The Wire Final Season

Week 4: Marlo Isn't the Bagels-in-the-Boardroom Type
Talking television.
Jan. 28 2008 2:40 PM

The Wire Final Season

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Dear Jeff,

Sure enough, within five minutes of my last entry going live, I received e-mails from two reporters who've been chastised for their excessive profanity. One of them, York Daily Record columnist Mike Argento, writes, "An editor pulled me into a conference room and gave me a little lecture about swearing in the newsroom, that one of the editorial assistants, who was religious, complained mostly about taking the Lord's name in vain. Others also received the talk. Didn't do any fucking good."

Advertisement

Do I think Herc is going to help bring down Marlo? No chance. It's Marlo's cash that's keeping Herc in suits and bottled beer. And if there's anything we've learned about him in the past few seasons, it's that he's too stupid and amoral to do anything right.

You know what I'm going to miss most now that Prop Joe's dead? The co-op meetings. (I'm guessing that Marlo is not going to be a bagels-in-the-boardroom kind of drug lord.) Ever since Stringer Bell's funeral home assemblies back in Season 3, the drug dealer councils have been The Wire's funniest scenes, hilariously juxtaposing the aspiration for managerial order with the reality of criminal violence. Come to think of it, wasn't the best scene in The Untouchablesthe board meeting when Al Capone beats one of his lieutenants to death with a baseball bat? There's something inherently compelling about the combination of crime and bureaucracy (which is also why that Wannsee conference movie was so gripping, too). The choice line from the final co-op meeting comes from titty bar owner Fatface Rick, advising his fellow hoods to: "Buy you some property, hold on until the white people show up, and make a killing."

We're clearly not watching The Wire as carefully as our readers. Several wrote me to point out that the goateed guy boozing in the homeless encampment was Johnny "Fifty," Ziggy's friend from Season 2, who helped "misplace" cargo on the docks. He must have lost his union card after the cops busted Sobotka's fraud operation.

David

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

TODAY IN SLATE

Jurisprudence

Scalia’s Liberal Streak

The conservative justice’s most brilliant—and surprisingly progressive—moments on the bench.

Colorado Is Ground Zero for the Fight Over Female Voters

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 18 2014 8:20 PM A Clever Attempt at Explaining Away a Vote Against the Farm Bill
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 18 2014 6:02 PM A Chinese Company Just Announced the Biggest IPO in U.S. History
  Life
The Slate Quiz
Sept. 18 2014 11:44 PM Play the Slate News Quiz With Jeopardy! superchampion Ken Jennings.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 18 2014 8:07 PM Crying Rape False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 4:33 PM The Top 5 Dadsplaining Moments From The Cosby Show
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 6:48 PM By 2100 the World's Population Could Be 11 Billion
  Health & Science
Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.