May 26, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The Wire “Bad Dreams”

Season Two, Episode Eleven.

I said it before, and I’ll say it again:  episodes like this show how much Chris Bauer’s acting talent was wasted on True Blood.  He does fantastic work in this episode, showing a wide range of emotions and reactions.

I mean, Bauer’s portrayal of Frank Sobotka in this episode is so good as he sees his world crashing down around him.  The FBI and the police raid the different locations they picked up with the surveillance, but the Greek’s people got rid of all the evidence, and having an arrest warrant out for the guy Ziggy killed doesn’t help much when Daniels and the rest don’t even know the guy’s dead.  About all the cops manage to do is nab a bunch of lower level people and find drugs and cash in Nick’s parents’ house.  The only reason Nick avoids arrest is because he spent the night at his girlfriend’s.

But look at everything that Frank goes through here.  Major Asshole…I mean Valchek…personally arrests Frank at the union hall but won’t lead him out until the press is there because that is exactly the kind of guy Valchek is.  Frank gets booked, but mostly wants out to see his son.  There’s an emotional connection with Ziggy later on, as Ziggy (real name apparently Chester) basically says he was tired of being a punchline, and Frank confesses that Ziggy is more like his father than he knows.  We see Frank trying to figure out where everything went wrong with his brother, Nick’s dad.  We see Frank decide to “get clean” by doing a day’s labor on the docks and working very hard the whole time.  We see him lose all support for any docks projects because of his high profile arrest.  We see him accept a meeting with Daniels and Pearlman after Beadie Russell suggests he can maybe cut a deal.  We see Frank, true to form, make some offers on the condition that the union be left alone and he wants help for his son and nephew, not for himself.  If his lawyer had been present, he could have done the deal right there, but instead he goes off to meet Nick.  Nick got an offer to maybe fix things with the Greek’s people, so Frank agrees to at least hear the guys out since they can maybe get Ziggy out of jail (did nobody there know about Ziggy’s signed confession?).  And just as Frank is walking up to meet the Greek, the Greek gets a call from his FBI plant telling him that Frank already met with law enforcement.

Bauer does exceptional work here, showing pain, vulnerability, embarrassment, rage, and determination to fix things as needed.  And since this is his last episode given how it ends, his character goes out well.  Heck, the insistence to meet the Greek alone probably saved Nick’s life.

As for the Detail, well, with the union arrests done, the FBI isn’t really sticking around.  They do manage to follow the #2 guy, but he manages to get away.  And Kima drives right past the Greek without giving the old man a second glance.  And why should she?

But on the other end of things, Stringer convinced Omar that Brother Mouzone killed Omar’s boyfriend.  Omar manages to get the drop on Mouzone and shot the guy, but then realizes he’s been tricked and calls 911.  So, really, Stringer now has Mouzone and Omar mad at him.  That dude’s days are numbered.