Wednesday, November 14, 2012

WE MIND YOU ASKING:  After several weeks of incremental progress and optimism, this week's Wire Wednesday episode, "Know Your Place," is where The Way Things Are just starts slapping people in the face. Prez's classroom progress, reflected in motivated, organized students making progress in math and probabilities? Cast aside for teaching-to-the-test in language arts. Bunny's efforts to reach out to the worst kids stymied by his recognition of how little society expects of them—and that they know it. Carcetti's sincere efforts to reform Baltimore police? Politics require that Burrell be retained-but-bypassed, not removed.

[Quick aside: Other than myself, Marsha, and Watts, is everyone else either completed the series, or behind the pace/quit?]

Then there's the truly sad stuff, because there's bad and worse: Herc being allowed anywhere near active policing has led to Bubbs getting battered again, screwed up the Stanfield investigation, and placed Randy's life in severe jeopardy. And Michael, poor Michael: too afraid to reach out to Cutty, Prez, or Social Services, so the kid with perhaps the best chance of escaping the life may have sealed his fate.

Finally: "Aunt Kima."  Sigh.


  1. gtv20009:45 AM

    Having watched the complete series twice before you started, I avoid commenting to make sure I don't spoil something. But I enjoy the comments every week.

  2. I finished watching the series sometime in the summer. So while I enjoy these recaps, I don't remember clearly enough what happened in each episode (and what took place after) to comment without fear of spoiling.

  3. Heather K11:19 AM

    Right before you started this I lent my complete series to a friend (and still haven't gotten it back). I do plan to watch season 5 along with you once that starts because I own that separately from the complete series. And all the others I watched about 3 years back and don't want to spoil but am enjoying reading,

  4. Behind the pace, but catching up thanks to a newly purloined HBOGo account. I expect to be there for Season 5.

  5. isaac_spaceman12:51 PM

    Ditto, though I don't always avoid commenting

  6. I'm still here and watching! As a veteran, the scene with Bunny and the kids in the restaurant is one that has stuck with me for years. It so starkly shows how different the world those kids are in from the one most of the viewers are in, even in what for most of the viewers is a totally mundane arena. Also, Herc letting Bubbs down contrasts so clearly with how we know Marlo is going to help Michael.

  7. Watts3:40 PM

    First off, I miss that scamp McNulty.

    Secondly, I think I've completely flipped on Carcetti now. I used to despise that little weasel and now I'm pulling for him. When/how did that happen?

    Other thoughts: This season may go on my list of "Excellent Things That I Will Never Watch Again" because the Michael storyline is just SO gut-wrenching. First, there's his horrible "stepfather" telling him, "You're big, but not big enough." Bleeping bleephole bully abuser. Then in his conversation with (Dukie? - I was watching through drowsy eyes), he rejects first Prez as an adult confidante and then Cutty and winds up saying, "Everybody just too motherfucking friendly." This poor kid, to have all this (justified) fear and defensiveness. And then, finally, him choosing Marlo as his adult protector.

    At least we had the relief of Randy's ear-to-ear grin when Prez was buying the candy for him online. That kid is so damn cute it hurts.

    One other thing that I'm sort of spitballing - so please forgive if I don't word everything just right - but the scene with the kids in the restaurant reminded me of when cats/dogs have been abused and/or feral. Just when you've gentled them and got them trusting you, the slightest thing can spook them and they're right back where they started or worse. It's frustrating to try and work through and it's heartbreaking to watch. You're pretty sure there's a capacity for love and happiness in there, but trust has been so destroyed they may never be able to experience those emotions. God bless Bunny Colvin for trying, and I hope it's not completely futile.

    Last thought - when the waitress was listing and describing the specials, I hurt myself wincing at all the privileges I've had in life. One of the best things about being raised by supportive parents and being relatively well educated is that I'm completely comfortable in my ignorance. If I didn't know what an aioli was (And, hilariously, my closed captioning said "ravioli" there.) I'd feel perfectly comfortable asking. I never realized until last night what a luxury I have in that.

  8. I have watched the entire series a few times and had been keeping up with the rewatch until this season where I am behind. But I love reading the comments and will try to chime in non-spoilery when I can.

  9. Marsha10:38 PM

    I was really, really, really happy that the scene in the restaurant was about the kids' discomfort with the world, rather than the restaurant treating them badly because of how they looked (which was what I was expecting - I know, I know, I shouldn't have been). But I was expecting it because so much of Colvin's interaction with them is from his point of view - he chose these kids specifically because they can be saved (he thinks) and I was prepared for him to be reminded of how the rest of the world has already written them off. Instead, we see that they have written themselves off, which is more interesting, more powerful, and much sadder all around.

  10. Marsha10:41 PM

    I kind of hate David Simon for what he's doing to Bubbles. Deliver him not into the hands of Herc. I've gotten to the point where I audibly groan every time he comes on screen because I know it is going to be painful. Poor Bubs just can't catch a break.

    No one has yet mentioned Rhonda and Cedric this episode. The mutual giddiness of them talking about how the things they thought would screw them over got them their promotions is just fantastic. I really love that they've found each other. (And "Aunt Kima" killed me too.)

  11. It was really sweet their exchange when she asked if she "could" come to the promotion ceremony and his reaction was clear that he would be disappointed if she didn't.

  12. Natalie10:36 AM

    I used to teach GED classes for kids in the foster care system and we would often go out to nice restaurants/plays/etc to expose them to new things. I've been in this scene MANY times.