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The Wire: season 5 ep 1 kneecapped and recapped

January 7, 2008

I’m going to take a stab at commenting on this final season of The Wire. I don’t know how well I will do at this mostly because of time constraints. That said, this will be the only series I watch with any regularity, and having onDemand will allow me to cheat and see it at any time.

The series has been simply miraculous in its ability to make the real dramatic. I’d be hard pressed to find a feature film that’s done this so well (no not even Michael Moore. Ha. that was a joke for you conservatives reading this, I actually love Moore). Compare and contrast with Law and Oder: Special Monkey Unit and CSI: Hoboken or that show Boston Publix from a few years ago.

If you recall where we were at the end of last season; Michael had been fully incorporated into the dark side while Namond seemed to have found a way out. State Senator Davis appeared to be toasted and roasted, Carcetti got, unfortunately for him, exactly what he wanted. Bunk and Freamon were about to solve about 22 murder cases. Cedric got promoted and McNulty was back with major crimes. (if none of this makes any sense to you, I see a set of DVDs in your future).

The first of season 5, the last one, kids, opens with the police expressing exasperation at their dire situation; the city in an effort to rectify the problem with the public schools, one of Carcetti’s many promises, are drawing money from the police department. Cops aren’t getting paid overtime and officers are loosing their perks. Commissioner Burrell offers up major crimes as a cost cutting measure, which would favorably impact his pal Sen. Davis, since Freamon, a member of the major crimes team, has the case on lock. It’s cause and effect from last season — the focus was on the Baltimore public schools, and ostensibly Carcetti’s happy ending bode well for schools. However, he took from Pete to pay Paul.

Carcetti’s trying to make good on his promises, but needs money from the federal government to do so. The feds will agree, but only if Sen. Davis’ case becomes prosecuted at the federal level so that the Republicans can parade Davis’ dead political carcass for the benefit of Maryland’s GOP governor. Carcetti isn’t willing to do business that way even though he cares little about Davis, and allows the federal aide to vanish.

The kids from last season are still on the block slangin rock. Michael is a junior lieutenant and Duke is his aide, though doing such a poor job that Michael decides to make him a nanny of sorts for Michael’s little brother, which is meant to protect him of course but serves to further emasculate him when he lives in an environment where he needs to “man up. ” The other kids aren’t seen in this episode (Namond is living with the former cop and Randy is somewhere in the foster home system).

The new characters this season respresent the dastardly MSM, of which I am a member, I suppose, so I watch with some interest. Not only that, representing the integrity (don’t laugh) of the MSM is a city editor played by Clark Johnson, who starred in the now second greatest crime show ever, Homicide. Johnson directed a few episodes of The Wire in the past. In parallel to the budget cuts facing the police department, the Courant is also facing the task of having to do without.

The episode just gets us up to speed with where the characters are. Some of the dominos are already set up to fall; McNulty is drinking again. Bubbles is trying to live in his sister’s basement but finds the street calling, Carcetti appears not to have the temperament to be mayor, or at least is too concerned with becoming governor to be a good mayor. Marlo has plots and schemes, one of which involves Malatov from the pier, and without major crimes on his tail he may get away with whatever he’s planning. One career minded reporter is probably going to fake a story in an attempt to get noticed by the Post (and he will be assigned to do a story on inner city Baltimore . . . Brad about that? heh. Nashville only joke)

Looking good so far . . . stay tuned.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 8, 2008 2:36 pm

    I hoped they can pull it off again. I have seen the first couple episodes and part of me doesn’t feel all the magic but the show has a history of starting slow.


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