Wednesday, January 16, 2013

BUT HOW DO I GET FROM HERE TO THE REAL WORLD?  In a show that has provided us no end to its list of sad moments, two more occurred in this week's David Mills-penned season five Wire episode, "React Quotes" (Sepinwall, AV Club). First, the titular question from Dukie to Cutty, with both unable to provide an answer to take him away from a corner life for which he's not suited (the answer is: "ask Prezbo!"); and secondly, heartbreakingly, Bubbles' disappointment that he didn't test HIV-positive, that he did not in fact have a lifetime burden punishing him for his prior failings. (Could Walon be more heroic?)

From what I can tell, most of the contemporaneous conversation around this episode dealt with the meeting of the two fabulists, McNulty and Templeton: which one knew the other was bullshitting at that Baltimore Sun meeting? I thought it was pretty obvious that McNulty knew Templeton was lying, based on his barely-stifled grinning; on the other hand, I thought Templeton thought he was lucky, not catching a corrupt cop, when McNulty confirmed his "12" offering. Your mileage may vary.

In other news, Herc remains thoroughly corrupt, it's all business to the Greeks, Clay Davis knows how to extend an expletive, and Omar can fly.


  1. Marsha11:17 AM

    Herc remains irredeemably corrupt, but I'll admit I like it much better when he screws over Levy to help Carver.

    I agree with you about McNulty and Templeton. McNulty knows exactly what is going on, Templeton has no clue. This is the first time I've found the serial killer plotline interesting, with this intersection with crazy Templeton. (It can't be coincidence that this character has been given the name of the rat in Charlotte's Web, can it?)

    Am I supposed to understand what is going on with Marlo's cell phone? Did I miss Vindas explaining it, or was I supposed to understand what Lester heard at the end? "Cause I'm lost.

    Michael is breaking my heart, and where the hell is Omar?

    We're halfway through this season and it doesn't feel like previous seasons do - it still feels like a lot of set-up, rather than tipping over into "lordy-I-have-to-know-what-happens" breakneck pace. I am trusting everyone who said this season wraps up well, because right now it is hard to see that path.

  2. Adam B.11:45 AM

    I think we're not yet supposed to know what's up with Marlo's cell phone, other than that whatever Vondas showed Marlo, it impressed him.

  3. Marsha11:48 AM

    Oh, good. I miss a lot on this show on first viewing and that seemed important enough that I should be sure to catch it.

  4. Adam B.1:37 PM

    If I had to guess, based on the sound, it's that it somehow also functions as a fax machine.

  5. Watts2:53 PM

    I really didn't like the scene between Cutty and Dukie - felt very meta and clunky in a way that The Wire usually avoids. I actually cringed at the exchange you used for the title of the post.

  6. Watts2:55 PM

    The whole exchange:
    Cutty: The world is bigger than that. [pause] At least that's what they tell me.
    Dukie: How do you get from here to the rest of the world?
    Cutty: I wish I knew.

  7. Adam B.2:56 PM

    Ok. Next time I'll use NUT DEEP IN RANDOM PUSSY, which was the obvious runner-up. This whole season feels clunky.

  8. Jordan2:57 PM

    This episode has three all-time great Wire scenes, all pairings of one sort or another: Walon and Bubz, McNulty and Templeton and Lester and Marlo.

    I've said it before, but Steve Earle is so perfect as Walon. Here's a guy who kicked a heroin addiction (though lost his mentor to addiction) and carries that with him with every word.

    A lot of what's great about the Wire happens without dialogue, and I love the look McNulty gets when he realizes Templeton is full of shit and he can McNulty the situation. I won't comment on what Templeton is thinking, since that is yet to be revealed, but I remember just loving McNulty so much in that moment.

    And Cool Lester Smooth just wants some pepper steak (and look at Carv making Good Police). [And on the subject of the phone, for all the first time viewers, don't worry, you didn't miss anything]

  9. Watts2:58 PM

    Gus Hayes makes me so happy, though. He reminds me A LOT, attitude-wise, of one of my favorite professors in college, who was in the journalism department.

  10. Watts2:59 PM

    I don't object to you using it for the title; I cringed at its delivery as much as the actual words.

  11. Watts3:16 PM

    I still want to know if the oldies/soul/R&B station people seem to be listening to all the time on The Wire is an actual Baltimore station and if I can listen to it.

  12. Watts4:01 PM

    I rather liked the Beadie/Bunk scene, too.

  13. Jordan6:08 PM

    Try Magic 95.9

  14. I just assumed it was "this is a text message" but also I can't remember a) when text messages started being a thing, and b) what year season 5 is supposed to be in the timeline of The Wire/happened in real life.

    Related to the above, I feel like while watching The Wire with you all, I keep trying to correct for "year I should have been watching this." Suspending disbelief in terms of levels of technology has been a challenge.