It Ain’t No Secret
BEWARE NUMBER FIFTY-EIGHT! FLEE!
I know you’re all eagerly awaiting some words on #58. But what the fuck are we supposed to say? A guy who cheated death multiples times per season finally died. His invincibility was central to his role in this program’s cosmology, but as we saw this season, there are limits to how much disbelief we can suspend in the interest of mythology. This wasn’t Prop Joe, who stayed quiet but was still in a dangerous business. Omar’s entire line of work was loud, proud, and on the edge. And by the end, he was a caricature of himself, hobbling around in rags screaming at every hopper in sight.
What I’ve been trying to figure out is whether he was done in by the game (cue Pacino), his own code, or both. Certainly, they haven’t been incompatible. No one had more fun spouting off the vaguely Eastern rhetoric of “all in the game” than Mr. Little, even as his boundless self-determination seemed to contradict this fatalistic stance. At the same time, Omar eschewed the notion of collateral damage, or even the expansion of the “game” metaphor to encompass anything beyond dealers, users, and stick-up kids.
You could say that it was Omar’s ties to the underworld that brought him back from his tropical sojourn. But “the game” has always been about profit, commodities, and how to get over on others. In this case, it was pure honor and revenge, which really don’t compute to most characters on the show unless there’s an effect on earning. In fact, Omar’s main impact on the show has been as an irritant to first the Barksdales, and then Marlo. In both cases, it was over love, or honor, or some other sort of sentimental bond that ALL IN THE GAME lives to fracture. Avon helped get his best friend killed. That’s in the game. Leaving behind wealth and security to hunt down your enemies . . . that’s a Western, where no one ever has any money anyway.
A brief interlude: I won’t be reading the comments section anymore, unless that anonymous guy or one of my close personal friends says something. Sorry, but it’s gotten too perilous. And to that anti-Semite, thank you. Thank you. I love getting to feel like a meaningful minority for once.
Pizzawhale pointed out how weird it is that The Wire seems to kill off the characters who usually survive: Smart ones. Little Melvin, quiet as kept, is alive, but Prop Joe died. That dude who provided the model for Omar is still with us today. In real life, being smart and clever sustains you. In The Wire, it leads to hubris and free-thinking, which invariably gets the whole world turned against you.
In conclusion, I’ve also been enjoying The Sarah Connor Chronicles and the first season of Dexter. And I have no fucking clue what schedule we’re on, since none of us have gotten the last three episodes yet and my OnDemand is inconsistent.