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October 13, 2015

The Wire: Corner Boys

by Michael Canfield, posted Nov 5th 2006 11:25PM
the wire
"We got our thing, but it's just part of the big thing." -- Zenobia.

Mr. Prezbo, as his students call him, is doing much better with the blackboard math story-problems now that he's had a couple months experience teaching. At least there is some awareness of what's happening up front in the classroom. Kids are paying enough attention now to notice the chalk "dinks" he makes out of habit around the correct answer! However, the other teachers tell Prez the hard facts, it's not about learning: it's about training by rote for the "Leave No Child Behind" standards test, and funding.

One of the most fascinating things was experiencing police work through Carcetti's eyes on his various fact-finding excursions. Fun to see Kima take pleasure in catching the Mayor-Elect try to get away with putting an empty coffee pot back on the burner. "Oh no, fuck that," she says. "You finish a pot, you make the next one." It's also enjoyable to watch The Bunk put the screws to Old Face Andre, even the it pisses off his sergeant. I found the touches of humor more-than-usually welcome this week, because things turn serious, and seriously depressing, with Carcetti's trip to the Eastern. Rip-and-run policing only succeeds in impounding a bicycle, depriving its owner of job transportation.

Back at Tillman Middle School, the kids in Bunny's special program have figured out that, no matter what they do, they are not going to get suspended. But the program is making headway. A teacher asks where the kids expect to be in ten years. The NBA is the number one answer, but "dead" polls almost as high. Namond choses dead. Is he just grandstanding? It's tough to say. Of the four main boys he's the one that's always struck me as the least self-aware. I wonder what his mother would make of his expectation of a short life? She'd probably shrug her shoulders and say it's all in game. The Dragon-Lady, as the too seldom-seen Bodie called her a couple weeks back.

Herc, without the oversight of a competent commander like Daniels, or even a more experienced detective like Freamon, is a tragedy. His ham-fisted tactics cause Chris to dump the tools that might later have placed him and Snoop at the scene of all those row house "burials." Herc doesn't see much of what's happening around him at all. He has "hard eyes," only hunting for his camera. He's not competent, but he's a victim too, promoted for his ability to keep quiet about the former mayor's peccadillo, and trapped a system that values statistics and headlines over real results. Daniels

Marlo repays Prop Joe's aid by unleasing Chris and Snoop on the interlopers into the Eastern's drug trade. They make short work of "New York Boys" by asking likely suspects questions about Baltimore club music. Snoops taunts a couple corpses. "Where's your Yankee Pride now?

Namond habitually wears NY Yankees gear. I doubt Chris and Snoop would mistake him for a New York dealer. They know his face, but it's an interesting wardrobe choice for his character. With his more expensive wardrobe, and bedroom full of electronics, he's always stood apart from his peers on the show.

The needs of Prop Joe and the Co-Op to have dead bodies to send a message to New York stands at odds with Marlo's long history of effectively hiding evidence of his drug murders. Ironically, this might finally lead to his downfall. Prop Joe's white accents playing various characters on the phone to track down Herc's unit is dead-on hilarious.

With Carcetti's interest in Daniels, I'm reminded we never heard how Daniel's ex-wife faired in her race for a council seat. Seems that should have come up by now, two episodes after the election.

The most disturbing development is the return of Michael's stepfather. It's immediately evident that what we've suspected is reason why Michael doesn't trust older men trying to get close to him, really is the reason. Michael's prepared to do anything before letting the same thing that happened to him, happen to his little brother. Anything but reach out to Mr. Prezbo.

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The Wire is the most underrated show on television. Personally, I think it would be more popular if it wasn't Afro centric, but that is another discussion. It is better than Sopranos, for sure. The levels of "politics" through every group, the children, teachers, police, drug dealers and then the family politics that Michael is now forced to deal with are so thought provoking.
Until I read your article, I couldn't figure out why he hates his step-dad. Everybody can identify with "A Rock and a Hard Place", even my boy Bubbles. The writing is so good. The acting is so good.
The plotting and games reminds me why I work so hard for a company I own.

November 07 2006 at 4:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

great episode. Well, they all are. Carcetti having everyone running around was great.

November 06 2006 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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