Category Archives: Season 4

If animal trapped call 410-844-6286

“Final Grades” is revelatory for everyone but our great detectives.  They spend the episode hauling bodies out of the vacant houses but they don’t learn any more than almost everyone else (including the audience) didn’t already know.  MCU remains blissfully ignorant of how meaningless their work is to middle school children beneath them or to the politicians above them.  Continue reading

That all there is to it?

As is so often the case with this series, all I can say is “wow.”  “That’s Got His Own” delivers the show’s most effective emotional beat down to date, which is really saying something considering how many we’ve had thus far.  What happens to Bubbles in tragic in the extreme, or at least it would be if it weren’t followed by what happens to Randy… and Namond… and Michael.  Continue reading

You play in dirt, you get dirty

“A New Day” keeps up the “promise made, promise kept” vibe we’ve been getting from Carcetti since the election.  His response to Burrell’s community policing is to directly and publicly countermand the orders, declaring that the devotion to stats is a thing of the past.  Of course, politics still plays a role in the decision making as the “correct” response to Herc’s harassment complaint won’t be enough to placate the Ministers.  Much as Carcetti may want to focus on real police work, he’s still a politician and political interests will colour his interaction with the department.  This may be the fact that ends up saving Burrell’s career. Continue reading

World goin’ one way, people another

What did I say in my last write up about pre-mature toasts?  Where “Know Your Place” illustrated how hard it can be for individuals to change course, “Misgivings” has the institutions proving they’re still the gods of intransigence.  Continue reading

Might as well dump ’em, get another

Damnit Daniels, why’d you have to go and jinx it?  I’m referring to his conversation with Pearlman regarding the possibility that things man actually be getting better in the city.  The two have reason to celebrate with their mutual promotion and the apparent willingness of the new administration to put the public good ahead of political interest.  Carcetti’s been giving us reasons to hope for several episodes now but toasting him seems a little premature, particularly when the rest of “Know Your Place” shows things taking a turn for the worse. Continue reading

We got our thing, but it’s just part of the big thing

“Corner Boys” sees an apparent breakthrough at both the highest and lowest levels of the game.  At the top, Carcetti’s continued observation of the BPD puts him into contact with Daniels.  At the bottom, Colvin hits upon a way to engage the corner kids by getting them to discuss the game.  It’s all more promise than action but, after seasons of dead ends in the drug war, it’s still different enough to provide some hope.  Continue reading

Aw yeah. That golden rule

Much as The Wire qualifies as an exercise in stark realism, the characters most closely identified with the street, Omar and Bubbles, often stray into a romanticized image of it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love both of them as much as the next guy, but that’s the pitfall of inserting such likeable characters into a detestable setting. Continue reading

Don’t try this shit at home

“Margin of Error” sees almost every major plot take a big step forward.  De’Londa and her son are cut off from Barksdale financial support, forcing Namond to “step up” in the drug trade.  Marlo skillfully outmaneuvers Herc with a phony drug pickup.  Bunny initiates his program in the school.  Omar gets arrested for Chris’ murder of the delivery woman.  Denis finally realizes the effect his womanizing has had on the kids at the gym.  Randy informs the police about Lex’s murder.  Oh, and Carcetti wins the mayoral nomination. Continue reading

If you with us, you with us

The reason season four works so well is that, despite the utterly awful conditions in which the boys live, they remain children.  The opening of “Alliances” demonstrates this perfectly with them still being childish enough to scare one another with stories about zombies.  What starts as an attempt to frighten Randy ends up scaring all four boys as a dope fiend (an appropriate zombie if ever there was one) staggers out of an alley.  What makes this scene more than cute chuckles is that these four boys are already hanging out in a west side alley at night, unphased by the sounds of sirens and gunfire.  They are, quite naturally, desensitized to the world around them but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still innocents. Continue reading

No one wins. One side just loses more slowly

After the staggering gut punch that ended “Homerooms,” “Refugees” reminds us that life goes on, so much so that the moments that shake us can seem inconsequential.  Prez’s struggles to talk to his students about the incident are unnecessary, given their refusal to listen.  Donnelly insists that “they’re still processing” and we do see some fall out in the reactions of Michael, Namond, Dukie, and Randy, but it all seems very mundane after such an emotional episode.  Continue reading