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Review/Meta of the Wire S4 - Episodes 8-10 ( Misgivings)

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This season is getting hard to watch, compelling, very compelling, but also gut-wrenching. Sisinlaw told me she could barely watch it after a certain point - and I know what she means. It's not the cop stuff or the drug-dealing stuff, it's the schools.

Przy: They are junking the stats. Same as the criminal unit. So majors can become colonels.
Disappear rapes, turn felony burglaries into robberies...junking the stats.
Grace: Wherever you go, there you are.

My problem with this section of The Wire - is it is preachy as all get out. Clearly Ed Burns feels the same way I do about standardized testing. I despise it. Is hate, a strong enough word? So, yeah, I agree. But - it feels outside the story somehow, and a bit contrived. As we drift closer to the school, we move further away from the core characters. Also, you can almost hear the writers lecturing you. I agree with them. Completely. But. I think they went a bit over-board with it. Particularly in episodes 8-10. 10 hits you over the head with a hammer. And it is painful to watch.
I'm right now hating the area superintendent.

Outside of that? Some great stuff. Adore Omar right now, really adore him - he's figuring out that Prop Joe set him up both times. Smart dude Omar. Also adoring Bubbles - who found a way to stick it to Herc, who so deserved it. Herc is an ass. Love Carver, would like to kick Herc. So that scene where Bubbles sticks it to him - by setting him up to arrest the reverend for stealing the camera is hilarious. The Reverend and Herc deserved it. He did it because Herc promised Bubbles that he would take care of his problem, in exchange for information. Kima even sent Bubbles to Herc. But Herc screws him over both times. The second time made sense, but the first - not one whit.

McNulty has turned a corner. His kids actually sort of respect him and he helped them with their homework. He didn't order a drink - is sober. Just an occassional beer now and then. And he's good with Beadie, although her kids have his number. Hee. Elena...isn't doing as well as McNulty. Her suit is well just that a hollow suit.

And Daniels is letting the Carcetti know that Burrell is playing him. Norman - I love Norman. He knows what's up with Clay Davis - the double-dealing con man of a state senator. Who is thick as thieves with Burrell and thicker still with Nerese. All three are a piece of work. The Wire is color blind in regards to good guys and bad guys, they are on both sides of the fence. And it's far from clear cut. Can Daniels trust Carcetti? Not clear, Carcetti has plans. Bill Rawls is playing the game a bit smarter. I'm afraid Daniels will get burned.

The weakness in all the seasons is more or less the same, they rev up, slow down in the middle, then wham everything comes to a head in the last two episodes. The weakest and preachiest episodes are often the middle ones - where the writers feel they can give you the "message" before getting back to the action at hand. That said - the message here, is realistically told and really not that preachy, but it is jarring with the rest of the show - at times I feel like I'm watching two shows. It's because they've shifted the core character or through line from "the cops in the unit pov - McNulty et al" to four-five kids introduced in the first episode. Michael, Randy, Durrell, Duguane and Ramon (Damon?). They did the same thing in S2 - they shifted the focus to Frank Sobotke, Nick, and Ziggy. Not sure this works - it throws off the rhythm a bit. But that may be a matter of opinion? My sisinlaw loved the second and fourth seasons, along with the fifth season, but wasn't overly fond of the first and third - which focused on the cops and dealers. She hates cop shows. Me? I care about how the story is structured. Story Structure right now is something that I'm a bit fascinated by. Also character threads and arcs.

That said? Omar has a strong arc this season and is once again well utilized. Omar's best seasons are 1, 3 and 4 so far. Bubbles also is featured heavily. And Bubbles keeps having tragic relationships, adopting boys to help, that either die horribly, or fall by the wayside, or betray him. They are almost mirrors of each other Omar - the avenging gunslinger, and Bubbles the poor junkie trying to get a break.

The cops have taken a bit of a back seat. With Greggs in McNulty's shoes, and McNulty in Greggs. They've changed places, almost literally. He's a cop in a squad car, working a beat, coming home to wife and family, and now she's the hot homicide detective, with no family at all - just the job. But we see less of both, just snippets here and there, enough to know where they are at.

Daniels and Valcheck - mirrors of Rawls and an odd way. OR the reverse, with Valcheck in the Burrell role and Daniels in the Rawls role, except Carcetti may flip it and put Daniels in charge, and have Valcheck back him up. Both are playing politics but doing it differently. Valcheck is telling Carcetti the inside scoop. And Daniels is playing close to the vest, only revealing as much as he has to.