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.

So, knowing the man in the duster will be the topic A among Wireheads today, let me blow a little on the guttering flame of the unjustly maligned newsroom arc. Gus’ public exit from the newsroom, after publicly calling out Scott’s b.s. story lead, thrilled me to no end. Public fights used to be commonplace in newsrooms, and over the course of my career dwindled to a management-approved, behind-closed-doors model that was, nevertheless, just as revelatory. You really can’t work in a big room with a few score of nosy parkers and have any expectation of privacy, especially on deadline. But every so often something breaks right out in the open, and it’s yesterday once more. (I once knew a writer so boring he withered houseplants in his vicinity, but I’ll always remember him for the single great line he got off in his career: Regarding the newsroom of his personal Daily Planet, midway through a refurbishing that split the open room into a series of cubicle rows, he said, “Jeez, now you have to stand up to call someone a motherfucker.”)

The newsroom plot is unfairly maligned elsewhere, but every week I love it more. Was there an epitaph more poignant than Omar’s demise not even making the paper? The contradictory nature of truth and storytelling neither began nor ended with “Rashomon,” but this one was brutal. Not even a brief!

(In the excellent “Devil’s Night and Other True Tales of Detroit,” Ze’ev Chafets mentions how the newspapers participated in the delamination of the city, through such charming details as rounding up several days of mayhem under a single head: “This weekend’s shootings.”)

The other talker of this episode is Dominic West’s little master class in acting without words, as he absorbed the details of the FBI’s profile of his fictional serial killer. As much as I enjoyed it, however, I liked the short interlude with the publicity-hound F.B.I. deputy director more. Does Nancy Grace know she’s a figure of fun, or did she sign on thinking a guest turn on “The Wire” would give her gritty authenticity?

As good as Ep. 8 was, though, Ep. 9 looks to be a killer: “My name is my name!” I guess I better get to it tout suite then, eh? Envy me, bitches!

18 Comments

  1. FIrst, I had to do a couple of hard blinks to realize that was actually Poot selling shoes. I figured he would be a soldier in the game long past Bodie. But maybe, since Bodie died, he got out while he could. I hope that store has medical insurance, ’cause Poot may have to resume slingin’ to cover his amoxicillin bill.

    I don’t think Nancy Grace gets it. What a twit. I despise that woman.

    The timing and setup of the spiked story was gorgeous choreography. Gus had planned everything quite well, and let not just Klebanow know, but also everybody else in the bullpen that he a) knows the sourcing policy and b) was going to follow it. I understand, to a degree, Templeton’s desire to embellish, but like Gus said, this was just sloppy. Hundreds of homeless, and he happens to pick one that won’t give a name that can be verified.

    BTW, Jayson Blair is now a “motivational speaker”.

    Unabomber…12 years…brother turned him in. Classic.

    It did irk me a little bit when Aiden Gillen said “been” in his homeless speech. Ain’t no way in hell a guy from Bawlmer is saying “been” that rhymes with “mean” and not “bin”.

    And yeah, the fact that Omar ain’t even making the paper was some final epitaph, huh.

    Fucking Kenard. Fucker shouldda been wasted years ago. Michael shouldda beat him down harder, yo.

    It wouldn’t have been so bad if Omar hadn’t looked so damned happy in the Caribbean. But Marlo has to go fuck with the program…

  2. Templeton now being called out for his b.s. is fine, but does that now mean Rebecca, the strawberry blonde goddess of journalistic integrity, won’t approach Gus with her stabbing questions about the obvious journalistic shortcomings on display at Baltimore;s paper of record? I loved that so much this season, watching her shake her head in disgust as she looked at Templeton’s columns… her eyes telling Gus how she felt, Gus throwing up his hands. ” I know, I know…” Gus would say.

    ” and no art ?” Rebecca said. Her role as keeper of high standards makes me think of Athenae. Except with less cussing and no ferrets.

    Omar? Goddamn. I miss him already. You feel me?

    And hey Nancy – for the last week, you gotta wait just like the rest of us.

  3. And hey Nancy – for the last week, you gotta wait just like the rest of us.

    I’ll do my best, but you know what Ashley says: You can’t leave an eight-ball lying around for a week and not expect a fiend to take a taste.

  4. The real Rebecca Corbett was Simon’s editor at the Sun. He always speaks highly of her in interviews.

    Besides, all Rebeccas have integrity. It comes with the Old Testament name.

  5. No, Nance, dat ain’t it. Ain’t no frontin’ for the last episode. Nobody gets a taste until the package comes to everybody.

    (read: there will be no advance inDemand showings of the final episode)

  6. maybe we should live blog the last episode, ala the Crack Van.

    Though that would seriously ruin the drama now, wouldn’t it?

  7. Crazy how Kenard was trying to set the cat on fire in the alley as everyone else scatters when Omar limps through. He was the only kid bad enough not to run. Instead, he follows Omar to the store and shows him who’s boss. Some kind of next generation, huh?
    I thought Templeton’s slack story was probably not a lie or maybe even an embellishment but something he actually heard but didn’t think to ask for the name. Hence how pissed off and righteous he was in the newsroom.
    I loved Gus. He’s like a mythical superhero, instructing the other reporter to hang with Bubs to see where a story might hang, telling him the story’s in the little “show-me’s” (sp? Rebecca?), not the on-and-on quotes.
    Dominic West was brilliant. Cannot wait to see what happens next.

  8. Yeah, Kim, nice catch. I didn’t really see what was going on with the first viewing. The second time, I noticed the Ronson lighter fluid that they were spraying on the cat. Damn cat didn’t put up too much of a fight, surprisingly.

    As much as Ray wants the Bubbles story to have a happy ending, I think the fact that Fletcher is shadowing him doesn’t bode well for that.

    I don’t know about liveblogging the last ep. Maybe. Hopefully, me and Ray will be in front of the bigscreen with a six of O’Doul’s and a bottle of Jameson, just watchin’.

  9. wasn’t serious Ashley.

    And the cat appears to get away. You see it exit the alley at the same time Omar does. Either that, or there’s another cat in the alley that’s gettin’ the hell away from Kenard.

  10. Dude, I am going to be in Austin for the finale.

    I saw the cat and thought that was Kenard the first time (and that’s a true story straight out of The Corner IIRC). Second viewing confirmed it.

    OK, now how old is Kenard? And who here wants him capped regardless of how old he is?

  11. Virgtotex,

    Yeah, I saw the cat slinking away on my 2nd viewing. It makes sense because as soon as Omar walks past Kenard he would have let the cat go free so he could go retrieve his gun and go after Omar.

    When you think about it, it’s such a cool little detail for them to include.

  12. FIne, leave me alone with my bottle of Jameson for a 93 minute finale. Yeah, I’ll live blog it, and in the last 30 minutes, I’ll liveblog it with no vowels.

    Hell, I’ll cap Kenard myself.

    But did anybody else notice how Carcetti said “been”, like “mean” not “bin”? Annoyed the hell outta me.

  13. David Simon’s master foreshadowing: he decided on many plotlines even before season 3 was over. One example is in season 3 where Bunk is investigating the murder of one of Omar’s female associates. He hears little kids fussing and looks over to see one kid in a skull cap arguing with another little kid using a branch for a gun (Kenard). Check it out.

  14. Yes, lots of foreshadowing about Kenard. Even when he got the holy hell beat out of him last season by Michael – he stood tough and didn’t bitch up that much. You could tell he wasn’t awed by Omar the last few episodes the way he was in season 3.

    I am really interested to see how the Lester – Clay Davis thing plays out. Does Lester suspect Clay is involved in leaking the grand jury info to Prop Joe – and that’s the info he wants from Clay? Now that Lester is aware that Cheese is distributing for Marlo on the eastside- where does that go?
    I need to pull out my season 4 dvds and re-watch the episode where Joe gets the infor for Marlo when he was “recruting” him into the co-op and see if there were any good clues about his source.

  15. Lester wants Marlo, and Lester knows Clay was getting payoffs from the Barksdale’s so he wants to leverage what Clay knows….follow the money.

    But Lester’s whole play is a bluff. His threat is to take the head shot to the US Attorney, but the US Attorney has already told Lester to go fuck himself. Lester’s got nothing unless he can keep Clay scared, and Clay staying scared? Sheeeeeeee-it.

  16. Yeah, Lester is really playing Clay at his own game. Although I wonder who will play who in the end. I mean, they are some of the smartest characters on the show and certainly true survivors in their respective institutions.

    RIP Omar, you feel me?

  17. Lester Smooth

  18. He’ll just look at Clay over the top of his reading glasses like the father Clay never had….


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