breaking up is hard to do
I’ve been awol on HH the last month or so, trying to gather my thoughts. Right now my primary feeling is one of panic: What am I going to watch now?? There were a lot of moments in the last two episodes that I loved, and the season, despite a lot of my doubts early on, really did come together. The whole “greedy Jewish lawyer” bit got laid on a bit thick in the last episode, but seeing Levy and Pearlman face off was deeply, deeply gratifying. Like Shoals, I relished seeing Cheese get it. I admired Michael’s smarts in taking out Snoop. (And did I ever like to see her die — a little just vengeance was the cherry on that sundae. Or should I say just desserts?) And Gus on the copy desk! That was a nice touch. There were a lot of nice touches. Marlo punching that guy on the corner was like… whoa. I know I’m not the only one who feels like I lost my best friends. My only recourse now is to start over at season 1, episode 1. To see the whole thing in its glory.
My one huge sticking point with the last two episodes is Dukie. Are we really to believe that Dukie, who has survived so much, would be driven to his Sharad/Bubbles addiction because he lost Bug and Michael? What is his tie to the homeless guy with the cart? I just don’t buy it. I also will admit that I was so hysterical at the end of episode 59 that I could barely see through my tears and was reduced to yelling at jetset, over and over, “Fuck you, Simon! Fuck you!” Not one of my most mature moments. But I felt that scene was so manipulative, so punishing, that I couldn’t deal with it. It was gratuitious. The Wire can really veer towards the sadistic — and I don’t mean that as a compliment.
But this isn’t just about me falling in love with Dukie. We’re always talking about the show’s nihilism/bleakness, and I accept that. But the last two episodes seemed to apply that principle of unhappy endings unevenly. We’re asked to believe that Freamon, McNulty and Kima can all rise to the occasion and be their best selves — improbably staying friends after she blows their cover and destroys their careers which, as much as they welcomed, I doubt could be papered over with a beer — but Dukie can’t be his best self. He survives a crack mom, the torment of his peers for years, poverty, hunger, filth, and then falls under the sway of a homeless junkie (who was that guy??) and starts using? Really? And yes, I get it. I get that the characters from the street bear a bigger burden of doom than any other characters. I know that what little “agency” is in circulation is not spread evenly, which is part of the point. But it was too much: too in your face, too “take that,” too cartoonish, too predictible, too unbelievable, just too much. So while I’m depressed there’s no more Wire, I’m also relieved. I can’t do this anymore.
Now tear me apart, you dogs.