Another strong episode, one that balances out the intensity of last week's ending. City hall and police bureaucracy wins, busting up the major case unit, shutting down the wiretaps on Marlo's crew. Now Kima and Lester both land in Homicide, in the same office the McNulty was in when he started all this four years ago. All that work down the drain, but that's the game.
Man, does Bunk (Wendell Pierce) miss McNulty. Seems Bunk's the only one who's not obsessed with his job, and he longs for the old days of drinking and whoring all night with his old partner. McNutly (Dominic West) looks so damn happy still. Maybe that's the only way for him to be happy -- stay away from the politics, and the desire to do good -- or even to make good.
The cast has grown so big that three episodes in an we're still catching our first glimpse this year of some major characters, (these HBO org charts really help keep everyone straight). Finally this week, one of the series' most compelling characters makes his fappearance: Omar Little (Michael K. Williams). I'll never forget his revenge on the Barksdale crew (both in and out of court) and I have to wonder what there is for him to do this year, where the focus is on Marlo's gang, with which Omar does not have any particular beef with (not yet) and political corruption on the level that doesn't interact with street characters like Omar. They'll find something, I'm sure.
Numerous sources are reporting that HBO has decided to give The Wire a fifth and final season. The fourth season, which premiered this past Sunday, was met with great reviews from critics everywhere. However, as most expected, the ratings for the opening episode weren't so hot. No dates have been set for when the fifth season will begin shooting but it is known that the running theme for the season will be how the mass media affects all aspects of the Baltimore streets. Personally, I think this is fantastic news. It's great that HBO recognizes what this show means to the fans and now we'll get a final season to wrap it up properly. Too bad HBO wasn't willing to extend the same courtesy to Deadwood.
I've never seen the show, but everything I've heard about the show - from people whose opinion I trust in these matters - rave about it. Every single review of the show uses the words "brilliant" and "great writing" and "great cast," and the writiers and directors on the show (including David Simon, who also worked on Homicide, and crime novelists George Pelecanos and Dennis Lehane) are an interesting bunch. So why doesn't the show get the same massive buzz that The Sopranos and Deadwood do?
The Star-Ledger's Alan Sepinwall has a long essay about what makes The Wire so great. It makes me want to watch the show (I guess it did its job), and that's a good thing, since it looks like a final, fifth season will depend on how many viewers tune in to the long-delayed fourth season, which starts September 10.
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