Say It With Thunder

Well, Shoals already laid out a mess of the reasons why I find my brain sluggish when I would have thought it feverish, and I don’t have all that much to add. When something is so well-wrought and so exceedingly well-ended, it ends up defying too much dissection. It’s akin, I think, to the moment you close the back cover of a just-finished novel, and if it’s a good one you’re filled with emotion, but there’s a distinct quietness. The curtain has come down. There is really little more to say.


Of course my impulse every time I do finish a really good novel is to get up and run to the shelf and dive into another one. There’s also the impulse to put that off, to just let the narrative sink in. But in this instance there’s no next novel at the ready. The Wire is over, and another season, another episode won’t be on the way. But that curtain is down, and rightly so, and any loose ends left were left for a reason.

I will say that in terms of endings, Simon has managed to be quite wry, from Cheese’s headshot at the hands of Slim to McNulty and Freamon metaphorically dead, to Marlo’s fate worse than death (no one knows his name). These American lives, those that are moving on at all, are opening their second acts, and while the cyclicality of Michael and Sydnor and Dukie is expectedly bleak, there’s a small space for hope (admittedly well-earned) in Namond, Prez, and of course Bubbles. I think that what I will remember most from this season is Andre Royo’s inspired performances, his final fleshing out of the human being who lived inside Bubbles all those years, finally clear-eyed and awake, finally starting to push on through real life.

If I have any more closing thoughts I will be sure to bring them here, but if not, I think I’ve said plenty these past two seasons, and I stand by my words. Thanks for listening.

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16 Comments on “Say It With Thunder”

  1. Curtis Says:

    Andre Royo should get an Emmy or at least much more work.

  2. Curtis Says:

    Andre Royo should get an Emmy or at least much more work.

  3. Curtis Says:

    And I would love to see Clarke Peters in the role of Derek Strange in an adaptation from a Pelecanos novel.

  4. Simon's bitch Says:

    Well said. Thanks to you on Heaven and Here. I found you only last year and haven’t said a whole lot, because you do beautiful work. I really want to thank David Simon and Ed Burns and all of the writers over the years, too. I love this show and all of the characters. It’s spoiled me for TV for the rest of my life. I’ll say thanks to HBO over on their boards. This show has evoked such strong feelings in me, and new thoughts, too. When has any TV show ever done that? I was one of the few that sent a letter to Chris Albrecht, begging for more seasons after season 2….I’ve never done anything like that before in my life.

    I know that Simon and Burns have said that they didn’t have any expectations of changing the world with this, and no, probably they haven’t. But they’ve had a huge impact on me and others, which means something, I think, I hope.

    Mr. Simon, if you’re out there, please…..more books?? Is that too greedy of me? I’m waiting for Generation Kill and the New Orleans project if you get it green lighted….but books, more books.

  5. ao Says:

    yeah, almost all the actors were phenomenal, of course, but everyone with a bigger role always rose to it. bubbles’ troubles in season four were heartbreaking for me – i turned off the tv at the end of season four when i thought he’d successfully hanged himself. glad i was wrong about my assumption. bunk had a great season this time, particularly, and jamie hector killed it when marlo got furious in jail in episode nine.
    thanks to all y’all for dedicating so much time to writing here. it’s been great to share in the season of this outstanding show. i only know a few other people in my town who’re actually _at_ this point in the series (and some of ’em were kind enough to let me watch at their cribs), so it felt good to see other people reacting here in real time. you guys dropped some insightful reflections; it’s appreciated.

  6. Dan Says:

    Curtis: Hell yes to Clarke Peters as Derek Strange! In fact, just hell yes to Clarke Peters in general; I hope he can be involved in the unnamed Simon New Orleans project.

  7. Janet Says:

    I was one of those who sent a letter to Albrecht, too, having never done anything like that before (or since) as well.

    The only other scene I would have liked would have been something with Bubbles and Kima.

  8. Amy Says:

    I know we’re speaking metaphorically (somewhat) and all, but you all should seriously check out Price’s “Lush Life”. It really speaks to some modernizations that The Wire didn’t have a chance to fully touch on.

  9. Allday Says:

    Unrelated to the above post, but I enjoyed this:

    That’s right, it’s Bug and Kenard on the Big Phat Morning Show! Turns out Kenard doesn’t use cuss words in real life.

  10. Steve Lieber Says:

    Thanks to the H&H folks for a lot of terrific, insightful commentary.

    And here’s a second recommendation for Lush Life. I got the audiobook from audible and was blown away. Price keeps knocking ’em out of the park. It’s a must for any Wire-head.

    (And for you Portlanders- he’s coming to read at Powell’s in a couple of weeks!)

  11. Brian Says:

    “And I would love to see Clarke Peters in the role of Derek Strange in an adaptation from a Pelecanos novel.”

    I had this exact same thought at some point. He’d be perfect for the role.

  12. Curtis Says:

    According to Variety, Curtis Hanson (director of LA Confidential) was in preproduction on Right as Rain at some point last year. I wonder where that’s at now?

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