The Wire Final Season

Week 8: Is The Wire Back or What? 
Talking television.
Feb. 25 2008 10:42 AM

The Wire Final Season

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Dear David,

Omar Little, RIP.

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But it should have been Templeton.

Man, is The Wire back or what? Yes, I actually liked last night's episode. There, I said it. Are you happy?

Omar's death at the hands of an 11-year-old was pitch-perfect. A gay, shotgun-brandishing Robin Hood has no home in a city whose streets throw off boys like Kenard, the miniature killer with the dirty mouth. Kenard is the natural heir to Marlo. He's not yet dead to feeling—witness his fear and shock in the presence of Omar's dropped body—but he's the sort of prodigy that The Wire has been warning America about for five mostly excellent seasons. The killing of Omar by a prepubescent street imp rang entirely true, a testament to the reality of the world David Simon has created.

This was an almost entirely great episode. Clay Davis was delightfully venal; Snoop spit like a champion; Lester showed flashes of his old brilliant self—and of his deep sense of right and wrong; even McNulty stirred feelings of pity in me. Bunk, of course, was Bunk—I wish we could convince someone to give him his own show. And that visit to Quantico was comic genius. (For more on the subject of the self-serving flimflammery of FBI profilers, read this recent Malcolm Gladwell piece.)

The too-many visits to the newsroom were absurd, of course, but I've lowered my expectations to Dead Sea levels, so I half-enjoyed them, particularly the spectacle of Gus telling off the managing editor. Not because it was great drama but because I like to watch people tell off managing editors. As we discussed last week, though, if Gus were an actual editor rather than a cardboard fantasy of an editor, he would have called the Pentagon before running the story on the homeless vet, not after.

One question for you: Did you get the feeling, as I did, that Chris is going to kill Marlo? After all, Marlo did not, in fact, come down to the street to meet Omar's challenge. If Chris sees Marlo for the punk he apparently is, well, it's goodbye, Marlo.

Jeff

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for the Atlantic and the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror.

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