Each new episode of The Wire provides a new opportunity to play my favorite game: Who's the biggest asshole?
Most weeks it's Rawls, Marlo, or Namond's mom. Rawls and Delonda Brice both made strong bids last night (although Delonda has a point, once you accept the premise that she's living off her son's drug money). Crutchfield's been running hard the last couple of weeks, chasing stats over justice. But we have a new champion: Michael's dad.
Now we know why Michael was so afraid of Cutty.
But let's hear from you, viewers! Who's the biggest asshole?
In non-asshole business:
- So we've finally gotten to testing, curricula, and No Child Left Behind, although we didn't see much on them. The season has mostly focused on all the extracurricular factors impeding the schools, but we could stand to see more on how the institution impedes itself (or is impeded from above).
- The Eastern Drug Enforcement Unit also makes a pretty serious bid for Biggest Asshole. I could see more of these guys as a kind of anti-Major Crimes Unit, jailing citizens on meaningless stat-padding busts, but I suppose this appearance made the point.
- Carcetti for governor? What perfect timing...
- Gary D'Addario's back doing cameos. I guess the city can only fire you once...
- Right now the guy with the best chance of putting the pieces together and figuring out where Marlo's been dumping his bodies is Herc. The fates are cruel.
I'm worried about Bunny's corner kids class. Sure, he finally got through to them and got them to focus on learning, but so far he and his team haven't gotten them to connect the skills and attitudes they used in setting down the rules of the corner to the kind of behavior they need to exhibit in other classes. All he's done so far is helped Namond to become a better corner manager, or at least talk like one. If word gets out that Tilghman Middle School is teaching kids how to sell drugs, Bunny may end up losing another job--and this time he could pull a good chunk of the institution down with him.
I'm not sure what to make of the disciplinary breakdown in Bunny's class. When we see the kids setting down the corner rules, Namond is out of uniform and out of his seat, padding around the classroom and sitting on his desk. On the one hand, I'm no fan of school uniforms and I can see the class is learning better without all the martinet discipline. But by relaxing the rules, the teachers have taught the kids that discipline is negotiable--and how will they get the kids readjusted to the larger school that still imposes those rules? They have a lot of work ahead of them.
Bunny's taken the corner kids very far in just a few weeks, but he has to connect their newfound focus and enthusiasm back to the habits of the classroom before another grand experiment blows up in his face.