April 24, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The Wire “Hard Cases”

Season Two, Episode Four.

And now, it looks like we’re getting the gang back together.

Our episode here opens with Daniels being offered to head another detail with the promise of a promotion from Burrell if he says yes.  Daniels sees a bit of what’s going on, that Valchek is using his pull to get Daniels personally, and he has a few demands of his own beyond the promotion.  First, he wants to pick his own people.  Second, he wants the detail turned into a permanent investigative unit if they succeed.  Burrell agrees, but Rawls needs to sign off on whoever Daniels chooses.

And it turns out, Rawls has no problem signing off on anybody…except McNulty.  Man, does he have it in for that guy.

Daniels’ picks?  So far, he has Prez, Herc, and Greggs, with Lester on the way at some point in the near future.  Valchek got rid of all the original detail that wasn’t Prez already.

McNulty spends this episode searching for people.  He’s looking for a name for the woman he fished out of the river, and does manage to find her possessions in the evidence locker, including a letter written in a language he doesn’t recognize.  But the cook/cleaning lady at a local orthodox church can read it, and even gives the woman a first name:  Nadya.  McNulty is also, on behalf of Bunk, looking for Omar.  No luck there, but he finds Bubbles shoplifting and can push Bubbles to look for Omar or else…

Bubbles does find Omar.  Bubbles looks terrified.  Poor guy had no good choices.

And over in the prison, Avon is using the drug overdoses he probably orchestrated to keep D’Angelo clean, get back at the guard causing his people trouble, and arrange for a moved up parole hearing.  He’s that good.

But the real problems are on the docks.  Frank Sobotka is initially furious at his nephew for the theft.  He really isn’t doing any of the stuff he’s doing for the money.  He’s doing it to save people’s jobs.  Having shipments get stolen doesn’t work for him.  He asks Nick to be careful about flashing the money and to tell the same to Ziggy.  Ziggy, who is discovering the joys of the dick pic, hears about not flashing the money around and opts to buy a $2,000 leather jacket.  He is such an idiot…

And when the Greek’s people ask Nick and Ziggy to look out for chemical shipments, well, Ziggy at least will go for it because he is stupid and never learns anything, even after his dad smacks him upside the head.

But I want to say something about Frank.  Actor Chris Bauer is fantastic in this role.  Seeing the anger, the passion, and the concern flash across his face is a revelation given how much people like me might only know him from True Blood, a series which, let’s face it, did not demand much of its cast.  The episode ends with Frank finding out the cops nosing around the docks are not after smugglers.  It’s Lester and Bunk.  They’re in homicide.  Frank excuses himself to be sick.  That dread feeling…man, that’s some good acting and some good writing.  The Wire never fails to impress.