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Review/Meta of the Series Finale of the Wire - The Wire S5, Episode

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The final episode of The Wire, 30 - was apparently nominated for an Emmy (it did not win). It's a shame the acting wasn't nominated - it is quite brilliant. Amazing...Lost, 24, and Grey's Anatomy were nominated instead - none of which deserved it. Sorry, I've watched all three, enjoyed all three, and The Wire is so much better. But this is nothing new, my favorite tv shows - the one's I buy on DVD or write extensively about? Rarely if ever are nominated or win Emmy's. While TV shows I find enjoyable but tend to forget about are nominated a lot. (shrugs)

The best bits...

The best bit - is the beginning of this episode, which is truly hilarious. Particularly Norman - who states: "I wish I still worked for the papers...because this is too fucking good."


Mayor: It's not funny, Norman.
Norman: I'm sorry, but I'm appreciating the charm...we manipulated an event to get you made Mayor and they manipulated an event to get paid....

Prior to this - upon hearing the lie about the serial killer, the Mayor is rendered speechless. Which is rare.

Of course they have to cover it up. Otherwise they'd all go down for it. I guess I should feel sorry for them...but I don't really. Okay, maybe Pearlmen...and to a degree Daniels, although Daniels in some respects enabled it by bringing both Lester and McNulty back to the Wire and being unable to support either - also, again Daniels is hardly one to throw stones. His self-righteous rage - while completely in character, grated on me a bit - so I actually enjoyed it when the tables got turned on him later. Poor Daniels - he's been trying for five seasons to do the right thing - and the right thing turns out to be leaving the police force and becoming a defense attorney or prosecuting attorney (not clear which). And he does it for Pearlmen - he can't turn in the gang, without destroying her life.

Pearlmen - I do feel sorry for.

McNulty realizes what he's done and sinks visibly into himself under a wall of shame. The only way out is to resign - which he does. Is it the best thing for him? You can argue it either way. I think it is - he's a high-functioning alcoholic and police work unfortunately brings out the worst in him - he's almost too sensitive for the job. He can't turn off the emotions. He cares about the people too much. I identify - that's why I couldn't be a criminal attorney or legal aid - cared too much. Emotions in certain fields are weaknesses. Which is ironic and sad.

The exposure of the similar to the Bunny Colvin bit in S3. And it echoes it in many ways. Both are exposed by another cop - in S3, Herc, in S5, Herc and Kima. Herc blows the whistle on the wire tap - exposing it to Levy, which results in Marlo's release.

Love the new players to the game - or the people who take on the old roles, the true nature of tragedy is the feeling that while things change, they don't really change at circles back on itself. Noir is when the hero realizes he can't change the world or save it, he can only change himself. By trying to fix the world or others...he drowns. Falls into the abyss. It's pointless.

*Michael becomes Omar, complete with Hoodie and shot-gun, robbing drug-dealers.

*Marlo becomes a reluctant Stringer Bell - a role he never wanted and considers a fate worse than death, he wanted Avon Barksdale's crown not Stringer's.

*The Coalition starts up again with the Greeks.

*Chris becomes Wee Bay in jail.

*Sydnor becomes McNulty - disgruntled and determined to buck the system

*Valcheck becomes Burrell...


*Carver becomes Daniels...while Dukie becomes either Sherrod or Bubbles.

The bright spots are Bunk's partner on Homicide, Lester making toy furniture happily retired, Bubbles sitting down for dinner finally at his sister's table - clean and sober.

And we see it all, including Baltimore through the lens of McNulty, who in the end chose Beadie and gave up police work or attempting to even hang on to it - not that he had a choice, as Rhonda states - we can't let you ever do police work again, either of you (Lester & McNulty). They are gone and the cops hold a true wake for them both.

I agree, particularly after watching the documentary and commentary, that the one flaw in the series is a tendency towards soap-boxing or preachiness...but it is real. The paper bit...was a bit flawed and felt sketchy to me. I think it was a bit too close to the writer's heart and he had an ax to grind, just as Season 4 - the Schools' had that problem - Ed Burns clearly had an ax to grind and you could tell. From that perspective - I think S1 and S3 may have been the best seasons, objectively speaking - if such a thing is possible. They certainly had the best villains, although the Wire really is never that clear-cut or simple.

Favorite characters? Bubbles, D'Angelo, Beadie, Norman, Bunny Colvin, Omar, McNulty, Lester, Bunk, and Kima.

Favorite Villain? Stringer Bell, Avon Barksdale, Brinna Barksdale, Clay Davis, Prop Joe, Bill Rawls, Mayor Carcetti, Burrell, and Snoop

Favorite Seasons? S1, S3, and S4

Least Favorite Characters? Ziggy, Valcheck, and the Sobotkes, also not crazy about Marlo

Least Favorite Season? S5 (I liked S2 some respects).


Discussion about the Wire with ponygirl2000

ponygirl2000: The thing I loved about the final episode of The Wire was that it gave us hope in the little things. We knew the system wasn't going to change but it's not all unrelenting gloom for the characters - Bubbles goes up the stairs and McNulty finds the homeless guy he'd wronged. And Baltimore, as the final montage shows us, is still worthy of love. The show ultimately was an exploration of the Angel quote, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do, except that The Wire turned that on its head by showing that everything we do matters, even the smallest thing that we're not aware of can have repercussions for other people, because, of course, it's all connected.

Me: It's what I loved most about that final episode as well - for every tragedy, we were are given hope in little things. Lester making his toy furniture with his new wife (who'd been a stripper at Stringer Bell's bar way back in S1), Bubbles turning his life around, Namond on the debate team, Pryz has become a good teacher, McNulty does the right thing and finds the homeless man that he used (not sure the correct term). I found it hopeful. And it shone a light on the complexity of Baltimore - a city of light and shadows, and everything in between.

Ponygirl2000: The show ultimately was an exploration of the Angel quote, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do, except that The Wire turned that on its head by showing that everything we do matters, even the smallest thing that we're not aware of can have repercussions for other people, because, of course, it's all connected.

Me: Yes. This. Exactly. Everything we do just doesn't always result in what our goal or aim or objective is, nor do we always see the results - and as a result, we assume based on our limited perception (we didn't get the carrot, Angel didn't get the shanshue or the girl, McNulty didn't catch Stringer Bell or Marlo Stanfield) that nothing matters. Ironic. And oddly childish..when I think about it. ("I did all this, caused all these things to happen - and Marlo Stanfield still walks! Then nothing matters!")

Or often we are so focused on what we think we desire - this proverbial carrot hanging out there (Stringer Bell in jail, Angel's shanshue)...that we miss what would make us the most happy. As Beadie and Lester tell McNulty at different points. McNulty gets so tunnel visioned, that he loses sight of all the other bits and pieces...and the other people whose lives we've changed for good or ill and often both.