• The Wire, “-30-“, #60 (S05E10) Negative Reactions.

This is a reaction, so saying Spoiler Warning is kind of redundant. After watching the episode, I’ve talked to a bunch of people, and the response seems to be positive. One thinks that the finales for Six Feet Under and The Sopranos were better.

David Simon, I expected nothing more than perfection. You slipped up a tad bit, so I have to call you on this.

I’m torn because I loved it, but the season did not have it’s normal flow, as I’ve said before I blame HBO for this, but Simon should have readjusted the homeless plot angle and some other lines so they fit the smaller season. Blame does have to fall down to him. I’ve got a lot of love for the finale, and that I’ll give my full effort to in the coming days, for now, I’m going to go through the areas of the finale definitely show the problems:

The cold open with Tommy Carcetti’s reaction. Really, we open the ending with him? I mean, Tommy Carcetti is not The Wire. Maybe open up with Avon, who we didn’t see at all in the finale, as Pat reminded me, who could have had one of those classic Wire moments that isn’t actually about the plots, but establishes both an idea and a mood. When Gus talks to a guy named Carl at the newspaper, Mr. “Fuck Fuck Fuckity Fuck” with the cottage cheese lunch, that was a moment. Marlo standing on the corner, cut, that’s a moment that doesn’t further a plot line. That was what really got us in.

– The increased role of Chief of Staff Michael Steintorf. Even if you watch the show obsessively (any other way) you still might not recognize the name.

Here’s the face.

He works under Carcetti. He’s undeveloped and boring, he’s just a prick, nothing else. Not even a charmer like Valchek, who got what he deserved after a lifetime of “work.” I would have loved to see a final snapshot of the surveillance truck, though.


The leak being a guy (above) in the court house who I’m pretty sure we’ve never seen before. Never ever. Not once. That was probably the most glaring shortcut of the episode, and coming from a season where Clark Johnson, the director of the finale (who really banged a great one out here) lectured all of us (while Bunk did the same for McNulty) about cutting corners to Templeton.

And from that scene on, it’s nothing but net. Over and over again. I mean McNulty’s serial killer never really worked until now that it’s hit the fan and everybody hates McNulty for a good portion of the episode for it.

That it’s Michael’s turn to be Omar. Lovely and funny at the moment but another shortcut, as it should be Kenard, but Kenard is too damn young to shoot again. Michael seemed to almost recapture his youth in that scene. The smile on his face was not too far from when he, Namond, Randy, Dukie and Donut, if I recall, throwing the piss balloons. That this is the first we see of him since he drops Bug and Dukie off, respectively, is truly missing something. Snoop said it in the last episode that Michael wasn’t made for an organization, so going rogue makes sense, but it just wasn’t placed well.

– Finally, the final line of dialogue: “Let’s go home.” Really?

What I loved, and there’s a lot of that, from the finale, to come soon.


5 Replies to “• The Wire, “-30-“, #60 (S05E10) Negative Reactions.”

  1. “Marlo standing on the corner, cut, that’s a moment that doesn’t further a plot line. That was what really got us in.”

    BUT . . . Marlo standing on the corner feeling the rush of combat futhered the theme AND plot, since it foreshadows his eventual fate, unable to stay away from the game as his deal with Rhonda dictates.

  2. Oh of course it does a lot, and I loved it.

    But what I’m saying is that it had the feel that the season’s been missing. The feeling of growth without the Direct Plot Changing Action that the season has been slathered in.

  3. Method Man, aka Cheese, was on the radio this morning in Baltimore. He was discussing one of the plotlines that never quite developed which I thought would have been interesting. Randy’s was Cheese’s son, and there was supposed to be a whole scene where this comes to light, but alas, there just wasn’t enough time.
    All in all, however, I loved the ending, it was the anti-Sopranos. I loved how Dookie is the new Bubs and Michael is the new Omar. It’s all a cycle here in B-more. One king falls, another is there to take his place.

  4. In this NJ Star Ledger article:
    Simon said: Actually, that is something that we were going to play a little bit of that and reference that in season five if we had had a little bit more room. But ultimately it would have been incremental. It would not have added to the overall theme or to either of those characterizations of Cheese or Randy. It would not have resolved in any unique way that would have revealed anything more about the character than we otherwise revealed. It would have just been more story and more scenes. So at a certain point, on a practical basis, you have to ask what you’re accomplishing if you go further.
    So I think we would have gotten that scene if not for the shorter episode order.

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