The Wire 4:7 and 4:8

Episode 4:7

Carcetti won the election last episode, so that should be it for his storyline, right? I mean, that often seems to be the goal of so many other political shows and movies. So it’s very interesting that here we see him meeting with the former mayor and asking him why he walked away from the office, and the response (I got tired of having to deal with everyone else’s messes) is very telling. Maybe winning the race isn’t all it’s supposed to be?

Go figure.

But really, isn’t everything going right for a change? Royce is out. Burrell is on the ropes. Rhonda’s got a raise. Daniels is getting Carcetti’s eye (a far cry from when he was banished to the basement). Omar might not get shivved in jail. It’s all looking good.

Except it isn’t, and that’s sort of a continuing theme of this show that will only become more pronounced later on. Even when things are going well, there’s an undercurrent of trouble. The biggest trouble at the moment?

Herc. He’s so far out of his depth, and everyone else is focused on their own troubles that no one’s really watching this guy operate. This guy, who isn’t necessarily bad, but really just has no clue how to really do police work other than smash things together.

He’s the guy who’s in the best spot to actually do something about the worst player we’ve seen so far: Marlo. Herc is the guy who has Randy’s fate in his hands. Talk about a nightmare.

There are other problem spots, of course. Bubs is particularly troubling, and there’s no easy solution in sight for the man who keeps shaking him down for money. Sherrod is looking terrible. (I had no idea the guy trying to scare Namond was Sherrod until Bubs ran into him later.) Bunny and the professors are trying to slowly figure out a way to help their trouble school kids.

It’s a complicated show, but right now, there seems to be more ups than downs. And if that’s the case, then surely the defeat of Marlo, the success with the corner kids, and even a happy ending for Bubs can’t be far behind, right?


This is another 4/5 for me. This whole season is strong, but I’m beginning to wonder if it has any of those “WOW!” moments from earlier seasons that made me give them 5/5s. Perhaps this is my favorite season not because there are a ton of WOW moments, but that it’s so strong from start to finish. We shall see . . .

Episode 4:8

Remember how I said it was telling that the Wire had the former mayor scene with Carcetti right after Carcetti won the election? Well, it’s also telling that as soon as Carcetti wins and makes a splash as a white Democrat who can get black votes, the national Democrat office begins to circle the waters. And Carcetti, who’s been running on a campaign of hope and change and anti-corruption, suddenly has a look on his face. Like he’s seen the potential for him to rise to even greater heights.

Baltimore is one thing. But you can tell he’s now looking at maybe . . .governor? And of course, what’s the first thing the national folks tell him? Focus on statistics. “Reduce crime by 10%” Forget education, because they don’t feel like it can be fixed, so it isn’t politically prudent to try and tackle it. And just that quickly, Carcetti goes from simply thinking about doing what’s right for the city to thinking about what’s right for him. (Not that he wasn’t thinking about that all along . . .)

On a more positive note, I love watching Prez start to really succeed with these kids. Bunny’s experiments are one thing, but Prez is out here on his own, trying to do his best to figure things out, and I really want him to succeed, mainly because he’s grown so much over the seasons. So it’s rewarding to see his students start to like him. It gives me hope.

Michael’s home life, on the other hand, does not. There had been hints of this before (most specifically when Michael was so fast to bolt out of Cutty’s car after the boxing match), but it seems clear now that Michael was abused as a child, and by none other than Bug’s dad, who’s back from prison now. And Michael’s mom is a big enough loser to take the guy back in. The really sad thing is that there are good men in Micheal’s life who are standing there ready to help, but he’s unwilling and unable to trust them, because of that abuse. Prez and Cutty would totally help out, and probably have the wherewithal to get it done. But Michael has been burned once and clearly vowed to not let that happen again.

Our past affects our present, no matter what we might try to do.

I’m out of time for today, and there’s still so much I could talk about. Prop Joe and Slim Charles walking on eggshells around Marlo, respecting how violent he is and how good he is at making bodies disappear. Snoop and Chris discussing popular music. Carcetti doing the patrols with the police (and seeing firsthand how useless they are). All great stuff. Another 4/5, mainly because there still aren’t the WOW moments. But I love this show.


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