Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, April 24, 2019

"The Wire" Diaries: On pagers, payphones, and pretty-boy McNulty



“The Wire,” stop piling details up! I’ll try to keep this summary short, but I know I’m missing important details. I invite you to watch along or consult with Wikipedia for more thorough synopses.

Episode 4, “Old Cases”

Jimmy McNulty and Bunk Moreland try to connect D’Angelo Barksdale to a murder whose lead suspect is only known as “Dee.” Barksdale explains how the murder occurred to Wallace and Malik “Poot” Carr as the Barksdale operation continues to cope with the Omar Little incident. Stringer Bell advises D’Angelo to stop paying his dealers due to the aftermath. McNulty attends his son’s soccer game with Reginald “Bubbles” Cousins in tow. The detail gets Barksdale’s pager copied, but the detectives discover that the phone numbers sent to Barksdale’s device are encoded, so the responding phone calls cannot be made to legitimate numbers.

Episode 5, “The Pager”

Kima Greggs and McNulty bond; they tail Omar Little and ask him to help them with the Barksdale investigation. Omar reveals he knows that Bubbles is their confidential informant. Audible gasp!!!
Roland “Pryz” Pryzbylewski solves the pager code, but the decoded phone conversations cannot be recorded, only the duration of each call. The detail learns of all of Avon Barksdale’s assets, including his strip club, Orlando’s. Poot and Wallace find one of Omar Little’s associates in an arcade and inform D’Angelo. McNulty gets assigned a deadline to wrap up the Barksdale investigation. Will he stick to it?

And now, my stream-of-consciousness thoughts from this week’s viewing:

- Bunk has to call Verizon to see if there’s a “fresh listing” of a phone number. Which means he has to see if someone has a new landline phone number. Land lines! Phone companies! 2002, everyone!

- “Omar? Who’s he?” Omar Little! Still at the tip of the iceberg of Omar’s intro. Still so excited because he is a TV character legend.

- Kima and McNulty’s bromance is so cute. Bromance points: 10

- Ep. 4, 19:28: Avon Barksdale’s abs. Wow.

- Stringer Bell’s baby blue basketball outfit. More of this. Actually, more of Stringer/Avon basketball in general.

- While Bubbles is driving with McNulty to McNulty’s kids’ soccer game: “Where in “Leave it to Beaver” town are you taking me?” Spot-on reference, Bubbles. Loving the pop culture contributions from the entire cast so far.

- Dad points for McNulty, watching his kid play soccer.

- [about McNulty] “Jimmy is an addict.”
“What is he addicted to?”
“Himself.” …yes. But it’s charming!

- Okay, McNulty and Bunk putting the murder scene back together was pretty cool. And they used a lot more “f***s” than the “CSI” crew would to do it. Thanks, HBO!

-Real question: how many f***s have been said on “The Wire?” More or less than only Deb’s on “Dexter”?

- Ep. 4, 53:56: McNulty’s smirk. Swoon.

- Ep. 5, 11:54- Stringer’s gray sweatsuit. For lounging. And plot exposition.

- McNulty drunkenly singing an Irish ditty while assembling furniture. I never knew I needed that 30 seconds in my life.

- “The Wire” is firmly solidifying my TV type as a loner law-enforcement type/single-minded, snarky maverick with infinite amounts of charm and character. (ex. Mulder, Dexter, Peter Bishop and now McNulty. It’s official: I have a TV crush on McNulty!)

- Why did Stringer not just say “snitches get stitches?” That whole confrontation could have been so much shorter.

- Dates with D’Angelo. He wants to take his girlfriend to the walk around the Baltimore Harbor! I’m about this.

- Michael B. Jordan’s GREAT red and blue rugby is sadly hidden under a big black puffy jacket.

- D’Angelo’s date now seems less appealing since he’s asking another girl on a date at the strip club.

- “The Wire,” self-aware about swearing! Or, at least Omar Little is.

- Dork points for Pryz for solving the beeper code.

- Omar’s New Jersey Devils jersey. The Devils will always make me think of “Seinfeld.”

And with that, I leave this edition of “The Wire” Diaries with an Avon Barksdale quote: “Family will always be there ‘cause it’s blood.” And “The Wire” will always be there, as an example of well-executed television. See you next week, Idris Elba.

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
Melanie Nicholls-King as Cheryl
Michael Salconi as Detective Michael Santangelo
Tray Chaney as Malik “Poot” Carr
Brandon Price as Anton “Stinkum” Artis
Nat Benchley as Detective Augustus Polk
Tom Quinn as Detective Patrick Mahon
Michael Kevin Darnall as Brandon Wright
Caroline G. Pleasant as Bodie’s grandmother
Antonio Cordova as Michael McNulty
Lance Williams as John Bailey
Clayton LeBouef as Wendell “Orlando” Blocker
Nat Benchley as Augustus Polk
Shamyl Brown as Donette
Wendy Grantham as Shardene Innes
Curtis Montez as Sterling

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