Till I burn up

If you haven’t finished out this season, please go here.

Obviously, there’s a lot to be said about this semi-bombastic finale. I’ve got plenty of thoughts on where the kids ended up, most of them having to do with how Nay was actually the most complete human being of them all. But there’s some business to be tended to, and so my final H&H post will be a brief, respectful one.

1. Full circle: here’s the second post I ever did. The theme remains my Wire-watching credo, moreso than ever now.

2. A celebration of my absolute favorite character.

3. The song I’d been planning to post since I accidentally caught this spoiler more than a month ago.

The way it actually went down, though, this doesn’t quite fit. I’d anticipated a tear-jerker, at least for as devoted a fan as myself. Instead though, it was noble and kind of gratifying. He never seemed like he should’ve been somewhere else, or cried out to be rescued. Not at that moment, not this season, and never over the course of all fifty episodes total. For better or worse, he did what he did, made as much of it as he could, and went out with a combination of defiance and fatalism. A soldier indeed.


This has been a blast, and lord willing we’ll be reborn in time for Season 5. Look for others to share their concluding goodies in the next couple of days.

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73 Comments on “Till I burn up”

  1. Nate Says:

    Holy hell. That was the most intense hour of television I have ever watched. And I absolutely agree about Bodie, my favorite character as well.

  2. Tom Says:

    This is my corner

  3. dean Says:

    Here’s hoping HBO doesn’t deliver entire seasons on DVD in advance to teevee columnists next season. Between that and OnDemand it’s made it pretty damn hard to discuss the episodes.

    As Bunk would say, “Fuuuuuuuuuck”.

  4. Eric Says:

    I am actually having a tough time getting to sleep, thinking about Bodie, thinking about those kids, thinking about what’s to come. I can’t gather my thoughts, it’s too soon. But, at 2AM on the Left Coast, where else would I go to post about my Wire distress?

  5. Jesse Says:

    An unbelievable journey with those 4 kids this season, not to mention our old friends from seasons past. Scaled the depths (Randy) and heights (Nay) of emotion all in that final episode – Amazing!

    Thank you David Simon!

  6. B&B Eneterprises Says:

    Still waiting for the episode, Comcast is the cable co. that likes to fuck wit a n*gga…..

  7. christycash Says:

    the best from cheese, on omar’s stick-up: “shit’s unseemly!”

  8. Johnny U Says:

    …as a crowd gathers ’round an angry young man face down in the street with a gun in his hand, in the ghetto…

  9. Kevin Says:

    Damn, Omar really nailed the co-op. He stole $2 million worth of heroin and then sold it back to them for $400,000. I could not understand Omar when he said how quantity he stole. Did he say 200?

    I just don’t believe Marlo only put $100,000 on Omar’s head. The blind man was right, because of the size of the score the beef the co-op has with Omar is not over now.

    I loved that Prop Joe made a profit. All that talk about the co-op being together through the good times and bad is a bunch of crap. Omar took him for $0.20 on the dollar, while Prop Joe took the rest of the co-op for $0.30 on the dollar. What balls! He is just like Clay Davis!

    My stomach dropped for Bubbles. He is one of my favorite characters. I saw the kid’s death when he talked about putting arsenic in that vial, but damn I didn’t expect what was next. I hope that is his bottom. As Bill Hicks would say he found a ledge past the edge. He better stay clean now because there are no more ledges after that.

    I loved how Kima and Carver were parallel in this episode. Both saw how they failed their people, Bubbles and Randy and could not handle facing them. At the most critical moment they fled.

    Season 4 was great and I believe season 5 will be a great conclusion.

    I know what I want for Yule, Seasons 2 and 3 of the Wire.

  10. packetman Says:

    is anyone else totally pissed at how bodie got killed?

    i mean it was so cheap and not built up at all through the season. he was just written out. when they took stringer out, it was cool. like built up to it, he totally had it coming, no way out.

    bodie just got taken out like a loose end. one last thing to push mcnulty over the edge. or maybe to snuff out any remaining affection the viewers may have had for marlo to ensure he is the ultimate baddie for season 5. nothing worthy of the effort i have expended watching him for 4 seasons.

    very lazy and such a waste. jeeez.

    this was definitely a good episode, but lots of stuff like this and naymond was way too tidy.

  11. Eric C. Says:

    I thought the blunt nature of Bodie’s death was representative of how much the game has changed, even from the days of Stringer and Avon. Though, as Slim Charles will tell you, it just got more fierce. In any case, Bodie had to die and Bodie had to die with a sense of suddenness. He’s been in the game a while now and he’s still a pawn on Marlo’s chessboard.

    As for Nay, I wouldn’t say all is well in his world. We saw Donut make a visit past his new home and the smile on Nay’s face made reminded me of one of the show’s main themes, you can’t run from where you came from or who you are.

  12. packetman Says:

    i guess, it makes sense. but it just didn’t feel woven into the season.

    i mean was i just missing it the whole time? was his boring and inconsequential corner just screaming “this herd is about to be thinned” the “no snitching anytime” shirt in like episode 2. was randy’s story really there to show you that bodie was gonna go? one last proof that his faith in the barsdale organization was his undoing?

    i just missed it cuz he was the coolest character on the show? the last vestige of hip-hop giving way to the grimyness of marlos crew.

    i guess it was mad nervous whenever mcnulty was talking to him. kinda cool tho, that was probably the most detailed and subtle exposition of a witness being turned that i have ever seen. almost didnt see it happening. but mcnulty totally had a plan, huh.

    next season all about C.I.’s and no taps? who gets turned preditions on HH?

  13. Vinay Says:

    I think the way Bodie died makes sense and fits with Marlo’s recklesness for killing people. Maybe not recklessness, what I mean is his paranoia and absence of humanity when it comes to something that might threaten his power.

    We all loved Bodie, and you wish it had happen in a glorified way, but excluding Omar’s wizarding escapades, this season has kept things so real. Bodie being killed quickly and abruptly had to be the way right?

  14. migoudah Says:

    Yeah, I’m in the “right way to go” camp on Bodie’s death. In fact I thought it had too much build up, or at least drama. Would’ve been better if he just got the sneak-up like Mike does to his first hit. (and definitely too much of McNulty getting charged up about it–that seems forced).

    But Bodie had to go suddenly, because we see all these corner guys go suddenly. Bodie was just the one we knew. At heart, he’s no different than the New York boys or the dude Michael pops. So we had to see the one we care about wind up where all the anonymous, disposable ones go.

  15. Brian Says:

    And speaking of the whole “You can’t run from who you are” theme, who wants to guess how many episodes into Season 5 we’ll make it before McNulty goes back to his old ways and Beadie throws his ass out?

  16. Jesse Says:

    I think Bodie’s death “making no sense” is part of the point. Ask one of the hundred kids dead on Baltimore streets this year if they saw their death coming over the past couple months (or episodes).

    It’s all in the game Packetman.

  17. FayetteMafia Says:

    Does anyone know the name of the song played over the final montage?

  18. jb Says:

    the song is a cover of ‘Walk on Guilded Splinters’. The orignal is by Dr John. Wish they used it instead

    btw – Is Carver still planning on adopting Randy after the waiting process is done or did they just give up on that?

  19. Shoals Says:

    johnny jenkins’s version reigns supreme, cher’s is almost equally strong.

  20. megapickles Says:

    Props to whoever edited up the Bubbles scene at the beginning. The vomit closeup on the holiday tie, the bulletin board tie memorial, and finally the noose around the neck was one of the most powerful things I’ve seen on my TV. I screamed for Bubbles. Here’s hoping Waylon (Steve Earle, Marxist country singer extraordinaire) can help him on that road to recovery.

    And any discussion as to whether or not prison could have been the “right” thing for Bubbles? Perhaps Sgt. Landsman not thinking bout the stats might work against somebody like Bubs? Cutty cleaned up. Father figure! He go in a man, he come out a MAN and got a fly nurse too.

    Your worst nightmare Prezbo! Nah, just playin.

    Fayette Mafia… the saga continues

  21. kasumi Says:

    Another season over- I appreciate the wrap-ups at the end.

    As for Bodie- he was one of the last of the line still on the corners- Slim Charles having since moved up. It was his time – like the worn Avon poster in Cutty’s gym, Barksdale is now gone.

    The reunion of the old gang was great at the end and Naymond’s transformation was uplifting. I particularly liked the test sequence at the end – the kids in Bunny’s class were shown totally oblivious to the test, except for the students Bunny took to dinner. One of the themes is you can’t leave behind where you’re from, but I took Nay’s smile after Donut drove by as amusement and then happiness as we see the parent and kid walk to school. Nay, like Cutty, will never be 100% free of their past, but they have moved on to something better. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what happens to the fish.

    Duquan’s case being the saddest, he looked so different when he saw Prez again, clean and older, but at what price. Carver leaving Randy was sad and Randy being tagged as a snitch will certainly follow him. He looked so small when he threw the first punch, unlike his friends who just seemed . . . older.

  22. Shoals Says:

    there are plenty of drugs in prison, cf season 2. and let’s not forget that bubbles has been a gigantic snitch for a while now, which might have come back to haunt him in prison. wouldn’t be able to make himself invisible like he does on the streets.

    someone tell me if i used “cf” wrong there.

    and about namond. . . . he really is the only person to ever make it out. you could argue, though, that he was never really in it to begin with. fairly privileged, protected by his father’s name, spoiled by delonda, fed this totally unrealistic version of the game that took bey’s status as the model and assumed he wouldn’t have to work to get there. as much of a creampuff as randy is, he had seen some real hardship, and had to figure out a way to cope (even if it was largely based on denial). nay, though, got bumped up to a middle-class life when delonda could/would no longer provide him with a facsimilie of one in “the hood.”

    donut reminds me of bodie in some ways. . . he somehow makes you forget that he’s fucked and living a life of crime. to me, that was namond acknowledging that he does still have some sentimental affinity for the world he grew up in, but isn’t willing or able to follow it to its “committed” extremes. and wasn’t that where we started with these kids at the beginning of the season?

    or i guess you could read new namond + donut + the stop (stop snitchin’) signs as a simplistic, “if only we could donut’s ride to self-destruction come to a halt, like this setting has done for namond.”

  23. madgirl Says:

    As for Bodie, I wept like a small child at his death, but once he had been seen in the company of McNulty, I knew he would be a liability Marlo could not afford. His death is similar to the murder of the female security guard from D’Angelo Barksdale’s murder trial. There was no reason to think she would flip and turn state’s witness again, but when the heat was on the Barksdales, Avon and Stringer knew they could take no chances. I’m in no way excusing Marlo’s previous brutality (an innocent security guard of his own, L’il Kevin), but killing Bodie made sense tactically from where Marlo sits. Of course, the problem is that Marlo sits so far from the street, I doubt he knew anything about Bodie, really. I reflected last night, and sorry for the “good old days” sentiment here, but Avon and Stringer were involved in the lives of their employees. Avon, not so much, given the number of people who wanted to kill him, but Stringer was an extremely proactive boss, visiting the pit and the towers on a regular basis. Marlo has no go-between with his employees–his second in command appears to be Chris, who acts significantly more like pure muscle than an advisor. Even apart from all this, I think Bodie was doomed from the start. His dissatisfaction with the game was not going to win him points with anyone, and he had obviously lost his cool about it when he kicked out the windows of that radio car.

    Okay. For season four itself, I’m a little disappointed. That’s not saying much, though–it’s still the best show on tv and I still loved it. I think they overreached a little bit in the second half of this season. Up until Carcetti won the election, there was a nice forward momentum to things. However, I think there were a few “cute” items that shocked me. Cutty’s nurse laying into him about gangsta life and then falling for him? Prez and Grace’s after-school special discussion of the progress on the state test? Donut driving past Namond and his new, improved life? Aren’t these writers too smart for this? I’m not opposed to Cutty hooking up with his nurse–we all know he loves the ladies–but her comments about the game seemed inappropriate to me. And why wouldn’t someone already have explained to Prez that progress isn’t progress? Or better yet, why didn’t he already know that from his illustrious stint with the BPD? And if there had been any dialogue, or god forbid, voiceover, in that last shot, it would undoubtedly have been Namond, saying, “Aw, that wacky Donut! Still boosting cars? Haha…ride on, Donut…ride on.” I also thought the writing staff’s inability to write women came into stark relief this season–maybe because there was so much conversation about it here. Still, even if Kima was just written as a dude who happened to be a woman, there was enough dialogue for Sonja Sohn to make it her own. Ditto on Beadie Russell–I loved her in season two. She seemed like this weird, mysterious person who blurted out details of her personal life by mistake. Maybe it was sloppy writing, but Amy Ryan sold it like gold every time. This season, she was just McNulty arm decoration. Finally, I wish Bubbles could have just died. I liked seeing a different side of Landsman, but Jesus–that scene at the end just killed me, and it seemed unnecessary. But hey, I’m not a writer on the show, so I don’t really know what’s necessary.

    So that’s the majority of the negative. Just some things that were bugging me. I wanted to reserve judgement until the end. As far as favorite seasons go, I still give three the edge, followed by one, two and then four. I really did enjoy most of the season, frothing at the mouth every Monday for a new episode OnDemand. I will give this season the award for “most harrowing season.” Marlo’s ruthlessness cast a pall over the city this season, particularly where the kids were concerned.

    Shifting tone, my favorite comedic moment last night was between Bunk and Snoop:
    “I’m thinking about pussaaaaaay.” “Me too.”

    I’m looking forward to season five and its media focus–that combined with what we know about Daniels and his past in the eastern should make for some nail-biters.

    On an unrelated note, does anyone else wonder what happened to Nick Sobotka, considering Baltimore’s notoriously underfunded witness protection program? The reappearance of the Greek in the last episode got me thinking…

    Thanks for the great commentary all season.

  24. Shoals Says:


    read my differing interpretation of the last scene above.

    bodie’s offering to help bring down marlo was itself kind of a sentimental nod to the past. he had gotten so desperate to defend the way he knew things should be that he was willing to risk his life and break one of the streets’ basic laws. note: i haven’t re-watched the episode since it went up for public consumption, so i’d welcome any correction of this reading.

    i will now stop hogging my own discussion section.

  25. Tom Says:

    I’m glad that this season was bombastic and harrowing – so is great literature. This is the best one yet.

  26. eebmore Says:

    On a light note, how many other people dug the little dig on Deadwood? “Heh. He said ‘Cocksucker,’” in Beevis and Butthead patois. Zing! My friends and I nearly fell out of our chairs laughing.

  27. megapickles Says:

    shoals- true, recognizing there’s drugs behind bars. and yeah, he’s been snitching, but i’ve never gotten the impression that anybody knew he was a snitch since he’s not in the game. he gamed the game, pointing out the pieces: thimble, boot, terrier, fayette st. park place.. collecting at GO and snagging get out of jail free cards.

    not to say that the prison system isn’t corrupt, and we saw that in season 2, but bubble’s freedoms are exactly what always seems to get him in trouble with himself. can Waylon and NAA provide the structure he needs? is sherrod’s death an artificial prison for him? step off the ledge AND take off the edge… crack rock like sisyphus boulders for bubbles

  28. madgirl Says:

    Shoals–I agree that your reading of that last scene is likely the intended interpretation, I just thought the execution was a little bit much.

  29. Eric C Says:

    Two quick points related to other posts:

    1. While String was more hands-on, if you remember, when Wallace and Poot found Brandon at that pizza shop and String came by with Bay to snag Brandon up, he asked Wallace what his name was. Now that doesn’t take away from the fact that String has more of a connection to the street than say, Marlo; but, I wouldn’t go so far as to say String was all up in their lives.

    2.People do know Bubbs is a snitch. In Season 1 when Omar and McNulty/Kima meet in the cemetery, Omar makes a comment upon leaving, “Snitchin’ Bubbs.” Which then makes me wonder how any guy can last that long being known as “Snitchin’ Bubbs.” Perhaps though only a handful like Omar have any idea, I don’t know.

  30. BEC Says:

    I think the writers were building up to Bodies death for most of the season. He was alone in so many shots and clearly on the outside of Marlo’s organization. I was surprised that he would flip though – his character seemed too true to his own code to break such a major “rule.” Marlo ordering the hit made perfect sense and was the right decision to make. Bodie was going to confess against Marlo. Just because he’s paranoid…

    I loved the wrap up at the end. I appreciate that the season finale has an ending. So many of my favorite HBO shows seem to treat their finales as just another show. And, while it was a little too Cleaveresque, I’m glad there was a note of optimism and hope for one of the kids.

    I’ll miss this site and truly hope it returns next season. Thanks!

  31. B&B Enterprises Says:

    Can I make a suggestion for the next season? This on-demand shit is wack. It’s great when it works. But when it doesn’t work (i.e. local cable compnaies don’t come through with the product in a timely manner), it is seriosuly painful. I’m dieing here because I still can’t get episode 50. The bastards at Comcast tell me a different lie every time I call to complain. Still no way of knowing if/when they will post the finale. Argh.

  32. Shoals Says:

    sending out screeners of the whole season was a necessary evil, i guess, given the situation the show was in. but i agree, on-demand a week early was just kind of arbitrary.

  33. FayetteMafia Says:

    Shoals- Is the final montage’s song the Johnny Jenkins version of ‘guilded splinters’? I can’t find it anywhere…can anyone post a link?

  34. Shoals Says:

    no, it wasn’t jj. i thought it might’ve been steve earle, but that’s only because they used one of his songs the last time he appeared on the show.

  35. Jesse Says:

    I’m with you guys regarding scrapping the OnDemand for next season – my RCN service was straight-up bewildering. Made for a herky-jerky first half of the season – I was so frustrated that I downloaded the last 3 eps and watched them all in one dark & harrowing chunk.

    Hopefully the show has gained enough attention this season so that HBO doesn’t have to get gimmicky and repeat this season’s OnDemand debacle, or release the entire season to reviewers beforehand.

    But if they insist on sending out the entire 5th Season – send a copy to my fiendin’ a$$.

  36. Brian Says:

    I’m wondering if the fact that ratings this season are up (according to DS in the Slate interview, anyway) may lead HBO to repeat the On-Demand thing next year.

  37. hilker Says:

    Apparently the version of “I Walk on Gilded Splinters” in 50 is by Paul Weller, from the album ‘Stanley Road.’

  38. Vinay Says:

    Doesn’t HBO do this business with all original programming On-Demand? Or am I not understanding the debacle? Why would it go away?

  39. Shoals Says:

    no, i meant they shouldn’t put the episodes up a week early

  40. Kevin Says:

    I felt Bodie’s death was perfect considering what position he was put in. He has been a loyal member of an organization his whole life, but then new management comes in and they treat him like he is a dog. Instead of Marlo seeing Bodie as a person that is useful to his organization. Marlo might see potential in Michael, but he is blind to the fact that Bodie built up his own corner. Marlo was only interested in taking advantage of Bodie to increase his own power.

    He was passed over for promotion and left in charge of a lonely corner. Then when he was not needed anymore he was dismissed.

  41. LL Says:

    Do you think Nay’s smirk at the sight of Donut in another jacked ride is one of jealousy and longing for the hood life? Or is it a more mature and wise acknowledgement that he is above and beyond that now, that his options are more plentiful than Donut’s ever will be, no matter how many SUVs he steals?

    Dookie as the future Prop Joe is a sad thought as I had hoped he could get out of the corner life. Guess I shoulda seen it coming since the day he fixed that little battery powered fan, wonder if that’s similar to how Joe got his start as a fix-all. However, if you’re going to be in the streets, I guess being Prop Joe v.2 is not too shabby.

  42. Jesse Says:

    To me, Nay looked scared (or at least startled) when he first saw Donut roll-up in the Mercedes wagon. I think Nay is relieved that he has seemingly escaped the corner life, even though he may look back on those days with longing (as evidenced by his smile as Donut rolled on).

    Reminded me of his experience in the fancy restaurant w/ Bunny and the other students. They couldn’t stand it when they were in it, but they were bragging about it the next day in class.

    In a couple years, Nay may brag about his days as a hopper to his fellow prep-school students, but deep down I think he knows he has been saved.

  43. ahead Says:

    Bodie’s death was going to happen as soon as he was seen with Mcnulty. But I dont think people saw that Bodie saved Poot’s life, by telling him to get out of there. It was a losing situation and Poot had already pulled out the piece, but Bodie looked at him and basically said bye in that moment.

    People dont understand why McNulty was upset, he was upset at the link to the street. Remember all the bad guys and the good guys knew each other. Remember he gave Bodie props on getting out of the charges by using his head and calling entrapment. When Bodie dies he loses his link to the streets and somebody he used to chase in the game. Its all new now and the game has changed.

    Prez not knowing about standarized testing is like you working for the water department and know how the trash is moved. You might have friends in the trash department but you dont know/care about the details of the job as long as the trash is gone/ kids move up to another grade.

  44. migoudah Says:

    LL and others–

    I don’t get the urge to connect all these kids with the major players. I think Michael’s the only one we’ve seen with a chance–just a chance–to get to the level of the Prop Joes, Avons and Marlos. But more likely he winds up a Stinkum. And Dukie? He’ll be a junkie. Maybe, if he’s lucky, like Gary McCullough in The Corner–sweet-tempered, haunted, and trapped in a world bent on killing him.

    I mean, these kids are all statistics-to-be. That’s the lesson here.

  45. Brian Says:

    A moment of humor amongst all the grimness – did anyone else laugh like I did at Herc’s “Come to Wisconsin – Smell the Dairy Air” t-shirt? What a perfect shirt for that character to be wearing.

  46. AP Says:

    Hey Eric C,

    Omar knows Bubbles is a snitch because he sees him in the car with Kima and McNulty near the beginning of Season 1. He makes an allusion to his knowledge of this while talking with Kima and McNulty later on (“your snitch told you? yeah, bubbles know bird!” or something like that), but as far as I can remember he’s the only “street” character (besides Johnny) who knows about Bubbs’s snitching

  47. nancy Says:

    Help! At work, we are divided into 2 camps: those who think Michael
    killed Bodie and those who are certain that he did not. I don’t think it was him, but then who was that guy? Snoop and Chris have always worked alone, right? Thoughts, anyone?

  48. Tom Says:

    Yeah Nancy, I was a bit confused by that as well. There’s that moment where Chris and Marlo discuss how Michael’s first kill shouldn’t be someone he knows… but from the scene itself, it’s clearly Michael who takes out Bodie. I still haven’t figured that out.

  49. Robert Says:

    It was clearly not Michael that killed Bodie. I don’t know the name of the character but his face is quite distinctive: kind of crooked. He was riding shotgun in the car that dropped off the first package that Bodie took from Marlo. He said something like, “Do not mess with Marlo’s money.”

  50. nancy Says:

    to Robert: what episode was that (the guy riding shotgun in the car that dropped off the package to Bodie)? Episode 45 does have Snoop and Chris conducting some kind of a training session for potential hit men.
    We went back and looked at those guys but none of them really look like the guy who shoots Bodie. Damn! Why would they make this so unclear? Is it all a hook for next season?

  51. Robert Says:

    episode 41 ~20 minutes in

  52. Shoals Says:

    michael was discussed as an option, but chris and marlo decided that it should be someone who didn’t know bodie.

    plus marlo’s “one more thing you’ve got to do” and chris’s pep talk. . .would’ve been weird to have those come with michael’s second kill.

    and remember, chris and snoop did train other kids.

  53. nancy Says:

    OK, the guy in episode 41 who says to Bodie, “do not mess with Marlo’s money” is the same one in episode 45 who is being “schooled” by Snoop and Chris. No name, but he does have a distinctive face, kind long and narrow. I agree the pep talk and Michael’s reaction all would have been strange if it was Michael’s second kill. But my co-worker (who seems to have a great deal of knowledge about the corner culture)insists that Marlo would never give Michael his own corner plus kill Bug’s dad for him………all without Michael stepping up first. Marlo’s not exactly the altruistic type, you know?

  54. Nicole Says:

    First off, thanks for asking the question about who actually killed Bodie – was wondering the same thing. Could it be that the show was designed to have it be someone peripheral to the whole story – that his killing is anonymous to him, his corner crew, and the viewers? We can’t hang our collective hopes that somehow Bodie’s death will be avenged in the coming season or that we’ll have some satisfactory end to that part of the story. I like Shoals’ reading that “…it was noble and kind of gratifying. He never seemed like he should’ve been somewhere else, or cried out to be rescued.” Bodie was never going to leave the corner, Baltimore, the game. That it ended quickly, with him fully enmeshed in the circumstance, it’s all kind of fitting.

    What 50 left me wondering about is the ultimate outcome for this season’s most destructive (and tragically unaware) villain – Herc. He was directly responsible for Lil Kevin and for Randy. His neglect of Bubbles makes him responsible for Sharad as well, not to mention Bubbs complete breakdown. And only Bunk and Carver know how truly pathetic and self-serving Herc’s behavior has been. Of the four kids, Randy is the most heartbreaking to me, because he seemed the kid most likely to make a success of his life on his own, and is so completely done in by circumstances beyond his control. I really wonder how the truth of Randy’s downfall will affect the relationship between former partners Carver and Herc in Season 5 (assuming that Herc isn’t booted out of the Police altogether).

    Naymond’s surprising rescue, of the four kids, seemed the least satisfactory. He was the one who most explicitly courted the glories of the game – despite being the least suited to it. At the risk of being harsh, he deserved rescue least of the four, and like all of the random successes of the show, only happens because Colvin has more influence than the champions for the other kids (Cutty, Carver, Prez).

    To whomever organizes HH, thanks a bunch. I’ve loved reading this blog over the season for it’s insightful analysis. And, if David Simon is still reading, I’d like to say thanks for the best show on TV ever. Period.

  55. Vikas Says:

    I heard a NPR interview w/ Ed Burns a few weeks ago, it was very interesting, here is the link. If this has already been talked about and posted, sorry for the re-post


  56. Chin Says:

    I’ve been making my way through the other series since finishing series 4 and was watching the great “Chess pawn” scene from season 1. It struck me that all the people in that scene, Bodie, D’Angelo and Wallace are all gone now, and the fact that Bodie refers back to the scene in his last conversation with McNulty gives the scene so much more emotional resonance.

  57. Chin Says:

    I’ve been revisiting the other seasons since finishing season 4 and was watching the great “Chess pawn” scene from season 1. It struck me that all the people in that scene, Bodie, D’Angelo and Wallace are all gone now, and the fact that Bodie refers back to the scene in his last conversation with McNulty gives the scene so much more emotional resonance.

  58. Benjamin Says:

    I could’ve sworn Bodie was shot by the same guy who shot Cutty. Another one of Chris’ pups who needed to come up.

    (Speaking of Chris, in an otherwise lackluster SNL skit this week, two lawyers were named Marla Stansfield and Christopher Paltrow. Nice little shout out.)

  59. Eric Overmyer Says:

    Monk shot Cutty. He’s not one of Marlo’s pups, he’s one of Marlo’s lieutenants.

  60. Benjamin Says:

    Oh, okay. I need to break out that HBO flow chart.

  61. Shoals Says:

    i think it’s interesting that EO will chime in to clarify who shot cutty (i didn’t know it was a question), but is mum on the michael question.

  62. Andrew Levine Says:

    The just-posted HBO summary identifies Bodie’s killer as O-Dog, one of Chris’ trainees.

    I have to give a shout-out to my favorite piece of set dressing from the season, on which I’ve seen nobody comment on any site: The creepy twin signs on either side of the doorway in Prez’s class saying “Math is Fun” and “Choices Have Consequences”. The former an attempt at fostering a normal class environment, the latter a stern reminder of the realities the kids face. Both completely futile and ignored. Not that Randy could ever have recognized the consequences of his choices.

  63. Pooh Says:

    McNulty is doomed in season 5. I say this because at this point I have hope for him, and if there is one thing this show does, it’s crush hopes. I mean the subtle yet obvious personal growth: the no drinking; the inversion of the the “Title III or wired CI” conversation with Daniels; how personally he took Bodie’s death as opposed to Wallace’s. His emotional reaction to Wallace was the Stringer was “out of the box” – he honestly mourned for Bodie not because that got Marlo out of the box (he didn’t give much of a crap about Marlo until that point, it seems), but because he felt responsible on a personal level. In previous season’s he would have left the corner after jacking Poot saying “What the fuck did I do?”

    Yet with all this talk of crushed hopes, it seems like it works out ok for Namond, (the pony-tail symbolizing the return of his innocence, perhaps?) and for Cutty. What does it say that these two, out of all of them, are the ones saved?

    And what of the scene between Norman and Royce’s fixer in the bar?

  64. Kenya Says:

    I guess I was never quite as big a Bodie fan as most. He was someone I couldn’t help but like a little, but there was a reason why I wanted not to like him. I remember his eagerness to accept Stringer’s proposition and the way he killed Wallace. There was a lot of symmetry between the situations (though not the characters) of Lil Kevin and Wallace. Both were potentially damning witnesses that had been held by the police and not charged. It made sense to me that Marlo would be suspicious of Lil Kevin upon his return. Ironically, Bodie presaged this by advising Lil Kevin to make it known that he could still be trusted. Both were killed to tie up loose ends. If anything seemed unbelievable to me, it was Bodie’s sentimentality for Lil Kevin despite his own actions. However, I think that may be the most realistic. We get older and start to value our own life and the lives of our friends. Things we approached callously before now become dear.

    Second, I can understand Marlo’s suspicion of Bodie. Bodie was never his man or a part of his crew. Bodie was the equivalent of an independent contractor, a talented one, but not a trusted one.

  65. Simonsbitch Says:

    I thought the season finale was brilliant and the opening sequence even more so. The roller coaster ride that we go on with Landsman, Norris and Bubbles was beautifully constructed and acted. When you think of all you felt in, what, five or six minutes….well, it’s breathtaking.

    Bunny Colvin as Cassandra sets up next season with one line. “Every time I open my mouth in this town, I’m telling people what they don’t want to know.” Wow. Concise, cogent writing.

    Which brings me to the turd amongst the diamonds and that is the scene between Tommy and Jen Carcetti. It’s been a continuing theme on this site that Simon’s weakness is writing women and this scene sums that up. Carcetti lays out the options for dealing with the school deficit and asks her for her opinion and she says “you’ll do the right thing”???? Oh, please. Maybe it’s a weakness on Simon’s part or maybe the women he knows really are all weak and mealy mouthed and men masquerading as women, but if so, he needs to get out more.

    Still, one scene out of so many.

    What the hell do we do with our time now?

  66. madgirl Says:

    I’ll be interested to see if Simon and Co. include “clear male bias” in next season’s laundry list of media issues…

  67. Pooh Says:

    Which brings me to the turd amongst the diamonds and that is the scene between Tommy and Jen Carcetti. It’s been a continuing theme on this site that Simon’s weakness is writing women and this scene sums that up. Carcetti lays out the options for dealing with the school deficit and asks her for her opinion and she says “you’ll do the right thing”???? Oh, please. Maybe it’s a weakness on Simon’s part or maybe the women he knows really are all weak and mealy mouthed and men masquerading as women, but if so, he needs to get out more.

    I too hated this scene. I’ll have to go back and re-watch some of S3 and S4 before I’m sure, but how much of this is the writing, and how much that the actor who plays Jen Carcetti isn’t as good as a lot of the others?

  68. Gavrilo Says:

    To any People in Power still reading–since you made the full season available on DVD ahead of time to the taxpayers at Slate and Stephen MotherfucKing at Entertainment Weekly, why not do the same for the fiends on this site? In exchange for, like, money? Shits would sell like WMD in Hamsterdam. I said it.

  69. Gavrilo Says:

    P.S. Fine, so you already suggested this in the “Withdrawal” post. Still a good idea, and HBO could make them available only to subscribers, or price them so they didn’t lose subscription money, or whatever. This ain’t rocket surgery.

  70. Simonsbitch Says:

    Pooh, it’s the writing. I’m not sure Meryl Streep could have sold that clunker of a line.

  71. Tom Says:

    The Norman Wilson/Coleman Parker scene in the bar was great – an accurate depiction of two political hacks bitching about the self-serving, egocentric natures of the men they serve.

  72. Tom Says:

    Remember Stringer Bell’s Davis-delivered contract as minority contractor for lightbulbs for the Board of Education? remember the schools deficit? Ah, I love this show. And after watching all 4 seasons more times than I shoulda, I can decipher the B-more patois a whole lot better.

  73. bdgavin Says:

    Thank you so much for writing the recaps every week. It’s nice coming to a forum like this to see how other people saw each episode and what they thought. How many shows would you actually want to do that for? This was the best season in my opinion. Looks like Bodie turned into D’Angelo Barksdale, tried to change the game, and he definitely paid the price the way D did. My favorite parts about the show are the winks to previous seasons that constantly occur. Bodie mentioning the pawns was classic. I am so grateful there’s another season. I’m holding out hope that there will be more after that. David Simon mentioned that if he did Season 6 he’d do it about the influx of Latin Americans in Baltimore. He said it would take him years to research, so maybe, maybe they can get the crew back together in a few years for Season 6 if HBO is down with it and Simon and Co. want to continue. I’m pleasantly surprised that HBO has kept the Wire on this long. Bill Simmons wrote an interesting reply on Page 2 that said he refuses to watch shows on Network TV with low ratings because what’s the point when they’ll get cancelled in a few weeks anyway. Thank you HBO! People get those DVDs to everyone you know so more people watch and HBO can beg Simon for more The Wire! Season 5–I think they’ll keep all the current storylines going plus the media storyline, so it should be interesante. Bet on Omar not making it, not with the Greeks after him. Bet on Mouzone coming back for an episode. Bet on Randy and Cheese/Prop Joe getting acquainted. Bet on Special Agent Fittzhugh making a couple of appearances. Bet on Jimmy getting re-acquainted with Jamey, and Jamey getting the best of him–at least once. Bet on Poot facing a dilemma about whether or not to follow in D’Angelo and Bodie’s footsteps. Bet on Spike Lee filming at least one episode of Season 5. Bet on The Wire never winning a mainstream award in its lifetime. Bet that.

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