The Wire Final Season

Week 2: Avon Returns
Talking television.
Jan. 14 2008 2:48 PM

The Wire Final Season

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Jeff,

I know what you mean about the endless Wire commentary. I'm having a hard time separating what I see on the show from what I read in the papers (and magazines, and blogs). Sometimes that's because what I'm seeing on the show is what I am reading in the papers. During the episode last night, it's-hard-to-be-a-saint-in-the-city editor Gus Haynes savages the Sun editor's idea for a public schools expose:

David Plotz David Plotz

David Plotz is Slate's editor at large. He's the author of The Genius Factory and Good Book.

[If] you want to look at who these kids really are, you have to look at the parenting or lack of it in the city, the drug culture, the economics of these neighborhoods. … It's like you're up on the corner of a roof and you're showing some people how a couple shingles came loose. Meanwhile, a hurricane wrecked the rest of the damn house.

Advertisement

This morning, I read the Columbia Journalism Review's opus about Simon's war with Marimow and Carroll and saw this quote from Simon:

You can carve off a symptom and talk about how bad drugs are, and you can blame the police department for fucking up the drug war, but that's kind of like coming up to a house hit by a hurricane and making a lot of voluminous notes about the fact that some roof tiles are off.

It's a great metaphor, incidentally.

Let me just return to my other favorite moment in last night's episode: the visiting-room negotiation between Avon and Marlo. It plays a great trick by making us root for the heartless murderer Avon because he's putting one over on the even-more-despicable Marlo. (That kind of sympathy manipulation is a specialty of The Wire. See also: Prop Joe, Omar, Bodie …) Also, how great was the final moment of chitchat between them, when Avon, hungry for details about the street, asks: "What about you, how you been?" And Marlo answers with a shrug: "You know. The game is the game." That's what I'm going to start saying whenever anyone asks me about my job.

David

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Smash and Grab

Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?

Stop Panicking. America Is Now in Very Good Shape to Respond to the Ebola Crisis.

The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team

The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Technocracy

Forget Oculus Rift

This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.

One of Putin’s Favorite Oligarchs Wants to Start an Orthodox Christian Fox News

These Companies in Japan Are More Than 1,000 Years Old

Trending News Channel
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 20 2014 8:14 PM You Should Be Optimistic About Ebola Don’t panic. Here are all the signs that the U.S. is containing the disease.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 20 2014 7:23 PM Chipotle’s Magical Burrito Empire Keeps Growing, Might Be Slowing
  Life
Outward
Oct. 20 2014 3:16 PM The Catholic Church Is Changing, and Celibate Gays Are Leading the Way
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 20 2014 6:17 PM I Am 25. I Don't Work at Facebook. My Doctors Want Me to Freeze My Eggs.
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 20 2014 7:15 AM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 9 A spoiler-filled discussion of "Flatline."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 20 2014 9:13 PM The Smart, Talented, and Utterly Hilarious Leslie Jones Is SNL’s Newest Cast Member
  Technology
Technocracy
Oct. 20 2014 11:36 PM Forget Oculus Rift This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual-reality experience.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 20 2014 11:46 AM Is Anybody Watching My Do-Gooding? The difference between being a hero and being an altruist.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.