Better Late than Never


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?

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57 Comments on “Better Late than Never”

  1. Tom Says:

    “The Wire is not television” is a completely meaningless statement.

  2. Lauren Says:

    I was close to tears when Bunny came for Naymond – am I overanalyzing or did he have the same look in his face that Carv did in the last scene with Randy? That DeLonda is awful – she is such a moose – and it was only a matter of time before she sent Nay over the edge. If she’s so hard why is she sticking around for Wee-Bay? Does she think it makes her Queen of the Ghetto? I agree that it must be chalked up to bad writing for women. What made her sit there and drink JD in one of the first episodes – what happened to the plot to uncover the Barksdale money that she clearly squandered? What happened to Briana? Nay’s bravado is so woefully misguided that one minute I wanted to bitchslap him like Mike did and the next I was sad for how pathetic even he considers himself.

  3. Reggie Lewis Says:

    Couldn’t agree more that this series is best watched in large chunks – too frustrating to wait a week, especially when the OnDemand schedule is so erratic (HBO should have big beef with various cable companies for bungling that).

    After waiting all week for #47 to show up on my off-brand RCN OnDemand (to no avail), I caved and dowloaded the last 3 eps.

    Off topic: I’ve been punching in some of the show’s Baltimore addresses into Microsoft’s and it is amazing. I found Marlo’s spot & Hamsterdam and the alley where Bubs’ garage is.

    Anyways – great site about a phenomonal show.

  4. James Says:

    Lauren – I always assumed DeLonda squandered whatever Barksdale money she received on the middle class trappings of her home that stand out in such contrast to the rest of the neighborhood…Nay’s XBox, gaudy jewelry and clothes, trips to NYC, etc. It could just be my interpretation, but I thought she was just caught off guard when the spigot of money got turned off. I think she just thought it would last indefinitely.
    Evidently, she didn’t keep 5% of her budget in reserve funds to appease the bond rating houses, like Carcetti has to do.

    Reggie–what are some of the addresses you’ve been putting into the MSFT mapping site?

  5. turbanhead Says:

    On Time Warner New York’s HBO on Demand, episoe 49 cut off abruptly after the credits and I was worried when there were no previews for another episode. Glad to hear that there is one more and am using all my willpower not to read or watch anything that may give it away. Goddamn, I’m going to miss Monday nights after episode 50!

  6. B&B Enterprises Says:

    Rawls told Daniels to “keep it close” about the bodies in the vacants. Yes, they’d get killed in the press if their conversations re: timing became public, but Rawls also wants to stiffle Daniels. He sees his talents and doesn’t want to be outshined. Daniels is for real. He came into Rawls’ office, sat down, and broke down the whole thing, micro to macro. Knew the political “big picture” would determine the decision. Had already reasoned out the deciding factors, how Rawls could look like a good guy by helping out the mayor. Rawls can’t help but admire him, but at the same time wants to put the brakes on him. Daniels actually acted kind of shy by the end of that scene; he knew he hit the thing out of the park.

    And Cutty….teaching to the end. Being a teacher from the gutter with bullets in him, reminding Michael what the game demanded from him at that moment.

    And you know who Michael is? He is Anakin motherfucking Skywalker. He thinks he can use the power of the dark side for justice and good. He didn’t realise the Dark Side would hijack his free will to its own purposes. His fucking smug satisfaction when Stepdaddy was getting taken out? That’s the Sith taking your soul right there. Revenge is not the way of the Jedi!

  7. Tito Landrum Says:

    perhaps Michael is not another Partlow, but instead another Omar?

  8. BEC Says:

    Michael is Chris – Dukie is Marlo. Dukie is weighing his options. He’s hanging out with Michael almost as a peer now, he used to play with dead insects, he’s not afraid of dead bodies, he’s smarter than everyone else. While waitching this episode, he seems to be making a decision. In the class he looks at Michael, Prez and the kids at the chalkboard. He turns off the class website he was working on with a sense of finality.

    I think Dukie might be our most tragic hero.

  9. F. Pants McFaddden Says:

    This season is definitely moving much slower, and it hadn’t bothered me much until I realized that there is just one left. I don’t really mind that this season will be used as a set-up for next season because I think the story is fantastic. The plight of the various kids is being used to punctuate the realities of the school system disater(s) – some kids are failing because of the schools; some kids are the cause of the failure of the school system But mostly, you can see that both the students and the schools are in deep trouble because of the desperate state of the city. Look at three of the four sets of parents (read: Mothers) – two junkies, one unfeeling and materialistic goblin, and the benevolent foster mother (now in a burn unit). I think this season is darker because the story is so much darker. Along that line, I love where its going now. The way the budget issue is unfolding is just how it happened; the politics, the accusations, the potential solutions. The tension between Baltimore and the newly-elected Republican Governor is just how it went down too, right down the the Mayor (O’Malley) being made to wait outside while the Governor (Erlich) sat on a phone call. I thought it was brilliant to cast Erlich as the security guard in that scene. Shows he’s a good sport too; he just got beat by the real-life Carcetti (as the show hints). But, to bring it back to the main theme, the pace, I think that the creators can be forgiven for a lsower pace this season, because I think it will lead into a series finale next year that will provide all of the loyal watchers with resolution. Not a happy ending, but at least a resolution.

    About finding the show’s locations, its a little hobby of mine as well. I visited Marlo’s spot, and wouldn’t recommend doing that alone. Let’s just say that the neighborhood residents weren’t too excited about a white guy in a volvo taking pictures. Thus, there’s just this one:
    The picture is taken from Bond St., (the entrance) which is why it looks weird. The scenes are usually shot from the other side.

    But, here’s where it is (not sure what the other mapping program listed it as):,+baltimore,+md&ie=UTF8&z=16&ll=39.303354,-76.596379&spn=0.013466,0.021093&om=1&iwloc=addr

    Here is a nice City Paper piece on locations. Sadly enough, Hamsterdam is gone and the Bodymore, Murderland sign is gone.

  10. Lono Says:

    I agree that Michael is a prequel of sorts, but disagree with the comparisons that I have read to this point.

    Michael is Avon through and through. He has developed a keen knack for “soldiering,” as Avon would put it, for when action is necessary, he can act with a ruthlessness that is truly astonishing. In so many senses, he is the perfect animal for the streets.

    But alas, Michael also has a heart. Check out his empathy for Dukie, his standing up for Randy the Snitch, or his willingness to stay with Cutty until an ambulence arrived. Knowing that these entities are not a part of the game, he treats them with decency, kindness, and respect. However, his beating of Namond because he was not “street” enough is entirely reminiscent of how Avon felt about Stringer. All things being equal, and all being a part of the game means reprisal or ruffian treatment is possible against a poser such as Namond, while it is classless or even cowardly against the others.

    And finally, just remember the likeness that looms large over Cutty’s gym: A young Avon in boxing posture. Unfortunately, the tragic irony here is that Avon’s contribution to the gym was apparently not enough to save the wayward Michael. Instead, Avon is just the twisted father of future Avon-archetypes.

    Anyway, this is my first first time posting here, and I must say that this is a PHENOMENAL blog. Kudos.

  11. curricane Says:

    I have to say that BEC seems spot on, but Lono makes a good point. I disagree though that Michael slapped Namond around because he wasn’t street enough, I think he was just sick of Namond picking on Duquan. I may be persuaded to agree that Michael is more like Avon than Chris. All in all though, I think we’re all making a bit much of the “the kids are the begninning of other characters” angle. Truth is, the street is the street and all these kids will go on to be nothing but themselves, just like Marlo is Marlo, Avon is Avon, and Stringer was Stringer.
    I have to add though, it’s amazing how much I couldn’t stand Namond when the season started, but now it appears that Namond is the most self-aware and honest character in the show. He may be the only kid in the show who knows exactly what he is despite everyone else telling him he’s something else. I really loved the “It ain’t in me” scene. I’m curious how Namond breaks the news to Bey about how he just doesn’t want to be in the game, and to see whether Bey accepts it or even approves of it. I hope that gets written in somewhere. One thing is for sure though, Namond will never be much of a drug dealer.

  12. christycash Says:

    Lauren, you know, I’ve been down on Naymond all season, but I have to say that he’s really getting to me now — there’s something really honest underneath that I didn’t see coming (you would think by now I would know the Wire will do that, but…). And I hate, hate, hate Delonda, but I do think the show is using her as a symbol of the pressures boys face to prove their manhood through violence and the game. Delonda doesn’t want him to be a success in life, or to be who he is, she wants him to *be a man*, and in her mind there is only one way to be a man, and it is to be a soldier. It’s very jarring to see this pressure come from a mother, but in another way, it forces the plot to have no escape clauses (until Colvin, of course) — it’s a way for the show to really drive home how implicated everyone is in pushing kids into the game.

    I still think that Michael is a precursor to Chris… and in fact, thinking this has opened up for me some ideas on Chris, made him more nuanced. Thinking about how he jumps to Michael’s defense with the stepdad is another clue that there’s more to him than we have time to know. Although I will not lie — I like the Darth Vader analogy, too.

    One other thing I’ve been thinking is about those kids who firebombed Randy’s house. My sense is that they’re not directly tied to Marlo’s crew — but rather that as the word about Randy spread, more and more people took it upon themselves to practice a little vigilantism. Really shows the power of the “stop snitching” bullshit to just spiral and destroy not only the possibility of justice (in this case, i suppose, really only slow it down) but also a kid’s whole world.

    And dukie, oh my god, Dukie… I really want him to go to school, but what’s keeping him there?

  13. packetman Says:

    curricaine, david simon has mentioned writing characters as the precursors of other characters before. i can try to dig up the interview, but a while ago someone had asked him if there would be a prequel to show how avon and stringer came up, and he said to take a look at marlo and chris. (though that was before he took this whole zombie master angle!)

    now that doesnt mean everyone is a literal mini-marlo or mini-chris. but showing history through other characters seems like a device the writers of this show use quite often. i think its probably best to say something like PARTS of marlo are in michael and he has CHOICES to go the avon route or the marlo route blah blah blah. not like 1-to-1.

    that said dookie being marlo seems like a streeeetch, so yeah maybe it is going too far on this blog.

  14. packetman Says:

    hey anyone have an idea of how big omars haul was on that caper?

    i dont know this stuff really. but i know joe said 4 of X was 300k. then marlo upped it to 6. thats 450k. there are like 10 crews represented at that table in the co-op maybe? so like 3-5 million?

    any of you know how much coke can you buy for 75k? what is the unit above a kilo?

    i have never seen omar take more than a g-pack or two. what the hell is he gonna do w all this?

    i hope hes gonna skip town after this, but ill hate to see him go.

  15. Lono Says:

    Curricane, there is certainly a soft spot in Michael’s heart for Dukie, but his disgust with Namond is apparent BEFORE Namond starts up with Dukie. This reminds me of Avon’s disgust for Stinger after his mishandling of Mouzone and his “shooting the crown” off of Omar’s grandmother. Likewise, it has been clear from the first episode of this season when Namond attempted to deny Dukie his ice cream money that Michael questioned Namond’s validity within the game.

    I also think that it’s highly warranted for us to look for prequels amongst the kids. After all, if there is one thing that we have learned in watching The Wire, it is that the show is rife with character, thematic, and organizational mirrorings. As in great literature, the kids are not just characters, but interloping symbols within a broader context.

    By the way, my favorite one-liner from Ep. 49 was Bunk telling Freamon that he was acting like he was on the trail of Pol Pot. Gotta love the Bunk…

  16. Shoals Says:

    the real monkey wrench in the whole “next so and so” line is marlo. early on, he did look like an avon/string hybrid. but now he’s become so demonic, and so evidently guided by nothing more than monstrosity, that this comparison is a tough one. the same goes for the “michael is marlo #2;” yes, we’ve seen michael learn that brutality is its own reward, but his persistent humanity would seem to point back to avon (as with the boxing thing). maybe the point is that in this new era, an avon gets turned into a marlo, as we’re seeing with michael. still, though, comparind anyone to marlo seems to do them a whopping disservice, and very little else.

    this also goes along with the notion of generations. avon is from a more dignified day; the game this season is fierce beyond compare. babies of the crack babies and all that. but how does marlo fit into that? we’ve wondered about his age a lot, and have figured out that he’s definitely older than bodie, the youngest barksdale. that would make him, and likely chris, snoop and monk, all part of d’angelo and bodie’s generation. they’re like the visionaries who saw what was coming down and learned to harness it, unlike cheese, bodie, slim, anyone else near them in age.

    so it doesn’t really make sense to go from avon to michael without having a middle figure, and yet that figure can’t be marlo because he’s not really of his generation. that’s why chris might make more sense if you want to trace lineage, since we’ve come to see at least a shred of his vestiginal link to the older days. he would’ve fit in then moreso than any of his colleagues, and we now have some sense of how his most marlo-esque moments could’ve mutated out of, say, stringer.

    then again, stringer didn’t really give a fuck about the game. he was the first destroyer of the tradition, albeit in a more constructive manner. still, he arguably destabilized things in a way that opened the door for marlo to emerge. ironically, he destabilized it by introducing a greater stability.

  17. packetman Says:

    “Everyone has backstory. That doesn’t mean that telling all of it is good storytelling. You use history to make the present relevant. Too little and the characters don’t make enough sense; too much and its like too much flesh on too few bones. One note though: For some clues about what the Barksdale crew was like coming up, you can always consider Marlo and Chris currently, no? Again, Ed Burns had a lot to do with that story arc. ”
    – David Simon

  18. christycash Says:

    i mostly agree with shoals except one thing: i’m not sure that the mutation that marlo introduced was visionary, per se — that it was inevitable, and he was the first to grab it. i guess the question is whether or not the barksdale system could have continued in perpetuity, or whether it was already evolving towards marlo. there’s no golden age to idealize here, but i think this is an open question. perhaps marlo IS inevitable: the barksdale crew perpetuated/served existing addiction, thereby contributing to the depreciated quality of life, thereby forcing the conditions that give rise to marlo. or maybe not. maybe the more “humane” or “honorable” (although this is in quotes for a reason) way could have continued were it not for the interference of marlo himself. I don’t know. the wire doesn’t put much of a premium on individual character (we’ve all repeated endlessly this argument before), but there is a little wiggle room for agency — omar being the most obvious example, but people do have their individual achilles heels and strengths. now I’m lost in my own thought.

  19. Shoals Says:

    stringer is the only one on omar’s level in that respect. avon was a dinosaur, clearly not suited to fight with the new breed. stringer saw a way to survive in spite of being antiquated, and in some sense he lives on through the coop.

    it’s almost like the generation between the barksdales and michael et al. was the transitional one. some of them stuck with the old way, others follow marlo’s lead and anticipated the nightmare to come.

    in a weird way, post-coop string seems to belong to that generation. he certainly ended up caught between the inertia of the past and the inevitability of the future.

  20. packetman Says:

    stringer is the only one on omar’s level in that respect. avon was a dinosaur, clearly not suited to fight with the new breed. stringer saw a way to survive in spite of being antiquated, and in some sense he lives on through the coop.

    is this true though? the co-op is going down. the fatal flaw of “putting all its eggs in one basket” as omar noticed immediately.

    season 3 ended with stringer taking out avon through betrayal as avon was getting ready to nip this whole marlo thing in the bud. he saw this whole thing coming. the war he wanted to start could have preserved the existing order and not let this new breed come into power.

    the story of stringer and now prop joe, is certainly that they were both too clever for their own good.

  21. packetman Says:

    “he saw this whole thing coming” … he meaning avon.

  22. Shoals Says:

    avon and his crew no longer had what it took to go at marlo and win. they were no longer that kind of gang. think iverson crossing over jordan.

  23. Tom Says:

    I dunno, I think that Avon’s army with the machine guns and grenades would have been able to prevail in an all-out assault against Marlo had the police not interceded.

    I think Michael is a proto-Chris: both are profoundly damaged and talented killers who look their victims right in eyes.

  24. Shoals Says:

    avon brought that army in from out of town. before it was him almost getting popped when going out to try and hit marlo HIMSELF

  25. christycash Says:

    avon was never going to win that war: it wasn’t winnable. avon represents the past.

    whether or not the co-op wins or fails is, i think, a continuation of the questions around stringer: ie, can a drug game be run like a business? the wire is arguing that the answer is ultimately no, because violence — whether in the form of omar, marlo or whoever — cannot be eradicated. there’s just too much money, and the pressure to abide by the rules has to come from within, as opposed to in the straight world, where the pressure comes from the law. they’re already outside the law. however, the co-op’s potential failure does not prove that avon was right. it’s not zero sum.

  26. James Says:

    > avon was never going to win that war: it wasn’t winnable.

    I dunno, I always read it that he would have won it had MCU not knocked on the door. Slim Charles’s vantage point on that night sealed it for me, but I’d be curious why you think otherwise?

    This is a point I’ve often thought regarding the way Marlo haunts the show’s characters these days. He’s not ungettable. I thought that when Bodie made a joke about having Kevin pop Snoop and Chris. They didn’t care for the joke (or any talking back from the assembly line workers), but there was truth to it. Had Bodie the will, he (and his crew) could easily have taken out the two main enforcer’s for Marlo’s crew – anyone could. They just don’t have the will that Marlo’s crew does. No one thus far does, and that’s why he rules the West side. But anyone with the will to do so can get him, much easier than Avon could have been at his peak. Think how difficult it was when Omar was trying to assinate Avon in Season 1. Marlo? Had he not made the promise to Bunk, he could do it at any point when Marlo is in the cement garden with a rifle – something I assume he could get his hands on. Perhaps that explains the security guard and not tolarating any signs of talking back – he knows his hold is based purely on shows of force and not strategy like Avon’s was. Cheers!

  27. James Says:

    Forgive the butchering of assassinate above. I also want to say, I’m not criticizing the show on this, it rings true. It would take an incredible will to take a risk like that, and few have that will.

  28. Shoals Says:

    y’all are ignoring my main point: avon had to buy an army for that. if slim could’ve just done it himself from where he was, he would’ve, right?

    as much as we’ve brought in terrorism and the iraqi resistance, there’s a difference: drug dealers in baltimore have no cause to die for. they’ll likely get killed, and they used to believe in the code enough to go to jail for it, but that’s different than going kamikaze. if omar had started firing out of that window, it’s unlikely he would’ve made it out; i think that’s one of the main points made by the chaos often resulting from all-out exchanges of fire. the job never gets done, the cops flip out, and the only way it works is if there’s a clear disparity to exploit (like if avon’s army had charged the rim shop, or all of marlo’s people were chasing omar inside a vacant).

  29. packetman Says:

    nintendo or sega! who would win in a fight avon or marlo! 🙂

    that destiny would of course bend to the will of the writers, and yeah the prevailing message this season with cutty et al is that these new kids is crazy and the old timers just cant keep up.

    but there was definitely a question LAST season on who was right, stringer or avon. as much as the writers made us root for stringer, i definitely think that this season leaves you to believe that avon’s instincts were correct and truer to the game. this isnt legal activity, and you cant get soft and let the young and crazy get too big. slim charles was sitting on marlo that night, and avon with all his capital at least had a fair chance of killing him, that was the right move. stringer trying to charm marlo just got him killed, now prop joe too.

    its not about hand-to-hand its about organizations and worldviews colliding.

  30. Reggie Lewis Says:

    Hey F Pants – great photo album – what cemetery is that?

  31. dutchtwista Says:

    packetman, with that name, you should be answering your own questions…

    a ki goes for roughly 15-20k wholesale, depending on your relationship with the supplier….you can do the math from there. A lot of people get weight on consignment though or work out a partial upfront/consignment deal.

    i guess the next unit above a ki is a ton

  32. Shoals Says:

    it was heron, wasn’t it?

  33. Dennis Says:

    Some great insight guys and I love checking here for the postgame:)

    Great point about how the old guys, in this case Cutty, can’t keep up with the new. Cutty threw out that “young man” line when he went to see Mike and then the young man shot him without delay. No way Dennis thought that was coming but being true to the street he still understood and demanded that Mike leave and go with his boys. Cutty was on that side once and I don’t think he’s done trying to reach Mike but in the here and now he understands where Mike is and what’s expected of him.

    The whole Mike/Nay angle is really interesting. It’s been a couple of years since I saw S3, but wasn’t there a discussion between between Avon and String on a rooftop about them “coming up.”? I don’t think String was ever really a solider and was always the brains and Nay doesn’t want anything whatsoever to do with any of the game so there’s no String in him. Note: very cool scene when Nay says “I ain’t want it” when Mike implores him to get his package after the beatdown of Cannard. Nay just wasn’t talking about the package and he ran as fast as he could. Interesting that they picked the kid of Bey as the one who’d wise up and get out as fast as he could. Simon and Co really pulled the switcharoo on us there.

    I think Dukie takes the last look because life as he knows it is about to make a big change. The kids are already talking how Randy’s about to transfer and Dukie knows that once he moves to the new school and out from under Prez’s security blanket that things might never be the same.

    Back to Mike and Cutty for a second…Mike’s made his deal with the devil when he had his stepdad aced but there’s still a bit of good in him as evidenced by his offer to stay and wait for Cutty’s ambo. His voice was pretty kidlike when he uttered that line.

  34. packetman Says:

    it was heron, wasn’t it?

    heh, i was talking about this w my friend and i was like duh i dont even know. pretty lame for a wire fan. bubbles and all those dudes are smack fiends of course. but my friend said prop joes connection in season 2 was to cocaine.

    i dunno if a typical dealer like bodie would sell both or what. or if the fiends do both. they dont really show anyone hitting a pipe on the wire. but i did think the barksdales were cooking crack in that house.

    id love a for sure answer if you know, shoals.

    dutchtwista you testing my game? 🙂 i definitely am not in the trade. the name is strictly in the spirit of the blog but still refers to something less destructive:

    so if joe said “4 would be 300k”, what would that be 4 of? def not tons. def way more than ki’s tho.

  35. Shoals Says:

    i know that baltimore has a reputation as a heroin town, but there’s definitely crack in the wire. sometimes it seems like they’re deliberately vague about who is on what. like they always talk about michael’s mom and a pipe, but then she went to nay for pills, if pizzawhale’s memory serves. those two barksdale clowns snorting coke all the time. sherrod doing bumps before going after namond (that wouldn’t have been dope) and then dipping into bubbles’ stash.

    this is the only spoiler i will ever post: omar refers to the haul as “heron” in the finale. that’s what i was thinking of.

  36. Curtis Says:

    There was a really decent (long) interview on NPR last week with Ed Burns where he talks very interestingly about Marlo (towards the last 15 minutes of the interview). Here’s the url:

  37. Kevin Says:

    I wanted to add my opinion after reading all the comments.

    First with the Rawls/Daniel scene. Rawls told Daniels to “keep it close” because he didn’t want Daniels to tell the mayor his idea. Rawls wanted to go to the mayor and show his politcal savvy nature. Rawls told his superior (Carcetti) that he should order the bodies be taken out now so they go onto last year’s stats. He told Carcetti in a tone that he thought of this idea. This is a common occurrence in institutions, a superior taking credit for a subordinates’ idea. It is what usually stifles innovation in institutions. Why work extra hard if your boss is going to take all the credit (look at some of the other police and you can see this attitude)? Carcetti seemed sort of irritated by the number’s game Rawls was still thinking, but then gently gave Rawls the confidence to get those bodies out of the homes.

    Michael slapped Namond because of his lack of respect for him. Namond was pretending to be something he is not. He would not get his package from that kid, and Michael realized he could not handle the street. Namond’s breakdown after the confrontation clear indicated his true self.

    The kids that firebombed Randy’s home were most likely ordered by Chris. After Marlo told Christ that Michael stood tall with Randy the snitch, Chris had a face of bewilderment. Marlo understood what was going on, Michael has principles and will stand with his friend. The only way to keep Michael close to him and away from this snitch is to take out Randy. It was Marlo that put the word out that Randy was a snitch, and does anyone actually believe someone would set fire to a house unless they were paid to do it?

  38. Kevin Says:

    One more thing. Remember that the New Day Co-Op is also an institution. Yes, Stringer the founder is gone but the co-op lives on. Institutions have a way of surviving even when they are not needed. Look at the history of the March of Dimes.

    Everyone will be screwed by the institutions they are devoted to and Marlo is no different. As Omar showed, all institutions will screw you.

  39. Kevin Says:

    If I remember correctly, in season 2 that one guy’s nephew gets busted with heroin that he got from the Greek.

    Since the Greek crew seems Eastern European I would bet they are in the heroin business. Also that price tag for heroin seem right. One kilo would go between $70,000 and $100,000, so when he says he needs four, most likely he means four kilos. So 4 would be something like $400,000 especially if they are buying in the huge quantities from the Greek.

    It seems that Bodie only sells one type of drug, although most junkies need both dope and coke. The dope gets you high, while the coke lifts you back up so you can do more dope.

    I’m surprised we haven’t heard anything about meth on the show.

    It seems odd, but the connection to the Greek is through Prop Joe. So why has the Major Crimes Unit focused on West Baltimore and not East? I hope they do this in season 5 and take down Prop Joe. He reminds me of Clay Davis.

  40. packetman Says:

    thanks for that breakdown kevin. now i get it. not to incriminate you or anything, but im also wondering the process of making raw heroin street ready. i guess i can just google it.

    yeah clay davis and prop joe are one in the same. always playing both sides. joe seems to be getting his, but from his own side, not the police. i wonder if clay will go down too.

  41. Shoals Says:

    dude, most junkies out on the streets are just trying to fix. if you’re broke and near-homeless, you’re looking to stretch dope, not pull yourself out of it so you have to buy more. nevermind that “getting high” is luxury.

  42. Tom Says:

    I think the little shits who firebomb Randy’s home are just hoppers trying to make a name for themselves by attempting to kill the snitch. I don’t think it was ordered by Chris or Marlo.

  43. Shoals Says:

    after all, “stop snitching” is kind of like a civic campaign. they were acting in favor of the greater good and would be recognized accordingly

  44. B&B Enterprises Says:

    Just to follow up on the Barksdale / Marlo war of last season, if memory serves, didn’t Slim have Marlo in his sights for an extended period of time, but couldn’t strike because Avon wouldn’t give him the green light? Avon went all Hamlet and shit and couldn’t do anything. Knew he’d sent his boy String to his death and was overwhelmed with the futility of it all. Wouldn’t approve the commencement of hostilities even as his whole extended crew was outside his office door clamoring for the thumbs up so they could start doing damage.

  45. Shoals Says:

    i said earlier somewhere that i thought they needed the whole army to ensure victory and minimal loss, and it’s not like they were expecting the cops to run up on them. in fact, they made a point of showing how long slim ended up sitting there.

    i forgot, where was bodie for all that?

  46. B&B Enterprises Says:

    i think maybe Bodie was already locked up, got picked up at “Hamsterdam”

  47. Shoals Says:

    right, i knew that. for a split second i thought he might’ve been with slim.

  48. Kevin Says:

    Packetman, I found directions to purify street heroin at

    This site is very informative in drug use and abuse.

    If you ever want detailed information about drugs try or

    This is the site that started my interest in biology.

  49. Kevin Says:

    Actually Shoals, a lot of drug addicts are very specific of their drug of choice. Sure, a lot of people will use anything they can get their hands on, but many will stick to the high they like. Coke, meth, ecstacy, pot, heroin, and crack all give different types of highs and not everyone likes what they do. Someone that is addicted to heroin just wants that high and coke and meth will get them out of the slump after the high wears off.

    It is like when speed freaks take sedatives just to go to sleep because they have taken too much meth.

  50. Shoals Says:

    i was referring to your claim that junkies are trying to put themselves in a position to do as much dope as possible. i know that people stick with what they like; i also know that purposefully doing an extra drug to necessitate more of the first drug is really wasteful.

  51. Shoals Says:

    also look at the “dope primer” link in the HH blogroll

  52. Kenya Says:

    A number of the comments are the above appear spot-on. I’ll add two things.

    Each new generation has a more brutal will than the previous one, perhaps, because of their socialization as children or, perhaps, because the older forms of violence no longer shock and have lost their efficacy. So yes, there would have been a Marlo, and eventually there will be a successor to Marlo. The one thing that gives me pause is that we have yet to see Marlo become accustomed to his prosperity and his power. Usually, the old heads lose the struggle of wills because they place their own survival, the thriving of their organizations, and/or their comfort above fighting it out for their place in “the game.” When it becomes apparent that they are slipping, they fight, but usually too late. The only indication of change I have in this area is Marlo’s agreement to join the co-op.

    Second, children crave stability as most of us do. For once, Dukie had become comfortable with a routine thart worked. He could stop worrying about his clothes, his hygiene, and the like. In the space of (apparently) a few days, his family is evicted and he doesn’t appear to know where they are; he is effectively homeless; and the time left in his safe haven is up. I think that last look was a wistful one to remember that place because he knows that he’s been thrown back into the vortex.

  53. Simonsbitch Says:

    Damn, last night put me into a funk that it’s gonna take awhile to crawl out of. The downward spiral, especially for Bubbles, is too heartbreaking for words.

    Re: all the discussion about Marlo being Avon or Stringer, etc., to me, Marlo is unfettered capitalism. He’s the big, totally unfeeling corporation who fights unions and bankrupts pension plans, all the while lining his own pockets. It’s no accident that everybody refers to it as “Marlo’s money” or he refers to it as “my money.” Used to be, corporations engaged in some reciprocity toward their workers. No more. I see Marlo and his crew as representative of America’s economic systems.

    Another stray thought was that Namond started in on Dukie to get a reaction from Michael. Michael was totally ignoring him at the gym, so he had to pick on Dukie just to get attention from Mike. He got it, all right, and the shock on his face at the bitch slapping was electric.

    I’m a mainlining Wire junkie and I need a sedative just to go to sleep after an episode like that one.

  54. Kara Says:

    I love your blog and I agree with you on so many things. I was just the other night thinking about how the women in this show are almost forgotten, as if everything that goes on doesn’t affect them (except to be referred to in a sexual way), and I don’t like Kima. It’s not that I don’t like her, but they make her so boring and I don’t feel any attachment to her, except in regards to how she is with Bubs.

    Watching this episode made me and my friend want to jump in and just give each of the kids a big hug! I hope Michael gets his mind right again. 😦 Poor Naymond! Thanks for your blog by the way…I love it…I’m a faithful reader.

  55. Kenya Says:

    I loved the writing for Kima and her girlfriend (name forgotten) in the first season. Remembering the first season episode when her girlfriend learns that Kima has been shot makes me partially retract my statements about the way women are portrayed on The Wire. (It also made me find and purchase Nina Simone singing “I Want A Little Sugar in My Bowl” the song playing during that haunting scene.) In the first season, perhaps, because we were getting to know the characters, there was much more development of their motives and their lives. It seems that now we are in the plot exposition stages (taking the series like a novel) because we aren’t seeing much about the personal lives of most of the stalwarts, but rather focusing on the lives of the children.

  56. Diane Onley Says:

    In my city of Wilmington Delaware i have In Demand and have watched the final episode of this season, which I won’t discuss out of respect for those who have not had “the priviledge”. Every Sunday evening I watch the clock anticipating 12 midnite. Without fail, at approximately 12:10 am Monday morning, the new episode of THE WIRE is available. That’s how much I love this series. I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL MONDAY EVENING. I MUST SEE IT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

    Never have I loved a television series this much in my entire life. Many times I’ve caught myself crying and my heart seriously heavy and my mind wanting to be left alone by any other thoughts and I’d have to remind myself that the characters ARE NOT REAL!

    I actually have a broken heart after watching episode 50.

  57. What to do at heavy burns? Electrotraumas usually arise on imprudence, but burns from an electricity worst of all heal. WBR LeoP

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