The Wire: Late Editions
(S05E09) "Deserve got nuthin' to do with it." - Snoop
One down and one to go. The penultimate episode. Talk about depressing. After next Sunday, there won't be any more new episodes of The Wire. I don't think I've been this bummed out about a show ending since Six Feet Under went off the air and let's be honest -- The Wire is way better than Six Feet Under, or anything else... ever. With the finale so close, this episode set a lot of stuff up as you'd expect. Everything that's been percolating all season started to boil over and now all that's left to find out is who gets burned and who doesn't. Quoting Stringer Bell's last words, "get on with it motherf*ckers!"
Let's get Scott Templeton out of the way first. I love the direction this is heading in. He's still schmoozing with Whiting and Klebanow, making nice because his homeless articles are being folded into The Sun's Pulitzer submissions. I love how idiotic Whiting is. He sounded like such a fool when he made that "big bucks" comment. For those that are interested, check out this article David Simon wrote for the March issue of Esquire. He describes the crap that happened while he wrote for The Sun and the plot here mirrors it exactly, right down to the nonsense of Scott being instructed to write stories covering the change created by previous stories. All in an effort to prove that The Sun has sway in making things happen. "Covering your own coverage" as Simon puts it.
Anyway, while Scott is brown-nosing, Gus is "scratching an itch." First he enlisted the help of Robert, the ex-bureau chief from London, to dig into all of Scott's past articles. Then Gus interviewed a friend of Terry Hanning and had lunch with Nerese Campbell later that day. Everything he heard followed one consistent trend -- Scott's a liar. He makes up quotes; he makes up sources; he makes up just about anything. More than anything else this season, I can't wait for the moment when Gus confronts Scott with all the ammo. It's gonna be a great scene. The horrible thing about it is that he's probably going to get away with it in some regard and I'm just as excited to see how he pulls that off as well.
Moving on to Lester and the detail. Everything came together. With the clock code cracked, all it took was time as they waited for a meeting location down by the ports. It happened, probably sent by Vondas even though we didn't see him. Sydnor, Truck, Otto and everyone else watched the whole thing go down as Cheese and Monk came and went, their Escalades jam packed with heroin. It was at that point that Lester decided it was time to fess up. Couldn't have come at a better moment either, since Lester approached Daniels with his plan right after Steintorf gave Cedric and Rawls the OK to "be creative" with the stats. Warrants signed and everyone got jacked. Cheese. Monk. Chris. All of Vondas' Greek goons. Lester personally watched Marlo get his police bracelets. They got the drugs. They got the cell phones. They even got Marlo's clock. If I can make one tiny complaint, it was a little anti-climactic. That being said, it really couldn't have gone any other way. The real highlight was seeing Michael and Snoop watch it on the evening news, dumbfounded.
What it set up though was great. Marlo isn't stupid. Levy showed him the affidavit. True to his plan, Lester said someone talked. A source had been developed. A total lie of course, but it made Chris and Marlo worry enough that they put out a hit on Michael since they knew he had spent a day with Bunk. They trust him, but at the same time... you never know. The resulting scenes with Michael and Snoop were some of the best of the season in my opinion. She was playing him and he was playing her. It was brilliant. "You look good girl." Pop. How calm was she though? I don't think anyone on this show has even been that cool, knowing they're about to die.
I think the one thing that surprised me is that I sort of thought Snoop was reasonable, but the more I thought about it, this is what I came up with. She had always been Chris' sidekick. Then Michael came along and Marlo and Chris both loved him. He sort of took away some of Snoop's spotlight. Even though Marlo and Chris both felt obligated to put out the hit on him, neither really thought he talked. He was one of them, but not in Snoop's eyes and she even said so. For Snoop, the hit on Michael was more about her standing in Marlo's organization. Chris didn't seem to care that Michael had been talking shit about Marlo and how he didn't step to Omar, mainly because Chris knew Marlo would have done just that if he had known Omar was calling him out. Which Marlo was pissed about naturally. He could have cared less that he was in jail. He just wanted to let all the other corner boys and hoppers out there know that he wasn't afraid. It'll be interesting to see if there's any punishment for Chris since he kept his mouth shut on that.
It was sad the way it forced Michael to leave Bug and Dukie though. Bug, at least he's got an aunt to live with. And a box of money. Dukie pretty much got thrown out on the street with squat, while Michael claimed to recall nothing of summers past in an effort to alienate Dukie. To keep him away. Fortunately it looks like Prez finally makes an appearance in the finale, so hopefully Dukie's story ends well. One note on the four boys though. Namond finally made an appearance in this episode (as part of the debate team), much like Randy did a few weeks ago (when Bunk came with questions). At the beginning of the season, I had wondered if we'd see them at all since season four pretty much wrapped it all up for those two. Namond with the best possible outcome and Randy the worst. Only Michael and Dukie really had stories left to tell as we've seen. That being said, neither Randy's appearance nor Namond's really furthered the plot all that much. If you think about, both their scenes could have been cut and it wouldn't have really changed anything. Then again, that could have been the point -- to show how inconsequential they've become in the grand scheme of things. Just a thought.
McNulty. Why the hell isn't he happy? He got want he wanted. Marlo fell! It looks like the guilt from making good cops work on a bum (no pun intended) case finally got to him. Then again, he is a ginormous narcissist and probably hates the fact that Marlo is in jail and his plan doesn't allow him any of the credit. I'm surprised that even Lester seems to think that the whole mess will just wrap itself up though. He's the smart one! But he was right. Jimmy should have never told Kima. That one scene with her and Carver was great too. She told him to get ready for an IAD probe and then asked about turning in another cop. After she spilled it all to Cedric, it led right to that scene with him and Rhonda in the evidence locker watching Marlo's phone ring. Everything is just so well done. The best part about it is that you knew exactly what was going to happen and my jaw was still on the floor.
Bubbles. I'm not sure about him. Fletcher is certainly bringing out the good in ol' Reginald but that speech Bubs gave about resisting the temptation a while back has me worried. Felt a little like foreshadowing to me. I don't really expect this show to have the happiest of endings and Bubbles falling off the wagon after all this time clean certainly wouldn't surprise me.
Dukie had better not have decided to shoot-up with the junk man and all his buddies. That would really be disappointing because he's smarter than that.
"I hope Chardene is up when I get home, because Lester Freamon is in the mood for love!" Fantastic line! For those that don't remember, Chardene is the stripper who briefly dated D'Angelo in season one and then became one of Lester's informants. I feel like we knew they were dating though but I can't remember what episode or scene. Anyone?
I know this is nothing new, but I just noticed it. The homcide unit no longer has typewriters. They've got Panasonic Tough Book laptops now.
Landsman called Jimmy a "genital wart." Priceless.
Anyone else notice Augie Polk working the evidence control locker when Cedric and Rhonda came in? I didn't recognize him at first since he shaved his moustache. If you remember, when the detail was first formed in season one, Polk and Mahone were the dead weight on the team. Drunks. Mahone got the crap kicked out of him by Bodie and went on permanent medical leave. Polk considered throwing himself down the stairs to achieve the same goal, but never went through with it. What other show on TV would bring back such a miniscule character for two or three lines? This is why I'll miss The Wire.
During the press conference after the Marlo bust, I couldn't help but think of Burrell with all those drugs: "Dope on the table." And how great was Zorzi? Listening to Tommy's speech, he knew what words were coming next as if he'd seen the same dog and pony show a dozen times. "Don't forget the community..." Great stuff.
I wish we had gotten a little more from Bunny and that he wasn't tied to Namond's near pointless scene. Although it was great to see him snub Carcetti's handshake. Bunny made a good point too. If Hamsterdam wasn't acceptable, what can be done then?
Herc is a sleaze! Using Carver for info and then helping to cover Snoop on the gun charge that he originally jacked her for! I can't wait for Ellis to find out that it's Levy who Herc is working under. I will say that his speculations worry me. He's right about Lester and the illegal tap, but how can Levy prove that? Even if he does, Lester still has the dirt on Levy from Clay. I've gone over everyone and can't figure out who his courthouse mole is. It has to be someone we haven't met before. (Sidebar: Lester was like the Omar of the BPD in that scene with Clay. Documents, his shotgun and knowledge, his payout.)
Showtime shout-out on HBO! Dukie was watching Dexter! Perhaps a bit of an inside joke with the writers? Passing the torch? I'd argue that Dexter probably is the best show on in The Wire's absence.
I loved Jimmy's "evacuated" comment. Nice toss back to Spry from the season premiere. Ironically, I think Jimmy got the word usage right... didn't he?
Next week is going to be messy. Jimmy wants this to just all go away but that can't happen now because Cedric and Rhonda know which means Tommy and Rawls will know. But what if the killings continue despite Jimmy? Someone else could conceivably take on the cause. Lord knows Templeton put enough detail in his articles. How would you break that to the public? The killer was fake... but now he's real?
It seems to me that this is all going to rely on Lester. With everything he's got, from the wiretape to the dirt on Levy, there has to be some way for him to spin this. I don't see how he couldn't have a contingency plan in place should it all go south. He's not that naïve, right? Granted, I think everyone will still be pissed at him (especially Daniels) but if he can figure out a way to save face then maybe his punishment won't be so bad.
|Dukie vs. The Streets||37 (5.4%)|
|Michael vs. Marlo||264 (38.3%)|
|McNulty vs. Templeton||25 (3.6%)|
|Lester vs. Levy||72 (10.4%)|
|Bubbles vs. Himself||23 (3.3%)|
|Gus vs. Templeton||108 (15.7%)|
|Lester vs. Daniels and Rhonda||32 (4.6%)|
|McNulty vs. Daniels and Rhonda||80 (11.6%)|
|McNulty vs. Kima||48 (7.0%)|