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“The Wire” Diaries: Bad dad McNulty, worse fan Avon

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WALT JABSCO, FLICKR

Episode 8, “Lessons”; Episode 9, “Game Day”

Let the blogging continue and the binging commence! Are you keeping up with “The Wire?” Maybe next week’s blog should be a reader quiz to check in how well you know the first nine episodes! Things are really blowing up in Baltimore, and I mean this literally. Here’s what’s going down in Episodes Eight and Nine.

Episode Eight
Jimmy McNulty uses his kids to nab Stringer Bell’s license plate number by playing a spy game with them. Thomas “Herc” Hauk and Ellis Carver bring in Damien “Day-Day” Price (Donnell M. Rawlings, “Chappelle’s Show”) while determining how the Barksdale organization is communicating now that the wiretap is destroyed. Price is revealed to be the driver for Senator Clay Davis (Isiah Whitlock, Jr., “Veep”), leading Commissioner Ervin Burrell (Frankie Faison, “One Life to Live”) to shut down the case. McNulty and Kima Greggs meet with Judge Daniel Phelan, who threatens Burrell into keeping the case open.

Wallace continues to struggle with the consequences and deaths of the Barksdale operation’s actions. Several of Barksdale’s men raid Omar’s apartment and blow up his van. Afterward, they throw a party for Anton “Stinkum” Artis, where a dancer named Keisha ends up dead. D’Angelo Barksdale lies about Keisha’s death to his girlfriend, Shardene Innes (Wendy Grantham, “Homicide: Life on the Street”).

Later, Omar ambushes Roland “Wee-Bey” Brice and Stinkum, killing Stinkum and wounding Brice. Barksdale and Bell discuss how to approach the “Omar Little situation.”
The police detail recognizes Omar’s role in Stinkum’s murder and begins to have doubts about using him in their investigation.

Episode Nine
This episode focused on an important basketball game between two rival gangs, kind of like a basketball version of “West Side Story.” Wallace tells D’Angelo Barksdale that he doesn’t want to deal drugs any more. Reginald “Bubbles” Cousins and Johnny Weeks discover that Preston “Bodie” Broadus of the Barksdale operation is putting out vials of baking soda instead of real drugs.

At the basketball game, Avon Barksdale screams at the referee, and Lester Freamon identifies Avon, recalling the boxing poster he discovered in an earlier episode. Herc and Carver are accused of stealing money from a bust, and tensions run high in the detail as politics continue to interfere with the investigation. Freamon and Greggs recruit Innes to be an informant after revealing that her friend Keisha, the girl who died at the Stinkum party, is dead. More gunshots are exchanged between Wee-Bey, Omar and Avon, and Omar is hit.

Stray thoughts:

*Jimmy McNulty is quizzing his kids on what numbers the Orioles wear. My family plays this game, but we just count up starting from one and try to name the Buffalo Sabres who wore each number. We’re nerds.

*McNulty, I feel like you shouldn’t have your kids tail Stringer Bell in the farmer’s market. This seems dangerous and unnecessary.

*And now, McNulty is bragging about making his kids spy on Bell to Bunk Moreland. Don’t encourage him, Moreland.

*Poor Wallace. Michael B. Jordan is truly heartbreaking in this role. I’m still not used to seeing him look this young!

*Is McNulty really judging Bunk about cheating? Even though McNulty’s wife divorced him because he cheated on her? Hypocrite points -10.

*Moreland lying in McNulty’s kid’s bed was a nice visual at the end of episode eight. Representative of his and McNulty’s lack of emotional maturity, no?

*“All men are scum.” – The show’s entire subtext at this point.

*People flee in fear from Omar in the projects. I was tempted to get up and run from my laptop, too. Omar continues to be the most interesting and dynamic character thus far.

*Roca Wear, the official brand of the early aughts.

*Roland “Prez” Pryzbylewski just has a face I want to punch. I can’t explain it.

*Based on his treatment of this high school basketball referee, I cannot imagine what Avon Barksdale is like to watch professional sports with.

*Avon is killin’ it in terms of headgear. Translucent sunglasses, bandanas, a general look of disgust and judgement…I approve.

“McNulty, I hold you in contempt.” “Who doesnt?” McNulty’s self-loathing and charming smarminess aren’t too annoying…yet.

*Is there a body count for Season 1 somewhere? I’m sure there is one for the whole series, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers. Update: Found a Tumblr called “The Wire” Deaths.

Cast List
Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty
Idris Elba as Stringer Bell
Larry Gilliard, Jr. as D’Angelo Barksdale
Lance Reddick as Lieutenant Cedric Daniels
Sonja Sohn as Kima Greggs
Andre Royo as Bubbles
Wood Harris as Avon Barksdale
John Doman as Major William Rawls
Wendell Pierce as Bunk Moreland
Frankie Faison as Ervin Burrell
Deidre Lovejoy as Rhonda Pearlman
Peter Gerety as Judge Daniel Phelan
Callie Thorne as Elena McNulty
Michael K. Williams as Omar Little
J. D. Williams as Preston “Bodie” Broadus
Seth Gilliam as Detective Ellis Carver
Domenick Lombardozzi as Detective Thomas “Herc” Hauk
Clarke Peters as Detective Lester Freamon
Jim True-Frost as Detective Roland “Prez” Pryzbylewski
Hassan Johnson as Roland “Wee-Bey” Brice
Michael B. Jordan as Wallace
Corey Parker-Robinson as Detective Leander Sydnor
Delaney Williams as Sergeant Jay Landsman


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