Wednesday, February 6, 2013

HE HAS A PROBLEM WITH AUTHORITY AND A DEEP-SEATED RESENTMENT FOR THOSE THAT HAVE IMPEDED HIS PROGRESS PROFESSIONALLY: Aw, crap. We've been conditioned to expect that it's the penultimate, Pelecanos-penned episode of a Wire season where all the bad stuff goes down, but in "Clarifications" (Sepinwall, AVClub, THND) David Simon starts handing down harsh fate one episode sooner. We're now five years from when this first aired, but in the interest of full spoiler protection, let's talk about what happens when it turns out you're not really the hero ....

Fuck. Not Omar. Not already. Not having come out of retirement with so many names left to go on his Stanfield Organization kill sheet, and not with that punk Kenard (who apparently couldn't be more different in real life) popping him for no immediate reason. No final showdown, no dramatic confrontation, and the final indignity of being mis-tagged at the M.E's office.

McNulty's and Templeton's schemes are starting to fall apart, thank goodness, but in each case (and obviously unintentionally, for Templeton) solid work is being done as a result. Bunk's got a murder to put on Partlow. Syndor cracks Marlo's code. Mike Fletcher wants to write more about this Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins fellow. And in the meantime, Dukie lands at least some job, albeit not as glamorous as Poot's, and we get to enjoy McNulty being profiled by the FBI:
The suspect is most likely a white male in his late twenties to late thirties, who is not a college graduate, but feels superior to those with advanced education, and is likely employed in a bureaucratic entity, possibly civil or public service. He has a problem with authority and a deep-seated resentment for those that have impeded his progress professionally. The sexual nature of the killings is thought to be a secondary motivation and the lack of DNA or saliva in the bite marks suggests possible postmortem staging. He may be struggling with lasting relationships and potentially a high functioning alcoholic with alcohol being used as a trigger in the crimes. The suspect’s apparent resentment of the homeless may indicate a previous personal relationship with a homeless person or the targeting may simply be an opportunity for the killer to assert his superiority and intellectual prowess.
Only two episodes to go. Damn.


  1. Watts9:58 AM

    And don't forget - poor Omar gets bumped by the Sun for a house fire.

  2. Since Omar was killed while waiting for his pack of Newports, can we count this as an anti-smoking PSA?

  3. Jordan11:22 AM

    No immediate reason? It's all in the game:

  4. Marsha12:30 PM

    Great episode. I don't have much to say.... this season isn't my favorite by a long shot, but somehow the creation of the insane McNulty plot is becoming ok because they acknowledge the insanity, and because it actually has real consequences (and I suspect more to come).

    And what moments we were given in this episode: the look on Kenard's face after he does the deed. Fletcher talking about Bubbs (if only he knew what we know...). The entire conversation with Terry the homeless vet ("chocolate milk"). Clay Davis back to life. McNulty's face as the FBI guy is describing him. Poot in a cheaq ref's outfit. And Amy Ryan, my goodness, Amy Ryan.

    Can't believe we're almost done.

  5. Watching Amy Ryan last night made me want to recommend "Win Win" to anyone who hasn't seen it. Her role is minor in that, but she nails it.

  6. Realized last night that USA's "Suits" can now claim at least two Wire vets as guests - David Costabile and Wendell Pierce. Not bad, show, not bad.

  7. Jordan4:55 PM

    I disagree with the people who say Omar deserved better than this. As Alan notes, he went out like Jesse James. I want to talk more about this next week, but in The Game, Omar's a legend. So of course he'll go out like one.

    As to the serial killer plot, I think I'm not spoiling anything at this point by saying McNulty's in over his head and really hasn't thought this out. Whenever I hear people complain about the introduction of the plot, how the Wire "jumped the shark," I want to shake them and say This is The Wire! It's ridiculous if it works perfectly without any negative consequences, but this isn't Sherlock Holmes, it's Jimmy McNulty. It's drunk Jimmy McNulty. It's drunk Jimmy McNulty without an exit strategy. Actions always have consequences on the Wire. Sure it's insane, but they recognize that it is. You didn't really think it would be smooth sailing, did you?

  8. One of my 5 favorite episodes the show ever did. Love the McNulty bit.
    And what I thought was always the most underrated part of Omar dying that way was just how shocked/sad Chris Partlow was to not be the guy to get him. He was denied the chance to make up for letting him get away the first time.

  9. Marsha9:05 PM

    My issue with it wasn't that it wouldn't have consequences, but that it wasn't enjoyable or interesting to watch UNTIL it had consequences. The disintegration of the scheme is fascinating. The set-up was annoying.

  10. Even the anti-establishment types end up making establishment-type decisions once they're in charge of the establishment (eg when the McNulty gives the guy the car to go play golf so as not to expose the entire scheme; the corrupt scheme has been corrupted by exactly the kind of petty BS we see in the real BPD). I think this story line is actually somewhat sympathetic to the "system" that the series is otherwise very critical of.