Better Late than Never
OBLIQUE 49 SPOILERS AWAIT YE.
As the season crescendoes in 48, 49 and 50, it’s harder to know what to post about. So much of this blog has been anticipatory: Will Naymond do X, or when will Herc’s trail of destruction finally catch up to his lumpy ass? Now we’re pretty much in the rush of things, watching it all come together. We’re seeing all our predictions (Michael is the prehistory of Marlo!) fall apart (Michael is the prehistory of Chris?!).
A few loosely related thoughts: It’s clear to me that The Wire is best experienced all at once. I think that some of my problems with this season — the slow pacing; the lack of a crime plot; the fact that basically this whole season is a set-up for the season to come — might have felt different had I watched the whole thing in a week, on DVD, as I did with Seasons 1-3. The Wire is brilliant and bold and innovative and marvelous, but it is not television. Please, fire away.
Two. I’ve said it before and I will say it, say it again. The Wire does not know how to write women. In Kima’s case, this is a problem exacerbated by the show’s abandonment of its original crew. Every time she delivers a line she’s like a completely different character, and I’ve started to suspect that the writers have basically no idea who she is or what is going on with her. Remember her trip back to her ex-girlfriend’s to drop off some money, where she met the new (and affluent) girlfriend? That came out of nowhere, and returned to the nowhere whence it had come.
Hearbreak every which way, and massive frustration. When Marlo’s boy fired at Cutty, I was just floored. It wasn’t just that the streets don’t remember, or respect, the past: it was that they don’t respect anything — and that the first response to anything is extreme violence. There was just no reason to do that, other than just because he could, which was terrifying. But I think there’s some room for debate on this transformation that we’ve seen in Michael. Some of our number here at HH find it believable — an abused kid finding power in violence — some think it was a little rushed. But the level of dysfunction we’re seeing is certainly a product of these kids’ homes — all of their homes. We can talk about how much better it was under Barksdale forever, but it’s been the same for Dukie and Michael’s moms.
Running out of steam now. And hope. Herc showed us how much bad police can ruin a kid’s life; Carver keeps proving that even the best intentioned police can only do so much to save it. Out there in the world, where does someone like Randy turn? What happens to him?