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Frostwerks
Sep 24, 2007

by Lowtax


cletepurcel posted:

Something I noticed rewatching that episode that I'd never noticed before: before giving Mahone the cigarette, even Polk joins in on the beating of Bodie for a bit. He does it kind of half heatedly but even a worthless, burnt out cop still can have a cop moment :allears:

Are you sure man?

http://youtu.be/gTo9SsblY0I

I'm watching it and Bodie belts him at :48 and I'm fairly certain he doesn't.

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Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Couple slight nitpicky corrections to the last write-up: when McNulty and Kima are discussing her sexuality, McNulty says he should've known that she was gay because the only female cops he's known that were worth a drat were gay, not that the only female cop he's worked with was gay. Which is somewhat ironic considering Beadie turns out to be okay po-lice. Second, lake trout's the name of the sandwich Poot asks D'Angelo to get, not the name of the carryout restaurant. It's a local Baltimore term for a fried fish sandwich. Unless of course D actually went all the way over to Lake Trout.

Alec Bald Snatch fucked around with this message at 00:15 on Feb 13, 2013

Randomly Specific
Sep 22, 2012

My keys are somewhere in there.

Fellis posted:

I always thought of Slim Charles as one of those pawns that made it to the other side. Its not hard to imagine him as a corner boy and when we meet him he is an enforcer for the Barksdales. After that goes south he then manages to make his way into being Joe's right hand man. But when Marlo dismantles the co-op and tries to give him some territory: "...sorry man but I ain't no CEO"

I like Slim Charles a lot, he's one of the few street characters that seems to have heart in the face of the game at the end.

I see Slim ending up in the yard with Chris and Weebay sooner or later. He's the shooter who takes the rap and does the years.


watt par posted:

Couple slight nitpicky corrections to the last write-up: when McNulty and Kima are discussing her sexuality, McNulty says he should've known that she was gay because the only female cops he's known that were worth a drat were gay, not that the only female cop he's worked with was gay. Which is somewhat ironic considering Beadie turns out to be okay po-lice.

Beadie did good on a major investigation, but it wasn't the sort of life she wanted to live. She couldn't/wouldn't develop the sort of professional detachment the others had to have in order to do the job, which is why she went back to policing the harbor after the case was done.

That's the thing about The Wire- all the 'success stories' involve people who find a relatively obscure corner and carve out a niche in it where they can stay safe and sane.

SpookyLizard
Feb 17, 2009


I always loved how Bodie figuring out what entrapment was got him out of Hamsterdam easily and endeared him to McNulty for all time.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


Jerusalem posted:

There's one situation I can think of where - through no fault of his own - he ends up totally hosed, when Omar comes after him thinking he killed Butchie. Slim KNOWS he is dead and he accepts that there is nothing he can do about it. He lives thanks to Omar's promise to Bunk, but I think also because he didn't try to bluff his way out or take a wild lunge at Omar.

I don't think he lives because of Omar's promise to Bunk, but rather, because Omar believed Slim. At that point, Omar's promise to Bunk has been nullified in Omar's mind.

Frostwerks
Sep 24, 2007

by Lowtax


SpookyLizard posted:

I always loved how Bodie figuring out what entrapment was got him out of Hamsterdam easily and endeared him to McNulty for all time.

I thought it was because Bodie was more useful to McNutty on the street?

e: then again, been a hot minute since I've seen season 3 too so take that with a grain assault.

isk
Oct 3, 2007

You don't want me owing you

The practicality's part of it, but McNulty seems to be genuine when he's talking with Beadie at the end of season 4. I don't think it's all pragmatism, especially with his more casual approach to work at the time.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


watt par posted:

Couple slight nitpicky corrections to the last write-up: when McNulty and Kima are discussing her sexuality, McNulty says he should've known that she was gay because the only female cops he's known that were worth a drat were gay, not that the only female cop he's worked with was gay. Which is somewhat ironic considering Beadie turns out to be okay po-lice. Second, lake trout's the name of the sandwich Poot asks D'Angelo to get, not the name of the carryout restaurant. It's a local Baltimore term for a fried fish sandwich. Unless of course D actually went all the way over to Lake Trout.

Yeah, that's what I meant... the only other effective female cop was gay. I fixed that. And I fixed Lake Trout, although, I swear I remember someone getting subs "from Lake Trout" in at one point in the show.

I see in that link that there is a place in Baltimore called Lake Trout. Anyway, I just edited it to something less specific.

Also, feel free to nitpick anything in my write-ups. I write them when I can't sleep, so I am prone to making mistakes. I referred to Bunk as "her" in the first write up.

escape artist fucked around with this message at 04:38 on Feb 13, 2013

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


escape artist posted:

Yeah, that's what I meant... the only other effective female cop was gay. I fixed that. And I fixed Lake Trout, although, I swear I remember someone getting subs "from Lake Trout" in at one point in the show.

I see in that link that there is a place in Baltimore called Lake Trout. Anyway, I just edited it to something less specific.


The actual place called Lake Trout is on Edmondson, but it's further west from where they're supposed to be at. Definitely further than D'Angelo could've walked in the time it took for the re-up to come and subsequently get robbed. Calling a fish sandwich, which is ubiquitous in the Mid-Atlantic and South, a lake trout sandwich is one of those quirks of Baltimore culture. It isn't trout and it didn't come from a lake. Definitely shows the writers know their city.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


watt par posted:

The actual place called Lake Trout is on Edmondson, but it's further west from where they're supposed to be at. Definitely further than D'Angelo could've walked in the time it took for the re-up to come and subsequently get robbed. Calling a fish sandwich, which is ubiquitous in the Mid-Atlantic and South, a lake trout sandwich is one of those quirks of Baltimore culture. It isn't trout and it didn't come from a lake. Definitely shows the writers know their city.

There are trouts that live in lakes, but you're right!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_of_Baltimore#Lake_Trout

quote:

"Lake Trout" is actually fried Atlantic whiting. It is typically served as a sandwich with a number of condiments, such as ketchup and horseradish sauce. Lake trout is an everyday food, and is often served wrapped in aluminum foil in a standard paper lunch bag at small take-out establishments.

chesh
Apr 19, 2004

That was terrible.


How does "lake trout" fit in to the whole "lenten fish sandwich" thing? Honestly, I grew up in Northern California, and this whole fish fry/fish sandwich thing on the east/atlantic/mid-atlantic was a weird thing to get used to.

SpookyLizard
Feb 17, 2009


chesh posted:

How does "lake trout" fit in to the whole "lenten fish sandwich" thing? Honestly, I grew up in Northern California, and this whole fish fry/fish sandwich thing on the east/atlantic/mid-atlantic was a weird thing to get used to.

It's the part that goes between the bread.

chesh
Apr 19, 2004

That was terrible.


SpookyLizard posted:

It's the part that goes between the bread.

Awesome, that's what I wanted to know. Here in western PA they simply call it "fish."

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


chesh posted:

How does "lake trout" fit in to the whole "lenten fish sandwich" thing? Honestly, I grew up in Northern California, and this whole fish fry/fish sandwich thing on the east/atlantic/mid-atlantic was a weird thing to get used to.

I think it's more of an ocean being right there and full of fish thing than something sectarian. Fish frys are all over the parts of the coast not settled by Catholics. Same with anywhere near rivers or lakes, or any body of water really.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Episode 4: Old Cases

The episode opens with Herc struggling to move a desk through the doorway in the dank offices of the Major Crimes Unit. What follows is pretty much the police department in a nutshell, as more and more of the squad join in to help him out. Freamon watches the pathetic display with the unspoken suggestion that he knows exactly what is going wrong, and he seems both dismayed and amused at what is happening. Everybody finally gives in, and Herc complains that at this rate they're never going to get it IN. Everybody else was, of course, trying to get the desk OUT, and by working against each other and failing to communicate they got nothing done. We've seen this frequently already on the show and we'll see it more this season and across the series as a whole. It's also just a genuinely funny scene, even if it is a little forced (Herc says "You know what to do!" instead of saying "push" or "pull"). Of more interest to me is that Freamon is equally a part of a problem. While they could have sorted out the issue with the desk quickly with a little communication, Freamon could have also solved all their problems by pointing out they were working against each other, or even being diplomatic and making a suggestion like,"Are you trying to get it in or out?" - Freamon is a character who is willing to sit back and let others make fools of themselves, but wouldn't it have been more productive to be part of the team and help, even at the risk of looking a little foolish or making others feel that way? It's also interesting that Kima isn't there - would she have seen the problem or just jumped in with the others to try and solve it.



In the aftermath of the massive gently caress-up that was the attempted bust on the stash house, Kima attempts to make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. She has been in the juvenile court all day trying to get somebody to talk, but has had no luck since all of the juveniles know that they can't be charged over the amount of drugs they had on them. There is an adult dealer who has been caught on camera doing a hand-to-hand drug deal with Bubbles though, and Kima has asked the prosecutor to go heavy on him and see if they can work out a deal. McNulty joins her in the courtroom and she fills him in on what is going on as the dealer - Marvin Browning - appears with a line of other offenders. Unlike shows like Law & Order, Marvin's day in court isn't all to himself, the courts are busy and there are a lot of people to see, who he's just one of many appearing all in a row to be dealt with quickly. The prosecutor explains that despite Marvin only being known to have sold one gel-cap and one vial, because of his prior record they are seeking a minimum non-parole period of five years. Marvin is pretty shocked, after all it IS only a single vial and a single gel-cap, and he instantly looks to Kima, picking up immediately that she is behind this. McNulty notes that they have his attention.

Daniels comes to visit Mahon in the hospital, and Polk is already there. Mahon is in a far cheerier mood than one would expect from an old drunk who took a punch in the face from a young man in his prime, asking Daniels to join them in a drink. Daniels declines and Mahon explains that thanks to the injuries he suffered at Bodie's hands in the disastrous bust, he is now able to retire on a 2/3rds pension. Daniels - who always does things by the book - tells Mahon to take a couple of days to think about it even though he'd probably like nothing more than to see the back of Mahon. Mahon has made up his mind though, his brother-in-law is looking for a partner to help run his video store which makes $6,000 a week in rentals and $8,000 in porn (this predates widespread, high-speed, all-encompassing internet with Netflix, HBO GO and huge widespread piracy remember!) - it sounds like a pretty good deal, especially since Mahon out and out admits he isn't going to declare any of this income and have it taken out of his pension. Daniels leaves practically immediately, having done his duty, leaving behind Polk to admit rather shamefully that he doesn't know what he is going to do without his old drinking buddy. Mahon suggests they go out together, recommending that Polk deliberately fall down the unlit, dangerous stairs leading down to the Major Case Squad's offices then join him on a 2/3rds pension, and maybe even sue the City and get a little extra.

"Can't say we don't deserve it," says Mahon with complete and total sincerity, leaving Polk to stare wistfully at Mahon's X-Rays.



Back in the courtroom the Judge has left and Marvin is sitting with the prosecutor, wanting to know what Kima and McNulty are up to. They tell him that thanks to his sheet ("more like a book" says Kima) they have the leeway to go a little crazy with his punishment... unless he starts telling them stories. They go right for the jugular, asking about Avon Barksdale, and Marvin agrees that everybody has heard of him... but he's never really dealt with the man. Kima doesn't let up though, impressing on him how much they know - what about Stringer Bell? Wee-Bey? Savino? Stinkum? McNulty tells him to speak up or else it's five years in prison for him without the possibility of parole. Marvin takes this all in and agrees, but this isn't a Law & Order moment where Jack McCoy gets his way, Marvin tells them,"All right, I'll take the years" and immediately stops paying attention to them. This is the level of dedication (or perhaps fear is a better word) that they are up against, Marvin is more concerned with staying on the right side of the Barksdales than he is with the law, and he fears them more than he fears jail. The casual insistence from earlier in the season of "rip and run, buy busts, turn over some mid-level dealers to get at the big fish" has been shown to be a failure.

Bodie is in the Boy's Village - a juvenile detention facility in Cheltenham. It's easy to forget that according to the system, Bodie is still a child. Despite the beating he took from the cops, he hasn't ended up in prison or a holding cell under lock and key. He's been dumped into Boy's Village and mostly forgotten about, and as we soon learn the Boy's Village is hardly a state of the art maximum security prison. In one of the more mundane and amusing escape sequences we're ever likely to see, Bodie - still in his street clothes - wakes up, learns that there are mostly "DC Boys" in the Village and is promptly left alone with nothing more but an instruction to get dressed and go by himself to his designated bunk. Bodie instead grabs a nearby janitor's mop and bucket and uses it as a combination disguise/crutch. He heads down the empty corridors, seen only by inmates who simply stare at him as he goes, passing the Security Desk where the guard is more interested in a flirty conversation with one of the admin women. Bodie heads through the (unlocked!) door, leaving the mop behind, and escapes the "prison", having somehow bested the amazing barrier they had put in his way:



The camera cuts from the murky water of the mop to the cheap coffee in its cupholder in Herc and Carver's car. They're on their way up to the Boy's Village to "interrogate" Bodie, which Herc thinks is a poo poo detail. Carver disagrees, enthusiastically explaining to Herc exactly what he thinks is going to happen. Bodie is going to be freaked out enough being in "prison", and when he sees them back to beat on him some more he will turn into a whimpering baby. Carver gets more and more excited as his fantasy gets away with him, explaining that they'll make up a story about Mahon being in a coma and how they've been sent to collect Bodie's scrotum as a trophy for the lodge - upon hearing this Bodie is sure to break down and flip on everybody, giving them Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale. The case will have been broken wide open... by Carver and Herc! Herc seems impressed, asking Carver if this is what is really going to happen, and when Carver assures him it will he declares a happy little,"Cool!" as they take the turn leading to the Boy's Village.... Bodie only a hundred yard or so down the other road trying to hitch a lift. :laugh:

McNulty has returned to Homicide to go over old case files to link to the Barksdale case, admitting to Bunk that Avon has more weight on the streets than they do, and that is why nobody flipped - "Every now and then we visit the projects - they live there." Landsman shows up happily convinced that he has linked an open homicide to the Barksdale Organization, giving it to Jimmy who tells him it is clearly unconnected despite the victim being visited by somebody known as "D". Landsman insists, noting that while Jimmy is out of the office working for the Major Case Squad, they'll be carrying his weight for him. Bunk agrees with Landsman, but ends up getting drawn into the investigation as well.

Kima is out driving the streets with Bubbles, looking for the van that performed the stashhouse robbery that pre-empted their bust. Bubbles tells her it was Omar behind it all, and is surprised and a little let-down when Kima has no idea who Omar is, and also doesn't know his brother "No Heart Anthony". Kima has forgotten about her class again, of course, and puts in a call to anybody in her unit to pick up Bubbles for her - McNulty takes the call and offers to help. It's the third time time in a few minutes that we see McNulty stepping up to cover for fellow police. He reluctantly took on Landsman's case, admits to Bunk that he has been covering for Santangelo's absences, and is now going to pick up Bubbles for Kima. Like Daniels, McNulty very much believes in covering for your fellow police even when it isn't actually the right thing to do, which puts his constant anger and bitterness over politics into an interesting light.

Omar himself is sitting on a stoop with the other two members of his crew, watching a young boy selling the drugs they stole from the stash. At this early point in the series it seems they hadn't quite figured out Omar's character yet, as I find it difficult to imagine the Omar of season 3 onwards using children as dealers. Omar is very loving towards Brandon, telling him he doesn't mind people knowing it was him who ripped off the Barksdale Organization but explaining that he worries that Brandon himself might get hurt. The third man in their group - Bailey - is quite clearly uncomfortable with Omar and Brandon's displays of affection, but clearly respects Omar despite any homophobia he himself might have. I honestly can't remember if this is the first reveal of Omar's homosexuality or not, but it is very overt. There is no denying or pussyfooting around, Omar is quite clearly, openly and unashamedly gay. A local junkie shows up with her child, telling Omar that her check is late and she has no money for her fix. Omar pointedly pays more attention to her child, looking at it with great affection before calling out to the kid dealer to give her a freebie. I've always been a little confused by this scene, is it supposed to paint Omar in a positive light, showing that he doesn't care purely about money or that he has a soft touch for children? Does it show he can be manipulated by junkie sob stories that a harder dealer (say, Bodie for instance) might reject out of hand? I think it's another result of the writers not having quite figured out Omar's character just yet, the nearest we see to this type of behavior again in the future is the children that are so excited to see Omar in season 5 where he is "retired", running up hoping for gifts. Omar suggests that they'll shift to the East Side for awhile until things cool down on the West, and asks Bailey to hang with them for the evening. Bailey - clearly very uncomfortable with Omar touching his shoulder - says he is heading to see his mother.



McNulty meets up with Kima and picks up Bubbles, telling her he'll run him back downtown after. He tells Kima this, not Bubbles himself - Bubbles doesn't get any say in the matter apparently. Kima asks McNulty if he has heard of "No Heart Anthony" and of course McNulty has, able to sound off on his prior known address and his current location in prison. Bubbles is delighted and Kima gives a sardonic,"gently caress y'all" before heading off to class. The suggestion to me here is that McNulty isn't necessarily a better police officer than Kima, but that he is more in touch with the city and the people he is policing than she is. There is a later point in the show (season 2 perhaps) where Kima reveals that she knows about legends in the police force itself, suggesting (again, to me) that her interest had always been in the police itself, as opposed to the people. Somebody like McNulty is happy to embrace and immerse himself into the community, while Kima seemed to want to stand somewhat above it. Is this fair (or accurate)? Perhaps not, and I don't think one necessarily makes for a better police officer than the other, but I do think that the kind of knowledge that McNulty has makes him more effective on the street level, whereas Kima is likely to rise up to be the likes of a Daniels or Colvin - a leader who inspires and impresses the people in her charge to be better.

Avon Barksdale is playing basketball with his top men, explaining what he wants done with Omar. He wants an example made, "like the crackers who go out hunting deer", he wants Omar's carcass put out on display so everybody knows you do not gently caress with the Barksdale Organization. He's put a bounty on the crew, $1000 each for Brandon and Bailey (not that he knows who those two are) and $2000 for Omar himself, but he doubles that when he learns that Omar "turned human being", saying it will be $4000 for Omar and $6000 if Avon is given the chance to see and talk to him alive. The various responses to Omar's homosexuality are interesting - Wee-Bey treats it like a joke; Avon really can't believe it at first, laughing but clearly taking the implied threat to his masculinity to heart - doubling the previous bounty when the only new information he has is that the man who robbed him is gay; and Stringer notes that Omar "has a lot of heart for a cocksucker" - it seems Stringer is the only one who isn't dismissing Omar as a threat just because he is gay. Left alone with Avon, Stringer takes the chance to Lady MacBeth it up a bit, putting the thought into Avon's head that there might be something wrong at The Pit considering that Omar robbed the place and the police showed up and tried to bust a former stash house. He admits that D is making plenty of money, but suggests that D might have a problem that he doesn't know about yet. He promises to take care of it, and then throws the ball up for Avon to dunk. Avon missed an earlier 3 pointer and scores this - showing the effectiveness of the Avon/Stringer partnership?

McNulty is busy proving his father-of-the-year credentials. Driving Bubbles through an affluent area of Baltimore ("Leave-it-to-Beaver Land" Bubbles calls it), he takes the junkie to his son's soccer game! Bubbles hasn't actually been informed that McNulty was going somewhere else first, only learning when he asks where the hell they're going. McNulty says he'll drop him back downtown afterwards, they have to go to soccer first. "Suck what?" asks Bubbles. At the game, McNulty's kid spots him and runs to see him, and they're joined by the soon to be Ex-Mrs. McNulty, who reacts with understandable disgust when she sees Bubbles. It's easy for us to see Bubbles as a dignified and tragic figure, and he hardly looks his worst in this scene, but he's still pretty clearly a junkie and she must be wondering just what the hell possessed McNulty to bring him here. McNulty of course sees nothing wrong with this at all, declaring,"It's just Bubbles," as if that means anything to her. She complains that McNulty is late and they quickly degenerate into an argument over custody, with McNulty wanting more than just two weekends a month with the boys. She storms off angrily as their son's team scores a goal and he rushes to McNulty to ask if he saw. Of course he didn't, he was too busy arguing.

Night falls and McNulty returns Bubbles downtown, where the episode's opening quote is stated,"Thin line 'tween heaven and here."



The next day D, Poot and Wallace are sitting in The Pit discussing how the police knew which door to knock down (despite getting there too late), with Poot and Wallace considering that somebody is snitching. D tells them that nobody needs to have snitched, Omar could have just snuck in and peeked out at them from any window. Wallace spots Bodie as he staggers in looking about as bad as some of the junkies they sell to on a daily basis. He shows off the screwdriver he used to steal a car, laughingly offering them a ride before explaining that "Boy's Village ain't poo poo" and that he's too bad for it to hold him. Surprisingly they all take his story at face value, especially as they were just discussing the possibility of a snitch and now Bodie - who punched out a cop only a couple of days earlier - has walked back into The Pit. D laughs at Bodie's posturing and Bodie makes the rather foolish mistake of openly mocking his boss, telling him he'd still be in Boy's Village if it had been him. D shuts him down instantly, reminding him he just spent 8 months in a REAL prison (more than red lines stopping inmates there) accused of murder, and tells them that he has more bodies than the one they know about. He proceeds to tell them a story that we'll see from a very different angle shortly, and it is some very good acting from Larry Gilliard Jr. He tells them the story of one of his uncle's girlfriends, who threatened to talk to the police because Avon was cheating on her. In D's version of the story, he was handpicked by Avon and taken to her house, tapping on the glass of her window with his gun to get her attention and make her approach the glass to see who was there (the light was on in her apartment). D never actually out and out claims to have killed her, Wallace claims this as the only obvious conclusion, and while Poot and Wallace laugh over Poot's assertion he should have hosed her first, D focuses all his attention on Bodie who seems to finally acknowledge and give D respect.

Deputy Ops Burrell visits Judge Phelan to discuss problems with the equipment in their Trace Lab, fishing for an offer from Phelan for financial assistance from a non-profit orgnization. Phelan is happy to offer, his brother sits on the board of just such an organization (shades of Mahon?). Phelan asks for reciprocation, wanting an update on the Barksdale probe, and Burrell happily offers him a dossier on what they've done so far. Phelan isn't impressed, noting it is street level stuff and nothing more, not happy with Burrell's claims that they caught up some mid-level dealers (Marvin and his single gel-cap?) and this all goes TOWARDS getting Avon Barksdale, besides which they "sent a message". Phelan plays along somewhat, saying that this just shows how much work they have to do, and Burrell shifts uncomfortably, not happy that that the detail isn't wrapped up as he'd hoped it would be.

Herc and Carver arrive at the home of Bodie's grandmother, demanding angrily to be let in. Clearly used to these sort of disruptions, she lets them into the house and quietly goes about folding her laundry as they look for Bodie. Realizing he isn't there, Carver leaves in disgust along with a uniformed officer who was presumably waiting by the back door in case Bodie made a run for it. Herc actually stops on the way out though, and actually apologies to the grandmother for cursing, saying he didn't realize it was just her there. Perhaps because he apologized, she actually starts talking, asking Herc if this is about the drugs and explaining how Bodie came to live with her (Bodie's mother died when he was 4 years old) and even then she knew he was an angry little boy. Outside, the uniformed officer is asking Carver if he was involved in that idiocy up in the towers and Carver is insisting he has no idea what he is talking about. Herc gives the grandmother his card and asks her to have Bodie call him if she sees him, then leaves and tells Carver he was just talking inside. It's a rare switcharound of their usual routine, as Herc takes the quieter, calmer approach while Carver is completely oblivious to the possible effectiveness. Some people have noted that Herc is upset when he later discovers that Bodie has the card, and I agrees he is, but I also think it shows that this approach DID work. Bodie's grandmother obviously gave him the card and probably asked him to contact Herc and get this all sorted out, and he took the card to make her happy. It's on Bodie that he never did anything else (not that I really blame him), and I don't think it should be taken as a sign that the Grandmother was lying or dishonest with Herc or didn't take his quieter, kinder approach to heart.

Prez is still playing word scrambles in the office, which is of course all foreshadowing for later events. He takes a call, it's Phelan for McNulty, and he asks to call him back so he can talk to him in privacy. Another private conversation is happening in Homicide, where Landsman takes a comical approach to a dangerous issue and brings up McNulty to Rawls. Rawls appreciates the humor, and listens as Landsman explicitly lays out the problem with McNulty - he's an addict who thinks he is the smartest man in the room. He details a little of McNulty's history in homicide, then points out that these problems are also what make him such good police, and gets to the heart of the matter, the thing that really matters to Rawls - Jimmy clears cases. Jimmy gets results (you stupid Chief!), including very difficult cases. Rawls listens and then makes what is for him a very magnanimous offer - if McNulty clears up his "bullshit detail" in two weeks, he can return to homicide with a clean slate - all is forgiven.



Phelan is telling an (idealized) version of his meeting with Burrell, asking if he "did good"? As he tells his side of the story over the phone to a strangely standoffish Jimmy, Burrell is telling his side to Daniels while practicing his putting in his office. Daniels continues to be the company man, making it abundantly clear to Burrell that the case will go whatever way Burrell wants it to go. He admits that McNulty thinks they need to be on a wiretap, and suggests that Burrell might want somebody else in charge. Burrell isn't letting him off the hook so easily though and asks what Daniels thinks, and Daniels tells him that the case needs something. Burrell lets that hang and takes a putt... he misses the hole by a wide margin.

In a short space of time we've seen three very different conversations between higher-ups and subordinates - Rawls and Landsman, Phelan and McNulty, Burrell and Daniels. Landsman took a "one of the guys" approach to Rawls, disarming him with crude humor and a cavalier manner before getting to the heart of the matter. Daniels took a very passive role, letting Burrell do most of the talking, telling him he'd do whatever he was told no matter what it was, and very uneasily opened up only when forced to. Of the three though, I find the Phelan/McNulty relationship the most interesting. We're used to seeing judges as more aloof types but of course they're all people who came from somewhere. McNulty and Phelan were buddies when he was a District Attorney, and their relationship remains for at least the first part of season one, with Phelan having an oddly subordinate feel to McNulty.

At home, Kima and Cheryl have a good-natured argument about Kima getting highlighter on the couch, and Kima notices Cheryl's phonebill, listing numbers of calls made. Elsewhere, Lester is out testing his own theory, driving by The Pit and spotting D and Bodie tossing stones at a surveillance camera (a shot we see in EVERY episode opening for EVERY season). If he makes note of Bodie's presence, he doesn't care, he's purely interested in his own theory and nothing else. He rings the number he found on the stash house wall and get's D's beeper. D heads to the nearby payphone and calls Lester's number, asking who it is. Lester hangs up and puts his own phone away, smug that his theory has been proven right. It is perhaps the one good thing to come out of the botched stash house bust, unless you're Mahon!



I hope this next part doesn't forever spoil this scene for you, but McNulty and Kima have a walking conversation that is a continuity nightmare. As they walk up the street, McNulty shows Kima the legal paperwork to clone a pager, explaining he wants to clone D's. Kima asks for No Heart Anthony's backstory, and McNulty explains how he came by the name as they continue up the street, the camera alternating between shots from behind and in front. On every cut, the pedestrians behind or in front of them change, people disappear in the ether, and it drives me mad. They move on to discussing Omar, and make a rather laughable plan to get hold of Omar that assumes that he has a gun and they can use that as leverage to scare him into giving up the information he has gleaned on the Barksdale Organization.

Inside, Polk is on the steps trying to work up the courage to take a spill and join Mahon in medical retirement. The closest he gets is when McNulty and Kima come through the door and surprise him into twisting about. He catches his breath as they head by with barely a look from McNulty, and rejoins the rest of the squad as McNulty finishes covering for Santangelo and Daniels asks for ideas on where to go next since they haven't been shut down.... yet. Kima decides to run with McNulty's plan and brings up the pagers, noting that if they clone them then they'll be getting the same messages that the dealers get at the same time. McNulty quickly jumps on once Kima has opened the door, but Herc is still stuck on trying to figure out why the dealers are using pagers which are so low-rent and yester-year. Lester arrives and explains that it is a discipline thing, showing Daniels a photo of D using a payphone and noting they'll need pen-registers for all the payphones in the area. Daniels is clearly wavering, without concrete direction from Burrell he is strongly considering pursuing actual police work, even if he is a little annoyed to see McNulty has prepared all the paperwork already. Herc still doesn't understand what is going on and Daniels needs convincing, which provides an excuse for what boils down to an exposition dump from Freamon, Kima and McNulty as they explain the legal concept of exhaustion - they need to show they have taken every possible step and it has failed, so they NEED to use electronic surveillance. Daniels asks if they even have D's number to clone in the first place and for the first time McNulty and Kima are unprepared. Freamon waits to see what they have to offer, and when it becomes clear they have nothing he finally steps forward and shows them the number he found on the stash house wall and a photo of D using the phone.


This is the first time but it won't be the last - Daniels increasingly looks to Freamon for advice/guidance as the series continues.

Daniels commits at last, they will prove exhaustion and then move to electronic surveillance. Herc STILL doesn't understand what is going on, and Carver tells him he will explain it over breakfast. As they all set to work, McNulty can't stop looking at Lester, who he has finally realized is not a hump.

He says as much to Bunk when they meet to re-investigate the murder scene of the case Landsman dumped on them earlier. Bunk is amused by Jimmy's ignorance, much as Bubbles was by Kima's regarding No Heart Anthony. Lester is smart, he makes a great deal of money from his "toy furniture" and he used to work in homicide. Why did he stop? Bunk tells McNulty to ask Lester himself.

Inside, we get the well known "gently caress" scene. In his book Homicide, Simon jokingly suggested that two good detectives would be able to investigate a scene using nothing but the word gently caress, and "proves" it in this episode. This is clearly the murder D bragged about to get Wallace, Poot and Bodie's respect earlier, and we see it revealed as Bunk and McNulty slowly work out the timeline of the murder and the location of the shooter, proving their theory when they find a spent shell casing. Others have discussed this scene to death, so all I'll say is that the "gently caress" aspect feels gimmicky to me but I really enjoy how it demonstrates how well McNulty and Bunk understand each other, and the actual reconstruction of the murder is handled really, really well. Like the superintendent I can't help but smile in triumph when they locate the shell casing.



Requiring far more than "gently caress", Kima is directing Carver, Sydnor and Herc to try and follow D'Angelo through the low-rises and towers. They know that this is an impossible task, that's the entire point, but Herc still doesn't understand. If the point is to lose him (thus exhausting the potential non-electronic surveillance methods of investigating D'Angelo) then why bother doing it at all? It's not as stupid a question as it seems, because they have no intention of not losing him, but it's a legal necessity. There are so many hoops that need to be jumped through, and regardless of how ridiculous it is, if those hoops aren't jumped through then the whole case falls apart. Herc isn't subtle enough to understand these things, and maybe he could learn, but as we'll see shown again and again, the culture of the police department in Baltimore is to focus on and reward the most basic and blunt of policework.

Case in point, McNulty returns to the Major Case Squad to talk with Lester, pointing out that he can do real policework so why hasn't he been doing it. Lester explains his backstory, which should have a flashing banner above it saying,"THIS IS GOING TO HAPPEN TO YOU MCNULTY!" - he was in homicide, he caught a case that peripherally involved somebody connected with the media and rather than bringing in the case without using that person as the Deputy Ops of the time "suggested", he went whole hog and charged that person as well and forced them to testify in court. He was quickly punished by being transferred to the Pawn Shop Unit for 13 years (and four months) after making the mistake of revealing that the one place he did NOT want to end up was in an office job. This goes some way to explaining why he has been so hesitant to speak up or act out at other points in the episodes, though it is clear his old arrogance hasn't been knocked totally out of him. Lester still has a tendency to want to show up and save the day with his brilliance, as seen with the poster of Avon and the D'Angelo beeper number, but he's no longer actively out there in front getting attention like McNulty is. Lester can see the writing on the wall for McNulty, outright warning him that there will come a day where he gets punished just like Lester was. So why did the top brass let Lester back into the game? Lester suggests that after awhile they just forgot he ever existed, a fate that I feel certain is in store for McNulty as well. Despite everything we know he gets up to in season 5, I'm sure there will come a point - maybe 13 years (and four months)? - down the line where the Deputy Ops would say,"Jimmy who?" if asked about McNulty. Of course, what neither of them know is that Jimmy's fate has already been sealed when he opened up his big mouth to Landsman in an earlier episode - Lester's advice has come too late.

This particular episode ends on a sour note for me personally. McNulty rather hilariously shows up at Kima's house drunk, which is a prelude to sex when it is Rhonda but sure as hell isn't going to happen here.



Oh McNulty :doh:

Saying he wanted to know how the final phase of Exhaustion went, she tells him they failed to keep track of D'Angelo as they expected. He thanks her for backing him up with Daniels over cloning the pager, and then perhaps realizing how idiotic he is being he leaves after assuring her he is okay to drive (he really isn't). Kima returns to the couch with Cheryl, where in my opinion things get taken a step too far as they begin making out and stripping off their clothes as the camera fades to black and the credits roll. I'm not complaining from a puritanical point of view, but I don't see what their nudity added to the scene beyond maybe filling an HBO "tits quota". We already know they're lovers, they're cuddling on the couch and joking about television and McNulty's idiocy, and the whole thing just feels (to me) tacked on. If it is just there for titillation value, then it does a disservice to both actresses, especially since the series is otherwise pretty good about establishing the normalcy of homosexual relationships (such as Omar and Brandon's). It's a sour note for me, and means the episode which is otherwise a very good one ends on a downward note. As far as I can remember it is the only time we see either actress nude, from this point the show remembers to treat them as people and characters and not just sexy nude lesbians.

And goddamn that is a hell of a lot of words, I can see why these take you so long, escape artist!

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 10:36 on Feb 13, 2013

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


Very nice! I lied. I might just switch off with you if you're up for it-- you did a fantastic job.

Also, we do see Kima having hot lesbian sex in Season 3, Episode 12. I don't think it was gratuitous, I think it was just lazy. The show likes to fade out on an image it deems particularly important, or at least memorable-- and they're usually character moments. In the first three episodes we've got-- D'Angelo walking away from Gant's murder, Daniels in bed with his wife, receiving the phone call about the half-blind 14 year old, and McNulty pondering Daniels' dirtiness. If it faded out with Kima and Cheryl cuddling, it would not have been as powerful an image, nor would McNulty walking away drunk be. (especially since McNulty drinking was what faded out in the prior episode)

I just watched the scene, and as someone who finds Kima very attractive-- I have to say the scene was not very titillating, so to speak. It's a dark scene and you barely see anything. And it cuts out right as Cheryl's top is pulled off. The sex scenes in Season 3, Episode 12 are way more graphic-- they're also important to the story. Kima is cheating on Cheryl and ignoring her phone calls, while Daniels and Pearlman have passionate sex knowing that they can now be seen in public together, finally-- no more charade.

edit:

The epigraph for that episode, "Thin line 'tween heaven and here." is one of my favorite quotes in the show.

escape artist fucked around with this message at 14:02 on Feb 13, 2013

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



chesh posted:

Awesome, that's what I wanted to know. Here in western PA they simply call it "fish."

For the next 8 weeks in western PA (esp Pittsburgh) all fish will be "Fish Fry".

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


Also, let me point out a little Wire easter egg for you folks.

In the episode Jerusalem just reviewed, when Kima and McNulty are trying to flip Marvin on Avon, guess who else is in the courtroom?





Check out the officer. It's Officer Chris Partlow! Yes, Gbenga Akinnagbe was an uncredited extra, playing a different role in this episode, two seasons before he landed the role as Marlo's #2.



edit: On an unrelated note, I think I might have noticed a goof in the show. Isn't McNulty divorced by Season 3? It's clear that his relationship with Elena is on the outs early on, and despite the time they have sex in Season 2, she makes sure to kick him out before the kids wake up. In the first episode of Season 3, she is dating another man, and McNulty eventually dates Beadie toward the end of Season 3. However, McNulty can be seen wearing his wedding band in Season 3, Episode 11-- when he extends his hand to Lt. Daniels after they catch Stringer on the wire, conspiring to commit murder.

escape artist fucked around with this message at 14:12 on Feb 13, 2013

Crumbletron
Jul 21, 2006



IT'S YOUR BOY JESUS, MANE


escape artist posted:

Also, let me point out a little Wire easter egg for you folks.

In the episode Jerusalem just reviewed, when Kima and McNulty are trying to flip Marvin on Avon, guess who else is in the courtroom?





Check out the officer. It's Officer Chris Partlow! Yes, Gbenga Akinnagbe was an uncredited extra, playing a different role in this episode, two seasons before he landed the role as Marlo's #2.



edit: On an unrelated note, I think I might have noticed a goof in the show. Isn't McNulty divorced by Season 3? It's clear that his relationship with Elena is on the outs early on, and despite the time they have sex in Season 2, she makes sure to kick him out before the kids wake up. In the first episode of Season 3, she is dating another man, and McNulty eventually dates Beadie toward the end of Season 3. However, McNulty can be seen wearing his wedding band in Season 3, Episode 11-- when he extends his hand to Lt. Daniels after they catch Stringer on the wire, conspiring to commit murder.

Do they ever actually divorce for real during season 3? I know they're separated and I thought the papers Elena wanted him to sign were for alimony/the kids. That said, I'd buy that Jimmy kept the ring on just because.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


Parachute Underwear posted:

Do they ever actually divorce for real during season 3? I know they're separated and I thought the papers Elena wanted him to sign were for alimony/the kids. That said, I'd buy that Jimmy kept the ring on just because.

I honestly don't know.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

Jerusalem posted:

There's one situation I can think of where - through no fault of his own - he ends up totally hosed, when Omar comes after him thinking he killed Butchie. Slim KNOWS he is dead and he accepts that there is nothing he can do about it. He lives thanks to Omar's promise to Bunk, but I think also because he didn't try to bluff his way out or take a wild lunge at Omar.

He also said something to Omar that made him realize he had nothing to do with Butchie. I can't remember exactly what he said.

Always remember though that Slim Charles is still a cold-blooded murderer when he has to be. When him and Cutty go after Fruit's corner in Season 3, the kid he shoots is like 15 years old. And it wasn't a gunfight, he just walked up on the kid and shot him in the back. Slim has loyalty and is a smart dude but thats about as far as I can go with it.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



I have no doubt that Jimmy would keep wearing the wedding band out of sheer stubbornness - divorce me? Jimmy McNulty? Somebody else gets the final word? Not on my watch!

And yes I'd be happy to alternate write-ups with you, escape artist.

Randomly Specific
Sep 22, 2012

My keys are somewhere in there.

Jerusalem posted:

I've always been a little confused by this scene, is it supposed to paint Omar in a positive light, showing that he doesn't care purely about money or that he has a soft touch for children? Does it show he can be manipulated by junkie sob stories that a harder dealer (say, Bodie for instance) might reject out of hand? I think it's another result of the writers not having quite figured out Omar's character just yet, the nearest we see to this type of behavior again in the future is the children that are so excited to see Omar in season 5 where he is "retired", running up hoping for gifts.

Omar running her a 'tab' of sorts there was banking for the future. Think ahead to the part where Weebay and company are burning his van and he's watching from her squat with her kid in his lap.

The money only has a very limited value to him- he lives in vacants and stays permanently in the wind. He regularly rebuilds his cash flow with stash robberies, and playing a bit of Robin Hood supplies him with a network of eyes and ears as well as other potential favors down the road.

The child dealer may or may not be out of character (I'd think Omar would see that as simply giving a hopper a chance to earn a buck) but him being generous with the drugs he steals is entirely in character IMO.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



That's something I hadn't considered and makes a hell of a lot of sense, thanks!

Randomly Specific
Sep 22, 2012

My keys are somewhere in there.

Jerusalem posted:

That's something I hadn't considered and makes a hell of a lot of sense, thanks!

Thank you for the excellent writeup.

Slo-Tek
Jun 8, 2001

WINDOWS 98 BEAT HIS FRIEND WITH A SHOVEL

Randomly Specific posted:

Omar running her a 'tab' of sorts there was banking for the future. Think ahead to the part where Weebay and company are burning his van and he's watching from her squat with her kid in his lap.

The money only has a very limited value to him- he lives in vacants and stays permanently in the wind. He regularly rebuilds his cash flow with stash robberies, and playing a bit of Robin Hood supplies him with a network of eyes and ears as well as other potential favors down the road.

The child dealer may or may not be out of character (I'd think Omar would see that as simply giving a hopper a chance to earn a buck) but him being generous with the drugs he steals is entirely in character IMO.

I seemed to me like Omar's relationship with Brandon to be pretty chicken-hawk exploitive. Brandon is just barely (if) an adult. Way less creepy when he was making time with 'Naldo and Dante, who are more clearly partners in the business, and legal to drink.

I also liked Omar better when he was creepy. Before he got the whole street samurai urban legend writers pet fan favorite thing going on.

Slo-Tek fucked around with this message at 22:01 on Feb 13, 2013

chesh
Apr 19, 2004

That was terrible.


geeves posted:

For the next 8 weeks in western PA (esp Pittsburgh) all fish will be "Fish Fry".

I know (but only on Friday's)! That makes me so happy.

Excellent write up, Jerusalem!

Randomly Specific posted:

Omar running her a 'tab' of sorts there was banking for the future. Think ahead to the part where Weebay and company are burning his van and he's watching from her squat with her kid in his lap.

The money only has a very limited value to him- he lives in vacants and stays permanently in the wind. He regularly rebuilds his cash flow with stash robberies, and playing a bit of Robin Hood supplies him with a network of eyes and ears as well as other potential favors down the road.

The child dealer may or may not be out of character (I'd think Omar would see that as simply giving a hopper a chance to earn a buck) but him being generous with the drugs he steals is entirely in character IMO.

I was going to say this, but you beat me to it. It took as long to read the recap as to watch the episode. :)

deoju
Jul 11, 2004

All the pieces matter.


Nap Ghost

I am pretty sure Jimmy wears a Cladagh ring in some episodes. Lots of Irish people do.
Like this...


I am not sure if does at this point though.

Randomly Specific
Sep 22, 2012

My keys are somewhere in there.

Slo-Tek posted:

I seemed to me like Omar's relationship with Brandon to be pretty chicken-hawk exploitive. Brandon is just barely (if) an adult. Way less creepy when he was making time with 'Naldo and Dante, who are more clearly partners in the business, and legal to drink.

I also liked Omar better when he was creepy. Before he got the whole street samurai urban legend writers pet fan favorite thing going on.

I'd say he was intended to be street samurai pretty much from day one. While it did get to the point of being borderline action-movie by S5, we're just a short walk from this intro to 'Man's gotta have a code' and 'Omar don't scare.'

Brandon was clearly younger and vastly more immature than Omar, but I don't even know if the latter is so much a function of age difference as upbringing. Brandon seemed like he came from a bit more middle class upbringing and viewed it more as a game. Brandon never came across as barely legal to me, just immature and carrying that sense of youthful immortality.

SpookyLizard
Feb 17, 2009


Omar wasn't intended to be such a large presence that he ended up being. The writers responded to feedback from the fans.

SubponticatePoster
Aug 9, 2004

Every day takes figurin' out all over again how to fuckin' live.


Slippery Tilde

Jerusalem posted:

I have no doubt that Jimmy would keep wearing the wedding band out of sheer stubbornness - divorce me? Jimmy McNulty? Somebody else gets the final word? Not on my watch!

And yes I'd be happy to alternate write-ups with you, escape artist.
Yeah, I read it as Jimmy being Jimmy - the court says he's divorced, his ex-wife says he's divorced, but he doesn't want to be and they can't make him take the ring off so in his mind he's still married.

DropsySufferer
Nov 9, 2008

Impractical practicality


Jerusalem posted:

Episode 4: Old Cases

The episode opens with Herc struggling to move a desk through the doorway in the dank offices of the Major Crimes Unit. What follows is pretty much the police department in a nutshell, as more and more of the squad join in to help him out. Freamon watches the pathetic display with the unspoken suggestion that he knows exactly what is going wrong, and he seems both dismayed and amused at what is happening. Everybody finally gives in, and Herc complains that at this rate they're never going to get it IN. Everybody else was, of course, trying to get the desk OUT, and by working against each other and failing to communicate they got nothing done. We've seen this frequently already on the show and we'll see it more this season and across the series as a whole. It's also just a genuinely funny scene, even if it is a little forced (Herc says "You know what to do!" instead of saying "push" or "pull"). Of more interest to me is that Freamon is equally a part of a problem. While they could have sorted out the issue with the desk quickly with a little communication, Freamon could have also solved all their problems by pointing out they were working against each other, or even being diplomatic and making a suggestion like,"Are you trying to get it in or out?" - Freamon is a character who is willing to sit back and let others make fools of themselves, but wouldn't it have been more productive to be part of the team and help, even at the risk of looking a little foolish or making others feel that way? It's also interesting that Kima isn't there - would she have seen the problem or just jumped in with the others to try and solve it.



Great job on the writeups both of you!

Amazing. I have watched this scene twice and I could not figure out what the joke was there but I knew I was missing the point. I thought the desk was jammed in the doorframe or something. Somehow it did not occur to me that Herc was pushing the table in while the others were pulling. I'm going to rewatch the scene again can't believe this wasn't obvious to me.:doh:

Crumbletron
Jul 21, 2006



IT'S YOUR BOY JESUS, MANE


Man. Just watched the episode where Prez shoots that cop on accident. There's that closing scene where he's at the office, sitting there and looking at all their work and the equipment for the last time. Every time I see that scene, all I can hear is McNulty's, "I had such fuckin' hopes for us." :smith:

Fellis
Feb 14, 2012

Kid, don't threaten me. There are worse things than death, and uh, I can do all of them.


escape artist posted:

Also, let me point out a little Wire easter egg for you folks.

In the episode Jerusalem just reviewed, when Kima and McNulty are trying to flip Marvin on Avon, guess who else is in the courtroom?

Check out the officer. It's Officer Chris Partlow! Yes, Gbenga Akinnagbe was an uncredited extra, playing a different role in this episode, two seasons before he landed the role as Marlo's #2.

He was also pretty nervous about being an extra and stared right at the camera during the scene. Earlier in that video they state that Lance Reddick was the 2nd choice for bubbles behind Andre Royo. That would have been different.

Also, great job on the writeup Jerusalem!

Fellis fucked around with this message at 10:23 on Feb 14, 2013

3spades
Mar 20, 2003

37! My girlfriend sucked 37 dicks!

Customer: In a row?

Fellis posted:

He was also pretty nervous about being an extra and stared right at the camera during the scene. Earlier in that video they state that Lance Reddick was the 2nd choice for bubbles behind Andre Royo. That would have been different.

Also, great job on the writeup Jerusalem!

Lance Reddick does play a junkie on The Corner though.

MrBling
Aug 21, 2003

Oozing machismo

He's a pretty good drug addict on Oz too.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

The greatest sensual pleasure there is is to know the desires of another!



Fun Shoe

3spades posted:

Lance Reddick does play a junkie on The Corner though.

Well as a Fringe fan as well, its really difficult to see Reddick as anything other than the Daniels/Broyles character. I think he defined himself as a character actor with those two roles.

HoneyBoy
Oct 12, 2012

get murked son

MrBling posted:

He's a pretty good drug addict on Oz too.

"Breakfast of champions"

I couldn't stop laughing when I saw him in that role after having watched The Wire.

chesh
Apr 19, 2004

That was terrible.


DropsySufferer posted:

Great job on the writeups both of you!

Amazing. I have watched this scene twice and I could not figure out what the joke was there but I knew I was missing the point. I thought the desk was jammed in the doorframe or something. Somehow it did not occur to me that Herc was pushing the table in while the others were pulling. I'm going to rewatch the scene again can't believe this wasn't obvious to me.:doh:

(Both sides are pushing. Hence, the desk is immovable.)

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Boywhiz88
Sep 11, 2005

floating 26" off da ground. BURR!


chesh posted:

(Both sides are pushing. Hence, the desk is immovable.)

And the symbolism is that they're working against each other without realizing it.

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