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March 10, 2008

Comments

Kan

I'm not sure if it's a series of better endings, but rather the children of today are the leaders of tomorrow.

All of the lower characters have filled into spots that had been vacated when the old left.
Michael is Omar, Dookie is Bubbles, Sydnor is McNulty, and Fletcher is Gus.

It's a big ol' circle.

hcduvall

Ah I admit I got caught up in tv finale suspense when I named name characters to be the court leak, I should've had more faith in their storytelling.

Kan: I liked the finale a lot, and agree that it was generally uplifting. I think the better than expected ends that I see are not part of the cycle that does continue with new people taking old roles, but that the people who got forced out? They made out alright. McNulty and Freamon aren't in jail. Or Bunk even. Bubbles hasn't just not slipped back, he's at peace and styling in shades, sitting with his sister and niece(?).

A lot of the cases stood--I read Marlo as not so much going back into the game as that he's so ill-suited to any world outside of it that he'll self-destruct. And who knows, he'll pop Levy or something if he sets his mind to it.

I'm slightly dissatisfied with the way the newspaper played out though--not that Templeton got away with, I see that. Just that in between some of it was weaker in comparison to the other plot lines. The subtle way the former foreign correspondent investigated Templeton with Gus 5 feet behind him, for one.

Biggest Asshole:
Still Herc.

Dumbest Asshole:
Whiting and Klebanow are making a late run for the title with inexplicably going with Templeton after he waved an empty notebook. Still, Cheese got got after a poorly timed speech that reminded Slim Charles to kill him.

Craftiest Bastard:
My top two are still Neerese and Levy. Neerese because she talked Burrell out of using the file on Daniels, used it herself and got to be mayor. She held everyone in line while doing it. But the end of the day, everyone knows Levy is the scum of the earth and they still can't get him.

Heart of Gold:
I still like Kima for this, and appreciated the seen at the wake where you McNulty and Freamon acknowledge the respect they have for her. I didn't doubt she did the right thing, but I know a lot of the audience wouldn't have forgiven her without it.

Most Improved:
Bubbles is having a meal with his family--or possibly McNulty, forced out of the police, he'll end up a much better person.

Sean Witzke

I LOVED the echoes of season one Bunk and McNulty coming back only this time with Bunk and Kima. And Sydnor starting it all over again telling Phelan to keep his name out of it.

Man, that was some good tv.

Ken Lowery

Hmmm. What do you mean when you say Marlo got what Bell wanted? I took his ending to mean he was fundamentally uncomfortable with and incapable of "the straight life," and he reverted right back to thuggery. I also take that to mean he'll go down again in short order, violating Levy and Pearlman's deal.

hcduvall

Oops, I wanted to pop in again and place Daniels as my pick for Tragic Hero. He did the most of the railing, and he's not dead or anything, but he's had the furthest to fall.

Marc

Ken, I mean that Marlo got all the trappings of success that Stringer craved--the parties with developers, the front as a legitimate businessman--when he wasn't even looking for it. (And denigrated Fat Face Ricky's real estate maneuvers earlier in the season.) I agree that he's primed to take himself out in short order, which is about the only consolation we get on that side of the plot.

Well, and I think Baltimore will be measurably better off with a new New Day Co-op helmed by Rick and Slim Charles distributing the heroin. Just as many fiends, just as much social corrosion, but a lot less murder.

Actually, I'm amazed at how well most of the plots ended. Not quite as good as the false dawns always promise but a hell of a lot better than I came to expect from this show after season one and season four. I've been in a great mood all day and I really think that's why.

Marc

By the way, I would definitely agree that Cheese was the Dumbest Asshole for this episode (go Slim Charles!), and Daniels the Tragic Hero, but season-wide the picture looks a little different.

The awards ceremony is Wednesday, to coincide with this site's fourth anniversary. Try not to track too much broken glass on the red carpet...

Ken Lowery

So, Slim Charles shooting Cheese post-speech = the streets really DO have some sense of sentimentality?

Ken Lowery

Also... I was mildly distracted when Sydnor went to the judge. What happened there?

Filipe

Biggest Asshole has to be Herc, but I must confess that I almost felt good for him when Levy invented him to dinner, it's a scene in the making for pretty much as Bubbles final moment (of course, the differance been that I like Reginald as much as I dislike Herc).

Dumbest Asshole: Given that Lester not only was supposed to be smarter than McNulty, but that he lost the money trail he chased since season 1 this has to be a lock.

Craftiest Bastard: I guess Levy deserves this by this episode alone.

Heart of Gold: Kima probably, but any man that has an option of being the new Burrell or Colvin and chooses the later deserves at least a honorable mention, so I'd add Daniels as well.

Most improved: Bubbles.

A few finale comments:
-- I felt awful with myself after how much I cheered Cheese's murder.

-- I loved how both Scott and Marlo got punished in a way that neither Gus or McNulty would ever know (and how McNulty and Lester's future depends on Marlo being able to remain out of the corner).

-- Ronnie becaming a judge after cuting a deal with Levy is a great call back for her first huge fight with McNulty in late season one, when he accused her of being nice to Levy because she plan to be a judge one day.

Jeff

"Imagine what the writers could have done with two or three more episodes!"

I saw David Simon speak at USC a couple of weeks ago, and he insisted that the writers were given exactly as many episodes as they requested of HBO ("ten and a half"), and he felt they covered everything they wanted to cover. When asked what else might have been included, he speculated that perhaps some more Cutty, or the revelation that Cheese was Randy's father, but figured what we saw of those characters this season was enough. He specifically pointed out that seeing Randy shove that kid was all you needed in order to know where Randy's character was. I agree with him on that much.

Sorry I took so long to post, but I didn't get a chance to watch the finale until last night. Masterful.

Marc

Simon made similar comments in this excellent interview (which also has some nice tidbits like the real-life stories behind Omar's leap). I agree that we saw all we needed to see of Cutty or Randy, though I would have loved to see more of Prez, Namond, and Colvin.

Mostly, though, I would have liked more episodes so the plots we did see could have had more breathing room. Gus really needed a couple more weeks of investigating Templeton and, especially, arguing about his work with Whiting and Klebanow--anything to make him a more active character. Alma needed just a couple scenes showing how she handled Templeton running away with her story. (Although, as I re-watched the finale last night, I did begin to see why she dropped out as the season progressed--her acting in her final scene was terrible.) Jimmy could've sweated over the real serial killer a little longer. We could've seen a lot more of Kima investigating the triple. Local TV news could have come under just as much fire, via Cheryl, as local newspapers and radio. All these stories needed more beats that could only come with more episodes.

The problem may be that the serial killer plot had just about all the beats it needed in ten and a half episodes, moving slightly out of synch with the other plotlines and forcing its pacing upon them. Still, even one more episode could've given all the plots, particularly the Sun, some much-needed breathing room.

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