The Wire Final Season

Week 6: The Sublime Bunk Moreland Soldiers On
Talking television.
Feb. 11 2008 10:35 AM

The Wire Final Season

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Dear Jeff,

Evan threatens Lily and Lucinda with a poison syringe. Margo finds out the hostage taker is Evan Walsh. Lucinda promises to fund Evan's research offshore. Lily tries to save Lucinda. Evan is stabbed with the poison syringe. Lily blasts Lucinda for her scheming and blames her for Dusty's death. Holden admits he'd be lost without Lily. Lily feels the same. Chris tells Emily he never wants to see her again. …

David Plotz David Plotz

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

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Oh, wait, that's from As the World Turns.

I'm beginning to think Wendell Pierce is all that stands between this season of The Wire and farce. While all around him turn into parodic versions of themselves, the sublime Bunk Moreland soldiers on, exasperated by the incompetent crime lab, bullying Michael's mother to give up information about her boyfriend's death, and, in what was the most affecting scene in the episode, vainly trying to persuade a sullen Randy to cooperate in a murder investigation. Randy was the most delightful and promising of the Season 4 schoolboys—a joyful little bundle of entrepreneurial energy. His fall is as sad as anything The Wire has ever shown us. What's astonishing is that it takes only a few brilliant shots to show us his ruination: Randy muscled up in his wife-beater, Randy walking out on Bunk into the hellish chaos of the group home, Randy gratuitously shoving a little kid on the stairs. The destruction of an entire life, compressed into 15 seconds. Too bad it was shoved into such a stinking mess of an episode.

A quick journalistic procedural question for you, since you've been a daily newspaper reporter and I haven't: Do we really think Gus and Scott managed to check out that PTSD Marine's story in one day? Did they really manage to get the Marines to confirm that this guy was a Marine, that he has PTSD, that he was in an explosion outside Fallujah where someone lost his hands … etc. Because judging by what my friends at the Washington Post go through, it would take about three weeks to get the military to confirm a story like that.

I'm sorry to see that my prediction about Marlo and the co-op came true. That was our last gathering of the drug dealer board, because, as Marlo says, "I ain't really one for meets no how."

Also, does Jimmy McNulty ever listen to anything besides the Pogues? (Not that I'm complaining: I'm going to the Pogues' D.C. concert next month.)

Your increasingly vexed colleague,
David