When It’s Time, It’s Time

THIS IS #59. FOR THOSE WISHING TO WEEP UPON #58, GO HERE.

Hopefully, by now those of you living the OnDemand lifestyle have gotten past #58. I hope you have, because #59 was like a zillion times more sad. A lot of it was cliff-hanger-y in nature, setting us up for a monster finale. Since I’ve sworn off predictions, I won’t bother with wondering if the Marlo bust will stick, if McNulty’s headed for awful, or if Herc and Levy will be burned at the stake. What I want to focus on is Michael, because those last five minutes were probably the saddest shit this show has ever foisted upon us.

First off, the decision to off Michael—or, as it turned out, his semi-affectionate offing of Snoop, which kind of felt like someone murdering his big sister/guidance counselor. The issue was that Mike didn’t follow orders, thought too independent, and just generally wasn’t cut out for soldiering. Telling that both Marlo and Chris didn’t, or really didn’t want to, believe that this marked him as the snitch. But you’ve got to assume that one of them ultimately gave the order, so I won’t dwell too much on what they think his true nature is.

However, when Snoop lectures him in the car, you could take it two ways. Either it’s proof that Michael should’ve stayed in school, kept the anger inside, and tried to be a normal kid. “You were never one of us,” Snoop spits matter-of-factly. The question is, what was he never? Snoop, the consummate mindless soldier? Chris, who knows how and when to voice his opinion? Or a gangster in general? There’s still the possibility that, in making this move, Michael showed what we’ve suspected all along: That’s he destined to end up like Marlo, because he’s just too smart, shrewd and determined to work for anyone else. Hence that flipping of what Chris and Snoop taught him about how to scope out a potential hit. He took the field manual and used it for himself.

Those last two scenes, with Bug and Dukie, were positively heartbreaking. I’ll admit it, I cried a little. When Bug walked through that door, and the relative (aunt?) closed it with only an ambivalent glance at Michael, you knew that the kid had now crossed over. She may not have known exactly what had happen—with that murder, Michael is now either headed for a grave or in the midst of a power move.

For Bug to stay safe and grow up normal, he’s got to be away from his brother. Ironically, Michael always seemed like a parent, but only when he watched Bug walk away did he finally look like an adult. One who has chosen, or been backed into, a life that’s bad for those around him. Hard to say whether he became a man when he responsibly said goodbye to Bug, or when he decided to throw himself whole-heartedly into the game by offing Snoop.

And then, the parting of ways with Dukie. I guess he could’ve explained things better, but that’s never been Michael’s way. Of course Dukie, the most vulnerable character the show has ever seen, can’t take it. He throws his heart out on his sleeve, hoping for some response, but Mike’s already repressed it all. At first, I was pissed, and then, I realized it was Bug redux. Dukie shouldn’t want to be around Michael. He’s not built for the street life, and that’s the road Michael’s most definitely stuck upon. The four kids are all now officially worlds apart, and to appeal to that fleeting moment of innocence and camaraderie is, for all of their sake, best avoided. Dukie needs to figure out his own way, and Michael can’t be responsible for him anymore—that would be irresponsible.

I know I said no predictions, but as Bubbles heals and Dukie draws closer to the abyss, the similarities between the two are striking. Hopefully—and I say this knowing how dumb it is to root for characters on this show, and how little it was to do with its message—Dukie will find some niche that doesn’t augur total self-destruction. Given where’s he from, and what he’s been through, that small consolation would be a major accomplishment.

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133 Comments on “When It’s Time, It’s Time”

  1. Anthony Says:

    Heavy episode. I agree, the last five minutes was the most depressing thing I’ve seen on the show. Also think the jail scene with Marlo, Chris, Monk, and Cheese was awesome. That was Jamie Hector’s finest moment. It was the first time we ever saw him show emotion and he nailed it. He took it there. And for the record, I believe him when he says that he’s not afraid to step to anybody. I think he absolutely would’ve gone down to the streets with Omar if he knew that he was being called out. Remember when Avon was ready to go after Marlo himself in Season 3? Same thing. I question Marlo’s sanity but not his heart and toughness.

    Only one more left. Good piece as always Shoals.

  2. Mark Says:

    Terrific wrap-up, as usual. I’m really going to miss this blog once the series ends.

    I have to admit, this might be one of, if not the, best episodes of the series. Bubble’s speech and the conversation between Lester and Davis were two of the most satisfying scenes the series has ever had to offer. On the opposite side of the spectrum, Michael and Dukie’s goodbye was among the most gut wrenching. On the lighter side of things, Lester’s fleeting comment about Shardene might just be my favorite “cameo” to date. On the more meta level, Dukie’s fixation on what had to be Dexter was a great example of that pin-point commentary Simon can execute so masterfully. There are just a thousand things to talk about with this episode and I cannot wait for the finale. I wonder what song they’ll use for the ending montage (at this rate, they might need more than one).

    By the way, I’ve read on other blogs that the finale will not be airing a week early. Does anyone know if that is actually true? I just assumed with would be like all the others; season 4′s was and, in the intro to each OnDemand episode, it says “see every episode a week early.” I guess I’m just not sure I can go another week.

  3. vadmspartan Says:

    With that last shot of Dukie I am not at all optimistic about his future. Where’s Prez when you need him?

    All Marlo wants is the power and the respect. He can’t be having people throwing his name around. I’m guessing Chris didn’t want to tell him what Omar said because he knew Marlo would lose his cool and go to war. He thought that things were going well, no need for a confrontation with Omar. I agree that Jamie Hector’s performance was great for the scenes he was in. He’s shown more emotion this episode than all his past appearances combined.

    Can’t believe it’s almost over.

  4. vadmspartan Says:

    I’m pretty sure the finale will not be on On Demand.

  5. quesera Says:

    Michael should enlist and join the army. I knew a kid like him who managed to turn his life around through the military. He certainly has the strength and discipline. That life would suit him. It’s a way out. Maybe his only chance now.

    I don’t think he had a choice when it came to Snoop. It was self-preservation. He knew she was a soldier. She would have killed him. It was kill or be killed.

    Crazy when you think that he’s only 14 or 15 years old. A child, really. He was forced to grow up too fast. He was a father to Bug AND Dukie. He was the breadwinner, protector, provider and raised both those kids. Reminds me of Wallace. Too much responsibility for a kid to take on.

    Dukie is lost. He can’t survive without Michael. But Mike had no choice but to cut him loose. If he stayed with Mike, he’d end up dead. He remembered the piss balloons but he said he didn’t to hurt Dukie and push him away.

    These kids were better off to have never been born. Junkies should not have children. The kids end up damaged and neglected. No hope. No chance. A waste of a life.

  6. jammq Says:

    You figure that while we as viewers haven’t really seen that wild side of Marlo, Chris has. Chris was trying to protect Marlo from recklessly going after Omar, just like he frets about Marlo losing money gambling with the old-timers.

    He knows Marlo’s self-destructive tendencies, and is trying to keep Marlo from falling into the Omar trap, and thereby protect the organization which helps him make his livelihood.

  7. Mal Says:

    A great episode – I totally agree with the statement about the Bubs and Freamon/Davis pieces, truly satisfying. As for Michael/Snoop, the double take when asked to leave his gun behind reminded me of Stringer’s when Avon asked what time his meeting was – they both knew at that moment that they were marked, but Michael knew where his attack was coming from.

    It’s clear that Snoop was right, Michael is different. I agree he may become the next Marlo, but it’s equally possible he follows in Omar’s steps. Unlike many others, Michael never wanted money and power over others. His conversion came because he needed protection, and now he has all the knowledge Chris and Snoop have imparted upon him, the rep for taking out Snoop (and why not the unclaimed scalp of Omar himself?) – but has also clearly set himself against any remaining Stanfield crew. He always had a distaste for drugs – iirc he initially refused Namond’s offer to go in on the package?

    Speaking of which, more great cameos; Namond’s mouth has finally found a useful outlet, Bunny has some fine facial haberdashery, the Deacon is interfering as always, and as for Shardene…

    I also don’t want to get into predictions, but I’m starting to see how all the pieces are drawing together. I obviously don’t know how they’re going to connect, but I can see either a collision or a domino effect in those last 90 mins. The one piece which I cannot fathom is that Freamon/Davis talk. It isn’t for ‘personal’ gain, and I can’t see Clay offering much in the way of protection for any legal impediment. The only way I can see it affecting the Stanfield situation is if the information somehow takes Levy out of the equation. Actually, thinking about it, the feds always were interested in political corruption. Perhaps Levy gets turned? Or is that ridiculous?

    One final comment. I knew it was never going to happen, but when Dukie got that flash of recollection, I was wishing he would say “Remember that teacher we had, Mr Prezbo? Maybe he’d take me in?”. Never gonna happen in a million years. Still…

  8. carter blanchard Says:

    First off, with the heartbreak in his voice my read was that Michael legitimately couldn’t remember and was crushed with the realization that his childhood had been wiped from him (both in memory and in actuality).

    The Bubs/Dukie parralel was done so well. All Season 4 people spent time wondering who the kids were precursors of, but as far as I remember, the Bubs/Dukie connection was never made (at least for me). Then in the last couple episodes it suddenly dawned on me that their personalities were very similar (as far as the warmth, brightness, and extreme vulnerability, down to the way they carry themselves). With the scrap-selling this connection became very overt, to the point I even said outloud, “as fates go, a non-drug-using Bubs wouldn’t be so bad for Dukie,” but somehow I didn’t get the chilling realization that we were watching Bubs’s prehistory until he walked down that alley. I don’t know how, with all the history with his family, I never really considered him going down that road. Somehow I figured he was too bright and he’d find a way to escape, forgetting that Bubs is probably one of the brightest characters the show has, but that did little to save him from the suffering he’s been through. As indicated in the previous post, cleverness gets you very little in this universe.

    Having Bubs’ redemption juxtaposed with Dukie’s descent can be read so many ways: on one level, it’s as though Bubs’ (and Namond’s) stories fill our quota of “happy” endings, so we’re out of luck for the Dukies (and Randy’s). Read another way though, as bad as it was for Bubs he’s making it now in his own way, so while dark days lie ahead for Dukie, there’s always hope he can pull himself out from it (but it might take horrible, horrible tragedy to get there eventually)

  9. john Says:

    MY NAME IS MY NAME! was jaime hector’s greatest moment ever. that scene when he blew up in jail blew me away. and explains so much about what the interaction with chris and snoop in 58 after omar was killed

  10. Gaary Says:

    What happened to Marlo’s iPhone? Prez was in the previews for the finale. It’s kinda funny how they can cram nearly every character into this season (Clay talking about how he milked String, Namond being the model of success for the school system). I could see how some people think it’s forced, but they worked so hard to set everything up[ in the preceding seasons, and I think Simon is giving glimpses of the characters to satisfy the fans.

    Also, anyone notice Cheese’s last name is Wagstaff? Isn’t that Randy’s last name, could the be related too? That might be a little too much.

  11. Abe Says:

    “Perhaps Levy gets turned? Or is that ridiculous?”

    I think Levy is the king who has always been the king, more than anyone else in the show. I don’t know, or even really feel like trying to figure out if that means he skates along and they play “Don’t Stop Believing”, or the game ends in him being checkmated by all of the machinations coming together.

  12. That Honey Nut Says:

    Shoals: dead on about the Dukie/Bubbles parallel–earlier in the episode they showed us Bubbles coming out clean on the other side of what we know has been a long and perilous journey, but the episode ended with Dukie taking the first steps on what could be his. That shit was devastating.

    Michael’s only play now has to be to take out Marlo. It’s either that or leave town, and though I agree with vadmspartan and have seen the Army help kids i thought would be lost, I don’t see that happening on the show. If that were going to happen, there would have been at least one scene setting it up somewhere along the way.

    Lester’s Shardene moment is probably my favorite Lester moment ever now, and Dukie talking up Dexter is right up there with Cutty’s hospital roommate chuckling over Swearengen saying “cocksucker”

    I don’t think Lester is going to be able to catch Levy

  13. G Says:

    The wire definitely won’t be on next week.

    HBO on demand schedule for mar 3 – 9
    http://www.hbo.com/apps/hodschedule/hod/categoryweeknum.do?WEEKNUM=2

    the only new entry is called THE WIRE ’08: THE WIRE FINALE SPOT. It’s may be a retrospective or just the preview to the finale

    you can see the series finale is mar 10 -16
    http://www.hbo.com/apps/hodschedule/hod/categoryweeknum.do?WEEKNUM=3

  14. Ramsey Says:

    I also found this episode to be pitch perfect, for the reasons mentioned above, and with special emphasis on Marlo’s explosion, Snoop’s last words, and Michael’s heartbreaking goodbyes.

    One plot move that troubled me, though, was Kima’s whistleblowing. Based on her devotion to those she ousted, I really found it improbable that her character would be the one to blow the lid, particularly when Marlo’s whole crew is behind bars. Did anyone else have difficulty accepting her talking? More generally, would you read her actions as ultimately dignified and “right” or misguided and harmful?

  15. G Says:

    The wire definitely won’t be on next week.

    HBO on demand schedule for mar 3 – 9
    http://www.hbo.com/apps/hodschedule/hod/categoryweeknum.do?WEEKNUM=2

  16. john Says:

    i think kima is doing two things: saving the department as well as saving the investigation against chris. daniels and ronnie know as soon as that cell phone rings that they have NOTHING they can use against the stanfield boys unless they roll levy which i dont think will ever happen. so all the drugs and guns on the table are useless now (other than being confiscated). i may be wrong but i dont think there is any way they (mcnulty and freamon) can get out of the overtime slips, the fake wiretap, the missing homeless person, etc. the saddest part is how sydnor will get caught up in it and he was doing the best raw po-lice work the entire season

  17. Brian V Says:

    I don’t find Kima’s whisteblowing out of character at all. More than any of the other cops on the show, she seems to be the one who will not take a shortcut. She wouldn’t even identify her shooter to Bunk because she hadn’t gotten a clear look.

  18. Anthony Says:

    Question: What was Michael looking at when he was scoping Snoop at the corner of the spot where Skinny Walter (the guy they were supposed to be doing) hangs out? What did he witness there that tipped him off for good?

    And I got a feeling Snoop is about to become some kind of hero for the gangster-style way she went out. I’ve already seen signs of it on the HBO boards.


  19. Anthony, Michael was at the corner of Calhoun and Riggs, where Snoop said they were going to kill “Big Walter”. Michael went there sensing something was up after Snoop said not to bring a gun, and sure enough he sees Snoop there talking to a guy (probably Big Walter) who sends two people to hide inside the building.

  20. Anthony Says:

    Am I to assume that those two people were to kill Mike?

  21. That Honey Nut Says:

    here’s the thing with what Kima did: she didn’t straight-up rat out mcnulty and freamon–she took it to Daniels, whom she trusts, and he went out and verified it. her doubts about even this course of action were evident from her not being able to even get it out at first. but kima put it in Cedric’s hands, leaving the decision on what to do with it up to him (or so i presume; i suppose it’s possible that she would go through channels if daniels stays mum on it).

    Also let me also give voice to the question that is on America’s mind: will we ever catch another glimpse of Ziggy Sobotka?

  22. wirefan Says:

    Needed a littel grief counseling. Damn that episode hurt. Damn David Simon. Damn, damn, damn.

  23. Curtis Says:

    Easy for Marlo to shout “My name is my name” safe and snug on a jailhouse bed with Omar dead. Yeah I agree he might’ve been ready to step up; but Chris knows he doesn’t have the manhood he thinks he has, just like Omar knew it. Marlo believes his own hype.

    Snoop the gender ambiguous girl and Omar the gay man were bigger men than Marlo.

    An incredible episode. So sad.

    I even said outloud, “as fates go, a non-drug-using Bubs wouldn’t be so bad for Dukie.”

    Great thought, cb, I’m gonna try to imagine that it happens in the future of these characters that will never be written.

    Damn Pelecanos is a great writer.

  24. Curtis Says:

    I also note that Levy appeared to figure out that Herc‘s the snitch.

  25. Gaary Says:

    Kima had a turn somewhere after the triple when she started caring about Elijah. I guess it was her pulling the opposite of McNulty and realizing there is more to life than police work. It’s a bit of a leap to say that is the reason she spoke out on him, but it seems she’s been trying to do the right thing this half of the season.

    That “My Name is My Name” bit is straight out of the Crucible. That’s some serious depth.

    I like the “How’s my hair look Mike?” line right before Snoop gets got. She’s been the hardest person the entire season, and she shows some feminine traits (whether serious or tongue-in-cheek) right at the end . That’s an extremely interesting touch on the end of her plotline.

    FREE DUKIE

  26. jimmy jazz Says:

    something i wasn’t quite clear on while watching 59… why did the fact that the cell phone that was sealed up for evidence rang confirm to pearlman and daniels that mcnulty had scammed them? whose cell phone was that supposed to be, and whose was it actually? i was confused because it seems like freamon and mcnulty would want a damning piece of evidence like that as far from the rest of the department as possible.

  27. sablesma Says:

    That was Marlo’s confiscated phone from the bust. If it rang, that means it was the one being tapped the whole time.

  28. James Says:

    I must’ve missed something, but what was the Lester-Shardene moment?

  29. HonTea Says:

    “Why? What I do wrong?”

    “Always apart. Always asking why. When you should be doing what you told. You was never one of us. And you never could be.”

    Substitute “us” with “institutions” and that scene is the message of the entire show.

  30. Skate Nazi Says:

    Pelecanos as usual, completely on top of his game.
    Incredible job with this episode, especially Marlo’s jailhouse talk and the Mike/Dukie/Bug scene but how is anyone going to be able to last 2 more weeks until the finale?

  31. Mal Says:

    James – it’s when Lester and Jimmy are outside at night, Lester is drunk and Jimmy is miserable. Freamon makes a comment along the lines of “Shardene better be up when I get home, I’m in the mood for loving…”

    A tiny comment, but a nice one.

  32. Boston Matt Says:

    To clarify the phone thing, as I think some people were confused as to how McNulty and Lester engineered their scam…

    They put MArlo’s number on the paperwork for the wire tap, and then they kept the official computer unplugged, so that no calls would reach that computer. There was the scene where LEster tucked the phone line into bundle of other wires.

  33. quesera Says:

    ““Why? What I do wrong?”

    “Always apart. Always asking why. When you should be doing what you told. You was never one of us. And you never could be.”

    Substitute “us” with “institutions” and that scene is the message of the entire show.”

    Good point. I notice that sometimes Michael’s dialog echos McNulty of all people. It’s a weird coincidence. When Carver picked up Michael on his corner, Michael even used McNulty’s trademark phrase, “What the fuck did I do?” Oddly enough, both Michael and McNulty got busted by rank-and-file lesbians who did not appreciate their bucking authority and going off the reservation. Both these characters are alienated in some way from their institutions. Never fit in. Asked too many questions. Too smart for their own good.

  34. kidjock Says:

    Awesome episode. Could not sleep for an hour after I watched it. Marlo v Chris regarding Omar was facetious. Marlo is the king, and his job is to talk loud and congratulate himself after the soldiers do all the dirty work. Similar to how the brass were (insert Wolf from Pulp Fiction) after all the drug money was on the table. He’s done. They did not need to tell where they got their suspicions that something was going on. Now that the police have their cell phones, they KNOW there was a conspiracy going on. It will not matter in court whether there was an illegal wiretap because the police reports do not mention it, and they could have gotten a tip that something was about to go down from anyone.

    I loved the Namond, Sharlene, and Bunny callbacks. I guess we now know who everyone will grow to be; Dukie-Bubs, Namond – Bunny, Randy – Prop Joe, Michael – Avon.

  35. kb Says:

    I saw the jailhouse interview going down as Levy and Marlo deciding it was one of Marlo’s that snitched, thus getting said snitch dead and giving more baggage to the McNulty/Freamon scheme. Also, I can’t see Levy being toppled at the finale; he, like the greeks, transcend the bmore institutions that eat the majority of the characters.
    Also, what happened to the distance that Levy displayed in season 3 (or was it 2? or 1?) in the strip club scene with Avon and string? He said “the less I know of this, the better” about the conversation and left. Maybe he is the real kingpin.

    Also – why is everyone so sure snoop is a lesbian? Apart from the obvious clues, of course, but was there a giveaway line that I missed somewhere?

  36. omgwftbbq Says:

    How does Levy flipping affect the case against Marlo? Everything they talk about should be attorney-client. Sure, they could probably find some kind of dirty paper on Levy and throw him in jail, but I don’t think anything he had to say about Marlo’s criminal behavior would be admissible.

  37. The Great Man Mannie Fresh Says:

    “Those last two scenes, with Bug and Dukie, were positively heartbreaking. I’ll admit it, I cried a little.”

    Like… f., I can’t lie, I started right at the beginning when Bubs asked his sister to come through to his one-year anniversary – as a microcosm of their relationship, that was pretty heartbreaking, and for it to have happened in front of that Sun reporter (he has a cool name, I just can’t remember it). Andre Royo for an Emmy, y’feel me?

    Re: kb
    I’m paraphrasing, but Bunk: I’m thinkin’ about some pussy
    Snoop: Yeah, me too.

    Now, I’m just pissing optimistic guesses in the harsh Wire wind, but something tells me that Daniels sits on this because he appreciates good policework – but he ends up giving McNutty the “where don’t you want to go?” bomb.

    Lastly, I don’t know why, but Snoop’s death – maybe, more specifically, the way it was done – hit me harder than anything this season – or maybe even Bodie last season?! It’s hard to remember how that played out emotionally, so I might be wrong, but that was EXCELLENT writing.

  38. Jay Smooth Says:

    KB, think back to this scene:

    (which was an ad-lib by snoop, apparantly)

  39. Officer Polk Says:

    Beats working…

  40. Steve Lieber Says:

    I liked Marlo’s outburst for the way it draws a line between the street and the money. Compare that moment to Vondas at the end of season two: “My name is not my name.”

  41. Ethan Says:

    Strangely, I did not feel the least bit of satisfaction in watching Marlo’s crew getting taken down. Even though Marlo seems to be evil incarnate, there was something compelling about the way he ran his crew and the consistent discipline they all showed. That they were ultimately (perhaps) taken down by a stooge like Herc just didn’t seem right, but I guess fits with the vision of the show.

    The Wire has a way of strangely humanizing the characters that we are initially trained to hate. I initially couldn’t stand Bodie, especially after killing Wallace; but by the time of his demise, he had become a favorite. Chris Partlow seems to have few redeeming characteristics. He is a ruthless killer with seemingly no conscience. But somehow, between the scenes of him fretting over his kids or just dancing to the Bawlmor club music he became a sad country boy with little choice in his fate. This is probably not the right way to look at it, but I really do feel bad to see him fall. Then again, Avon and Webey

  42. Jessica Says:

    There is no way in hell Michael will become the new Marlo. After what he’s seen and done he will MOST DEFINITELY be the new Omar.

  43. Simon's bitch Says:

    Gotta go with Jessica…Michael is too independent to be part of an organization. If he doesn’t go straight, he’ll be more like Omar.

    Niggling thought: we already know that Marlo collected street information from a variety of sources (he told Chris and Snoop that Omar was dead, for instance). So how in the world did he NOT know that Omar was wandering around Baltimore calling him a punk ass bitch???? Anybody?

    I was so happy to see Namond and Bunny and the Deacon again! And happy to hear Shardene and Lester were still together (I thought for sure they broke up by Season 4). Also happy to see Augie! His eyes even looked clear for once.

  44. sahu Says:

    jessica I was just about to post the same thing. In order for michael to be marlo he would need to have a crew who respected/feared him inorder to take the raines from the current king marlo. By the virtue of being all alone he is much more like omar. If he wants to be a part of the game he will have to play it as an outsider. And I am sure like omar he will have people out to get him. Fortunately he is very smart and very skilled so he should do ok in this role, but as we’ve seem even the best can get got.

  45. omfg Says:

    Michael will not be the “new Omar” (what does this mean exactly?) That’s such a simplistic and reductionist take on a richly complex and unique character.

    Did you not see Omar’s prequel as a kid? He was running around with his brother Anthony and robbing people at the age of 10. All in the game, yo! Omar loved his job. Good interview with Michael K Williams about the psychology of his character:

    http://www.afterelton.com/people/2008/2/michaelkwilliams?page=0%2C2

    ” In the beginning, he was Robin Hood, going around robbing drug dealers. Clearly, it wasn’t what he was taking, but who he was taking it from. He got a hard-on from that. He went to the gangsterest drug dealer’s biggest lair and took all their drugs and money, flushed their drugs down the toilet, and kept their money. That made his day for some reason.”

    Omar was a larger-than-life vigilante. As MKW said, he was the “last of a dying breed”

    Face it, there will be no “new Omar”. That’s why we mourn the passing of his character.

  46. Martin Says:

    Quesera said something very pertinent:

    “Oddly enough, both Michael and McNulty got busted by rank-and-file lesbians who did not appreciate their bucking authority and going off the reservation. Both these characters are alienated in some way from their institutions. Never fit in. Asked too many questions. Too smart for their own good.”

    This is deep on many levels. Consider–both Kima and Snoop are, if you go by surface values, much less likely to get ahead in their respective institutions. Though their being black is a non-issue in Baltimore, they’re both women and lesbians (confirmed in Kima’s case, intimated in Snoop’s case), so to gain prominence in their respective hierarchies, they embrace the norms and the institutions much more fully than alpha dog/lone wolf types like McNulty and Michael.

    Kima has been paralleled many times with McNulty over the series, most recently in the episode with the IKEA furniture. She seems set to follow in his footsteps by neglecting any semblance of a life in favor of being a crackerjack police. Yet, not only does she not get on board with McNulty’s insane scheme, she rats him out. Perhaps her connection with Elijah has helped her to see that, like Carver saw, the little things do matter.

    Snoop, on the other hand, has no connection to anyone or anything. Like her own role model, Marlo, she exists only in the game, to kill and be feared. So Michael gets the drop on her.

    Yet another example of just how deep and multilayered the show is. There’ll never be another like it, ever.

  47. Martin Says:

    Oh, yeah, one more thing:

    Michael is absolutely the new Omar. Thinks for himself, has an almost samurai-like devotion to his work, and sees an ethical divergence between killing people “in the game,” and “civilians.” It’s worth noting that Michael, who normally shows no fear of anyone, admitted to Marlo, Chris, and Snoop that he was terrified Omar would recognize him.

    Game doesn’t always recognize game.

  48. Gukbe Says:

    If Levy finds out (which he seems to have) that the “source” was an illegal wiretap, then anything from that wiretap is inadmissable in court. A lot is going to depend on how the department plays it, but it really could go either way.

  49. kidjock Says:

    Michael is not about to be the next Omar. He is too smart to get into that line of work. Michael understands the game at an early age, and is ruthless. He already has a crew, (kenard = weebay, spider = more muscle….literally) and rep on the corners. Marlo’s world is crashing. No Snoop, no Monk (Monk told Marlo Omar was dead), Chris locked up, his “name” was punked on the streets.
    Michael easily takes over his own group. The fact that he asks questions means that he is meant to be a leader, not a sheep following orders like the rest of Marlo’s lieutenants. There will never be another Omar, but the game is the game yo.

  50. C+C Says:

    Steve Lieber Says:

    I liked Marlo’s outburst for the way it draws a line between the street and the money. Compare that moment to Vondas at the end of season two: “My name is not my name.”

    Excellent observation. It echoes the fight between Avon and Stringer over the difference between playing the game so your name can ring out, and playing it to simply profit. Omar’s strategy of incessantly calling Marlo out recognizes that his pride and need for street reverence is his weakness; the reluctance of Marlo’s crew to let Marlo learn about Omar calling him out recognizes the same. Vondas and Prop Joe understood that anonymity is a virtue in the game. But Marlo doesn’t care about averting risk.

  51. Steve Lieber Says:

    I don’t see the message being that Michael is going to be “the new Omar” so much as it being just another example of how systems work to force people into roles. A Michael, faced with a given set of circumstances, has the strength and resources to step outside the system and live by his own code, much as Omar did. A Dukie, lacking that strength, but dealt a similarly rough hand is set on the path to a life like Bubbles. (And it’s hard to forget that Ed Burns’ informant- the real Bubbles,-was an araber.)

    Martin: great observation Re: Kima and Snoop.

  52. Joe-El Says:

    Not everyone (or anyone) has to be “the next” someone. Just like in real life…different characters have different narratives.

  53. C+C Says:

    One last thing:

    Communications between attorney and client that relate to the purpose of committing a crime or tort are generally not privileged. So almost nothing Marlo and Levy talked about would be protected against disclosure.

  54. Paul Says:

    I predict that Levy does indeed see that the wiretap was illegal, and eventually realize that Herc gave them the number (although that’s a stretch)

    I am interested in seeing who Clay Davis was talking about as a leak in the brass. We can suspect Bond for the documents procured from Prop Joe’s house, but there is much more dirt that Lester et al can pin to some other leaks…

    All in all, I’ve been less entertained by the newsroom sequences than any others…
    I don’t feel like I care about any of those characters…It’s a shame we won’t get another season, but it’s not to be

  55. Cranky Says:

    I hate to say it, but I think Michael will be lucky just to stay alive, frankly.

  56. Paul Says:

    One More Thing…
    PRICE OF THE BRICK GOIN UP

  57. Word Says:

    “Not everyone (or anyone) has to be “the next” someone. Just like in real life…different characters have different narratives.”

    Exactly!

    What is this fixation with “the next ____”????

  58. Derms Says:

    Love the show and the site. This whole “next” movement is a total pop culture phenomenon. Look at Sports and Music. Nine outta ten times we would rather figure who someone reminds us of then just appreciate their brilliance. How many damn “Next Michael Jordan’s have their been. Harold Miner is probably working in that shoe store with Poot making up excuses about why he never made it.

    This episode is one of my favs of all time. I plan on watching it at least ten more times before I peep the finale. The scene with Lester and Clay Davis was unbelievable. If there are no trophies for this show after this season, then those trophies don’t mean a damn thing. This show is ten times better than the Sopranos ever was. Word, son!

  59. Janet Says:

    Marlo’s statement was just as gripping, telling, and forceful as his position when he said it – flat up against a white wall.

  60. Shoals Says:

    I have no idea what actually happens in the finale, but am sick of predictions and will delete them all from now on. Only partly because they could actually be spoilers.

  61. MJ Says:

    Michael clearly intends to stay in the game. He told Bug to give the money in the shoebox to the aunt and that there was more where that came from if needed. I think he’ll be the next Darth Vader. Totaly shut down emotionally and encased in armor.

    Namond is going to grow up to be a lawyer.

    Kima has been mirroring McNulty in many ways except for the booze. I think that’s a huge difference in how they differ. She admits to being a “dog”, she ran from true intimacy but she didn’t drown herself in order to function on a daily basis.

  62. Curtis Says:

    I liked Marlo’s outburst for the way it draws a line between the street and the money. Compare that moment to Vondas at the end of season two: “My name is not my name.”

    Fantastic observation, Lieber. Did Pelecanos write that season 2 episode I wonder?

    And Paul, it is no stretch at all that Levy knows who the source was:

    a. it’s about the only logical place it could’ve come from.

    b. he’s a very experienced lawyer – pros like him don’t prosper if they don’t recognize liars – and Herc sucks at lying. Watch that scene again and look at Levy’s eyes, witness him realizing what’s up and then notice how carefully he questioned Herc. He’s a pro. Like McNulty and Bunk and Lester are pros. Levy might just be their first apt opponent.

  63. Curtis Says:

    Ah, it’s from the last episode of season 2, written by Simon:

    Vondas: He knows my name, but my name is not my name. And you… to them you’re only “The Greek.”

    The Greek: And, of course, I’m not even Greek.

  64. Martin Says:

    Just as a follow-up to the “next” comments, I think the very deliberate parallels we see between characters play to this sort of development. It speaks to the central theme the show–that institutions grind people down and force them into roles, whether they want to be there or not.

    Even Michael’s potential evolution into the next Omar could be seen as such–against every institution, in every time, there’s always one person who steps outside the rules and does things according to what they want. Our cultures (American culture in particular, but not uniquely) need these individuals, these archetypes, as romantic ideals to give us strength to endure our daily lives and the grind therein.

  65. Mal Says:

    I understand people’s antagonism (or better yet, displeasure…) towards the current ‘next’ obsession, but I see where it’s coming from, having succumbed myself. I think a large part of it is the finality of the last episode looming. When people say that such-and-such might be the next Omar (or Marlo, Avon, whoever), it’s obvious there will never be another Omar, both in the sense that he is a unique individual within the world of ‘Wire-Baltimore’, and that the series is ending.

    That said, there are many aspects of these characters which are not unique to them. Omar is not the only one to rip and run. Men have held a far greater grip on the drug trade than Stringer, Avon or Marlo ever will – but we cannot compare to them, as we do not know their story.

    If I suppose that Michael may become the next Marlo or Omar, I don’t mean that he will replace that character, either in our hearts and minds, or within some unwritten plot for s6. I doubt even the most densely packed finale could come close to giving the depth of information needed, and unless the final shot is a guy holding someone up and laughing ‘all in the game’, we’re not going to see a direct comparison. However, I can certainly see similarities over the generations, and it seems that we’re being led to think of the relationships between the newer/younger characters as analagous to those of the rest of the series.

    That said, the “OMG OMAR SHUDA KIKCED DAT PUNK KENORD KONG-FU STYLEE DEN GON ONNA RAMPAGE AND LIVED ON DA MOON WIT ROWLS AS IS BIATCH, NAMSAYIN?” type of ‘predictions’ are not only frequently laughable, they skew conversation away from any thoughts which might add to our understanding of the show. Ours is not to argue what they should have done – it is do work out why they did what they did.

  66. Curtis Says:

    Good stuff, Martin & Mal. What else can Michael ever do but be Omar?

  67. reality check Says:

    Well, for one, he can end up with a bullet in the head. That’s the most likely outcome, isn’t it?

    What else can Michael ever do but end up dead or locked up by the time he’s 18? That’s reality! Unless he enlists in the military or goes to work at Foot Locker like Poot.

    Frankly, I think the audience is still in mourning about the death of Omar Little. They can’t let go and thus this persistent need to replace him with “____ is the next Omar”. It’s like an annoying death rattle that won’t stop.

    We just lost one of the greatest characters in television history and the series is ending. The audience NEEDS there to be someone, anyone, to replace our deceased superhero to pacify our grief. That says more about the audience psychology than that of these characters.

  68. Curtis Says:

    Not so [b]reality[/b] – Michael would need to earn. Yes he could die tomorrow (like every one of us), meanwhile he’s got to take as much care as possible of his brother and that means keeping each breath coming and the money box full. Young man needs to keep getting paid in full.

  69. Curtis Says:

    Which is not to say being “new Omar” is a positive option. It’s survival of the fittest until you aren’t. And it’s sad and wrong.

  70. RobQ Says:

    I think it’s simplifying things to say that each of the kids is going to grow to be someone else from the show. The message in my mind is that at the start of Season 4 these kids were undefined identities, innocent kids throwing piss at a time where there lives were about to become a lot more serious. Over the time where they are having their characters defined they are influenced by the adults that either cross their path or exert control over them, and thus they take on those traits.

    Michael, being the most headstrong rejected Dennis and Prez and followed what he saw as real power (Marlo). That defined him, but now in this episode he was faced with actually becoming an adult and having no one left to follow with and no ties to his youth (Dukie). The message to me is that these kids are having to define themselves so young and while sometimes the adults in their lives are able to mentor them through it, in so many cases it just doesn’t happen and no matter where they turn all the roads lead to nowhere.

  71. reality check Says:

    He could always go work at McDonalds or Wallmart. Plenty of kids do that too.

  72. mentors Says:

    Children are influenced by the mentors who cross their path. Right now, the most influential adult presence in Michael’s life has been Chris Partlow. That man look Michael under his wing and trained him. Chris was almost like a father to him.

  73. Curtis Says:

    Michael, being the most headstrong rejected Dennis and Prez and followed what he saw as real power (Marlo).

    Michael did what he needed to do – save the only person he loved from being sexually assaulted. What kind of choice is that?

    The man who helped him save his brother used his power over a talented youngster to begin to mold him to his own purposes. He took advantage.

  74. Steve Lieber Says:

    Realitycheck: He’s what? Fourteen years old? There’s no legal employment option for him, yet. He’s going to have to survive on the streets for two years with no support system and a drug mob looking to kill him just to make it to the point where he could legitimately apply for that entry-level job at Walmart.

  75. Greg Says:

    One of the things I loved in this episode was seeing Naimond at the debate, and how proud Colvin was… seems to reiterate on one of the major themes, that when you step outside of the ways of “the system”, real change can be accomplished- the exchange between Carcetti, the prime mover of the system, and one who has certainly been exploiting it, and Colvin, was a great moment, and a nice reminder of season 3-

    this goes along with the good point mentors made about how much the environments have affected all 4 of the kids in play

  76. RobQ Says:

    Curtis: I agree, but there could have been other ways to handle that. They probably wouldn’t have yielded any better results, but Michael never wanted to deal with anyone who was being “nice”. He made a choice in a messed up situation…

  77. Anthony Says:

    It is assumed that Mike already had the drop on Snoop before he ever got in the truck with her, but when he asks her “Where’s my gun?” and she tells him she’ll give it to him when they set up for the hit, he still looks alarmed/confused. Any explanations?

  78. Curtis Says:

    there could have been other ways to handle that

    And I agree, RobQ, but Michael wanted step daddy dead and gone. His rage seemed fueled (as did Chris’s?) from his own past as a victim of sexual assault.

    he still looks alarmed/confused. Any explanations?

    I take it to mean he still had hope that his instincts about Snoop were wrong. The death of that minuscule and absurd hope was Michael changing forever.

  79. Kevin Says:

    I think Michael’s last words to Snoop, far from being kind words to an older sister, echoed at least one murder of Chris’. Chris has killed with the same calm, reassuring tone that Michael shows. I see Michael’s words as cold, heartless, and I half-expected him to start wearing a black helmet and breathing loudly through a tube. It’s possible his last good acts were to get Dukie and Bug as far away from his as possible.

  80. Boy Howdy Says:

    I got a sinking feeling when I realized that the music playing in the background at Walter Reed was Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak”.

  81. Other ways? Says:

    What other ways could a 13 year old child conceive of handling a situation of living with a negligent crack fiend mother who sells their food stamps for drugs and a creepy pedophile stepfather?

    If Michael calls Social Services, then him and Bug will get split up and sent to those scary group homes that destroyed Randy Wagstaff. Also, it appears Michael did file a complaint of child molestation in the past, but the system failed him and Chester the Molester was invited back into their home by his crack fiend mom to continue his rape and sexual abuse of both Michael and his little brother Bug.

    The children who sought out other adult authority figures also did not fare well. In fact, they came out even worse than Michael:

    Randy Wagstaff turned to his teacher Mr. Prezbo and Officer Carver for help. Look what happened. His foster mother Miss Anna was burnt to a crisp and killed. Randy’s life ruined forever. Now he’s trapped back in a scary group home. Randy has become a hateful bitter hardened thug who abused little children.

    Finally Dukie Weems. He turned to Mr. Prezbo for help and he fed, cleaned and clothed the boy temporarily, but, in the end, promoted him to another school and moved on. Dukie then turned to Dennis Cutty for further guidance but this man could offer nothing beyond “hopes and wishes”. Next, Dukie turned to the adult Poot for advice. He was told to bang on the corners until he’s 17. Finally, Dukie has turned to the neighborhood junkman who is introducing him to theft and heroin.

    Tell me again, what is this “other way” you speak of?

  82. The Great Man Mannie Fresh Says:

    re:” Anthony Says:
    February 27, 2008 at 12:13 am
    It is assumed that Mike already had the drop on Snoop before he ever got in the truck with her, but when he asks her “Where’s my gun?” and she tells him she’ll give it to him when they set up for the hit, he still looks alarmed/confused. Any explanations?”

    Rather than alarm or being confused, what I took to be inflected by Michael/Tristan Wilds’ face was a piecing together of two and two, and the reaffirmation of what he had already had suspected.

  83. Ethan Says:

    Strangely, I did not feel the least bit of satisfaction in watching Marlo’s crew getting taken down. Even though Marlo seems to be evil incarnate, there was something compelling about the way he ran his crew and the consistent discipline they all showed. That they were ultimately (perhaps) taken down by a stooge like Herc just didn’t seem right, but I guess fits with the vision of the show.

    The Wire has a way of strangely humanizing the characters that we are initially trained to dislike. I initially couldn’t stand Bodie, especially after killing Wallace; but by the time of his demise, he had become a favorite. Chris Partlow seems to have few redeeming characteristics. He is a ruthless killer with seemingly no conscience. But somehow, between the scenes of him fretting over his kids or just dancing to the Bawlmor club music he became a sad country boy with little choice in his fate. This is probably not the right way to look at it, but I really do feel a little sad to see him fall. Then again, Avon and Webey seem to be doing ok in prison.

    Also, was it my imagination or did Levy look at his rolodex during his conversation with Herc? I think he is very suspicious at this point.

  84. cingersoll Says:

    he was staring at his rolodex thinking in the final second of the scene

  85. HonTea Says:

    I MISS BODIE *spits*

  86. Drink with me Jimmy Says:

    For all of those dismissing the possibility of the Dukie/Bubs or Michael/Omar parallels…here’s a quote from Ed Burns about the impetus for Season 4

    “We wanted to take a look at where the Barksdales came from,” Burns says of the new season. “Where do the drug dealers and the drug addicts come from? That brought us to the schools and it brought us to the middle school. That’s what shaped the fourth season, the logic of looking back into the young people to see what determines why young kids grow up to be Stringer Bells and Marlos and Chrises.”

    Link: http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=12201

  87. Mal Says:

    “Drink with me jimmy” – that interview is interesting. I never knew the political side was originally going to be a spin off.

  88. Aaron Says:

    About the evidence in the Marlo conspiracy:
    I’m a law student, and here is what likely is going to happen.
    Lester used the information from the illegal wiretap as probable cause to obtain the warrant for the drug busts and the arrests of Marlo’s crew, yet he attributed the information to a confidential informant. PC from a CI is perfectly okay for obtaining the warrants.
    The warrants will lead to PC for a title III wiretap of the phones they recovered from Marlo, Chris, and Cheese where they will be able to use the information (i.e. pictures, numbers, etc) from the phones to prove a conspiracy charge against the crew and mostly Marlo at the top.
    However it seems from this episode that Levy is figuring out that the initial PC for the warrants were not from a CI but from something else, and Herc seems to be showing that it was in fact an illegal wiretap.
    As Lester said Levy has a mole within the courthouse, and he will likely be able to get some documentation or proof of the illegal tap.
    He will then move to have what is called a Frank’s hearing to challenge the original PC from the warrant. The burden of proof in these are very high, and he will have to illustrate that the police lied in their application for the warrant, not just that the police were lied to by a CI. If he has documentation, Marlo and his crew will have all their charges dropped, with the exception of Chris who is in for the murder of Michael’s stepdad.
    All of the evidence gained through the illegal tap is thrown out, as is any evidence discovered as a result of the tap because it is considered tainted.
    This is going to be bad for the BPD and especially McNulty.

  89. Hawkins Says:

    I don’t see “Michael as Avon” but rather “Michael as Omar” when he was scoping that corner he was watching where the drug boys were hiding

    I see Marlo as Avon, more concerned about street rep/”his name” than the big picture and Chris, in his own way has become like Stringer, looking to protect Marlo from doing something stupid that gets them all done in.

    I think it’s obvious Duquan is our new Bubbles.

    I also think from watching Bunk gloat, that he probably gets done in by someone on Marlo’s crew looking to shut down the investigation. A callback to Chris getting info on the Russian at the public records office.

    One character we haven’t seen: Ziggy. I wonder if he pops up. I could see him shanking a dude to get prison cred

  90. partlow's protege Says:

    You realize that Michael learned all his scoping and stalking skills from Chris Partlow, right? They taught him, “get there early”.

    Chris set up on both Avon and Omar. Chris scoped Avon in that SUV and shot him. Chris stalked Omar and scoped him watching Monk’s condo and lured him into a trap. He may have missed his shot but he turned Omar into a pathetic gimp.

    Michael’s very calm compassionate killing manner is something he acquired from Chris Partlow. What’s the difference between “Relax. It won’t hurt none” and “You look good, girl”. BANG!

    I think it’s quite obvious that if Michael is “the next ____”, he’s the next Chris Partlow (except more independent). I could see Michael becoming a solider for hire like Slim Charles. He’s not emotionally invested in the game like Marlo, Avon or Omar. He just wants to make his money without hassles and move along.


  91. Anybody still read the bible around here?

    Marlo: MY NAME IS MY NAME = Yahweh = the demigod who rules the material world

    A long way between heaven and here.

  92. jay Says:

    This conversation is devolving into useless dribble. Micheal is not the next marlo, avon, chris, snoop, weebay, omar, or anybody else. He’s just micheal, the next dead young black male found on a random baltimore corner. He’s a 14yr old kid riding around in a stolen car with no place to go. the most ruthless drug crew in B-More is looking to off him. He’ll be lucky to make it out alive. (and the only real chance he has for that is to leave Baltimore all together. And we know how likely that is.) All that magical unicorn bullet dodging, stash robbery died with Omar in the Korean corner store. Let it go people. Your missing the whole point of the show.

  93. lukeoneil47 Says:

    Simon’s bitch:

    Would you want to be the one to go up to Marlo and tell him word is Omar’s says he’s a punk? I’m certainly not volunteering for that job. It’s likely anyone close to him was told by Chris to keep it secret, and anyone else would be foolhardy to “insult” Marlo by telling him he was being called out. Sure fire way to get done.

  94. Curtis Says:

    Your (sic) missing the whole point of the show.

    What might that be?

    I don’t think there is a “point.”

    Facets, yes. In that light everything you just said is true about Michael but in no way excludes his potential for becoming another guy like Omar. The story demonstrates he is not an average human – he’s deadly, smart and driven to survive – and now he’s in the wind with no one but himself to depend on.

    List the character’s realistic options.

    Omar’s career path seems to be the only paved road ahead for Michael.

    He’ll be lucky if he don’t make it out dead.

    the most ruthless drug crew in B-More

    You sure about that? Seems to me Kenard was more ruthless.

  95. Hawkins Says:

    I think the point is that it’s all cyclical

    We meet Bubbles when he’s a junkie, but how does he get to that point? Who in the system failed him? Enter Duquan.

    How does a guy get to be like an Avon or Marlo, see Michael

    these stupid crews keep fighting over stupid corners

  96. Adam Hoff Says:

    Hawkins has it right. It isn’t so much a desire to slot someone in as the next Omar as it is a fascination with how these characters come to exist. For three seasons we were introduced to a rich tapestry of characters, almost all of them fully evolved (for better or worse) adults. How do lifelong Baltimore residents become Stringer and Avon and Clay and Bunny and McNulty and, yes, Omar? That was one potential question that an interested viewer could ask after the first three seasons. So then along comes season four to introduce us to a new cast of characters, kids no more than 13 and 14 years old. They didn’t fill defined roles right away and in many cases still don’t, but we were supposed to get a window into how these people come about. Marlo’s don’t just pop out of the womb, talking noise and ordering hits. They live on the margins, roam the streets without supervision, and learn from watching the adults around them (or even just the older kids). We can see Michael’s and evolution and naturally wonder what he’s being molded and hardened into. Perhaps he will take on a more independent streak and live like Omar or perhaps he will build a mini empire ala Avon or Marlo. We don’t know for sure, but certainly we’ve been given so much of his character because we’re supposed to understand how those characters come about. The same is also true of Randy. And the lens pulls back even further to give us Kennard, who is even younger and angrier and provided with even fewer role models. It’s all very much chicken or the egg, generational archetypes, and so on.

    I admit that there is an overwhelming tendency to label someone the “next” something – mainly because it is easy analysis for an increasingly lazy culture – but to me, it has become even more vogue to lash out against the usage than it is to use it. There is nothing wrong with drawing analogies, particularly between different generations, when the entire premise of the show is institutional systems and how they chew up and spit out the disadvantaged. It’s really the whole point, it seems to me. So if we don’t see in Michael this evolution and this capacity to become like the characters we already know, we are really missing out on the primary thrust of the message.

    All of that to say, the Dukie/Bubbles analysis in the original post was beautiful and heartbreaking, just like the scenes themselves.

  97. Skate Nazi Says:

    Boy Howdy said:
    I got a sinking feeling when I realized that the music playing in the background at Walter Reed was Thin Lizzy’s “Jailbreak”.

    Me, I reeeaaally hope that doesn’t foreshadow Marlo and his boys getting off because Levy figures out that Herc gave up Marlo’s number and that Lester ran an illegal wiretap.

    But on the subject of background music, what about the scene where Herc was drinking with Carver and asking him if it really was a wiretap and his phone number lead that brought Marlo down, and Tom Petty’s “Refugee” was playing?
    The very next scene was Bubbles in the basement with the reporter.
    He’s clean, he has his shit together now. He really DOESN’T have to live like a refugee anymore.

    Or maybe that didn’t really mean shit and I just wanted it to.

  98. comicbookheroes Says:

    Omar, as a character, was an anomaly on a show that is often touted for it’s realism. He was a larger-than-life comic book superhero. A ghetto Robin hood who can leap 5 story buildings like Spiderman and disappear within seconds. Unless Monk owned a Kevlar couch, Omar also had the ability to survive a hail of 1000 bullets from 4 highly trained marksmen. Omar was a “Farmer in the Dell” whistling Dark Knight vigilante who had more lives that a litter of stray cats. Of course, he was highly entertaining but it required a certain suspension of disbelief as well. Omar belongs in the same universe as Jack Bauer, Dexter and Sylar.

    I just cannot fathom how there will be a “next Omar” when even the first Omar was hard to swallow.

  99. Allday Says:

    I see the Bubbles / Dukie parallel if you define Bubbles broadly as a Junkie, but they’re two very different people. Even as a dope fiend, Bubbles still had a happy-go-luckiness and an amazing ability to talk his way out of most situations. Now maybe those are survival skills he picked up along the way, but fundamentally it seems like Bubbles is built for the streets in a way Dukie isn’t. Through seasons 4 and 5 we’ve seen Dukie utterly lost, scared, and confused whenever he’s left without someone like Prez or Micheal to lean on. If the story ended today, I would see Dukie ending up like Bub’s sidekick Johnny – someone who couldn’t survive without stronger people around him and who, even though he seemed to have it worse than most of the other characters, it was hard to muster much sympathy for. Anyway, I’m more worried for Dukie than I ever was for Bubbles.

  100. John John Says:

    Curtis,

    Kenard may have gotten the drop on Omar, but its highly unlikely that Micheal will take down the entire Stansfield crew befor he catches a bullet.

    Death or prison seem the only likely “career options” for Micheal and pretty much anyone else in his situation.

    Your assertion about micheal not being an average human is exactly the kind of magical unicorn dribble i was lamenteing in my original post. Above avergae human or no, he is not Omar. Omar was more than human. Which is why he had to die the way he did. theres no room for Magical unicorn heros in baltimore. If you really think there is going to be another omar then you missed the whole point of his death.

    And if you don’t think there is a “point to the show” trhen you must have been watching somethign else for the last five seasons. (Maybe Law and Order or CSI)

  101. scribe9 Says:

    All the “next” talk is a little out-of-hand, but clearly the newer characters on the show are meant to parallel the original characters. Ed Burns said as much.

    To me, Michael’s parallel is D’Angelo Barksdale. He’s a bit harder than D’Angelo, but only because he’s forced to be. D’Angelo led a fairly sheltered life as Avon’s nephew. Michael obviously did not — though he did develop a surrogate-uncle relationship with Chris and by extension, Marlo.

    But the series began with the aftermath of a murder committed by D’Angelo. It’s likely going to end with the aftermath of a murder committed by Michael. Both characters are somewhat reluctant, very intelligent, independent-thinking and, as time goes on, conscience-stricken. We know how D’Angelo ended up. And though I suspect we’ve seen the last of Michael on the show, what other way can really, realistically, end up?

  102. Simon's bitch Says:

    If you don’t see the circular nature of the show, then you’re really missing a major point.

    The game is the game, yo. Players change is all.

  103. Curtis Says:

    Your assertion about micheal not being an average human is exactly the kind of magical unicorn dribble i was lamenteing in my original post. Above avergae human or no, he is not Omar.

    John John – I’m not talking about Michael becoming a mythic creature like Omar.

    I’m talking about, like, what’s he going to do for a job?

    I don’t see any realistic options for him in the feeding, clothing, sheltering himself department. Watching Michael answers a major question I’ve had since I first laid eyes on Omar – “how could a person become someone who rips off major crime figures for a living?”

    Now I can see it happens maybe because of who you are, how you are, what circumstances you encounter and the path narrows to just one option and no others. No way out.

    Could Michael die young? Of course. See there, that’s called tragedy.

    Call that drivel if you want.

  104. Curtis Says:

    Call that drivel if you want.

    Or “dribble” if that’s your preference.

  105. hubris Says:

    They should make Kenard the “new Omar”. He has the necessary hubris for that role. He also loves to steal. That would de-mystify the fable that stick up kids have a “moral code” and are “ghetto Robin Hoods”. It’s just laughable, really, how Omar’s positive attributes are projected onto this entire “profession” when he’s such an anomaly. I believe Omar needed to be killed off because his character became too much a unicorn superhero, and that was entirely unrealistic.

  106. Skate Nazi Says:

    Not sure if this has been discussed already but has anyone else seen Levy in that Arby’s commercial?
    Pretty awesome.

  107. Janet Says:

    I have seen Michael Kostroff (Levy) all over TV.

    Do my ears deceive me or is John Doman (Rawls) the voice of Siemens?

  108. Mal Says:

    Quick thought for the bloggers – with there being no on demand episode this week, H&H is probably going to be a little bare, so is anything planned for this week? If not, I have a suggestion…

    Several times i’ve seen The Wire described as a 60 hour movie or novel, the inference being that while each individual episode, character or scene may have had a tale to tell, only when viewed as a whole would the overarching themes of the producers’ vision be visible.

    As we’re now entering the final hour, what do you see as these themes? Looking back over old episode recaps, have there been times when you were WAY off the mark and forced to reevaluate your postion as the show has gone on?

  109. DocRich Says:

    Augie – the guy in the evidence room? Where do we know him from?

  110. Oak Says:

    Season 1…almost took the fall down the stairs, drunk, wanted out of the detail.

  111. Mal Says:

    Wonderful article here about the changes in newspaper publishing with regards to the wire – comments from Carroll and Marrimow as well as Simon.

    http://www.cjr.org/cover_story/secrets_of_the_city.php?page=all

  112. Curtis Says:

    Great, Mal. Thanks for posting that article. Simon is a writer propelled.

  113. Rachel Says:

    If he has documentation, Marlo and his crew will have all their charges dropped, with the exception of Chris who is in for the murder of Michael’s stepdad.

    Aaron, thank you for breaking down the legal ramifications of McNulty and Freamon’s fakery. I wonder about Chris’ murder charge, though: could the fact that Bunk tied his DNA request to the larger serial killer case in order to push analysis through more quickly have an impact on the murder charge if the other charges end up being thrown out?

  114. Janet Says:

    Michael hired a car earlier in the season to take him, Dukie and Bug to Six Flags. Yet, Michael had a car to drive when he needed to disperse Dukie and Bug. Are we to assume that between those 2 episodes that Michael was doing well enough to buy a car? He should not quite be 16 yet. Did he steal it? He certaintly could not have rented it.

    Would appreciate any insight anyone can offer.

  115. Mark Says:

    Michael was paying that man to sit in his car to watch Snoop the day of his meeting with her. When the man said its expensive to just idle, Mike said he can leave, and the guy told him to leave his car for him the next morning. I imagine he just had the same car.

  116. gonzagylot00 Says:

    Levy knows that Herc gave up the number, and he’s happy for it. Levy couldn’t care less about any of these drug pushers, he just wants their money. In fact, he told Herc that there would be a lot of money made when a wiretap case starts up. He probably masterplanned that information getting out to Herc, as Herc would then give it to the police, and start a long drawn out case that would ultimately see Marlo off the hook.

  117. The Hypnotoad Says:

    I think you give too much credit to Levy. He didn’t know Clay was ripping of Bell till Bell told him. And he didn’t purposely show Herc Marlos number to get him to give it to the cops. And he doesn’t know Herc gave the number to the cops either, at least yet, maybe Herc will fess up, but doubtful.

    “Michael hired a car earlier in the season to take him, Dukie and Bug to Six Flags. Yet, Michael had a car to drive when he needed to disperse Dukie and Bug. Are we to assume that between those 2 episodes that Michael was doing well enough to buy a car? He should not quite be 16 yet. Did he steal it? He certaintly could not have rented it.”

    I think the writers missed an opportunity to have Donut in this season. Dang.

  118. padrock Says:

    A quick question. When the mayor comes up to bunny colvin and gives his little speech about how nobody could work with what bunny did, was he talking about Hampsterdam, or was he talking about Bunny’s school project. Because if the mayor felt that broken up over Hampsterdam, wouldn’t he have paid Bunny the courtesy of showing up for their meeting about his school program last season. Is Carcetti just a mindless suit who simply gets drawn to situations where he can look insincerely emotional?

    I want Bunny and Carver as governor and mayor…

  119. G Says:

    RE: padrock – Hamsterdam (according to the episode guide on hbo)

  120. jay Says:

    http://smokingsection.rawkus.com/TSS/?p=3365#more-3365

    interesting tidbit on the Randy/Cheese question.

  121. Mal Says:

    Jay – Nice to have that confirmed.

    Just a quick warning. I’m hearing reports that s5e10 is now out on some torrent sites. I personally am gonna wait for sunday before watching, but bearing in mind the spoilers that got out for e8, it might be worth treading carefully from now on.

  122. Poot Says:

    The level of analysis on this site is awfully good. It’s a pleasure to read. So, given the collective smarts of y’all, here’s a question that’s been eating at me. Assume that the serial murder con run by McNulty and Lester gets fully exposed. Obviously Marlo and all the recent arrests — except perhaps Chris’s — get voided. Fruit of a tainted wiretap and all that. But would not all of the Major Crime unit’s work also be called into question? Levy and others can make the case that if this one investigation is corrupt, then all past investigations might also possibly be corrupt. In real life, when dirty cops have fallen it has often resulted in the freeing of all earlier collars.

    Anyway, here’s the point. It seems possible that with his homeless gambit McNulty is going to wipe out all the busts Major Crimes made over the course of the series. Avon’s included. (Which could result in Avon back on the street — perhaps to confront Marlo — and McNulty in jail.) There’s a circular, nobody wins finale for you. All this noise and murder and mayhem, and the series ends back at square one.

  123. kh Says:

    Does anyone know the name of the reporter Templeton is modeled after? It’s a reporter from the Sun, Simon says he helped outing him and the guy wrote a book which Mark Bowden wrote a blurb for. I believe it all went down around 1999-2000 but I haven’t been able to find a name. If anyone has any info on who he is it would be greatly appreciated.

  124. The Hussey Says:

    re: Templeton

    He sounds like Jayson Blair, but Blair worked for the NY Times.

  125. Steve Lieber Says:

    I can’t say he’s the model for Templeton, but there was a big controversy involving Simon and a Sun reporter named Jim Haner. Here’s an article about the matter:
    http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=10193

  126. kh Says:

    Thanks for the help. I guess he wasn’t the lone basis for Templeton, Templeton is more of a Blair or Glass type, but Haner and the editors supposed dealings with him certainly inform the character.

  127. Skate Nazi Says:

    Interesting article about the finale and OnDemand and Simon regulating spoilers.
    http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/TV/03/06/wire.finale/index.html?iref=hpmostpop

  128. sy Says:

    just wanted to point out that while all these critics are just ocming to the realization that these 4 kids/ remaing characters are some sort of avon/stringer part II, that shoals was on spitting this on episode 2 of season 4

    “these kids are the Pit Crew recast in more stark, hellish terms. Anyone who saw this move as cheap (for better or for worse) ignores this at their own peril.”

    i don’t have the link or name of post but he said it a while back. and to simply cast these kids into avon’s “shoes” is simple. their like a new generation hybrid of the characters we came to love.

  129. Curtis Says:

    Hey, thanks for that link Lieber. Also Mark Bowden’s piece in The Atlantic was an interesting perspective on Simon, but I like the hothead Simon making art better than novelized reportage like Bowden’s (or even Simon’s if we’re talking about The Corner).

    For that form, I think Charles Bowden’s, Down By the River is the one of best things ever written:

    And speaking of the War on Drugs, has everybody seen this?

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1719872,00.html

  130. Jack Says:

    A word about the finale screener floating around (without spoilers, obviously, just a tech note): The sound design isn’t finished and, according to the slate, it isn’t even color corrected. None, or few, of the scenes have any presence tracks, and it’s lacking foley. Some spots also sound like they need some ADR, and the overall mix is pretty rough. And, of course, no hasty rip would be complete without a fucked-up aspect ratio. Someone forgot that The Wire is fullscreen, so it’s stretched out into wide. Also, this might just be my machine, but the sync is a few frames off. This is all very distracting.

    If you have HBO, obviously wait for Sunday. If not, wait for competent OnDemand rips.

  131. Mr. Garr Says:

    I can’t read through all these comments, but i find it interesting that ppl keep touting michael as the heir apparent to marlo when to me he shares many more similarities to omar than marlo. while the dukie/bubbles parallel is obvious, i think most ppl are missing the michael/omar one. peep how he scoped the scene in ep 59 from the back of somebody’s car (a la omar little). peep how much more michael is concerned about justice than power (a la omar little). michael only got involved in the drug game cuz it was a way to help him protect his lil brother, getting him out of his drug-addicted mother’s house. and let’s not forget the not so subtle intimations about sexual abuse by michael’s stepfather and omar’s homosexuality. it’s easy to see where the drug dealers come from. that’s what kennard is. but where does omar come from? where does bubbles come from? those are much more complicated questions to answer.

  132. omar was special Says:

    You have got to be kidding, right? Child molestation does not turn someone gay. That’s a homophobic myth. Believe it or not, Omar is a proud openly gay man. He was born that way. There is no indication that he was raped or molested. Quite the opposite. In fact, Omar was a very romantic soul who deeply loved his boyfriends and showed great affection and warmth to those around him. He was fiercely passionate and sensitive. He valued truth and beauty and he was open to new people and cultures.

    The only other character who has been molested on this show is Chris Partlow. He is cold, reserved, emotionally detached – just like Michael Lee. I think molestation killed a part of their soul. It made them frigid and distrustful. They are both very closed-off and self-contained. Michael’s inability to cry or hug his brother reflects this damage. He has built up a hard shell around his soul.

    As for the answer to where stick-up kids come from? It’s not a mystery. It’s easy money. Rip and run. Omar’s moral code was the exception – not the rule. Let’s not idealize this profession. Omar was not the only stick-up kid in town. He was, however, the only legend. Omar was unique.


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