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Review/Meta of The Wire S4 (Episodes 4-7)

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*Omar has an arc in S4.

Marlo and Prop Joe are going after him again. This round Prop Joe set up Omar to convince Marlo that he needed to join the drug co-op, and well, to get rid of Omar. In short, Prop Joe has used Omar twice now to bully another drug dealer, who is giving Joe a headache, into submission. Clever. Omar keeps falling for it. You'd think he'd learn that he can't trust Prop Joe as far as he can throw him. Omar has far too trusting a nature for his own good.

So Marlo frames him for the murder of a nice lady making deliveries. Bunk and McNulty both see through the frame-up, even though the acting homicide detectives refuse to and want to put Omar away for the crime - because that's easier. Bunk - putting himself at odds with his own department, decides to investigate it further. I'm waiting for McNulty to get involved...but I'm not sure he will.

*Bunk misses pal to chase pussy or get blasted with. Lester just is not the same. Lester is too busy trying to figure out where Marlo is putting the bodies - they aren't in the sewers or at Leakin Park, so where are they.

*The answer to that question lies with Durrell. Michael showed him what Marlo did with the bodies, because Durrell and the other kids were convinced that Marlo's henchmen were creating zombies. But Michael shows them - no dead is dead. Durrell tries to tell Pryz, Mrs. Donnelly, and Herc about it, but does so in a roundabout fashion so they don't really hear him. Rather frustrating sequence actually. Carver calls Homicide to leave a message for Bunk regarding Durrell, but the Homicide cops who are pissed at Bunk for fiddling with their solved case against Omar, throw it out and never give it to Bunk. Herc instead of asking Durrell the right questions, asks all the wrong ones - proving Daniels point later - that most of the cops aren't trained to do more than break down doors and arrest people. Herc has made it all the way to Sgt, and he still doesn't know what the heck he is doing.

*With Pryz - we actually get the most insight into the school and the system. Pryz uses gambling games to teach math - telling a fellow teacher, Ms. Watson, that once he tricks them into thinking they aren't being taught anything, they start to actually learn something. He also discovers that new text books are sitting unused in the school store-room. He yanks them out. (This is all realistic, I've actually read studies in which they tried this and even experienced it myself in the public school system. The problem with our educational system is it relies far too heavily in memorization and not on hands on interaction. Was discussing this with my brother, parents, and sisinlaw - in how my niece learns best when she's provided the opportunity to see how it actually works or it is explained to her, I'm the same way, as is her father. There's a perfect example of this in The Wire. Pryz is teaching the kids fractions by using a formula on the blackboard. It makes no sense to them.

Why invert the integrator? They ask. What's the point? It's just the formula, he tells them. Memorize it. No one learns it. So he changes tactics when he sees them at lunch time playing poker. And he explains how to figure the odds. One of the kids asks if he can do it with dice - they normally use dice. He and another kid find dice in a bunch of board games and he uses that to teach fractions. It makes sense. It's smart teaching. There's a clear application. But I know where this is headed, some nitwit will protest that they aren't using the curriculum or the text-books, and Pryz will get into trouble for teaching gambling and we'll be back where we started. (Ugh - I've deleted five rants so far. I can't talk about our educational system without launching into rant mode. )