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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Season 4, Episode 10: Misgivings

Poot posted:

World goin' one way, people another.

Donut is, unsurprisingly, driving a stolen car down the streets of Baltimore, enjoying the day, waving to some pretty young girls who laugh happily at the ridiculous but family sight of Donut cruising. Unfortunately for him, as he turns a corner he passes by a parked patrol car, and even more unfortunately for him the officer sitting in it is none other than the cruel, malicious and somewhat corrupt Officer Walker. Donut takes off, his youth and inexperience exposed as he loses control of the car somewhat, crashing into various cars as he makes his escape, the local girls on the corner now laughing and clapping with delight as they watch him attempt to escape Walker. Doing a fair amount of damage as he bounces between cars, he realizes that he's screwed up and makes the best of a bad situation, backing the car up into another parked vehicle to form a quasi-barricade before getting out and cheesing it up the alley. Walker pulls up and reports the description of his runner and then tries to take the corner in a hurry, running into another car also turning the corner and taking the bumper off. Furious, he storms out demanding to know if the driver needs bifocals, while the driver is horrified and demands to know what he was thinking taking a blind corner going the wrong way. Walker watches Donut disappear into the distance and with great effort bites back his own temper to apologize to the driver, who has started asking for his name so she can report him, making him realize the level of trouble he has gotten into.

Meanwhile, Donut has done a quick trade with another kid on the street, swapping jackets and taking the hat. He heads casually away up the streets while the other group continues on, probably unaware of just how bad their side of the deal was. Walker pulls up next to them and grabs at the kid, his friends immediately clearing away, and the kid obviously does some fast talking because before long, Walker is pulling up into the alleyway where the Fayette Street Mafia hang out. It's just Donut and Kenard there at the moment, Donut as always talking enthusiastically about cars. Donut tries to affect confusion over Walker's angry accusations, keeping Kenard between them as he looks for an opening to make a break. But Walker is bigger and he's cut off the only exit, and Donut's effort is pathetic, caught easily while Kenard - no coward but also no fool - gets the hell out of there. Walker, furious and feeling impotent over all the paperwork he'll have to fill out while Donut will get away scott-free (even if Donut confessed, which he wouldn't, he's a juvenile) decides to make his own justice, and breaks several of the 13-14 year-old kid's fingers!

No character exists in a vacuum, and there is probably a whole big backstory to how Walker has ended up the way he has - but few characters in the show are as loathsome and brutal and stupid as him. Does he hold people from the street in contempt because he made something of his life when they didn't? Does he just enjoy wielding what little power he has over those who are powerless? Is he just naturally an rear end in a top hat? All three? More? Whatever the case, breaking a child's fingers no matter how bad their crime is very much going overboard.



Senator Clay Davis meets with Commissioner Burrell in Burrell's office, where they discuss Burrell's current precarious situation with Carcetti. Burrell has been isolated, reduced to ceremonial roles while all the work is done by Rawls. Burrell pretended to be tickled by the idea of keeping his salary and perks while not having to do any of the work, but he knows that he is in trouble with a Mayor who doesn't want him and a subordinate eager to take his place, it's just a matter of time before he is toppled. Clay sees things another way though, and demonstrates some of the political acumen that has enabled him to survive and thrive despite the open secret of his utter corruption. Rawls will never be Commissioner, Carcetti would lose too much from his black constituency by firing a black man and replacing him with a white one, and no viable candidates from outside cities are going to take a pay cut to come have the thankless job of running the police in Baltimore. In fact, Carcetti has already made overtures to one such candidate from Pittsburgh, a friend of Burrell's who immediately let Ervin know what was going on. So Clay assures Burrell he isn't going anywhere, and what he should be doing is consolidating his power and making Carcetti realize the benefits of not working against him. Show him that he was "stifled" by Royce's Administration but now he can shine. Exactly how can he do that though, when Rawls is running everything in all but name? Clay reminds him that he's still the Commissioner and people have to listen when he tells them to do something, so that just leaves WHAT to do. There Clay can't help him, dismissively telling him to do some "police poo poo, whatever it is you people do for a living" before leaving, assuring Burrell just to do his police thing and rely on his friends like Clay to help him on the political end of the spectrum. He leaves in utter confidence, while Burrell ponders exact what "police poo poo" to do.

Prez arrives in the staff room to make a drink, chatting with Sampson about Donnelly and a maintenance man being in his class when he arrived and the heat had been cranked up. Sampson explains that they've reached the time of year where they switch to 90 minute classes. What does that have to do with the heat? It's the only way to keep students sitting still for 90 minutes, they crank up the heat to make the students drowsy, so they'll just stay where they are. Classes have become nothing but preparation for the Test, and Sampson warns him that until the Test is taken, that isn't going to change.

Little Kevin gets some schooling on the system too when he finally returns to his Corner. Bodie and Poot are complaining about the cold, Bodie commenting that he should take a vacation somewhere warm, revealing with some longing in his voice about a show he saw on Animal Planet about Marlin Fishing, and the water that was.... "this color". Poot laughs that the water won't be like that anymore thanks to global warming, and when Bodie asks why it's so cold if there is global warming, Poot observes that it's not so much that it's cold as that they are getting old. Bodie - who probably isn't even 20 yet at this point - can only nod in agreement. Little Kevin arrives and though he is greeted, Bodie still presses him for why he's been missing for the last few days after being taken away by Herc - what if anything did he tell them? What did they want him about? Little Kevin is quick to assure him that he said nothing, that they wanted to question him in regards to a murder but he doesn't know what one because he didn't tell them anything. So they looked him up on a "humble" and once he was out, he took a day or so to look after his sick grandmother. Bodie accepts his excuses but makes a very salient point - it isn't him who needs to be convinced. Though they never mention Marlo by name, it's clear that this is who they are talking about. Kevin is concerned, why should he have to tell Marlo when he didn't say anything? Bodie and Poot both insist though, he was picked up by police and was out of pocket for a few days, and now he's back - people are going to ask questions and they're going to want answers. If he goes to Marlo right away and gets ahead of it, he'll demonstrate that he has nothing to hide and no reason to be suspected, if he doesn't, people will start thinking he's got something to hide - perception is everything.

The system continues to impose itself. In the Pilot Program at Edward Tilghman, the students are being put through a roleplay segment of social interaction as they take turns playing the part of waiter and customer at a restaurant. As they muddle their way through the exercise, Donnelly pops her head through the door and motions to Colvin and Parenti to pop outside and see her. There they get the bad news - the word has come down from on high, EVERY class MUST teach to the Test in 90 minute blocks of maths and language arts from this point on, and that includes the Pilot Program. There are no exceptions, even though the class is being specifically targeted towards students with short attention spans and an opposition to structured learning and the school is getting money for letting them operate, they still aren't exempt. Colvin, always convinced that given a chance to just explain himself he can convince somebody of the necessity of doing things his way, asks if there is somebody HE can talk to about this. That's where the other piece of bad news comes in - the Area Superintendent wants to see the both of them first thing tomorrow morning, and a summons like that is never to tell anybody what a great job they're doing.

Omar and Renaldo continue to observe Marlo's Concrete Courtyard, Omar telling Renaldo that he had no idea that Marlo was who he was when he robbed the game. Renaldo questions whether that would have made any difference to Omar in any case, and the stick-up artist happily admits that he wishes he had known, because he would have enjoyed robbing him even more.

Meanwhile, Herc visits with Bubbles, bringing a rather pathetic make-up gift of chicken and soda as an apology for letting Bubbles take a beating at the hands of his tormenter. Demonstrating just how little he understands the hosed up situation Bubbles was in, he doesn't correct Bubbles when he complains about "Herc" rolling by in his car while Bubbles took his beating, just shrugs a whatever and moves on to what concerns HIM. He promises Bubbles they'll get him a phone so they won't have one of these misunderstandings again, offers him the chicken and then pushes on to his business, he wants Bubbles to put the word out on the missing camera that Herc is after, with a $500 no-questions-asked reward if it is returned. Bubbles points out bitterly that Herc is offering $500 for a camera but just some chicken for Bubbles for taking a beating. But when Herc assures him there is $100 in it for him too, Bubbles reminds him yet again that he's not about the money, but he does need Herc to do something about his tormenter. Settling down to eat his chicken, Herc just stands stupidly by his mattress, still completely uncomprehending of how desperate Bubbles' situation is.



Little Kevin has taken Bodie's advice and gone to see Marlo and let him know exactly what went on between him and the police. In the process he brings Randy Wagstaff to the horrible attention of Marlo, Chris and Snoop. Finishing his explanation and swearing that he said nothing to Randy about Lex's murder other than instructing him to tell Lex where to be, Kevin is relieved when Marlo simply nods and is informed by Marlo's troops to get the gently caress out of there. Affecting a swagger that surely isn't genuine, he heads away with seeming confidence... until he notices he is being shadowed by two of the troops and tries to clear them off. They grab at him and he attempts to resist, but they're Muscle for a reason and slam him into the back of a car, Little Kevin staring in horror up at Slim Charles who has just arrived for his own meeting, and who makes no motion towards helping one of his former employees, who he knows is already a dead man walking. As Slim Charles approaches, Marlo dismisses the idea of doing anything about Randy - it seems he believed Little Kevin's story but just had him killed on general principles - but casually agrees with Snoop's disgusted claim that Randy is a snitch, telling them to spread the word around and let the community deal with Randy for them. Slim pulls up a seat, welcomed pleasantly by Marlo as they discuss an upcoming shipment. As they talk, they're watched with fascination by Omar from his observation point, who is curious why a Barksdale man is chatting so genially with Marlo Stanfield - his opportunity sense is tingling.

Herc picks up a burner for Bubbles, who is waiting in the back of his car. Herc tells him to make sure the next time he sees his tormenter that the man is holding drugs, the more the better for Herc to throw the book at him and get him off of the street. Bubbles, still pissed at Herc, tells him he'll need money to make sure that happens, demonstrating a little of what Daniels warned about at the COMSTAT meeting - a bad police will be used by an informant rather than using them.

That night, Donut shows off his splinted fingers on Namond's corner, telling them all that Walker promised to kill him if he stole another car. Namond asks if he plans to stop and that just makes Donut laugh, insisting that as soon as his hands are healed up he's going to have Walker chase him all over the city. Kenard organizes a deal, Namond jokes about teaching Walker a lesson... and then suddenly the police are all over them out of nowhere, taking advantage of Namond's sloppy operation and lack of look-outs despite first Bodie's warning and then Carver's first raid. Namond is grabbed by Carver himself, reminding Namond he gave him one warning already, cuffing him as the other police easily find their ground stash and dump it out on the hood in front of Namond, ignoring his protests that they aren't his. Carver talks up big what a lesson Namond is learning, repeating another mistake that Namond has frequently made - his distinctive hairstyle - before putting him in the back of the car... but as he does so, his face is anything but triumphant - Namond is a tiny fish, and the only reason Carver is doing this is part of an optimistic attempt to scare Namond straight before he CAN become an actual "real" drug dealer. He takes no pleasure in this part of the job.

The City Council Suite has become Carcetti's defacto "office" ahead of his inauguration, impressing Clay Davis who is now meeting with the Mayor-Elect and Norman. Carcetti IS the Mayor-Elect officially now, the General Election has finally occurred, off-screen of course as in Baltimore the Democratic Primary is the REAL election. His showing - 82% - was impressive even if they do play it down considering the massive imbalance of Democratic voters vs Republican in the city, impressive enough for Nerese ampbell to suddenly play nice and allow them use of the office. Now Clay is here, putting on a little act of contrition about his actions during the primary when he fleeced Carcetti out of money and then turned around and supported Royce. Norman cuts through that bullshit, asking if he intends to give the money back, which makes Clay laugh. So why is he ACTUALLY here? Clay reveals just how much his friendship is worth as he notes that it has come to his attention that Carcetti is not satisfied with Burrell, and that he could help ease the process of moving the Commissioner - who he just encouraged to hold onto his position - out. How? Well he could talk with Nerese Campbell about okaying a payrise for the next Commissioner, and convince some of the Ministers to accept the notion of new leadership and a replacement for Burrell. Carcetti and Norman aren't dumb enough to take this at face value of course and ask what is in it for Clay himself. Openly he agrees that he's looking out for himself - he works in Anapolis, and word has started to spread that Carcetti could end up down there himself in a couple of years, and Clay values THAT "friendship" more than he does the one with Burrell. He leaves with a smile, Carcetti and Norman exchanging disbelieving glances - he comes to see them to apologize for a short con and then set up a long one - sheeeeeeeeeeeiiiiiiit.

Two very different examples of an adult reaching out to a younger, vulnerable male occur next. In the Western, Carver continues to put on the tough guy act for Namond, pretending glee at the news that Namond can't reach his mother, who has gone to Atlantic City and then on to New York to shop and see a show - she's still living the lifestyle that the Barksdale money was affording her (at the cost of long term security for her son). Carver teases Namond with the fact that as they can't reach a guardian, he'll now have to face "baby booking" instead of being released on recognizane, but to his great surprise the normally brash Namond immediately closes up, clearly terrified out of his mind at this news. Carver can't understand it, it's not like he's sending him to Cheltenham, it's "Baby Booking" on the East Side. Namond, attempting to maintain his composure, says that East Side and West Side are beefing and he's heard about West Side boys being raped over there, an idea that Carver clearly finds ludicrous but leaving him trying to walk a fine line between using a night in jail as a deterrent and not sending Namond into a freak out. He says he's heard it's bad in there but not "that bad", but offers Namond another out, is there any other guardian he can call on? Namond does have an Aunt in the County, but he doesn't have a number for her, and Carver does draw the line at driving him down to the County at this time of night. Namond is looking increasingly desperate though, his hardman act has served him well in school and "playing" on the Corner as a young'un, but he has no heart and is terrified of facing the consequences of his actions at last - the time when the game becomes "the game". So Carver takes pity on him, and offers him one final chance - he can stay on the bench in the corner for the night, but if he plays up at all or gives the duty officers any problems whatsoever he'll be processed immediately and taken across town. In the morning, he will be given one final chance to contact his mother or aunt, and if he fails, he'll be processed anyway... but at least he won't be there over night. It's the type of thing the old Carver would never have done (remember he and Herc hustling Bodie at pool?) and he even complains to himself that he's turned his station into a charity ward, but Namond at least offers a grateful thank you for the assistance.

On the complete flip side of things, on the street Michael walks with Chris and Snoop until he spots Bug's father copping drugs from a corner. Snoop asks if he's a fiend, but Michael explains he's probably copping for his mother. Snoop asks if that is why he wants him gone, but Michael makes it clear his concern is getting the man away from him and his little brother. Snoop, being the way she is, insists in an amused way that she wants to know what Devar did to him. Michael, who has made a trademark of dropping his eyes when confronted by an authority figure, turns angry eyes Snoop's way before getting himself under control, but Chris picks it all up clear as a bell. He starts at Michael, and he understands, and - unlike Carver who had to work himself around to helping Namond - he doesn't make a performance of it all. He simply states that it will be as Michael requested, they'll do this thing for him. Michael leaves, and Chris turns his attention back to Devar, and for once there is more than cold, horrible professionalism in his eyes - there's contempt and rage.





The next day at the Western, Lieutenant Mello gives his briefing and it's bad news. After noting the recent rash of burglaries and setting up McNulty and the other responding officer to collaborate on what they've gathered in their independent investigations, he delivers the edict that has come down from the Commissioner. What is the "police poo poo" that Burrell has decided to go for to impress Carcetti? Some good old fashioned stats juking - he wants double the arrests, which means sweeping corners, arresting people for open container violations and writing plenty more tickets. The officers argue amongst themselves over whether this "broken windows" policy will do any good in Baltimore - it might have worked in New York but it never has in Baltimore, though others argue it just hasn't been done right. The sacrosanct nature of the paper bag that Colvin bought up in season 3 gets bandied about as they all complain ("I thought the election was over!"), but the edict can't be argued with, they'll have to do as they're told.

Colvin and Parenti meet with the Area Supervisor, who is concerned at the news that Colvin took three of the students out to dinner at a restaurant. At first they think she is interested in the progress of the students, but it soon becomes apparent that she is worried they might have embarrassed the school. Colvin talks warmly of the evening though, admitting they were awkward and overwhelmed but they made it through the night. The question of the Test then comes up, as they warn her that the students will not be able to sit the Test and trying to force it on them will damage the work the project has already done. Colvin talks with conviction, overriding her nice-sounding but ultimately meaningless concerns about socializing the children rather than educating them. The trouble is that Parenti gets upset at the interference in his academic project and raises the ire of the Supervisor, and Colvin has to come to the rescue with some diplomacy as they argue semantics, pointing out that what's important isn't their concerns or her concerns but the concerns of the students. None of them are there to be educated, they're going through the motions while they prepare for a life on the corner, and while it is not the type of thing they like to admit, the fact is that the system does not work for these type of students. What they are doing in the Pilot Program is - in Colvin's opinion anyway - the only chance they have to reach the kids and make some kind of progress to making them more social and open people. They aren't stupid, they're just set up for an entirely different world and they know it, and they see through any attempt to make them fit into the system like sitting through a 90 minute memorization exercise for gaming the stats on a statewide test.

Carver wakes the officer who worked the double and kept an eye on Namond, who slept on the bench and didn't move all night. Unfortunately he hasn't been able to contact his mother (I doubt he even bothered to try, she won't answer while she's in Atlantic City) leaving Carver with no choice, he has to process him through into Baby Booking. Carver makes one last shot at it, does he know ANY responsible adults? Because once he hits the streets, that's it, Namond is getting processed. Namond wracks his brain and finally comes up with a suggestion, maybe a teacher? A guy named Mr. Colvin? Carver can scarcely believe it when Namond asks if he knows his old commanding officer, smiling and saying yeah, yeah he knows him.

At Major Crimes, Herc and Dozerman are trying to figure out a way for Herc to get out of the mess of his own making, while Sydnor tries desperately to be the voice of reason. Dozerman suggests turning Bubbles into Fuzzy Dunlop, but Sydnor points out that Bubbles is already a registered CI, has been for years, and that Herc is on record as working with him back in previous cases. Sydnor's pained suggestion is that Herc stop loving about and lying and gets ahead of this mess before it destroys him. He has to go to Marimow, admit he lied about the PC on the train station stop and that it came from a camera he planted on Marlo's courtyard. Herc reminds him that he took the camera from ISD without clearing it with Marimow first and he's likely to lose his stripes, and the desperate Sydnor - who not so long ago was serving subpoenas to State Senators - agrees that this is possible, but if Marimow finds out - and he will! - without Herc telling him, he's likely to take his balls. Dozerman shrugs, unable to dispute the logic, and a nervous Herc gets up and prepares to face the music.

On the street, Bubbles' tormentor steals from his cart as Bubbles stands back cowering, but once he is gone to get on the "testers" line happening around the corner, Bubbles grabs his phone and puts through the call to Herc to come and finally save the day for him.

In Marimow's office, Herc gets the call and shuts his phone off.

:negative:

He starts to mumble his way through an explanation of a possible oversight in his paperwork, but is stopped by the furious Marimow who is dealing with the subpoenas being returned post-election, complaining bitterly about Freamon's poo poo - shoving the results of Freamon's hard work into a box behind his desk. Shoving them aside, he reveals to Herc that he's been going back through Herc's spotty run sheets and found no record of a meeting with his CI, and angrily growls at Herc not to take the second desperate phone-call from Bubbles. Herc does as he is told, Marimow tearing open more returns and hitting close to the target when he accuses Herc of making up Fuzzy Dunlop and simply following Marlo to the train station and arresting the first woman Marlo brushed up against. Herc, who was about to admit almost that very thing, calmly insists this is not what he did at all, and then Marimow unknowingly tosses him a lifeline - Herc needs to bring him a solid case against somebody, anybody, and he might be willing to let certain sloppiness slide. That's all Herc needed to hear, he was already wary of manning up and telling the truth, now he probably feels he has been all but guaranteed a get out of jail free card if he just brings some kind of case to Marimow. He's probably already forgotten about Bubbles' attempted calls.

In the corridors of Edward Tilghman, Randy, Michael and Dukie are joking and laughing when another student shoulder-bumps Randy and growls,"Snitch bitch," in his face before moving on. A pissed off Michael asks what that was about, not liking anybody screwing with one of his friends, but Randy says he has no idea. As they continue down the corridor his good mood is gone though, as the mistake he thought he'd moved past has come back to haunt him.

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Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



McNulty drives down the street, stopping to watch as multiple men are arrested or fined for ridiculous infringements of the law like carrying open containers in paper bags or parking in bus stops. As the likes of Colicchio revel in the nonsense, McNulty chats with the patrolman who Mello pointed out as responding to the latest burglary - Baker. Baker is writing tickets on cars, admitting it is bullshit but figuring he has to do what the bosses say. McNulty laughs at the idea, and points out that a patrolman is the only real dictatorship in America - they are free to arrest somebody on a "humble", arrest them for real, say gently caress it and drink themselves to death under an overpass.... and whatever they do, their side partner for cover for them. So instead of this bullshit, why not deal with those burglaries? Demonstrating the talent for detective work that got him up into Homicide all those years ago, he shows Baker that the incident reports have shown a pattern to the burglaries, and given a probable time and location for the next one. As a mini-riot looks set to break out behind them - McNulty sarcastically notes this will get the Department the rise in arrests they wanted - they decide to head off and work the burglaries and ignore the petty bullshit. That seems pretty reasonable and laudable, but the pursuit of more meaty policework will start McNulty on the way to returning to the one place he should never be despite being one of the things in life he is so good at - being a Detective working major cases.

Colvin and Donnelly meet with Carver and Namond, and Carver explains the situation - until his mother returns from her trip to Atlantic City and New York, he needs a responsible adult to look after him or he will be processed into Baby Booking. Donnelly shrugs and tells Colvin it is his call, and Carver notes with some pleasure that Namond invoked Colvin's name with a degree of respect. This amuses Colvin too, as he reminds Namond that only a few weeks ago he told him,"Mr. Colvin, gently caress YOU!", and Namond can't help a smirk before reminding him that at least he said,"Mister"! Carver explains the situation, it was his first arrest but his second warning, and he's been slinging out on the corners for a few weeks now - Carver not so subtly reminding Namond that he has been aware of him from the beginning. Colvin asks if there is really nobody else, suggests - to Namond's horror - that maybe a night in booking would be good for him since he wants to be a gangster so badly, then sighs and gets up, saying he'll go phone his wife and inform her of what is going on.

McNulty and Baker, now in plainclothes, pull up at one of the proposed locations for the next burglary, Baker getting set up in one place while McNulty heads to another.

At Colvin's home, Namond is all smiles and politeness as he finishes up the meal Mrs. Colvin made. She asks if he'd like his cobbler a la mode, confusing him till she explains that means with ice cream, and he eagerly and politely accepts. She smirks at Colvin, saying to "Bunny" from what he told her she wasn't expecting politeness, and heads into the kitchen. Namond is delighted, "Bunny?", but Colvin warns him that only his friends call him that, and when Namond asks what it means, Colvin leans forward and tells him matter-of-factly that if he tells anybody about "Bunny" he will cut Namond's balls off and give them to Donnelly in a jar.

Chastened somewhat, Namond looks about and asks if they don't have kids. They do, but they're all grown up and off to college now. Mrs. Colvin returns with the ice-cream and comments again that Colvin told him Namond was rough, and Colvin jokes that she shouldn't be fooled, this is his Eddie Haskell act. Namond, funnily enough not a Leave It To Beaver fan, asks who Eddie Haskell is, and Colvin happily informs him that he is, there's no doubt.

McNulty and Baker bring two suspects in to be booked, the overworked Desk Sergeant distractedly telling them to line up with the rest. They want the interrogation room though, the charge is felony burglary and that does get the Desk Sergeant's attention, especially when Baker says they've got them on attempted Church burglary but might be able to work back on some others. The Desk Sergeant jokes that he knew there were some REAL criminals left in Baltimore, and happily hands them the key.



The next day, Mello - who has dutifully rolled poo poo downhill and given the orders for more arrests - goes to see his former Major, the now Colonel Daniels, to explain his concerns about this new Department Policy. Arrests have been made not just for open container violations, but loitering and jaywalking as well. Daniels, who is only hearing of this new mandate now from Mello, figures it's just another brief bump of "Quality of Life" arrests to keep local residents happy, but Mello explains that local residents are the ones being arrested! His men are mixed on the policy, half of them love the stats and are relishing the chance to punish every infraction, while others are confused and don't know how to deal with the sheer ridiculousness of the command. Daniels is troubled, Mello doesn't know if the order came from Burrell or Rawls initially, though he suspects Burrell. When Mello comments that the Election is over and that he was hoping a new guy in charge would mean a change in the stats bullshit, Daniels is even more troubled - because he's banking everything he has on Carcetti being the real deal, has he misjudged the man?

On the Corner, Bodie finds himself facing the same concern re: Marlo. He and Poot are laughing about Poot's love life (what else! And yes, he's been "burned" again) when Slim Charles pulls up for a friendly hello and maybe a little pot-stirring as well. After greeting Poot and observing that life is strange - Slim works for Prop Joe now, Poot works for Marlo - Slim takes a moment alone with Bodie to enquire how things are going with Marlo as his new boss. Bodie can't complain, though he doesn't say so he clearly agrees with Poot's earlier assessment that one boss is the same as another (Daniels hasn't quite learned the same lesson yet). Slim says the only reason he's asking is because of what Marlo did to his boy, which confuses Bodie and then horrifies him as Slim clarifies, explaining how he saw Little Kevin get grabbed up by Marlo's people and now word is getting around that Chris and Snoop "walked him up an alley". Having delivered this unsettling news (was it just out of genuine concern/friendship with Bodie or was Slim hoping to upset Marlo's organization some?) Slim rolls out, leaving Bodie standing alone on his corner (a great loving bit of framing too) considering the same thing as Daniels - has he misjudged his new Boss? It was Bodie who sent Little Kevin to see Marlo in the first place, after all.

At Edward Tilghman, Prez takes his tired and indifferent students through the Test questions, observed by the Area Superintendent. Once she is satisfied that he is following the utterly useless curriculum she moves on to the next class, and Prez tells his instantly attentive students that they have 45 minutes left to study either Last of the Mohicans or probability, and they all excitedly ask to study probability - which to them means playing dice. They begin moving the tables together, Randy happily asking another student if he wants to play and being left confused and hurt by the,"Not with YOU" reply. Moments later Michael is there to offer to play, however, and Randy momentarily forgets his troubles. All the students eagerly begin taking part, Prez watching and warning them to remember that this really is maths and they are learning... seriously.... really.... before just grinning to himself and letting them enjoy themselves.



Slim makes his next stop, observed all the way by Renaldo and Omar who have shifted from watching Marlo to watching Slim, wanting to know what the connection between them is. Renaldo is driving a taxi, a vehicle that can appear anywhere and go unnoticed, Omar keeping a low profile in the back. Renaldo is clearly less than enthusiastic about their latest operation, but Omar is insistent, they're going to stay on Slim, and if that means sitting on this street for the rest of the day then that is just the way it is going to be.

In the Pilot Program classroom, the Principal and the Area Superintendent observes another roleplay session as two of the students playact going through a Department of Social Services meeting. Unfortunately things get ugly as the students get increasingly angry during the (probably very accurate) roleplay session, Zenobia getting slapped by Chandra who then shoves over one of the specialist teachers and storming out. Of course this would happen while Principal Withers and the Area Superintendent are there, in fact it's probably happened BECAUSE they're there and the students are acting out, but all the Superintendent sees is an out of control class that doesn't appear to have made any progress whatsoever. She asks Withers if this is a typical day and is not pleased at all to learn that this is his first time observing the class.

Bubbles pushes his "Depo" down the street on a bright but cold day, and spots some women leaving the local Church with plates of food, and asks if they have anything to spare. They ignore him, and when the Reverend leaves and Bubbles gives a pleasant hello, the Reverend just stares at him before heading to his car and putting his bag in the back. Bubbles, tired of being beaten up, used, ignored and abused has reached the end of his rope, and decides to finally get a little revenge. He dials Herc's number, who picks up for once, dismissively explaining he was in a meeting when he last called but asking if he has his tormenter pinned down now. Bubbles tells him he has something better, he has eyes on Marlo's people who are about to make a drop, and offers the location, the car and even the license plate - PR8ZGOD - which Herc is too dumb to pick up spells out Praise God. The Reverend pulls away, unaware that Bubbles is setting up a little revenge on him as well, Bubbles giving directions to an eager Herc who has visions of a juicy bust and the resolution of all his problems racing through his head. Bubbles hangs up, offers the phone - still has half an hour on it! - to the ladies who decline, and then stares up at the Church steeple and the bright blue sky - it's going to be a fine day for Bubbles, today.

It's less so at Edward Tilghman, where the Area Supervisor is making her distaste for the Pilot Program very clear. She didn't see any education OR any socialization, to which they reply that this may not have been their best day but it wasn't their worst either, and they HAVE made a great deal of progress. Colvin, as usual, is the one who puts it best - they're coming to class, they're engaging, they're paying attention, they're THERE. There are less outbursts, less violence, no suspensions, they are making (slow) progress. But that's not the buzzword that the Area Supervisor is looking for, demanding to know if the students are LEARNING anything - remember, this is the same woman who is insisting that every class be shown the correct answers for the upcoming Test so they can raise up the school's average grades. Parenti, Colvin and the Specialist teacher we've mostly seen interacting - her name is Miss Duquette, I finally discovered - all agree that they are, but when the Area Supervisor asks which would be ready to return to a real class all they can offer are three students - Namond, Darnell and Zenobia. To make matters worse, one of their own, Miss Mason - who was knocked down by Chandra - goes against the grain and says that she thinks the program is flawed, she thinks any progress they are making is temporary at best. Donnelly's less than enthusiastic endorsement and Withers shrugging,"Whatever Miss Donnelly says" back-up aren't entirely helpful either, the Pilot Program is clearly doomed.

Herc has gone all in, calling in the helicopter to give them an eye in the sky as they pursue what Herc thinks is a Stanfield drug mule, tightening the noose around his own neck as he pushes hard for what he thinks will be his salvation.

Daniels meets with Carcetti at his old campaign headquarters, which is being emptied out in preparation for his Inauguration. Daniels went to Carcetti with his concerns and the Mayor-Elect has established that the order for more arrests came from Burrell, infuriating him as he sees it as a direct challenge to his command. Daniels sees it another way though, understanding Burrell's line of thinking, he thinks this will make Carcetti appreciate him more because he'll be able to show excellent stats. Daniels explains what Juking the Stats is to a disgusted Carcetti (disgusted till he needs to make use of it himself, of course), and suggests that Rawls has probably known about Burrell's move for days now. So why didn't Rawls say anything? Daniels tells him that is something he needs to ask Rawls himself, but explains the reason HE came to Carcetti is because he wanted to establish whether Carcetti was for real or not. If the order came from him then it meant he was full of bullshit about wanting to make a change. If the order DIDN'T come from him, it meant Burrell was trying to reestablish his control of the Department, and that Rawls is either complicit in this or hoping that Burrell will get enough rope to hang himself, be fired for insubordination and allow Rawls to step into his place as Commissioner. It's a lesson in Department Politics for a politician who should have seen it coming, and Carcetti assures Daniels once again that he is authentic in his wish to change the Department, and thanks him for going outside the Chain of Command. Daniels grins and tells him not to expect him to make a habit of it.

The Reverend is pulled over by Herc, confused by the aggressive attitude of a Detective who is used to dealing with street dealers and thugs. Herc slams him back down on the hood of the car as he frisks him, shoves him down to the curb, goes through the trunk of his car, pulls out a black bag in triumph and opens it in front of the Reverend, spilling out papers and pulling out a gold leaf Bible, which he hunts through with an increasing sinking feeling as he begins to realize he's been played. Things go from bad to worse when the now indignant Reverend insists he is going to get his name and number, and this is a far worse problem for him to deal with than Walker sideswiping that car while pursuing Donut at the start of the episode.

Burrell, Clay Davis and Nerese Campbell meet for a war-council on maintaining their happy status-quo, and discuss a new name that has come up and is troubling them all - Cedric Daniels. They may be unaware of today's meeting with Carcetti, but they can't have helped but notice the sudden elevation of the Western District Commander to heading up CID - Daniels has gone from a Lieutenant in the Evidence Control room to running Major Crimes to a Major in control of a District to a Colonel in charge of the entire CID in a remarkably short amount of time. Nerese hasn't had any dealings with him but she is intrigued by his former marriage to Marla Daniels, who is now a Councilwoman herself. Clay recalls his own encounter with Daniels, complaining that the man just wouldn't listen when he tried to explain the entirely reasonable cause for his ex-convict driver to ride into a drug market and picked up a garbage bag full of money! Burrell of course has had plenty of run-ins with Daniels, and they all know that Carcetti is grooming him to be the new Police Commissioner at some point down the line. Clay brings up the proposed salary bump for the new Commissioner, noting that if Carcetti wants 50k, Nerese should okay 25. That will make Carcetti think he can bring her around, but won't be enough to attract anybody "real" to replace Burrell. Meanwhile, Daniels will need at least six months in charge of CID for appearance's sake, which gives Burrell time to turn Carcetti around and cement his position. They all agree on this course of action, and of course the moment Clay is out of the meeting he is on his phone, calling Carcetti's office and leaving a message - make sure you write it down now! - that he got the Council President to approve a salary bump, and that Senator Davis has his interests at heart.



Colvin brings Namond home, where his mother is waiting on the stoop. He gives her a kiss and asks how New York was, but she only has angry eyes for Colvin, who he is and what is he doing with her boy? Is he in trouble? Colvin makes Namond tell his mother that he was arrested for slinging and would have gone to baby booking if it wasn't for his teacher Colvin, who took him in for the night. De'Londa is furious, but not because her son was dealing drugs. She's furious because Colvin had the gall to take in her son for the night, and furious because Namond was too scared to spend a night in baby booking. She yells at him to get inside the house, yells at Colvin to stay the gently caress away from her son, and storms inside herself. Colvin is left outside, confused and disappointed but now - like Bodie before him - a little better informed about why Namond is the way he is.

McNulty's new attitude means he and Bunk no longer go out drinking heavily together, but they're still friends so they take their sons out to dinner at a restaurant, where they discuss Burrell's latest push for heavy arrests and McNulty and Baker bring felony burglary arrests into the middle of it all. McNulty comments that Baker might have the makings of real Police, amusing Bunk who can probably tell that McNulty is jazzed about his own chance to take on something a little meatier than the usual. He asks McNulty's boys if they plan to follow Jimmy's footsteps and become police, but they laugh it off, much to Jimmy's delight. Bunk's oldest declares he means to be Chief of Police, while his youngest just stares and says something, too nervous/unsure of himself amongst these strangers. Elena shows up, presumably to pick up the boys after their weekend with Jimmy, and finds herself surprised by Jimmy's maturity - he's drinking water, turns down an offer for something alcoholic from Bunk, he got off work early to help the boys with their homework and he just seems relaxed and at ease. Bunk heads off to get the drinks and McNulty asks politely after her on-again/off-again boyfriend Dennis, tells her that he and Beadie are doing well and that her kids have his number. Elena laughs and notes with some amusement that if she'd known he'd grow up to be a grown-up.... well, who knows how things might have turned out differently between them.

Bodie and Poot discuss Little Kevin's fate that night, Bodie eaten up with guilt and anger because he was the one who sent Kevin to Marlo in the first place. Poot plays Devil's Advocate, noting that Marlo probably felt he had no choice, and evokes a memory that both would probably prefer to remain buried - Wallace. Bodie insists that was different, they HAD to kill Wallace because Stringer said he was a snitch, but Poot points out that Marlo thought Kevin was a snitch so its the same thing. Bodie can't articulate why but he insists this is different, and what it boils down to at last is that he has finally realized just how cold Marlo is. Poot notes it's a cold world, and when Bodie reminds him of his earlier talk about global warming, Poot gives us the episode's epigraph - the world's going one way, people another.

Michael and Bug are happily looking through a basketball magazine when their mother comes in wanting to know if Bug has seen his daddy. He's gone to the store, and she puts on her coat to go out and find him, probably desperate to get high and reliant on him to get her drugs. Michael tells her not to bother, Devar won't be coming back, but she dismisses this as a childish viewpoint of hoping that Devar will just abandon them, not knowing the far more dangerous truth.

At the store, Devar buys cigarettes and collects his change, and heads outside where a man and young woman are hanging out, presumably just having a quiet chat in the light of the doorway.



Oh dear.

Michael sits at his table, quietly contemplating the irrevocable step he has taken by setting Chris and Snoop on Devar's trail. He knows what he has committed himself to, and as the camera makes a long slow track across his face, it's hard to read if he feels relief, anger, disgust, horror or a mixture of them all. Whatever the case, at the end of the episode when he comes down to the kitchen late at night and grabs a drink, he seems more than satisfied to discover his mother sitting along, watching television and smoking, with Devar nowhere to be seen - whatever the cost to Michael himself, he has saved Bug from potential harm, and he is happy to live with that.

Devar walks with Chris and Snoop down the alley, asking what this is all about but still going along with them despite his trepidation and the fact that he doesn't have any reason to do as they say. They're not forcing him or pushing him or goading him, they just walk calmly along and he is seemingly carried along in their wake. Chris doesn't have voodoo powers, but there does seem to be a presence about him, it is almost as if he hypnotizes people... there is something implacable about him, when he tells you to go somewhere with him, you might argue and plead or debate but your feet will still be moving along in time with his. He insists that he hasn't been out long enough to piss anyone off, and the conversation takes a disturbing turn when Chris asks him outright if he likes loving boys. Indignant because he knows he is guilty, Devar insists he likes pussy, that he's with a woman now, and takes great offense to Snoop casually pointing out that the woman in question has children. He insists he hasn't touched them and demands to know who claimed otherwise, but Chris maintains that calm demeanor, posing a hypothetical - what did Devar do for pussy in jail? Off-balance, Devar acknowledges that a man has to make do when pussy isn't available. Chris nods... and then suddenly he's just all over Devar, assaulting him with a viciousness that leaves even Snoop in shock.

There's a scene in the movie Driver where the "Driver" assaults a hitman who was preparing to kill him and his lady friend, and at first there is a fist-pumping pleasure at seeing the bad guy take a beating. But then it goes on. And on. And on and on and on till you realize that the Driver has severe emotional and psychological issues and the scene is no longer cathartic but horrifying. This scene is much the same, as Chris puts a beating on the child molester and the viewer's initial reaction is one of pleasure.... until it just keeps going and going and going. There is nothing glamorous about it at all. Chris beats Devar to the ground, he kicks him, he beats him some more. Close-ups show fist smashing into the pulp that is left of Devar's face and Chris just keeps going, a wild flurry of rage that suggests a horrible kinship between Chris and Michael - are these both victims of abuse? Chris finally finishes, his professionalism all gone, going so far as to spit on the corpse before turning and stalking away. Snoop stands and stares at the body, and finally quips that Chris didn't even wait to get him in the vacant, making light of the situation. But it's clear that even she was taken aback by the viciousness of Chris' assault, one of only a couple of times in the show where she will see past the deadly competence and professionalism of her mentor at the roiling emotions he struggles to contain. She follows him back up the alley, leaving Bug's daddy a smashed up mess, left out in the open to be found, a rare mistake by Chris Partlow that will eventually help bring him and the Stanfield Organization down.

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 23:28 on Sep 29, 2013

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Links for the OP:

Episode 5 - Alliances
Episode 6 - Margin of Error
Episode 7 - Unto Others
Episode 8 - Corner Boys
Episode 9 - Know Your Place - Part 1
Episode 9 - Know Your Place - Part 2
Episode 10 - Misgivings - Part 1
Episode 10 - Misgivings - Part 2

hhhmmm
Jan 1, 2006
...?

I think the OP is gone, but with some luck maybe a mod could edit in the links

ally_1986
Apr 3, 2011

Wait...I had something for this...


Great write up as always! Sadly I think Breaking Bad knocked the wire off my favourite TV show ever but I envy any person who gets to watch either of these shows for the first time.

The whole thing with Chris is fantastic. It's really interesting to have a show that hints at the horrible stuff Micheal and Chris probably suffered through but never hits you over the head with.

I'm sure other shows would have done flashbacks or had one of them tell horrible stories but no the whole thing is conveyed by Chris understanding why Micheal wants him dead and not needing him to fully explain and by the brutal killing of him. It was horrible to watch and even the fact that snoop is taken aback by it shows just how unnerving it was.

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




ally_1986 posted:



The whole thing with Chris is fantastic. It's really interesting to have a show that hints at the horrible stuff Micheal and Chris probably suffered through but never hits you over the head with.

I'm sure other shows would have done flashbacks or had one of them tell horrible stories but no the whole thing is conveyed by Chris understanding why Micheal wants him dead and not needing him to fully explain and by the brutal killing of him. It was horrible to watch and even the fact that snoop is taken aback by it shows just how unnerving it was.

And, weirdly, it's probably Chris' most sympathetic moment in the show.

ally_1986
Apr 3, 2011

Wait...I had something for this...


So quick lingo question, the word humble appears a few times this episode related to charges (McNulty and Little Kev). I take it to mean a kind of bullshit charge that is pathetic but still breaking the law, say going 1mph over the speed limit?

3spades
Mar 20, 2003

37! My girlfriend sucked 37 dicks!

Customer: In a row?

ally_1986 posted:

So quick lingo question, the word humble appears a few times this episode related to charges (McNulty and Little Kev). I take it to mean a kind of bullshit charge that is pathetic but still breaking the law, say going 1mph over the speed limit?

According to this article, a humble is an arrest made that the prosecutor wont prosecute on. Stats juking at its finest. Burrell shows the mayor they made 100 arrests in this zone. None were prosecuted, but its still a stat to tout. Much like in homicide, a clearance still goes from red to black even if they don't get poo poo in court.

quote:

..
Cops know that when they arrest people on jive humble offenses like loitering or public urination that prosecutors aren't going to prosecute them. So why make them?

There might be situations where these arrests are effective. For that corner that's an open- air drug market, it might be useful to arrest, repeatedly, dealers and users for loitering or public urination. If it's done enough, it might force them to move elsewhere or quit the business. In a best-case scenario, it might inspire some to -- please, God, please -- leave Baltimore for good.
..

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



That "please, God, please" line makes me think of cops and prosecutors walking up to dealers on the Corner and asking them who their favorite host is on Baltimore Radio shows :)

Chris' savage beating to death of Devar is, as Ainsley McTree notes, also bizarrely probably Chris' most sympathetic moment (though maybe him playing with his kids while a bizarrely happy Marlo watches in season 5 tops it). So much of why he is the man he is - and the man that Michael could become - is shown to us in that scene. It was also a very interesting decision to make Devar's presence a terrifying one for Michael while also technically never showing him do anything wrong. So much of that character's menace is in our identification with Michael, and you can see that Devar is a very manipulative person who ingratiates himself into people's lives. If you take everything he did in the show at face value, then he was a loving father to Bug, an authoritative father-figure to Michael and a devoted if misguided partner to their mother. But we know he's basically goading Michael not just with his presence but by the deliberate way he touches him and throws Bug's love for him (Devar) in Michael's face, the way he keeps their mother high and his invasive presence in their home. The sad thing is, if Michael HAD gone to that social worker, if they hadn't split Michael and Bug up into group homes then there is every chance they would have looked at the Ex-Con father and current-junkie mother and decided that the boys (or Bug at least) would be better off staying with the father.

hhhmmm posted:

I think the OP is gone, but with some luck maybe a mod could edit in the links

If I get to the end of the season and escape artist hasn't updated, I'll PM a mod and ask them to pop it into the OP.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming


Because PMing me would prove too difficult? ;)

I still check in. I'm just going through a lot of changes in life right now.

OP's updated to include all of the links to each episode review.

Banditoh
Aug 13, 2005


Just finished reading The Corner and wanted to recommend it to any Wire fans that are interested in the reality of Baltimore poverty and the drug scene. Apparently it was a miniseries on HBO, but I've never seen it. With some excellent social commentary interspersed, it gives an incredibly detailed look at life on the corner. David Simon is a hell of a mind.


And just started a re-watch with my girlfriend, we're on season 1 episode 9 and she's finally starting to like it/understand who most the characters are. I'm amazed how many times I've watched the Wire and how I'm really not bored of it yet.

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

The Corner is one of those things I watched once and enjoyed but is so depressing I'm not sure if I could ever watch it again. The only light moments I remember are seeing most of the Wire cast in different roles and the darkly hilarious moment where everyone tries to scam each other for money, ostensibly to pay for the abortion, only for it to be revealed the abortion is actually free.

It becomes worse for me now, since even the relatively happy ending for DeAndre didn't last; he never escaped his demons.

Aces High
Mar 26, 2010

Nah! A little chocolate will do






I gotta say the first thing I thought of when Chris lays the beatdown was actually the scene in Fight Club when the narrator beats Angelface to a bloody pulp. The reasons for both smackdowns are different but like with the Driver scene it is something met with first cheers but it quickly turns everyone to a state of "oh god OH GOD :stonk:"

Minister Robathan
Jan 3, 2007

The Alien Leader of Transportation

Banditoh posted:

Just finished reading The Corner and wanted to recommend it to any Wire fans that are interested in the reality of Baltimore poverty and the drug scene. Apparently it was a miniseries on HBO, but I've never seen it. With some excellent social commentary interspersed, it gives an incredibly detailed look at life on the corner. David Simon is a hell of a mind.

The Corner is an amazing read. It's incredibly well written, but holy poo poo is it depressing. By the end, you just want everyone to get out and get clean but poo poo, that's not how the real world works. There's happy moments in the book, sure, but even those are overshadowed by the sheer weight of everything else that goes on. It definitely shows how the problems in the inner city are systemic, and it does it in a way that is very different from anything else I have ever read about the topic.

Now, with all that said, I had to stop watching the miniseries by episode 4. It was way too loving depressing. I think it's because I was getting a whole hour long dose at a time, whereas I could just stop reading at any point and come back. Technically you can do that with the miniseries too, but it's not how anyone watches TV.

Yates
Jan 29, 2010

He was just 17...



Banditoh posted:

Just finished reading The Corner and wanted to recommend it to any Wire fans that are interested in the reality of Baltimore poverty and the drug scene. Apparently it was a miniseries on HBO, but I've never seen it. With some excellent social commentary interspersed, it gives an incredibly detailed look at life on the corner. David Simon is a hell of a mind.


And just started a re-watch with my girlfriend, we're on season 1 episode 9 and she's finally starting to like it/understand who most the characters are. I'm amazed how many times I've watched the Wire and how I'm really not bored of it yet.

The whole series is on Youtube. It is depressing as gently caress though.

Banditoh
Aug 13, 2005


Watched episode one of The Corner and everyone is right, it's too goddamn depressing. Gary is just so pathetic in that first episode it's crushing. Think I'll wait a while since reading the book to watch the show. That said, it is cool seeing The Wire actors, and it seems like a fantastic show.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



Season 4, Episode 11: A New Day

McNulty posted:

You play in dirt, you get dirty.

The boys stop off at a Chinese takeout during the night for a meal on Namond's dime. Namond is even happily paying for Dukie, when earlier in the season he'd tried to avoid buying him an ice-cream, it seems he now accepts Dukie as part of their group. He still breaks his balls though, laughing at Dukie's hesitation over what to pick, making unconscious reference to his own confusion when Colvin took him out to dinner at the downtown restaurant. Dukie doesn't help matters when he orders "Yakamee" (Yaka mein) with turkey grease, causing Namond to crack up even when Michael tries to calm him down. Randy explains to the confused Dukie that while there is nothing wrong with Yaka mein, the turkey grease that Dukie's mother loves to order with the meal is something eaten by junkies and alcoholics to make them throw up so they'll be able to continue to drink. Poor Dukie had no idea, for him Yaka mein was a rare example of something his mother considered a treat that wasn't booze or drugs... and now he's found out it's just another example of her all-pervasive abuse of drugs. Namond pays up, laughing off Michael cheerfully taunting him for being a big successful gangster, and they head outside to eat their meal on a stoop, joined by Donut. They chat away about nothing in general, though Randy's good humor fades when he hears casual mention that Little Kevin has been killed and put up in a vacant - if Little Kevin was killed, are they after him next? Officer Walker comes by with his laundry, and actually seems in a cheerful mood, asking what they're doing away from their usual haunts. This isn't like McNulty and Carver sharing a joke though, Walker continues to push, taunts Donut over his broken fingers and makes it clear he isn't leaving until they do. Grumpily they get up and move on, discussing how "evil" Walker is and sharing juvenile ideas of revenge on him - putting condoms on his car, bumper stickers on his windshield etc. Michael thinks on a different level though, asking about a club where Western District officers are known to hang out, and happily informs them that he knows what to do.

Carcetti has been served up a fresh bowl of poo poo, courtesy of Herc. Reverend Frank Reid and the minister who was pulled over by the Sergeant have visited Carcetti to complain about the treatment.... and push their own political agenda in the process. Complaining that Herc wasn't the first and won't be the last, they tell an alarmed Carcetti that they want a Civilian Review Board for the police. Norman attempts to defuse the situation by reminding them that the police has a black Commissioner and a black IID Chief, but they skillfully play that off by noting a "systemic" issue with the police, and then hitting Carcetti where it hurts. It's an open secret now that Burrell has been sidelined by Carcetti, is he really asking them to put their faith in Bill Rawls? Carcetti is smooth though, asking them not to prejudge their response before they've even begun their investigation. The meeting breaks up amicably, Reid congratulating Carcetti for keeping his word and having an open door policy like he promised before the election, and Carcetti assuring him this will always be the case. The moment they're gone though, he and Norman are complaining - a civilian review board? If they couldn't get that from a black mayor they're sure as hell not getting it from him, it would turn the entire police force against him in a stroke. His only option then is to fire Herc, but doing that is going to piss off the rank and file, and not doing it is going to piss off the black political infrastructure. Norman can't help but laugh as Carcetti declares that his first (official) bowl of poo poo is "yummy".

At Edward Tilghman, students in Prez's class work away quietly, watched by Prez who has shown real growth in terms of his authority. He reminds students who look like they're slacking off to work and attempts to offer advice to Charlene, who is struggling with her math problem. She can't get her around the idea of halving an odd number (7) and even when Prez leads her through the problem and she is able to easily answer the question when it pertains to money, she simply can't understand the idea that if half of $7 is $3.50, then half of 7 is 3.5. A couple of students working with the tape measure call to get his attention, one of them letting it fall back into his friend's crotch much to the amusement of the rest of the class. Prez sighs, he has made great improvements since his first day, but he's still fighting an uphill battle.



A grumpy Renaldo sits in his cab, Omar in the back, and complains about their continued surveillance of Slim Charles. Omar jokes with him not to pout, but Renaldo isn't like the younger men Omar has hooked up with in the past and isn't afraid to speak his mind - he isn't happy with this current operation and he doesn't mind telling him. Any potential argument is defused when they spot Charles being driven by, and Renaldo pulls out a few car lengths behind, essentially invisible inside his bright yellow taxi.

In the Pilot Program, the students have given Miss Duquette a list of things that prove courage on the corner, and rather pointedly many of them are things that Namond has been seen to fail at throughout the season. While he hasn't faced any stick-up boys yet, he panicked at the idea of a night in Baby Booking let alone Cheltenham; backed down from the larger Sherrod when physically confronted; was meek as a lamb with Carver; and ran to protect himself when his boys were at risk during their confrontation with the rival kid gang at the start of the season, even when his best friend Michael was taking a beating. Duquette asks them to supply examples of courage that DON'T involve the corner and none of them can, so she asks them to take part in the age old trust-fall exercise. They all laugh at the idea of putting their trust in the other students, and a surprisingly surly Albert is particularly non-responsive. Namond is having none of it either, though from a far more good-natured standpoint, until Colvin catches his eye and makes it clear he expect him to do this. Knowing that he owes Colvin big time, he makes a joke of it but nevertheless gets up and takes part, falling backwards and being caught by the others. Everybody laughs, having a good time, and Duquette again asks Albert if he'd like to have a go. With a sudden, surprising fury he leaps up, screaming obscenities at her and storms out of the room. The students are taken aback but then laugh about it, while a concerned Colvin heads after him.

In the lunch room, Randy happily settles down with some of the younger kids to sell them candy, and to his alarm watches as they all quickly head away silently. The last to go mumbles,"Snitching Randy" with disdain, leaving him troubled, feeling the social isolation reserved for "snitches".



Slim heads to Joe's repair shop, meeting Joe outside to discuss business. Across the street, Renaldo parks and a very intrigued Omar watches the meeting, remarking that the more they find out, the less they seem to know. Renaldo wants to go and Omar snaps back that they're staying on this, till Renaldo explains he doesn't mean he wants to leave, but that he has to GO! Bemused, Omar hands him a roll of toilet paper - he came prepared for a long stake-out.

Colvin and the social worker, Miss Rennert, talk with a weeping Albert and trying to get him to open up about why he snapped in class. To their horror, they discover that he came home from school the previous day to find his mother dead on the couch, but was sent to school by his Grandmother today anyway. They offer what comfort they can, but really, what is there to say or do in a situation like that?

At Homicide, Colonel Daniels introduces/reintroduces Rhonda Pearlman in her capacity as Deputy Chief Prosecutor in Charge of Violent Crimes. Those who know her are pleased to see her, and listen with some approval to her and Daniels pointing out that the new Mayor and new States Attorney feel they have a mandate for pushing for real change in the Department. The Detectives are quick to throw out ideas, some serious (more pro-active investigation, more prep-time on cases), some hopeful (more money!) and some just silly (more women... loose women!). As everybody laughs and has a good time, a pleased Greggs notes to Landsman that it seems like a new day - the Department and the State Attorney's Office are finally getting what they deserve. Landsman just grins, he's seen enough to not take the optimistic promises of a new administration at face value. He does note with surprising insight though that Daniels and Pearlman make a cute couple.

Norman meets with Rawls to hand him a copy of the directive that Burrell has already received - the Mayor is NOT interested in mass arrests for good stats, he wants community-based policing and high-end cases. Rawls accepts that easily enough but is less pleased that Burrell is still in his position, why not just fire him? Norman calmly points out that doing so would cost them more political capital than they can afford right now, and segues smoothly into the issue of Herc and the Minister - the Mayor is between a rock and a hard place and is relying on a solution that will keep everybody happy... or at least, not mad. Rawls picks up on what Norman is saying easily enough, it's a matter of perception, and the perception of a white Mayor or white Deputy Ops clearing a white cop for the unwarranted stop of a black Minister is bad.... but nor can the department itself perceive one of their own being punished because of racial pressure. The solution is a black representative of the police being responsible for the decision, and since the head of IID is a Burrell man, then the best possible option is Cedric Daniels. He is technically Herc's boss, he's black, and he's politically neutral. Norman is pleased with the decision, especially since Carcetti is so clearly grooming Daniels for bigger and better things - something that everybody BUT the otherwise astute Rawls seems to have picked up on.

At Bubbles' shack, he's ironing a white shirt when he hears a knock on his "door". Instantly on guard, he demands to know who it is, and watches as the door opens slowly to reveal... Sherrod! Is he visiting or is he home? Sherrod says he's home if Bubbles will allow it, and he's quick to greet him and bring him in, offering him a couple of hot dogs to heat up on his grill. Sherrod explains that his dealing on the corner didn't work out, now they're trying to claim he owes them money for something somebody else did, and he had to get away. Bubbles understands the hustle they're trying to play on his well-meaning but dim young friend and tells him not to worry about it, but Sherrod isn't done. Finding it difficult to articulate, he attempts to explain how being on the corner felt so strange to him, like he was somebody else doing the things he did. Bubbles blames himself for forcing Sherrod out by pushing schooling on him, Sherrod blames himself for loving everything in his life up, and the two find a peace together when Bubbles tells him that he's back now, he's himself again, and that's what matters. The unattended iron scorches the shirt and Bubbles quickly pulls it away, laughing that having Sherrod back got him distracted and suggesting they sell it for half price. Sherrod laughs too, and eats his hot dogs as Bubbles settles happily down next to him and watches him eat, happy to have his surrogate son back.

Namond and Dukie wait outside Randy's house, who finally joins them having probably waited till he could sneak out unseen by Miss Anna. They head up the street, all three nervous about what they're planning. Randy says he's there for them but he still isn't sure this is the best idea, and Namond is in a worse state as he plays an integral part in Michael's plan. They arrive at Michael's who silently convinces Namond to step up to the plate and do what has to be done, and the four head on up the road to get their revenge on Officer Walker.

Rawls meets with Daniels in his office where they go over the complaint against Herc. To Daniels' eye, it's a minor infraction worthy of a slap on the wrist and a warning not to gently caress up again, but he sees no racial or religious element, and thinks the brutality complaint is a stretch. There are no independent witnesses so it is a case of he said/he said, and as far as he can tell it's just a matter of Herc being stupid, but not maliciously so. What bothers him is that the decision is to come from him, and he looks to Rawls for guidance - what does Command want? What does City Hall want? Rawls just smiles, not willing to give Daniels any more than he already has, and tells him they just want "the right thing" to happen, whatever that is. Daniels lets out an exasperated laugh at that, and Rawls grins and says it doesn't happen often, but it is the case today.

Walker leaves Club Thunderbird, spotted by Randy who gives the signal to Dukie. Dukie rushes up and keys Walker's car before taking off, the enraged Walker charging down the alleyway after him... and right into a masked Michael brandishing a gun. Surprised but not scared, Walker can see it's a youth holding the gun and tries to intimidate him by stomping forward, but Michael isn't easily spooked and fires off a warning shot, telling the shocked Walker that the next won't miss. He forces the officer to turn and drop to his knees with his hands on his head, humiliating him the way he has humiliated so many others with his petty displays of power. A masked Namond steps around the corner prepared to do his part but Michael stops him, spotting something that catches his eye - the ring that Walker took from Omar, that Omar took from Marlo, that Marlo took from Old Face Andre. In each case, the transfer of ownership was about the ring as a signifier of power, and this is no different. Michael instructs Walker to remove the ring and hand it to him, a souvenir of his dominance. Namond is horrified, he just wants to get this over with, and the moment Michael has taken the ring and given him the all clear, he does the deadly, scary thing that had him so worried.... he throws a can of paint over Walker. They rush off, Michael savagely pleased with the payback, leaving Walker to bellow back in impotent rage that they better run before roaring angry obscenities at his situation - how the hell does he explain this?



The next day, Carcetti gets to have some fun. Early in the morning he's driven to the Department of Public Works, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Water Department. There he offers deliberately vague complaints about seeing a car that needed towing, being told about a playground that was a hazardous environment, and a fire hydrant that was leaking. With a firm command to "fix" the problem he's off and away, leaving the Department Heads to go into a panic and rush to tow every car, clear up every playground and fix every hydrant leak in the city they can find.

But while Carcetti's underlings zoom about in a flurry to keep him happy (and thus create the impression for citizens that the new Mayor is getting things done), the Police Commissioner is enjoying a game of golf with Clay Davis and discussing the short-sighted approach Carcetti has taken to the Herc problem. By passing instructions on to Rawls who passed them on to Daniels, Carcetti is playing Pontius Pilate but it's not going to fly with the Ministers. Daniels' punishment for Herc - sensitivity training and two weeks extra duty - might seem reasonable to the rank and file, but it won't please the Ministers. Burrell sinks his putt, grins at Clay and asks if he's the only one who really knows how to play this game.

A pissed off Walker bullshits his way through a story to some other uniformed officers about three shotgun wielding Bloods jumping him outside the club. He claims it may be a declaration of war, the other uniforms grinning that this means they get to stomp some rear end "the Western District way". They head off, while McNulty - going over paperwork at his desk - grins and observes to a surly Walker that yellow paint as a declaration of war is a new one for him. He can smell the bullshit of an embarrassed police officer trying to cover up his humiliation.

At Edward Tilghman, Namond enthusiastically tells Colvin the other side of the story, though of course he talks about it like it was a story he heard and not something he was actually involved in. Colvin is more impressed by Namond taking part in the trust exercise though, and brings it up. Namond tries to play it off as nothing, but Colvin isn't having that, wanting Namond to recognize something good about himself that is more than bluster. Serious, he tells Namond that he's been impressed by his progress in the class, and he thinks that he could be ready to return to a normal class. Namond, unsure, asks if that is what Colvin wants. Colvin explains what is important is what Namond wants, but he shakes his head and says he won't return to "Gen Pop" - what they teach there is "deadly". He laughs that "Bunny" can understand that, and a laughing Colvin pretends to take a swing at him. It really is a remarkable transformation that has built slowly across the season - the grumpy, fronting kid who declared gently caress YOU to Colvin is now laughing and playfighting with him in the hall, running to eagerly tell him stories and shake jokes with him.

Carcetti attends a Budget Meeting, his good mood fading as he's told what he can't do. He wants an across the board payrise for the police but the budget simply doesn't allow for it, even if the shuffle around expenditure in other places. Once again he brings up the revenue surplus, and once again it's pointed out that this is rainy day money, a one-time surplus that he wants to use for a PERMANENT pay increase. Carcetti proves to be short-sighted again, noting that it feels like a rainy day to him, with Norman agreeing that it's "stormy like a motherfucker".

School lets out, Randy, Michael and Dukie heading out together happily joking about till they find a large group of boys waiting in their path. They ask Michael to step aside, they want a word with Randy, but Michael stands his ground, saying there is nothing stopping them from talking right now. One of the boys angrily blurts out that Randy is a snitch, and he shouts back that he isn't, unsettled as hell as they goad and taunt him and ask Michael if he really wants to stand with a rat. Michael turns and looks at his friend, looks at the large group of boys and agrees, he doesn't want to stand with a rat. Randy's face falls, and then Michael swings his bag into the lead boy, launching himself into the rest as they charge at Randy. Randy finds himself swarmed, while Michael lands punches on whoever he can and Dukie rushes back inside to get help. Michael has proved he has the "Corner Courage" referenced earlier in the episode - he stands by his friend and doesn't back down from those bigger than him.

Bubbles and Sherrod work a good double-act on his "Depo", Bubbles in a better mood than he has been in a long time. Proof that his fortune seems to be turning for the better comes when he spots a knocked down streetlight, and he hustles to get it onto his trolley with Sherrod's help. They can sell it for scrap for at least $100, and he happily exclaims that teamwork is working out for them today.

Back at the school, the fight is going on when Prez arrives and breaks it up. Michael put a beating on the lead boy but the others managed to get in their hits on Randy, and as they retreat they call back that they're not done with him either. Michael spits blood out defiantly and laughs when Dukie jokes that it turns out the books in his bag were good for something after all. Their good humor disappears when they spot Prez crouching over Randy though, calling for the nurse - Randy didn't just take a few hits, he took a savage beating. Bloodied and bruised, he lies on the ground moaning that he's not a snitch, he's not a snitch.



Bodie eats some lunch in a little diner, spotting McNulty who comes in to grab a meal of his own. McNulty, figuring why the hell not, asks if he can join him. Bodie hesitates momentarily and then figures why the hell not too, and agrees - though not before looking about to see who else is around. McNulty notes this isn't Bodie's normal hangout (he really does pay attention) and Bodie explains/complains that he had to get off the street for a little bit, the police are hitting the corners hard today. McNulty notes that a police was jumped last night and both share a laugh when Bodie says he heard it was Walker, McNulty freely admitting that the guy is an rear end in a top hat, which surprises Bodie - but as McNulty says, you play in dirt, you get dirty. The little lunch ends quickly though when McNulty gets a call on a burglary, but as he leaves he comments to Bodie they should do it again sometime. Bodie agrees, but with a,"Is this guy serious?" look, and after McNulty leaves he looks around again to see if anybody made note that he ate with a police.

I've often noted that Bodie shared an oddly familiar relationship with the police, often seeming to have a a very "Sam and Ralph" approach to his interactions with them. Even though he was committed to "the game" for life, he still seemed to think of it as a job he did, and the police were just doing their job, and if they met "after hours" he could just talk to them like any other regular joe. Sadly for Bodie, he's now reached a point in his life (or maybe on the chessboard) where this kind of attitude isn't going to fly anymore.

In Prez's class, he clears the blood off of Randy's face as best he can. Randy is distraught, asking if he's really a snitch when he didn't say anything other than what everybody else already knew. Michael is there too and tells him he shouldn't have said anything at all, but when he sees Randy's face fall he softens his approach, telling him that this doesn't make him a snitch. Prez blames himself, since he's the one who brought Randy to the police's attention, but Dukie notes that this only happened because Tiffany accused Randy of being party to her rape. In a demonstration of how they've come to trust Prez (in much the same way Namond does Colvin), they casually reveal that Lex and Little Kevin have been murdered by Marlo and put up in vacants. They shut their mouths quickly though when they discover that Prez knows who Marlo is, remembering belatedly that Prez is former police himself. To his credit (or maybe you think it's a bad thing?) Prez tells Randy that Michael is right, and that from now on he is to say nothing to anybody. Unfortunately you can't fix what is already broken, and a depressingly hopeful Randy asks him if doing so will make everything better.

Rawls lets his Colonels know the new edict from on high - no longer are they beholden to the stats, from this point on the Mayor wants quality policework. He doesn't take kindly to the Patrol Commander noting that it would be easier to turn an oil tanker around since most of the men were raised on the stats game, telling him if he can't make the transition, he'll find somebody else who can. The meeting breaks up and Daniels approaches Rawls, pointing out that if this is the new direction, then he would like to bring Major Crimes under CID and revitalize it. Rawls is amused, noting he'll probably want to change the personnel too, and Daniels admits he will do so where necessary. Rawls sees no problem, it's the kind of thing Carcetti wants after all, so he gives his approval. Daniels leaves and Rawls notes that Valchek has remained behind, a huge grin on his face. Valchek lauds him for playing smart by approving anything that the "anointed one" suggests, and Rawls gets a horrifying dose of reality. Somehow he has been the only one not to see the writing that is plain on the wall, having somehow convinced himself that a White Mayor would mean he could rise to the top and become Commissioner. Valchek laughs again when he realizes what Rawls was thinking, did he REALLY think he could become Commissioner? He's not "one of the natives". With that cheerfully racist remark and a "Jesus, Bill! :haw:" he leaves, with Rawls left behind with a sinking feeling in his gut - he blew an established working relationship with Burrell to become a Carcetti man, and his reward will be serving in exactly the same position he had before under Daniels instead.



Renaldo returns to his cab to let Omar know what he has seen. After shifting from Marlo to Slim Charles to Prop Joe, they've come full circle as they watch Marlo arrive to the same location. Omar is intrigued, Renaldo saw Joe meet with Fat Face Rick (who apparently cried when Omar and Renaldo robbed him at some earlier point) and 8 or 9 other obvious drug dealers and go into a room labeled as "New Day Coop". Omar figures out that "Coop" is actually Co-Op, and Marlo's presence is the final bit of proof he needed - Baltimore's major drug dealers have all gathered together in one place and are working together, and that means an extraordinary opportunity for Omar to "run with wolves".

Namond and Michael stop outside a jewelery store, where Michael contemplates buying a chain so he can wear Walker's ring around his neck. Namond brings up Michael's recent harder attitude, as well as the "risks" he has taken such as removing his mask during the payback on Walker or taking on a superior number of opponents when they confronted Randy. Michael snaps, asking if Namond wouldn't have stood by a friend, and Namond quickly insists he would have, but it's not what you do, it's HOW you do it. Michael isn't interested in his justifications though, he's increasingly growing in confidence, especially now that his stepfather is no longer on the scene.

Freamon meets with Daniels who shows him the proposal for the revamped Major Crimes Unit, confused as to what it has to do with him. He isn't pleased when Daniels says he wants him on it, reminding him of his problems with Marimow. Daniels surprises him by saying that Freamon will have carte blanche to choose who is in the squad, including choosing who HIS supervisor will be - as far as Daniels is concerned, Freamon IS the Major Crimes Unit. Freamon stares agape, and a widely smiling Daniels tells him that it's morning in Baltimore and time to wake up and smell the coffee. Carcetti's proclamation through Rawls of abandoning the stats game has convinced Daniels, he's fully bought into the idea of a "New Day".

It's same old-same old for Prez though, who storms down to the Western District and confronts Carver in the parking lot, furious at him abusing his trust. He gave them Randy on the express understanding that Carver would look out for him, and now his name is out on the street as a snitch? Carver is shocked, assuring Prez he doesn't have any idea what happened, he handed Randy over to Bunk and Herc.... his face falls slightly as an inkling of what must have gone wrong comes to him, remembering that he was relying on Herc to do as he was told and give Randy to Bunk afterwards. He tells an unimpressed Prez that they'll park a discreet unmarked vehicle down the road from Randy's to keep an eye on him and asks him to come inside so they can sort this all out.

Freamon returns to the Major Crimes Unit building, closed down for the night when in his day it ran 24-7, somebody always working a night shift to keep an ear on the wire. He turns off the alarm, turns on the lights, and looks in on what was once his personal kingdom. The organizational chart on the Stanfield Organization is pathetic, and after briefly reviewing it and the box sitting RIGHT NEXT TO IT that has all the pertinent information that SHOULD be on the chart, he heads into Marimow's office. There is the box with the returned subpoenas, and he opens it and begins going through all the information that got the MCU gutted in the first place. In a neat bit of editing, he goes through the names of various political and business figures that he'd targeted as having some kind of financial connection to the drug trade... all while across town Carcetti is introduced to those same people by Andy Krawcyzk at a fundraiser for the Ella Thompson Fund (you may remember Ella from The Corner, a fantastic book that you should read). When Freamon leaves, he turns the light off but then thinks better of it, turning them back on before going. The lights are back on at the MCU.



The next day, Freamon packs up his miniature furniture as Bunk playfully teases him for his perverted desire to listen in on people's phonecalls. Greggs taunts Bunk back, saying he could broaden his horizons with some time working a Wire too, but Bunk is all about suits and ties and maintaining his dignity working Homicide. The party is broken up when Carver arrives, wanting to know what the hell happened with Bunk and the Wagstaff kid he sent him. Bunk is confused, what Wagstaff kid? He becomes furious when Carver explains that Randy had information on Lex and Herc was supposed to bring him to him, which gets Freamon's attention to - because the mystery of Lex's disappearance was the key to figuring out how Marlo Stanfield was hiding the bodies he had to be dropping. Carver can't believe even Herc could have screwed up this badly, and Freamon proves his own sense of morality when he ignores the wider implications of Lex and Marlo to ask if something happened to Randy.

At Edward Tilghman, Donnelly is full of cheer as she tells a number of surprised students - including Dukie - that they been cleared to enter High School. Some of the students are excited, but Dukie is depressed as he walks away, he's come to love school and Prez's class and now he has to leave? It's bullshit too, because they whole reason they're being moved on is purely bureaucratic, and has nothing to do with what they know/what they've learned/if they're ready. Donnelly seems to know it too, because her big smile is gone once they're out the door, and she doesn't question Colvin who notes Dukie's hangdog expression and asks if he got bad news. In fact, she has bad news for him too - the pilot program is over, the Area Superintendent has decided that it wasn't achieving anything.

While education gets the bad news (nothing new there), law enforcement is getting the good news. Having successfully pushed to use the rainy day fund, Carcetti meets with Mello's squad at the Western District to announce a 5% salary bump for this year, and a promise of more to come if the revenue projections hold up. Everybody is happy and cutting up with crude comments, but McNulty retains his cynicism, leaning back in his chair with a smirk and not taking the empty promises of a politician to heart... until Carcetti mentions that the stats obsession is over. He sits up and pays attention at that, putting up his hand and making the point that they've heard this kind of rhetoric before. Mello tries to shut this down but Carcetti is happy to answer, insisting that he means what he says. McNulty, not willing to believe, points out that the moment a Community Organizer complains about a dealer on her corner the edict will come down to make "quality of life" arrests. Carcetti counters that citizens need to be educated on what makes for effective policework. McNulty counters that with the fact that the bosses have lived and died by the stats for so long that they won't understand how to follow up on this directive. Carcetti counters that by saying if the old bosses can't do it, he'll get new ones who can. Slipping comfortably back into "Inspirational Speech" mode, Carcetti connects with most of the men in the room by pointing out that most of his time on the Council was spent feeling frustrated with the lack of progress being made in law and order and wanting to make a difference. Now he's the Mayor and he intends to make that difference, and he wants them to be there with him. This is greeted by applause, and even old cynical McNulty feels a horrible crack of hope reach down to his heart - could this guy be for real? Is this REALLY a "new day"?



Bunk and Freamon meet with Herc, who insists that he did nothing wrong because in his judgment, Randy had nothing to offer but some bullshit about zombies. A furious Bunk yells that this wasn't his call to make, and just gets angrier when Herc gets mad back and reminds him he's a Sergeant. Freamon plays good cop, insisting that Herc is here to help, and when Bunk storms out muttering angrily under his breath, Freamon settles down across from Herc and tells him calmly that they're going to go back and pick up every little piece of information that he can recall about his own investigation.

At City Hall, Norman lets Carcetti know that Burrell is outside waiting literally hat in hand. Carcetti wants to make him wait but Norman convinces him it would be wise not to dismiss him out of hand, and so the Commissioner is allowed to enter... and though he affects subordination his happiness is clear, he has something that he knows Carcetti wants. He explains succinctly the situation that Carcetti is in trapped between the rank and file and the Ministers, and reveals he already knows what Daniels' judgment is going to be. He doesn't question the intelligence of the decision, in fact he seems to agree that it's right... but he knows that it won't make the Ministers happy, even with Daniels being the one to make it. Similarly, firing Herc over it would be a big mistake, an over-reaction that would cost him rank and file support. Beaming, Burrell puts a copy of the General Orders on Carcetti's desk - 600 pages of rules and regulations that could get a saint fired from the Department if it was required, and Herc came from Narcotics, where "there are no virgins". Burrell agrees that he has never had a problem allowing the Deputy Ops to make strategic decisions - it is what he is for, after all - but he knows what a Mayor needs. Carcetti obviously isn't pleased, but he nods his agreement and makes yet another of those little small capitulations that eventually wipe out all good intentions and replace them with personal self-interest. If only McNulty could see him now.

Herc displays a surprising level of detail to his memory as he goes over how he stopped Chris and Snoop during his investigation of Marlo, remembering all kinds of small details. Freamon is surprised by the mention of a nailgun and asks if it might have been a disguised weapon, but Herc casually mentions firing it and a nail coming out. Clearly somewhat rattled now after Bunk's angry outburst, he asks if this is helping and Freamon tells him he's doing fine, even though he seems to have moved far from Lex to concentrate on Marlo instead. He asks Herc to give more detail on tracking Marlo to the train station, causing Herc some discomfort - that camera is always lurking in the back of his mind.

On the street, Bubbles' happy day has gone all wrong. His junkie tormenter has returned, and now that Sherrod is no longer a dealer he has no problem with putting a beating on him too, reminding him of the time he wouldn't give him drugs because he was $4 short. Still strong and healthy despite his addiction, he's able to fight off both Bubbles AND Sherrod's efforts to stop him, till Bubbles frantically hands over his money to save Sherrod.



In Prop Joe's store, Joe and Slim are laughing as Cheese eagerly explains how midgets have the best rear end AND pussy when suddenly in through the door comes Omar and Renaldo brandishing weapons. Joe's first thought is to the man he had on the door, Renaldo telling him he's taking a "siesta". Omar hands over a clock and asks him to fix it, all in service of a pun: when Joe asks what is wrong with it, Omar pulls out a HUGE gun and tells him it ran out of time. Joe's hands are instantly up, Omar warning him that he was so busy being devious he's gotten caught up in the web. What follows is a fantastic bit of double bluff, as Omar - who protests he likes things simple - deviously plays Joe like a fiddle, relying on Joe's own inclinations to be clever. He pretends he's mad at Joe for putting him onto the poker game and blames him for all the trouble that followed, and that he's come to kill Joe for it. Joe, of course, offers a proposition in return and initially attempts to buy himself out, then gets a measure of control and tells Omar to tell HIM what he wants, and they can work from there. Omar reveals that he's aware of the Co-Op, and that he wants to get revenge on Marlo not by killing him, but by taking everything he has from him (indirectly, he eventually will!). So he wants Joe to set up something simple for them. Joe, looking for any out, tells Omar he'll have Cheese set up a drop with Marlo, and Cheese will let Omar know the location ahead of time so he can hit it when Marlo arrives. Omar agrees this is nice and simply, cockily makes Joe give him a ticket for his radio, and heads out the door with Renaldo. Slim heads outside to check on their muscle, while Cheese asks if Joe really intends to go through with this. Joe, sweating and relieved, admits that he does intend to keep things simple and makes a fantastic metaphor. He had Omar and Marlo on either side of him with a spade and a shovel, and he just managed to somehow crawl out of his own grave... there's no way he's crawling back in.

Outside, Slim is admonishing the dazed enforcer sprawled out on the stoop, while Omar and Renaldo casually head up the street. Omar tells Renaldo he trusts Joe's fear, but they're not going home to sit and wait for Cheese's call. Rounding the corner, they stop and wait for Cheese to leave the store and offer his own complaint to the enforcer before heading away. They followed Marlo, then Slim, then Joe.... and now they're following Cheese. Omar wants to teach Joe a lesson in being devious - nobody uses him as a pawn.



Bunk and Freamon meet Prez at his class, having gone to Randy's house and been told by Miss Anna that she won't talk to them at Prez's insistence, he told them to get a lawyer instead. Bunk is pissed, and tells Prez that by doing this, he's sided with the murderers. Prez has some backbone though, and replies that the only people he is siding with are "his" kids. Bunk looks ready to go at it some more but Freamon holds him off, agreeing that Prez is just doing what he thinks is right. He seems impressed, the last time he saw Prez his protege had ruined his life and a promising career, but now he appears to have found his calling. He shakes Prez's hand, causing Bunk to complain in a good-natured way about the two of them, and they leave on relatively good terms, Prez telling them to be safe out there. Bunk can't resist one last attempt though, and turns and asks Prez to throw them a bone, they came all this way for nothing otherwise. Despite himself, Prez offers them a single paltry piece of information - Randy was asked to tell Lex to go up to the playground behind Fulton, that is ALL he did and that is all he has to say. With a grin, Freamon and Bunk leave, they have something to go on now.

Namond has been agonizing over whether to cut his hair after all the warnings about how it makes him stand out. Now on the corner, he calls Kenard - who is grumpily dismissing a junkie - over to ask him how he thinks he would look, getting the charming response from the baby-faced dealer of,"Do I look like a human being?" An unpleasant situation arises when Michael's mother shows up on the corner, telling Namond she's looking to help out a "friend" who is in need of relief... but she only has six dollars. She isn't fooling anybody, but Namond pretends to believe the sob story and tells her she can buy dope with the six, irritating Kenard who knows there is no room for sympathy in "the game" - to him she isn't Michael's mother, she's a loving dope fiend and nothing more.

Carcetti is light on his feet, late to a Works Department meeting but in a great mood having resolved the Herc situation. The heads of the public works departments he made fleeting visits to all offer their attempts to solve his issues, and he applauds their efforts but explains they didn't hit the one specific one he wanted done. All except for the Department of Water, who tells him that they have successfully capped every single fire hydrant in the city AND set a new single day record by removing 32 tonnes of waste from the alleyways. Carcetti enthusiastically congratulates him, telling the other two that this is the type of thing he wants to hear, causing them to squirm in their seats while the other beams with pleasure. They leave and Carcetti asks his Budget Adviser happily to give him his news, and is told that the School Audit has finally come in. That's great, so what's the news?

The schools are $54 MILLION over budget.



Parenti, Colvin and Donnelly meet with the Arena Supervisor again, and also HER supervisor from the School Board. The first three push the benefits that the pilot program has had both for the students taking part AND the rest of the classes that are now free from their disruptive influence. There have been no "tracking" complaints from the parents, these are students who don't see a lot of parental involvement, and though they can't speak to test scores, Donnelly is sure that having them out of the classes will see an improvement from other students - the test next week will prove that one way or the other. So there you have it - everybody is benefiting. The pilot students are benefiting. The regular students are benefiting. The school is benefiting. The previous test scores are probably going to benefit. So what's the problem? The problem - though they're careful not to say it - is that the school system has just been audited and gone massively over budget and they're terrified of rocking the boat with a wildly different program that may get the new Administration blaming THEM for the problems. So unless they can get City Hall to approve the program for them, the school is pulling the plug.

Chris shows some rare emotion as he puts on music in Marlo's concrete courtyard and happily moves to the beat. Marlo casually reads a magazine and checks on their progress on different "jobs", including the one they did for Chris' "puppy" Michael. Snoop exclaims with delight that Chris certainly did take care of that one, Chris trying to dampen this down by just quietly noting the problem has been dealt with. In that horrible, casual way that Marlo has, he injects some suspicion into Chris' mind by noting that the word going around is that Michael stood tall with "snitching boy". Chris is startled, though all of them dismissed Randy as unimportant and not a threat - but not so unimportant they didn't decide to casually ruin his life, it's troubling to hear that Michael would stand up for a "snitch".

At the playground behind Fulton, Bunk kicks around scrap (the Department of Parks and Recreation didn't get there, it seems) while Freamon looks around, trying to get a sense for what happened here. As he looks, something finally grabs his attention - the silence. Nobody lives here, nobody hangs out here, the place is dead. Every house is a vacant, nobody is around, and as he looks at the long rows of vacant, boarded up homes he finally realizes what everybody on the street already knows. He walks to the houses and checks the boarded up doors, Bunk doing the same, curious as to what Freamon is up to. Freamon finds one nail loose and tears the board away, tyhen moves to another house and finds the boards soldily nailed down by an entirely different nail to the ones on other houses. Herc told him he found a nailgun in Snoop and Chris' car, and now Freamon understands the significance... and he's finally solved the mystery that plagued him for so long. He tells Bunk they'll need a crowbar, and when Bunk asks why he explains with these chilling words.

"This is a tomb. Lex is in there."

Jerusalem fucked around with this message at 10:30 on Oct 11, 2013

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



:siren: Link for the OP :siren:

Episode 11: A New Day

Slum Village
Oct 5, 2013


What really gets me about this episode is how optimistic it still seems at points. I know Randy almost seems doomed, but with everybody (including, as you mentioned in the write-up, McNulty) getting in on Carcetti's potential I really had a moment during my first viewing that things might not turn out quite as badly as other seasons.

Which makes those last two episodes, even more pessimistic and downbeat than even the other seasons, seem all the more crushing in comparison, and is I think a big part as to why this is viewed as the best season. Everything just turns to poo poo so quickly and in such a "natural", bureaucratic way. The first hints of the massive spending whole that Carcetti has to deal with was completely overshadowed by the police finally discovering (thanks to finally Freamon, the motherfucker who IS the Major Crimes Unit, back in) the bodies. I really naively believed Marlo was going to get caught and Randy and the rest of the boys would be fine.

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

Great write up as usual. I wish this thread had more posters in it.

Re: Burrell's "In Narcotics, there are no virgins" - I always assumed he was making a reference to Daniels, not Herc, since the whole point of that scene is Burrell managing to keep his job yet again. Now I realize he might have been doing both. I feel like Burrell is sort of like a glorified Valchek in that he seems to owe his job entirely to political skill, but the guy is such a magnificent bastard at it I can't really hate him, somehow. Then again, the episode where he finally gets fired arouses an odd bit of sympathy from me whenever I see it (though he still had to destroy Daniels' future as commissioner on his way out the door, so.)

Fantastic observation on Namond's "Corner Boy rules".

What do people think of the depiction of the Ministers? Their complaint this episode for a Civilian Review Board is presented as misguided at best and exploitative at worst. I've always felt one critique that could be made of The Wire's message is that it focuses a little too much on classism and kind of ignores racism. Is this an instance of it?

Finally, I never noticed the significance of this until my last rewatch - Prez is told exactly where Marlo put Lex and the others, but he doesn't tell Bunk and Lester this. I read this as his desperate, naive attempt at saving Randy, hoping somehow Lester doesn't figure out the rest. :smith:

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

Slum Village posted:

What really gets me about this episode is how optimistic it still seems at points. I know Randy almost seems doomed, but with everybody (including, as you mentioned in the write-up, McNulty) getting in on Carcetti's potential I really had a moment during my first viewing that things might not turn out quite as badly as other seasons.

Which makes those last two episodes, even more pessimistic and downbeat than even the other seasons, seem all the more crushing in comparison, and is I think a big part as to why this is viewed as the best season. Everything just turns to poo poo so quickly and in such a "natural", bureaucratic way. The first hints of the massive spending whole that Carcetti has to deal with was completely overshadowed by the police finally discovering (thanks to finally Freamon, the motherfucker who IS the Major Crimes Unit, back in) the bodies. I really naively believed Marlo was going to get caught and Randy and the rest of the boys would be fine.

Yeah the "A New Day" scene in Homicide, where Kima genuinely believes in it and the jaded Landsman knows better, makes me cringe. The only season that compares in terms of an utterly depressing ending is season 2, but you're right - the tragedy here works better because while Season 2's ending had a few individual human mistakes result in tragedy (Landsman failing to notify the MCU about Ziggy's arrest, Fitzhugh not realizing that Koutris was in Counter-Terrorism, the MCU letting Frank leave until he hired a lawyer), here it's just purely bureaucratic, institutional forces that bring everything crashing down.

Even if Marlo had been arrested, I think Randy's fate would be the same. Marlo never orders Randy's death, he just puts the word out that he's a snitch, which is enough to ruin his life.

I remember the first time I watched this season I thought the middle third (basically from Unto Others to this episode) were kind of slow and boring but then the ending happened and I realized this was the greatest TV season, and show, I'd ever seen.

Slum Village
Oct 5, 2013


cletepurcel posted:


Even if Marlo had been arrested, I think Randy's fate would be the same. Marlo never orders Randy's death, he just puts the word out that he's a snitch, which is enough to ruin his life.


Oh, absolutely. I may have slightly exaggerated for effect as the logical part of me understood this, but I was definitely caught up in emotion. When all was said and done I felt the same dunce cap moment that I did when I was elated at Carcetti's speech at the end of season 3, not realizing that it represented everything wrong with the system. I think in many ways the Carcetti character, and the way he strung me along as he did many of the other characters may have been the most paradigm shifting moment for me in terms of changing views. Never after this show did I ever feel the same enthusiasm for a politician again.

On a lighter note, Cheese's midget comments may be the funniest moment in the series, and Omar's "ran out of time" one of his most badass lines.

Jerusalem
May 20, 2004

Would you be my new best friends?



cletepurcel posted:

What do people think of the depiction of the Ministers? Their complaint this episode for a Civilian Review Board is presented as misguided at best and exploitative at worst. I've always felt one critique that could be made of The Wire's message is that it focuses a little too much on classism and kind of ignores racism. Is this an instance of it?

The Ministers are very much shown as being interested in extending their political influence, but it's mostly for altruistic reasons - they know that they're in a system that has hosed over the black population for a long time and they see themselves as a force for good. Getting a Civilian Review Board would be both a major PR coup for them and also break open the closed system of an organization that has traditionally not been very friendly towards the black population, which is a win-win. But there is also very much a sense of pragmatism, they probably knew going in that they weren't going to get it (as Carcetti notes, if they couldn't get it from Royce, how could they expect to get it from him?) but they had to try, even if the threat itself was enough to get concessions from the Mayor... and they did, Herc is basically done for.

But I think it's interesting to note that the Reverend who was pulled over blanked Bubbles on the street. That was probably sensible, Bubbles is a junkie after all, but this is a guy who is supposed to be all about helping those worse off. He's certainly more guilty of racial stereotyping in this instance than Herc was, since Herc only pulled him over based on Bubbles giving him the license plate number.

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

Jerusalem posted:

The Ministers are very much shown as being interested in extending their political influence, but it's mostly for altruistic reasons - they know that they're in a system that has hosed over the black population for a long time and they see themselves as a force for good. Getting a Civilian Review Board would be both a major PR coup for them and also break open the closed system of an organization that has traditionally not been very friendly towards the black population, which is a win-win. But there is also very much a sense of pragmatism, they probably knew going in that they weren't going to get it (as Carcetti notes, if they couldn't get it from Royce, how could they expect to get it from him?) but they had to try, even if the threat itself was enough to get concessions from the Mayor... and they did, Herc is basically done for.

But I think it's interesting to note that the Reverend who was pulled over blanked Bubbles on the street. That was probably sensible, Bubbles is a junkie after all, but this is a guy who is supposed to be all about helping those worse off. He's certainly more guilty of racial stereotyping in this instance than Herc was, since Herc only pulled him over based on Bubbles giving him the license plate number.

That's a good point, and another instance of the class divisions in the black community that Walker also represents. Other characters who deserve attention here are Delegate Watkins and Bunny. Watkins is maybe the only good politician depicted on the show, but his most progressive idea (that we see, anyway) is better witness protection, nothing addressing systemic issues. He's disgusted by Hamsterdam, not even in favor of it basically becoming an expanded version of Vancouver's Insite program. Bunny is satisfied initially with just leaving the dealers and addicts to rot in Hamsterdam.

Natural 20
Sep 17, 2007

Wearer of Compasses. Slayer of Gods. Champion of the Colosseum. Heart of the Void.
Saviour of Hallownest.


I think I'm the only person who actually likes Carcetti and thinks he's okay.

He's self serving yes, but the fact remains that I don't think he does a terrible job given that he gets hit with a schools crisis to the tune of $54 million dollars. Where I see Royce as a guy who's self serving to the point of not even trying to do good, I see Carcetti as a guy who's more balanced in that he at least tries to do good from his position whilst also being aware of his advancement.

I genuinely feel that had the schools thing not come up, the work that would have been done by the police department probably would have done volumes for Carcetti's reputation to the point that he wouldn't have needed to game the stats for governor.

Eventually he's forced to game the police stats but in all honesty, if it's that to get rid of a Republican governor who wanted to bend him over, then I'd take that deal every single time.

I feel that complete selflessness is certainly commendable and important, but ultimately not something I expect from anyone. A mix between caring about yourself and others is respectable and I feel Carcetti has that. It's just a shame that he got hit with the crisis when he did.

TLDR: I like Carcetti because I am a self serving dude that wants to get into politics later on in my life.



Separate to this, in terms of the pay bump and revenue concept. It's a bit weird to claim that revenue is for a rainy day. Revenue is by definition a stream of wealth. It doesn't make sense that it would be a rainy day fund, the money that you're saving from the revenue might be, but that wouldn't go away magically if you used the revenue on something else, it just wouldn't get any bigger. Carcetti's read on this seems to be correct, he can use the revenue surplus to fund a pay rise to the police.

Orange Devil
Sep 30, 2010

Just asking questions


Yorkshire Tea posted:

Eventually he's forced to game the police stats but in all honesty, if it's that to get rid of a Republican governor who wanted to bend him over, then I'd take that deal every single time.

Gotta go with that lesser evil every time and so the system perpetuates itself and nothing ever changes.

Also, while it's true he didn't cause the school budget crisis, the way he handles it is putting himself over doing the right thing.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Orange Devil posted:

Gotta go with that lesser evil every time and so the system perpetuates itself and nothing ever changes.

Also, while it's true he didn't cause the school budget crisis, the way he handles it is putting himself over doing the right thing.

And Carcetti's idea of which option is the lesser evil is based on his own career advancement, not what's best for the city. Pretty much everything he says he wants to do when he becomes governor he could already be doing as mayor if he could just be humble and take the money. His rationalization that if he takes the money he wont be governor and therefore won't be in a position to change anything is bullshit, what he really means is he wants to change things HIS way, and doesn't want the credit going to anyone else.

And politicians are public servants for a reason. It really is wrong to go into politics with a self-serving attitude, even though as we all know most seem to have it. In my opinion any politician who makes a decision based on their own career versus the greater good is not doing their job properly. So to the guy who said he wants to get into politics but is self-serving: Its good that your self aware but please don't get into politics.

Basebf555 fucked around with this message at 14:46 on Oct 10, 2013

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




Would the school money from the state have come with strings attached, though? What would the consequences of that have been?

There's a line in this season (I haven't been keeping up with the recaps, can't remember if we've covered it yet or not) where the teachers are talking about how if they aren't careful, the state's going to take over, and Prez says something like "maybe they should" and the other teachers shoot him this kind of "are you kidding me?" look.

It's obviously painted as a bad thing, at least from their perspective, and the only reason Prez said it is because he's a new guy who doesn't know any better, but I must admit I'm not totally sure of the full details of it myself, I don't work in education.

Trivia
Feb 8, 2006

I'm an obtuse man,
so I'll try to be oblique.


Yeah, I was never clear on why that was necessarily a terrible thing.

Though, if Maryland's governor (at the time) is a Republican, I can definitely see them using that as an excuse to attack teachers unions or fire teachers without going through the proper procedures.

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




The way I saw it is that the state is crushingly bureaucratic, with no real interest in the students on an individual level; if the state takes over, it just means more rules for the teachers to follow instead of actually responding to the needs of their students (like Teaching the Test, except for everything).

I think we see a glimpse of it in Colvin and the academic guy (forgot his name, sorry—I want to call him Parcheesi?)'s meeting with the superintendent; they'd carefully worked out this deal with the school officials, and had been running the program successfully, getting through to the kids, and then suddenly the official from the state pokes her head in and says "You're breaching the guidelines, this is tracking, plain and simple, I'm shutting you down and I won't hear anymore about this. See ya later"

That's my assumption, at least. But if anyone who works in education has a better perspective, I'd be curious to learn more.

Basebf555
Feb 29, 2008

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



Fun Shoe

Ainsley McTree posted:

The way I saw it is that the state is crushingly bureaucratic, with no real interest in the students on an individual level; if the state takes over, it just means more rules for the teachers to follow instead of actually responding to the needs of their students (like Teaching the Test, except for everything).

I think we see a glimpse of it in Colvin and the academic guy (forgot his name, sorry—I want to call him Parcheesi?)'s meeting with the superintendent; they'd carefully worked out this deal with the school officials, and had been running the program successfully, getting through to the kids, and then suddenly the official from the state pokes her head in and says "You're breaching the guidelines, this is tracking, plain and simple, I'm shutting you down and I won't hear anymore about this. See ya later"

That's my assumption, at least. But if anyone who works in education has a better perspective, I'd be curious to learn more.

I think all of this is probably correct, but we the audience know that this is not in Carcetti's head at all when he decides not to take the money. Its 100% a political decision.

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




Basebf555 posted:

I think all of this is probably correct, but we the audience know that this is not in Carcetti's head at all when he decides not to take the money. Its 100% a political decision.

Oh, absolutely. I'm just thinking, on the larger level, is it really a situation of "if only Carcetti could just get over his ego and take the money, then there wouldn't be any problems at all," or would there have been more to it than that?

Blind Melon
Jan 3, 2006
I like fire, you can have some too.

I don't think taking the money would have fixed education if that's what you are asking.

Bird in a Blender
Nov 17, 2005

It's amazing what they can do with computers these days.



Ainsley McTree posted:

The way I saw it is that the state is crushingly bureaucratic, with no real interest in the students on an individual level; if the state takes over, it just means more rules for the teachers to follow instead of actually responding to the needs of their students (like Teaching the Test, except for everything).

I think we see a glimpse of it in Colvin and the academic guy (forgot his name, sorry—I want to call him Parcheesi?)'s meeting with the superintendent; they'd carefully worked out this deal with the school officials, and had been running the program successfully, getting through to the kids, and then suddenly the official from the state pokes her head in and says "You're breaching the guidelines, this is tracking, plain and simple, I'm shutting you down and I won't hear anymore about this. See ya later"

That's my assumption, at least. But if anyone who works in education has a better perspective, I'd be curious to learn more.

I don't think that official was from the state, I think it was either area superintendent, or someone else very high up in the Baltimore public school system. From what I remember, the school money wasn't going to come with state intervention, it was just going to cost Carcetti politically. He'd have to stand next to the governor while the governor gets to tell the rest of the state how they are bailing out the city schools again.

Edit: The person I hated the most in city hall was Carcetti's chief of staff (I think that's what he was, the white guy). He is always, constantly, looking at the political angle for Carcetti. His decisions are never about what is right for the city, it's all about what will get Carcetti elected to governor. You can even see Carcetti defer to him a lot on tough decisions.

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

Ainsley McTree posted:

The way I saw it is that the state is crushingly bureaucratic, with no real interest in the students on an individual level; if the state takes over, it just means more rules for the teachers to follow instead of actually responding to the needs of their students (like Teaching the Test, except for everything).

I think we see a glimpse of it in Colvin and the academic guy (forgot his name, sorry—I want to call him Parcheesi?)'s meeting with the superintendent; they'd carefully worked out this deal with the school officials, and had been running the program successfully, getting through to the kids, and then suddenly the official from the state pokes her head in and says "You're breaching the guidelines, this is tracking, plain and simple, I'm shutting you down and I won't hear anymore about this. See ya later"

That's my assumption, at least. But if anyone who works in education has a better perspective, I'd be curious to learn more.

The meeting you refer to is actually with Carcetti's chief of staff (the rear end in a top hat referenced in the above post). It's notable that it comes whole Carcetti is in Annapolis, turning down the governor's money, and that they have the scene where it's explained to Colvin that Carcetti himself will not be in the meeting. Colvin never liked Carcetti but when he hears that last part he knows he has no shot.

Re - the money, I don't think it's shown as a great deal overall but the important thing is that Carcetti turns it down for the wrong reasons. Regarding the idea of getting the Republican out as governor, the show seems to be cynical of that concept, seeing it as mostly bullshit. Elements of this are seen when the Feds offer to take over the Marlo investigation (which has just been cancelled due to Carcetti's budget cuts) but he tells the guy to gently caress off because he's a Republican. Even Nerese Campbell is disgusted at this. That being said, I think they do note at one point that more state oversight is a nightmare for the teachers so I wonder if that specific issue is slanted a little too black and white.

Carcetti spends two years in office, we never see him do a single thing to actually improve the city and at the end he's gotten to be Governor on another pile of bullshit and left the city in the hands of a corrupt Royce machine stooge.

grading essays nude fucked around with this message at 19:07 on Oct 10, 2013

Toph Bei Fong
Feb 29, 2008

You can't see me at all...




cletepurcel posted:

Carcetti spends two years in office, we never see him do a single thing to actually improve the city and at the end he's gotten to be Governor on another pile of bullshit and left the city in the hands of a corrupt Royce machine stooge.

That's not quite fair... Look at all the fire hydrants that aren't leaking anymore, and all the trash that got picked up out of the alleys that one time. And when he helped catch that dangerous serial killer than was stalking the city's homeless? He's a regular Cory Booker! :911:

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

Spoilers Below posted:

That's not quite fair... Look at all the fire hydrants that aren't leaking anymore, and all the trash that got picked up out of the alleys that one time. And when he helped catch that dangerous serial killer than was stalking the city's homeless? He's a regular Cory Booker! :911:

It should also be kept in mind that one of the last things we see him do before becoming Governor is pay off the Congressman from PG County by promising him a bunch of state money in exchange for not running against him in the primary. This kind of puts the lie to his "I'm going to fix Baltimore from a higher position!" claim.

The only thing I can say in Carcetti's defense is that they present the question of whether politicians corrupt the system or the system corrupts politicians particularly well. I could see both sides of it - I tend to think his selfish motives outweighed his ideals overall, but then again, the early episodes such as this one, he does genuinely try to be an idealist but runs into the realities of the system.

grading essays nude fucked around with this message at 19:10 on Oct 10, 2013

team overhead smash
Sep 2, 2006

Team-Forest-Tree-Dog:
Smashing your way into our hearts one skylight at a time

Yorkshire Tea posted:

I think I'm the only person who actually likes Carcetti and thinks he's okay.

He's self serving yes, but the fact remains that I don't think he does a terrible job given that he gets hit with a schools crisis to the tune of $54 million dollars. Where I see Royce as a guy who's self serving to the point of not even trying to do good, I see Carcetti as a guy who's more balanced in that he at least tries to do good from his position whilst also being aware of his advancement.

I genuinely feel that had the schools thing not come up, the work that would have been done by the police department probably would have done volumes for Carcetti's reputation to the point that he wouldn't have needed to game the stats for governor.

Eventually he's forced to game the police stats but in all honesty, if it's that to get rid of a Republican governor who wanted to bend him over, then I'd take that deal every single time.

I feel that complete selflessness is certainly commendable and important, but ultimately not something I expect from anyone. A mix between caring about yourself and others is respectable and I feel Carcetti has that. It's just a shame that he got hit with the crisis when he did.

At best he does a completely mediocre job, if you're generous.

His focus has always been on himself, not his community of the people he represents. The very best we can say is that in one particular narrow area, the police, he has a more effective outlook. So what will this result in? The rate of homicide, assault, etc will all probably drop by several percentage points.

He will not stop the ghettoisation of large parts of the city.

He will not stop the destruction and off-shoring of the well-paid working class jobs.

He will not fix the critical failures in the school system.

He will not stop continued drug epidemic plaguing the city (In The Corner, they specifically point out that even good policing is not an answer to the drug problem).

He will not stop the city's dealings with corrupt businessmen or even other corrupt politicians.

This is a man whose goals are to see a reduction in crime, build something big with his name on, avoid dealing with schools because they are too problematic and keep his boyish good looks. He is marginally better than Royce, but that margin is slim.

What is really needed is a politician looking at addressing the massive structural problems of the city, which unfortunately means addressing the massive structural problem with capitalism and the USA as a whole and would entail some incredibly radical politics.

Ainsley McTree
Feb 19, 2004




cletepurcel posted:

The meeting you refer to is actually with Carcetti's chief of staff (the rear end in a top hat referenced in the above post). It's notable that it comes whole Carcetti is in Annapolis, turning down the governor's money, and that they have the scene where it's explained to Colvin that Carcetti himself will not be in the meeting. Colvin never liked Carcetti but when he hears that last part he knows he has no shot.


No, it was a different meeting; I can't remember her name, but she was a black woman with glasses. I think she had glasses anyway.

She was with the superintendent's office, which I thought was the same thing as "the state" but maybe I'm wrong about that; I know very little!

cletepurcel posted:


The only thing I can say in Carcetti's defense is that they present the question of whether politicians corrupt the system or the system corrupts politicians particularly well. I could see both sides of it - I tend to think his selfish motives outweighed his ideals overall, but then again, the early episodes such as this one, he does genuinely try to be an idealist but runs into the realities of the system.

The system has certainly got a very strong corrupting influence, but Carcetti had that "looking out for me" instinct that opens the door for corruption in the first place. And, frustratingly, it seems like only someone who has that kind of attitude can actually get ahead in the political system that the show describes; someone who's more interested in doing the job well instead of advancing themselves is going to get beat out by ambitious assholes almost every time.

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Alec Bald Snatch
Sep 12, 2012

by exmarx


Trivia posted:

Yeah, I was never clear on why that was necessarily a terrible thing.

Though, if Maryland's governor (at the time) is a Republican, I can definitely see them using that as an excuse to attack teachers unions or fire teachers without going through the proper procedures.

That's part of it, but also teacher/public employee unions are a major part of the Democratic fundraising and organizational base. If he took the money it'd essentially doom his future gubernatorial run by pissing off those groups statewide.

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