The Wire 3:8 and 3:9

One of my least-favorite episodes is among these two. Not because it’s a bad episode, but because it just depresses me so much. I knew it was coming all season long, and it’s here at last. Sigh. Might as well dive in.

Episode 3:8

Not everything in this episode is perfect, but the final scene? Riveting stuff. I was stunned to see Stringer come clean with Avon about Dee’s murder, and even more surprised by how it came about: as a way for Stringer to prove to Avon just how “street” he was. Of course, it seems to me that true “street” people don’t have to go around bragging about what they’ve done. They’re just go about doing. Compare Stringer’s attempt here to Marlo’s actions earlier. Marlo is true street. Stringer?

He’s just trying to keep his head above water, and now he’s shown his best friend just how low he’s willing to go. I think some of Stringer’s problem is that he doesn’t respect the street side of things. In many ways, he’s like Carver in that respect at this point. Both approach the drug dealers as nothing more than imbeciles you have to deal with to get your real work done. You can’t treat people that way and prosper.

Of course, Stringer also thinks he’s much smarter than other people, and so he’s thrown in with the white collar side of the table, which also doesn’t seem to be working out well for him. So instead of dominating anything, he’s floundering. Not that we feel too bad for him. He still had Dee killed, after all.

McNulty assuming the cop in the small town is a redneck, racist hick was more than a little amusing, especially when said cop takes Kima aside and commiserates with what an idiot McNulty is. So much of McNulty’s life would be easier if he’d stop assuming he was smarter than everyone else. (More on that next episode.)

Herc, meanwhile, reminds us just what a chucklehead he is. He’s all disgruntled about the Hamsterdam dealers coming to complain about getting robbed, and the next minute he’s yukking it up with those dealers, using the facial reconstruction software to make hot women. Moron.

And then there’s Hamsterdam, a potential solution to a problem that was supposed to be easy, but turns out to be much, much more complicated. So often in politics, we hear simple solutions lobbed out there left and right, as if all it takes is a few tweaks, and the world will be a better place. Hamsterdam is an excellent example of why that’s just not the case. It’s all connected. You solve one problem, but by doing so, you create three more.

Poor Bunny.

It’s a solid episode, made greater by the final scene. 9/10

Episode 3:9

And here we are. Prez. His story arc has been such a positive one over the course of the show. He’s an absolute imbecile at the beginning of season one, but we find out that’s really because he’s been misplaced. He’s a terrible street cop, but he turns out to be an excellent desk cop. He loves putting in the hours and paying attention to details. He’s learned a ton from Lester, and just thrives in it.

And then, because he decided to go out for takeout, he ends up killing another cop.

Of course, it’s not that clean and dry. He makes a big blunder. A blunder that street cop Prez would make. It’s believable, and incredibly sad, but what can we do? And it’s only made worse by the fact that the show pulls it all off so well. We have that scene with McNulty overhearing Landsman complain about what a loser Prez is as a cop, and everything Landsman says is true.

But this is Prez! We like Prez. And so it’s just a really rough pill to swallow, but there it is.


Let me think about something else to talk about. McNulty is trying to convince himself that he’s a real catch for a woman like D’Agostino. He’s one of a select few cops who can do what he does, he says. And maybe that’s true. But the fact is, he and D’Agostino aren’t a good match at all, and that dinner scene they have proves that. She might be fun for a late night call, but as far as a couple goes, give it up. But McNulty tries to convince himself that he’s the real deal, despite Lester telling him he needs more than just his job,. That nothing he does at work will ever coming with balloons and a “Mission Accomplished” banner.

Too bad McNulty won’t listen.

I really found the hit on Omar amusing, though I know it shouldn’t be. Avon’s hitmen are just play moronic for the most part, and that comes across clearly here. It’s made more difficult by the fact that Stringer is calling some of the shots, and we’re seeing more and more that Stringer doesn’t really know what he’s doing when it comes to actually running the street operation. Stringer seems to be floundering big time, and things are only getting worse for him.

I know some have said they were disappointed by Cutty’s plot after the peak a few episodes ago, but I continue to stand by it. He’s showing the way the system can operate for good, and it’s an important balance to the other side the Wire delves into most often. Not everything in Baltimore is broken. It’s just covered up in red tape.

10/10 on this episode. But still such a downer to watch.

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