I need to lie down.

Didn’t write much last week, I know. I watch my Wire On Demand, spend the week thinking about it, then post something after you proles without superpremium cable get caught up. And as you know, the new episode goes up a mere two hours after the last one airs for the first time.

And after watching Ep. 8, I felt…as though…how to put this? As though a little kid had walked up to me in a convenience store and put one in my dome.

Requiescat in pace, Omar. I knew it was coming, and yet, when it did, it still flattened me. That’s saying something. Continue reading

Me and my lonesome

” A lie ain’t a side of a story. It’s just a lie.”

-Terry Hanning

Epigraph for Episode 58, Clarifications.

Discuss first impressions, speculation, etc. Spoilers must go here.

Loose lips.

You people are ignoring the 900-pound gorilla: Who leaked the grand jury documents? This is key, I think. Grand jury secrecy is serious stuff, and while it’s breached all the time, it’s usually by an involved lawyer to a journalist or some other party with a vested interest in making the secret public. (Hello, BALCO.) Who would have leaked sealed testimony about drug dealing to Prop Joe? Someone in the courthouse. Who?

This is nagging me like an itch in the middle of my shoulder blades.

As for me, I’m going to start with some James Brown records and take it from there. See you all later this a.m.

Newton’s Third Law?

Epigraph for Episode 55, React Quotes:

“Just because they’re in the street doesn’t mean they lack opinions.”

Discuss if you wish.

[WARNING: Possible spoilers appear in some comments]

The head shot.

Here’s what I’ll miss most about Proposition Joe: His glasses. “The Wire” runs on a shoestring budget — compared to “Deadwood,” anyway — but you have to take off your hat to a propmaster who pays attention to how a fat man wears his reading glasses, how he bends them at such a sharp angle to the temples, so that he can look down at his tinkering without having to stress his chins too much.

That said, I’m starting to wonder about Marlo. We’ve all known he was bloodthirsty in a particularly cold way, but he looked almost …tumescent at Joe’s last moments. Even his advice was sexual: “Breathe easy. Close your eyes.” But he doesn’t close his. This man likes killing way too much, even for a killer. Continue reading

Rigorous honesty

In Season 1, Bubbles and Johnny go to an NA meeting (court-ordered, for Johnny), and Bubbles picks up a 24-hour “desire” keychain, an outward symbol of an addict’s desire to try to stay clean for one day. Of course, Bubbles had fixed that morning and he would again that night, but you could see in his eyes a glimmer of that desire, of wanting a different life for himself. We saw that look again later in the season, when he sits in the park clean waiting for Kima, watching the kids and the birds in the trees and trying to ignore the dealers down the block taunting him.

I didn’t get a lot out of that 12-step meeting scene back then, since I was still an active drunk and had a pretty high degree of contempt for anything like AA. The fact that they passed out so few keychains for people with a year or more of sobriety, I felt was Simon’s way of saying “look how ineffectual and pathetic these meetings are”. Only after sitting in a bunch of meetings myself did it occur to me that if you have 10 people in a room, even if they each have decades of sobriety, the statistical probability that any one of them is celebrating an annual “birthday” at that particular meeting is around 1 in 36.

As Season 5 progresses, though, it is clear to me that Simon is using the sickness of addiction and the drama of “The Program” as a metaphor for the larger story arc of the inherent sickness in our society.
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We just hit the accelerator

No spoilers, FWIW.

Episode one a little slow for you? They usually are — Simon and Burns ease you into the season that way. Episode two? Well, that was full of all the setups.

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The more they believe.

The bigger the lie, the more they believe. — Bunk.

Are the writers slipping, or am I getting smarter? Somehow, when Bunk dropped that line just ahead of the opening credits, I knew it would be the epigraph for episode one, and probably for the whole season, as well. Because this has always been a show about lying, among many other things.

The scenes are all being set: Carcetti’s lies to the police, now fully revealed as smoke and mirrors; the top editors’ lies to their underlings (do more with less, the University of Maryland is indeed hospitable to minorities); McNulty’s lies to poor Beadie, waiting at home. The lies of the opening scene, a little bit of comedy to let us know just how dumb some criminals are, is unlike anything you see in “Law & Order,” but then, isn’t that why we watch?

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How It Works

I’ve been working my way through Season 1 on DVD the past couple of days (thanks for the loaner Ashley) and I’ve been realizing something: when The Wire first debuted, I was still a raging alcoholic. Some of this stuff I feel like I’m seeing for the first time. Some random things that might be old news to you normies:

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