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July 29, 2014

Jane After Dark: The Wire, season five (part two)

by Jane Boursaw, posted Nov 16th 2009 9:02AM
The Wire: Season Five - Omar
And so Jane After Dark has come to the end of The Wire. I need to watch it again to catch more than the one-eighth I caught the first time around. But after watching all five seasons, spanned over most of this year, the thing that keeps popping into my head is that the bureaucratic end of things is really no better than the drug dealer end of things.

In some ways, the drug dealers have more ethics than the suits. At least when a druggie does something that wrongs others in the system, there's no messing around. They're shot. They know they have it coming, and they step up and take it, just like Snoop did, asking if her hair looked ok before being gunned down. Just like Proposition Joe did when he closed his eyes and waited for the inevitable bullet to the head.

Oh, the bodies that fell in season five. At the top of the list is Omar, who after surviving through a whole lot of wheeling and dealing, gets gunned down in a convenience store by a kid. What a way to go.

Some managed to get through all the crap and be better for it -- like Bubbles, who at the beginning of the series I never thought would have survived. Yet he cleaned up his act and made peace with his family. Others didn't fare so well, like Dukie, who had a chance to get out of the system with Prez's help, but ended the series shooting up in an alley. Heartbreaking.

There were a lot of great scenes in season five, and one of my favorites was when the FBI guy sat down with McNulty and Greggs and reported on the behavioral analysis of the "serial killer." McNulty was squirming in his seat at the report: white male, likely employed in a beaurocratic entity from which he feels alienated, problem with authority, high-functioning alcoholic, fails to sustain lasting relationships, and the murders were staged post-mortem. Yep, that's McNulty.

It's amazing to me that he ever thought his elaborate ruse wouldn't be found out. But creating the scenario was the only way he thought he could finish the job and bring Marlo and his crew down. And yet, it didn't work. McNulty was found out. He and Freamon lost their jobs. Marlo walked free. It wasn't worth it anyway.

The last scenes were great, with Marlo returning to the streets in his suit, and then the whole montage of the various characters and life on the street. The Wire really is one of the best shows ever to grace our TV sets. The writers and producers took their time telling the story, weaving an elaborate tale over five seasons, never dumbing it down for us or taking the easy way out.

Read my thoughts on other seasons of The Wire:

Season one, part one
Season one, part two
Season two, part one
Season two, part two
Season three, part one
Season three, part two
Season four, part one
Season four, part two
Season five, part one

I'm trying to decide which is my favorite season, and it's a tough choice. I really didn't get to know the characters until part-way into the series, maybe season two or three, so I'm sure another look at the whole series would bring more revelations and a different take on things.

What about you? Do you have a favorite season of The Wire? Any thoughts about season five? I look forward to your comments.

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David

Season 2 was my favorite, which is funny because I was so angry at the beginning because I didn't understand where the season 1 characters were :)

You wrote:

"The Wire really is one of the best shows ever to grace our TV sets. The writers and producers took their time telling the story, weaving an elaborate tale over five seasons, never dumbing it down for us or taking the easy way out."

Exactly. Very well written.

November 17 2009 at 10:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Adam

Gotta be Season 4. It's heartbreaking to see what happens to Michael and Dukie, but seeing the transformation Namond made was one of the most uplifing moments of an otherwise bleak series. That, Prez as a teacher, and the rise of Marlo made Season 4 leaps and bounds better than the rest with Season 3 and the fall of Stringer a distant 2nd. Plus Season 4 had the best version of "Down in the Hole".

November 16 2009 at 10:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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