February 9, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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The Wire “React Quotes”

Season Five, Episode Five.

So, a lot happened here.  There was the ongoing drama of Clay Davis getting indicted and fighting back.  There was Dukie going to both Cutty and Michael for self-defense lessons, but he doesn’t seem too sharp for either boxing or handguns.    Bubbles is clean but clearly guilty over his own past.  That stuff is fine, and it’s the stuff The Wire builds solid stories from.

But really, the two things that struck me the most involved a stake-out and a lot of lying.

Oddly enough, the stake-out was being done by a criminal looking for revenge, and the lying came from the cops and an ambitious reporter.

The stake-out is quick enough to cover.  Omar is watching one of Marlo’s lieutenants and as soon as he thinks the guy’s alone, he bursts in to kill him.  Except, well, Marlo is smarter than a lot of Omar’s past adversaries, and the whole thing was a trap to get him.  Omar finds himself in a losing shoot-out between himself and a partner on one side, while the lieutenant, Chris, Snoop, and Michael are on the other.  Omar’s partner gets it, so Omar makes a break for it and jumps out a balcony window.  Then he disappears.

By the way, that window was on the third or fourth floor.  Omar didn’t die, or even seem to hurt himself.

But the lying…well, McNulty and Lester are behind that initially.  McNulty tries planting the story about their fictional serial killer in the newspaper, adding a “sexual” thing with the faked bite marks.  The Sun does send out two reporters, one of them that Templeton guy we already know lies about sources–heck, he does it here in this very episode when he’s sent out to interview homeless people and has no luck–, and while Lester and McNulty are looking to use this shady stuff that’s making Bunk more and more furious to get around various departmental budget cuts in order to bring Marlo in, it isn’t working too well.  Carcetti can’t give them more money.  He can approve two detectives getting overtime, but that’s hardly enough.  Even when Herc manages to get Marlo’s cell number to Carver, and Carver passes it along to Lester, all that gets is Lester getting an earful of static from that new specialty phone the Greek passed along to Marlo.

But then Templeton fakes a phone call from the “killer” before McNulty was able to do the same thing in order to get a work-around for that wire tap to bring down Marlo.

So, to recap, Omar was conducting a stake-out and showing patience, while impatience from McNulty and Templeton caused them to set up a nice house of cards to collapse on themselves.  Sounds about right…

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