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escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
In this thread we'll be re-watching the entire series of the Wire, on a loose schedule of 2 episodes per week. If that's too slow, or too fast, we can adjust.

The point of the thread is for those of us who have already seen the show to go through, and relive what many of us believe to be the greatest show to grace the television screen.

:siren: Important: This thread is not for first time viewers. Even if we are only on Season 1 Episode 1, we are likely to discuss certain plot parallels from the series finale, and we are not using spoiler tags in this at all. :siren: In the words of Ellis Carver, "fair warning, you just got."

Season 1 is a bit less complicated, in that it focuses on two institutions: The Law and The Streets, and the effects within and between the two institutions. Other seasons incorporate more institutions, and at any time, you could have 50 characters to keep track of. David Simon has stated that Season 1 is basically prepping the audience for the new brand of television, where the viewers are not spoon-fed, but are expected to do some thinking and make connections of their own.

The characters of importance in Season 1 are:
The Law:
Det. Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West)
Det. Shakima "Kima" Greggs (Sonja Sohn)
Lt. Cedric Daniels (Lance Reddick)
Det. Bunk Moreland (Wendell Pierce)
Det. Thomas "Herc" Hauk (Domenick Lombardozzi)
Det. Ellis Carver (Seth Gilliam)
Det. Leander Syndor (Corey Parker Robinson)
Det. Lester Freamon (Clarke Peters)
Det. Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski (Jim True-Frost)
Sgt. Jay Landsman (Delaney Williams)
Major William Rawls (John Doman)
Deputy Commission Ervin Burrell (Frankie Faison)
Assistant Distract Attorney Rhonda Pearlman (Deirdre Lovejoy)
Judge Daniel Phelan (Peter Greety)

The Street:
Avon Barksdale (Wood Harris)
Stringer Bell (Idris Elba)
D'Angelo Barksdale (Larry Gilliard Jr.)
Roland "Wee-Bey" Brice (Hassan Johnson)
Malik "Poot" Carr (Tray Chaney)
Preston "Bodie" Broadus (J.D. Williams)
Wallace (Michael B. Jordan)
Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins (Andre Royo)
Omar Little (Michael K. Williams)
Brandon Wright (Michael Kevin Darnall)
John Bailey (Lance Williams)
Johnny Weeks (Leo Fitzpatrick)
Maurice Levy (Michael Kostroff)
Wendell "Orlando" Blocker (Clayton LeBouef)

This thread is basically anything goes. This show has enough information to fill an entire semester of one college class (and famously, there are many classes entirely about the show, and many classes that use the show).

Now, happy (re)viewing!

Season One

Episode 1 - The Target
Episode 2 - The Detail
Episode 3 - The Buys
Episode 4 - Old Cases
Episode 5 - The Pager
Episode 6 - The Wire
Episode 7 - One Arrested
Episode 8 - Lessons
Episode 9 - Game Day
Episode 10 - The Cost
Episode 11 - The Hunt
Episode 12 - Cleaning Up
Episode 13 - Sentencing - Part 1
Episode 13 - Sentencing - Part 2

Season Two

Episode 1 - Ebb Tide
Episode 2 - Collateral Damage
Episode 3 - Hot Shots
Episode 4 - Hard Cases
Episode 5 - Undertow - Part 1
Episode 5 - Undertow - Part 2
Episode 6 - All Prologue - Part 1
Episode 6 - All Prologue - Part 2
Episode 7 - Backwash
Episode 8 - Duck and Cover
Episode 9 - Stray Rounds - Part 1
Episode 9 - Stray Rounds - Part 2
Episode 10 - Storm Warning
Episode 11 - Bad Dreams
Episode 12 - Port in a Storm - Part 1
Episode 12 - Port in a Storm - Part 2

Season Three

Episode 1 - Time After Time
Episode 2 - All Due Respect
Episode 3 - Dead Soldiers
Episode 4 - Hamsterdam
Episode 5 - Straight and True
Episode 6 - Homecoming
Episode 7 - Back Burners
Episode 8 - Moral Midgetry
Episode 9 - Slapstick
Episode 10 - Reformation - Part 1
Episode 10 - Reformation - Part 2
Episode 11 - Middle Ground
Episode 12 - Mission Accomplished

Season Four

Episode 1 - Boys of Summer - Part 1
Episode 1 - Boys of Summer - Part 2
Episode 2 - Soft Eyes - Part 1
Episode 2 - Soft Eyes - Part 2
Episode 3 - Home Rooms - Part 1
Episode 3 - Home Rooms - Part 2
Episode 4 - Refugees - Part 1
Episode 4 - Refugees - Part 2
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
Episode 11: A New Day
Episode 12: That's Got His Own
Episode 13: Final Grades - Part One
Episode 13: Final Grades - Part Two

Season Five

Episode 1 - More With Less
Episode 2 - Unconfirmed Reports
Episode 3 - Not for Attribution
Episode 4 - Transitions - Part One
Episode 4 - Transitions - Part Two
Episode 5 - React Quotes
Episode 6 - The Dickensian Aspect
Episode 7 - Took
Episode 8 - Clarifications
Episode 9 - Late Editions
Episode 10 - 30 - Part One
Episode 10 - 30 - Part Two

Special thanks to Jerusalem and others for their great write-ups and willingness to help out with these exhausting reviews!

escape artist fucked around with this message at 01:21 on Jan 27, 2019


escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
Season 1, Episode 1: "The Target"

This is the opening image of the show, and I think it's a lovely work of cinematography. The police lights flashing in the trickling blood.

The opening scene is taken straight from Homicide (the book). McNulty is at the scene of a crime where a man, Snotboogie, has been shot for trying to rip off a dice game. When questioning a witness, McNulty comes to find out that Snotboogie always snatches the money off the ground and runs, but that they still allow him to play dice, every Friday night. When he asked the witness why they would allow Snotboogie to keep entering the game, knowing his history of thievery, the witness replies "Got to. This is America, man." McNulty smirks and the opening credits and theme roll.

Notice McNulty's smirk. We will see it many, many times.

After the title sequence, consisting of a series of images, which themselves should at some point all be photographed and dissected at some point, and the Blind Boys of Alabama doing a lovely rendition of Tom Waits' "Way Down In The Hole" we get the trademark epigraph, an important quote from the episode that is emphasized for its extra thematic implication.

Bunk and McNulty are in the courthouse, Bunk is going to drop off some paperwork for Eileen Nathan (just a name at this point, but a character who becomes important in later seasons), while McNulty is going to sit-in on a trial. The trial is that of D'Angelo Barksdale, and when McNulty enters, William Gant, a civilian, is testifying that he saw D'Angelo shoot an innocent person to death in an elevator. When asked if he sees the shooter in the courtroom, he reluctantly looks around the courtroom, and the intimidating presence of Stringer Bell and Wee-Bey, among other Barksdale associates, is evident. He ultimately points to D'Angelo and identifies him as the shooter.

After Gants testimony, Neikeisha Lyles, a security guard in the building where the shooting took place enters. Stringer notices that McNulty is sitting in on the trial, and delivers him a not-so-subtle message.

Ms. Lyles is asked the same questions as Mr. Gant and claims that the shooter is not in the courtroom. Befuddled, the prosecution shows that Lyles had previously identified D'Angelo in a photo array, but she has since changed her story. Realizing what has taken place, McNulty whispers "nicely done" to Stringer and exits the courtroom.

In the next scene we're introduced to three detectives: Kima, Herc and Carver. They are working a routine drug bust with the aid of an informant. This scene introduces us to the characters and demonstrates that Kima is a much better detective than the two others.

"Two guns, remember? Two."

Next, D'Angelo Barksdale is found not guilty in a unanimous decision. McNulty is back in the courtroom to hear the verdict, and after its read, Judge Phelan calls him into his office. McNulty explains the Avon Barksdale empire and operation, and how the department is ignoring it, to Judge Phelan, opening up a can of worms that will set the main plot into motion.

In the Narcotics office, Kima, Herc and Carver moan about how the department needs to upgrade their equipment-- they are still using typewriters and not computers. Lt. Daniels calls everyone up for a meeting with the Major. Herc has messed up the paperwork, forgetting one of the ECU numbers. Herc and Carver remark that they aren't good with paper work, but working on the street, busting heads. Then we get this epic exchange:

Kima: You heroic motherfuckers, fighting the war on drugs, one brutality case at a time.
Carver: You can't even call this poo poo a war.
Herc: Why not?
Carver: Wars end.

The next scene is Bunk and McNulty at the scene of a possible homicide. Despite telling Bunk not to answer the phone, as Nolan's squad is up, Bunk says he needs to pay down her credit card debt, and this is where the epigraph comes in: "This will teach you to give a gently caress when it's not your turn to give a gently caress." As the seasoned Wire viewers know, this is a very ironic line, coming from McNulty.

The next scene shows Major Foerster and Lt. Daniels exiting the meeting, the Major is pissed because the Deputy gave him hell about the Barksdale drug organization, an enterprise that, until this point, none of the police know they exist. There is no record of him-- not even a date of birth.

Back at Homicide, Jimmy returns to pick up some items before he leaves. We meet the large and loveable Jay Landsman, a Detective-Sergeant in Homicide. He has a bit of friendly banter with McNulty, before telling him that Major Rawls wants to have a word with him.

"Sit the gently caress down, detective."

The Major is pissed at McNulty for talking to the Judge, about "some project friend of the family" who beat his squad on 3 murder raps. This is one of the rare instances of personal racism, as opposed to the ever-present institutional racism, but it also underscores how little the department knows about drug kingpin Avon. The Major is dismissing him as a nobody.

Rawls: "I had to go upstairs knowing nothing and explain to the deputy why he's getting calls about murders that don't mean a poo poo to anybody."

This is a cold-hearted thing to say, given that almost every murder victim has a family. So every murder means something to someone. But this is underscores another theme that will be popping up a lot: individuals are not important; institutions are. These are not people, at least to Rawls, they are numbers that lower his job rating. (Think of the treatment of the dead prostitutes in Season 2, or all the murders in the vacants in Season 4 and 5). On Rawls' desk, sitting between him and McNulty, is a ship in a bottle. Well, we all know what McNulty thinks of ships... Rawls tells McNulty to type a report. And to put a dot (bullet point) next to each murder. The deputy likes dots.

Wee-Bey is driving D'Angelo home from the courthouse, when D'Angelo mentions "that's slick what you did with the lady in the courthouse." Wee-Bey turns up the music, which is Jay-Z, and the line says "It's not real to me, therefore he doesn't exist-- so poof, vamoose son of a bitch." I don't know if that was intentional, or has any other meaning, but we're going to dissect everything, as all the pieces matter. As Wee-Bey explains that you don't say poo poo in the car, because a car could be bugged, we get an example of the show's subtlty:

D'Angelo is standing under "Chicken", while Wee-Bey is standing under "Burgers". D'Angelo is a chicken-- not cut out for the game-- he shot a man in the elevator for no good reason, because he was afraid, and brought unnecessary heat on the crew. Wee-Bey, in contrast, is smart, strong, and not-afraid. He the muscle, he "beefs" up Avon's crew.

In the next scene, at Orlando's strip club, a place considered safe to talk, we meet Avon, who is meeting with Orlando and Stringer. Stringer informs Avon of McNulty's interest in D'Angelo's case, as D and Wee-Bey arrive at the strip club. "Sit your rear end down" Avon tells his relative and underling, D'Angelo-- a parallel to the discussion between Rawls and McNulty. Avon chastises him for being cowardly and bringing unnecessary heat. "You're family, but that poo poo costs time and money." Once again, preserving time and money, regardless of the institution, the Law or the Street, trump the individual in terms of priorities. D leaves, thinking he is going to return to his job working one of the towers.

McNulty is back in the office typing his report, and Bunk arrives, having a homicide case to work. McNulty explains why he is there, and what he did with the judge. Bunk flips his own words on him-- "giving a gently caress when it ain't your turn." Jay walks in and offers one of his quips to Detective Cole, who is sleeping in his chair. "Don't it make your dick bust concrete to be in the same room as two noble public servants?" Jay Landsman is a real homicide detective in Baltimore, and in reality, is known for these kind of hilarious quips. He will portray Dennis Mello in further seasons.

Landsman is now giving poo poo to McNulty for talking to the judge. McNulty says "what was I going to do, he's a judge". "The deputy's the loving deputy" and is the one that holds McNulty's career in his hands. Threatening to have him transferred back to walking the beat in the Western, McNulty says he doesn't care because that's where he came from. "Well, where don't you wanna go?" McNulty makes the mistake of telling him that he doesn't want to go to the marine unit. Bunk insists that McNulty listen to Landsman, lest he end up on the boat.

Speaking of being re-assigned to lovely units, the next scene is Stringer demoting D'Angelo to working "the Pit"-- he no longer gets to work the tower.

The next scene has the Majors of the narcotics and homicide units discussing what to do about the Barksdale situation, in a rare, elevator-cam POV shot.

D arrives for his first day working the low-rises. This picture shows how far he has fallen in the ranks of the organization with his mistake. It is a perspective of where he used to work, looking down on where he now works.

Major Foerster assigns Daniels the Barksdale investigation. Daniels gets a call from Deputy Commissioner Burrell.

We're introduced to Bubbles and Johnny, two heroin addicts, scheming to use a Xerox'd ten dollar bill to buy drugs. Meanwhile, D'Angelo switches up the way business is done in the Pit, so that someone snapping pictures doesn't have the entire drug deal in one photo. "You get paid, then you send their rear end around the building to get served." D checks the money, and finds two pieces of Xerox'd paper and lays into Wallace for getting burnt by dope fiends. In this scene, Wallace points out that Alexander Hamilton was not a president, and despite being right, D disagrees. This is our first indication that Wallace is an intelligent young man in the wrong place.

After successfully duping the dealers into getting some extra heroin, Bubbles and Johnny cook it up and tie off. Bubbles' makes a foreboding comment to Johnny: "You need to pace that poo poo. You're going to fall out slammin' poo poo like that one of these days. . . I'm trying to get you brown, but you're still green" After Bubbles shoots up, we see where he gets his name: as he nods off, spit bubbles collect on his mouth. It's gross. No need to take a picture.

Daniels is in Burrell's office, and the Deputy Commissioner is setting up a crew for this Barksdale investigation, with detectives from Narcotics and Homicide. He tells Daniels' to be weary of McNulty, because he has a big mouth, and to keep the investigation simple.

"No surprises."

McNulty goes to the FBI office, and meets with his friend Agent Fitzhugh. McNulty has given a confidential informant over to the FBI, and he gets to see what real police-work, with a budget and with care, looks like. Fiber-optic cameras, remote microphones. He is fascinated as he watches it unfold-- it's a stark contrast from what he is used to in the BPD. However, he finds out that the FBI will no longer be working drugs, due to reprioritization vis-a-vis 9/11.

Johnny tries to pull the Xerox'd money scam to get extra heroin, but fucks it up. He is caught, and beaten up by Bodie, Poot, Wallace, and others, though D does not give this order, and seems to walk away with a disgusted look.

Lt. Daniels gathers his squad for the Barksdale investigation, and assigns basic duties to everyone, believing that busting a few low-level dealers will result in them flipping and giving up Avon. McNulty disagrees, and says that surveillance, DNRs, wiretaps, are all necessary because the Barksdale outfit is highly organized and insulated. Daniels has been told specifically by Deputy Commissioner Burrell not to do any of these things. In front of the ADA, Daniels refuses to give in to McNulty's requests, and gives the orders and says no one does anything without him knowing, and emphasizes the chain of command.

Bunk and McNulty meet at a bar, where Jimmy discusses how his ex-wife is screwing with him on custody. When McNulty mentions Daniels, Bunk says to be weary of him (like Burrell told Daniels to be weary of McNulty) because he's a "company man, a prospect," and is next in line for Major.

McNulty: "I feel like the guy at the end of Bridge On The River Kwai-- What the gently caress did I do?"
(I just watched this movie in the Un-shaming thread in CineD, so I just now understand the reference.)

Stringer is at the strip club, telling D that he needs to get a handle on things, and that the kids were in fact doing the right thing by beating the hell out of Johnny.

D: "It was only $30"
Stringer: "It's not about the money, it's about the message"

Stringer leaves, and Shardene, a stripper, approaches D, trying to get him to buy a drink. He says brushes her off with a "maybe later".

Kima goes home to her girlfriend, Cheryl but has no time to rest. She has a 10 page paper due in the morning for class, and she hasn't even started it. She gets a page, and dials a number.

Bunk and McNulty continue drinking, after hours, at the train tracks. They discuss how Bunk "captured" a field mouse that was terrorizing his wife. "I lit his rear end up", Bunk says. A train is heard in the distance and McNulty walks toward the track to relieve his bladder. Jimmy remarks that he's going to do the case the right way, when Bunk says he needs to "get in and get out", meanwhile the train is approaching as Jimmy stands on the track. He walks out of the way of the train at the last second.*

*David Simon has stated this was a real shot, and that he feared for Dominic West's life during it.

Bubbles is at the hospital, where his friend Johnny, is in bed, severely injured from the beatdown.

Kima meets up with Bubbles, surprised that he is out of jail. As revenge for his friend's beating, Bubbles implies that he will work as a confidential informant for Kima. "You still working drugs? I got something for you."

Bunk, hungover in the office after staying up until 3:30am drinking with McNulty, gets a call about a homicide. When he arrives at the scene, the dead man is revealed to be William Gant-- the man who reluctantly testified against D'Angelo Barksdale earlier in the episode.**

A stunned D'Angelo, among a group of gawkers, recognizes the dead man and walks away from the scene, in silent contemplation.

**HBO forced David Simon to put the horrible flashback in the episode, because they did not have the faith in the viewers that David Simon did. Let's pretend like the flashback does not exist, because it mars an otherwise perfect first entry into the world of The Wire. This beautifully shot episode was directed by Clark Johnson, who plays Gus Haynes, editor of the Baltimore Sun, in Season 5.

escape artist fucked around with this message at 08:21 on Dec 11, 2012

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

CaptainHollywood posted:

It's been almost a year since I've last seen an episode so this will be fun.

I've re-watched it 5 times, but it has been at least 3 years, so I'm excited, too. I'm doing Episode 1 right now. I'm taking snapshots and notes for the post.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

CaptainHollywood posted:

I'm pretty sure the cousin angle gets brought up quite a bit... maybe I'm remembering things wrong. Flashbacks weren't even supposed to happen, HBO insisted they were included for that first episode.

I believe that after the pilot, they switch it up and D'Angelo is actually Avon's nephew. Brianna-- Avon's sister-- her son.

And the flashback thing is true.

Also, this is taking a while, I'm only 1/3 of the way through the episode with summaries and screenshots but I'm going to update the second post in the thread as I watch, so I don't lose anything in case my lovely computer crashes on me.

cletepurcel posted:

Other things not seen until the final season: Detective Barlow, who has a great opening scene putting the phone on his balls while talking to his bookie (I think). When I first watched season 5, I thought he was a new character.

Also, this episode is amazing in how well it sets the tone, thematically, for the rest of the series, although I doubt anyone realized it at the time. The very first scene essentially sums up the entire theme of the show in five words. And the futility of going against the institution is neatly shown with the two repeated lines by Rawls and Avon to McNulty and D - "Sit your rear end in the chair."

He was talking to a guy giving him a price for a pressure-washing, I think.

And I never noticed that before, but thanks, I'll keep it in the summary.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
Okay, I finished the episode 1 review. It's in the second post. Watching it with such intense scrutiny, under so much magnification, made me pick up on things that I hadn't before.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

DarkCrawler posted:

Different priorities/jobs.

This is specifically touched on, in episode 1, several times. . . See my walkthrough above ;) ;)

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

confused posted:

I remember an interview with David Simon where he mentions that the trains were a metaphor, but specifically didn't explain it. IIRC, Brother Mouzone and Lamar have a conversation later in the series to the effect of:

Brother: Slow train coming.
Lamar: What?
Brother: Progress, Lamar, progress.
That is from memory, so I am likely to be misquoting a bit. I don't quite remember when they have this conversation, but I believe it is in reference to the destruction of the towers. That is the only verbal reference to trains that I can think of, but it seems to be an apt metaphor. McNulty does, certainly, piss in the face of "progress" many times throughout the series.

Thinking about it more, I think we can put some credence into Mouzone's observations because he, like Omar, is one of the few people who is truly outside of the system. Therefore, thematically speaking, he should be one of the few characters who can make impartial observations of the system.

"Reform, Lamar, Reform."

<----Check the av.

Also, I remember David Simon saying, basically, that his intended interpretation of the train metaphor, well, the fans of the show have never come close to being correct on it. So that should definitely be a nut that we collectively try to crack.

I always thought the train was the institution, and if you don't get out of its way, it will demolish you. But apparently Simon has heard that metaphor, and it is not what he intended the trains to symbolize. We'll keep the trains in mind as we move through the series.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Kevyn posted:

Stringer to Avon, about McNulty: "You remember that cop that tried to pin Gerard on Little Kevin?"

Gerard is Gerard Bogue, the murder case that the Barksdales beat McNulty on by doing the same thing they did at D's trial. But is Little Kevin the same Little Kevin we meet in season 4?
Did he say Little Kevin? Are you sure you're not confusing him with Little Man? Either way, doubt it's the same. Little Kevin is basically a kid in Season 4. Probably a coincidence/common name.

Fragmented posted:

Cool :)

Thanks for making the thread escape and putting the effort in to it.

No problem. Thank you!

escape artist fucked around with this message at 23:38 on Dec 11, 2012

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Boywhiz88 posted:

The Chicken/Burgers thing between D and Wee-Bey is a great observation. Has that been called out as something that was purposefully done? Because if so, wow and if not, even more wow. I just finished a re-watch the other week... but maybe I'm up for another :D

I seriously devoured every Wire blog/recap/etc. that I could find during and after my runs through, years ago. I'm not sure if it was mentioned in a thread here previously, but it is certainly intentional and I can't take credit for the observation.

Also, pardon me if I omit a word or my grammar is messed up in the review. I did it at like 3 in the morning. I think it came out pretty well, though.

Lugaloco posted:

Woo, go rewatch thread! I started a rewatch around 3-4 weeks ago and am now on Season 5 but I'll stick strictly to first season talk for now.
You can bring up anything at any time. No spoiler tag necessary. Any analogous story lines or shots or themes. When we get further into Season 1, it'll be interesting to note how certain story lines are brought up then and are never touched on again until Season 5.

escape artist fucked around with this message at 00:13 on Dec 12, 2012

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
There's also a helicopter cam shot in Season 5. It's sent after McNulty makes the faux-serial killer call.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
Were the Terrace towers in Season 1 actually real? Like, I know at some point they used CGI for the towers-- fairly certain I heard it on a DVD commentary. You rarely see the towers, but when you do, I think it's a pretty well-done CGI of towers, because in reality, the project towers had actually been destroyed at the location where they were filming.

I could be 100% wrong, so someone help me out on this.

EvanSchenck posted:

In a later episode this season the squad nails Wee-Bey making a pickup on the morning take from the projects, and from the amount they extrapolate that the Barksdale organization grosses about $60,000 per day.

Yeah, in one scene from an episode we'll watch soon, Dee brings in a little over $20,000 from the Pit, and Stringer says "drat, we've never made that much from the low-rises in one day". Dee was well on his way to getting a percentage, like Stink eventually did.

Stink apparently was a dealer and an enforcer though. He oversees the re-up, but I think he is also one of the guys who kill Brandon. He is also supposed to oversee the drug dealing when they expand to Edmunson Avenue, and take Scar's territory-- and get 20% of the income, instead of a fixed salary (but we know what happens to Stinkum right as he goes after Scar).

Slo-Tek posted:

They take a pretty big hit cleaning the money. You can't buy condos with trash bags full of tens.
At one point in Season 1, Avon tells Dee that they can't move his uncle to a private nursing home because "we can't show that kind of money" yet. Despite Avon owning the strip club, a towing company, an apartment, the copy shop, and a couple other pieces of real estate-- all in someone else's name of course.

An aside:
Anyway, I hope you guys are cool with 2 episodes a week. One every 3-4 days seems like a pretty good pace. I'd say the slower pace lends itself to longer discussions, and ultimately better discussions. (Also, if I continue to do each episode myself, well, it took me 2+ hours to do that review. I enjoyed it, but I don't want it to become a headache, especially when I go back to school in a month.)

escape artist fucked around with this message at 09:18 on Dec 12, 2012

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

DarkCrawler posted:

Yeah. Can't really travel either because you have to be on top of poo poo all the time. Could eat fancy food all the time but why, takeout and fast food is really loving good. And by the time you get to a point where you make millions the game is your life and I suppose it's hard to leave, either because you like it or you have so many enemies that you need your crew to protect you.

Reminds me of the scene where Dee takes his girl-- who is freaking gorgeous, by the way-- to a fancy restaurant. Dee feels completely out of place. Besides, why go anywhere when you can get Lake Trout Sub :v:

And yeah, remember how Avon moves around? They especially hammer this home in Season 1. He won't leave his apartment without Wee-Bey first making sure nobody is on the street, not even a couple of young kids with sports gear. Dealing with the law and the rival dealers, the traveling doesn't seem like a good idea. In fact, I think the only time traveling is touched upon is in that brief exchange in Season 4 when Bodie says "I want to go to Florida" and go marlin fishing. Remember in Season 2, he says "Why the gently caress would anybody want to leave Baltimore?"

As far as the street-level dealers making less than minimum wage, I don't know if that's true. At one point Bodie tells Carver that he [Bodie] makes more than Carver does. It's when they're playing pool.
This is exceptional.

Regarding the CGI of the towers: This is the scene where you can see it.

There's a site called Quora that is really intrusive and wants to have access to your Facebook, Twitter, or Email for you to even view the Q&A, but from the search results I found:


What are things in movies you don't expect to be CGI, but that typically are?

The Wire used CGI to recreate a housing project tower that had alre...
Actually, forget the Youtube video-- it's such low quality. Here is the shot where you can distinctly see the CGI'ed towers.

escape artist fucked around with this message at 09:35 on Dec 12, 2012

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

He only did Season 2 and two episodes of Season 3 :(

Apparently re-reviewing every episode of The Wire is exhausting.

Unless you're Alan Sepinwall :v:

He has a "veterans review" edition of the first two seasons. And "newbie editions" for them as well. He has Season 3-5 as well. Sepinwall's reviews I read religiously during the show's airing of Season 4 and 5. He's even interviewed David Simon.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
I really can't think of a time where I wasn't enjoying the show. From the opening scene. The first two episodes had shocking cliffhangers. Not to mention hilarious moments amidst the drama. The chess scene is what finally hooks a lot of people. And the scene where Bunk and McNulty solve a crime using only one word. But I remember renting the first DVD from Blockbuster (no poo poo), and having to go back later in the day to get the second disc.

brylcreem posted:

Oh, I didn't know that. Well, I'll be following this thread. Good work on the review OP :)

Thanks :)

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
Just another thought:

In Season 2, Poot and Bodie run the pit, and a few of the younger members beat up a fiend for saying their product is bad. "You can't tell these youngins nothing" . . . "We beatin' niggas for bullshit, man"

Contrast that to the how they acted a year prior, when they drat near killed Johnny over $20 or $30.

The game makes you grow up quickly. We'll see much more of that when we get to Season 4 and 5.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

MrBling posted:

Probably best exemplified by Prop Joe saying that a west side niggas idea of running away is running across the city to the east side.

I love that exchange.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

EvanSchenck posted:

There's a few qualifiers you have to attach to that. I doubt Bodie actually knows how much a Baltimore City cop earns, and he was just talking poo poo anyway. Bodie has no fixed expenses because he's 16 and lives with his grandma. Even if he's only earning as much as a cashier at Wal-Mart, he doesn't have to make rent, car payments, or anything like that, so anything he earns he can waste on clothes, fast food, entertainment, or gambling with Carver. Finally, Bodie is the straw boss in the pit, so he doubtless earns extra money. Most of the employees associated with the pit earn very little. There are probably a dozen or more hoppers, lookouts, and touts who we seldom see and never care much about, because we spend our time on the orange couch with management. They earn almost nothing. Later in the season, when D holds up everybody's pay on Stringer's instruction, you can see that Wallace makes it to about the middle of the next week before he's begging D to give him and Poot an advance, showing that he doesn't make enough to put anything by.

You make a good point. But what's strange is that Wallace gets a $500 bonus for pointing our Brandon, too. I know he ends up getting high, but still, where did that $500 go? $500 of chips and juice boxes for the young ones?

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

The Rooster posted:

He wasn't working while he was getting high, and yeah, raising a bunch of kids will drain $500 quick.

Not to mention get high every day. I think Poot mentions Wallace has been out of wack for a week or more. Let's assume two vials a day, that's $140 in a week (in Wire prices-- I don't poo poo about the real deal).

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Mr Lance Murdock posted:

You also gotta remember that no matter what the corner boys, for the most part, have to always look correct.
Lots of their income went right out the door for clothes, boots etc..

Like when Wallace comes back to work and they are clowning him about his boots and he says "No, these are timbs" (Timberland boots)

That's true. Though D is on a fixed salary, he has a nice little place and some great outfits. I wish I could pull off some off those looks he does. Or afford them.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Oh you clever one.

Anyway, since you are my partner in crime, how did the OP and the discussion turn out-- so far?

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Heavy_D posted:

Someone mentioned that the typewriters were anachronistic, and later on the use of the pagers and payphones is particularly old-fashioned. In the world of the show there are justifications for all these things - and ones that help build the themes: painting the policing institution as bureaucratic and unwieldy, and the dealing institution as disciplined and organised. But at the same time, the story is based on 80's casework, and it can be appreciated on that level too - The Wire compresses 30 years of the drug war into it's five year span.

I don't find it anachronistic. They deliberately juxtapose it with the high-tech poo poo in the FBI field office. Later in the season, Jimmy asks the FBI for just a couple of light-weight recording mics and Fitzhugh says "that's it?", to which Jimmy replies "we're just happy to be in the 20th century."

And the beepers thing are so they can't be tapped. Later in the season: Poot's cell phone is destroyed; Avon orders to have landlines in his girl's house deactivated; Lester remarks about the beepers being a "discipline".

Also, think about Season 4, when Prez finds all the computers and new textbooks in storage, while they use outdated stuff. I think it's actually intentional.

We're definitely in the 21st century during the entirety of the show. The Sept. 11th attacks are mentioned in the first episode.

Jerusalem posted:

And considering that I normally find Idris Elba's American accent a little forced, I still can't get over how flawless it seems (to me at least) in The Wire. First time I saw the series I didn't realize he was British, but even after everything else I've seen him in I still think his accent in The Wire is excellent.

On the other hand, Dominic West lets his British accent through many, many times. One of my favorite minor parts is when he does a fake British accent in some season that is deliberately terrible, sort of a meta-joke for the writers.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Jerusalem posted:

If I remember right, in a scene nicely paralleled in season 4 as you mention in the bolded above, it turns out that the stuff that McNulty asks for from Fitzhugh is actually already in the department's inventory. They received it months (if not years) earlier and just stuck it in a room somewhere and forgot all about it.

Edit: Oh man the "McNugget" scene in episode 2.

"He still had the idea though!" - poor, sweet, innocent (drug-dealing) Wallace :cry:
Wallace was born into it. Remember when we meet his mother? An alcoholic who viciously declares "I'll slap the bright out [of] his eyes."

Also, good call about McNulty. He finds the triggerfish machine in Season 3, all tucked away, unused, in an equipment room. The guard of that room has no idea what he is talking about-- implying that the average cop doesn't know poo poo about these things.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Jerusalem posted:

Finished up episode 2 - I forgot all about the scene of a drunken McNulty shouting impotently at the would-be car thieves down the hill and across the road to stop before tumbling down the hill and his badge ending up in the mud. He laughs at the absurdity of it all. . .

I love that scene.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Dressed to Kill posted:

The part where Mcnulty is describing his kids after losing them following Stringer he goes full on English.

There's also a part (not sure which season) he sings while drunk, and his English accent is painfully obvious. It might be when he's assembling the bunk beds for Sean and Matt.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Good ol' Bubs :allears:

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Randomly Specific posted:

Don't say that, your avatar will cap my rear end and you'll end up doing the two days.

Only with a rat shot. What you need be concerned with is what is seated in the chamber afterward.

MrBling posted:

Does anyone in The Wire actually pronounce it "Ballmer" ?

It happens all the time in Homicide.

Just the natives.

Fruits of the sea posted:

His inner demons are literally "the system", personified by an unstoppable locomotive, and he's placed himself on the tracks.

See, but that's what Simon said is an incorrect analysis. I know it seems so obvious, but apparently Simon says it's much deeper than that.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

MrBling posted:

They should all be natives, damnit.

My immersion. :cry:

Except Herc because he was brought in from NY.

<---------And, well, my man from NY as well.

And the "Greeks"

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

MrBling posted:

True. Herc gets a pass for axing questions of people.

You know what big hands mean?

...You know what big hands mean, right?...

. . . Gus Triando, power hitter, right?

There's one point during Season 1 where I swear he says "technus" instead of "tetanus"

escape artist fucked around with this message at 23:49 on Dec 13, 2012

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

The Rooster posted:

It's gotta extend beyond McNulty, since the trains are referenced even in scenes without him.

You stole the words out of my mouth.

CaptainHollywood posted:

Rewatching the first two episodes is making me realize it's really hard to see any of these actors in other roles without thinking of the wire.

Also, Herc is seen with the tennis ball in episode one. :ninja:

Also, when Jimmy meets Rawls, there's a ship (in a bottle) between them. In later episodes, Rawls still has the ship, but it isn't on his primary desk. It's off to the side on another desk.

Fruits of the sea posted:


An oncoming locomotive seems like a simple metaphor. They don't deviate, and anything that gets in their way is destroyed. Maybe there's some other quality that Simon had in mind?

Don't shoot the messenger, man. I'm just relaying what Simon said. At some point the train is stopped. You hear it in the background a lot in non-McNulty scenes. By the end of this thread we'll have to find a way to call David Simon and just ask him.

We can pretend to be the law offices of Pepper, Pepper and Bayleaf.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

LordPants posted:

Yes. If EA doesn't want to do it I'll do the train-spotter's guide to the Wire. :radcat:

I'm totally up for it. But I appreciate your offer.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Boondock Saint posted:

Did they ever explain why Herc came to Baltimore from NYC or was it just one of those "Herc is obviously a New Yorker, so let's leave it at that" kind of things?

It was supposed to be a side story but they didn't have enough time for it.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

MrBling posted:

You missed a golden opportunity to use the thread subtitle "...and all the pieces matter".

Psh, don't know what you're talking about! ;)

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
If Avon is the king, then he got checkmated by Marlo and company.

Just a late night, drowsy thought.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Boywhiz88 posted:

We see so much of Cops vs The Street, but I wish we could have seen more in the judicial sense. What those negotiations look like, what the challenges were in the war on drugs.

On that note, I like how people's preconception of the show is that it's "Cops vs. Robbers" when, in reality, it's "The Institution vs. The Individual"

Another Season 5 callback-- during the serial killer thing, Judge Phelan has like 10 bottles of pills on his desk, when he only had one in the first season. Just a funny little thing. I've been skimming through episodes.

Did you guys like the review post of episode 1? It's arduous, but I enjoy it. . . I can do it for each episode if you all want.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
Alright, no problem guys. I'm happy to do it. I've been a little slow (a little late...) on episode 2 because I've got a stomach virus and a foot injury, but if I get behind I'll make it up. Fret not!

And you know what, I like doing it. It keeps me on my toes. I notice things I wouldn't otherwise notice. I put more effort into the recaps than I do into schoolwork. Also, if someone has seen the show and doesn't have access to it at the moment, the posts can serve as a substitute.

I just ask one thing... You pardon my grammatical and other errors. I referred to Bunk as a lady, I think, in the first recap :lol:

escape artist fucked around with this message at 18:22 on Dec 16, 2012

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

MC Fruit Stripe posted:

Also reinforcing - I love the write up and would love to see it continue. Just one more vote for it.

Thanks. You got it. Expect the next one in the next 24 hours.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Boywhiz88 posted:

I meant more in the sense of the institutions we see. We definitely some of the issues that Rhonda and Phelan have, but what else, ya know?

That write up was worth it for the Chicken v Beef alone. Please keep going! Also, hope ya feel better.

Well there's also Rhonda and Rupert (can't remember his last name) in later seasons. But I understand.

Also, glad you all enjoyed the first write-up. Thanks for the well-wishes. I've got some medication and am finally feeling better. Slept 2 hours in the past 48 or so.

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
It's all in the game.

(Good post, btw)

escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming

Trap Star posted:

It's never formally admitted but Wee-Bey takes responsibility for killing Gant when he's copping to all those other murders and it's pretty safe to say he doesn't act without Avon telling him to

I thought Bird was eventually convicted of it. Wee-Bey tried to eat the charge but the ballistics matched Bird's favorite piece.

watt par posted:

Probably worth mentioning, and I'm sure pretty much everyone here's already aware, but for anyone who doesn't know Carcetti is largely based on the former mayor of Baltimore and current governor of Maryland Martin O'Malley, who'll likely have a failed run for the presidency in 2016. And like the show, O'Malley's successor Sheila Dixon, who Nerese Campbell was based on, was president of the city council before being elected mayor. She was forced to resign in a plea deal after getting caught stealing Best Buy gift cards.

O'Malley makes a cameo in Season 5, IIRC.

Renzian posted:

Just so I'm not misunderstanding, are we assuming that Wee-Bey was really the one responsible? Because Bird was the one convicted, and until now I believed that he was responsible, but right now I remember where Stringer whispers to McNulty in the trial that the word on the street is that Bird was all the way across town when Gant got hit. So if Wee-Bey was the one responsible, I guess it's a case of the cops tolerating some slight dirt (a lying witness) in order to take down a Barksdale soldier?

Also, love this. I last watched through The Wire a few months ago, but I'm totally happy to do it again. I'll do my best to follow along the rewatch with you guys :)
String says Omar was across town (thus his testimony is BS), sticking up some Eastside people. It was Bird who killed Gant.


escape artist
Sep 24, 2005

Slow train coming
Wee-Bey is amazing. Also had some funny moments, too:
1) When he tries to eat too much hot sauce
2) When he barters a few more murders for some "tater salad"
3) His love of fish.

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