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October 10, 2015

The Wire: Know Your Place

by Michael Canfield, posted Nov 12th 2006 10:58PM
Michael and Dukie
(S04E09) "Might as well dump 'em, get another." -- Proposition Joe

Herc's never been much of a detective, but here his incompetence, which is sometimes played for laughs, turns tragic. He's become so myopic trying to find a way out of his camera dilemma, that he smashes and bungles his way through a murder investigation. If he'd have talked to Carver, a cop who took the time to get to know the players, he would have picked up Little Kevin no problem. His word is no good. I don't think he was even conscious of what he was doing when he promised Bubbles protection. He was merely saying whatever he needed to say, fully intending to honor it, but then unwilling to do so when it became inexpedient later. Worse than that, now Randy is back on his radar. Without management or talent, what is left of the Major Crimes Unit is doing more damage than good.

Ironically, the word between from Prop Joe to Marlo is that Major Crimes is still a crack team. Marlo dumps all his cell phones, with no idea that the unit responsible for breaking the Barksdale clan is an empty shell now.

Things are going better at Tillman Middle, at least until teaching the standard's test questions becomes the priority. Mr. Prezbo's classroom was energized, and Prez and the kids look happy and useful. Maybe he's too successful, as Prez's frustration might get him burned. Bunny's program is making progress too, but rewarding some of the kids with dinner in an upscale restaurant makes them feel self-conscious. It's poignant seeing that thin veneer of confident stripped away so suddenly.

Omar gives his word to Bunk that he won't commit any killings in revenge for Marlo's attempt at framing him. He also says he can't leave Baltimore because that's all he knows, and a man's got "to stick with what he knows." We'll see if he makes it through this. Surely Marlo's not going to drop the matter, as Old Face Andre, who also sticks to what he knows, running across town to east Baltimore, finds out. If Major Crimes can't handle Marlo, maybe he can be got at through Homicide, now that Omar is looking for nonlethal revenge, and Buck would listen to Omar.

Carecetti is already looking at the governorship. Well, he works fast. He promoted Daniels to colonel last week, which isn't the last promotion he wants to give Daniels. In another irony, Daniels has career is soaring just when he stopped playing the game. Of course, if you're telling the truth you need someone willing to listen to the truth, and Carcetti is such a person.

Michael feels he's only got one option to get his stepfather away from the household, and that unfortunately leads him right to Marlo, who, in his world, is one of the few people able to get things done.

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bk, I agree with you that the corner kids can growup to achieve dreams beyond the corner. At the present, however, they have no motivation for doing so. I also agree with dougjnn that the trip to Ruth Chris showed them a world they think is too far away to reach. This trip was demoralizing, not motivating. All three know that they are part of a special project just to teach them how to behave in a regular class in a failing school, a failing neighborhood, etc. At least their teacher is using the trip as a teaching lesson. There is still hope. na

November 16 2006 at 10:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was interesting to see Chris Partlow's character lose control and beat Micheal's stepfather to a pulp. I wondered for a fleeting moment if Chris was raped as a child or while in prison, he seemed to take that particular incident personal and did not heed to hide the body.

November 14 2006 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Biggs, i think you are on to something there.


maybe not not overtly one to one, but thematically. the writers say they draw from from Greek tragedy, and the poetry of story telling, would be consistent with with your idea.

November 14 2006 at 3:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

(with the wait staff being model in their treatment of obviously bottom class kids).

What did I miss?? The waitress was perfectly polite and helpful...not her fault that the diners didn't know what a chanterelle is

November 14 2006 at 1:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


That seems at least a little racist to me. There's no reason why those kids can't pull their lives together, get a decent education and ultimately get out of the ghetto. All it takes is good mentors (which they now have), determination and time. Now most of them probably WILL end up on the corners and then in jail or dead, but at least they have the option now of getting a better life. Just because they were born poor and black doesn't mean they are doomed to urban squalor forever regardless of what they do.

November 13 2006 at 9:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was so sad to see those 4 students get intimidated so badly in the Ruth Chris Restauraunt that they couldn't enjoy a good meal.

It was sad. But actually I thought they handled the intimidation issue pretty well (with the wait staff being model in their treatment of obviously bottom class kids).

They were uncomfortable but excited (except for the guy) at first. They handled the napkin and menu issues ok. When we saw them really bummed was as they were leaving and in the car. It had taken a while to sink in.

What they had realized was that they were never, ever going to be a part of that world, and that there was a lot that was desirable about it. Their black mentor might be (which is why he thought taking them might inspire them) but they would never be.

So why never them? Consider how they were doing in school. Most of them were real low IQ (for whatever combination of reasons) and the rest had serious behavior problems without any real smarts. None were athletes. They had never thought much about being part of the upscale restaurant going world before. But here it was dangled in front of them. And instead of inspiring them it made them realize at bit more how impossibly far behind they really were.

And you know what - they were right.

November 13 2006 at 7:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

i dont know. I just finish watching season one and all that stuff is fresh in my minds.

also, i remember seeing someone else make comparison between the kids the past characters too. it was from a different site though.

November 13 2006 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

biggs I agree with the Namond/DeAngelo comparison, but how did you come up with the other ones? We know almost nothing about Avon, Stringer and Bubbles when they were young.

There are some similarites but I think you are pushing it a bit.

November 13 2006 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

oh yeah, dont know if the writers intended for this or not but, to me, there are lots of similarities between the four kids and the main characters from season one. you guys see it too???


November 13 2006 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"And what exactly it reminds??"

D mom made him take those years just like namond's is pushing him on the streets. both namond and D grew up into the world and weren't meant for it. they were pampered growing up and aren't hard enough. (ive been rewatching season one)

November 13 2006 at 1:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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