Monday, November 20, 2006


The Wire No. 47: Misgivings

BLOGGER'S NOTE: As always, know that spoilers lie below, so don't venture further unless you've seen the episode or don't care if you know what happens.

By Edward Copeland
With each passing week, The Wire is packing so much into each episode that these recaps seem to grow longer and longer, so I have left some things out regrettably. Thomas Carcetti now is officially the mayor-elect — having won 82% of the vote in the general election. We even finally learn (in passing) that Col. Cedric Daniels' ex-wife Marla won her race for a council seat.

Still, the official campaign may be over but the political maneuvering doesn't even stop to take a breath, especially with State Sen. Clay Davis, who continues to play all sides against one another for whatever his true aims may be which, in reality, may be just to fuck with people. He tells Burrell that he'll take care of his interests and recommend he reassert himself as commissioner since it's clear that Carcetti doesn't have the guts to fire him. Burrell asks Clay what he should do, since all his actions are supposed to go through Rawls now. "Some kind of police shit — I don't know," Clay tells him. Soon, Burrell has embarked on a new round of "quality of life" street sweeps. Lt. Mello (the real-life Jay Landsman) takes his complaints about the needless police actions to Col. Daniels, who then goes to Carcetti, to make certain the order didn't come from him. Carcetti is understandably furious — and this comes after Davis pops up in his office offering apologies for his actions during the campaign. "You gonna give the money back?" Norman asks sarcastically. Clay smiles and then plays along that he's on board with plans to rid the department of Burrell, but neither Carcetti nor Norman buy it, Norman pointing out that Davis is apologizing for the short con in one sentence before laying out the long one in the next. Later, Davis and Burrell huddle with Council President Campbell, with Davis particularly expressing concern that Daniels be stopped before he rises too far. Burrell tries to assuage their fears commenting that Daniels is "less the saint that he pretends to be."

Meanwhile, some in the police department are actually doing their work. While the silly sweeps continues, McNulty manages to piece together a pattern to a series of church break-ins and brings in the culprit. Later, while sharing dinner with his sons and Bunk and his son, his ex-wife (Callie Thorne) pays a visit and comments on the new nondrinking McNulty. "If I'd known you were going to grow up to be a grownup...," she says, an interesting contrast given her role on Rescue Me opposite another sometimes recovering alcoholic, though at least Thorne's ex character on The Wire isn't insane. The efforts of others in the department aren't nearly as fruitful. Carver busts Namond for the first time, though he displays a soft side for the lad when he learns his mom has left him alone to travel to New York to see the musical of The Color Purple and instead of sending him to "baby booking" when Namond expresses concerns about the environment there, Carver lets him stay on the bench in the squad room before Namond eventually mentions Colvin as a possibility and Bunny agrees to take him for a night. Namond stays on his best behavior, though he doesn't get Colvin's Eddie Haskell reference. Colvin has his own problems as well as he and Dr. Parenti find nothing but skepticism from the school district superintendent as they attempt to save their class and avoid her order that everyone drill for the standardized tests.

Herc brings food to Bubbles, trying to make amends for letting him down before and gives Bubbles a cell phone so he can call him immediately if the thug whom Bubs describes as being "like some Terminator and shit" arrives again, though of course Herc's real preoccupation remains the missing video camera. Sydnor finally talks Herc into confessing to Marimow to avoid worse problems which Herc can't get out thanks to Marimow's wandering mind — but he manages to leave Bubs in the lurch again, though Bubbles later unleashes a revenge on Herc that could have repercussions on the sergeant's career.

The police officer behaving the absolute worst is Officer Walker (Jonnie Brown), a character that has been built slowly in the background as a bad egg, first by taking Randy's cash in the premiere and later by stealing from Bubbles. This time though, his corruption leaves a mark — on junior car thief Donut's hand. Just talking with police takes its toll on other characters when Little Kevin returns from his incarceration and Bodie and Poot urge him to talk to Marlo — though Marlo doesn't seem convinced that Kevin stayed silent and offs him anyway. Kevin also clued Marlo in to Randy's role, but Marlo tells Chris and Snoop that Randy is no threat — but he should be tagged as a snitch, which he is at school. Later, Slim gives Bodie the bad news about his "boy" and Bodie begins to question once again the way Marlo works, recalling with Poot when they killed Wallace, but making the distinction that Wallace actually snitched and Kevin didn't say a thing.

Following Michael's appeal to Marlo about Bug's father, he explains in vague terms to Chris and Snoop that he just wants him gone and Chris seems to understand the implication, suggesting that Chris himself has been a victim of sexual abuse in the past. When Chris and Snoop finally meet up with the man who insists that he hasn't been out of prison long enough to piss anyone off, Chris grills him about his interest in boys before beating the man to death with such force that even the usual stoic and cold-hearted Snoop seems horrified by the ferocity of the fatal assault.

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