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Jane After Dark: The Wire - Season two ends, the Sobotka clan crumbles

by Jane Boursaw, posted Jun 20th 2009 3:16PM
Chris Bauer as Frank Sobotka on HBO's The Wire
As John Howard noted in the comments in last week's Jane After Dark column, I really haven't talked much about Omar yet. I just finished season two of The Wire, and to be honest, most of my thoughts right now revolve around the Sobotka clan.

First of all, how stupid was Ziggy? The guy's always been a live wire, and you could see the bad karma building throughout this season, with him flashing money around, showing off his Italian leather coat, and going a little bonkers with the stolen Mercedes. Things were bound to go bad for him, and they did just that when his deal with Double-G went oh so wrong.

Still, I couldn't believe it when Ziggy snapped and shot those guys. It's like he had some dark alternative personality come out and start killing people after his pet duck overdosed on alcohol. Up until that point, I just thought he was a bratty kid.

Things really started to crumble after that, with Nick turning himself in and Frank turning up in the harbor with a slit throat. As Valchek said, "Lays down with gangsters, gets up with his throat cut." I loved the final scene with Nick looking through the chainlink fence while a series of courtroom, harbor and Baltimore images played, including the towers about to be razed and the girls being escorted out of a can.

I'm thinking I'll talk more about Omar and Stringer in season three. But so far, I'd have to agree with Collin and say that Stringer Bell is my favorite character. But Aether made a good point in last week's comments, too: "Personally, I liked Stringer up until Season 3, where I began to realize how truly selfish he was. But you know economists, they're known for being "opportunists" more than followers of ethics. Nothing against economists, I'm just say that when you look at things through an economist's point of view, personal gain is the goal. I just feel like he came up as more of a savvy, greedy bastard, but I don't want to get too into that or it'll reveal spoilers. Stringer sure was both smart and stylish in his mannerisms. Omar though, I feel has more depth."

Heading into season three, I see a big ole storm brewing between Stringer and Omar, and their respective cohorts. Adam and Usama, I'm definitely going to check out "Freakonomics." and brush up on the drug business.

A few other thoughts:

How creepy is Brother Mouzone? The guy gets shot in the stomach and acts like he's suffering from a little indigestion. Then when Stringer goes to talk to him in the hospital, Brother gives him the brush-off and says he'll handle things his own way. Brother is like some evil robot or something.

I hope we haven't seen the last of D'Angelo's prison "suicide." There's a whole story still unexplored, and I felt badly that here's a guy who really seems like he wants to get his life together, and he ends up dead.

McNulty's undercover work in the brothel = amusing. But he definitely seems like a hot mess in motion. In one way, I wish his wife would take him back, but I can also see her standpoint on it. She's understandably leery, what with how McNulty handles women and alcohol. Sometimes he seems to have no conscience.

Rodney, I hadn't reached that line yet last week, but you're right. It's a great line: "Fool, if it wasn't for Sergei here, you and your cuz both would be cadaverous motherf**kers."

I look forward to all of your thoughts on season two of The Wire. This is really the first time I've been anxious to see what happens next. I picked up season three today, and will pop it in as soon as I finish this post.

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The Wire is an excellent programme. It's the best police drama ever made.


July 09 2009 at 10:09 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

my husband loves the wire .but i really didn't care for season 2 . made no sense to me at all waiting for season 5 he watches seasons in on sitting he is a weekend nightowl

June 25 2009 at 9:53 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now, now, let's not spoil too much in the comments. But I do like how Jane is probably reading the comments and thinking, "Wait, it gets better?"

It does. Talk about some major pay off for patiently watching the slow burn. With Season 3, the writers really utilize the viewer's sense of theme foundation and character history to work out some incredible story arcs.

June 23 2009 at 1:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
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June 22 2009 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The best season is about the middle schoolers. When I say best it's only a minor degree of difference. I thought that that season was the most painful and moving to watch. Omar still comes out as #1 character for me with Robin Hood qualities though only for himself through Bubbles as a man ultimately in recovery is quite stirring. But all the acting is sterling and their characterization really top of the line for television. Great writing.

June 21 2009 at 9:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh man, you're right. Don't want to give it away, but the alley scene with Omar and Brother is the best example I have of why this show has made all other shows and most movies worthless to me now. Just a couple minutes long, but the dialogue, tension, and brilliance is top notch.

June 21 2009 at 1:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really didn't understand how season 2 fit into things until I watched all the seasons, then I appreciated it more. Once you see the whole picture, you realize that you cannot tell the story of drugs and crime in a city without also showing why the drug world is now the better economic option for many people who need some way to survive but are failed by their government and educational institutions.

Liked season 2 the second time, but season 3 is where the Wire begins to truly achieve brilliance.

June 21 2009 at 1:19 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Simon re-casts James Ransone (Ziggy) as a major supporting actor in his 7-part HBO miniseries from 2008, "Generation Kill". The actor does a superb job opposite Emmy-worthy Alexander Skarsgard.

Season 2 was of, "The Wire" was my favorite season. Chris Bower's Frank Sobotka was so real to me. Everything about that season resonated for me, and the Ziggy character made it all fun.

June 20 2009 at 10:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm going to have to catch up with you Jane, ;-) I just started season 2 again, and I'm about 2 episodes in. I'm very excited because I'm already getting a lot more than I did the first time through. Well that is until our basement flooded so everything's been put on hold (gotta love Chicago weather).

I think you'll enjoy Freakonomics but if you wanted to you could just read that one chapter (it's titled something like, "Why drug dealers live with their mothers") because each chapter can stand on its own.

This made me laugh out loud,
"How creepy is Brother Mouzone? The guy gets shot in the stomach and acts like he's suffering from a little indigestion."

Creepy is the word, but I liked him too. And I don't remember if it was in this season or the next, but when he has that face off with Omar somewhere in an alley at night, I just loved this juxtaposition of these two very different and very much the same characters. Anyway I thank you for inspiring me to rewatch the show!

June 20 2009 at 6:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I enjoyed season 2, but it felt more like a stray tangent in the world of the wire. The Sobotka's are never mentioned again I think and it made the whole season feel somewhat unnecessary. Seasons 3 & 4 are when the show really takes off and becomes a masterpiece in my opinion. They're about education and politics in Baltimore and the show takes some unexpected twists. You're really going to enjoy watching them.

June 20 2009 at 5:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Tony's comment

Season 3 is probably the best, and I think it has the best theme overall. Also the fastest season of the Wire I've watched, watching it in just under 5 days. Prepare for some big twists in the second half of this one!

June 21 2009 at 12:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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