Friday, June 27, 2008

The Wire, Season 1, Episode 5, "The Pager" (Veterans edition)

Once again, we're going to talk about season one of "The Wire" in two different versions: one safe for people who are brand-new to the show (or who haven't watched all the way through to the end), one where we can talk about anything from first episode to last. This is the latter; scroll down for the newbies edition if you want to be protected from discussion of things that are still to come, both this season and in later seasons.

Spoilers for episode five, "The Pager," coming up just as soon as someone comes to take away my crumbs...

"The thing is, you only got to fuck up once. Be a little slow, be a little late, just once. And how you ain't never gonna be slow, never be late? You can't plan for no shit like this, man. It's life."

This is Avon Barksdale, explaining the fate of his older brother, who lies in a vegetative state in a dingy government-run hospital after being shot in the head but not killed. This is also Avon Barksdale explaining his governing philosophy of life. He knows you can't plan for everything, but dammit if he isn't going to try.

"The Pager" offers our first in-depth look at the detail's chief target, and we see just how cautious Avon has become. Is it paranoia -- or, as Wee-Bey puts it, "going past careful" -- that he won't use the same pay phone twice, that he wonders if the two lacrosse stick-wielding kids standing across the street from his girlfriend's apartment might be shooters from a rival crew, and that he orders Wee-Bey to rip the phone lines out of his girl's place? Based on the progress the detail makes in this episode -- more than in the previous four put together -- I'd say no. It's not paranoia if they're out to get you, is it?

No matter how careful Avon and Stringer try to be, they're still in charge of a large organization filled with people who aren't as alert as they are. Imagine if, as Lester insisted they should, the detail already had a tap up on the pay phone in the Pit. After this episode, they would have Avon's nephew and Avon's right-hand man on a murder conspiracy charge, based on their conversations about Omar's young lover Brandon. (It's not a spoiler to say Brandon's done for; we already know what Avon's bounty is about, and that his people killed John Bailey. Wee-Bey isn't going to use those handcuffs just to throw a scare into the kid.)

And even without a wiretap, the detail now has a clone on D'Angelo's pager -- and, thanks to the unexpected code-cracking abilities of Prez, an easy means of decoding the messages -- as well as a line on Avon's many real-estate holdings. Slowly but surely, they're gathering information that could be very dangerous to Avon, so why wouldn't he act like his spidey-sense was going off all the time? If his ex-girlfriend can put the cops on his trail even after she's dead, what might his current girl do with a tappable phone and a lot of time on her hands?

What we learn about Avon in this episode is that, in addition to being careful, he's a very smart businessman. He and Stringer discuss their planned move into a neighborhood on Edmonson Avenue like they're Wall Street types preparing for a hostile takeover. They know exactly how to make Scar (the current proprietor of Edmonson) go away if he won't leave on his own accord, and they know that they need to set Stinkum up with a good package of dope, rather than the weak, stepped-on garbage they've been selling at the high-rises and in the Pit, because a strong product is the best way to hook new customers in a new territory. (After Stinkum has established himself, they can, of course, return to stepping on the dope. As Stringer told Avon a few episodes back, what are the fiends going to do about it once they're hooked?)

After all the rampaging incompetence and bureaucratic interference we bore witness in the first four episodes, it's almost startling to watch an episode in which virtually everybody knows what they're doing. Sure, we get a large helping of Herc and Carver bumbling their way through their encounter with Bodie, but even there they seem to recognize their mistake (underestimating Bodie's guts and street smarts) quickly. But the detail is starting to get its act together -- even though missing out on the phone chatter re: Brandon was a colossal missed opportunity -- we get to see quite a bit of Avon and Stringer in action, and we start to see just how clever Omar is.

When the lovestruck, hero-worshipping Brandon calls Omar the living embodiment of danger, Omar replies that he's just a man with a plan. He lies in wait and observes his targets until he sees the pattern in how they work and move, and once he knows how they're going to react, he factors that reaction into his plan and strikes. He's savvy enough to know when the cops are sitting on his van (and to know when they aren't, so he can take it out for a job), to know that someone named Bird killed William Gant ("the working man"), and that Kima and Jimmy are getting most of their street intel from Bubbles. Like Avon and Stringer, he's not a man who can be taken out by ordinary means, as we see when he deliberately arranges a parley with the detectives at a location of his choosing, and under circumstances where they'd have no grounds to arrest him or Brandon.

You'll note that, one episode after "The Wire" gave us the most profane scene that had ever aired on television, we get Omar scolding Brandon for his casual use of profanity, insisting, "Don't no one want to hear them dirty words." At the time the episode first aired, as I was just getting to know Omar, I took this as David Simon having a laugh on himself, but he explained there was a thematic point to Omar's aversion to four-letter words:
The reason Omar doesn't curse is that he has a personal code and he is beholden only to that code. He alone is deinstitutionalized and free and therefore in control of his own morality, flawed though it might seem. Everyone else is, in this sense, debased by the institutions they serve and cop and criminal alike, their language reflects (that).
We'll learn more about Omar's code in the weeks to come, but Omar's clean language is just one of many character traits -- along with his fondness for whistling nursery rhymes as he walks up to his targets -- that establishes him as his own man. As Simon notes, he's not beholden to an institution. Jimmy, for all his antics, is still attempting to work within the complex rules and traditions of the police department. D'Angelo, for all that he questions his job, is a part of his uncle's drug empire. Even Bubbs is just a pawn of The Game, trapped as he is by his addiction. Omar takes advantage of The Game, but he's not truly part of it. He could walk away at any point if he wanted, an option the other characters either don't have or don't know about.

D'Angelo certainly acts like he'd like a way out, based on his behavior at the fancy downtown restaurant where he takes baby mama Donette. This is the first time we've seen a street-level character travel into a more familiar middle-class environment, and while D makes a couple of rookie mistakes (he doesn't think to make a reservation on a Friday night, nor does he understand about the samples on the dessert cart), most of his discomfort (beautifully played, as always, by Larry Gilliard) comes from his acute awareness of how he makes his money versus the other patrons. Donette tries to explain one of the fundamental tenets of capitalism to him -- "You got money, you get to be whatever you say you are" -- but D know that he has blood on his hands and blood on his money, and he's becoming less and less okay with that knowledge.

Note that his attraction to Shardene the stripper only grows after he sees her refund the money of an irate customer as he's being kicked out of Orlando's. Shardene says she did nothing wrong, and most of the other girls in that place would pocket the guy's cash and not think about it again, but she didn't feel comfortable keeping it. People who think outside the rules of The Game -- be it slinging dope, working Homicide, or dancing at a strip club -- are rare on this show, and D may have found himself an attractive kindred spirit.

Some other thoughts on "The Pager":
  • Carver detailing exactly how he would break Bodie last week made Bodie's jaded reaction to the eventual interrogation -- "You supposed to be the good cop!" -- especially priceless. But I like how Bodie's resiliency, as well as his acknowledging the superiority of their sandwich place -- won some grudging respect (or, at least, a toning down of the usual hatred) from Herc and Carver. Not a lot of cop dramas would show two cops playing a game of pool with a guy they just tuned up, you know?
  • Like Bodie, Johnny is now a devout believer in the rules of The Game, and you can see that Bubbs already regrets having taught him so well. Johnny, with the colostomy bag hanging at his waist and news of him having "the bug" (street slang for HIV), trying to cheer himself up by finding out who has the best package on the street would be funny if it wasn't so damn sad.
  • Also interesting to note that talk of the bug comes up earlier as Bodie and the sex-obsessed Poot argue over whether you can get it from receiving oral sex. While Poot seems prepared to move onto adult pursuits like seducing Arletta Mouzone, Wallace is still interested in childhood pursuits, like the toy he's playing with when Bodie throws the bottle at his head. And yet it's Wallace who's the one with the courage to ask D'Angelo for some extra cash, Wallace who's the one willing to call in an APB on Brandon once Poot spots him at the arcade, and Wallace who's unafraid to go up and talk to Stringer when the SUV rolls up.
  • After taking most of the spotlight last week, McNulty takes a bit of a backseat to the likes of Avon and Omar, but he gets a great tragi-comic subplot where he tries to do battle with IKEA furniture (I may have to get a bottle of Jameson's the next time I try to assemble one of those monstrosities) and then, after he for once in his life does the right thing by putting the boys' bedroom together, finds out that Elena has blown him off because she assumed he would screw it up. Very nice solo work by Dominic West, who's called on more than any other member of the cast to act alone.
  • I don't, by the way, want to ignore the fine work by Wood Harris as Avon. Because Avon has worked so hard to insulate him from the street, he doesn't appear as often or for as long as you would expect the chief antagonist on a show like this. But Harris takes a showcase episode like this one and takes control of it, particularly during the hospital monologue.
  • This is the first time so far in this rewatch where I've noticed Bodie do a long-distance spit through his teeth. Whether it happened before now or not, get used to seeing it a lot in the future. J.D. Williams is very good at it, and it becomes one of the character's trademarks.
  • Landsman shows us his ass (the horror!), then shows himself to be mostly interested in covering it when he admits he doesn't care about what happens with the other shift, even if the Bailey case could in some way be connected to what Jimmy's working on.
And now it's time to talk about this episode in the context of all we know that's coming through the rest of this season and all the way to the end of the series:
  • Compare Avon's paranoia to Marlo's. Wee-Bey thinks he's being over-careful, and yet the Barksdale crew still uses a number of communications technologies that can be tapped by a dedicated and talented enough police unit, whereas until Marlo hooked up with Vondas and The Greek, he continually stymied the MCU with his refusal to go anywhere near a phone.
  • D'Angelo's fancy dinner will be recreated in even more mortifying fashion in season four, when Bunny takes Namond and some other kids from the special class out to Ruth's Chris, where they're overwhelmed and miserable with a glimpse of a world so different from the one they know.
  • Though there will be many beatings and insults to come, the game of pool begins the long-standing, always amusing professional relationship between Bodie and Herc and Carver.
  • Johnny's being HIV-positive is echoed four seasons later by Bubbs' refusal to accept that he somehow escaped his own years of drug abuse without catching the bug. It also better explains Johnny's disinterest in even comtemplating sobriety, and his willingness to lose himself forever in one of the more nightmarish corners of Hamsterdam.
  • Kima will obviously have her own IKEA struggles in season five, and Jimmy will enjoy every minute of hearing her complain about them.
  • There were some complaints in the final season about how the 10-episode order meant that the writers had to rush along certain developments that they might have taken more time with in earlier years, like McNulty discovering how to fake a strangulation murder in the same episode where he tried it out. And while the series traditionally moved at a measured pace, I see how they introduce the pager code and let Prez crack it in the same episode and wonder how much we were romanticizing the good old days when we watched season five.
Coming up next Friday (or possibly Saturday, depending on how my early-week vacation wreaks havoc with my schedule): "The Wire," in which a bug gets placed, Wallace hands out snacks, and Avon pays a visit to the Pit.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

Is Omar really free though, he's beholden to the game to put food on his table, right? Sure he could leave, but it would have to be to live off another institution, legitimately or not. He'd still have to rob someone. While I'm sure he's a guy that would be successful in most professions, as smart as he is, he can't really go to graduate school or get his real estate license at this point.

So it's either rob dealers or go straight like Cutty does, which has a whole other set of problems. Is Cutty free?

Anonymous said...

Sure, he gets to retire at S4's end, and he's as free as any self-employed retiree, but he still gets dragged back as a result of his humanity in the form of his relationship to Butchie.

How does a human live on true freedom?

Anonymous said...

I guess he's shackled by his own code, that's why he comes back to avenge Butchie, why he spends so much time and effort from now on to avenge Brandon.

Sorry about the triple posting, still ruminating on the idea.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you kwig. I don't see Omar as being nearly as free as he thinks he is. He tries to retire but gets pulled back into the game. You could say that he comes back for personal reasons rather than institutional reasons, that his return is governed by the obligation he has towards his own code and not because he is ordered to do so, but he returns to the cycles of violence none the less. I think Bunk's searing critique of Omar is probably right. Omar likes to think he is above it all, but he is just as much a part of the system.

Also, if we see Michael's trajectory as some sort of Omar origin story, then it is hard to see how one is ever truly free. Michael becomes a rip and run artist because he is abandoned by the institutions that are supposed to be there for him - the schools are failing, his family is torn apart, his friends abandon him, the dealers he works for turn on him. Maybe Michael operates outside of the normal institutions, but he is hardly free. He simply has been abandoned by society.

David J. Loehr said...

Out here in what they call Kentuckiana--just above the border in Indiana--we find Maker's Mark quite effective with IKEA furniture, too.

As always, great analysis. And I think you may be right about romanticizing the previous seasons. I tended to watch each season all at once--thank you, DVD--but the fifth season didn't seem too rushed to me. I'd have liked a little more room for some stories, but in terms of the pacing of the actual here-is-the-main-story plot, I thought it stood up pretty well with the rest of the series.

Dan Jameson said...

I knew this would happen. I watched episode 1 on the Thursday night before the first review post. Now...I'm on the final episode of season 2! I just can't stop. I'm going to be done re-watching the SERIES before Alan is done reviewing season 1.

Nevertheless, I love the reviews. Nice work!

Anonymous said...

I have been re-watching from the start, as well -- just about to start season 3 again. And while watching the early seasons, I also re-evaluated season 5 to see if I'd been fair on it.

The thing is, I think they painted themselves into a corner with the story they wanted to tell. The plot with Marlo was fine, most people liked it a great deal. But the newspaper bit, which was so widely loathed, mostly seemed to fail because the story they THOUGHT they were telling (about how even the noblest newspapermen were missing the real stories of Baltimore, how disconnected the news media was from the lives of the people in the streets) wasn't the story most of us saw (an oversimplified conflict between a near-perfect editor and the boo-hiss lying reporter, a cliche story we've seen before).

But take out the lying reporter, and you lose the great black comedy of the way his lies connect with McNulty's. Take out McNulty's lies, and you lose the story they really wanted to tell, which was the meta-story about what the public expects from cops, from the news, and what it will listen to and what it won't. Ultimately, they decided that season 5 would be a little more self-aware and a little less "realistic" so they could ruminate on what kinds of things we watch and what kinds of things we don't. It was worth doing, and I guess they felt after 4 seasons they'd already said enough about the inner-city street life in and of itself. It was a neat idea -- just didn't quite come together...

Anonymous said...

I too started watching Season One when Alan started these recaps and whipped right through. Haven't go on to 2 yet, but will soon.
I'm looking forward to rewatching Season 5 on DVD. I suspect that watching it on DVD (as I initially watched all the previous seasons) will be much more satisfying than seeing i unfold every week.
Did anyone else see that the Wire made it to the semi-final list of the Emmy nominations? Promising.

Anonymous said...

The thing is, I think they painted themselves into a corner with the story they wanted to tell. The plot with Marlo was fine, most people liked it a great deal. But the newspaper bit, which was so widely loathed, mostly seemed to fail because the story they THOUGHT they were telling (about how even the noblest newspapermen were missing the real stories of Baltimore, how disconnected the news media was from the lives of the people in the streets) wasn't the story most of us saw (an oversimplified conflict between a near-perfect editor and the boo-hiss lying reporter, a cliche story we've seen before).

It wouldn't be the first time for "The Wire" when viewers saw what they expected or were predisposed to see rather than what they were being shown. When the surface story and characterizations were absorbing enough that was OK but, as you say, that wasn't the case here.

Anonymous said...

You're going to do this for generation kill right?

Anonymous said...

Bodie and Herc/Carv


Ralph Coyote (Wile E. Coyote) and Sam the Sheepdog.

When they run into each other in the movie theater in S3....

just hilarious.

Anonymous said...

I think the scene with Avon "going past careful" fits nicely with the caution Marlo later shows when he meets that girl at the club...that we find Avon sent.

Marlo's suspicion when she calls him later and he voices it with Chris was very nicely played.

Both were great examples of the paranoia they live with.

I loved that D and Donnette (both?) ordered shrimp at the restaurant. Cause that's what you order when you don't know what the hell the other stuff is. That was very authentic.

Just like when McNulty is arguing with his wife and he lies about having the bed and sheets and she asks what color. So authentic.

Alan Sepinwall said...

You're going to do this for generation kill right?

I'm definitely going to blog about Generation Kill, but I'm not sure I'll be able to go on at this length and into this much depth with those, for a few reasons. First, it's going to debut while I'm out at press tour, and my time will be limited for the first few episodes. Second, I won't have the benefit of hindsight the way I do when analyzing these Wire episodes. And third, while I like the miniseries and it has a lot in common thematically with The Wire, the story is deliberately narrower in scope, with essentially four main characters and a bunch of other people who wander in and out.

Anonymous said...

I thought that was Avon's father in the hospital. Not his older brother. He tells D it's his grandfather.

spb said...

Avon's paranoia reminds me of an article I read long ago by a Washington, DC psychiatrist. Among the shrink's patients were a number of members of the intelligence community who'd come to him to be treated for paranoia. He diagnosed them with actual, clinical paranoia, but found it difficult to treat them in the usual way. This would be via the "talking cure," reasoning with them at length over months.

The problem was that he couldn't convince them that they were not being followed everywhere because, in fact, they *were* being followed everywhere. He created a new clinical classification he called "justified paranoia." The act of being under constant surveillance can trigger latent paranoia in them, a paranoia almost impossible to treat.

I'm greatly enjoying the insight of Alan and the commenters, but I'm afraid that I, too, can't wait for one episode a week. I want to run through all five seasons right way. I want to read the novel.

Going back and starting over makes for a much richer viewing experience (for me). I know who everyone is and can appreciate the inter-character interplay far more.


Anonymous said...

How is Avon paranoid if it is real??

Anonymous said...

re: Marlo's paranoia. Other than talking outdoors, he didn't really show much paranoia about the police at first. Remember, he and Monk were still using cell phones at the beginning of season 4? It was Prop Joe that taught Marlo how to be properly paranoid.

Anonymous said...

"the lovestruck, hero-worshipping Brandon calls Omar the living embodiment of danger"

It's disturbing to see how much Brandon clearly idolizes Omar. The boy is attracted to the thrill and danger that Omar represents. The same can be said for Dante in Seasons 2 & 3. Both Brandon and Dante were naïve and impressionable teenagers who looked up Omar and yearned to be like their hero. Sadly, this is also true of Omar's killer - Kenard - the boy who we first see imitating Omar in Season 3 ("It's my turn to be Omar!").

It only reinforces the gravity of Bunk's searing warning to Omar in Season 4 about the dangers of youth glorifying Omar's violence and the cost to the community. While Omar may delude himself into thinking that he is a moral man, all his violence bleeds out and causes only more damage - more bodies, more victims, more suffering. It's a domino effect. In this case, the brutal torture and death of his hero-worshipping boyfriend.

I also agree with the sentiment that Omar is very much trapped in "the game". When Butchie advised him to step back in Season 2, Omar could only answer, "Step back to what?" He has nowhere to go. When Bunk advised Omar to leave Baltimore in Season 4, Omar tells him that he can't because "a man has to live what he knows." Omar - like Bodie, Wallace, etc - only knows life on the streets of the Baltimore ghettos. The system has failed him and his entire livelihood is tied to the drug trade.

Anonymous said...

Bunk's "searing critique" was a frustrated response to Omar's pointing out to him that the institution he chooses to serve doesn't even count Tosha's death as significant; there was no victim to speak of. Bunk's fulmination about violence rippling out and destroying communities is history. The destruction of communities wrought by the violence associated with the drug trade and the war on drugs was already done. Now the two symbiotic institutions, the drug trade and the police, play out their destructive games and nothing ever really changes. That is the reality Omar inhabits. The glorification of violence is an effect, not a cause.

Omar isn't involved in the preservation of an institution that participates in perpetuating the cycles of violence and despair. Bunk is. He serves the BPD and so the aptness of Omar's response to Bunk's outburst: the return of Dozerman's gun. Tosha isn't a taxpayer so she doesn't count. The gun is what the BPD is concerned about, as Landsman reminds Bunk: "she's still dead in a zip code that does not fucking matter and you still owe me a departmental-issue nine." Omar proves his point with his "gift" and I think the searing critique really comes from Bunk for Bunk via the returned gun: Bunk's look of misery as he and Dozerman are puppetted on stage by their masters who thank the citizens of Baltimore for their help in the critically important achievement of the recovery of the gun. "Bunk, shame on you, lad." No strings on Omar's arms.

And that's the point. All freedom is relative and in the thematic world of "The Wire", freedom is relative to the controlling institutions. Because Omar is not beholden to these institutions he is free to construct his own morality and bind himself to it by choice. "The ties that bind him down were of his own making and his own personal way
of being," as Ed Burns put it. That doesn't mean he doesn't live in the world, nor does it mean he can walk away from the world he lives in. It's a question of how he chooses to live in that world, and he's chosen to live as a rebel. As David Simon said, Omar's life was one of rebellion against the forces controlling his world and "that's a hard way to live."

Omar is not tied to the drug trade he rebels against. He could stickup much easier targets. He chooses to go after drug dealers and the bigger, and therefore harder, the target the more he enjoys his triumphs. He religiously observes a boundary between drug-related activities (The Game) and legitimate business activities, to the point of comedy in his dealings with Old Face Andre and Proposition Joe and their business fronts in season 4. He takes care to avoid risk to "taxpayers". Nobody makes him do any of this. The ties that bind him are not of any institution. They reflect who he is and how he chooses to be. In that he is free.

Dante and Brandon were not soft. They were two tough, courageous young men. It wasn't sugar-water running through their veins. Omar expected and respected courage, as Renaldo found out when Omar suggested he wear a full-body bunny suit if he was scared of being made. But given the life he led, Omar couldn't choose to partner personally with someone he felt couldn't handle the concomitant "professional" life. As he told McNulty and Kima, "Look, in my game you take some kid, you play it the safest way you can, but it ain't about no hiding forever." If Brandon and Dante wanted the thrill of danger, in their world it's around every corner. I would think a couple of young gay men might be attracted rather by Omar's strength, loyalty, tenderness, respectfulness, humor ... a lot of things, including his heroism. They might even be, ghast, sexually attracted to him. Trying to tie up Brandon and Dante with a little boy playing the local version of Cowboys and Indians seems to me well off the mark.

Anonymous said...

Omar is self-employed but his profession contributes to the culture of violence. Bunk's meeting with Omar was spurred by his witnessing Kenard imitating his hero at Tosha's crime scene. This meeting struck a nerve with Omar because he later confessed to Butchie that he felt like he owed something to his community. The idea of little kids glorifying his name did not sit right with his conscience. Omar felt shamed by Bunk's speech.

Omar's disappointment and disgust in Dante's cowardice and lack of intelligence is apparent throughout their relationship. It's implied to be the reason Omar eventually broke up with him.

"Is Cutty free?"

Cutty is free of the game. He has a job he enjoys that allows him to mentor the boys in his community. He didn't change any institutions but he was able to change himself. That, in itself, is a triumph. He's one of the few characters to achieve some measure of redemption. In the end, perhaps it's those individual victories that are the most heartening.

Re: Hospital visit

The comatose man is Avon's older brother/D'Angelo's uncle. Brianna wanted to put him in a private care facility but Avon wouldn't risk such a display of wealth. His choice of priorities appear to contradict his rhetoric about family.

One thing that was never answered is the status of D'Angelo's father. Is he alive? Was D'Angelo an only child?

spb said...

Re: How is Avon paranoid if it is real??

The point is the distinction between how the word paranoid is used in the general culture and how it is used by the clinical community. In the culture, it is used to describe anyone who seems irrationally afraid. Clinically, it refers to a specific diagnosis, which includes measurable brain chemistry errors.

Culturally speaking, Avon isn't paranoid, because he's correct. Clinical paranoia a real mental flaw, one that would manifest whether one is Avon or a soccer mom without an enemy in the world. Thus, if one is clinically paranoid, and happened to be actually under surveillance, then treatment becomes quite difficult.


ZeppJets said...

One more for the vets:

When McNulty teases Omar about appearing in public without a gun, Omar replies that "sometimes who you are be enough" (or something close to that). A nice foreshadow of the opening scene in Season 4's "Home Rooms", when Omar accidentally rips off a package while attempting to buy cereal.

Les Savy Ferd said...

The question of whether or not Omar is free may be beside the point. One of the benefits of being 'beholden' to an institution is that if you play by their rules, they will protect you from 'the bad guys', i.e. everyone who is against the institution in general. For the cops the 'bad guys' can be the drug dealers, the media, politicians, etc. Playing the game will most likely keep you safe... but not always as the series proves. If you stick around long enough, institutional protection or no, you will be played out. There's always someone more clever or ruthless than you out there...

So Omar may be free but he also lacks all of the benefits his 'institutionalized' peers possess. Which is why he robin hoods around Baltimore. He needs the junkies as his own network or protection. Otherwise he wouldn't even last as long as he does.

Theresa said...

While Poot seems prepared to move onto adult pursuits like seducing Arletta Mouzone

I know that this is over a year late, but I'm rewatching the series and the name stuck with me: Mouzone? Is she related to Brother Mouzone? I don't recall this being answered later (although I confess that I've only seen most of the episodes once), but it seems like too much of a coincidence for two characters connected with the drug world to have such an unusual last name. I was given hope by the fact that someone commented a little over a week ago, so maybe people are still reading this and can answer my question.

I read these recaps as a "Newbie" last summer, but having finished the series and started rewatching it with a different newbie, I'm getting a lot out of the "Veterans" posts; kudos to you, Alan, for a brilliant execution on that front.

Mike said...

I thought that was Avon's father in the hospital. Not his older brother. He tells D it's his grandfather.

Watch it again; Avon tells D "You're gonna see your uncle".