WELL I GUESS, MR. MAYOR, THERE'S NOTHING TO BE DONE: It is thrilling to experience a tv show which is as confident in the way it's closing up shop as The Wire is. In this penultimate episode, "Late Editions" (Sepinwall, AVClub, THND), there's a lot of plot business to be done, and my goodness does George Pelacanos' script cover it well.
I don't even know where to start, because the fact that the vise is closing around both McNulty and Templeton (even while both are experiencing the satisfaction of his scheme's bearing massive fruit) seems almost peripheral compared to the broader stories being told: give Lester enough time and resources, and he can bring down a massive drug-selling conspiracy (assuming Herc hasn't undermined the very operation he helped propel). Give Namond some adults who want to nurture him, and he will shine. Give Bubbles enough time and a support network, and day by day his recovery can continue.
And of course, given enough experience, Michael Lee can be even more cold-blooded than the assassins who trained him. You look good, girl. (And yet still selfless enough to realize that neither Bug nor Dukie could follow him the rest of the way. Devastating, and when Michael couldn't/wouldn't remember the piss balloons....)
There's some phrases from The Wire that I had absorbed in advance of our marathon, even without understanding the context -- "it's all in the game," "you come at the king, you best not miss," etc., but I had completely forgotten how many times I'd heard reference to "my name is my name" before this week's episode. And, um, again, wow. We understand why Partlow et al had to keep the Omar stuff way from Marlo, because it was the one thing which could derail his methodical leadership, and the utter flipside of how the Greeks work: "He knows my name, but my name is not my name."
There is much for us to say today. Shardene better be awake, too, because I do believe Lester Freamon is in the mood for love.