The Wire 5:3, 5:4, and 5:5

Three episodes in one week! It’s hard for me not to just binge watch the rest when we’re this close. But I’m being strong and sticking to the plan. On to the episode reactions!

Episode 5:3

Let me be very clear: I am not a fan of the serial killer plot in this season. Not even a little. It’s way harder for me to swallow than Hamsterdam, mainly because I feel like there’s something morally wrong in desecrating bodies the way McNulty and Lester are doing, and that the odds of finding not just one but two police willing to do it strains credibility to the extreme. We know Lester and McNulty. They each have issues, but that they’re willing to do this, and all sorts of other police touch on it tangentially, and no one says anything?

I just have a hard time swallowing that.

However. If I just accept the fact that McNulty is deep enough in the bottle and Lester is obsessed enough with Marlo, and I get over my first reaction, I do believe the season continues to be worthwhile. I try to think of it almost as a thought experiment. How bad are things in Baltimore? They’re so bad that an actual serial killer isn’t enough to register more than a yawn or two from the police. McNulty and Lester are certainly smart enough to rig things to be believable. It’s just that nobody cares about what they’re “uncovering.”

Then you have the newspaper folks. Again, they’re a little too easily classified for the show’s normally high standards. Gus is a good guy. Scott is a weasel. It could have been done with a defter touch, but there you have it. Scott is all too willing to throw anyone else under the bus, and he doesn’t care about making stuff up left and right either. Not if it will advance his career. I can’t stand the man.

Of course, that doesn’t mean I don’t dislike other people more. People like Clay Davis. So fun to see the man finally knocked down a peg or five. He’s been a rat for so long, and done so many awful things, it’s great to see it come back to bite him at last, and he seems like he’s really in for it this time.

Joe keeps trying to “civilize” Marlo, but does he really think something like that is possible? Marlo has no real clue what he’s doing. He’s just mimicking whatever Joe or Levy are doing. And then killing anyone who might question what he’s doing or why. Terrible, terrible man. Omar’s heading back to do something about it, though. Think he’ll be able to pull it off? If anyone could, it would be him.

Anyway. It’s solid television, but far from awesome. 3/5 from me.

Episode 5:4

So much for the old way of doing business. Marlo murders Prop Joe in cold blood. Not because Joe’s done anything terrible. Just because Marlo wants to be the king, and Joe is kind of sort of in his way. And Cheese (Joe’s nephew) is the one to sell Joe out. Sad.

That said, the scene seemed to be the one really riveting moment of the episode. It was great, but much of the rest of this one is set up. You’ve got Beadie confronting McNulty (and McNulty not really caring that his marriage is falling apart), McNulty and Lester continuing their serial killer plot (with the help of none other than Gordon from Sesame Street, playing an old cop who’s been used and abused by the system. Maybe there’ll be more Wire/Sesame Street crossovers. Snuffleuppagus is Omar.), Scott trying to find a job at a more “worthy” paper, Omar on the hunt for Marlo, Marlo courting the Greek, Daniels moving on up as Burrell moves out. I wish I had more to say, but I really don’t.

The episode is called “Transitions,” and it feels like that’s all it is. 2/5.

Still, coming from the high of season four, season five is a definite let down thus far for me.

Episode 5:5

Okay. The scene were McNulty and Scott are in the same room, and Scott says that the serial killer called him? That was pretty dang funny. McNulty knows there’s no way this actually happened, and you can see how surprised he is, but then he’s all too ready to play along with it, surprising Scott by letting them know that the serial killer called the police too.

It looks like McNulty’s found just who he needed to make this story soar: Scott the Weasel. Though I don’t think Scott’s quite bright enough to know what’s going on. This is the episode where we see once and for all that Scott is completely full of it, making up a homeless family and using an insane homeless guy’s name to cover it. If there were any doubts, there are none now.

On the other hand, as outlandish as the serial killer plot is, Lester’s plan to wire tap Marlo illegally is all too believable. It’s a well-established fact that none of the other police really have a clue what’s going on with technology, and Lester’s always been the go-to guy when it came to taps, so to have him rig the whole thing up and do it wrong on purpose? I totally buy it, and it seems like it will probably work. Of course, we have no idea what’s really going on with it yet, since Vondas and Marlo’s method is still very much a mystery to us all.

Omar’s leap to freedom at the end of the episode is quite the cliffhanger. Did he get away? Did he die? Has he somehow figured out a way to turn invisible? He jumped from really high up, and it seems doubtful he just landed on the ground and got up and ran away, but the way this season is going . . .

Speaking of distasteful developments, Clay Davis getting so much support from Nerese and Royce just made my blood boil. This man is a human leech, and Royce and Nerese know that, but they’re more than willing to work with him (and Burrell back in the day) because they’re on the same team. It’s the sort of politics I can’t stand, and while I wish it didn’t happen in real life, something tells me it probably does. Sigh. To see Royce have that rally for Davis, and see how much the public buys into it, just makes me cringe.

Dukie, meanwhile . . . Why is he even on the corners in the first place? It’s interesting to see him try and turn to Cutty to get training on how to fight (and nice to see how far Cutty has come in understanding at least somewhat how to deal with these kids), but when that fails, he turns to Michael and guns. But even that’s not working out. The answer is clear to us: Dukie never should have dropped out of school. (It’s something I still don’t really understand. Sure, it was frightening to go to a different school, but Dukie just giving up? Very disappointing, and I really have no one to blame but Dukie.)

3/5 for this episode. Better than the last one, but still nothing like the last season.

I’m out of time for today. Three episodes to review at once  is a lot. Good thing I only have to do it one more time. Five episodes left!

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