Wednesday, August 15, 2012

STRING, YOU KNOW WHAT I SEE? I SEE A MAN WITHOUT A COUNTRY. NOT HARD ENOUGH FOR THIS RIGHT HERE AND MAYBE, JUST MAYBE, NOT SMART ENOUGH FOR THEM OUT THERE: Our three episode catch-up on Wire Wednesday— "Homecoming," "Back Burners," and "Moral Midgetry"—is all about the possibility of reform, and its limits.

Hamsterdam: As good as the show has been to this point, I was not prepared the show to be this brutal in showing the failings of Bunny Colvin's noble experiment. Yes, it cleaned up the corners he wanted to clean up, with  demonstrable (and therefore suspicious) results at the COMSTAT meetings, but at what human cost? We saw the powerful scene of the hell of Hamsterdam at night, and it took Carver, the Deacon, and Clarence Clemons to make him realize the ways in which Hamsterdam made the toll worse in ways, and how much more needed to be, and could be done to alleviate the problems of crime and drug addiction.

Barksdale Organization:  String's just trading one game for another, isn't he?  Again, brutal honesty on how corruptly the federal grant and minority contractor laws can be implemented, as Clay Davis teaches him about his new reality. Avon, as he said, remains a gangster at heart and isn't into the New Day Co-Op or any of the nonviolent means of accumulating wealth; he wants his corners back, period. Sepinwall has stressed how much of the Avon-Marlo plot is intended as an Iraq War allegory regarding underestimating how to deal with insurgencies (this aired in fall 2004), and I think that's all we can say about that.

Obviously, Stringer's admission that he ordered D'Angelo's murder will have consequences. I would not want to be on Brianna's wrong side. Way to go, McNulty -- and that scene with the two of them was devastating. (Also, hello Snoop Pearson. I understand we'll see more of you.)

Major Crimes Unit:  Man, it's fun seeing Prez be so damn competent. I am enjoying the investigation tracing back the burner phones, but lack confidence into its leading anywhere productive.

Cutty: Stop giving me hope, David Simon.  It's The Wire.  Don't make me believe this can end well.

Carcetti: I've never seen a politician enjoying looking at his face quite this much before. What a swirl of ego and good intentions.

What else?


  1. Watts1:17 PM

    ACK. I totally forgot that today was the 3-episode Wire Wednesday catch up. I know what I'm doing tonight...

  2. I will have to catch up next week - but you Wire fans must go see Red Hook Summer....(also my friend Kim is in it, so go see it just to support her work!)

  3. Marathoned it tonight - line of the night: "She's like Freamon with tits." 

    My heart's breaking a little bit for Bunny. 

    I just knew Avon was going to eff things up for Stringer and I dread seeing how he hampers Stringer further.

  4. The Avon-Stringer scene is one of the best the show ever did. I also love Avon's "man without a country" line.

  5. Marsha1:10 AM

    See, THIS is the point in each season where I'm all in. Takes a lot of willpower not to just mainline the rest of the season in one night once we get to this point. NOW we're cooking with gas.

    Anyway, I'm really starting to hate David Simon. I love Cutty, and I dearly, dearly loved the scene with him and Avon. With all the stuff you hear about how people have to get "jumped out" of gangs, I could not imagine that Avon would respect that Cutty (I mean, Dennis) just didn't have the taste for it anymore. And yet, we see that getting out of the Game is easier than we thought it was - externally. Obviously, it's not so easy to give up power and money and the camaraderie that comes with it, but based onw hat we saw with Cutty, the only thing keeping these guys in the Game is themselves - Avon's not going to force anyone to stay. That may be the saddest thing of the entire series - somehow, I was assuming that these guys weren't really free to leave. And I know they're not truly free - we see how hard it is for Bubbs to straddle the line, we see how little Cutty is qualified to do outside the Game - but somehow, knowing that Avon doesn't force them to stay makes it all so much sadder. Anyway, what I really hate David Simpon for is giving me hope that Cutty will make it out, when so far, no one has, and I have no reasonable expectation that anyone will.

    Watching these three episodes together was a pretty stellar grouping from the POV of Hamsterdam. Of course there was a downside to the plan - it's so obvious, it's hard to imagine Colvin never through about it. (Though maybe it's only obvious in retrospect.) But it's so interesting to see how it all plays out - an't wait to see what happens with the boxing and the social services....and what happens when the higher ups find out what the hell is going on in Western. Yeesh. (And please, please, don't let that old lady getting dead have something to do with it.)

    Ditto on Prez - such an adorable dork. I really love watching him and Lester work. Fascinating. And I loved Kima and McNulty's police work chasing down the phones (and seeing Bernard's "mistake" catch up with him - I knew it would, but I wasn't sure how).

    As for Stringer and Avon and Brianna, damn, that was some powerful stuff. You said most of what I wanted to say in the post. There is no way this plays out well for everyone - my sense of dread about that whole story line increased by the minute.

    How have we not mentioned Marlo and the creepy-ass pigeons?!?

  6. I'd just note that Avon's willingness to let Cutty out of the game was out of respect for this time served and the assumption he wouldn't turn on him.  It's not like D'Angelo could get out of the game. 

  7. This season is full of so many great two-character scenes that it takes me forever to rewatch.  String  and Avon, to be sure, but the McNulty-Brianna scene drops my jaw every time.

    I remember when this season finished the first time, and the Wire producers said wryly that this was the point they really knew hardly anyone was watching.  They set forth a plotline where drugs were legalizedin an American city, and they didn't see it talked about anywhere.

  8. Jenn.9:21 PM

    I think that's right. I'd also throw in there that the circumstances of leaving must not be something that causes the leadership to distrust you.

  9. Marsha2:37 PM

    The assumption he wouldn't turn, absolutely. But respect for time served? I don't know if I have evidence either way. You don't think Avon (or at least Stringer) wouldn't let out a smart kid who clearly didn't have a taste for the old ultraviolence? I don't know.

    Dee is another story - Dee is family, and that changes the calculus. Plus Dee was clearly headed towards talking to the cops.