The Wire Final Season

Week 6: Institutional Loyalists vs. Noble Rebels
Talking television.
Feb. 11 2008 3:38 PM

The Wire Final Season


Dear Jeff,

I know you don't want to talk about Jimmy and Lester, but my colleague Emily Bazelon had an interesting insight about their lunatic freelance plot. Usually The Wire has asked us to sympathize with the rebels, to relish the way Lester and Jimmy (and Bunny Colvin, and Teacher Prez) broke the rules of the system to do good. But this season the rebels have befouled everything. Their homeless killer mishigas is ruining the good, institutional police work of Bunk and Kima. The Wire has put us in the unprecedented (and uncomfortable) position of siding with the institutional loyalists against the noble rebels.


Now that we're sliding down the back slope of the season, with only four episodes left to go, we should play the Wire Parlor Game. In the final couple of episodes of every season, The Wire generally does two things: First, it unravels the major plot complication (Hamsterdam in Season 3, the ports murder in Season 2); and second, murders a sympathetic and/or fascinating character (Wallace in Season 1, Stringer Bell in Season 3, Bodie in Season 4). So the game is: a) guess how they'll unravel the Marlo/homeless murder/Omar mess and b) guess which beloved friend gets did.

With that in mind, here's my initial guess: Bunk's police work implicates Michael in his stepfather's murder. Feeling pangs of conscience, Michael agrees to help Bunk get Marlo, but Marlo has Michael killed first. Unfortunately, this does not help us with the homeless plot and Omar. I don't think Omar can die (because, as we've discussed, he's outside the laws of space and time). On the other hand, I don't think Marlo can die either. He embodies the evils of modernity, as Simon sees them: sociopathy, lack of feeling, greed. So he can't be brought low. Yet it's hard to see how Omar and Marlo both live. So I've talked myself into a corner.


P.S. Speaking of great Sunday-night television, I watched the Grammys last night, too, and had an entirely non-Wire-related question for you: What's the deal with Amy Winehouse and Judaism? Can you go find out? Our readers may not know this, but you are also the founder of, the Jewish rock hall of fame. Can you please assign one your crack staffers to figure out: 1) What kind of Jew she is; 2) If there are any other Jewish rockers who have cracked up so spectacularly; and 3) Does she really recite the Shema in that crazy accent?

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



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