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October 9, 2015

The Wire: Not For Attribution

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jan 21st 2008 10:44AM

Method Man (Cheese) and Robert F. Chew (Prop Joe)
(S05E03) "They're dead where it doesn't count." - Fletcher

Poor Bunk. Nothing can ever go his way. He sees Jimmy digging a hole that he isn't ever going to be able to get himself out of and he does what anyone with half a brain does. He appeals to someone with logic. Someone with brains, wit, and experience. He calls on Freamon to knock some sense into McNulty, so he stops with this fake serial killer business. Then, the two of them started talking. Poor Bunk.

I honestly didn't see that one coming. Freamon and McNulty have fought numerous times in the past about procedure and going by the book and blah, blah, blah. Lester wants Marlo as bad as anyone, but I never expected him to fall as low as Jimmy. Sensationalize the killer. Give him a name. Jimmy thinks they should "kill" again! It's twisted, but it's brilliant too. Jimmy already tampered with those past cases by adding in the red ribbon and now with Lester's help, Alma's next story will definitely not be dumped into the middle of the metro section.

I think the one thing that has me bothered is that neither Jimmy nor Lester seemed concerned (or even considered) the consequences attached to this whole scheme. What if they get caught? What if a different M.E. sees through Jimmy's fake strangulation techniques? What if Landsman simply decides to stop flipping through porn mags in his office and actually takes a peek at what his detectives are doing? The last thing he wants is more red names on the board, especially ones that'll never go down. The biggest hurdle? Making people notice. Heed Fletcher's words. Unless Jimmy and Lester can attach their killer to some dead, wealthy white folks, will anyone actually care? Aren't a dozen or so homeless going to end up being just as disposable as Marlo's 22 rowhouse murders? Time will tell.

Elsewhere, Marlo continued his quest for Baltimore domination. He finally met with Vondas, gave him a nice pile of money, and business should be flowing soon I would assume. Then there's Prop Joe. For once, he has no idea what's going on. Does he even realize that "civilizin' this motherf*cker" is leading to his own undoing? He's revealing all the tricks of the trade when it comes to money laundering. His dedication to the co-op is going to get him killed. That and his nephew. Once Omar (he's baaaack) catches word that it was Cheese who gave up Butchie... well, you know what's next.

The players at the Sun are finally starting to grow on me. Little things though. I loved when Twigg went on that rant on everything he knows about Daniels. Scott knew squat about Cedric and Twigg is the one being bought out. Doesn't make sense. I still can't wait for the moment that Gus figures Scott out though. Now the guy is making up quotes from Nareese! That takes balls! That was my favorite part of the episode though. Look at what it set-up. The Nareese "quote" gets Burrell pissed at Daniels (that, and the "promotion") and now his past could be brought back up. We still never found out exactly what he did. Something about an assets investigation. Remember season one? Fitzhugh tipped off Jimmy and called Cedric dirty. Whatever it is, it can bring down Daniels and Marla, and Burrell has the file. Can't wait to see how that plays out.

More thoughts...

  • Great to see Michael, Dukie, and Bug just be kids. A day at Six-Flags and Dukie picked up a girl! The consequences scare me though. Michael left his corner for a whole day. Not good.
  • During the Clay Davis depositions, Rhonda interviewed Day-Day! Hilarious. Remember that scene when we met him in season one? Day-Day was talking about robbing some mansion and he introduced himself to Daniels and Cedric says something like, "I'm Cedric, but you can call me sergeant." Priceless.
  • Butchie kept his mouth shut. Rest his soul.
  • And speaking of those who've died, it was nice to see Jimmy digging through some of Ray Cole's old files. For those not too familiar with the show, Cole (one of the department's most inept detectives) was played by Wire executive producer Bob Colesberry. He passed away during the making of season three and as such, his character's death was written into the show.
  • Other than D'Angelo and Wee-Bey's trips to NYC and Philly, I think Marlo's visit to the Caymans is the farthest we've traveled from Baltimore on The Wire.
  • I liked the back-story on Norman. He used to work for the Sun with Gus. Explains a lot actually. Little scenes like the one where he leaked Carcetti's plans to Gus are what makes this show for me. So many tiny pieces, but each one chock full of meaning.
  • Valchek was back too. How gracious of him to offer up his services as acting commissioner. What an ass. Does he really think Carcetti would give him that job?

This really is starting to feel like the end though. Old stories are popping up, resolutions are visible, and Clay Davis is scrambling for help. He's been shut out by Burrell and now Tommy. Who's next to say no? Shiiiiiiiiiiiit.

Who are you more excited to see go down?
Clay Davis75 (27.0%)
Marlo Stanfield135 (48.6%)
Scott Templeton68 (24.5%)

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Hey guys,
Although Butchie was a "nice guy" he was still a gangster. He laundered drug money. He sold drugs. He set up the 'Hot Shots' that Avon used to set up Tilghman, which killed like 7 inmates. So Butchie's not clean.

I think Wallace dying was worse (although to be fair, Wallace WAS snitching); perhaps too Sabotka (then again, he was about to testify against The Greeks).

January 23 2008 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Watching Butchie die was one of the most difficult instances of someone getting murdered on a tv show I can remember. Not just because of what they did to him but also because of who he was. I want Marlo to get it more than ever, and if it comes from Omar it would be best. Omar, the only real free man in the show (especially now).

January 21 2008 at 9:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Scott R

I don't buy "14 years and 3 months" Freamon going with McNulty either. It's the first time in this show where the story has forced characters to become uncharacteristic. A little sad coming from the best show on tv, but I guess with the shortened season they had to push it somehow.

Doesn't Daniels in season 1 say "But you can call me lieutenant", since he was a lieutenant then?

January 21 2008 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Scott R's comment

Yes, Scott, you're right about Daniels referring to himself as a lieutenant back in S1.

And now I have to totally disagree with your take on Freamon. Above all things, Freamon is a master storyteller. That's how so much of his wisdom presents itself, in terms of great stories. Just think back to the previous episode, where Freamon is telling Sydnor why this grand jury case is such a big deal - it's a chance to tell a story of how so many different moving pieces are complicit in explaining the drugs and violence that ravage Baltimore. Those are the kind of cases that Freamon loves, the kind of cases where he has the real-world opportunity to play the role of master craftsman, like with his dollhouse miniatures, in demonstrating how everything is interconnected. It has always been Lester's dream to weave this great narrative to show how everything works. So, a great story that can demonstrate the failings of the police, of city politics, and of public interest? That's too good a story not to tell - even if it's fiction.

January 21 2008 at 9:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Seemed like a lot of setup in this episode. But hey, it's The Wire, so what do I care. I'm just happy to be watching a new season.

I do think it's a little strange that Prop Joe is helping out Marlo, co-op notwithstanding.

January 21 2008 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was a great episode. When Bunk first realizes that Freamon is in sync with McNutty, his face says it all.

And I love the character of Omar. While he's clearly no Robin Hood, I am so happy the writers decided to bring him back for the final season. Omar back with a vengence should be wicked to watch.

I know that the storyline for each season starts off slow but if the upcoming episodes are anything like this, it'll be a great finale to the Wire.

January 21 2008 at 2:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Did anyone watch the Packers game yesterday? Did you see "Clay Davis" in a commercial for Southwest Airlines??!!



January 21 2008 at 12:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dtpollitt's comment

and Colonel Daniels was doing a commercial for Cadillac.

January 21 2008 at 4:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

"Focus motherfucker, focus!"

Previews for next episode do show that McNulty and Lester discuss what the serious consequences for this can be.

January 21 2008 at 12:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
John Howard

"Other than D'Angelo and Wee-Bey's trips to NYC and Philly, I think Marlo's visit to the Caymans is the farthest we've traveled from Baltimore on The Wire."

I'm pretty sure that the Caymans are farther from Baltimore than both New York and Philly, so this would be the farthest traveled including those trips.

January 21 2008 at 12:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I dont think omar would have told butchie where he was, I think butchie probably only knew how to contact omar. if you think about it, omar wouldnt want to burden any one with his whereabouts.

January 21 2008 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

One of the funniest lines uttered in all 5 seasons of The Wire:

Jimmy: "We've got to kill again!"

January 21 2008 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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