The Wire “Lessons”

What kind of man is Jimmy McNulty?  He’s the kind who would get his two kids to follow a potentially dangerous suspect and get his license plate number.

Granted it works, and the suspect is Stringer Bell, but still…

A decent amount of stuff happens in this episode.  Herc and Carver are taking the sergeant’s exam, and these two knuckleheads have been almost the same guy so far, but now we see the first difference when we see Carver is actually studying for the test and taking it seriously.  We see D’Angelo express doubts to his stripper girlfriend over whether or not he belongs in the organization since he actually doesn’t really fit in with the others.  When a bunch of the guys have a party celebrating the promotion of one of their own, D’Angelo finds a lot of partygoers either ignoring him or giving him the stinkeye, so he goes on a liquor run.  When he gets back, the party seems to be over and there’s a dead stripper in one of the beds.

We see Bunk get drunk and cheat on his wife.  He even tries to burn his clothes to hide the forensics evidence and McNulty has to go pick him up.  Bunk tells McNulty that he, McNulty, is bad for everyone around him before he, Bunk, passes out.  That seems a little unfair, since McNulty didn’t force Bunk to do stupid stuff while drunk.  And we see McNulty tail Stringer to the local community college where he’s taking intro economics classes, and later we see Stringer running a copy shop.

But really, the thing here is Omar.  If you come at the king, you’d best not miss.  Omar sees Avon’s thugs torching his van, then waits.  He ambushes and kills one (the one the detail has the best case on at the moment), and wounds another.  Sure, Omar claims he’s innocent when dragged into the detail’s makeshift HQ, but he spots the strip club Avon uses as a headquarters on the detail’s bulletin board, so you know he’s going to do much, much worse.

I said before that Omar seems like a character from a different show.  For what is usually described as a very realistic look at police procedure and criminal life, Omar seems like a superhero.  His ambush freaks the survivor out since the guy never really sees Omar.  Omar comes and goes as he sees fit, has his own rules, and got away with murder because the detail needs his testimony.

I think it’s easy to see why Omar was the break out character.


Defender of the faith, contributing writer, debonair man-about-town.

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