Wednesday, April 11, 2012

YOU LOOK LIKE YOU COULD USE A GOOD CUP OF COFFEE: As Tara Ariano points out in her recap of this week's episode of The Wire, "Collateral Damage," (and here's Sepinwall), much of what's going on, police-wise, is a giant game of Not It! when it comes to jurisdiction over the thirteen Jane Does found dead in the cargo container, plus McNulty's discovery in the water.

On the other hand, you've got two people who can be described "not the run-of-the-mill kind of asshole," but "the special kind of asshole" -- McNulty ("the most swollen asshole in American law enforcement") and Valchek, both who whom are eager to pursue their personal vendettas through their official positions. Actually, three (perhaps) - corrections officer Tilghman, who has a thing about the Barksdale Organization.

And then there's The Greek, who is as close to Keyzer Soze as we've seen in a villain in quite some time. Lurking in plain sight in the diner, then utterly ruthless when he chooses to be. And unlike the Barksdales, we don't (yet) get any sense of a home life, friendships, a love of parley, or anything to humanize him as one part of The Game. I don't think we've seen anyone as one-dimensional as him before.

In the meantime, think about what we do get to see, that another crime drama might not show us for quite some time: we know who The Greek is. We know exactly what happened to the women on the boat. We know that the investigation into their murders will likely lead to a dead end.  And yet the investigation is just getting started.

Returning this week: Wee-Bey's love of fish. Lester Freamon. Carver, Traffic Cop.  And on your food & beverage tab?  Beer with raw eggs, hardshell crabs, in-prison KFC, whatever Daniels didn't eat at dinner, and fourteen shots of Jameson, about five more than McNulty could handle.  At least his clothes remained intact.


  1. Marsha10:09 AM

    Rhonda needs therapy. Now. There is no good reason (other than making for good TV) that a woman that smart should live her life this stupid.

    Anyway, I'm still figuring this season out, but the key to my enjoyment so far is your second-to-last paragraph. What was so fascinating about this season is that we had crime investigation without mystery to the viewer. We knew what that Barksdale Organization was doing and how they were doing it, we were shown how they figured out what the cops were doing and how they stayed one step ahead of it, we saw how smart they were and how organized - all while we were being shown how the case was being run and put together from the cops' end. Again, this season - no mystery from the criminals' side. We know exactly what is going down and what went down with those girls, we know who is running the show, we know who all the players are (even though I haven't completely filled out my mental scorecard yet). The "mystery," such as it is, is how the case gets put together, and if there's any justice for anyone involved in these deaths at all, ever. You just don't see that on TV - the mystery is a whodunit, or in the rare cases that it's a  howyagonnacatchem, the villian is a brilliant serial killer or some such thing where the noble cops have to outsmart the smartest man who ever lived. Here, these are smart, but not superhuman, criminals, the vast majority of the cops don't want anything to do with it.

    I'm very interested in the doings within the Barksdale Organization in jail. Owing something to Dee means bringing his son to see him, though i'm not sure what else. Avon clearly has the ability to get things done from the inside, but the presence of that KFC somehow scared me more than anything else he's ever done. (Though the idea that no one can keep track of how many people Wee-Bey has killed is a close second.)

    The Valcheck plot isn't engaging me much so far - I don't care much about this particular feud and vendetta, so I'm hoping it either gets more interesting or that it's merely there to set up this particular task force to there's someone other than McNulty going after the happenings on the docks.

    Very happy I now own the DVDs - so much nicer to watch these without the library DVD scratches messing things up...

  2. isaac_spaceman2:57 PM

    Look closely -- the Greek's coffee cup says "Kobayashi Porcelain."

    (No it doesn't.)

  3. Maret5:25 PM

    Just dropping in to say that two weeks frm now, when I'm done drowning in work and back to a more normal schedule and life, I swear I will be commenting on these posts more. My lack of brain power at the end of day has been preventing me from discussing this show as much as I'd like.

  4. After flying through season 1 in about 10 days, I was going to try and rewatch this season 1 episode a week to keep pace.  It worked for a week, and then I watched episodes 2, 3, and 4 in a day.  So much for that.