January 28, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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The Wire “Clarifications”

Season Five, Episode Eight.

There was a big moment in this episode I’ve known about for years, long before I’d seen even a minute’s worth of The Wire.

What was that thing?  The death of Omar.  How did I know?  I somewhat remember Omar getting a small obit in Newsweek after the episode aired.  That doesn’t generally happen to fictional characters.  That says a lot about the cultural impact The Wire had on the country back when this show was still airing.

That said, there’s a general theme going on of things coming down.  McNulty is getting everything he wanted, but he also sees he shouldn’t have done what he done.  He sees the whole thing has gone way too far, and he’s starting to crack under the pressure.  Maybe it was the FBI profile of the killer he made up that had his personality pegged to a tee.  But he’s falling apart.  He sees Kima is actually going to legitimately go through a huge pile of profile cases so he tells her the truth.  She isn’t happy about that.  He tells Beadie too when she points out family if the only thing anyone has and he’s throwing it away for the job…again.  She is even less happy about that.  Lester isn’t happy to find out McNulty told some people.  Granted, I’m not sure how much Syndor knows, but Carver is roped in to bring down Marlo, but doesn’t seem to be aware the serial killer Carcetti is ranting about at a campaign rally isn’t real.

Carcetti’s own fall is more moral than anything else.  He has a primary challenger that could impede his path to the governorship, so he makes deals with some other politicians he doesn’t care for, including the recently-aquitted Clay Davis.  Davis may be riding high until Lester presents him with what is essentially blackmail information to get info from the state senator at some future date, but Lester doesn’t mention the feds already passed on that stuff.

Marlo’s clock thing was finally figured out by Syndor as map co-ordinates, and Bunk finally used McNulty’s fake homeless case to get some DNA work done which fingers Chris as the killer of Michael’s stepfather.  Those two might be going down as well.

Templeton’s luck of lazily making up quotes may be coming to an end.  A more conscientious reporter did get the go ahead from Gus to try interviewing a more interesting case:  Bubbles.

But Omar?  Omar is limping around the neighborhood, still using his rep to get what he needs, challenging Marlo to come out…when some anonymous kid shoots him in the back of the head.  He dies, his body looted by people in the neighborhood looking for souvenirs, and all Bunk can find of use is a list of names that, hey, may also help Lester and McNulty bring down Marlo.  But Omar’s murder gets no mention in the Baltimore Sun with the last shot of the episode being Omar’s body bag being zipped shut at the morgue after an attendant notices he had the wrong name tag on his corpse.  Omar may have been a legend, but he was also just a mortal man.

But there was some good news, after a fashion.  Dukie tries for a job at a shoe store and the clerk (hey, it’s Poot!) tells him he’s too young, but a junk man offers him a part time job.  Good for Dukie.

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