omar -- or worse, Michael -- was going to catch a bullet.


Anonymous said...

Speculation on Marlo's phone: maybe he's using Skype Mobile or another Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) setup. You have a regular phone number but make your calls over the Internet. That would explain the fax/data sound Lester got and it makes a lot more sense than encryption.

Now, I'm not sure it makes sense that he would understand what Skype/VOIP is when Vondas gave him the phone, but it's the most likely thing I've heard so far.

Anonymous said...

Check out this story on the real Omar and Fran.

Anonymous said...

yes, i think it's strange that up to this point, the homicide unit has not brought to bear the deaths of prop joe and hungry man who we need to assume is not only dead but tortured and mangled. i only got a single viewing of this latest episode (i require 3 to even begin to get the relevant details) but when they were rattling off that list of murders where we think bodie's grandmother's name came up, i think perhaps the name, "joseph stewart" came up?

Anonymous said...

Donny - Saying that you don't really care about Bubs' storyline is pretty much akin to saying you don't really care about Bubs. The whole point of his storyline, and where the tension stems from, is where does he go now? He's 15 months clean and sober, but still has the guilt of Sherrod's death hanging over him, and if that's not enough, he seems to be developing Junkie's survivor guilt. I also don't feel that his storyline has departed from what the show is about. The show has always been about institutions, systems and the ways in which they fail individuals or end up destroying them completely. In a way, as another poster pointed out, his addiction itself is one of the institutions in the show. As we have seen, Bubbles has left that institution and is trying to substitute it for another, but cannot seem to connect, or find solace in a group of recovering addicts, unable to connect to their world in the way he could connect to the addict's world.

Hal Incandenza said...

Great, great episode. However...

Aside from Jimmy giving them a cell number to tap when everyone at the Sun knows the call came from a payphone (which seems kinda reckless and almost sure to blow up in McNulty's face), my other problem is that the wiretap that's supposed to be set up for the payphone is--in Lester's words--"not hooked up to anything." Maybe I'm just ridiculously dense, but won't the officers monitoring the tap catch on pretty quickly that something's amiss when they get no calls whatsoever? Couldn't Lester have just set it to the payphone anyway? Or is it a case where you need one access code per wire? This is probably the case, but, if so, McNulty and Freamon's masterplan seems deeply flawed. Thoughts?

Donny said...

quipu - good points. I didn't mean that the storyline is straying from what The Wire has been all about these years...I just feel they are putting his storyline on the back burner and only shedding light on it whenever they feel a need for a "break" in the "real" storyline this season.

Again, I can appreciate the route they are going with Bubs. But in my opinion, and again, it's only my opinion, Bubs' storyline thus far has been a tad boring.

Anonymous said...

Great episode all around, gave us so many fantastic character-driven scenes (Dukie and Cutty, Marlo and Vondas, Chris and his family, etc.)

As regards Omar's "batman" action, I think people are focusing on it a bit too much. Sure, a jump from a third story window doesn't happen everyday on The Wire but it is far from certain death. I personally have witnessed such a jump, a leap from a third story condo balcony, and the gentleman hobbled away with a limp.

I'm not sure I agree with all the comments that the shoot-out was "un-Wire-like" or whatever. There have been major gun battles on The Wire before, particularly the Barksdale Stashhouse shootout in the street, and Bodie's ill-advised takeover of a corner he wasn't supposed to mess with. So here's another one. Sometimes shit pops off.

Omar is a legendary figure. Marlo's hitters are highly skilled and nearing legendary status themselves. This is a fiction, no matter how realistic, so I personally enjoyed the hell out of two legendary camps finally meeting. And there was nothing to suggest that Omar did some kind of superhero websling to land on a lower balcony, that's the audience's imagination at work.

Anonymous said...

Damn! Wait for the next episode before casting off Omar as spiderman.

Anonymous said...

kyle - I don't think Lester's wiretap is supposed to be hooked up to a payphone. I think Jimmy is telling everyone in the department that the call to Scott came from a cell phone, so they wouldn't be all that shocked if they don't hear any calls on their wire.

It's definitely risky, but not everyone at the Sun knows that the call came from a payphone. The only people who would know would be Scott, Gus, Klebanow, that older fella in the scene who's not identified, and Whiting presumably.

Anonymous said...

I think Kevin has it right: Give them time before writing off Omar's jump as a Batman maneuver. We didn't seen him fall. We didn't see him land. There is many a slip betwixt the cup and the lip. For all we know he had a zip line set up. And, no, I don't actually believe Omar had a zip line. But if any show deserves the benefit of the doubt for a week, it is the Wire.

When I realized Templeton was making the call from the killer to himself, I laughed out loud. Absloutly fantastic for the two liars to come head on and, rather than mess each other up, they corroborate each other, benefiting both. It was especially great because you realize how much they owe each other now (Scott is now going to be the primary reporter on this case, no doubt) but they can never thank each other, or even acknowledge the other's lie. They can't even team up on this, really, because that would require one to admit the truth to the other, and neither would ever do that.

Did anyone else notice Marlow smiling in that first scene with chris? He wanted to go celebrate in Atlantic City. Just seemed odd.

McNulty asked for a wire and got it, but he didn't get any extra manpower. That means he is in charge of monitoring it. Keep in mind, a wire tap records all incoming calls. Someone doesn't have to be sitting there with headphones on 24/7 to get the information. McNulty reports never hearing anything on the wire from their guy. Meanwhile, Freemon is listening in on Marlow's cell and any leads he gets from that get attributed to Herc's buddy, Fuzzy Dunlop, or some other fictitious CI. They can't use anything directly from the wiretap, but they can use it to get other evidence that WOULD be admissable.

Someone suggested that Dukie could become the new Prez and work the papertrail for Freemon. It's a cool idea, but wouldn't Dukie have to become a cop first? Add to that the fact that he is 15 and I think it is pretty unlikely. I do miss Prez, though.

Omar is running pretty low on friends these days. I'm actually wondering if he might turn to Bunk to even the sides a little bit. Instead of coming at Marlow head on, he passes some info to Bunk and the BPD takes down a couple of Marlow's inner circle. Not Snoop and Chris, but maybe Michael or that guy in the vest who was acting as bait.

The noise on Marlow's phone: I may have forgotten something, but is it possible they are just texting? I remember them picking up a text from Vondas at the end of season 2 that was in Greek/Cyrillic or something like that, but they didn't get that through a straight wiretap. Marlow is now truly a man who can not be civilized, so advanced encryption software seems unlikely to me.

If it is an I-Phone, or anything with internet capability, what if he is just logging on and posting on an already determined message board? Or a chat room? Something with very low traffic that Vondas could check regularly. That would be pretty simple and near impossible to trace, no?

Anonymous said...

I like the idea that McNulty and Freamon are trying to beat the system, but I was a little unclear as to how a wire tap on that one pay phone leads to the tap on Marlo's new cell.

I know they're doing it illegally, but Simon seemed to rush through their explanation of a fake CI. I think an elaborate plan like that would take more time to coordinate.

It was strange and almost sad to see Omar out-smarted. I'm guessing this will lead to a showdown between him and Michael, as I doubt Marlo will provide Michael with the necessary protection.

Why can't Dukie go back to high school? Michael will still let him live with him and Bug and he'll be a better environment.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, to me, that The Greek does meet Marlo, but is never shown meeting Joe, and Joe never visits that Restaurant either.

Joe probably couldn't fix in that little booth.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Alan Sepinwall said...

Guys, what have I said about discussing future episodes, even vaguely?

Anonymous said...


Anybody else hoping that Lester telling Marlo he wants Pepper Steak becomes available as a ringtone?

Anonymous said...

These have been excellent posts this week. I've noticed a couple of Sopranos references and it made me think of a Wire/Sopranos parallel. Did Omar's improbable escape remind anyone of the Russian's escape from Paulie and Christopher in the Pine Barrens? Granted, there are ovbious differences, starting with the fact that the Russian was shot in the head, and his fate was never explicitly revealed. However, both had a mythical quality to them, and were seemingly impossible escapes.

Anonymous said...

Hi -

Just finished watching and wanted to post a few thoughts:

- Did anyone else get the weird sense when Dukie and Michael were in the woods practicing firing that we were essentially seeing Avon and Stringer as kids? I could totally see Avon as the streetwise one and Stringer as the smart, nonconfident kid who didn't know there were other ways/avenues to apply his talents.
- I didn't get the sense that McNulty knew that Scott was lying. McNulty could conceive that a crank caller called Scott to claim to be the killer. Scott must know that McNulty's lying based on the "12" etc. What's ironic is that Scott is actually sitting on a HUGE story of Baltimore's top detectives fabricating a serial killer. That's Wash Post stuff right there.
- I thought the most unrealistic thing about Omar jumping off the balcony was the fact that none of the lights in the other apartments were on when Snoop, Chris, and Mike went out to check. It just sounded like Fallujah in that apartment and nobody in the apt bldg is curious?

Anonymous said...

Also, I don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but I didn't think that Marlo phone business was all that high-tech.

I just figured that Vondas was calling the number from a fax machine and that told Omar to meet him somewhere.

Does anyone know if that's what a text msg sounds like on a wiretap?

Anonymous said...

I agree that sometimes on The Wire shit pops off. I agree that, in real life, people have fallen ten times the distance Omar fell and survived. And I certainly agree that the writers of The Wire deserve the benefit of the doubt, having provided us with 4 seasons of authentic, realistic, emotionally unflinching drama. I just never thought they would also provide us with a Super Window Jump.

Maybe I feel this way because, seeing Omar pinned down behind that couch, Donnie's lifeless body next to him, I thought to myself, "So this is how Omar dies." I prepared myself mentally to say goodbye to one of the most homicidally charismatic characters in the history of television. Although I desperately wanted him to live, I knew that in the harsh world of The Wire, there are no miracles, and there is no escape.

But there are also no certainties. As in life, there is always the element of luck, or chaos. Perhaps my mistake was in thinking I knew for sure how that scene would play out. But, under the Baltimore moon, the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, for time and chance and Omar happeneth to them all.

So I'm on board. Thank you, Wire writers, for once again exploding my preconceptions. I can't wait to see what else you have in store.

(And good work Alan policing the spoilers. The posts and comments on this blog contain some of the most thoughtful and thought provoking critical analysis I've seen on any Internet forum. Thanks for keeping it spoiler-free.)

Anonymous said...

sloantap said...
There are so many great things about this show, that I have never stopped to recognize how excellent Vondas is. "To call your girl, you can talk..." I have seen that actor in many roles, but this one makes me forget he was ever anyone but Vondas.

Yes, he's sick. Paul Ben-Victor was excellent in Entourage as the studio head for Vince's Aquaman....also shout out to Herc as the boys' childhood friend The Dominator..Loved Dom more than Herc to be honest...

Kevin said...
Damn! Wait for the next episode before casting off Omar as spiderman.

My thoughts to a tee...let's just wait and see how it plays out first before we jump (bad pun intentional ) to any conclusions.....

Siddhartha said...

- Did anyone else get the weird sense when Dukie and Michael were in the woods practicing firing that we were essentially seeing Avon and Stringer as kids? I could totally see Avon as the streetwise one and Stringer as the smart, nonconfident kid who didn't know there were other ways/avenues to apply his talents.

No I did not Siddhartha....I actually went back and looked at that scene again with this in mind. Wow, respect due...brilliant analysis.....

Anonymous said...

Given the story about Stringer stealing the badminton set just for fun as a kid, I would say that Stringer and Dukie had very little in common as kids.

Anonymous said...

Unless Stringer hit his growth spurt later in life, he was taller and bigger than Avon. I see little if any similarity between Dukie and String.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Stringer win the short physical confrontation he had with Avon after the revelation that Stringer had D'Angelo killed?

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying that it's an exact parallel between Dukie/Michael and Stringer/Avon. What I'm trying to convey is that I have no problem imagining Dukie & Michael to grow up to be like Stringer & Avon (the brains & the muscle for a crime syndicate, respectively).

Of course, that is dependent on both of them living long enough to grow up.

Pure conjecture here (I have NO knowledge of future eps - I don't even watch the 'next on') but I'm really worried about Episode 9, which I imagine Pelecanos (who's been the Grim Reaper for this show) to write. He already has Wallace's, Sobotka's, Stringer's, and Bodie's blood on his hands. Motherfucker knows how to write a death scene.

Alan Sepinwall said...

but I'm really worried about Episode 9, which I imagine Pelecanos (who's been the Grim Reaper for this show) to write. He already has Wallace's, Sobotka's, Stringer's, and Bodie's blood on his hands. Motherfucker knows how to write a death scene.

Pelecanos knows how to swing the scythe, but you can't blame him for Bodie, who died in the season finale last year. His big "crime" in season four was destroying Randy's life (without killing him).

Donny said...

"But, under the Baltimore moon, the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, for time and chance and Omar happeneth to them all."

Was this a joke? I don't think we are auditioning for Shakespeare in this comment section of Alan's blog. Let's stick to English...American-style. Thanks.

I can't believe we only have 5 episodes left. How in the world will Simon wrap up 5 unbelievable seasons with only 5 episodes to go? I feel like this season is going to end like any other...fantastic ending to the storyline of the season...but leaving us yearning for more.

Anonymous said...

Ah, thanks Alan, you're right as always.

Though Randy's death of a dream stung as much as Bodie's actual physical death.

Randy was an innocent and as much as I grew to enjoy Bodie, he still offed Wallace. (They were always shown as being as tight a bunch of friends as the Season 4 kids...can you even conceive of a similar situation of Michael killing Randy?)

Anonymous said...

I agree Donny, seems to be a lot of aspiring Scott Templetons here.

Anonymous said...

I apologize if my reference to a semi-famous biblical passage offended your sensibilities. I guess I got carried away philosophizing about Omar. I'll try to stick to "English....American-style" from now on.

"Aspiring Scott Templeton"? Man, that is harsh. But, that's the risk I run for posting at a quarter to one in the morning after a few glasses of wine.

Anonymous said...

This season is unusual not only because it's shorter but because it's taking a few liberties due to the abridged season. Normally, we probably would not see Lester and McNulty get a fake wire up based on a fake serial killer in one episode. We also probably wouldn't see Omar escaping as quickly as he did. A lot of things were a little too convenient but I'm willing to forgive for a decent finish. I was surprised at Omar's sloppiness, relieved that he got away, and also hopeful that he learned his mistake in underestimating Marlo's people. He may have to reach out to someone like Brother Mouzone just to get close enough to do some real damage.

Anonymous said...

Siddhartha said...

Also, I don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but I didn't think that Marlo phone business was all that high-tech. I just figured that Vondas was calling the number from a fax machine and that told Omar to meet him somewhere. Does anyone know if that's what a text msg sounds like on a wiretap?

A few responses to this, though as I say I was just speculating about the VOIP thing.

1. It could be encrypted. There's a story in the Jan 21 New Yorker that mentions the NSA struggling for a while with readily available commercial cell phone encryption. Bawlmer po-lice...forget it. This seems the most likely, upon further thought.

2. Marlo gave that number to Levy and it eventually made its way to Lester, who called him up and he answered. So Marlo's clearly using the phone for more than just as a system to know he should meet Vondas. He feels safe talking on it, which means it must not be able to be tapped in the normal way.

3. At the end of the episode, Lester sees an incoming call to Marlo's number on his computer that looks just like every other incoming call we've ever seen them record. I highly doubt a text message going through looks the same way but I don't know for sure.

Anonymous said...

Meanwhile . . . I had a knowing laugh reading this "lede graph" from an above-the-fold article on the front page of today's WaPo:

The rapid cooling of the Washington area's real estate market has hit school systems with force, abruptly ending years of plenty and compelling superintendents to ask their teachers, bus drivers and custodians to do more with less.

Anonymous said...

Tom Waits-

First of all, I loved you Down by Law.

Anyways, Marlow looked at the phone in Vondas' hand for all of five seconds before saying "Wow," and if there is one thing we have learned from wires in the past it is that, even though the crooks may adapt, they are never going to be that sophisticated. Heavy encryptian stuff seems above and beyond.

As to him answering it, Vondas said he can use it to call his mom or his girl. Just not for business. Who cares if there is a wiretap on a phone that is never used to discuss anything illegal? The cops can't prosecute him for calling to find out how his mom is doing.

Can't wait to figure out what the secret behind the phone is. I admit that I am fascinated by what the crews do to avoid wires, bugs and cameras.

Here's a question: I seem to remember it being an inportant point on the Sopranos that you always made business calls on pay phones, because the cops (or maybe just the FBI) can't legally tap a payphone. That's why when they needed to discuss business, they went to the pay phone outside the Bada Bing. So how can McNulty get a wire tap approved for a payphone? I realize it is the equivalent of blasphemy to say it, but David Chase or David Simon is wrong... God help us all.

Alan Sepinwall said...

So how can McNulty get a wire tap approved for a payphone?

McNulty and company tapped the pay phone at the lowrise courtyard in season one. It may be a case of Maryland law differing from Jersey law, or that Chase invented the "no tapping payphones" thing, or that what Tony was doing was telling his people never to use the same phone twice.

Anonymous said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Stringer win the short physical confrontation he had with Avon after the revelation that Stringer had D'Angelo killed?

Yeah Stringer won the confrontation...but remember, Avon had just finished getting stitches in his arm after being shot (the botched attempt to set up Avon outside the hood fish-n-chip joint)

To build a little on what Siddhartha's not that Dukie and Stringer were exactly alike...

From what we know about young Russell he definitely wasn't as innocent as young Dukie no doubt...but young Stringer wanted to help the black businessess/grocery stores and give back....but ended up in the game because of his limited options...Avon was there to bring him along in that regard...just like Duke and Mike....

Zach said...

Okay, look, there's no way Michael and Dukie are meant as parallels to Avon and Stringer. Michael is too moral and too quick to question the conventions of the game (the "Marlo don't suck dick" scene comes to mind) to turn into the next Baltimore drug kingpin. Dukie, meanwhile, can't even fire a gun. Avon and Stringer were corner kids with big aspirations. Michael, and Dukie especially (as discussed in his scene with Cutty), would likely accept any ticket out of the game. And Dukie (as Avon once memorably accused Stringer of doing) sure as hell ain't bleeding green.

Anonymous said...

One more thing I really enjoyed in this episode was McNulty's totally genuine righteous indignation that the department wasn't putting more resources into catching his imaginary murderer. Why aren't you taking the fake serial killer I pulled out of my ass more seriously?! Gotta love that guy.

On a semi-related note, I went to my favorite brunch place this morning, in Prospect Heights, and discovered a new glossy headshot behind the counter -- signed by Jamie Hector! Apparently he lives in the neighborhood, and he's a regular. So cool. Although if I ever run into Marlo on the street, I'm not sure whether I'll ask for an autograph or run for my life... that must happen to him a lot.

Anonymous said...

When Omar and Renaldo were surveying Slim Charles in Season 4, I seem to remember that they trailed Slim to his home - a rowhouse. In episode four of this season, he appears to be living in a low-rent hi-rise. Interesting.

Regarding Omar...Chris and Snoop would have killed anyone close to Omar to bring him out of hiding. We know Omar well enough to know that he wouldn't kill Chris' family. That asymmetry in morality really puts Omar in a tough spot. I have no knowledge of future episodes whatsoever (I don't even read newspaper articles, etc., on the show), but I have to think that Omar realizes he's in a bind. He's dealt with Marlo twice now and has been outsmarted both times (last season Omar schemed to get Omar jailed and the counter-ambush in the subject episode). I've got to think that Omar will look to Slim, Muzone or Bunk. Slim certainly makes sense as he's currently a man without a country.

As a viewer, the scene with the Greek and the cell phone at the end felt like watching Vincent Vega and his briefcase in Pulp Fiction. I don't think it's all that important what the deal with the phone is, but as has been pointed out, it's a bit odd that Marlo - who does not appear particularly sophisticated tech-wise - seems to know what the phone is all about after just a brief look.

Finally - Cutty and Vinson (hub cap guy). Royce, too.

Sorry to see Donnie (sp?) go - I really liked that character. Nice moments with Donnie and Omar doing the stake-out in the car. Donnie listens to the classic sound...a nice contrast to the current generation (i.e., Chris and Snoop). One final though on Omar. He better not find himself in prison now that Butchie and Donnie are no more. Also, Omar needs to find himself someone who can drive (I don't think we've ever seen Omar drive). This would seem to argue for Slim as an ally.

I'm very interested to see where Michael's storyline goes. With Kima investigating that house murder, Michael may have big decisions to make. Since Michael was introduced last season, I've had a fear that he'd be the one to take out Omar and would eventually take over for Marlo after Marlo is killed or jailed. I hope none of that happens and given that there's only 5 episodes left, I don't see how it can.

Anonymous said...

"Omar's leap didn't remind me of Batman or Spider-Man, it reminded me of 'Halloween'."

this is exactly the same thing I was thinking, I am glad its not just me.

Nice dolphin, nigga!

daveshac said...

I've never put a wiretap up on a smartphone, but from what I've noticed a lot of those email/voice/sms phones have to "dial" their network just like an old pc with a modem.

The noise that came through Freamon's line sounded like modem chatter - which would make sense if Marlo's phone was just receiving data over a wireless network. It's not like an audio wiretap of a data transmission reads the email body out loud, you know?

Vondas is probably just using PGP encrypted email to communicate with Marlo, which I imagine would be pretty difficult for a PD like Baltimore to "get up on." Sure they could try to work with the ISPs or the carriers, but even still they'd need a way to crack the encryption and that's not cheap.

Anonymous said...

Just found out that the guy singing the theme song (this season), is the actor who plays Bubble's sponsor.

Anonymous said...

"If it is an I-Phone, or anything with internet capability, what if he is just logging on and posting on an already determined message board? Or a chat room? Something with very low traffic that Vondas could check regularly. That would be pretty simple and near impossible to trace, no?"

Excellent possibilities. I'm wondering (since Omar figured "it" out so quick), if they're using pictures of messages.

Totally agree about the SAG farce this year. "The Wire" doesn't even get a nomination? Season 4 was insightful & heartbreaking. Those 4 boys(among others), acted circles around Falco & Gandolfini.

Anonymous said...

Ooops...meant MARLO figured "it" out so quick

Anonymous said...

I tend to think that readers here are pretty intelligent yet over and over again people think Omar is going to go get Brother Mouzone? Like they're good pals and hang out all the time? Even if there were more than five episodes left I can't imagine that we'd ever see Mouzone again.

Anonymous said...

Over at Heaven and Here, in the comments, a person mentioned that they had a friend got to speak with David Simon in Dublin after a speaking engagement. This guy asked Simon if Omar could fly. Simon told him that Omar jumped from the 3rd floor and he could easily survive that. The guy writing the comment then went on to speculate that once hitting the ground adreniline probably managed to get Omar out of there.

as far as Slim Charles' seemingly different residences - Most show's, but especially The Wire, do pay attention to details like these. My guess is that the place Slim went to in S4 was not actually his place, or maybe the place he went to in S5 was supposed to be a hide-out type place that Omar was still able to track down. pretty thin, huh?

HC - great (and pretty comical) point about Omar now needing a driver.

Jarvis and Anita said...

Re: So how can McNulty get a tap approved for a payphone?

One of the rules on tapping payphones from season 1 as I recall is that a detective had to watch the phone and log each call. So it only works if those under surveillance continue to use the same phones.

Anonymous said...

"Chris has kids?!?!"

Might go a long way towards explaining his rather uncharacteristic method of killing Bug's father. I seem to recall a majority of last season's posters attributing his unusual show of, uh...PASSION during that killing to some possible sexual abuse-related trauma in Chris' early years, but in retrospect maybe it was more the reaction of an outraged loving parent of young children (who just happens to murder people for a living).

Anonymous said...

Times are so tight in the Baltimore PD that Landsman can't even afford proper pornography. Now he has to be content ogling the girls in the Victoria's Secret catalog *buzz!* Sears Catalog *bing!*

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if this has already been asked, and I apologize if it has, but is the character of Donnie played by the "real-life Omar"?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Simon said that Omar is a composite of 3-4 people, Donnie being one of them.

Anonymous said...

God, I really missed Prop Joe when i was watching this episode.
On the idea of Michael/Dukie being a parallel to Avon/Stringer. I don't see that at all. I feel such dread for what can potentially happen to Dukie. It's almost impossible for me to watch him.
Strangely, I almost didn't recognize Cutty. But I was thrilled to see him. My top three characters I am desperate to see before the end of the season: Bunny, Brianna, Randy. Anybody else have a list like this?
I still see Omar joining forces with Slim Charles to take down Marlo, although I like the thought somebody had of him enlisting Bunk's help for a more "legit" approach. Also, there's still Kimmie (I think that's her name). Wouldn't Cheese just love that? Brother Mouzone I see as the most unlikely.

SJ said...

It is rather outstanding that this show hasn't gotten even one "best cast" nomination. Is it really because the show has too many black characters? I can't really think of a better cast...every one is outstanding.

Donny said...

Is discussing scenes from "Next On" considered a spoiler? It seems that no one really watches the "Next On" because there are a lot of questions and thoughts in this blog that are answered there - such as "will we see X character anytime soon?" I don't want to comment in case some view "Next On" as a spoiler...but I think it should be fair game to discuss and speculate. Thoughts?

Zach said...

Definitely no for the next-ons. I watched this week's, and frankly, I don't think I'll watch them again because they just have too much information. Also, Kimmie (and I could be totally wrong, so someone with better memory might want to verify this) wanted her last appearance to be her final move in the game. Then again, Butchie's death could change that.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else think that target practice scene is foreshadowing something? I mean, Michael told Dukie that if you point a gun at something, you have to be willing to use it (paraphrasing, obviously). This realization just dawned on me. Don't know how it will play out (probably not well), but I just have a feeling that Dukie is going to shoot someone.

Anonymous said...

...or Dukie will be the key in some critical situation and he won't be able to pull the trigger. Either way, no good.

Anonymous said...

When Freamon heard the buzz on the wire, I immediately thought of Freamon listening to Stringer's special phone when they finally got a tap on it. Given Vondas admonishment to never talk business on the phone, I suspect they are using an encrypted texting app for re-ups. My guess is Marlo saw a texting app on the phone and understood that it must be secure.

Anonymous said...

Wow....I didn't realize that so many here avoided next ons as they are viewed as apologies for discussing them in some of my remarks...

As far as the poster who asked about the predominantly black cast being a reason for the snubs? Sadly I believe so.

Alan Sepinwall said...

The racial thing is a big component, but almost as big is the fact that The Wire (like Homicide before it) doesn't film in a "company town."

According to the Heldenfels "Chamber of Commerce theory," showbiz awards aren't about recognizing what's best so much as what's best for the industry, and a show that films away from industry hotbeds like LA and NY -- and therefore doesn't provide employment opportunities for many of the people who vote on these awards -- won't get much, if any notice. (See also the predominantly-white "Friday Night Lights," shot in Austin.)

Tim said...

I stopped watching the Next Ons with The Sopranos when HBO made every upcoming episode look like Scarface.

Anonymous said...

"...or Dukie will be the key in some critical situation and he won't be able to pull the trigger. Either way, no good."

I watched the shoot out scene a bunch of times & I think it was Dukie that was shot by Omar. Did anyone else think this?

Anonymous said...

Tim Masterson said:

"I stopped watching the Next Ons with The Sopranos when HBO made every upcoming episode look like Scarface."

That is a good point. There was an almost comical disconnect with what was shown on Sopranos previews and what actually transpired in the episode. The Wire's "next-ons" on the other hand, are much more honest and straightforward. And to me, that is a good reason to avoid them.

Anonymous said...

anon, 1:23

Just to be clear, it was not Dukie. The one who got shot was O-Dog, the same guy who shot Bodie in the S4 finale.

Box in Hand said...

the Wire's worst scene ever was the "Good night Moon...goodnight fiends." no need for that scene to even exist, total BS!

________________ said...

As the airdate for the last episode of The Wire approaches, Marc Steiner and the Center for Emerging Media are doing a new series of interviews on The Wire. There's going to be a new one added to their site every day this week. The first interview, with Ed Burns, is already up! The site is
To go right to the Ed Burns interview, go here:

Anonymous said...