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MaxTheVool
12-04-2006, 03:38 PM
So the season finale of The Wire is now available on demand, and I watched it last night.

Wow.

What an amazing piece of television, and what a great setup for season 5. McNulty is back on the team, maybe now sober. They know what's going on with Marlo but have no idea how to prove it. The fat guy from the homicide division has a conscience. Namond was the only one of the kids to come out of things OK, somehow, partially due to Wee-Bey doing the right thing. Omar is rich. Bubs is even more messed up than before, but might be getting help. Carcetti is abandoning doing the right thing for future hopes of power. Bodie realized how shitty his life was but couldn't get out. The Greek is back. Swedgin made a cameo. Cutty is getting some from the formerly judgmental nurse.


A few things I missed:
(1) Marlo saw the ring that Michael had. Was that somehow the same ring that Omar stole from Marlo? Did that crooked cop arrest Omar and steal it from him then?

(2) Was it Michael who killed Bodie? I kind of thought it was, but then that seemed to contradict what happened later.

(3) Marlo and Snoop and Chris said they had two things for Michael to do, but I couldn't really understand what either one was. One had something to do with the abusive dad, but that's already a closed book, right? Did anyone follow that?



One thing that seemed poorly done was Marlo telling his henchman to follow the Greek guy on such short notice. Isn't that guy going to be super-paranoid about being tailed given the context of the meet? How many guys in unmarked cars does Marlo have following him around all the time who are trained in unobtrusive surveillance techniques?




Overall, another fantastic season. My only overall complaint is that I got a little sick of them making the point that teaching kids just for the test is a bad idea. I got it the first time.

Rubystreak
12-04-2006, 09:08 PM
A few things I missed:
(1) Marlo saw the ring that Michael had. Was that somehow the same ring that Omar stole from Marlo? Did that crooked cop arrest Omar and steal it from him then?

Yes, and Michael took it when they threw paint on him.

(2) Was it Michael who killed Bodie? I kind of thought it was, but then that seemed to contradict what happened later.

100% definitely Michael. I don't think it contradicts anything.

(3) Marlo and Snoop and Chris said they had two things for Michael to do, but I couldn't really understand what either one was. One had something to do with the abusive dad, but that's already a closed book, right? Did anyone follow that?

He is their hit man du jour, Chris' apprentice. I think it was that last hit that was the one other thing he needed to do.

I found this finale incredibly depressing. I mean, tear-provokingly so. I don't know what made me sicker-- Bubs' breakdown, Michael's downfall, Dukie's surrender to the corner, Randy's abandonment, Bodie's failed rehabilitation, Carcetti's waffling, Colvin's program's failure, or what.

The upside: Omar wins! McNulty's back! Namond is living in the pink! And that's about all.

MaxTheVool
12-04-2006, 11:27 PM
100% definitely Michael. I don't think it contradicts anything.


Except that Chris earlier said that the first guy he killed shouldn't be someone he knew, and it seemed like the next guy was his "first".

Rubystreak
12-05-2006, 08:14 AM
Except that Chris earlier said that the first guy he killed shouldn't be someone he knew, and it seemed like the next guy was his "first".

I thought Chris was trying to protect him, but that Mike wanted to do it, so he did. It was definitely him-- I saw his face.

Push You Down
12-05-2006, 09:47 AM
I think the comment's from Chris to Michael at the end was basically saying "Okay, you've killed someone you know and a complete stranger. It should be easy from now on."

I think the ending was a beautiful mixture of heartbreak (Bubs and Dukie especially) and triumph (Omar and McNulty).

DMark
12-06-2006, 02:39 AM
Another great season...but I have to admit, I was a little confused by everything that happened in the last episode of this season - I probably have to watch it one more time.

But there certainly seems to be no lack of direction for the next season!

Push You Down
12-06-2006, 12:04 PM
Anyone else notice Omar's deal with Prop Joe was "Twenty cents on the dollar" and Joe told the Co-Op that Omar offered "Thirty cents on the dollar."

Gadarene
12-06-2006, 12:12 PM
Anyone else notice Omar's deal with Prop Joe was "Twenty cents on the dollar" and Joe told the Co-Op that Omar offered "Thirty cents on the dollar."

Nice little scam by Prop Joe, huh?

(2) Was it Michael who killed Bodie? I kind of thought it was, but then that seemed to contradict what happened later.

I think it was, but apparently there's a good deal of debate about this.

(3) Marlo and Snoop and Chris said they had two things for Michael to do, but I couldn't really understand what either one was. One had something to do with the abusive dad, but that's already a closed book, right? Did anyone follow that?

One of them was that Michael got to take over Bodie's corner. I'm not sure what the other one was off the top of my head.

My only overall complaint is that I got a little sick of them making the point that teaching kids just for the test is a bad idea. I got it the first time.

I think the teachers have to deal with that bad idea every single day; I found it utterly realistic that they'd continue to bring it up.

Great finale. I love Bodie. And I really think he went out on his own terms. Also, I hope Carver follows through and tries to become Randy's foster parent.

Another great season...but I have to admit, I was a little confused by everything that happened in the last episode of this season - I probably have to watch it one more time.

Any particular questions, DMark?

DMark
12-06-2006, 01:53 PM
Any particular questions, DMark?

So, Omar ripped off the big shipment, and then sold it all back for 20 cents on the dollar? Wouldn't it have been wiser to sell it elsewhere for more money? Or was this his plan from the beginning?

And with Michael running around killing folks at the end, I was wondering who the first dude was, and why...and then also wondering (like others have asked) if he was the one who killed Bodie.

So Garcetti decided NOT to take the money from the Governor, or did he take it? I know he pissed off his assistant, but that all wrapped up so fast I wasn't sure what he took, and from whom, or what he didn't take.

What was the gift Michael gave to the teacher at the end?

I thought they arrested the guy and girl who killed all the people and then put them in the abandoned buildings...but weren't they out on the street for the last scene with the shooting or did I confuse that and get that out of order? How did they get released so fast?

The results of the test...I understood that they were artificially skewed with lofty ways of saying the students were all still stupid, but were the scores considered OK to meet the state requirements? I believe the answer to my question is yes - but again, it was thrown in with just a quick sentence and after all the build up for this stupid test, it seemed to be an overly quick wrap-up to that storyline.

Now, having listed my questions, it seems perhaps I should not have eagerly watched this episode at 1:00AM on a school night...maybe I was more tired than I thought I was.

Push You Down
12-06-2006, 02:07 PM
Also, I hope Carver follows through and tries to become Randy's foster parent.



Eh, Bunny already took in Namond. Might be a little much for Carver to take in Randy.
I wouldn't mind seeing next season Carver try to follow up with Randy and finding out he ran away.
After his foster mother recovers would/could she take him back? I remember them saying her burns were serious but maybe not debilitating.


Okay correct me if I'm wrong but the saga of the ring went like this right?
Fat conveinence store guy has it, Marlowe takes it from him.
Omar takes it from Marlowe.
Officer Fisher takes it from Omar.
Michael takes it from Fisher.

Another detail I remembered, in the final montage when Carver chases off the younger soon to be corner boys, he sees the graffitti reding: Fayatte Street Mafic Forever. Namond, Michael and Randy's names are in the same color and Duqons is scribbled in in a different color. It fits his outsider yet still part of the group status.

And what happened with Herc? The only bit of dialogue I got out of his hearing was "conduct unbecoming".

Gadarene
12-06-2006, 02:26 PM
Eh, Bunny already took in Namond. Might be a little much for Carver to take in Randy.

A little much? I think it would be perfectly consistent with the character. It's not some pie-in-the-sky ending. In fact, I think it would be unnecessarily nihilistic of the writers to leave Randy where he is, when Carver's been given an express (albeit time-consuming) way to get him out. Not to say things can't go awry, of course---I still remember Wallace from S1, so your running away scenario is perfectly plausible---but I think it would certainly be realistic for Carver to follow up.


Okay correct me if I'm wrong but the saga of the ring went like this right?
Fat conveinence store guy has it, Marlowe takes it from him.
Omar takes it from Marlowe.
Officer Fisher takes it from Omar.
Michael takes it from Fisher.

You're right, but it's Marlo and Officer Walker. :)

Another detail I remembered, in the final montage when Carver chases off the younger soon to be corner boys, he sees the graffitti reding: Fayatte Street Mafic Forever. Namond, Michael and Randy's names are in the same color and Duqons is scribbled in in a different color. It fits his outsider yet still part of the group status.

Yeah, and Kennard and Donut's names were up there too. Donut cracks me up.

And what happened with Herc? The only bit of dialogue I got out of his hearing was "conduct unbecoming".

We're never told explicitly, but given Bunk and Greggs's reactions to his plight, I'd say he's toast. Bad police, that guy. Not bad like Walker, of course, but bad nonetheless.

I'll answer your questions in my next post, DMark.

Gadarene
12-06-2006, 02:41 PM
DMark:

So, Omar ripped off the big shipment, and then sold it all back for 20 cents on the dollar? Wouldn't it have been wiser to sell it elsewhere for more money? Or was this his plan from the beginning?

I don't know if it was his plan from the beginning -- it certainly seemed as though it was Butchie who first planted the seeds of selling the drugs back in the first place -- but their dialogue indicated that 20 cents on the dollar was a damn good price. I'm assuming that's "on the dollar" of the retail value, rather than wholesale. Plus, where else could he have sold it, whether for more money or not? The Co-Op represents, as far as I'm aware, every significant drug trafficker in Baltimore. And Omar's not in the drugs business himself, of course; he just wants to make the traffickers feel pain.

And with Michael running around killing folks at the end, I was wondering who the first dude was, and why...and then also wondering (like others have asked) if he was the one who killed Bodie.

Which first dude? The one Michael shot in the face?

So Garcetti decided NOT to take the money from the Governor, or did he take it? I know he pissed off his assistant, but that all wrapped up so fast I wasn't sure what he took, and from whom, or what he didn't take.

Carcetti didn't take the money. He either put his gubernatorial ambitions ahead of the kids or put the good he could do in two years as governor ahead of the good he could do with the money, depending on how cynical you are about his character. Personally, I feel like if he really loves the city as much as he sometimes seems to indicate, he wouldn't be up and out in two years regardless whether he accepted the state money or not. Kind of fly by night. Even O'Malley was mayor for more than two years. (And I wonder if he accepted the state money.)

What was the gift Michael gave to the teacher at the end?

It was Dukie, and he gave Prez a set of expensive-looking pens. Not sure what the significance of the gift was, except to show (1) that the bond between the two of them was already fading a bit now that Prez didn't have Dukie in his class, and (2) that maybe Dukie was slinging at that point, which is how he was able to afford the pens in the first place.

I thought they arrested the guy and girl who killed all the people and then put them in the abandoned buildings...but weren't they out on the street for the last scene with the shooting or did I confuse that and get that out of order? How did they get released so fast?

They made bail on the gun charge. (Remember the guy going to Central Booking with the bail bondsman to spring Chris and Snoop is the one who sees Bodie getting into McNulty's car.) The police don't have enough evidence -- okay, any evidence -- to charge them on any of the bodies in the vacants, at least not yet.

The results of the test...I understood that they were artificially skewed with lofty ways of saying the students were all still stupid, but were the scores considered OK to meet the state requirements? I believe the answer to my question is yes - but again, it was thrown in with just a quick sentence and after all the build up for this stupid test, it seemed to be an overly quick wrap-up to that storyline.

I'm not sure about this one either. It seemed from Prez's scene with Grace that the kids did better than they had the year before, which she explained to him was still really, really awful. But I don't know if they met any of the state requirements. There's an interview with David Simon where he says that out of all the high schoolers in the Baltimore school system (and I know that the kids in S4 were middle schoolers), only seven percent performed up to state standards on the tests. Seven percent. Jeez.

Hope that helped, DMark; let me know if you have any other questions.

jrepka
12-06-2006, 03:14 PM
The results of the test...I understood that they were artificially skewed with lofty ways of saying the students were all still stupid, but were the scores considered OK to meet the state requirements? I believe the answer to my question is yes - but again, it was thrown in with just a quick sentence and after all the build up for this stupid test, it seemed to be an overly quick wrap-up to that storyline.

Yes, that's part of the point. No real education happens in the preparation for the tests; the tests are a huge disruption of the process; and in the end, the results are immaterial from the perspective of the actual students and teachers.

eponymous
12-06-2006, 04:33 PM
Another fine, fine season for The Wire. I liked how they set everything up for next season - Major Crimes is back and McNulty is on board (I thought they he would eventually be back).

My understanding is that the 5th (and final season) will emphasize the media. We got a nice foreshadowing of that when DA Perlemen mentions to Daniels that the bodies Freeman and others have been pulling from the houses has gotten quite a bit of press.

I also liked that Vondas made an appearance - seems as if the writers are foreshadowing elements of Season Two will be back for Season #5. Marlo keeping tabs on Vondas means that I think he'll eventually make his move in Season #5 to undercut Prop Joe to become the main supplier of drugs in Baltimore. Propr Joe is a marked man now - I think he'll wriggle free - not sure how, but here's what I'll think will happen next season:

Since Freeman and Major Crimes done't have anything to tie Marlo, et al to the bodies, they'll focus their attention on the Co-op. Omar, keeping his word to Bunk, will tip him and Freeman off as to the existence of the Co-op. The Wire will be back up and they'll uncover the linkage between the Co-op and the Greeks. Maybe Prop Joe survives by cooperating with the police in some manner to take down Marlo (and the Greeks). Or maybe he puts a call into Brother Mouzone from New York to take care of Chris, Snoop, and Marlo (it would be a shame not to have him involved in the final season in some fashion).

Of course, there's still the outstanding subpenas on Clay Davis and others and I think that will tie into part of the story line as well. We got some foreshadowing of that in a previous episode when Carcetti was hobnobbing with some of the prominant Baltimoreans who were listed on the subpoenas. I think it will tie into Carcetti trying to back some kind of urban development project that will backfire because those that can help him with his project are deeply implicated in the drug trade (Davis, and others via Barksdale and likely the Co-op). This will force him to back off his efforts to revitalize police procedures (back to "juking" the stats). Burrell comes back, Rawls gets relegated back to previous post, Freeman and Daniels get reassigned to menial positions; or worse, Burrell throws Daniels to the wolves and the DA is forced to indict him on his shady past - likely Perleman resigns along with Daniels, Rawls back to Divison Head and Valchek !! gets promoted to Deputy Comissioner.

DMark
12-06-2006, 04:38 PM
Thanks Gadarene, you cleared it all up for me - can't believe I missed the bail bondsman getting those two out of jail...I mean, I saw him at the station but didn't pick up on the fact.

Note to self: Do not watch future episodes of The Wire when it is late and you are tired, no matter how eager you are to see it.

jrepka
12-06-2006, 05:00 PM
If the following seems disjointed and rambling I apologize. I'm just trying to work out all this stuff in my head...

I wanted to add that, for all of the time and work and caring and innovation by Prez, the only one of the four main kids who came out okay in the end was Namond, who was pulled from Prez's class for most of the school year.

This is obviously no fault of Prez, or of the kids. Dukie and Randy were both receptive and responsive, while Michael might have been reachable but obviously had issues trusting adults. Donnelly (Ass't Principal) was right: short of adopting Dukie there's nothing Prez could do for him, and there would be more Duquans coming along for him to try and help in the future.

This is what's so rich about this show. The characters have personalities and motivations and they are of their environment. They may or may not (usually not) have a perspective on their lives. If they do, they know they have some choices, some control over their journey. Namond didn't see that at first, but Bunny helped him (and Michael finally gave him a push). Randy was obviously the most self-aware of the group, because he was in the most stable situation at home.

But your perspective on your life only takes you so far -- circumstances plays a role as well. What might have happened if no one spotted Bodie climbing into McNulty's car at central booking? Little chains of events: Herc is desperate about the lost camera and inadvertantly gives up Randy to Little Kevin; Little Kevin then gives Randy up to Marlo.

Is Michael right to trust Marlo and Chris (hey, Christopher Marlowe!), who only want to use him, instead of Prez, instead of Cutty, instead of the social workers and counsellors and polices who have the best of intentions? All of the latter represent the System and its politics and bureaucracy, and they also trust the System (Prez and Carver maybe less so, now). Randy trusted the cops (and its worth noting that the cops didn't set out to destroy him; Bodie finally decided to trust McNulty, who did not intend to get him killed. As savvy as he is about politics, Norman Wilson trusted the System (and Carcetti) to do the right thing with respect to the schools.

The politial/capitalist System is not a malevolent entity; indeed it is represented by those who either want to help or are, at worst, indifferent to the individual. I liken to the way the Greeks viewed their Gods, as a chaotic force that could help or hinder but could not be predicted or controlled. We all are part of the System, indeed we are the System.

Burrell understands the System and how to manipulate it; Rawls understands the System but not how to make it work for him; Landsman understands the System well enough to stay out of its way; none of these men trust the System. Stringer Bell trusted the System. Bunny Colvin trusted the System, got screwed and trusted the System again, and got screwed again. Bodie trusted that System before it became more "efficient." Daniels trusts the System.

Marlo understands the System. He (along with The Greek, and George Hearst, and, let's say, WalMart) is the unobstructed face of Capitalism. As opposed to the more subtle version of capitalism represented by Avon Barksdale, Al Swearingen and, say, Sears or GM.

The System can be manipulated, but changing it is like trying to steer an oil tanker. It requires idealism (Daniels, Colvin, Bell), but it also requires getting a huge quorum moving in the same direction at the same time. And the System has evolved to operate so that most of us are mostly unaware, mostly, that anything needs to be done. Most Americans are no more aware of the situation in these inner cities than we are of the situation in Darfur or in Burma.

"Deadwood" is about how individuals began building the System in 19th century US. "The Wire" is about the breakdown of that System in the 21st century.

Gadarene
12-06-2006, 06:26 PM
Great post, jrepka.

Morbo
12-07-2006, 03:21 PM
100% definitely Michael. I don't think it contradicts anything.


Wait - what? It was 100% definitely NOT Michael that killed Bodie. Marlo and Chris agreed that his first kill shouldn't be someone he knew. They sent another dude to kill Bodie, and Michael's first kill was killing *that* guy - someone he didn't know. I just watched it again On Demand to make sure. Watch it again. I'm really surprised that anyone thinks otherwise.

Rubystreak
12-07-2006, 04:27 PM
Wait - what? It was 100% definitely NOT Michael that killed Bodie. Marlo and Chris agreed that his first kill shouldn't be someone he knew. They sent another dude to kill Bodie, and Michael's first kill was killing *that* guy - someone he didn't know. I just watched it again On Demand to make sure. Watch it again. I'm really surprised that anyone thinks otherwise.

I watched it again... and damn you for making me do it because watching Bodie go out was hard... you're right. It wasn't Michael. I really thought it was, but freeze-frame slo mo indicates that it was someone else. I apologize for being so certain about it and being wrong. The moral of the story is, never be certain about anything on HBO after only one viewing.

I also wanted to note that the test scores DO have an impact on students and teachers. Prez doesn't have tenure, and they do track those scores and put a lot of pressure on teachers to get them to a certain level. Students are put into remedial classes and given extra services based on test scores, which leads to de facto tracking and ghettoization (is that a word?) into specific periods. This tends to create classrooms full of low-skills students, who also often have behavior and motivation problems; consequently, they do not get the education their peers get because the teacher spends so much time on discipline. Schools that consistently score below required levels can lose their mandate and be closed. Disaster.

What Donnelly was saying about the way scores are classified was to point out that the government (with the No Child Left Behind bullshit) forces these tests on schools, which alienates everyone. Then, they cook the scores to compensate for their, on the surface, high (read: unrealistic) standards. It's all a game of rigging stats and wasting time. I agree with the writers of The Wire about this and am glad they are exposing the absurdity here. Most people probably think the whole NCLB legislation is a good idea... which it might be, if it were compassionate, realistic, and FUNDED.

End of educational rant.

Morbo
12-07-2006, 05:03 PM
The moral of the story is, never be certain about anything on HBO after only one viewing.

You got that right - I started to second guess myself and went ahead and watched it a third time, lest I damage my SDMB cred. :)

Another thing I liked in this episode was when all Bunny's student were back in with Prez, and the young kid made a crack about "Your worst nightmare returned!" and the worst of the bunch - the girl that assaulted the other student - told him to shutup, then nobody else encouraged him, so he said "Aw, I'm just playin'" - great scene of how Bunny's program works and how Prez has control of his class now.

Oh, and Marlo following the Greek is going to end badly. He's waaaaaaay out of his league there.

Zjestika
12-07-2006, 07:20 PM
Swedgin made a cameo.


Who?

jlrepka
12-07-2006, 09:45 PM
Swedgin made a cameo.Who?

Al Swearingen. In the hospital someone was watching Deadwood on the TV.

Still, it wasn't as good as the log-rolling last year on the Sopranos: Uncle Junior, in a bout of dementia, becomes agitated when he is watching TV and sees Larry David and Jeff Garlin in a scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm, because he thinks that it is he and Bobby Baccala on TV in some sort of a surveillance video.

commasense
12-11-2006, 11:04 AM
I finally watched the final episode last night. Another great conclusion to a great season.

I thought for sure that Bubbles was going to go, which would have been very sad. I had expected either the street thug or Herc to kill him, but not a suicide attempt.

I have to say that I wasn't quite as affected by Bodie's death as I was by Wallace's or Sobotka's or Stringer's. Still, we've known Bodie since S1, Ep. 1, longer than any one else on the street, except Bubbles. As McNulty said, he was a soldier. It's a shame that, like so many soldiers, he died for no good reason, even if it's how he wanted to go.

I was sure that Michael killed Bodie, so thanks to Dooku for pointing out that it wasn't him. I'm a little pissed at the producers for not making that shooter more clearly not Michael. I can't see why they would want us to believe it was him, but I was sure it was. Which confused me as to who it was he killed later.

BTW, no one's mentioned the reappearance from Season 1 of Walon [sic, cite (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_characters_from_The_Wire#Walon)], the biker guy who visits Bubbs in the hospital with Kima. He spoke at the NA meeting that Bubbs went to with Johnny in S1, Ep 6 or 7, and provided Bubbs with his first impetus to get clean. He didn't have that big beard in S1, but it's the same guy, played by singer/songwriter -- and recovering addict -- Steve Earle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Earle). (I might not have remembered, but I've been rewatching S1 on DVD.)

Good post, eponymous. I think you may end up being right about a lot of your predictions.

The political/capitalist System is not a malevolent entityBased on what you say later in your post, I think you and I agree in general, but I disagree with this statement. I think the message of the show is that organizations of all stripes -- political, capitalistic, socialistic, whatever -- are inherently malevolent, because ultimately their primary goal is their own survival, even at the cost of the individuals they are supposed to serve. Time after time we see people trying to do the right thing, trying to make an organization do good. They usually fail, and often pay a terrible price just for making the attempt. It's easier for people to turn the organization to their own corrupt ends than to push it towards The Good, even when the whole system is supposed to be doing good, like the legal system, the school system, the foster care system, just to name a few.

This is what I would call malevolent. True, it's not necessarily trying to do bad things, but that's what happens despite the best efforts of many people in the organization. As someone (http://www.tartarus.org/martin/essays/burkequote.html) said, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." The Wire seems to be telling us that this is an overly optimistic statement! We have seen a few small victories in this season, but many more tragedies that happened even though good men (and women) did their best. Only the organizations prevailed. I think this is the lesson of The Wire.

There's a lot more to talk about, but I have to get back to work. I'll probably be back with more later this evening.

Zjestika
12-11-2006, 11:20 AM
Al Swearingen. In the hospital someone was watching Deadwood on the TV.



Gotcha. I saw it but forgot that part. I thought that it meant he was IN it (as a character), which I was surprised I'd missed- that's the sort of thing that would have made my SO and I hoot and jump on the couch like monkeys.

magellan01
12-11-2006, 04:01 PM
Wait - what? It was 100% definitely NOT Michael that killed Bodie. Marlo and Chris agreed that his first kill shouldn't be someone he knew. They sent another dude to kill Bodie, and Michael's first kill was killing *that* guy - someone he didn't know. I just watched it again On Demand to make sure. Watch it again. I'm really surprised that anyone thinks otherwise.

You are 100% correct. The guy who shot Bodie was taller and had darker skin. I thought it was quite clear it was NOT Michael.

magellan01
12-11-2006, 04:04 PM
Schools that consistently score below required levels can lose their mandate and be closed. Disaster.

The only thing worse being these schools remaining open.

commasense
12-11-2006, 04:26 PM
You are 100% correct. The guy who shot Bodie was taller and had darker skin. I thought it was quite clear it was NOT Michael.Quite clear? The scene in which Bodie is shot was very dark, the shooter was wearing a hooded jacket and moving quickly, we saw his face for less than a second, and I thought even when looking at him in freeze-frame that he resembled Michael.

Also, and I could be wrong about this, I think he was wearing a jacket similar to one of Michael's.

Later, when Michael shoots the shooter, it's easy to tell that he's taller and has darker skin, but on first viewing, I was sure that Michael had shot Bodie and I was wondering, "Who is this guy and why is Michael shooting him?"

I think they should have made it a lot clearer that the guy was not Michael.

Rubystreak
12-11-2006, 05:04 PM
The only thing worse being these schools remaining open.

And overburden other local schools, whose teachers aren't going to get paid more for bigger classes full of kids who got bumped from a failed school? Do you really think so? Huh.

magellan01
12-11-2006, 05:37 PM
And overburden other local schools, whose teachers aren't going to get paid more for bigger classes full of kids who got bumped from a failed school? Do you really think so? Huh.

Enter Charter Schools. And eventually a voucher system that allows competition to make our K-12 the envy of the world, the same way our higher education institutions are.

I'll apologize for the hijack and make those my last comments on the subject.

Gadarene
12-11-2006, 07:20 PM
And eventually a voucher system that allows competition to make our K-12 the envy of the world, the same way our higher education institutions are.

Hahahahahahahaha. And kids like Namond and Albert and Zenobia and Kennard and Michael benefit through the use of vouchers and "competition" how?

Anyway, let's take this to GD.

jlrepka
12-12-2006, 12:21 AM
The only thing worse being these schools remaining open.

I think it's been established here that, in the universe of The Wire (you can draw your own conclusions about the real world) the fault lies not only with the schools, but with the culture (including parents, police, and politicians). Put these same kids in any schoolroom, run by the most well-meaning, well-trained professionals, without changing the rest of their environment, and you don't change the results...

And commasense I agree with you. My statement that the System is not malevolent was only to suggest that It has no intentions toward anyone. It's similar to what Bill Maher said about Dick Cheney (paraphrasing): He doesn't hate children, puppies, or the poor; they're just in the way.

commasense
12-12-2006, 12:32 AM
Random thoughts re-watching the finale.

The producers aren't letting us forget about the secrets of a couple of the major characters: Landsman sees graffiti on the wall of the men's room that says "Rawls sucks cock." I was hoping for that Rawls would come out (or be pushed out) of the closet this season, but I guess we have to wait for S5.

And a little while later, when Rawls and Burrell are in the makeshift morgue, Rawls says that solving all of Chris and Snoop's murders will put Daniels "closer to the throne." But Burrell says Daniels is "a long way from my chair," a reminder that there are some skeletons in Daniels' closet that have been hinted about, but not revealed, since S1. (Does Rawls know any of those details, or is that arrow only in Burrell's quiver?)

Ooh! I just thought of a possibility: in two years Carcetti goes to Annapolis, leaving Daniels as his anointed successor on the strength of having solved the murders in the vacants. But during the campaign Burrell (possibly running against him) reveals his secrets to scuttle his candidacy.

The scene in which Bubbles explains to Landsman how he was trying to help Sherrod was very powerful. Andre Royo is one hell of an actor.

I'm confused about Omar's big heist. He seems to have entered into it with no real plan, which doesn't seem in keeping with his character. Unless he thought he was intercepting an ordinary re-up and got the whole shipment by mistake (and if so, why did he arrange for all the extra help?), what was he planning to do with all that dope? He gave a bunch of it to the girl, and I thought he gave some to the Mexicans as well, but presumably all that must have accounted for only a small portion of the package, since Prop Joe must have expected to get all of it back.

But the whole deal seems to go against Omar's principles. I saw him as a kind of anti-drug crusader, stealing from the bad guys but never hurting "civilians." Fighting fire with fire, in a way. So giving back the drugs to the bad guys, even if it's to fund his own retirement, would seem to violate his code. And as he told Bunk, "a man must have a code." Or am I just being too idealistic to expect Omar to be the most principled person in Baltimore?

One of the (several million) things I love about The Wire is that it steadfastly refuses to give us the pat happy endings that virtually all other forms of American drama guarantee. Watching the four boys, we desperately want each of them to come out of the story all right, or at least for the most deserving of them (Randy and Dukie, IMHO) to end up okay. Instead, the least promising of them, Namond, by being the squeaky wheel and getting Colvin's attention, comes out best of the four. And Dukie and Randy look like they're going down the tubes.

And of course, Michael, who started out as the most grown up, the most principled of them, who was (and still is) dedicated to taking care of his little brother, has become a murderer. It's heartbreaking, but we all know that tragedies like this must happen all the time, in every city in the world.

I see a parallel between Michael and Bug and Wee Bey and Namond. I wonder what Bug will learn from his big brother and how he will turn out.

I also wonder if S5 will update us on any of the four. Has anyone heard when they plan to start shooting or when it will be aired? I suppose it can't be much earlier than 2008, dammit. I don't wanna wait that long!

Trunk
12-12-2006, 06:45 AM
I think they should have made it a lot clearer that the guy was not Michael.
It happened right after Chris told Marlo, "Michael worked with Bodie. Get someone he doesn't know to do it."

And then after Michael killed the other guy, Chris told him, "now, you can look any man in the eye," meaning to me that he had just popped his cherry.

I enjoyed what jlrepka[b/] and [b]commasense wrote about "The System".

In the Slate interview that someone linked to last week, Simon said that people tell him the show is Shakepearean (or something), but that he sees the show as a Greek drama with the "institutions" playing the role of the gods.

Personally, I always thought of the show more like a Steinbeck novel, but I can dig his take, too.

I don't remember the officer taking the ring from Omar. Does it make sense that Marlo thinks Michael was in on that stick-up with Omar?

Probably not. I think that Marlo is grooming Michael to be a new Snoop/Chris type of guy. But he has doubts about Michael. He didn't like him sticking up for Randy and this is the second time that he's asked about who the guy was that they killed. He doesn't seemed completely satisfied with the answer.

Next season. . .could go anywhere. I like that Simon has said it will focus on the media. Marlo knows something is up with prop joe. I don't see the co-op surviving. . .moreso because of problems from within, not the cops, who barely seem to have a clue about it.

Great season. Very memorable moments. Very heartbreaking.

I think the highlight was the end of the penultimate episode with Randy yelling at Carver "you gonna be there, right? You got my back, right?" and Carver just walking away, really with no other choice. Ouch.

The moral of this season: don't snitch. Jesus. . .they didn't even provide an alternative, a "Hamsterdam" for snitching. You snitch; it's over.

eponymous
12-12-2006, 09:04 AM
And a little while later, when Rawls and Burrell are in the makeshift morgue, Rawls says that solving all of Chris and Snoop's murders will put Daniels "closer to the throne." But Burrell says Daniels is "a long way from my chair," a reminder that there are some skeletons in Daniels' closet that have been hinted about, but not revealed, since S1. (Does Rawls know any of those details, or is that arrow only in Burrell's quiver?)

I'm pretty sure it's something only Burrell knows...

Ooh! I just thought of a possibility: in two years Carcetti goes to Annapolis, leaving Daniels as his anointed successor on the strength of having solved the murders in the vacants. But during the campaign Burrell (possibly running against him) reveals his secrets to scuttle his candidacy.

Yes, I think that's a good possibility. I really do think that Daniels bid to become Police Comissioner will be derailed by Burrell. I also think word will will get out that Rawls is gay (although in a limited way - I'm thinking maybe Valchek or Burrell finds out and uses it to blackmail Rawls to keep him in his place or force him to retire), which will derail any chance he has at being Commisioner. In no way do I think Burrell ends up ousted as Police Commissioner.

One silver lining, if the folks at The Wire take that route - if Carcetti becomes governor, Daniels and Perleman go with him to the capital in some capacity.

I'm confused about Omar's big heist. He seems to have entered into it with no real plan, which doesn't seem in keeping with his character. Unless he thought he was intercepting an ordinary re-up and got the whole shipment by mistake (and if so, why did he arrange for all the extra help?), what was he planning to do with all that dope? He gave a bunch of it to the girl, and I thought he gave some to the Mexicans as well, but presumably all that must have accounted for only a small portion of the package, since Prop Joe must have expected to get all of it back.

But the whole deal seems to go against Omar's principles. I saw him as a kind of anti-drug crusader, stealing from the bad guys but never hurting "civilians." Fighting fire with fire, in a way. So giving back the drugs to the bad guys, even if it's to fund his own retirement, would seem to violate his code. And as he told Bunk, "a man must have a code." Or am I just being too idealistic to expect Omar to be the most principled person in Baltimore?

I think the point of the heist was getting back at Prop Joe - it was he, after all, that told him about the card game that Marlo was involved in. As a consequence of that heist, Marlo had the civilian kiled to frame Omar and have him put into lock-up so they would have a better chance of having him killed.

After he got out - due to the diligence and persistence of Bunk, he kept his word that there would not be any more bodies. He couldn't go at Marlo directly (which is what I think he would have preferred to do), so he began watching him. Once he found out that Marlo was part of the Co-op and working with Prop Joe, I think it was then he decided that he would really hurt him by taking the entire shipment. And I don't think his doing so in any way is inconsistent with his code - in fact, it reinforces it (steal the drugs from the bad guys - hurts the bad guys; force them to buy it back - REALLY hurts the bad guys; plus, it adds to the legend that is Omar - who else would be ballsy enough to actually steal drugs then sell it back to the guys he stole it from? Simply brilliant and a thing of beauty).

I also think that Omar will repay his debt to Bunk by clueing him into the existence of the Co-op. Which I think will be a focal point for Major Crimes in Season #5.

Trunk
12-12-2006, 09:25 AM
Here's a question:

What did Omar have over Prop Joe that made him give him the info about the drop?

I remember Omar saying something like, "if you don't tell me where the drop is, I'll let it slip that you told me where the card game was."

But, IMO, that's somewhat weak.

(I think I asked this before, but didn't get an answer).

Gadarene
12-12-2006, 09:34 AM
I remember Omar saying something like, "if you don't tell me where the drop is, I'll let it slip that you told me where the card game was."

But, IMO, that's somewhat weak.

Why is that weak? You think Marlo would have taken kindly to knowing that Prop Joe set him up to be robbed?

commasense
12-12-2006, 09:49 AM
Right. It was far from weak: if Omar told Marlo that Prop Joe had set him up at the card game, Marlo would have killed Prop Joe without hesitating. In the scene a couple of episodes back in which Omar made that deal (which Prop Joe thought would just be to intercept one of Marlo's packages) Joe told his nephew that he had been caught between Omar and Marlo, adding memorably that he had managed to crawl out of his own grave.

Prop Joe made the mistake of telling Omar that it would be the nephew who would make the drop. So Omar tailed him and instead of waiting to hear from Prop Joe when Marlo's package would be delivered, ended up getting the whole shipment.

It happened right after Chris told Marlo, "Michael worked with Bodie. Get someone he doesn't know to do it."I caught that, so I was confused as to why it looked like Michael shooting Bodie.

I don't remember the officer taking the ring from Omar.After Marlo framed Omar for killing the delivery woman in Andre's store, it was Officer Walker who nabbed Omar on the street. As he was cuffing him, before any other officers got to the scene, he took the ring.
Does it make sense that Marlo thinks Michael was in on that stick-up with Omar?Hmmmm. I hadn't thought of that, but it's possible. If so, it's trouble for Michael down the line. But I think it's too small a point to carry over to S5.

Trunk
12-12-2006, 10:31 AM
Why is that weak? You think Marlo would have taken kindly to knowing that Prop Joe set him up to be robbed?
Maybe not weak.

The whole thing just seemed slightly contrived. Omar asks where this card game is from PJ, then says to PJ, "well, I'm going to tell him you told me."

I would have tought PJ just would have said, "Fuck it. Tell Marlo. I'm in deep enough already."

After Marlo framed Omar for killing the delivery woman in Andre's store, it was Officer Walker who nabbed Omar on the street. As he was cuffing him, before any other officers got to the scene, he took the ring.
Ah, that definitely slipped past me.


Hmmmm. I hadn't thought of that, but it's possible. If so, it's trouble for Michael down the line. But I think it's too small a point to carry over to S5.
Probably too small, but it seems like Marlo isn't as down with Michael as Chris and Snoop are, though.

I never felt like Marlo thought the hit on Bug's dad was a great idea.

Think about that ring for a second, though. . .Marlo doesn't know about the cop in the "chain of evidence".

Michael just said, "I took it from a nigger." From Marlo's point of view, how did that ring get from Omar to Michael?

There's no way he thinks that Michael robbed Omar.

There's no way he thinks that a random person robbed Omar and Michael subsequently robbed the same random person.

There's no way he could put together that a cop would have taken it, and then Michael stole it from a cop.

commasense
12-12-2006, 10:48 AM
I don't think it's all that damning. Marlo knows that Omar was arrested after he got the ring. If he doesn't jump to the conclusion that a cop took it, it could have been stolen by someone at intake at the jail, by another prisoner, or by someone who was in Omar's crib while he was in jail. There are any number of possible explanations that don't involve Michael being in league with Omar.

I think Marlo has seen Michael strength from the beginning, and has always wanted him on his team. It was Snoop who asked Michael who the guy they killed for him was, not Marlo. Marlo didn't care. Just like Don Corleone, he was happy to do a big favor like that because he wanted Michael to be indebted to him.