The Wire: Episode: 54, Transitions

Spoiler Warning: This commentary contains spoilers from last night’s episode of The Wire, so please do not read any further if you have not seen this episode.

So, Proposition Joe is gone. Like another poster stated in the previous post, I should have seen it coming. It wasn’t a big surprise but I guess the surprise was more from the fact that Prop Joe’s nephew was in cahoots with Marlo in returning his “gift with a gift” by eliminating his uncle. The Greeks will learn that they were indirectly responsible for Prop Joe’s death–by their continual refusal to do business with Marlo in respect to Joe thereby making Joe someone who needed to be removed. I hope that will be all of the farewells for the season but something tells me that it’s not.

HBO, The WireOmar is back in Baltimore and most of the players on the street are trying to stay out of his line of fire. Omar, as usual, takes the subtle route in his take down on Marlo and his crew. His first target is Slim Charles, who he lets  live after Charles reluctantly tries to convince Omar that he and Joe had nothing to do with Butchie being killed. I hope whatever it is that David Simon and Ed Burns have in store for Snoop and Chris’s demise is one of the most memorable moments of the entire 5 year season. I thought the close up on Marlo was quite chilling in the final moments when he orders Chris to kill Joe. That’s one the best things about this show is the outstanding characterization. Marlo is cold and methodical among other things. He sees himself as an “untouchable” Kingpin of the street and will kill anybody who stands in his way without thinking twice. Even killing the man who gave him the connect to the Greeks, who convinced him to join the co-op and treated him as a son.  Marlo has become a formidable character. A young man who is ruthless, calculating and shows no remorse for his actions.

One of the weakest threads for me is the deteriorating relationship between Beadie and McNulty. I thought the show made a wrong turn in regards to McNulty’s character–making him domesticated and putting him on the straight and narrow last season (4). It just didn’t fit with McNulty’s character which was someone who was an alcoholic who cheated on his wife and slept with any and everybody for the past three seasons. However, the writers decided to tone down McNulty’s licentious behavior last season (4) and this season (5), we’re supposed to believe that he just fell off the wagon for no good reason?

What I love about the show which is the heart of the show for me is the politics of the government and the police department and in how the two institutions fit together. Mayor Carcetti finally fires Burrell and promotes Colonel Daniels to Deputy Ops with Rawls as acting Commissioner. No one is surprised by that move but I am sad to see him treated this way after “eating their shit” and taking the political hits for the Mayor and other city officials for the past five seasons. Of course Burrell wanted to go out with a bang – killing Carcetti’s replacement for him–Daniels with the dirt he had on him while he was in the Eastern. Color me surprised to find the council president, Nerese Campbell, convincing Burrell to leave quietly with a six figure salary as reward and ironing out all the wrinkles in the police departments.  The question I have is what will Nerese do with the file Burrell gave her on Daniels?

What promises to get really good is the investigation on a thieving state legislator. State Senator, Clay Davis is brought before a grand jury for theft and fraud. I thought his court appearance was quite interesting because it’s only after he pleads his Fifth Amendment right for self-incrimination that he finally realizes that he is in serious trouble with no one to bail him out.

Again, excellent episode with a title that was most appropriate. There were a lot of transitions in this episode that moves the story arcs along. McNulty and Freamon working on making their secretive “serial killer” case is still far from gaining anybody’s attention. Then there’s Carver having to stand up for what is right in disciplining a fellow officer for aggressive behavior and conduct unbecoming. I pretty much applauded his stance even if it means he’ll probably be ostracized by his fellow officers and labeled a “rat” in the police department. Yes, everything matters.

We see Kima’s old flame Cheryl and her young son, Elijah.  The kid never speaks to Kima when she visits. He probably harbors a unconscious resentment towards her for leaving the fold. Just kidding.

The media aspect of the show so far is my least favorite. However, in this episode there was an interesting scene where Baltimore Sun reporter, Scott Templeton, interviews with the Washington Post for a position only to have them tell him to come back when his work is more “seasoned” and “polished.” Anyway, great episode, one of the best so far. I love this show.

Picture courtesy of HBO.

[tags]The Wire, TV, Police Drama[/tags]


About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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3 Responses to The Wire: Episode: 54, Transitions

  1. Haxwell says:

    McNulty didn’t fall off for completely no reason.. There was like a year in between seasons 4 and 5.. McNulty’s decline started at the end of season 4, when Bodie died.. because he knew that he in part, had caused it. He had a lot of respect for Bodie and I think that helped push him over. Earlier this season, he even used a line from Bodie (“The game is rigged.”) when talking to the DA lady about the shitty state of the BPD. Bodie said that just before he got killed, when he and McNulty were eating, after he picked up Bodie up from jail (after he just got him released.)

  2. Avid Reader says:

    Hey Haxwell — I remember that scene and I know McNulty respected Bodie and his death made him want to go after Marlo but I just don’t quite reconcile McNulty from season 4 with the McNulty we have now in season 5 who is drinking heavily, fustrated with the BPD and destroying his relationship with Beadie. He has done a few things that seem quite out of character for me this season. Otherwise, he still is my favorite along with Omar.

  3. Anna says:

    In recognizing the overall loss of such a great show, I started seeking out any videos I could find about The Wire. I found a great one where David Simon talks about the affections he feels for Baltimore and how the city has influenced his work.

    Check out the video


    See More Baltimore Videos at

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