The Wire 3:1

Only one episode for you all this week, alas. I watch this show with Denisa, and the plan had been to watch one episode before I left for the conference, and then another when I got back. Well, I’m in Utah at the moment for my grandfather’s funeral, so the second episode never materialized. I’m sure you can understand.

And to make things even worse, it’s the first episode of a season, and not much to write home about. Ironically, the start to season three is pretty much what I’d hoped for from the start to season two: McNulty back on the hunt for Stringer Bell.

And it’s a let down.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a bad¬†episode. There are parts of it that I love. Stringer Bell using Roberts Rules for his drug dealer meeting? Awesomely hilarious. A brief glimpse of Marlo (longtime watchers know who I’m talking about–he’s here for a moment as the gangster who doesn’t care what happens to Bubs, as long as it’s fast so he’s not late) was a very pleasant surprise. Bubs walking around in his underwear? Classic.

But it’s hard to make riveting television when it’s all set up. We get Carcetti. We get Rawls being a jerk to other police. We get political wrangling. But none of it really means anything to us just yet. It’s foundation stuff, and it’s necessary to make the payoffs work later in the season, but it ends up in an episode that’s just so-so, especially when compared to what just came before at the end of season two.

The biggest difference is that when I watch season three, I can remember what the beginning of season two was like, and I’m much more willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. I know what they’re able to pull off, so I’m not as antsy.

What does this season seem to be about so far? Politics. That much is clear. How it affects the police, the drug dealers, and the politicians themselves. Cutty (the ex-con) is another interesting figure. He’s muscle from 14 years ago, released into a brand new drug dealing environment he doesn’t understand. (He’ll provide a nice counterpart to the Stringer Bell crew. You can’t help but look at him and think he’s part of the circle of dealers. 14 years, things change. How long will it take before Barksdale’s people are just as antiquated?)

Anyway. That’s about all I have to say for this episode. Not my favorite. (But yay Roberts Rules!) 7/10 from me. What did you think?

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