OK, OK, So we’re on #57, if you’re still on #56, go here, cause we’ll be spoiling, and you don’t want that, not when things are really cooking.

So this happens every season, right? There’s a few episodes, say between the fourth and the sixth episodes of the season, when all seems lost and tangled and slow, and you start to worry that the magic is gone? And then the gears slip into place for the wind-up to the home run and you breathe again and remember that every little thing is gonna be alright. Well, not for the characters, but you know, for you, the viewer. I can’t recall if we’ve talked about this before on the blog, but my understanding is that HBO told the Wire they had to cut from 13 episodes to 10 at some point after they had been working on the season, and so some of the flipped and clipped feeling of the last few weeks (in which I, who could form no coherent thought about what was happening, briefly took a HH sabbatical) might be caused by that. But no matter.


Let’s get down to the most important thing about 57. Tank tops. Whoa, lord, Daniels and Pearlman, do you just sit around in your glassy apartment with its gorgeous view, looking all muscular and underwear ad-esque every night? And Daniels, really, boxers? These are the choices that I want to know more about. Why boxers? Was Pearlman wearing pajama pants? Kicking it at home.

In terms of actual plot-type things happening, I certainly enjoyed this episode more than 55 or 56, but I’m still at a loss as to how it’s going to come back together. I’m especially interested to see if Gus confronts Templeton or not. And Bubbles, acting as Virgil for Fletcher in the underworld of the homeless, was a trip while still being moving.

As I write this, before my morning coffee, I realize that coherence can’t always be faked. This is still a blog, right?

I was surprised Omar killed — I had really thought he would just shoot kneecaps until Marlo came to the street, but I guess he’s getting impatient. I cannot wait to see Omar take him down. I just hope it happens. In the meantime, he should really have that foot looked at.

Dance, Dukie… Dance.


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42 Comments on “TANK TOP TIME”

  1. Odds Bodkins Says:

    I can’t wait for the Gus/Scott confrontation. Nothing of real merit came from this episode except Omar losing patience and not being slowed down by that bum wheel, Clay with his silver tongue being acquitted and Bond wondering “WTF just happened?”

    Police work motherfuckers!

  2. Simon's bitch Says:

    You forgot Kima, wearing a tank top as she spoke a Balmer version of Goodnight Moon to Elijah. That girl puts the tank in tank top.

  3. This could just be a(n intentional) coincidence, but did anyone else feel like they dropped a serious hint that Bunk or McNulty may end up dead?

    Bunk: Well, ain’t you the king of diamonds.

    Followed closely after by Gus heading to the cop bar where the police wakes are held — ostensibly called The King of Diamonds.

  4. Mike Says:

    Wow Jordan, that’s quite the eagle eye!

    They also moved ahead the fallout from McNulty’s little idea – it’s started to impact more good police – he’s reinvented it by doling out time (becoming “the boss” through his machinations) and that aspect will start to weigh on him too because it will take him further away the case it’s supposed to be paying for.

    I’m afraid that Bunk’s good work is going to be undermined in the end by the underhanded (albeit well-meaning if one squints the right way) machinations McNulty and Lester have put in motion. He’s doing it without their “help”, but that “help” would be determintal in court.

  5. Also, in terms of parallels:

    Clay Davis (who, by the way, had one of the great moments of the season describing “Promethus Bound” by Asillius) getting off scot-free by claiming he used those unaccounted-for resources for the powers of good — resources that were intended for other things — when he was just lining his pockets, while McNulty is, in essence, doing that very thing with the unlimited manpower … and his fall just seems absolutely inevitable. “No good deed goes unpunished,” etc.

  6. Krolo Says:

    So if McNulty was wearing a tank top would it be called a “tanked top”?

    Ginsberg, where was the cop bar called the King of Diamonds? I thought it was called Kavanaugh’s or some such. What did I miss? That would be pretty interesting, though.

  7. I may be way off-base, so forgive me if that’s the case, but I swear I saw the awning of the bar read:


    Again, I accept that it could just be misdirection or bad eyes on my part.

  8. Krolo Says:

    Hmm, that is interesting. I think there may have been a diamond on the awning as kind of a logo for the bar. Very interesting observation. If so it would seem to foreshadow something bad happening to McNulty, which given the way this season has been unfolding wouldn’t be too big of a surprise.

  9. Actually, you know what?

    — “Well, ain’t you the king of diamonds.”

    — “Do it feel like a crown on your head right now? Do it? That’s what I’m wearin’ on my head.”

    — “The life of kings.”

    Maybe the king doesn’t stay the king.

  10. Joe Crawford Says:

    Another thing I spotted in 57 with a “King” reference — Michael’s t-shirt when he goes into the box is has a logo of a #1 with an ornate king’s crown sitting at a 45 degree angle on it.

    Episode felt awfully fast to me.

  11. matthoron Says:

    Templeton had one of the best delivered lines in a show with plenty of ’em: “He called…again!”


    The season is really picking up steam isn’t it? It’s sad that the suits at HBO told Simon he would have to make more with less. There is so much going on, as always — in 3 more hours there would have been plenty of time to flesh out the newsroom, get more react quotes from the homeless, etc.

    The contrasts between Clay Davis and Carcetti in are interesting. Here we have Clay Davis hustling and scheming and scamming — perhaps provoked by the inherent disadvantages the west side senator has in fund raising. Clay is “street” through and through and to the jury and his constituents it means although a powerful caviar eating mofo he’s still west side at his core. The survival techniques learned on the streets have no doubt served him well in his political career.

    Carcetti on the other hand is white privileged suburbia: calling his fat cat friends who have plenty of money to throw around, he has no need to take 40G from the street like Clay. Carcetti plays a game that’s rigged in his favor so why cheat so obviously?

  12. Lizyank Says:

    I came away from episode 57 (which I liked more in retrospect then when I was watching it) with a great sense of dread. Dread of course that my beloved (borderline obsession) Wire is almost finished, but also dread that at this point, revealation that the serial killer is a hoax could bring down so many people beyond the oh so deserving McNulty and the evil twin of Lester Freamon who has obviously taken over the body of that previously sane and rationale great detective. Bunk may have to snitch his best friend or go down with him even though he’s had no part of the scheme. Daniels will never get to be police commissioner once its known that “his guys” were perpatraturers of the fraud, and Rhonda could suffer through “guilt by association”. Even Rawls, who may be guilty of many things but is innocent here, could be held accountable. Carcetti will be taken over the coals for reallocating scarce city resoucres to a non-exisistent threat and it could ruin his career (although hopefully not that of Norman–Reg E Cathay, you have made up for the dispicable character you played on OZ ).
    And who rises from the political ashes to reclaim Balmar from the white interloper who took cops away from protecting real people and fired teachers to chase a phony serial killer, none other than Clay Davis.
    What I’m dreading most is an end to The Wire with two people left standing: Clay Davis and Marlo. I hope I’m very wrong.

  13. vadmspartan Says:

    McNulty’s house of cards is creaking under its own weight. There’s no way this can come out positive especially with this many police looking into actually solving the homeless killings. Homicide might actually be able to catch clap in a Mexican whorehouse. Landsman and everyone up the chain of command want to solve this case, a lot of people are depending on that.

    I’m beginning to get a sinking feeling that Marlo might come out of this scott free. At least by the poh-leece, hopefully Omar can do that. Unfortunately that seems pretty difficult, he’s alone and has a broken leg. I’m thinking he might be able to weaken Marlo by hitting his people and infrastructure enough for the Co-op and Slim to come into play. I’m not sure he’ll personally survive though.

  14. rdk Says:

    The shirt Michael wore is a Royal Addiction shirt. Marlo wore the same brand in the scene where he had Chris kill Joe. Jamie Hector actually started the line, so it may just be a little product placement, although it does fit well with the King motif throughout this season.

  15. Jessica Says:

    My prediction: McNulty is dying this season. Not sure exactly how or exactly why, but he’s one of the tragic character’s that I believe will finally meet his end this season. Who knows: suicide from the guilt of his fake serial killer? Seeing the ax about to fall upon him he “forgets” to wear his vest while going after Marlo (or Chris, Snoop, etc.) so he can die honorably with a pension for his kids instead of being dishonored and thrown in jail for his actions?

  16. The Hypnotoad Says:

    It’d be funny if McNulty gets sent to jail at the end and his bunkmate is Avon. I could see Jimmy being lead to his cell then smirking as the gate opens and Avon is there smiling at him like “you’re in my world now.”

    But nah, cops don’t get killed; they get demoted or fired. And i’d think Carcetti wouldn’t punish a cop who was only trying to get funding for the police department. Carcetti has already pissed the police departments off enough with no overtime and funding, sending two of their own to the slammer would cause such an uproar it’d ruin his political career.

    There seem to be too many people affected by the serial killing to have everything just blow up and see the reaction. I mean, what happens in most serial killings in real life? Sometimes the police just never find the guy, and the public outcry just fades away or the serial killer himself probably just stops.

  17. Omar’s going down. He broke his word to Bunk.

    Jordan, keep them parallels coming.

  18. Ghlade Says:

    On the topic of McNulty’s fate:

    I was just watching the end of S4, where Jimmy is in bed with Beadie talking about Bodie. He goes on about how he can work cases without being his Mr. Hyde (or “Jimmy Bustballs”) now that he’s with Beadie, and finishes the little scene with: “Jesus, Beadie, that guy nearly killed me.”

    That sounds like a bit of foreshadowing to me.

  19. Andrew Says:

    FYI on the reduced order, I don’t think HBO shortened the season when the show was still in production. Simon was talking about a possible reduced episode order as early as September 2006 (http://members.aol.com/_ht_a/TheWireHBO/exclusive2-3.html). They didn’t start filming until March 2008, so I think they had proper time to prepare. The accelerated pace of the middle episodes seems to be a calculated move to get where they need to be for the homestretch.

  20. Jthan Says:

    “Come at the king, you best not miss”

    Just thinking on the lines of king references, and I think it looks a little worse for Omar than for McNulty. I’m just personally hoping I’m wrong.

    I’m ready for McNulty to get stoled by Bunk any minute now, but I don’t know if it’s the angel of death that’s lurking around the corner or just time in the pen.

  21. carter blanchard Says:

    Whoever said it first (I think it was Keenan but I forget) was right that of all the characters, Clay Davis would be most worthy of a spinoff. I could watch that mother fucker endlessly. That said, his getting off felt to me like the most unreasonable and unrealistic thing the show’s ever done. Yes, even moreso than Omar’s spidey routine and McNut’s schemeing. What kind of defense is “Yes I embezzeled but for good reasons.” I know jury’s can be dumb and manipulated, but seriously? Everyyone would just be ok with their charismatic politician diverting funds and spending it as he sees fit without any oversight or accountability, just willing to trust his word that he done good with it? That was totally absurd. (This is where Simon or somebody steps in and says, “well actually, although it might seem unrealistic, in such and such time something just like this happened with such and such person.”)

    Also, how weird was what initially felt like two huge interactions (Michaerl face-to-face with both Omar and Bunk) fading into almost non-events. Sure they could gain significance in the comint episodes, but both meets, particularly the interrogation, just fizzled compared to what the impact could have been.

  22. playerpaul Says:

    I also feel the Clay Davis trial was the most unrealistic thing the show has done…but not for the same reasons. The actual plot itself is feasible (basically, the same type of scenario played out in the OJ Simpson trial). My problem is how the show crammed the trial into one episode. Seriously, a trial of this magnitude and profile would be drawn out in real life. Clay’s high-priced attorney would be filing delaying motions and utilizing other obfuscatory tactics. Just the regular pace of the justice system from grand jury indictment to pre-trial motions to the trial itself would play out over several months, even for a non-high profile case. The presentation of the trial and testimony seemed overly simplified. I understand things are condensed because of the 10-episode limit, but the show seriously sacrificed its quality to cram this piece of the story in… In this one area, The Wire seriously misfired, for the first time in five seasons.

  23. Andrew Says:

    Yeah, the Davis trial was rushed, but it was also extraordinarily well played. It was the highlight of the episode for me. If they wanted to play the trial in a realistic manner, they probably would’ve had to start it at the beginning of the season and end it in the finale, and even that would’ve still been pushing it. If it’s a choice between those two, I prefer the condensed, funny-as-hell version.

    “Senator Clay, I gots to bury my mother, bail out my son, by a new shirt for a job interview, pay my child’s asthma doctor. Takes me half an hour to go a hundred yards. And excuse me of I didn’t ask that old ‘arther-itis’ woman for a receipt.”

    How could that not have anybody rolling with laughter?

  24. ninety_nine Says:

    Omar killing Savino was straight up revenge for us — for Greggs. Let’s see him smirk about baking powder now.

  25. Adam Hoff Says:

    The courtroom scene bothered me as well, I have to admit. Even if all the pre-trial stuff presumably took place off camera, there is no way you are blowing through voir dire/opening statements/admission into evidence/witnesses/closings/etc. unless this was a motion for summary judgment or some such. But there’s no way that could be possible, because it would have been heard solely by the judge and would have hinged on whether there were still issues of fact that could reasonably turn the case for the state. So that was indeed completely unreaslistic. I guess the show is the victim of its own success on that count, because I expect them to get everything right. I know they wanted to display the perils of Bond’s hubris and political posturing, but I think it was a miscalculation.

    (As for Clay and Carcetti, I agree that Carcetti comes by his funding in an easier fashion, but the big difference is that he’s not keeping it, as far as we know. Clay Davis spun a nice story for the jury, but he was skimming public funds, whereas Carcetti is – at worst, given what we’ve seen – misusing public funds to serve his political ambition. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe one isn’t that much worse than the other.)

    I know everyone is down on McNulty, but I really liked his fake serial killer call. And while I do think he’s going down in some form or another, I agree with the comment above that this whole thing could just go unresolved. I keep thinking that Bunk is going to wind up being the key to this whole season – that he’s going to pull the right thread and cause a chain reaction that will bring everything else to completion.

    Quick question stemming from re-watching Season Three … is Cheese Randy’s father? I noticed in ep 1 of season three that Cheese’s last name is Wagstaff. Anyone know if this was intended?

  26. quesera Says:

    Um, ever heard of Marion Barry? Caught on video using crack cocaine with a hooker yet still acquitted of 13 of the 14 drug charges. He came back and was re-elected Mayor. Kwame Kilpatrick, anyone? Damn, I can go on and on with stories of shifty shady politicians who buck the system. Clay Davis feels too real to me. Y’all know OJ got off, right? So did Michael Jackson & Robert Blake. That’s American justice for you!

    That slimebag Carcetti is another one running a scam. It tickles me how the sheeple are so enthralled by his eloquent bullshit. He’s a self-centered douche who plays politics with badly needed funding. Who suffers for his pissing matches? The school kids, the police, the dock workers. Now he’s using the homeless for his own personal gain, just like McNutty. Btw, this is the second time that Carcetti has campaigned on a myth. Last year it was a fictitious witness, this time it’s serial killers. Lies, lies and more lies.

    Unlike the rest of you, I think Bunk is incompetent and a pathetic excuse for a police. It took him an ENTIRE YEAR to check on the DNA samples in the crime lab? Why wasn’t he re-working those 22 cases before? What the hell has he been doing this entire time? Drinking with Jimmy and reading porn with Landsman?

    The scene with Michael was great because that kid saw right through Bunk’s bullshit. He knows police like Bunk only “lie to dumbass niggas” so he kept his mouth shut. It’s a lesson poor Randy learned too late. Randy should have listened to Michael’s advice back in Prezbo’s classroom. Before his foster mom got burnt to crispy bacon bits. Thanks, Herc & Carver!

    I hope Jimmy gets bodied by the finale. Jimmy and Lester are dirty. They think they’re Vic Mackey now. It’s time one of those corrupt cops get got.

  27. The Hypnotoad Says:

    Anyone figure out the clock photos that the Greek and Marlo send to each other? I saw one of them was a digital clock, and i think all of them have the minute finger pointed to an increment of 5. Hmmmm….

  28. The Hypnotoad Says:

    Also, anyone else get a kick out of how McNulty and Carcetti use the newspapers/television to get their messages across/do their biding, while Omar and Marlo use shooting people and leaving witnesses there to tell what happened to get their messages across? “Tell Marlo i’m calling him ‘straight bitch’, ya heard dat!” = “A source close to the mayor says Rawls will be replaced by Daniels in the upcoming months.”

    Why didn’t the fat dude that got shot in the leg at Butchies bar not just go straight to the cops? Didn’t he tell what happened when the cops showed up to the scene of the crime? He’s a freaking witness with a bullet in his leg! Instead, he waits for Omar to give justive. It’s very telling.

  29. Mal Says:

    Separate from the rest of the discussion, I’m just glad H&H has now caught up with my limey torrent-abusing ways. Roll on the last three episodes.

    Oh, and does anyone know exactly how long e10 is going to be? I’ve heard rumours of anything from 1hr up to 2 1/2hrs.

  30. Rickish Says:

    According to Wikipedia, the last episode is 93 minutes. Is that considered a spoiler?

  31. The end of the episode — Kima’s Baltimore lullaby — felt very much like the intentional calm before the storm. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a death kick off episode 8.

    On Kima and Elijah: these scenes definitely provided some levity in the face of the burgeoning shit-piles from every other angle, but there was a real underlying sadness there, too. Having her struggle with the Ikea furniture — just like McNulty — screams that, despite these efforts to be a good parent … she’s on the very same path McNulty was back then. The scenes are sweet, but at the same time, we also get to see first-hand the shambles McNulty’s family life is in now, in spite of his occasional attempts at (and temporary successes with) reform.

    Season four showed how corner boys (and maybe even kingpins) get their starts, and how there are still those rare idyllic moments occasionally mixed in with the hardening that inevitably occurs. Kima’s first earnest attempts at parenting remind me of that. A relatively fresh but undeniably gifted homicide detective who likes to drink, likes to whore, but shows flashes of compassion and kindness and humanity that make you think there’s hope for them within the institution? She may not think she’s the smartest asshole in every room (yet, at least), but that sure sounds familiar.

  32. bchurch Says:


    I think you’re right about this episode feeling like an “end of act 2” kind of moment, right before the shitstorm to come. Also, I think this was the last episode screened for critics– make of that what you will.

  33. Collins Says:

    The bar is Kavanaugh’s. In Homicide Simon explains how it’s where all the Bawlmore detectives hang out. Funny that Munch’s character was based on the real Jay Landsman, and they were both in that bar scene together.

    Also, did anyone notice that this week’s episode was directed by Dominic West?

  34. Brian V Says:

    So the real Jay Landsman was the inspiration for both Munch and the fictional Jay Landsman? It’s a good thing they resisted the temptation to include Delaney Williams in that scene as well or things would’ve gotten really meta.

  35. Curtis Says:

    I actually think Bunk may be the dead man walking and McNutty’s punishment for eternity.

  36. Simon's bitch Says:

    Every Wire board I’m on is full of speculation about what’s going to happen and who’s going down. Rarely do I join in. I’m always wrong, for one thing. Secondly, whatever actually does happen is so much better than anything my poor little brain could come up with, that I figure, why bother? This I know for sure: Bad shit is going to happen.

    I’m happy to see Richard Price’s name on episodes….every time it comes up, I know we’re in for some priceless lines! It’s interesting, his books are much less enjoyable to me than, say, George Pelecanos or David Simon/Ed Burns, but his dialogue is fabulous.

  37. Krolo Says:

    This thought just occured to me. Before the season the 3 Wire “prequels” came out. The prequels had Prop Joe, Omar, and Bunk& McNulty as they basically got their starts. Prop Joe is already dead, Omar and McNulty are both tempting the hell out of fate as we speak. Could that be a hint of things to come?

    I only started thinking about this when I randomly thought of the prequels. I wondered why they did one for Prop Joe, who was only going to die somewhat early in the season. Do you think it was intended to give his story a beginning bookend to pair with his demise? Or maybe Simon and Co. thought it would be cool to do a little segment depicting Baltimore in the ’60’s?

  38. I think Season 5 is also showing us Old McNulty (Lester) and Young McNulty (Greggs).

  39. Simon's bitch Says:

    C’mon. Give my girl Kima her due. She wasn’t drinkin’ while trying to build that furniture. She isn’t Jimmy. She had her Jimmy moments and came through it. She’s proof you can be good police and not a total fuck up in private life.

  40. hello Says:

    How about Omar & Bunk’s park bench conversation, when Omar almost cries? beautiful/moving dialogue, photography, acting, ideas. One of my favorites.

  41. She is a fuck-up in private life though. Clearly, her relationship is in shambles. She asked Jimmy where to get kid furniture because she needs that stuff to have the kids visit, like Jimmy.

  42. Nancy Dyer Says:

    In one of the pre-season teasers (” The Wire Odyssey”,maybe?) David Simon said that no loose ends would be left. With that in mind, I want to know where Namond is. Is he still with Bunny? AND where is Bunny (one of my all-time favorite characters!), and what is he doing THIS year? In some pre-season teaser, there was a shot of Bunny with a beard. Did anyone else notice that? I don’t remember him having one in any season before. Did he? Anyway, I’m hoping that means he’ll be back.
    Finally, a comment about this week. I love Kima’s character. She is certainly flawed- almost every character is in some way. But she does her job, and does it well. However, I have a note to Kima- “kids can’t fly”. Did anyone notice the bedroom window- the window in the room where Elijah had been alone- was WIDE OPEN with the screen up?? Yes it was a very tender “Good Night Moon” scene, but really… They just about never make mistakes, but I have to think that showing this happening in a cop’s house was a mistake. It would have been easy enough to have her open the window for the ‘good night” scene. I do agree, however, that it may have been the last “peaceful moment” in what will surely be a wild ride through the finale!

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