We’re All in This Alone: Final Thoughts on “Took”

“Took,” as in “got took.” Fooled, conned, manipulated or lied to. See also owned, pwned, punked.

A week of thinking about this episode didn’t yield much of anything new. I don’t think there were any subtle truths hidden in the layers. For that matter, I don’t think there were a lot of layers. There was certainly a lot of “getting took” happening in Ep 57, ranging from the comical to the tragic. In general, I’d characterize this episode as the one where the other shoe dropped: McNulty’s (and Lester’s) charade is fully engaged, and the surge is working. Sort of.

We got told early on by The Wire PTB that “all the pieces matter.” I don’t think that this is just the season of McNulty’s Folly, but after this episode I was left with the fact that Jimmy is the one who’s getting took the most.

See, he thought this would change things, and I’m betting he thought that it would be bigger than just catching Marlo and proving the assholes wrong. It was going to be about Jimmy the Hero, Jimmy the Giver, Jimmy who Fixed It and was Right in the End. Already we are seeing the wheels come off of all that.

Even if — by some unlikely miracle — this cobbled-together reckless conspiracy comes to an end without him and Lester ending up dead or in jail, Jimmy McNulty will still be Jimmy McNulty, a quick study, bright enough to fake his way through, but self-involved, hapless, incapable of real connection, unacquainted with reality outside his own ego. He’s got as little chance of escaping his fate as the street kids, and for the same reason. He doesn’t have the tools, the skills, or anyone in his corner. He’s thrown most of that shit away.

And that’s the best-case scenario.

Lester, on the other hand, is the x factor. As brashly as McNulty galumphs through this, with little or no forethought, we know that’s not Lester’s MO. We know Lester is working it through in his head all the time, and we at least assume that he’s reasoning clearly. The question remains, hell, the question looms larger, what does he see at the end of it all? Especially as it becomes more criminal and risky by the second, does he still find this “legitimate?”

A good time to ponder this again, from Season Three.

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1 Comment

  1. What Jimmy needs is a mentor, a Butchie figure.

    What Lestor needs is a protege, someone who won’t just follow orders as Sydnor has. Some one who can challenge and invigorate Lestor from the learning role, someone like Mike or Dukie.

    Jimmy needs a mentor, Lestor needs a protege – just not each other.


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