Wednesday, October 24, 2012

AMERICAN DEMOCRACY. LET'S SHOW THOSE THIRD-WORLD FUCKS HOW IT'S DONE:  If you've seen The Contender, you remember the line: "Marvin ... What do we do now?", and there's some echo of that towards the end of "Margin of Error" (Sepinwall, with David Simon comments on a 2255Goodman) when Tommy Carcetti realizes that he will, in fact, become the mayor of Baltimore. At first he's numb, then excited with his wife, and then as we see him with D'Agostino at the end, there's an increased seriousness of purpose to him, that if he really believes all the stuff he's saying about what he'd like to do as mayor he'd better grow up a little. [Part of that growing up, of course, means smiling when Clay Davis visits your victory party, unapologetic about the $20K he took.]

[Election Law note of the week: if the anti-Carcetti flyer didn't have a paid-for-by disclosure box, then you'd have a good chance under PA law at getting an injunction forbidding its distribution, for what it's worth.]

In other news: Omar's in trouble, Namond's in double-trouble (between his mom and the school's new Hamsterdam), Herc's an idiot, Carver really is Good Police (with Randy), and Rawls must've been reading that magazine for the articles. Also, more Donut.


  1. Marsha11:36 AM

    (On your election law note - would that really make even the slightest difference? it's the day before the election. Damage done.)

    If you had told me this time last season that I'd be riveted by an episode that is 90% Carcetti, I'd have said you're nuts. And there I was, riveted. I don't feel comfortable enough with the world of the Wire to have been able to predict whether Carcetti would win - I know kids are going to break my heart and that things are going to turn out badly for many, many people I care about, but I honestly didn't know if Simon and Co were going to let Carcetti win. Royce is such an evil bastard that I'm happy about this, but I'm also very gratified to see Simon show that Carcetti didn't really give a lot of thought to what would happen if he actually managed to win this thing. And even more gratified to see that he actually wants to do a good job.

    It's interesting that as much as the message so far has been that The Game will always exist, than you can solve little pieces of it for a short time but not make much of a dent in the whole because the incentives are set up wrong in every possible way, but so far the message about corruption in politics is that it is NOT inevitable. Simon seems intent in showing several times in this episode that Carcetti is at least going to try not to follow the graft and patronage model that everyone else in city government is using. It's a fascinating way to keep telling these stories - if this were about corruption being replaced with a new kind of corruption (kind of like Marlo replacing Avon) there wouldn't be that many new avenues to explore. But watching Carcetti (whose name really should be pronounce car-SEH-tee and it still bugs me) try to do his job without falling into those patterns should be a lot of fun.

    By the way, what the hell is Cutty doing opening a conversation with a teenager with "I like the ladies"?

  2. Marsha11:44 AM

    One more thing - just when I think the parenting on this show has reached rock bottom levels of awful, they hit a new level. First we have McNulty and Omar the babysitter, then Brianna, then Dukie's mom, but I think Namond's mom takes the cake. At least Dukie's mom is an addict and arguably can't help herself. But Namon's mom is fully in control of her faculties when she forces her 14 year old son to sell drugs (when he doesn't want to!!) instead of getting herself a job.

    Lots of great stuff with the kids this week, despite reduced screen time. Randy finishing the job even after he got paid (and ditched by his friends), Dukie and Prez at the locker. Wonder if this version of Hamsterdam is going to work better and longer than the last? I'm rooting for Bunny.

  3. Adam B.12:34 PM

    (You can still make a news story out of the thing being illegal.)

    I wish I had counted the number of times they referred to "the game" last night, because it was heavy. One tic from this season I'm not fond of: episodes showing the entire universe watching (and then ignoring the news at the same time. It's happened a few times.

    According to Sepinwall's recap, the Cutty plot was what was cut the most this season after they abandoned plans to do the mayoral election as a miniseries preceding the series proper.

  4. Watts4:44 PM

    My notes and thoughts taken while watching:

    The opening scene with the Carcettis as the only white family in the
    black church made me think of Peter Florrick and The Good Wife. And
    how much do I love that Carcetti is off the beat with his clapping. Was
    that deliberate on the part of the actor? Was it written in the script
    that way? SUCH a nice little detail to show how literally out of sync he

    I hate Naymond's mom so, so, so much.
    Her and her stupid plastic covered furniture.

    Nice detail, Bey having a contraband cell phone.

    My favorite laugh in the episode might have been the squad room's reaction to Omar's picture.

    Prez letting Dukie get a shower and doing his laundry - my heart just melting here.

    Even if you're just talking about Clay, you get to say "Sheeee-it"

    I associate "Move On Up" (the song playing while Cutty had his jog and mayoral candidates were voting) with Bend It Like Beckham

    Clay Davis is so very the fabled scorpion - (I wrote this before reading Sepinwall's post)

    I like how Norman can't get through the "sanctity of the voting booth" line (when Carcetti asks Norman how he voted) without breaking up laughing

    Theresa is exactly the kind of woman all married women want to throw off a cliff.