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escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


I don't think Poot lacks empathy at all. He leaves the drug trade because of how many people around him are killed. He finishes off Wallace, tears in his eyes, so that he doesn't suffer and choke to death on his own blood.

I think Poot just realized that he had no choice in the matter. If he had protested Wallace's death, then Poot would have been killed himself, you know? He was given two lovely outcomes, and he chose the less lovely of the two.

Also, another factoid: Poot was not a character originally written into the show. The creators were so impressed with Trey Chaney's performance, that they invented the character for him.


vvv That's what I'm saying. vvv

escape artist fucked around with this message at 07:14 on Apr 3, 2013

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Mooktastical
Jan 8, 2008


I saw Poot's killing Wallace as more of a merciful gesture than one of solidarity with Bodie.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



That's the thing, on the one hand it's kind of amazing how he manages to retain so much of his happy, friendly demeanor and just feel like a "normal" person but on the other it's a little troubling that he does seem to be so able to still be that type of person regardless of everything he's seen/been involved with. It may be just that he's one of those people who genuinely don't let things get under their skin and always looks on the bright side, but it may be that he's living in denial.

I think one thing that is clear is that he was only involved in the drug game because that is where his friends were. Once he had no friends left, he was out. He wasn't "made for this", he wasn't in it for "the game" or anything like that, he seemed to be just going along with what his friends were doing. His buddies are dealing drugs now? Okay, he'll do that! Gets out of prison, where is his friend Bodie? Still dealing drugs? Okay, that's what he'll do! Bodie is gone, Wallace is gone, even Little Kevin is gone? gently caress it then, he'll go get a job selling shoes and concentrate on the one thing that he is passionate about - sex!

Frostwerks
Sep 24, 2007

by Lowtax


A Humble motherfucker with a big rear end dick.

hiddenmovement
Sep 29, 2011

"Most mornings I'll apologise in advance to my wife."

Another interesting parallel is Sydnors reaction to the case wrapping up. He becomes the new McNulty by the end of season 5, passing off tips to judges and all that. Here he is declaring that this case doesn't feel over - there has to be more to the chase.

ShaneMacGowansTeeth
May 22, 2007



I think this is it... I think this is how it ends


The only thing I didn't like about Wallace's death was how all of the writing leading up to it, especially the bit in the takeout place, seemed very... heavy handed and too foreshadowing. Usually this show likes to do a lot of its best storytelling in gestures, looks, broken phrases, something in the background but that scene was almost too "police procedural" for me.

Fragmented
Oct 7, 2003

I'm not ready =(



hiddenmovement posted:

Another interesting parallel is Sydnors reaction to the case wrapping up. He becomes the new McNulty by the end of season 5, passing off tips to judges and all that. Here he is declaring that this case doesn't feel over - there has to be more to the chase.

How did Sydnor survive the whole fake serial killer thing anyways?

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...



escape artist posted:

Meanwhile, Poot pays a girl to call 911 and say "there's an animal hurt inside the house" so that Wallace's body is found.

Nice parallel here with Chris and Snoop's modus operandi in season 4. If Poot hadn't called it in, who knows how long the body would have rotted there?

Randomly Specific
Sep 22, 2012

My keys are somewhere in there.

Fragmented posted:

How did Sydnor survive the whole fake serial killer thing anyways?

They cashiered Lester and McNulty, and didn't want to push it any further than that. Potential publicity and all.

McNulty and Lester were the ringleaders, everyone else was just profiting by the extra hours and budget that McNulty could swing.

Fragmented
Oct 7, 2003

I'm not ready =(



But Kima saw him in the room with an illegal wiretap running, and she knew how they managed to get it running. I guess she just didn't mention his name because like you say it was McNutty and Lesters game?

the black husserl
Feb 25, 2005



escape artist posted:


The final shot of this episode shows the pit, which has been decimated by the police's activity. The iconic orange couch, for the first time, is empty.

This shot never fails to break my heart. It just screams innocence and childhood lost in the saddest way.

Fragmented
Oct 7, 2003

I'm not ready =(



I write really bad lyrics for hip hop and alternative songs for fun sometimes and i named one song "Empty orange couch." I'll see if i can find it.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Fragmented posted:

But Kima saw him in the room with an illegal wiretap running, and she knew how they managed to get it running. I guess she just didn't mention his name because like you say it was McNutty and Lesters game?

From what I remember, Sydnor had no idea the wiretap wasn't legitimate, didn't he? Lester and McNulty kept him in the dark so that if things went south, only they would suffer?

Diabolik900
Mar 28, 2007



Jerusalem posted:

From what I remember, Sydnor had no idea the wiretap wasn't legitimate, didn't he? Lester and McNulty kept him in the dark so that if things went south, only they would suffer?

He knew that the wiretap was illegal, but I don't think he knew anything about the connection to the serial killer case.

ShaneMacGowansTeeth
May 22, 2007



I think this is it... I think this is how it ends


The dialogue runs as follows:

quote:

Freamon: When they took us off Marlo this last time, when they said they couldn't pay for further investigation... I regarded that decision as illegitimate.
Sydnor: Illegitimate?
Freamon: And so... I'm responding in kind. I'm going to press a case against Marlo Stanfield without regard to the usual rules. I'm running an illegal wiretap on Marlo Stanfield's cellphone.
Sydnor: gently caress. Lester?
Freamon: If you have a problem with this, I understand completely, and I urge you to get as far loving away from me as you can.

So Sydnor knew the wiretap was illegal, but I assume Lester would have done everything in his power to give the bosses the impression he told anyone working in Major Crimes that it was a legitimate wiretap and fallen on his own sword when/if the poo poo hit the fan. As far as I can recall, Sydnor knew nothing about the fake killer thing either.

Diabolik900
Mar 28, 2007



I believe there was also a scene some time later where McNulty or Lester mentioned the serial killer and Sydnor seemed confused and asked what that had to do with the Stanfield investigation.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Ahh right, I did forget about that conversation, thanks!

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


ShaneMacGowansTeeth posted:

The dialogue runs as follows:


So Sydnor knew the wiretap was illegal, but I assume Lester would have done everything in his power to give the bosses the impression he told anyone working in Major Crimes that it was a legitimate wiretap and fallen on his own sword when/if the poo poo hit the fan. As far as I can recall, Sydnor knew nothing about the fake killer thing either.
What about the scene where Sydnor's got the cell phone and they route his number to make it look like that phone (in that specific area) was used to call the police (as the serial killer)? He then slips his phone in some foil so that the signal isn't readable.

It seemed like Sydnor was fully on board. I just presume that McNulty and Freamon took the weight to save his rear end, and the brass bought it because they didn't want to have to can as many members of the force as possible.

grading essays nude
Oct 24, 2009

so why dont we
put him into a canan
and shoot him into the trolls base where
ever it is and let him kill all of them. its
so perfect that it can't go wrong.

i think its the best plan i
have ever heard in my life

Don't forget, though, Sydnor helps them place a fake phone call for the serial killer later, planting a burner at the harbor for the cops to find. He knew.

Edit: beaten.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


I beat you ;)


Anyway, I thought Wallace's death was handled fine. It was made pretty apparent from the beginning of the episode that he was going to get killed, which just made every scene with him excruciating to watch. And the scene where he is actually killed tops it all off.

Not to mention, a lot of those scenes about Wallace fleshed out characters very well. D'Angelo, Bodie, Poot... and after his death, McNulty and Daniels. I thought Pelecanos did a spectacular job with that episode. There's not a scene that is unnecessary or wasted, and there is so much plot and character development contained in that one 55-minute episode.

escape artist fucked around with this message at 21:36 on Apr 3, 2013

ShaneMacGowansTeeth
May 22, 2007



I think this is it... I think this is how it ends


escape artist posted:

What about the scene where Sydnor's got the cell phone and they route his number to make it look like that phone (in that specific area) was used to call the police (as the serial killer)? He then slips his phone in some foil so that the signal isn't readable.

It seemed like Sydnor was fully on board. I just presume that McNulty and Freamon took the weight to save his rear end, and the brass bought it because they didn't want to have to can as many members of the force as possible.

It's been a while! I've actually abandoned my re-watch after season 3 because I somehow in my mind split the show into 2 separate parts: The Barksdales and then The Stanfield era. I'll probably jump back into Season 4 next week, but I don't have the love for season four that others do whereas I could probably watch season 2 on an infinite loop until the end of time.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Oh man how could I forget Sydnor helping place the fake call :doh:

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


Jerusalem posted:

Oh man how could I forget Sydnor helping place the fake call :doh:

To be fair, I forgot about it too. Which is why I did an entire re-watch, in preparation for making this re-watch thread.

twerking on the railroad
Jun 23, 2007

Get on my level


Jerusalem posted:

Oh man how could I forget Sydnor helping place the fake call :doh:

I still don't think he knew about the serial killer being fake. I think that as far as he was concerned the serial killer was out there. He, McNulty, and Freamon were just adding to the hysteria to get at Marlo as far as Sydnor was concerned. At least that's my reading of it.

grading essays nude
Oct 24, 2009

so why dont we
put him into a canan
and shoot him into the trolls base where
ever it is and let him kill all of them. its
so perfect that it can't go wrong.

i think its the best plan i
have ever heard in my life

It's not hard to put two and two together though - given that he knew the wiretap was illegal, he had to know that there had to be a way of covering it up, and it would have seemed too much of a coincidence for McNulty to get the serial killer case at the same time Lester starts the illegal tap.

hiddenmovement
Sep 29, 2011

"Most mornings I'll apologise in advance to my wife."

Sydnor knows, and I've no doubt in five years time he's off pulling similar crap (he learned from the best!)

Frostwerks
Sep 24, 2007

by Lowtax


hiddenmovement posted:

Sydnor knows, and I've no doubt in five years time he's off pulling similar crap (he learned from the best!)

In 2015, Sydnor lets a homeless guy out of his car and stares off wistful into the distance.

hiddenmovement
Sep 29, 2011

"Most mornings I'll apologise in advance to my wife."

And across town, Michael gets shot in the head by D'Angelos kid, Dukie breaks down during a speech at an NA meeting Dukie still has a long way to fall, and Clay Davis is entering his 11th term.

hiddenmovement fucked around with this message at 11:09 on Apr 4, 2013

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


and Carcetti debates in the 2015 Democratic Presidential Primary.

Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


escape artist posted:

and Carcetti debates in the 2015 Democratic Presidential Primary.

You laugh but if Biden and Hilary both decide to call it a day O'Malley's definitely running.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


watt par posted:

You laugh but if Biden and Hilary both decide to call it a day O'Malley's definitely running.

Oh, I know. I'm not laughing at all. Dread is more of an apt description of what's going on in my head.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

escape artist posted:

Oh, I know. I'm not laughing at all. Dread is more of an apt description of what's going on in my head.

I feel like O'Malley is just too robotic, too stereotypical slick politician to get elected. These days people really don't like guys like that, its a big reason why Romney had no chance. Why I'm clinging to optimism when it comes to American politics I'll never know.

Fragmented
Oct 7, 2003

I'm not ready =(



As far as Biden goes he forever has my scorn because of this: The Rave Act. Also known as the crackhouse law. It was like his signature crusade for a couple years, and then it gets a modified version slipped in the amber alert bill that got passed.

Basically it makes club owners and party promoters liable for drug dealing that happens in the venues even if they don't even know the dealers. It isn't used much because it was pretty much gutted but it's just another tool the police have to gently caress with people.

We had protests here in Seattle and Portland, Biden is a dirty word among people i know.

Anyways, great write up escape artist. Who's doing the finale?

Fragmented fucked around with this message at 16:13 on Apr 4, 2013

geeves
Sep 16, 2004



Fragmented posted:

As far as Biden goes he forever has my scorn because of this: The Rave Act. Also known as the crackhouse law. It was like his signature crusade for a couple years, and then it gets a modified version slipped in the amber alert bill that got passed.

Basically it makes club owners and party promoters liable for drug dealing that happens in the venues even if they don't even know the dealers. It isn't used much because it was pretty much gutted but it's just another tool the police have to gently caress with people.

We had protests here in Seattle and Portland, Biden is a dirty word among people i know.

Anyways, great write up escape artist. Who's doing the finale?

Former promoter here (I still DJ). You're right, it was a Dateline-style dog and pony show to try to win re-election, not to frighten parents and promoters and event goers, especially with the young-sounding term "Rave" which nobody used at that time. The US has enough laws on the books to deal with drugs already. It was just for re-election.

It did, however, start a discussion going amongst us, because it was rumored that some national promoters we knew were also heavily involved with drugs and financed their parties or clubs (hell, the threat of the rave act didn't deter people, either - this club opened right around the time the legislation was introduced - http://www.wkyc.com/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=54221 )

Besides, Aside from Twilo's coverups of overdoses, most of the major incidents involving ecstasy and or other drugs that garnered national attention were not at raves, but at concerts and huge corporate sponsored events. Thankfully when Congress realized that it could have effectively been used shut down major events involving bands, national headliners, etc. which brought in millions upon millions of dollars (not your $10k underground event), they wised up.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


Fragmented posted:

Anyways, great write up escape artist. Who's doing the finale?

Jerusalem's doing it but I may write a supplemental post dissecting each frame of the final montage (if he doesn't).

When I started this I always had the intention of having each shot in the montage discussed on its own.

Randomly Specific
Sep 22, 2012

My keys are somewhere in there.

escape artist posted:

To be fair, I forgot about it too. Which is why I did an entire re-watch, in preparation for making this re-watch thread.

That you'd expose yourself to such a hardship in the name of doing a re-watch thread only raises you further in our estimation. :)

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



I've been deliberately holding back on watching new episodes till I can write them up (or escape artist has) so right now I pretty much look like this:



I'll have the final episode of season one up in a few hours, and I'll start up season 2 a day or so after that.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


Randomly Specific posted:

That you'd expose yourself to such a hardship in the name of doing a re-watch thread only raises you further in our estimation. :)

It was an extremely enjoyable "hardship"

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Episode 13: Sentencing

Traditional West Baltimore posted:

All in the game.

So something wrong has happened here. The season isn't over but the final episode has already aired? The bad guys were arrested, the good guys won, it's all over, surely? In most television shows, the bad guy being caught/defeated happens as a climactic moment that proves the valor and might and integrity of the heroes. But as we saw in the last episode, the arrest of Avon Barksdale proved a giant anti-climax. The case had been hollowed out by the time they finally put the cuffs on Avon, turning into a PR exercise in the wake of Kima's death and focusing on a sacrificial goat in Avon before the case could delve deeper into the powers BEHIND "the King". Lester wanted to follow the money, Daniels was willing to go along with him as a late convert to the cause, while McNulty was left with the befuddled realization that "winning" didn't fix him or give him the satisfaction he wanted. Stringer is off the hook thanks to the police letting Wallace slip through their fingers, nothing has really been achieved short of a sop to throw to the public that the police took down a "bad guy".

Kima wakes up to discover Detectives Cole and Bunk at her bedside, waiting patiently for her. Her voice is raspy but she can communicate, and they're here to show her two photo arrays and see if she can pick out her shooters. Bunk shows her the first and quite deliberately taps Little Man's picture with his finger, and Kima is quick to identify him. She signs under his photo (so happily the feared paralysis didn't occur) but when Bunk does the same trick with Wee-Bey, she is adamant - she saw Little Man because he leaned through the front window to get at the money (which is when he saw her and lost his cool) but the second shooter never came forward and she cannot confirm that it was Wee-Bey. Patient if a little flummoxed, Bunk explains all the evidence they have gathered that suggests the other shooter was Wee-Bey (but also the lack of evidence like the guns, as well as the problem of dealing with the jury), and offers her the photo again, but Kima won't play ball, telling Bunk that sometimes things just have to play hard. By the window, Cole looks upset but Bunk seems actually pleased, if not proud of her.



Cleaning up is continuing, lower level dealers in the Towers are being arrested including Ronnie Mo, the former Pit boss who moved into D'Angelo's old Tower spot at the start of the season. Herc is on the phone reporting their progress back, CCO hasn't been found yet but everybody else of any relevance/importance has been. Hanging up, Carver puns that they've fished their limit and should head home, and then stands incredulously as Herc responds with an admonition that Carver should be getting used to calling him Sir in front of the other men, since he'll be getting his Sergeant stripes soon. At the Detail, Prez is updating their chart with Herc's latest info - 12 of the top dogs in Avon's organization have been arrested, another 7 are still being searched for. Daniels takes this in but quickly moves on, asking what Freamon and McNulty have been able to work up - he knows that unless they can pick up information on what the Barksdales are doing next then the case would be shut down and they'll miss their chance to finish what they started. Avon's only choice is to get straight back into the game or give up the Towers, which he will never do, and McNulty figures that Stringer will be running things in Avon's absence. Freamon disagrees, Avon has no prior convictions and they only have him on a comparatively weak charge, and it's likely he'll be out on bail within a couple of hours and jumping straight back into running his empire - the "victory" of his arrest proven hollow again. Daniels is concerned about the time factor, even if they can find out where Avon/Stringer are setting up next, they won't have time to get an affidavit written up for a new wiretap before the Deputy Ops has everybody reassigned, so McNulty makes the kind of suggestion that would have made early season Daniels poo poo himself with rage - why not go to the Feds? Why not go to the Feds... without letting Burrell know? Daniels' reaction shows how much he has become invested in the case/the Detail, he's surprised by the audacity but doesn't dismiss it out of hand, in fact he smiles and laughs at McNulty being "a piece of work", his pleasure echoed by Prez and Freamon. A call comes through for McNulty, and for a change it's good news - Rhonda Pearlman has recieved a call from a New York Public Defense Attorney representing... D'Angelo Barksdale. Everybody instantly grasps what this means, they have a chance to talk to D'Angelo without Levy being present to shut him up - McNulty wants to meet Rhonda immediately with a tape recorder so they can get everything D'Angelo has to say on tape.

At Baltimore Central Booking & Intake Center, Freamon's prediction has come true as Avon is already a free man. Leaving with Stringer, his instant concern is that they had to show $250,000 in Bond money to get him out. Stringer tells him they can't meet Levy in the Club since it has been compromised, so they travel to meet him in a carpark, Avon in a calm and relaxed mood, greeting his driver warmly like he's just been picked up from one of his girlfriend's houses. Meeting Levy, he updates them on the amount of arrests so far (20) and how the paperwork reads - all arrests are based on information provided by a "confidential source". Stringer had been pushing the idea of a snitch for much of the season, but he freely admits that no one snitch could have known enough to warrant the arrest of so many people INCLUDING Avon, and Levy tells him his gut is saying there is a wiretap - maybe on a couple of phones, perhaps based in a specific location - did he ever talk business on the phone to D'Angelo? Avon is offended by the question, he only ever spoke to him face to face in the office in the back of Orlandos'.... :doh:



Levy tries to take a positive approach, saying it's good that they were in the process of moving out when Avon was arrested. Stringer wants to delve into this a little deeper though, pointing out that he and Avon often spoke business in the club but he hasn't been arrested. Avon agrees that this is loving him up as well, though there is absolutely no suggestion that Avon is considering that Stringer himself could be the snitch (if you think about it, Stringer is probably the only single "confidential source" that could have caused all those arrests) - there are some people that are just above suspicion, even to a man as paranoid as Avon. Levy gives Avon a note, he received a phonecall from Wee-Bey informing them where and when he would be available to talk on the phone, and then discusses what is to be done with the people who have been arrested. Getting them all out is showing even more money that they have to explain, but leaving them in creates the potential for making them into enemies who can hurt them. This line of questioning allows Levy to segue into discussing D'Angelo, but again the normally paranoid Avon is unconcerned, claiming that D'Angelo is family and while he might be bucking at the moment, a couple of days in holding will see him holding out his hand for bail money like everybody else. Satisfied (or diplomatic enough not to argue), Levy moves on to Avon's own defense - Avon might have to consider a structured plea in which he gives up the people beneath him to reduce his own sentence - so much for "no snitching", it seems that in the drug game, much like in the legit world, the rules don't really apply to the people at the very top.

At Homicide, McNulty is going over his files in preparation for meeting D'Angelo when Bunk tells him about meeting Kima. He learns that McNulty still hasn't been to visit her, and McNulty insists that he will once he returns from New Jersey... he will! Bunk tells him about her refusal to identify Wee-Bey, and both seem impressed, McNulty saying she's "real police". Rhonda arrives, tossing a tape recorder onto McNulty's desk and scowling at him before turning a sunny smile on Bunk. She leaves and Bunk asks McNulty what he did to piss her off, and McNulty (who forced her to lie about threatening an investigation into Levy's finances) being McNulty declares that he has no idea. Bunk points out driving up to New Jersey with the two of them is going to be a looooooong trip.

Avon and Stringer arrive at a funeral parlor where a family are picking out coffins and another family are viewing an open casket. Heading upstairs into the office, Avon isn't upset by the morbidity of running their drug empire out of a funeral home but by the fact it's too quiet compared to Orlando's. He looks out the window into an alleyway where a craps game is being played and kids are running through, and starts to talk to Stringer who quiets him, pointing at the open door - this is the first sign of what will become almost a catchphrase for Stringer. Avon whispers into Stringer's ear, telling him the office will actually work out okay, they just need to get a safe put in for him to keep money from the collected count. Brianna arrives, amused by the difference in location, and both quiet her and take her outside to talk on the street. She notes how careful they're being but Avon insists it is a new day, from this point on they will not talk business indoors. Speaking of which, Avon turns to his overriding passion - his Towers. He wants the word to get out that the Barksdale Organization isn't dead yet, he wants dealers slinging and junkies getting high, but Brianna and Stringer insist that THEY will be the ones handling things. This isn't a case of usurping power, both are looking out for Avon's best interests, until they can fix things up with his current charge he needs to be hands-off from the business, and Brianna will handle the money while Stringer handles the product. Avon agrees, looking touched by their loyalty (remember how much he values the notion of family looking out for each other) and tells Stringer he needs to tell "Roberto" to cook up the best quality imaginable, he wants to put out a product so good that the junkies will be knocked out, so that everybody knows how strong the Barksdales still are despite the very public rounding up of Avon and his top dealers.

Roberto is Avon's supplier, a connection made/cemented presumably during Avon's rise to the top as he stepped up to replace his comatose older brother. Next season we'll meet Prop Joe's connection, and it bears thinking about to remember that Joe and Avon, the "kings" of their respective turfs, are themselves getting product from people in bigger networks, who are probably "kings" in their own right but also pay up to some other higher level and so on up. Nothing is as simple as the "complicated" game of chess that D'Angelo showed Bodie, Poot and Wallace.

Avon, without Levy around, lets slip that he is concerned about D'Angelo, and asks Brianna what is going on with him. She assures him that D'Angelo will be fine as soon as she has had a chance to see him and talk with him. Avon, looking surprisingly vulnerable, tells her to let D'Angelo know he is sorry for putting him in the situation and that he'll make it up to him, and Brianna agrees wholeheartedly, he IS going to make it up to D'Angelo, most def.

Of course only a few hours later in New Jersey, a belligerent D'Angelo is getting revenge. His public defender is stressing that this is a proffer only, if they aren't able to provide him with a satisfactory deal then whatever he has told them stays in the room. Rhonda agrees, and lays out for audience's benefit what we've missed so far - D has indicated willingness to testify that he was a Lieutenant in Avon's drug distribution organization, that he sold large quantities drugs on behalf of Avon, delivered money, attended organizational meetings and was sent up to New York at Avon's request... but that's only the drug trafficking side of things. D'Angelo wants to know what else they want, and Bunk starts handing over files to McNulty - they want information on the murders. D'Angelo is tired of them trying to get information on the witness murder from him, but they reveal that it's not just one witness anymore, showing him a photo of Nakeesha Lyles' dead body, as well as Wallace's. D'Angelo is surprised to see Lyles was murdered too (remember her evidence in episode one helped FREE him) but most of his attention is on Wallace's photo, the final definitive proof that Stringer did what he feared he had. D'Angelo takes a long, hard look at the photo and then turns them over, trying to put them out of his mind, telling them that "they" (Avon and Stringer) are cleaning up/covering up. They agree, but McNulty won't let D'Angelo get away from the visual images so easily, turning over each photo in turn as he points out the reasons for their murders - Lyles was paid so she had to be killed, and Orlando was arrested and snitching so they killed him too... but why kill Wallace? McNulty uses Wallace against D'Angelo as he'd hoped to use him against Stringer, making no mention of the fact that Wallace confessed to them or even that he met them, making out that he was killed for absolutely no reason whatsoever and that the police are as baffled by the death as D'Angelo is. I was disgusted by McNulty's thoughtlessness when they found Wallace's body and complained that it killed the case against Stringer, but I'm not disgusted by this - McNulty is interrogating D'Angelo, he is going to lie to get D'Angelo to tell him the truth, he is going to say and do whatever it takes to get him speaking, and if that means using a pointless and horrible murder to his own advantage well... I have a hard time getting upset by it.

Simon goes into interrogation in depth in his book Homicide, just like everything else in his books it's well worth a read to see the ways the police get a suspect to start speaking. McNulty and Bunk between them are able to easily create the impression that they already know everything about Brandon's murder, thanks to a mix of the cloned pagers, their own investigation into the arcade and Wallace's confession they clearly lay out the timeline of the murder. D'Angelo starts talking and once he starts it is hard to stop, he reveals that Wallace is the one who made the call, stressing that Wallace didn't really comprehend the implications of what he was doing. D himself did, but complains that he had no choice but to put the call through to Stringer because otherwise word would have gotten back to him that D didn't. He tells how Brandon was laid out as a message for all to see that you did not gently caress with Avon Barksdale, and how Wallace was so hosed up by what he saw that he wanted to get out of the game. D'Angelo smiles as he recalls talking with Wallace about going back to school, another lovely bit of acting from Larry Gilliard Jr, and how Avon and Stringer called him in wanting to know about Wallace, and how he told them that Wallace was out of the game. He admits that he should have done more, and for one of the first times in the show fully owns up to his guilt instead of saying he had no choice or there were other extenuating circumstances. He doesn't know who killed Wallace though, despite Bunk's insistence that whoever it was made sure the "young'uns" weren't there when it happened (the unspoken suggestion being it was somebody who knew Wallace well) but Wallace insists he has no idea, and if he did he would say so. I believe D'Angelo on this one, I don't think he would have any problem accusing Bodie, but I also think he'd never in a million years think that Bodie would kill his own friend. Realizing that the well is dry on Wallace, they move on to Kima's missing shooters - Little Man and Wee-Bey. D'Angelo reveals that Wee-Bey is in Philly, that he dropped him off in the North End himself but he has no idea what the address is. When Bunk asks if he spoke about the shooting, D'Angelo sneers that they don't talk business in the car, that's a rule they have - it's a nice callback to episode 1 where Wee-Bey berates D'Angelo for talking business in the car, and typical of D'Angelo trying to make himself look bigger/better/more competent.

"Is that it?" D'Angelo asks, insisting there is nothing else when Rhonda says that the deal is based on full disclosure. They show him the picture of Dierdre Kresson, and again Bunk uses the interrogation trick of pretending he knows it all already, knocking on the desk to echo the tapping on the window that he and McNulty surmised must have happened from the "gently caress" crime scene. For D'Angelo, it must seem that the police are near omniscient, they knew exactly what happened with Brandon, they know who ambushed Orlando, they even know about how Dierdre was killed. So he tells a very different version of the story he told the Pit crew - about how he was sent up to see Avon's girlfriend with drugs, how she was naked under the gown to tease him, how he didn't know that he was a distraction so Wee-Bey could get in position, how an excited Wee-Bey told him exactly how he killed her after the deed was done. In the past some have questioned if this story is true or if D'Angelo really is the one who committed the murder. I certainly subscribe to the idea that Wee-Bey is the one who did it and that D'Angelo just wanted to talk himself up in front of the Pit Crew.

The proffer session has come to an end, Bunk and McNulty are pleased - they've just tied up a great many loose ends - and Pearlman is carefully writing down the salient points on her legal pad, while the clearly otherwhelmed Public Defender can't stop staring at the photos of murder victims tossed haphazardly onto the table one after the other, wondering what she's gotten herself into. D'Angelo looks at her, at Pearlman studiously making her notes and declares that they just don't understand, none of them do. Do they know what it is like to grow up in this? His Grandfather was Butch Stanford, his father, uncles and cousins - this is just what they do, they live with this poo poo till they can't breathe no more. He picks up the photo of Wallace and stares at it, saying that the 8 months he was in prison awaiting his trial he felt freer than any point he'd ever felt in his life. So what does he want in exchange for his testimony? He wants to go away, he wants to be free of the poo poo he has known all his life, out of "the game", away from his family, free to breathe, to be like ordinary people. He wants what Wallace wanted, and if they can give him that, then he will give them Avon, Stringer, everybody.



Daniels gets brought up to speed at home while Marla eats dinner. Rejoining her, he proudly tells her that the case has been broken wide open, and she happily toasts him before revealing her sharp political feelers - does this square him with Burrell? He puts a brave face on it and tells her that he's going to go above his head and take it to the Feds, and when she looks scandalized he explains that Burrell attempted to blackmail him with knowledge of "the money", in fact he thinks Burrell chose him specifically because he thought he could control him with that knowledge if it came down to it. Marla is less at ease than Cedric, wanting to know exactly how much Burrell knows, and he lays it out bluntly - if Burrell wanted to, he could end Daniels' with what he knows... but he doesn't think Burrell wants to. It would be too messy, create too much stink, and with a wry grin he declares it's just like this case. The no-nonsense chain-of-command Lieutenant seems to be reveling in an almost McNulty-like way in just how much trouble he is causing while doing "real" police work.

He's not the only one happy about the case, Rhonda sits parked with McNulty in his car at Headquarters in Baltimore (Bunk has already gone), giddy as a schoolgirl over the implications of the case now that they have a star witness. Gasping that it is a career-making case and she has felt drunk since D'Angelo started talking, she raves about how the case goes to Kima's shooting as well but really it is going to absolutely make her career in the State Attorney's Office. She beams at McNulty, then remembers that she's in a bad mood with him and is straight out of the car to go to her own, McNulty following to try and apologize to her, presumably having remembered at last about the incident with Levy. As he tries to make nice, she suddenly turns and kisses him, laughing as she asks him if he's never done it in the parking garage of headquarters before.

Interesting contrasts in those two scenes. Rhonda and Marla are both excited by the case breaking open, both see the potential political bonuses (Daniels back in Burrell's good books, Pearlman "making" her career) but Pearlman's self-interest is at least tempered by the knowledge that her career-making case is also getting justice for Kima's shooting and solving many outstanding murders. Marla - perhaps quite justifiably - is concerned that the case is going to cost Daniels personally and professionally, while he seems almost relieved to no longer be anchored by these concerns and just concentrating on doing good police work. Daniels and Pearlman are both late to their enthusiasm for the case, but their enthusiasm is genuine.

We discover where Bunk went, hooking up with Freamon the two have gone to see an old work colleague of Freamon's - "Downtown" Roy Brown - who has retired from the force and works a security desk at a phone company. He's delighted to see Freamon and they exchange pleasantries, Brown complaining about his lovely supervisor and the small office before getting down to business and asking why "Uptown" Lester Freamon is there, because surely it isn't just to say hello. Bunk has obviously filled in Freamon on D'Angelo's information and they're trying to do an end-run on the phone company by calling in a favor from Brown. They need a track and trace on a Philadelphia number, and they don't have time to argue back and forth with the company over if it can be done, and how long it would take. It's also not as simple as tracing a single number, they need a list of Philly numbers who have called a Baltimore number (Levy's) in the last week. Unfortunately for the, after Brown looks it over he tells Lester that IF i can be done it will take at least a week, and maybe two. Depressed that the phone company's bullshit might actually be accurate, Lester and Bunk prepare to leave, confusing Brown who reveals he was playing a game with them, this is supposed to be the part where they tell him how important this is and he works his magic. Freamon and Bunk exchange a look and explain that the Philly number is the shooter of the undercover female police officer, and Brown gapes, then goes serious, taking the number immediately - an old, retired cop he might be but this isn't a Mahon or Polk, and now he's all business.

The next day, McNulty has met with his FBI friend Fitzhugh to put out feelers about giving them the Barksdale case. Fitzhugh reminds him the FBI isn't focused on drug crimes anymore and suggests the DEA, but McNulty says they're based too close and word would get back to the bosses, revealing for the first time to Fitzhugh that this is being done without their knowledge. McNulty just offers a sheepish grin and Fitzhugh decides what the hell, and is surprised to learn that Daniels will be joining them. McNulty, in a real turnaround from earlier in the season, stands up for Daniels, saying he has played out the case with real heart. Fitzhugh agrees to set something up.

At Stringer's print shop, his decision to keep the place completely legit has gone by the wayside. A well groomed older man arrives with a leather bag and asks for 10 copies, and leaves the bag behind after collecting his copies. Stringer heads into the back with the bag, which is filled with the Roberto's special shipment, and Stringer gives directions to the muscle that arrives (after confirming he has locked the door first, soon to be a Stringer staple) to deliver the drugs to the Towers with specific instructions on how to vial it up. The drugs aren't street ready, they need to be prepared by the dealers themselves, and he explains the portions to use. This is what is going to herald to the West Side that the Barksdale Organization is still in the game, and there can't be any gently caress-ups. They'll be doing this until they have a new stash to use.

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 11:10 on Apr 6, 2013

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

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The FBI meeting is going ahead, and the Agent sitting alongside Fitzhugh is impressed with the case. The problem is, they don't have any suppliers listed, and Fitzhugh explains again that post-9/11 they have clear directives to focus on corruption, terrorism and organized crime - if they had Columbian or Russian drug suppliers they could step in, but the highest they go is Avon Barksdale (again, the King is only the King in his kingdom). Freamon and McNulty aren't pleased, pointing out that all they have are local gangsters tearing apart the West Side, but it's no use complaining to the Agent, she can't bring anything to their ASAC that doesn't fall under their current scope. Daniels has an idea though, grinning at McNulty and Freamon at the idea of corruption, clearly thinking of his recent meeting with Senator Clay Davis.

In The Pit, Bodie joins Poot to deal with a distressing problem - they have no drugs and a new crew is setting up shop on their doorstep, selling their own "off-brand" yellow-tops to junkies who just want a hit and don't care where they get it. Joined by others in their crew, Bodie takes the spokesman's role by taking a baseball bat to the leg of one of the new dealers and intimidating the others, telling them that this isn't an open market and they can't sell their poo poo.... or rather, they can, but they have to be prepared to fight for the territory. The other crew insist that Bodie's group don't have anything to sell - we can see why Avon was so keen to get back into the swing of things, memories are short and their customer base aren't discriminating, and in only a day predatory wannabes are moving in to try and take the territory he fought for years to get. Bodie has had enough talk and goes in swinging, joined by others including Poot who, if you watch carefully, somehow manages to never quite be in the thick of things. As they brawl, Bodie's crew quickly getting the upper hand (they brought baseball bats to a fistfight), they watched from a car by Carver and Herc. Carver says that this is why they'll never win, echoing the young'un who explained the difference between "the count" and doing math problems to Wallace - if the dealers gently caress up they get beat, if the police gently caress up they get pensions. They watch as the other crew is run off, Bodie and Poot strutting away in triumph... for now, at least.

McNulty arrives to see Kima at last, Cheryl sitting with her. He couldn't deal with seeing her unconscious in the Intensive Care Unit, and he couldn't see her as she slowly recovered, but now that she is mostly stabilized he can finally deal with it - the guilt is no longer eating him up. He jokes that she isn't much of an eyeball witness, but she wants to get the unimportant things pushed aside to talk about what is going on with the case, causing McNulty to make the rather ironic statement - geez, give it a rest! He has to tell her that the wire is dead after the raids, Daniels wouldn't tell her anything but "the good poo poo", and she wants to know everything. He tells her about D'Angelo flipping and how they're trying to go to the Feds, but then Cheryl bursts out of her seat, snaps,"gently caress both of you!" and leaves the room. Kima explains that she is trying to convince her to leave the force, and to make her feel better Kima is pretending to be considering it. McNulty does agree with one thing that Cheryl had to say though - the case isn't worth what happened to her, no case is. He explains why he took so long to see her, it was the guilt that she got shot taking part in a case that he forced on everybody - because when a case like this calls for an undercover operative it's always going to be a black cop who takes the spot, somebody like her or Sydnor. He tries to say what he would do if he could do it all over, but she interupts him to say what SHE would do if she could do it all over again - she'd use more tape on the gun. This seems to break him, and he finally blurts out what he has been wanting to say - he's sorry. It's not something McNulty says often, nor something he usually says genuinely, but he is genuinely, truly sorry, looking near to breaking down as he says it. Kima plays it off, telling him that since he's in there acting like her bitch, she might as well get him to do something for her. It's incredibly touching, even though she's in hospital and has been through so much, she hasn't forgotten a promise she made to Bubbles.



McNulty delivers the money that Kima promised Bubbles back before she was shot, the promise that saw Bubbles take a beating and get sent back into the lions' den of the drug markets. McNulty, who didn't really hear what Bubbles was trying to say in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, is taking the time to listen now. Bubbles, who looks good and has new, clean clothes, takes a single note and offers the rest back to McNulty, telling him this is all he needs for what he has going on at the moment. McNulty asks if he is sure, and Bubbles hesitates a moment before finally taking the rest and heading away, clearly no longer clean, his first serious attempt at staying sober a failure. He turns to look at McNulty and asks him not to let Kima know, and Jimmy watches as he heads up to a local dealer to get high. :smith:

At the Detail, Herc can't believe that he has been passed over for Sergeant despite his high placing on the list. More surprisingly, Carver and four others jumped him despite lower rankings, meaning that Carver HAS made Sergeant. Herc says it must be down to the brutality complaints against him, but shows surprising grace despite his earlier insistence on Carver calling him sir and congratulates Carver, who seems oddly subdued. Freamon arrives with Shardene and they head into the monitor room to have some lunch, Herc and Carver staring in shock as Shardene playfully laughs and flirts with Freamon. Carver comments to Herc that the world has obviously turned on its rear end, while Prez reports to Freamon that Roy Brown called with the number he was looking for. Freamon is pleased, but isn't going to interrupt his lunch with Shardene - this is somebody who knows his priorities! Spotting Herc and Carver staring at them, Freamon closes the door to enjoy some privacy.

Sometime later, Daniels, Freamon and McNulty return to a more collegial FBI meeting in a better room, with Pearlman attending, Fitzhugh and the female Agent joined by two others plus First Deputy US Attorney, who is very impressed by the case and the quality of the police work. Their interest is in Clay Davis, who they've been looking into for quite some time, and Freamon lays out depth of the potential corruption charge. This is more than Day-Day picking up 20k from a drug market, and McNulty himself is surprised to learn that Freamon uncovered the connection between Avon and Stringer's purchase of vacant storefront property in areas that are now being targeted for redevelopment. The implication is that the Barksdale Organization was paying money in the form of campaign donations to Clay Davis (and others) in return for advance notice on what areas were going to be redeveloped. By purchasing the property in advance at rock-bottom prices, they're in a position to make a massive profit now by selling the properties on. Of course this isn't actually an entirely accurate description of what is really going on with these properties, as we'll find out in season 3, but it is accurate enough that the FBI is particularly interested.

But there is a fly in the ointment, as the Detectives discover that the FBI's interest is in using their cooperator - D'Angelo - to get information on Clay Davis. D'Angelo has never met Clay and has nothing for them on the money, all he can get them is the drugs, Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell. The Deputy US Attorney is happy with that though, because Avon and Stringer can give them the Senator, right? Freamon and Daniels are confused, but note this is definitely a possibility, but McNulty is outraged - they want to flip Avon and Stringer as co-operators to go after some politicians? He's furious, Avon and Stringer (the latter particularly) are his white whales and the FBI is talking about them as witnesses? About doing a deal with them? The female Agent stresses that they won't be walking on all the charges against them, but Freamon - slightly peeved himself - notes that they WILL be getting reduced sentences. McNulty can't let this go, ranting about the fact that drugs and murders don't cut it anymore, and declares that Bell and Barksdales are terrorists, they've killed 14-15 people including witnesses with impunity. The Deputy US Attorney rather smugly notes there is no need for this type of hyperbole (McNulty is actually technically right, they ARE terrorists by the definition of the term), and Freamon and Daniels turn to look at McNulty, then Rhonda, seeing what she thinks. McNulty is clearly opposed, and surprisingly Rhonda shakes her head in the negative as well - maybe because it guts her "career-making" case, maybe because she shares in the outrage at letting murderers get reduced sentences - and Daniels makes his decision. Standing, he VERY politely tells the FBI/Attorney that they'll be going in a different direction. The Deputy US Attorney looks surprised, but maybe if this is where things had stopped things would have gone in a very different way, but as usual McNulty can't resist getting in one last rant. Snapping that West Baltimore is dying, he declares that the "empty suits" are only interested in pinning a politician's pelt to the wall. He questions Fitzhugh's status as "real police" and storms out, Pearlman giving a slight exasperated shake of her head.

There's a lot to be said about this decision by Pearlman/Daniels/Freamon/McNulty. On the one hand, there is a genuine outrage to be felt over essentially giving murderers a walk in exchange for their cooperation. But how different is this from how the police used D'Angelo, how they thought they could possibly use Omar (remember Kima and McNulty originally planned to "flip" known murderer/violent criminal Omar to get at Avon) or how they tried to get Bird to cooperate? McNulty's rant about pinning a politician's pelt to the wall is ironic given that this entire case was built on his desire to get one over on Stringer Bell and get his scalp/pelt for himself. Plus the idea, often extolled by Freamon, that it is necessary to follow the money in a case. As we saw from the scene with Bodie's crew taking on the "off-brand" crew, there are always more people looking to step into the drug-dealing role, looking to rise up and take the spot of the Avons and the Stringers - but what happens if you dig deeper and get at the politicians, the suppliers, the people who back up and aid the corruption that allows drug dealing to flourish? Is there an argument to make that the politicians ARE a better target than whichever gangster got to the top of the drugdealer pile? Especially in light of what we know about how the follow four seasons unfolded, I'd argue that if they'd taken this deal they might have been able to strike a crippling (but by no means fatal) blow to organized drug operations in Baltimore, at least on the West Side. Or would the likes of Prop Joe quickly taken up the slack? Would the conflicts between small crews created even more violence and made the streets more dangerous? Only one thing is really for certain, in the "war on drugs" there are no easy answers/quick solution.

In New Jersey, D'Angelo is less than pleased to find out he has a visitor - his mother. She thought he was in New Jersey, not out in whatever county corrections facility they have him in (I'm really not certain where he is, to be honest) but she was able to track him down, declaring that nothing will keep a mother from her son. He spills out his anger over Avon getting him caught up like this, saying it isn't right, complaining that Avon always talks about the importance of family but here he is - family - in trouble and Avon isn't helping. Of course, D'Angelo himself kicked Levy and Stringer out in the previous episode due to his anger over Avon, but anger doesn't have to be logical. She hits back with that old motherly guilt by telling him that Avon would gladly take D'Angelo's place, he'll do it in a second BUT that means that somebody needs to take his place at the head of the family, and that would have to be D'Angelo... is he ready for that? Of course he isn't, he freely admits, and he never will be. Brianna's eyes widen when he explains that "they" are going to get him out, and she wants to know what he is giving "them" in return? She leans forward and continues to hammer him, Avon screwed up and he knows it, and D'Angelo can get revenge if he wants but it won't just be Avon he is hurting, it'll be the whole family. Her, the cousins, even his own baby will all suffer if they lose Avon as the head of the family, holding the empire together. This is part of "the game", without it they'd be living in poverty, they probably wouldn't be a family at all - so he can talk about getting away and starting over if he wants, but how can he start over without his family? Without family... he has nothing.

You can see where that whole "I feel like I can't breathe" thing comes from.

Much like they were completely unaware of what was happening to their star witness Wallace, the Detail are completely unaware what is happening to their star witness D'Angelo. Gearing up to travel to Philadelphia to apprehend Wee-Bey, Carver is called into Daniels' office for a private word. Carver foolishly sits down while Daniels remains standing, so that Daniels is looming over him from the otehr side of the desk, like the Principal calling a naughty student to his office. He even asks if Carver has anything he wants to tell him first, and reveals that he knows Carver is the one who has been feeding information to Burrell - he figured it out when Burrell didn't know about the camera in Avon's office, which happened when Carver was away on a training session. Carver struggles to provide an alternate explanation but quickly gives in, but - like D'Angelo when talking about phoning Stringer re: Brandon - offers justifications for why he had no choice - the Deputy Ops called him up to his office - on a floor Carver had never even been on before! The Deputy Ops asked him to keep him informed, is he supposed to say no to the Deputy Ops? Daniels sits, and leans forward to offer hard-learned advice. Carver has made Sergeant, soon he will be in charge of nearly a dozen officers who will be looking to him for guidance. Some will be smart, some will be dumb, some will be pieces of poo poo... but they will all take their cue from him. Loyalty? A strong work ethic? Some other kind of game? They'll do what he does. In about the most explicit reference Daniels will EVER make to what is in that FBI dossier on him, he explains that when he started in the Eastern District he worked a piece of poo poo Lieutenant who wanted to be a Captain, pieces-of-poo poo Sergeants who wanted to be Lieutenants, and that caused them to have pieces of poo poo patrolmen who had to learn "the game" for themselves - and some of the poo poo that they got up to then is still haunting them years later. It's an admission of guilt from Daniels, there obviously is some kind corruption in his past that got him the money he has now - but he didn't stay that way, and this may explain why he was so keen on being "by-the-book" in Narcotics and why he has finally embraced the value and integrity of the Barksdale case. He tells Carver that one day he will have to decide if the job is about himself or the work, and leaves him alone in the office.



Daniels goes to see Prez and hands him his gun, telling him that the Grand Jury cleared him on Tuesday and he knows it... they're serving a flight warrant on Wee-Bey tonight and he wants Prez with them. Prez, who has come into his own as an office cop insists there is work to be done in-office, but Daniels just tells him to be careful with the gun, reminding him that it USED to have a light trigger pull.

In Philadelphia, they're joined by Philly cops as they line up on either side of Wee-Bey's home. Carver - in a hoodie - waits for the signal then walks up and smashes in the window of Bey's car (it takes a couple of hits to shatter the glass, I'd like to think Seth Gilliam just improvised when the first shot didn't do it), setting off the alarm. In seconds Wee-Bey is out the front door in nothing but his drawers and a pair of shoes, and is immediately swarmed by the police who pull him to the ground, then slam him up against the trunk of the car. Bewildered, Wee-Bey finally realizes that it is the police who have grabbed him, and declares,"Bunch of low-bottom bitches! You didn't have to gently caress with my ride!"

Daniels has checked the interior of the house with Prez and steps out as Wee-Bey is thrown into the back of a Philly patrol car complaining they got lucky. The assembled Detail watch him going in with a great deal of satisfaction, they finally have at least one of the perps in the Kima shooting, even if it isn't the one who shot her. Unfortunately for them, this is as good as it gets, a series of unpleasant surprises are to follow.

The next day, Pearlman is having a pleasant lunch with Ilene Nathan and is amused to get a call from D'Angelo's correction facility, telling her that his lawyer is complaining about him being moved from the original jurisdiction of his arrest. She asks to be put through to the facility and tells the Officer she'll talk with the lawyer.... and gets a very unpleasant surprise.



McNulty is called in to see Rawls in Homicide, where the Major admits that McNulty hasn't made it easy for him to stay mad at him - he has a stack of clearances resulting from the Barksdale Case, enough to raise the entire unit clearance rate above 40% for the first time in the year. This would normally make Rawls do cartwheels, especially with Wee-Bey's arrest.... but then on the other hand, the Deputy Ops got a phone-call this morning from the First US Deputy Attorney wanting to know if an rear end in a top hat like McNulty really worked in the Homicide Department. McNulty's final angry "empty suits" insult ruffled feathers enough to cause a complaint, meaning that Burrell has now learned that McNulty (and more importantly, Daniels) went behind his back to the FBI. Jimmy's head shrinks into his neck, even he knows he has hosed up big time, but Rawls takes a surprisingly conciliatory tone, laughing that McNulty has a set of stones on him for calling the Deputy Attorney an empty suit. Genially, he assures McNulty that he wants to make sure he lands right, and just as Freamon warned him WOULD happen, he asks Jimmy where he DOESN'T want to go.

Daniels has joined Pearlman and Nathan in a meeting with Levy and Wee-Bey's attorney to discuss the case, with Levy now representing D'Angelo as well. In his smooth, slimy way Levy paints their case as sloppy and badly constructed, referring to the wiretaps as "half-heard/half said telephone conversations", pointing out that seized money, drugs and all the violence falls well short of Avon, they have nothing tying him directly to any of it (D'Angelo's statement was a proffer, and he's withdrawn his willingness to testify now). Daniels insists that he can't wriggle out of the New Jersey bust, but even then the most Levy will accede is that "maybe" Avon will have to eat that charge. He offers an alternate, Avon will plead guilty to one count of Attempted Possession and serve.... 3-4 years, maybe? Nathan, Pearlman and Daniels are amused, but Levy isn't finished. Avon will plead guilty, but he'll also arrange for all those beneath him to make similar pleas. As part of the structured deal he suggested to Avon earlier, Levy suggests that all those arrested with no prior convictions will take 5 year pleas. Those with one prior conviction will take 10 years. 15 years for two or more. As for the murders, well "Mr. Brice" (Daniels has to tell Rhonda this is Wee-Bey) is ready to admit to the murders of Orlando and taking part in the shooting of Kima. Wee-Bey's lawyer speaks up, saying that Wee-Bey will admit to at least a half dozen murders in exchange for taking the Death Penalty off of the table, and Nathan tries to bargain by saying they can do this if he names co-conspirators - but no dice, Wee-Bey is saying he acted completely alone. Levy - smug as a motherfucker - knows how the police mind generally works and points out this will lead to a number of clearances, while Pearlman rolls her eyes at the idea of Wee-Bey acting alone. This leaves the assets, and even there Levy isn't willing to give any more than he has to. They can have Orlando's, any trucks and cars that can be linked to the trafficking, and any cash picked up in the raids. This leaves the dozens of other properties including the towing company and the funeral parlor, but Levy is adamant, they can't link any criminal activity/ownership to those properties so they can't have them. Daniels and Pearlman are furious, this leaves the Barksdales with dozens of properties (including the valuable redevelopment property) and Stringer Bell still on the street with his hand on the throne. Levy affects a puzzled look and tells them if they have a charge to bring against Stringer Bell, they should go ahead and charge him. He knows they have nothing on the wiretap implicating him, and the two witnesses who were willing to testify are now dead and flipped back respectively. But on one thing they are adamant, Avon will NOT serve only 3-4 years, and Levy finally makes a concession, telling them to make a counter-offer.



So we come to the denouement. After 13 episodes and a chase that started in a courtroom trial, the Barksdale case comes to a premature end with what looks on the face of it to be a huge success that rings hollow. Avon pleads guilty to one count of attempted possession for the purposes of narcotics distribution in exchange for a maximum sentence of 7 years. As Pearlman reads out the consideration of facts leading to his arrest, McNulty and Stringer Bell are sitting in different places in the courtroom watching events unfold, just as they did in the first episode. Stringer is seated next to Brianna, but turns to look at McNulty as his best friend/boss is sent away. McNulty, unable to watch the hollow victory, leaves the courtroom to sit outside.

From a technical standpoint, it's interesting that they use a camera-angle/format for much of the courtroom scene that gives the impression we're watching an actual courtroom feed

Meanwhile, Nathan sits with Bunk in the interrogation room at Homicide talking with Wee-Bey and his lawyer, watched over by Detective Norris. Wee-Bey casually eats burgers and chips and drinks a coke as Bunk lays out the murders they have him for, and Norris asks if that is it? His lawyer reminds him that his cooperation is the only thing keeping the Death Penalty off of the table, and Nathan tries to play hardball by saying he'll only MAYBE get straight-life if he gives up Avon and Stringer. "Nah!" Wee-Bey replies casually, completely untroubled by her threat, but his lawyer points out that he should give them everything he has, anything he leaves out is outside of the scope of the deal, and they could charge him with it and have the Death Penalty as an option again. Wee-Bey considers, shrugs and says,"gently caress it, then!" and tells them for another pit sandwich and some potato salad, he'll "go a few more." Bunk motions to Norris to do it, and Bey - proving he hasn't learned from his previous encounter with it - tells him to make sure it has plenty of horseradish. With Norris gone, he casually tells Bunk he killed Little Man in case he was weak over shooting the cop, and left the body in Druid Hill behind the Reptile House. He killed both witnesses too, including William Gant. Bunk is surprised, since they've arrested Bird for that murder, but Bey shrugs when asked if he did it alone. Of course he didn't kill Gant, as is pointed out later he simply understands that he is getting life anyway so why not take that murder and try to get Bird back out on the street? Norris returns and tells Bey he'll have to get coleslaw instead of potato salad, and for the first time in his interrogation Bey actually looks slightly upset.



Pearlman is still working her way down the list, now on Ronnie Mo who is getting a sentence of 15 years. Avon looks back at Stringer and Brianna, knowing they're there for him even as the greater bulk of his Organization are put away.

At Police Headquarters, Daniels bumps into his friend Cantrell, who is now a Major, having received the promotion that Burrell had all but promised Daniels in the wake of the successful raids, before Daniels refused to play nice with Clay Davis and went behind his back to the FBI. Cantrell (genuinely) tells him he could use a good shift Lieutenant, and Daniels thanks him before heading back into his old Narotics stomping grounds, the Detail well and truly finished now. As he enters, he hears Herc delivering a sermon to new Detectives, stressing the need to use their heads and talking up his part in such important cases as the Barksdale Detail. Daniels is bemused, but pleased that the message at least is right, if not the messenger.



Brianna and Stringer leave the courtroom, and Stringer notices McNulty sitting outside. Pausing, he approaches and offers perhaps the best compliment he could ever offer somebody like McNulty, bringing the series full circle - "Nicely done".

In the Towers, Bodie is on his cellphone complaining to "Rock-Rock" that they haven't received their re-up yet. He's aggressive and tells Rock-Rock to come down and step to him if he doesn't like it, but then finishes the call with a friendly goodbye suggesting it's a genial aggression. He tells one of his Muscle to remind him to kick Rock-Rock's rear end if the re-up doesn't arrive soon, then looks around the Towers - with Ronnie Mo and D'Angelo gone, Bodie is rising up in the drug world.

In Homicide, Rawls is also talking to a new recruit... kind of. He was able to get rid of the clearance-getting McNulty because he has an even better detective to replace him with, somebody who impressed during the aftermath of Kima's shooting. Lester Freamon is back from the wilderness, sitting beside Landsman as Rawls/Landsman do their regular double act and Rawls lays down the rules - the rotation, the clearances, and the fact that if you play by the rules and get him clearances, Rawls will be your best friend. Freamon knows a line of bullshit when he hears it, but he's also learned over 13 years (and 4 months) to keep his mouth shut. It's taken a long time, but Freamon is back where he belongs.

In the Pit, Poot sits on a new couch, himself promoted to fill the gap left by all the arrests. Spotting a young dealer taking money and handing over drugs in the same transaction, he calls him over and shares the advice that D'Angelo gave them back near the start of the series - doing it this way means police watching them can get an entire transaction on camera, they need one person taking money, another person handing out the drugs, and there needs to be physical distance between them for deniability. He sends the dealer away and looks around the Pit, yelling that they need to tighten things up.

McNulty has fallen asleep outside the courtroom, while inside Pearlman continues to lay out the plea deals reached as part of Avon's structured deal. Judge Phelan spots him and congratulates him on a hell of a case, which has apparently been all over the papers (it IS a big story), telling him he did good. He offers a hand to shake but McNulty just stares a hole through him, so he pretends he has to go and heads away. McNulty returns inside in time to hear D'Angelo's fate - not only is he refusing to cooperate but he insists against all evidence that it was purely his idea to pick up the drugs in New Jersey, so Pearlman is seeking the maximum sentence of 20 years. Twenty goddamn years. Brianna and Stringer have returned and are watching all this impassively as Levy agrees, this is part of the deal within the family, D'Angelo is "stepping up" and ruining his own life, and he'll never get that space to breathe and be his own person like he dreamed - his dream is as dead as Wallace.

Bunk joins McNulty and tells him how things went with Wee-Bey, including his attempt to get Bird off for Gant's murder. Wee-Bey's details don't match up with the physical evidence though, he claims he killed him with a close-up contact wound, while Gant was killed from a distance. The Judge bangs his gavel, they've finally reached an end of the pleas, and all of the criminals are marched out in a line, Avon smiling and nodding in McNulty's direction as he goes, in half slow-motion. McNulty again asks "what the gently caress did I do?" and Bunk asks if he's happy now, bitch. McNulty watches D'Angelo being taken away and Pearlman places a hand on Jimmy's chest before moving on herself, leaving McNulty alone in the court room.

Every season ends with a montage, and escape artist has promised to go into this one in greater detail. Simply put, to Jesse Winchester's "Step by Step" we see Baltimore continue on in the aftermath of the case's resolution. Back using, Bubbles joins Johnny looking for hustles, an attempted copper grab thwarted when they spot an approaching patrolman who turns out to be Santangelo, busted down as punishment from Rawls despite getting him his clearance. Deputy Ops Burrell promotes a clearly uncomfortable Carver to Sergeant; Prez puts away the charts that have come to dominate his life as he clears the Detail's basement out; and Greggs' sits in a hospital corridor at night watching a police car race down the road. McNulty has ended up in the Marine Unit despite Freamon's warning, having already given away his deepest fear to Landsman earlier in the season, and Freamon and Bunk - now partners in Homicide - happily come down to see him, offering him a bottle of Jameson's to get him through his shift. In the funeral parlor, Stringer watches as the various Counts from the Organization he now runs are tallied, and all throughout Baltimore, in all the districts, black and white users buy drugs, people of different classes and financial means, handing over money for drugs, the arrest of Avon and 20+ of his Organization not even making a bump in the day to day trade.



But this isn't a Baltimore issue, this goes on in other cities all across the country, as has been said on the show, you can't call the War on Drugs a war, because wars end. In New York in the South Bronx, a hooded user approaches a dealer looking to score and the Latino dealer asks how many he wants.

"Take about 3 of 4 hundred," replies the user, and before the dealer can react the hoodie is down and the gun is out - dealing drugs isn't the only thing that doesn't change. Whether he's in Baltimore or in New York, the Legend of Omar continues to grow.



"All in the game," he laughs as Season 1 of the greatest television show of all time ends,"All in the game."

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 22:51 on Apr 5, 2013

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