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The Wire... Episode 46 and predictions

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by jason_whitlock, Nov 13, 2006.

  1. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    My recollection must be getting fuzzy then.
  2. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I think you can't look at it as a literal representation of who Avon and Stringer were. It's like an echo. These kids obviously exist in the same universe as Avon and Stringer, so as a writer, you don't want the parallels to be exact. You just want to hint that this is how the Game chooses and shapes these people, from the moment they're kids. Think about it like you would a book. In Catch-22, Milo Mindbender represents capitalism, and how greed has no allegiance to any country (Mindbender bombs his own squad because a business opportunity with the Germans presents itself), or code of honor (he abandons Yossarian in his quest to find Nately's Whore's Kid Sister for another business venture). But Joseph Heller didn't really come right out and say Mindbender is capitalism. He let you figure it out. In Animal Farm, Orwell was implying that Napoleon was Joseph Stalin and Snowball was Leon Trotsky, but not everything about their characters had to adhere exactly to reality for us to get the message.

    Simon is probably doing something similar with Michael and Randy. Michael isn't necessarily exactly like Avon, but he represents kids LIKE Avon, the ones who grow up to be kingpins. They're all different somehow, but Simon and Burns have said repeatedly that the flashiest players are never the real dealers. The real players are the quiet ones, the guys without a record who have never even been photographed and just make their play from behind the scenes with a quiet arrogance and no flash. Michael, I think, is a blend of various characters. Maybe there is a little bit of D'Angelo in him (he cares for Bug like D'Angelo cared for Wallace), a little bit of Marlo (he's not afraid of anything) and a little bit of Avon (he's a boxer who knows the rules of the street, but he's smart too). Remember, D'Angelo was arguably a bigger character that Stringer in Season 1.

    It works the same way, but in reverse for Stringer. There is a little bit of Stringer in Randy, Dookie and Namond. Stringer was a brilliant businessman who was charming (Randy), he liked school and craved knowledge (Duquan), his heart wasn't always in the game, even though he thought he was a gangster (Namond), and he also was willing to sell out his friends to keep making money and keep himself out of trouble (Randy, again).

    When Randy continued to hand out those election flyers despite the fact that he'd already been paid, that struck me as something D'Angelo would do. When Namond is forced to stand on the corner with a package because of his mother, that's D'Angelo too. When Chris murders someone in cold blood, that's Wee Bay or Cutty.

    Jason's theory about the kids representing the Barksdale crew was an awesome point to make, and I'm extremely grateful for it. But the rules aren't hard and fast. They do represent people no longer on the show, but like I said, they're echoes, not replicas. There are some viewers out there, I promise you, who still haven't made the connection. But that's good, because Simon is schoolin' em (as Bubs always says) without them even knowing it.
  3. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    Jason and DD dominate.
  4. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    DD & JW, thanks.

    This may be the single best thread ever on SportsJournalists.com.

    DD, awesome posts. Your analysis is better than every TV critic I've read.
  5. Dedo

    Dedo Member

    Double Down,

    Thanks. Once again, I'm humbled by your analysis and insight. No TV show I've ever seen has affected me like The Wire, and I have to say the experience of watching it has always been enhanced by the discussions on this board.

    If you don't have one already, you should have a job as either a columnist or a film/tv/book critic (edit: JR beat me to it). Anyone who can work Milo Mindbender, Leon Trotsky and Cutty From the Cut into the same couple of paragraphs is worth reading.

    And now I have to wonder -- would you consider Ervin Burrell to be a kindred spirit of Major Major Major Major? After all, both represent the ridiculousness of bureaucracy, and neither can be either promoted or demoted...
  6. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    Sheeeeeeeeet. You guys are embarrassing me. Thanks though. I'd love to write about television someday (or books), because I certainly watch enough of it (and read my fair share). I guess I just really dig this show, and try to appreciate the writing on a deeper level, the same way I would if it were an article in SI or Esquire. On one hand, I wish more people would watch this show, because I love the intelligent analysis we have here, and I'd like to hear what some of the sharpest posters on SportsJournalists.com would say (can you imagine, for instance, what Alma would say about Season 4?). But on the other hand, I like our little exclusive club too. It takes a certain patience to really love this show, and you have to check or biases at the door too. (I'm extremely grateful we don't have someone constantly clogging up threads telling us how black people are morally corrupt, or some of the other crap that pops up on the political threads. Omar is awesome. And gay. I don't need to hear what the Bible says about him.)

    When we talk about the The Wire, we're really talking about human nature and survival, not just a television show. As Jason said once before, the show is an investment. I have the first three seasons on DVD, and I'll almost certainly buy the next two. And even though they're expensive as hell, it's kind of like owning a copy of your favorite novel. You go back and read it again a couple years later and you discover different things, and you appreciate it even more.

    Dedo, great call on Burrell. Absolutely Major Major Major Major. You can almost see Burrell ducking Carcetti as he comes to fire him. You can only see him when he's not in.
  7. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    One more thing I wanted to point out, and then it's probably bed time.

    I loved Prezbo's realization about how "juking the stats" was no different at Edward Tilman Middle School than it was in the Baltimore City police department. Crime goes down, lieutenants become majors, majors become colonels. The same is true with the schools. Teachers become principals, and principals become superintendents. Just a brilliant parallel.

    I'm fascinated and also afraid to see what David Simon's take will be on the media next season. Because it's quite obvious that there is just as much incompetency, stupidity and cover-your-own-ass maneuvering at the top of newspapers as there is within the police force, the drug trade, and school system. It will be interesting to see if the media is so quick to champion and celebrate this show when the spotlight suddenly gets shined in its direction.

    To be honest, it probably will. You just know right now, somewhere in urban America, there is a school teacher thrilled that someone finally has the courage to point out how foolish it is to teach kids language arts test questions simply so they can shuffle them through the system. And there are probably cops laughing their ass off at Herc.

    Reminds me a lot of the conversation Burrell and Daniels are having during season 2, when Daniels is telling the commissioner the plan is to arrest one of Prop Joe's captains in hopes that he'll promote a fool they can listen to on the wire tap.

    "What makes you think they'll promote the wrong man?" Burrell says.

    "We do it all the time," Daniels responds.

    Might as well be talking about newspapers there too.
  8. Stupid

    Stupid Member

    Any chance Clay Davis gets his comeuppance? He's the most despicable character on the show.

    I don't see any chance of the kids taking over Marlo's game this season. Keep in mind, they're all in 8th grade. Marlo might end up in jail or dead but there's no way that Michael, et al, are going to be running an organization less than a year after they were trying to catch a white pigeon in something they saw in a "B.C." comic.

    Agreed with whoever said Snoop & Chris are amusing. That scene with Andre last week was too funny. "It don't matter!"
  9. MCEchan36

    MCEchan36 Guest

    Dude, that scene has scarred me for life. Definitely one of the most shocking/horrifying scenes ever filmed. Anyway, I've been completely enveloped by The Wire. This show is so good that it makes me forget that there's a football game going on. Too bad it'll be over in a month. I can't believe this, but The Sopranos might be an even bigger let-down b/c they follow this masterpiece.
  10. Stupid

    Stupid Member

    The comparisons to The Sopranos seem to always crop up but besides the fact that both are HBO dramas, they have little in common. I think The Sopranos has run its course because the storylines are drying up. There's only so much you can do with one mafia familia after 5 years.

    The Wire, on the other hand, has several components — the street, the cops, the pols — and they add a new one every year.

    Plus, there's probably 5X the number of characters on The Wire that you see on The Sopranos. A guy like McNulty, who the show seemed to revolve around in Season 1 has been rarely seen this season.

    Also, the basic premise of the show relies on a criminal organization that, as we've seen, can completely turnover and still be interesting, whether it's the Barksdales or Stanfields. The closest The Sopranos has come is turning Uncle Jun into a senile old coot.

    I don't know how The Sopranos will wrap up this winter but it's bound to be anti-climactic and could be, even worse, sentimental. On the other hand, I think The Wire could probably go on for another 4-5 years if the producers have the energy. There's no shortage of storylines when it comes to drugs, crime, cops, politics, schools and the media.
  11. wedgewood

    wedgewood Member

    First off, great thread, great observations. It's nice to find others who like this show as much as I do. I keep trying to sell The Wire to my friends as if it were some ass-kickin' West Baltimore WMD. The other day I told my buddy he should drop down the $70 and buy the first season, at least rent it. He told me I should do the same with Lost. I just silently shook my head over the phone.
    I share Dedo's sentiments ... no other TV show has ever affected me like The Wire. It's an incredible work of art. Maybe DD, Zeke or Jason, or anyone else can correct me, but I don't think this show has ever won an Emmy. It's almost comical to think that such an oversight could happen.
    I will say that this season has been incredibly frustrating to watch at times. And it isn't because of the acting or the writing, which has been superb, as expected. But more than any other season, there's just such a sense of hopelessness. One of these kids, you feel it, is going to die. And even though Namond is a little prick, I don't wanna see him go anymore than I'd wanna see Michael, Duquan or Randy get killed. I dunno, that's where this show really tests you. Sure, Namond's a little bastard ... 'Hey Mister Colvin ... Fuck ... You' ... who wouldn't wanna see this little piece of shit get his comeuppance? Just another casualty in a city that has upwards of 250 to 300 murders a year. Who's gonna miss another yo?
    But, Christ y'all, he's 14. His dad's a stone cold killer and his mom, right up there with Levy, Clay Davis and Marlo, is the biggest piece of shit on the show. What chance does this kid have when moms is telling him to do right by the family and sell drugs? All he wants to do is play X-Box and feel cool in his Mike Vick jersey.
    I appreciate what Jason has to say about the show. It was he, in fact, who motivated me to plunk down the cash for the first season box set. And the two thereafter. It was a thread on here a while back that did it ... when a certain someone was killed, not saying who, don't wanna be the prick spoiler for all y'all who haven't seen a single episode, and Jason suggested he was wearing a bulletproof vest. (Christ, I either spend too much time watching The Wire or reading posts on here).
    I like what he has to say about the Barksdale crew/Michael crew comparison. But personally I think it's a bit of a stretch to think that if Marlo and Chris get iced that Michael, Randy, Namond and Bodie will take over. Eventually, yeah, I could see that, but not right away. Not sure if that's what Jason had in mind or not.
    And DD, what you said about Michael's stepdad makes a helluva lot of sense. That never occured to me until you said it.
    I dunno, I think in the previous seasons there was always a sense of hope. The unit trying to bring down Avon, Frank trying his damndest to dredge the canal to save the union as Cedric's crew was tying everything together between the docks, Prop Joe and the Greek, Bunny with the whole Hamsterdam project in Season Three. This season, there's been such an impending sense of doom with these kids. Not that it hasn't been fascinating. But you really feel someone you love here is gonna die while some sack of shit like Marlo will live on.
    OK, it's damn near sunrise. Gotta go. Seriously guys and gals, thanks for this thread. To steal a line from Pacino in Scent of a Woman "I'm in the dark over here." I can't talk about The Wire with no one ... 'cept you guys.
  12. i don't think these kids are exact replicas. i have no idea if avon was molested by a stepfather. but the dude certainly was a loner who cared deeply (in his way) about his family, and he was someone who instinctively understood the rules of the streets. avon was disciplined. boxing is a very disciplined sport. randy is so stringer that it's pointless to even mention the similarities.

    david simon has gone to great lengths to foreshadow michael as the next kingpin. bodie spotted his talent. marlo said "big paws on a puppy." they ended episode 46 with omar dismissing michael as "just a kid."

    are these kids young? yes. did namond's mother not give a speech about wee-bey going out on them corners at a younger age than namond and making his name? marlo, chris and snoop strike me as anywhere from 18-22.... i see bodie as 19-21. he's earned his stripes and david simon foreshadowed his rise in season 1.

    could season 4 end with marlo, chris and snoop taken out and a power vacum on the west side and bodie, michael, poot, lil kevin and randy teaming up to make their play for west side dominance? yes. stringer and avon told stories about the war they fought to get control of the towers. you could come back in season 5 with bodie 22, michael and randy 16-17 having carved out a niche on the west side. their street resume would include taking out marlo, snoop and chris....

    i could be dead wrong.... marlo, chris and snoop might smoke 'em all. you have to be "lucky" to reach avon and stringer's level. but david simon has certainly tried to tell avon and stringer's backstory with these kids. avon was a born gangster. his father was a gangster. the barksdale name carried a lot of weight on the streets. so, yes, he dreamed of hearing his name ring out on the corners. michael lee's name will carry a lot of weight and ring out if he takes out marlo, chris and snoop. heck, maybe michael will take out omar. maybe that's why simon had omar dismiss michael as a just a kid.
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