Before they blow them horns like Coltrane…

For commentary and rousing discussions on episode 54, take a gander at THIS, THIS, THIS, and THIS, but for the bleak, violent, catch-as-catch-can world of 55, continue below.


Although there’s still a lot of loose ends to tie up, or more realistically to simply drag past the camera eye, the shortened season and ornate plotlines (yes i stole the word from Freamon since McNulty couldn’t bring it to mind when talking to the reporters) are making everything seem very tightly packed. I worry I’ll spend too much time writing about Marlo or the gang getting back together (kinda sorta) and ignore Bubs or Dookie, potentially much richer narrative actors since they stand on the knife’s edge of actually making something out of their lives, even if all that means is survival outside of drug addiction or drug pushing. I admire the writers’ ability to allow time for Bubs’ suddenly much flatter, beige-er, boring-er world of sobriety to get so much airtime, since his interactions with Walon, the director at the soup kitchen, the nurse, and his sister have painted one of the fuller portraits of a life that we’ve seen all season, and certainly in his character’s history. Not being high stretches out time, allows for all the recollections that were previously so easy to subsume beneath the brain-fry-up to rise up and wait on the still surface of everyday chores and banalities. Realizing he doesn’t have decades of medications, doctor visits and fear of his own body’s capacity for failure in the cards is unsettling because it’s just another, larger “now what?” At least HIV would have allowed Bubs to focus on his years of using and point to their consequences, but without illness, with a relatively fresh and low-interest lease on life (forgive the metaphor; too much financial newsreading), Bubs sees days stretching out before him without joy and without despair, just stretched out, blank. If the first few episodes where he was fitful and anxious were the emotional hole after the extended high, this is the phase that follows, where Bubs has to decide if he wants to push his life forward in any direction, if he can push anywhere other than the simple maintenance of sobriety, already a weighty burden.

huis clos

Cutty’s reappearance and pointed dialogue with Dookie (how these two have missed meeting before seems now ludicrous) refracts Bubs’ predicament from another angle. While we’ve known Cutty’s to be a genuinely positive tale of rehabilitation and redemption through good works (admittedly bankrolled, at least at first, by some pretty bad works, but, you know, it’s all, what’s the word? collected? corrected? dang), his talk with Dookie betrays a larger sadness that life may exist outside the neighborhoods he has always known, but he’s been forever cut off from it, and is likely never to see it. It’s a real No Exit moment, and while Dookie provides a hopeful example (and of course, be careful what you hope for on this show. best to duck and cover) of someone whose “other skills,” as Michael puts it (I hate myself for having thought, at that dense and weighty moment (I mean they’re holding GUNS!) of Napoleon Dynamite), could earn him a pass to that larger world, one wonders if there is anywhere for him to go. School? He seems to have abandoned any thought of that, presumably because Michael counts on him to look after Bug, though night school exists, and there are other ways always. Yet these thoughts bandied between two of the most langorous, pensive, and, each certainly in their own way intellectual (for Cutty perhaps his last name Wise is a better adjective) characters on the show reflect a larger theme in the episode and the series, of being trapped, but of that state that not stopping anyone from having, as the quote at the start notes, an opinion.


Of course if we look close enough we find that every character is, to some degree, trapped: McNulty in his quest to do police work is trapped in an ever-more-screwed state of personal and professional hell; Daniels sees his hands tied tighter than ever before as he assumes greater power than ever; Davis is trapped in the eternal shit-eating process of avoiding absolute failure; I could go on forever. But I think that while Simon & Burns and the other writers like to remind us that there are better things in the world, better lives to lead (lives that most viewers, presumably, lead), the words of Beanie Sigel ring true for many more in this country: “And still we grind from the bottom / Just to make it to the bottom.” Think about Bodie.


So there I go spending a whole post talking about characters who (save one) did not even hold a gun or wield any kind of power in the episode. Never enough time.

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78 Comments on “Before they blow them horns like Coltrane…”

  1. Collins Says:

    And there’s been a lot of discussion in the comments on other posts about the parallels between certain characters in their rises and falls. But that lack of freedom is a common thread between all characters. Carcetti, Daniels, McNulty: it’s true for them all. Even Marlo, who seems to be at the top of the game, is now stuck in Omar-defense mode. The same things happened to Stringer and Avon.

    After this weeks ending, hardly able to believe that Omar survived, I’m thinking he may be the exception to the rule. The great equalizer. Apparently, he can also fly.

  2. Hawkins Says:

    Once they realize they’re part of the hopeless game….they’re doomed to be destroyed by that self-realization, right?

    Season 1 D’Angelo, Wallace
    Season 2 Frank and Ziggy Sobotka
    Season 3 Stringer Bell, Bunny Colvin
    Season 4 Prez, Bodie, Randy, in some ways a part of Michael and Duquan

    this season, probably either Cutty or Duquan or Michael or all of them

  3. Frank Hague Says:

    The scene with Omar was utterly ridiculous. His survival of so many close calls had been a strectch, but to survive a fall like that is headed into cartoon territory. I don’t like the direction the season is headed in. It is the first season of this show that at times I’ve thought “Ok, let’s move it along” or “You’ve got to be kidding me”.

  4. AfroSoul Says:

    I was crushed by the absolute weight of Duquan’s “How do you get from here to the rest of the world?” And really, from his spot, how do you? When Micheal and (for a short time) Prez are the only care givers he’s ever known. I’m reminded of Prez’s line in S4 “No one wins, one side just loses more slowly”

  5. sheeeeeeeeit Says:

    Anyone else watch the shootout scene in freeze-frame? I saw something that’s been eating at me, and I’m hoping I’m not crazy… or even worse, wrong. Here’s what I saw:

    * Omar and his guy bust in.

    * Snoop shoots at Omar’s guy.

    * Omar’s standing in front of a hallway about to shoot at Snoop.

    * Then a tall, angular shadow becomes visible. He’s got a shot at Omar… and doesn’t take it.

    * Omar shoots at Snoop, destroying all that precious glassware. Then he turns and shoots the dude in the shadows.

    * Dude falls down, writhes in pain grabbing his leg. We see him for a split second… skinny, medium hair, wide nose.

    * He starts screaming about his leg, and Snoop tells him (exasperatedly) to stay the fuck down.

    Am I nuts, or did Omar shoot Duquan?

    Obviously there are problems with that. It makes zero sense for Chris and Snoop, professionals, to allow an incompetent kid like Duquan anywhere near the safehouse. And there’s the issue of how unclear it is in the scene’s editing… it’s cut like we shouldn’t care who got shot there, and the screaming is just added detail.

    But it looks like him, sounds like him, and acts like him.

    And if it IS him, it presents a nice bookend to the issues he confronted all ep long. Michael lectures him about no hesitiation when shooting… then he’s got Omar in his sights (OMAR!!!!) but he hesitates, and gets burned for it.

    I dunno. I’ll find out next week one way or another, but right now it’s tearing me apart. And it definitely changes the message of the ep w/ respect to Duquan. Anybody else have any thoughts?

  6. The Hypnotoad Says:

    I was wondering who the heck this Duquan character you guys are talking about but then i came to my senses. Anyways i don’t think Omars escape was that unbelievable. In fact, maybe it was a reminder of the difference in heart he had compared to that of the departed Stringer Bell. Stringer; backed into a corner of a giant glass window and two thugs, simply stands and embraces his death. While Omar, he jumps out that window and lives to fight another day. I always wondered why Stringer wouldn’t have tried to jump through that sh!t, of course he probably wouldn’t have been able to break through it and if he did, would have most certainly died from the fall. I don’t know, maybe i’m looking to hard at those two scenes and making connections that aren’t there.

    They need to have more lines for my man Kenard. He cracks me up.

  7. The Hypnotoad Says:

    sheeeeeeeeit, it was that guy that wanted to kill the corner boys “West coast style” back in 52, not dookie.

  8. It wasn’t Duquan, it was Monk.

    What doesn’t make sense is that Chris, Snoop and Michael would announce their presence immediately, shooting at Omar from across the room. They should have used Monk as bait, merely, and snuck up on Omar and shot him at point blank range.

    As for the four-story fall, I don’t know why people think this is such a stretch. Skilled acrobats and even generally athletic types can make such jumps and be unscathed. Drunks, because they are relaxed, have fallen from greater heights and been unhurt. But we have no idea what happened to Omar.

  9. sheeeeeeeeit Says:

    OK, thanks everyone. That makes more sense.

  10. Mystery shoot-out character = O-dog.

    And really, I think it’s funny if people are only *now* taking issue with the fantastic elements of Omar’s character. This is a guy who has historically stalked through empty ghetto courtyards all by his lonesome and never caught a bullet from an enterprising sniper — to say nothing of the many bullets he’s missed during actual gunfights. If he ends up surviving the fall, isn’t that completely in line with what we’ve come to expect from him? If the argument is that it’s “not believable,” what about Omar’s career *has* been believable, exactly?

  11. Ippy Says:

    Speaking of Cutty’s financing, does anyone know how he makes a living now that Barksdale’s not around? Surely the kids can’t afford to pay any tuition.

  12. Frank Hague Says:

    Yes, there has always been a stretch to Omar’s character, but he never pulled a spiderman act before. No one crashes though a window and then falls four stories without massive injuries. I think that scene was just a symptom of the broader problems with the storyline this season. There seems to be a push to get every actor who has ever appeared on the show in the final season. The scene with Mcnulty’s wife felt forced, yes we know his whole life is falling apart, the point had already been made. I felt the same way about “Johnny 50” appearing as a homeless person. Next week it looks like Randy is coming back. How long before Frank Sbotka crawls out of the grave?

  13. Curtis Says:

    Man, that Omar leap was COMPLETELY TOTALLY BELIEVABLE because while he was on sabatical Omar LEARNED PARKOUR!

    Geez, can’t you guys figure that out?

  14. jaywest03 Says:

    I don’t know why you guys seem to have such an issue wit Omars jump. Is it really that hard to believe that he jumped from 4 stories up and lived? I know its not the same as jumping off the curb but damn. You hear real life stories all the time about people who fall from further and survive.

    Also, I didnt think the scene with McNulty’s ex wife seemed forced at all. He has 2 kids with the women. I think the relationship has been a major factor in the development of his character over the 5 seasons. to leave it out now, would seem unplausible. I think its very much in keeping with the linear fashion in which the wire has always unfolded.

  15. Mike Says:

    Hey! Did I just post under the name”Frank Hague” and forget? 😉 I made almost the exact same comments somewhere else, but ended with “What’s next, they exhume Orlando?” Guess we all see the same things. There is a lot of “super human” going on this year, with Omar leading. Was there any ‘seeding’ between McNulty and Templeton, or did he just decide to call on his own? That smells of Diving Writer’s Intervention, but it could have been suggested. And Marlo is chewing through major players “without consequence” at a pretty good clip. Sorry, that all sounded like complaining … just feels like the compressed schedule has definately hurt the flow of the show this year – leading to a lot of these inconsistancies.

  16. jaywest03 Says:


  17. vadmspartan Says:

    We obviously don’t know what shape Omar is in so even though the jump was a little implausible, I doubt that he got up unscathed. Anyway guess he bit off more than he could chew. From the opening montage of each episode we know he’s gonna be standing over someone with his shotty and an SUV blows up in the background. I was kinda pissed he didn’t get to take anyone out other than that newbie. I mean if Snoop died I don’t think the show would have suffered that much.

  18. Odds Bodkins Says:

    The other thing is, do we even know if Omar jumped ALL THE WAY DOWN? We never saw him… maybe he jumped down one flight? We also don’t know for sure if he’s been shot. I thought it was a little batmanesque, but Snoop’s “What the fuck?” made it all worth it.

    I also thought Royce threatening Clay through wide grin was awesome.

  19. Curtis Says:

    I’m telling you he learned parkour. Watch at the 34 second mark on this clip to see what he did:

  20. lukeoneil47 Says:

    This is the first time I’ve ever used this good old internet forum chestnut, and I apologize for lowering the level of discourse, but: Worst. Episode. Ever.

  21. slow train coming Says:

    I figured people are going to “get their bitch on” with regards to Omar’s fall and I don’t get it. It’s O m a r. Synonym for surreal.
    If realism is what really drives the issue here, chances of Omar jumping out of 5th floor balcony and surviving are realistically higher than Omar robbing every single major drug dealer in the city of BALTIMORE and continuing to breathe after that.

    Chris has kids?! That is astounding piece of information. It was as brief and distant as any other revealing information we receive about Chris, but made me let out a loud “what the fuck was that?!”. Using children to introduce Chris’ humanity would be a little too late now, wouldn’t it? Or are the kids just a thread used in making another, above mentioned, trap?

    That was a brilliant post jetsetjunta!

  22. T.J. Otto Says:

    Aside from all the crazy Omar stuff at the end, slow train makes a great point. In this episode we saw Marlo and Chris at their most human. Chris having a family. Marlo being so excited that he got with the Greeks he wanted to take a road trip to A.C. Showing this vulnerability may be the downfall to this crew.

  23. marni Says:

    dukie doesn’t want to go to school because of the social pressures. that’s why he quit last year. prezbo promoted him to high school. but those kids are bigger and bullies and dukie has no friends to protect him in that hostile environment. he’ll get beat on and ostracized. i guess he feels safer on the corners with michael watching out for him.

    i was disappointed with cutty’s advice. he basically told him he had no idea. it was dismal.

    where is prezbo? he needs to come back and adopt dukie – like bunny did for namond. that’s the only way out.

    if michael ever gets killed or locked up, dukie will be defenseless, homeless and preyed upon. he is a lamb among wolves.

  24. Ippy Says:

    Chris having things is explains a lot about two otherwise strange events:

    – His viciousness beating up the child molester in Season 4. Many people interpreted this to mean Chris had himself been molested, but now it seems clear it’s because of his empathy for his own children.

    – His letting the kid in the closet live after the triple murder. The kid was close to his parents when the shooting happened because there was blood on the doorknob (which is what led Kima to open the closet in the first place). This mercy was pretty confusing to me at the time since Chris has never shown anything less than complete ruthlessness.

    Also, note how poorly Chris knows Omar. He is worried that Omar will kill his family, when of course there is no chance of that happening. Those without a code assume no one else has one either.

  25. Ippy Says:

    Uh, Chris having “kids” I mean, not “things”. Not sure how that error happened.

  26. Ippy Says:

    marni: Prezbo’s a teacher, not a parent. If he gets too attached to any one child, it’s to the detriment of the rest of his classes, which are filled with dozens of kids with every bit as many problems.

  27. Curtis Says:

    Prezbo’s a teacher, not a parent.

    Very good point.

    Did you guys notice the sweet smile on Marlo’s face watching Chris with his kids?

  28. Crabbie Says:

    I;’ve recently re-watched seasons 3 & 4, and about the biggest character related thing that I’ve picked up on and hadn’t noticed before is that Chris, while ruthless, is also kind of considerate about it. In his dealings with the guy they kill in the first episode and Old Face Andre, he makes concerted attempts to be re-assuring. He’s affable and teacherly with O-Dog & Michael, and a moderating force on Snoop’s wilder urges.

    Which isn’t to say that he’s not a completely cold-blooded assassin, but I’d rather be killed by him than Bey or Sergei.

    The scene with the kids did feel an awful lot like a throw-in, but I think it was an attempt to remind us that Chris is human, in the same manner as the much more effective scene with Wee Bey, D’Angelo, and the tropical fish in Season One (which was itself an homage to Strike & his trains in Clockers). What would be interesting to me is a glimpse into whatever the fuck Snoop does when she’s not working.

    As far as it setting up some sort of Omar related madness, I really doubt it. It’s been made abundantly clear from the start that that’s not Omar’s style, and a crucial bit of last season hinges on exactly that bit of characterization. If anything, I just saw it as another bit of paralleling the characters (Wee Bey and/or Avon, with his professions of familial primacy even as he destroys his family), just as it’s so easy to see Avon & Stringer when Chris & Dookie go shooting.

    What’s most interesting to me is just how massively doomed almost everyone really seems to be this season. Previous seasons always struck me as being much more balanced on the optimisim/pessimism front than they got credit for, I think so many people were amazed by the bleak aspects that they didn’t pick up on the more (guardedly) hopeful ones. But this season… well, it really is shaping up to be some Greek shit after all.

    More than that, really, given that the scope is so much wider than even the Orestaia.

    And speaking of which, why, with all of this site’s pretensions to high-minded critique combined with pop savvy, and Simon’s continual emphsis on the Greek angle, has there never been some House of Atreus v. House of Barksdale (or even City of Baltimore) breakdown?

  29. kh Says:

    Crabbie: Regarding the opptimism/pessimism front, who got out of season one on a high note. Lester got back to Homicide because McNulty got bounced but other than that were there any happy endings?

    Completely unrelated, has anyone else noticed that Didi from Bubs’ NA meeting was in seasons three and four? I knew she was in four in Old Face Andre’s store but it just dawned on me that she is also in episode 3.8. If this is common knowledge I apologize for boring everyone.

  30. Curtis Says:

    How about this speculation — the next body of a homeless “victim” Lester’s connection turns McNulty onto is Omar, crawled off under some bush to die from his injuries?

  31. Farmer in the Dell Says:

    Omar can survive the jump because Omar is the great exception of the series. The Wire is about institutions, how institutions control the behavior of individuals, how those with power have less freedom, and chews on those at the bottom. Whether its city government, the police, the docks, the schools, the prisons, the media, or the drug trade, all these instituitions exert thier own force in different ways on the persons within them.
    Not Omar.
    Omar is the outsider, he works among each institution in his own way but never succumbs to them and is never caught because Omar is truly free. He does not give in to addiction, power, greed, or lust. He is faithful to his partners, never puts a gun on a ‘citizen,’ and operates with a strict Code. Its the Code that keeps him free, allows him to survive, and thus, allows him to transcend institutional attempts to constrain him.
    Also, Omar is out for revenge. He said this episode that “it was never about the money, it was never bout that.” It is about the Code, about Butchie, as it always has been (see the prequel). True revenge quests, like Edmond Dantes in the Count of Monte Cristo, assume the sword of Providence as though fate itself is guiding the journey. As such, crazy shit like jumping out of a window and not dying can be viewed as a mild “intentional intervention of luck.”
    What am I saying? A four story jump is survivable, period. Likely? Hell no. But, this show has been on for 5 magnificent seasons, never compromising quality, character development, or style. I think, at this point, it has more than earned our suspension of disbelief on this front, taking into account all we know. This season will not be perfect; its a victory lap. Just sit back, throw a beer in a brown paper bag, and enjoy. I know I am.

  32. Tito Landrum Says:

    First of all it looked to be about a 3 story jump to me. We know Omar survived the jump because of the exploding SUV we see in the opening credits (as pointed out by a previous commenter). What we don’t know is what type of shape Omar is in when we get to EP6, so lets hold our horses.

    However, even if virtually unscathed, I totally agre with the Farmer above me. And besides, even though Omar’s pursuit of Marlo, IMHO, is the most exciting story line of the season, it is certainly not the only thing going on. People who are only focusing on this aspect of this episode are missing out of so much great stuff.

    lukeoneil47 said “worst.episode.ever”. Personally, I couldn’t disagree more. I kept looking up at the clock on my cable box because I didn’t want the episode to end. Like last season’s episode where Lester finally figured out where the bodies were being hid – “This is a tomb. Lex is in there”, I kept moving closer and closer to the TV as the show led up to the shootout at the end. First, Mike pokes around the corner, and then I thought Omar was done for, my stomach was in knots. I loved Omar’s escape and I don’t care how fantastical it was. Also lets not forget that this show can have these kind of moments from time to time, but it is still the most IMPORTANT show on television because of the ground it covers.

  33. Crabbie Says:

    I wrote such a huge thing, and it disappeared thanks to my fucking scrollpad that likes to think it’s a mouse click when my thumb brushes it while typing. Fuck that shit.

    To try and quickly cover it:

    I phrased myself poorly. The show’s obviously incredibly pessimistic about Institutions, which serve as impassive and unforgiving deities.

    Yet the characters themselves are so often, individually, engaged in real and (if even only temporarily) attempts to better not only themselves, but the lots of others.

    The heartbreak of the show’s tragic logic is that this very beautiful impulse to improve/surpass said institutions is hubris. As things move toward a resolution in 5, the doomed nature of the vast majority of these characters comes into ever higher relief.

    Yet that shouldn’t blind us to the beauty of the characters’ struggles, successes, and motivations. The temporary nature of their successes shouldn’t necessarily serve as reason for their dismissal. Even if Hamsterdam, The Co-Op, etc. were doomed from the start, they did real good in their time.

    Omar vs. Marlo is so crucial to this season because Marlo and his crew are, above all, The Game incarnate, and Omar is the individual threatening it. He doesn’t have a chance.

    Which isn’t to say that Marlo has a long, happy, and/or free life to look forward to, but that doesn’t concern him. One-dimensional as he is, he also seems to be one of the very few prominent character who completely accepts the game for what it is. Recall one of his first scenes, in Season 3, with Vinson. Vinson tells Marlo something along the lines of “a lot of people who wore the crown are dead or in jail.” Marlo’s response: “yeah, but the point is that they wore it.”

    I’m going completely out of the “text” here, but in Terry Gross’ interview with Michael K. Williams, she closes by expressing her hope that Omar lives.

    Williams laughs, and echoes Carcetti: “It’s Baltimore, everybody dies.”

    Which is a great epitaph for the show, and where the eye is naturally drawn, as it’s so different from the narrative we’re used to getting. But that shouldn’t lead to a dismissal of the lives the characters lead and what so many of them have tried (and failed) to stand for, accomplish, change, overcome, etc.

    I’ll watch the season one finale again tomorrow. There are some important details that I feel a little fuzzy on, but I don’t remember it as placing all the characters in unarguably defeated positions at all.

    My deleted thing felt so much more coherent than this…

  34. Adam Hoff Says:

    In HBO’s preview of Season Five I remember a cast member mentioning that while the show was “real,” it backed away from true reality because it would be too hard to take. Whether they kept Kima alive back in S1 because of audience considerations or they keep Omar alive because of Farmer’s very strong argument above, I think there is also an element of not wanting to bum everyone out TOO much. A sprinkle of fairly tale joy with all the bleak doomsday messaging.

    A couple of notes:

    – In the original post, jetsetjunta wonders what Dookie could possibly do, saying he can’t go to school. I’m not sure this is true. After all, Bug is in school as well and when Michael was in Prez’s class, he used to pick up Bug from school no problem. Perhaps the high school schedule is different, but I think Dookie could do it. Another comment hit on the real reason he doesn’t, which is the fear he feels walking up to the doors of the high school. And that is just so sad, that someone with the intelligence to succeed as a student and the lack of other options would opt not to attend out of fear. Pretty hopeless stuff.

    – As for Cutty’s advice, or lack thereof, I think that scene was as much about him as it was about Dookie. We want Cutty to come to Dookie’s rescue or at least point him in the right direction, but the truth is, he is ill equipped to do so (he says as much when they are walking out). In S3 Cutty couldn’t even get the gym permitted without Odell hooking him up. Cutty has found a proper moral path at this stage in his life, but virtually every door that leads out of West Baltimore has been closed for a long time. The scene felt a little rushed, but I thought it was really powerful.

    – Re: Chris’ family. I think that scene was meant to clue us in to the long con they were playing on Omar. The “wow, Chris is human” element was more of a byproduct, I think. Granted, I certainly noted the additional depth to the character, but my first thought was more along the lines of their level of commitment and preparation for the war against Omar.

    – I’m surprised nobody has commented on the fantastic scene between McNulty and the guys at the Sun. Just the looks on his face when he realized that Scott was making it all up were priceless. I also liked the little window we got into McNulty’s po-lice instincts. He’s been wallowing full time in screw-up territory this season but the truth is that he does things that very few guys in the ranks can do (as he himself pointed out in S3). He’s a natural and I was glad to see him shine for a minute, even if it was just sniffing out some bullshit. (Because while McNulty had to know that the real killer didn’t call Scott – because there is no real killer – it could have just as easily been a copycat/prank caller. It was instincts and recognition that allowed Jimmy to hone in on the lie and see it for what it was.)

    Anyway, I thought it was another great ep. It made me laugh out loud multiple times and moved along several stories at once without seeming too rushed. Nobody does it better.

  35. Gukbe Says:

    First off, David Simon confirms that Chris was molested as a child in the commentary for Final Grades. That said, I think his fatherly instincts have a role to play with how he’s dealt with Michael. Personally, I don’t think Chris’ family was shoe-horned in. We’ve never really dealt with his, Marlo’s, or Snoop’s actual lives very much at all, and it was time to do it. It also echoes the nervousness both Chris and Snoop have had about taking on Marlo. Chris has mentioned how it hurt Avon several times before, and Snoop bemoaned the killing of Butchie as a bit of a dangerous move. It is difficult to interpret the look that Chris gave in the rear view mirror to Michael when he was ranting about the pointlessness of killing someone for Marlo just because he supposedly called him a cock sucker. At the time I thought it was worry for his eventual well-being, but it could also be some kind of understanding. Chris is a soldier, and he does what he does, but he is, as was mentioned above, pretty nice about it. I’m not saying he isn’t a sociopath (if anything, he is more of one than a lot of the killers on the show), but the fact that he doesn’t showboat or use it to advertise his ‘hardcore gangsterness’, or even truly revel in it, gives his character a clinical, detached, and dareisay intelligent aspect.

    Secondly, McNulty’s ex popping up wasn’t shoehorned either. As was mentioned above, he is the father of her children, and she’s always turned up. I think it would have been stranger if she hadn’t. I’m happy that her anger at him in previous seasons, which turned into astonishment in season 4 when he grew up a bit, has turned into a real sadness. She finally sees him for who he is, which is not the bastard out to hurt her because he can, but the victim of his own appetites. To me, it rings true that she would sympathize rather than chastise.

    Thirdly, Johnny 50’s appearance was so subtley done I didn’t mind at all. In fact, he feels to me like the dockworker most likely to end up homeless. He was a thief, sure, but he never had it in him to get involved in the drug trade. I don’t think he had the strength-of-character to move on from the docks, but he also didn’t have what was required to make it on the streets. It really worked for me. Plus, so many people I know didn’t even make the connection, I can’t fault the series for it.

    Finally, I’d just like to say that I thought this episode was great, especially for the McNulty/Templeton scene at the Sun. It was wonderfully written and even more wonderfully played by the actors. Absolutely top-notch.

    I’m not even getting into the heartbreaking Duquan stuff.

  36. Gukbe Says:

    Adam Hoff totally on the mark whilst I was typing out my rambling thoughts.

  37. jaywest03 Says:

    Wich homeless guy was johny 50?

  38. Mal Says:

    I have to say, watching the shoot out on a tiny, badly lit PC screen, i wasn’t entirely certain what was going on, who got shot, or whether or not Omar survived the drop. Watching ep6 did clear some of this up, or at least illuminated it, but now is not the time for that…

  39. Simon's bitch Says:

    Wow, great posts above and I completely agree with Farmer’s assessment of Omar. For me, suspending disbelief is hardest with McNulty’s story line this season…and with Lester’s agreement. I mean, of course McNulty is a fuck up. But LESTER??? Cool Lester Smooth? That’s the stretch for me. Any of you big brains want to address this one?

  40. James Says:

    Question for you guys: do you think Chris’ family knows what he does, or do you think they believe he’s going away for a legit business trip?

  41. slow train coming Says:

    I don’t know if it’s this season, with more than usual dose of despair and gloom, but I don’t see Omar free anymore. Granted, he is not attached to any institution and has no master, but he is a victim of his own self. The very same credo that makes him transcend the surrounding institutions is what keeps him trapped. He, unlike any other character, always had the option of letting go and living a different life (season 4 especially), but he never did. When Butchie got killed, he could have logically analyzed the situation and not succumb to emotion. “They killed Butchie ‘cause they want me to react but I know that so I will not play into their hand. I cannot bring him back and I am done with Baltimore”. He never considered anything like that, not even for a nanosecond. As Farmer pointed out above, it is not about the money or power but it is about principles and character. Well, regardless of reasons, there he is again walking the streets of Baltimore, angry and pissed off, with a shotgun in his hand.
    Don’t get me wrong, I would love my Omar to be happy and in love for ever and ever but he is doomed just like anybody else in the show.
    Speaking of Omar, I am not bothered with his jump but I am concerned with the fact that Chris outsmarted Omar. In order to win here, he must change his approach ‘cause just “having a plan” is obviously not enough anymore. And under no circumstances can he allow his emotions to get the best of him, now that he is faced with equally cunning enemy. There lies my fear. For some strange reason, I cannot shake off this feeling that Chris’ kids, among other reasons, are introduced to present some kind of ultimate test for Omar.
    Did anybody else find it intriguing that Marlo waited for Chris & Snoop to close the door before speaking to Levy about money? I mean, Chris has always been to Marlo what Slim was to Avon, main muscle and confidant, but Avon discussed business in front of Slim…

  42. Jocaine Says:

    Why you care if Omar can jump or what? Whether or not shit’s plausible is irrelevant because as the Farmer in the Dell explained, Omar is the exception. He’s a superhero.

    He provides, at least for me, some sense of justice because, regardless of his being a murderer, it’s the game and the man’s got principle. I don’t really care if his shit make sense because we already know it doesn’t.

    Dookie’s idea of getting from “here” to “the rest of the world” is interesting considering that it’s a sentiment shared by the police and the press people as well. I feel the same way my damn self sometime. Dookie’s talking about the red zone that is West Baltimore without necessarily realizing that his question has its unseen parallels. At the same time, I thought it was a little cheesy to throw in a profound reflection like that because it betrays a self-consciousness that The Wire infrequently shows (and when it does it’s awkward).

    Let’s not forget that my boy McNutty is on some noble shenanigans shit and I’m a little scared to watch it pan out.

  43. Goulet Says:

    There have been few lines in the show better than Bunk’s to Jimmy in 55:

    Bunk: You’ve lost you’re fuckin’ mind Jimmy, look at’cha! Half late every third night, dead drunk every second. Nut deep in random pussy. What little time you do spend sober and limp dick, you’re workin murders that don’t even exist!

  44. Rickish Says:

    Was it confirmed somewhere that McNulty is onto Templeton’s bullshit? My take on it was that McNulty felt Templeton actually DID get a call, a prank call, and he rode that for all that it was worth, not necessarily that he sniffed out Temp making it all up. If that’s the case, it kind of gives Temp the upper hand, since he KNOWS McNulty is full of shit. Am I wrong about this?

  45. Gukbe Says:

    I’m almost positive McNulty is onto Templeton. He gives a really surprised, then knowing and very amused look when Templeton asks about the second call.

  46. carter blanchard Says:

    Sorry, but ya, you’re wrong. The look on McNutty’s face when he gets it was priceless, one of my favorite moments of the season. The parallels between those two and their making up bullshit (to very different ends) has been pretty great.

  47. Crabbie Says:

    Remember that Lester is introduced as someone who completely got fucked over in the name of his pursuit of “good police work.” Not only that, but that he knew he’d get completely fucked over before he put the witness up, but did so anyways. He’s always been on some martyrdom shit, at lest he can still sell his figurines (and go home to his hot stripper girlfriend? Have we heard anything about that since season 2?)

    I’d be shocked if Chris’ family plays any significant role in the plot. To me, that scene was a less graceful, though not quite as shocking, moment in the vein of Rawls in the gay bar — a very brief establishment of back story that attempts to explain prominent and curious aspects of the character’s personality.

  48. AfroSoul Says:

    Why the McNulty/Freemon mess will end badly

    This show has had one consistent theme from the beginning – the cruel, unforgiving nature of passive, inflexible urban institutions. Think about what has happend to every character that has tried to circumvent or change the system – they fail miserably and in the end, the power of the institution is reinforced – from Wallace, D’Angelo, Stringer, Bunny Colvin etc anyone who has the gumption to think they can make their own better path through these institutions eventually gets cut down to size. McNulty/Freeman are no different. I’m surprised at them because they’ve both had a taste of what can happen when you don’t “eat their shit” as Burrell said in Episode 4

  49. marni Says:

    bunny was a teacher and not a parent. but he still adopted namond. why can’t prez do the same for dukie? right now michael is acting as dukie’s parent and he’s only 14!

    i knew chris had kids because of the way he cares for michael. he acts fatherly towards him. i felt last season that chris was emotionally attached to michael. that’s why he lets michael get away with running his mouth about marlo or taking off to six flags without telling anyone. even monk is fearful of michael because he knows chris has his back.

    also, chris went crazy on that pedophile, beating him to death with his bare hands. he took it personal that a child molester touched michael. only a parent can understand that kind of blind rage.

    cutty is a disappointment. why didn’t he encourage dukie to go back to school? his days are free. michael told him to do whatever he wants. school hours are the same. he could walk to school with bug and pick him up after classes. i know dukie is afraid of being bullied in high school but if cutty escorts him, maybe he’ll feel better with the moral support.

  50. Ramsey Says:

    I find it strange that so many posters here expected Cutty to enlighten Dookie. I’ll be honest that I too was disappointed with the advice, or lack thereof, Cutty offered. But after thinking on it, Cutty is no martyr, nor has he reach some plateau of insight where he can just save the lost children that frequent his gym. He spent a third of his life imprisoned, the other third in the game, and now we expect him to have it all figured out? The beauty of that scene for me was that Cutty so badly wanted to say the right thing, impart the perfect plan, point to a spot of hope in the future, and simply couldn’t. He doesn’t know anything outside of that small piece of Baltmore any more than Dookie does. All he can offer is a safe place with a modicum of discipline, organization and support.

  51. Shoefly Says:

    I agree with much that has been said about Omar. To me he is a noncanonical figure thrust into the series. Like a mythological series, like the fates. As such he has served as an adjudicator in many instances, the moral hand which keeps things from straying out of balance. I fear though that his doom is linked to Michael, I remember feeling a chill at the end of an episode of the fourth season, when Omar is watching Marlowe when Omar comments upon seeing Michael, “That’s nothing but a child.” Or something to that effect.

    I also agree that more than humanizing Chris, the scene with his children was a way of showing that Chris was planning for Omar, so the showdown was not a surprise.

    As for Mcnulty and Lester’s behavior, these too have been foreshadowed, the only troubling thing to me is Lester’s willingness to rely on the unreliable Mcnulty, but we know that Marlowe has become his white whale, and strong men’s judgements often strain in the face of passion.

  52. BEC Says:

    I keep seeing people mix up Omar and Marlo in name… perhaps an anagram is to blame.

    Omar L = Marlo

  53. Snoop Says:

    Crabbie, what i do when i’m not working is fuck bitches, ya heard?

  54. Recktal Brown Says:

    What would be interesting to me is a glimpse into whatever the fuck Snoop does when she’s not working.

    Snoop: Thinking you’re all that for hassling nigga’s and shit.

    Bunk: I know I’m all that. I’m thinking about some pussy.

    Snoop: Yeah, Me too.

    Bunk. Mm-hm.

  55. Anthony Says:

    It’s impossible that Omar could survive the leap. It’s just not possible that he could walk away from it that quickly, if at all. He would have needed some assistance. Have you ever had a badly sprained ankle? Donovan McNabb once finished a game with a broken ankle, but that’s the only instance I’ve seen where a person was able to put any weight on a severely injured ankle. Highly painful. For Omar to jump from that high, you know he must have busted that thing up pretty bad.

  56. Tito Landrum Says:

    Just technically speaking, it is possible to survive a fall if it is under 6 stories. 6 and up, not possible. But yes, I would think he’d be messed up. Will have to wait and see.

    Personally, though, I’m too caught up in it all to care to question it.

    Can’t wait for episode 6. I’m not looking forward to the end of the series, but I will look forward to being able to watch all 10 episodes in larger chunks via On Demand after the series is done.

  57. runner-runner Says:

    David Simon gave a talk in Dublin about a week or so ago, and a couple of my mates got to talk to him afterwards. One of them asked if Omar could fly. Simon assured him that the apartment Omar jumped out of was on the third storey. It’s not at all implausible that Omar survives this.

    @Anthony, sure he would have messed up his ankle badly, if not his knee, worse still. But the adrenaline burst brought on by fear of an imminent ass-capping could surely defer the worst of the pain for at least a few precious seconds.

    But leaving that aside, some surprisingly weak shit from Omar here. Superficially it may appear as though he’s been very careful. But he’s basically lurking in a car in the same spot several nights in a row, observing Monk’s routine, right? What are the chances of someone from that neighbourhood spotting him, recognising him, and tipping off Marlo’s crew? I mean, it seems strange to me that of all Marlo’s crew, the guy Omar goes for first is the guy who has Chris and Snoop lying in wait in his home. Quite possibly I’ve missed something, but it doesn’t seem clear how exactly Chris and Snoop knew it was Monk Omar would be targeting first.

  58. Adam Hoff Says:

    I think it just boils down to Chris thinking one step ahead of Omar on this one. Omar knew he was being baited, he just mistakenly believed that the two men he observed were the extent of it. He never expected the big guns to be waiting it out night after night. I think he believed he was wearing them down. But I agree with the comment above that this was a pretty poor effort from Omar. He’s usually far more clever. Perhaps he’s not thinking clearly because he’s letting too much emotion creep in?

    I definitely thought the same thing though – “Why is just sitting in that car? Isn’t he afraid they can see him?”

  59. jay Says:

    OK. now you guys can stop bitching. Its in Newsweek. About half of the people who fall four stories live. And its possible to survive a fall from as high as 500 ft.

  60. swg Says:

    Chris and Snoop knew it was Monk that Omar would tail because they set Monk up as the bait. Monk was the only one to show up at Marlo’s old spot, which they suspected Omar would be watching. Once they knew Omar was watching Monk’s place, they lured him in by sending the visible muscle away.

  61. Mal Says:

    Just to follow up the newsnight link – A guy I know fell 4 stories down an lift shaft, broke his back, ribs and several other things, but managed to pull himself out of the shaft and walk home before calling an ambulance. So it’s entirely within the realms of reality.

  62. Venjamin Jenkman Says:

    While I agree that Chris’ farewell/homecoming does serve to set-up the crew’s war preparations, and that the sudden revelation of Chris’ family life is jarring, I think the abruptness itself served a purpose in the character’s narrative. We’ve come to the point with Chris where the surprise itself fits with his character. As a few people have said, Chris considers himself the consummate professional. Family is not part of his function as a soldier, and so is irrelevant to his role within the Marlo crew. Further, he seems like the type to not only avoid mixing his family with his business, but to live by the clear boundaries he has set between the two. In that way, his home life reminds me of Wemmick’s castle in Great Expectations, right down to an air of ghetto-whimsy, which is picked up in Marlo’s smile (because Dickens=The Wire, right?).

    Thing is–and a couple of people have pointed this out–is that once someone’s safe haven is introduced into the narrative, it becomes his or her weakness. It will be interesting to see how the writers approach this, because the way I see it they have a few ways to go about Chris’ fall. Either his family is leveraged against him or, and this is the more likely option, his emotional life bleeds into his professional life and delivers him to his fate. The Michael angle makes the choice obvious since it makes the bleed concrete.

  63. Venjamin Jenkman Says:

    gah, too many selves

  64. the missing camera Says:

    Wasn’t the trap sprung by using Monk – who is of similar build – as a stand-in for Marlo? Would Monk as Monk really have two guards in daily life?

    Very poor execution by Omar, sitting in that car night after night.

    I think Omar improved his chances in the fall by holding his leather coat open, increasing wind resistance.

    McNulty, that asshole, sprung a surprise on Templeton by saying a similar call had come in to the police. From Templeton’s unguarded response in the moment, McNulty judged he’d found a liar.

    Lester was a surprise, with the funny voice character he played when calling Marlo.

    I liked that the newsbeat found utterly unremarkable that Joseph Stewart and that other guy were both found shot dead. They have no clue that was Prop Joe, titan of the underworld, or that the simultaneous death of Hungry Man means a major drug coup is underway.

  65. miguel Says:

    Some damn fine work going on in the comments in this post.

    Re: Omar. They told me in screenwriting class to concern ourselves more with what is plausible than what is true. And I think for the majority of the posters, it doesn’t matter if it’s true that you can survive an X stories tall fall, but whether it’s really plausible. That said, the part of me that likes battles of good vs. evil – or in this case more nobly principled vs. less nobly principled – or just watching badasses in general – was very, very relieved to not see Omar’s body down there.

    Re: McNulty and Templeton. Just one of the big ‘Oh SHIT’ moments of the season. My opinion is that McNulty realized it, and then when Gus said it all smelled like Bullshit before, you could see he realized that the game was going to be a little more difficult than he realized before.

    How many more episodes we got? I might have to sell my TV after this.

    And btw, Daniels on Lost? Do. Not. Want.

  66. Ethan Says:

    Late to the party here but I just want to say that Omar’s fall is definitely possible. I live in Astoria, NY and one night I woke up to see the police storming the building across the courtyard from mine. Moments later some dude drops out of a third floor window (but the ground level is about 6 feet below the first floor so it was basically a 3.5 story drop). The guy immediately springs to his feet and jumps a string of roughly 7-8 foot walls and fences on his way out. There were police on the roof with a spotlight tracking him but I don’t know if he was caught or not, he definitely got away temporarily. I do think that 4th floor is stretching the limits of what is possible, but I’m sure that is why they put it there and not on, say, the 8th floor. It is just at the edge of reality and impossibility. Just like Omar.

  67. playerpaul Says:

    What strikes me about Omar’s survival of the set-up in Monk’s apartment is how he handled the situation. A less savvy person would have tried to shoot his way out of the predicament and would have died in the process. Omar realizes this. Once he confirms that his partner is dead (don’t remember his name), he focuses on an escape plan. Lays low, considers his options, shoots the light out and makes a dash for the window (completely surprising Marlo’s crew, who would have never suspected that he would try this).

    This shows his intelligence and finely honed surivial instincts. Completely in character with the Omar that we have come to know and love. Rest assured…Omar knows he was out-played in this situation (also plausible because noone is perfect). He will adapt and come back with a better plan to get the one-up on Marlo and his crew.

  68. Kenya Says:

    What’s more improbable-walking away from a three-story fall or an openly gay gangster consistently robbing some of the biggest drug dealers in Baltimore for years? There was always something fantastical about the Omar character. Plus, I’m not sure that he didn’t land on the second floor balcony. I need a second look.

    Duquan should go back to school, but probably not in the neighborhood. He needs some pull to get into a magnet school, a charter school or a school farther away. This is where Prez could possibly have helped him. However, we don’t know if he has maintained any relationship with Prez. Also, Cutty escorting Duquan to school would just invite bullying and Cutty can’t walk with him everywhere.

  69. Curtis Says:

    The comments here are such an enhancement to The Wire — Venjamin Jenkman, the missing camera and playerpaul — thanks especially for extending my buzz from last week — tonight, #6!

  70. Matt Says:

    Here are my two cents.

    45 came and went, and we are officially halfway through the final run for television’s greatest show. The episode furthered the despair of tragic ghetto figures Bubbs and Duquan, neither of whom seem to know how, as Cutty put it, “to get from here to there”. Cutty himself is only a recently reformed con, who has somehow found himself and his gym in an distinctly fleshed out space between the street and the world outside of the street. It was sad to see Cutty powerless to help Duquan find a way out, but it’s easy to forget that Cutty himself is still battling his demons. All Cutty has is boxing, and for awile he had the corners. Cutty was fortunate enough to find his ambition and luck come together when Avon provided the seed money for his gym — who will be the seed money for Duquans so obviously needed education? As Michael tells Duquan, “you got other skills; you smart like that”. But the public schools are no place for Duquan — and he knows it. It will take more than the sage advice of Michael and Cutty to free Duquan from his hell.

    Bubbles is finding it similiary hard to leave the street: his days filled with the incredible banality of just being. It’s not so much that Bubbs misses being high (or is particularly craving it), it’s that the rythym of the junky life (the daily scam, the thrill of the score, the high and come down, the rinse and repeat the next day) had become his routine, his life, his reason to get up in the morning. There were moments in season’s past where we saw hope and joy on Bubbles face, even as a serious addict. Bubbles is seeking absolution for his sins in the form of a positive HIV test. When the test comes back negative it’s a cruel twist on the more familiar HIV story: the needle user who uses a dirty needle once or twice and comes back positive. But Bubbles has shot up thousands of times, sharing a needle with people he knew had the bug. The non-nonsensical randomness of who lives and who dies is more shame, more baggage. Perversely Bubbles has kicked the habit but can’t find a reason to live — as if one could come without the other.

    Of course it’s not any fun in the sun for the more powerful characters either, with those at the top (or near it) of their respective institutions feeling more and more heat the further up the ladder they climb. Daniels is finding it tough sledding as the Deputy Ops of an incredibly poor city; Carcetti is already in midseason form for a Gubernatorial run as his city continues to get poorer and more violent (notice the mention of his gubernatorial fund raising in the Sun’s budget line meeting); Senator Davis finds himself holding the water for the remnants of the Royce administration, trying to keep his shit together in the face of a complete bottoming out. Davis, as he says, doesn’t want to eat the shit for the whole machine that elected him and appointed his cronies. Only after Norrece reminds him that the same machine that got him everything could take it all away does he aquiese. (Isn’t it funny that Davis is more afraid of Machine then his is the Law?) As for Daniels, he should have known what he was getting into: what, his time invesitaging the Barksdale crew didn’t teach him that politics trumps police work? And Carcetti, the star of last season, has succumbed to the pragmatic deal making (although still on the right side of the law) he has no taste for.

    Carcetti has an immediate out though, unlike Daniels and Davis. Like the Greeks he is operating not just in the rusting shipyards and cracked pavement of the fading port town, but as an entity larger than Baltimore itself. The Greeks have international reach, Baltimore is pin on a map that they frequent when they find it convenient. Carcetti, as a young white mayor in a town where they don’t elect white mayors has enormous political capital (ironically spades more outside of Baltimore than in it), he has a run at Annapolis coming and has aligned his ducks for a mid-term resignation for a higher prize.

    All this and still not even a mention of Marlo and the street crews or Lester/McNutty/Newsroom. First with Marlo and the street: the opening scene humanized Chris and Marlo more then we’ve ever seen. Marlo is so giddy wearing his newly minted crown he is ready to go on vacation to Atlantic City! The always professional Chris reminds him that there is a war going on and there is no time for that. The stroll in the park with Marlo and Chris walk arm-draped-over-shoulder is the clearest indication yet that they share a similar bond that once united Stringer and Avon, a bond about business, but also about colegial respect and admiration, even affection. Marlo even manages to crack a smile when he sees Chris playing with his daughter. We’ve never really seen what Marlo’s crew does when they aren’t running corners or cracking heads; this is the first real indication that like our more familiar mobsters these guys have families and picket fences — supported of course by their blood money — but family and love nonetheless.

    I’m fascinated by the ruthless and yet nuanced Chris. He has played surrogate father to Michael ever since Michael came to him with his previously intractable problem. The concerned (but hard) look he shoots Michael when Michael runs his mouth in ignorance of how the game works is a precious moment. He clearly cares for Michael in a way that goes beyond a naked business interest. Chris, like McNulty, sees his job in the fatalist moral light of the institution he serves. Chris understands that is wasn’t there to bag all those bodies someone else would step up, it’s why he always reassures his victims of “no mistakes”, and “nice and clean” before his does them. Chris justifies his work by the professionalism he brings. In a perverse way he probably believes that he’s doing his victims a favor: they’d be shot anyway — it’s their good fortune to go quickly and painlessly.

    McNulty thinks he’s doing everyone a favor as well, by faking the murders and getting the police department much needed funds. But his plan, no matter how smartly planned, no matter how expertly pulled off, still spirals in ways he couldn’t have expected (only initial overtime for him and Kima, pulling her off her very real triple homicide), his personal life (and those close to him) is in ruin, and the end (to get Marlo) is still very much in doubt. Instituational ladder climbers are often (and rightfully) derided for stepping over people and kicking them down on the way to the top. Ironically, McNulty steps over people and yet doesn’t climb up any rungs. He straight screws Bunk and Kima, both good Police working real murders. He abandons Beaty and his kids. (It’s safe to say the Chris is at this point a better father than McNulty) His fake murders only gain traction when Scott starts to embelish the rest of the details for him. Scott is McNulty’s wet dream, a pliable gold digger easily manipulated into giving him exactly what he wants. It would be easier to understand Scott if he was unfairly manipluated by the system (as McNulty has been many times over the first 4 seasons) and was attempting (like McNulty has many times) to change the rules for the good of himself and his instituation. But Scott is a talentless hack, a middling writer who lies not out of some moral code (as misguided as McNulty is, at least he has a code) but out of pure selfishness. The results though for Scott and McNulty are much the same: Scott is taking away space from real, important stories; McNulty is taking away space from real, important murders.

    And finally, a little bit about Omar. As Omar says, “it’s never been about the money”, instead it’s about Lex Talianas as Justice — and Omar is determined to fight and (if David Simon will let him!) die on that lie. Omar serves only himself; his hubris though may well do him in in this season. He’s up against a crew more trained and more prepared then even perhaps himself. Barksdale allowed (perhaps because of Stringer’s influence) to let some natural businessman (but not ruthless killers) into his inner circle: Shamrock, Stringer himself, De’Angelo. But Snoop, Chris, and Michael are of a level that has surprised even Omar. I must admit I’m probably at the low point of my interest in the Omar storyline; his larger than life ability to escape a bullet have me seeing him more as a thematic element than flesh and blood. That said, I’ll be watching very carefully to see what exactly Simon has in store for Omar, and what it says about his vision for the show.

    More informally, this season has already been a hell of ride. There is so much I still didn’t touch on (the reverse race baiting of Royce, the radio host and Davis especially) and still much to come. This season hasn’t touched me on a personal level like season 4, or on a visceral “holy shit this is great!” level like season 1 and 3. (season 2 I love you too!) But there are only 5 more episodes left, and they are going to more intertwined to the show’s story ultimate story arc than anything previous. There are literally thousands of reasons to watch the Wire; I can’t wait to see how everything plays out.

  71. MJ Says:

    What about the phone? Spiros shows Marlo a gimmick. Marlo is impressed, reacts but we don’t see it. At the very end Lester gets static and a strange sound on the wire. He mumbles “WTF?”. We have come full circle back to the “wire” being a central part of what’s going to happen, IMHO.

  72. playerpaul Says:

    Matt, you’re right about Omar as a thematic element; however, to me, he is the most attractive and vital character remaining in the show. Everyone else has descended into the depths of cynical despair (McNulty being the most glaring example), but Omar remains uncorrupted (because he transcends institutional influence) and, therefore, the one character with any glimmer of hope that justice, on some level, can be served in the show’s universe. And how I find myself hoping that Omar will come out ahead in the end, serving Marlo, Chris, Snoop and, especially Cheese, their downfall. I realize that I am probably hoping for too much as The Wire is nothing, if not pessimistic, about the state of the human condition. If Omar gets it in the end, I will salute Simon and Co. for their unfailing devotion to the story over character (always their credo), but feel great sadness in my heart.

  73. James Says:

    Dear all Heaven and Here bloggers,


  74. Ben Says:

    Where’s the new stuff!?!?

    Hello new episode on Sun therefore more posts!? God Ive had to make do with the Slate TV club and they really cant get over the whole journalism plot to the point that they are slagging the show off 24/7 nowadays.

    Ditto on what James says



  75. Cranky Says:

    Does the protocol require waiting for the proprietor to post about the newest episode before the commentors can discuss anything about it? I thought it was common knowledge that this blog was on the OnDemand schedule.

    I, too, although I’ve not posted here previously, am anxious to discuss 56. Chomp, chomp, chomp.

    At least I should be able to post a non-storyline-spoiler quote from Bunk. “My heart pumps purple piss for you.” For all us impatient types.

  76. KatieK Says:

    I miss Bodie. I’m not feeling Steve Earle. Everything in the Sun newsroom is EXACTLY as it is in real life. And other than that depressing trifecta, I’m enjoying it as ever.

  77. DocRich Says:

    I’m feeling bittersweet. I know it’s The Wire’s farewell tour . . . . but I think a lot of us were secretly hoping that the sheer force of our collective will was going to convince the powers that be to give us another season or two ( ala Chase and The Sopranos). However, with bodies dropping left and right – and surely more to fall – the finality of this show’s astounding, ground breaking run is sinking in. I don’t know that television will ever give us anything even remotely as captivating.

    So R.I.P. Prop Joe, Butchie, Brandon, Stringer, DeAngelo, Wallace (that for me was still the hardest one to take), Sobotka, Bodie, Ray Cole . . . . . . and all the other red names out there. It’s been incredible; and I have no doubt that the final 5 chapters will be a worthy coda.

  78. Buppington Says:

    Nice to see Fran Boyd as the nurse taking Bub’s blood. Reminds us that the corners are real, as is hope to overcome them.

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