So, where are we?

[WARNING: This is not spoiler material, as it’s already been made public, but if you don’t want to know anything ahead of time, don’t continue.]

I’m curious to know what everyone here is thinking about on the eve of Season 5. As we all know, the vast scope of the series and size of the cast precludes a lot of the perfect closure we are accustomed to getting spoon-fed by other shows, so there’s a lot from previous seasons that we’ll never see resolved. That said, be it speculation, wish list, worst case scenarios, favorite characters, storylines, whatever, tell us what you think.

Some of what we know, based on teasers, the HBO specials, S4 dvd commentary, and articles:

Given the theme, we’re going to see how the news media, primarily the Baltimore Sun, functions as a filter between real events and the public understanding of them, or lack thereof. Last year’s theme was referenced all over the season, not simply relegated to Tilghman Middle. David Simon has characterized this year as being about perception vs. reality and I assume we’ll see this echo and ripple across all the plotlines, not just in the newsroom.


We know Marlo will be back, still out running his operation, and we know that at some point, for some reason undoubtedly related to Marlo, Omar will return from wherever he went at the end of last season. Like Butchie said, you can’t steal that much money and have it be over. Are we going to see a “two men enter, one man leaves” scenario?

We know McNulty has fallen off the wagon and is going to fuck stuff up. Even if HBO hadn’t put this in a teaser, we could see this one coming a mile away last year. We saw him take the bait there in the gym with all the bodies, getting teased by Bunk and Freamon. Then Bodie got killed and we know that McNulty tends to take on guilt that he’s got no business carrying alone.


This culminated in what I thought was one of the saddest scenes of the S4 finale: McNulty in bed with Beadie, telling her he was going to be a murder police again.

And everything will be okay. Maybe I’d be different ya know? I’m better now, here with you.

Oh, Jimmie, have you learned nothing since Lester warned you back in Season 3? It’s not being good police that’s going to save you. It’s not just being sober. It’s not even being with Beadie. It’s you that’s got to save you, Jimmie. Oh well, hopefully, this will at least allow us to see more of the wonderful Amy Ryan than we did last season, but you never know with this show.

Speaking of guilt, we know Bubbles has gotten clean and sober and that Waylon (Steve Earle) is his sponsor. We also know, btw, that it’s Earle’s version of Down in the Hole we’ll be hearing during the Season 5 credit sequence.

Of the four kids from last season, we know we are going to see Michael and Dukie return. I’m looking forward to seeing where this relationship goes: Michael, the alpha dog turned soldier and Dukie, the dependent omega, resigned to caring for Bug. That’s where they start the season. Where will they be at the end?

What of the Major Crimes Unit investigation of the bodies from the vacants and connecting them to Marlo’s organization? This is going to be a major intersection: the police, the courthouse, the corner, Carcetti, and the news will all collide here.