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November 27, 2006

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Matt Brady

Ooh, nice change-up, Marc. I was kinda stumped this week; not much assholery on display with everything looking up, but of course we know that can't last.

Other nominees for craftiest bastard:

Marlo, who still has Herc scampering around looking for his camera. That bit a few episodes ago when he fooled Herc (like that takes a lot of work) into arresting a random lady at the train station was pretty good. Also the way he got Lil' Kevin to confess to not following orders before "walking him down an alley". Although I guess that's less craftiness than just scaring the shit out of people.

Bubbles actually managed to show some craftiness when he got sick of Herc not following through on his promises. That's something I love about the show, how his little scheme to screw with Herc has repurcussions that resonate all the way through City Hall.

McNulty would have been a contender in previous seasons, but he's turned over a new leaf (which is why he's had a much smaller presence on the show, I'm sure). I imagine something bad will have to happen to him before he can go back to his old ways; perhaps we got a slight hint of the possible future when we saw his ex-wife view him in a new light. Maybe she'll try to get him back and start him on a new spiral of alcoholism and convention-bucking. Bad for him, but enjoyable for us.

You've also got Bunk, who managed to get his fellow officers to open up a closed case in order to secure the freedom of a known murderer, and Proposition Joe, who put Omar on Marlo's trail in order to get Marlo to join the co-op (and now that move is coming back to bite him on the ass).

Man, this is such a good show. I was just about yelling at the TV when Prez was talking to Bunk and Lester; he knew from his kids that the bodies are hidden in the vacants; just tell them already! It's been obvious all season that the bodies were going to be found, but it's been torturous watching the trail of information dry up or get misinterpreted (Herc strikes again!) before it gets to the right people. The next two episodes promise plenty of excitement: I see bad things in store for Namond and Michael; Randy might make it, but not unscathed; and I'll be heartbroken if (when?) something bad happens to Dookie.

On a (slightly) unrelated note, I'm amazed at the number of characters the show keeps going; it took me a couple seasons to even figure out Herc's and Carver's names, just to name a few. I cheated a bit at the beginning of this season by looking at the character gallery on HBO's website, but I still have trouble keeping everyboy straight. That said, who is Jay Landsman? The chubby homicide guy who's always looking at porn? How about O'Malley (or is that just a reference that I'm not getting)?

Thanks again for your insightful reviews of the show. I try to stop by and throw in my two cents each week, but I always feel outclassed.

hilker

Landsman is the guy you're thinking of. Martin O'Malley is the real-life governor-elect of Maryland and mayor of Baltimore.

Marc

Whoops--the O'Malley reference made a lot more sense in the earlier draft when I had a section about the Carcetti-Royce race as an imaginary matchup of Martin O'Malley vs. Marion Barry.

Prop Joe would normally be on any crafty bastard shortlist but it looks like his schemes have finally caught up with him. All he had to do was not tip Omar off to the card game...

Bubbles handled Herc nicely. I wish he'd get McNulty or Carver on this guy who's been robbing him; I don't see anyone else taking care of him (and shame on Kima for handing him off to Herc).

I am amused by how Bunk, who fucked around with Crutchfield's open-and-shut homicide and caught shit for it, reacts when he learns Herc has been holding out on his witness (admittedly, with much better reason).

The HBO character guide is invaluable; I learned things I never would have noticed from watching the show (like Rawls's wife and children, an interesting contrast to his homoerotic banter and his favorite bar). For the biggest surprise, read "The Street" and "The School" and compare last names...

Matt Brady

I think you've mentioned O'Malley before, but hell, I have a hard enough time keeping track of all the show's characters; start throwing real-life people into the mix and I really get lost.

Matt Brady

Regarding the character guide Street/School surprise: OH SNAP! I wonder if that bit of information will become relevant due to one character's reappearance last week.

Also, my confusion about Jay Landsman was increased when I found that that is also the name of the actor who plays Lieutenant Mello. And conspicuously missing from the guide is officer Walker, the abusive cop who broke Donut's fingers and the kids got "revenge" on last week. That's another character who is can usually be in the running for Asshole of the Week. On a related note, I'm interested in the ring that Michael stole from Walker, who took it from Omar when he arrested him, who stole it from Marlo at the card game, who demanded it as payment from Andre. I wonder if this is going to be important, or just an interesting detail. Did Michael pawn the ring, or just consider it?

Marc

To further your confusion, the real Jay Landsman was a homicide sergeant back when David Simon followed the unit, and the fictional Jay Landsman's taste for porn seems to be drawn from real life (or at least from one amusing incident Simon relates). Landsman's dry wit was one of the inspirations for Richard Belzer's Det. John Munch, which may make Jay Landsman the most fictionalized real-life cop since Wyatt Earp.

Alan Sepinwall has some interesting thoughts about the ring here. Lots of great Wire stuff at his blog, which I've just discovered tonight--it looks like he's been playing a less overt game of spot the asshole. (We share a fondness for Delonda.)

Watched the next episode on-demand tonight... holy shit. It's night in Baltimore.

Phil

Officer Walker be evil.

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