BEATING THE ODDS: Episode seven of The Wire's fourth season, "Unto Others" (Sepinwall; THND), is the halfway point in the season and very much a potential turning point for so many of the characters. Prez seems to have found another way to solve a puzzle -- how to reach his students on their own level and smuggle some education into their curriculum -- and Cutty seems to have evolved even further as a man committed to his kids. Kima cracked the case, Royce and Carcetti made nice, and Daniels and Pearlman are both being recognized for doing their jobs well.
On the other hand ... Namond and Randy both seem like lost causes, thanks to a system that's either catching up with them too late, or in Randy's case a law enforcement system too easily undermined by its practitioners. (If only Carver had conducted that followup interview himself.) Bubbles is getting abused from all sides, and Sherrod's probably lost. But with six episodes to go, as we know, a lot can still change -- and most of it for the worse. (Police are no closer to catching Marlo than they were before.)
At least Omar's still surviving. For now.