FACT IS, WE WENT TO WAR, AND NOW THERE AIN'T NO GOIN' BACK. I MEAN, SHIT, THAT'S WHAT WAR IS, YOU KNOW. ONCE YOU IN IT, YOU IN IT: HBO did not renew The Wire until three months after season three ended; as far as David Simon knew, "Mission Accomplished" might well have been the last hour of the series. It feels that way in spots—the brief callback to Frank Sobotka and McNulty's visit to Beadie's house in particular feel like a grace notes to try to tie the three seasons together in a bow, as well as that majestic shot of all the crumbled beer cans on the roof of the Western District.
And where we are, compared to the start of the series, is same as it ever was, only sadder on the systemic level, with some hope for a few people...
Avon and most of the Barksdale Organization (save Bodie) are in jail, but so what? Marlo takes their place, paying his respect to Avon by showing up at sentencing. Baltimore's leadership knew that Hamsterdam could be refined, but between police leadership, the feds, chickenshit mayoral advisers and ambitious Councilman Littlefinger, there was no saving the program. Sad, too, was to see Bunny lose his dream retirement job and the pension level which he had earned.
McNulty and Carver seem to have become better police for all of this, with Cool Lester Smooth where he belongs after thirteen years (and four months) of pawn shop hell. Burrell gets his promotion to a full term by working the system's politics well; Daniels stumbles into a promotion. Kima, though, sigh.
Omar and Bubbles live to work the streets one more day, one day at a time, and then there's Cutty, who seems to get a happy ending after all. Free of the gangs, with a meaningful pursuit helping kids who seem to respect him. Did not anticipate that. Nor did I anticipate how happy I'd be to see Bernard and Squeak together, one last time.
Next week, we go to school.
P.S. Newbies, go back and check out Isaac's "Wire Character or Real Person or Non-Wire Fictitious Character or Product or Thing?" and see how much better you're doing.