July 13, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The Wire “Unconfirmed Reports”

Season Five, Episode Two.

I’m not really sure where the newspaper storyline is going just yet, but much like the Cutty storyline from season three, I am assuming it’ll go somewhere important.

There is a thematic similarity to this one.

I’ll get to that last.  It’s kind of big.

Let’s do a run-down.

Carcetti is focused more on running for Governor of Maryland in two years than running the city of Baltimore as mayor.  Big surprise.

Bubbles is in a 12 step program, but he doesn’t want to talk about what’s really bothering him.  He’s looking at lot cleaner than he used to.

Marlo realizes the police aren’t following him like they used to and is sending out his killers to wrack up the appropriate body count.  That’d be Chris, Swoop, and apprentice murderer Michael.  Like Sun-Times editor Gus Haynes, Michael asks for proof of misdeeds before capping someone.  Like Gus’s boss James Whiting, if it sounds like its true that may be good enough.

Huh, maybe this newspaper thing ties in more than I thought.

You know what else newspapers need?  Contacts.  Marlo needs one too.  That’s why he had Chris pull that Russian guy’s photo:  he wants to cut a deal with the Russian so he can deal with the Greek directly.  He just needs to cut a deal first with Avon Barksdale, who seems to be running things inside the prison.  That actually seems to work out for everybody involved.

But I said there was a connection to the newspaper, and here goes.  McNulty is (unsurprisingly) unhappy about being sent back to Homicide while Marlo is still running around loose.  Lester isn’t any happier, but he can keep plugging away at the Marlo case while working mostly on the Clay Davis case.  McNulty had enough problems with the budget cuts.  There wasn’t even a working department car to take him out to a scene of a questionable death, and he had to take a bus.  While at the morgue, he learned about how easy it is to have postmortem injuries that look like one thing but are really something else.  So, after he, Lester, and Bunk wonder how to get attention to 22 corpses, he gets an idea.  When he and Bunk come across a probable overdose, McNulty strangles the corpse a bit to create the bruising.  Now they have a serial killer, he says.  Bunk, disgusted, wants no part of that.

The newspaper connection?  An ambitious reporter named Scott Templeton appears to have made up a story about a wheelchair-bound kid unable to get into an Orioles game.  The kid was crippled by a stray bullet.  No last name.  No photos.  Only alias given is AJ.  It looks a lot like Scott made it up, especially since the scenes of him talking to people at the game didn’t show anything like that.  Gus is suspicious.  Whiting likes the story enough to run it without checking into it further.

So, now we have two guys making stuff up to advance their own agendas.  Connections, man.