The Wire Final Season

Week 8: Taking Omar Down a Few Notches
Talking television.
Feb. 25 2008 5:32 PM

The Wire Final Season

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Dear Jeff,

First, let me respond to a reader question about whether we watch the "next week on The Wire" segments at the end of each episode. I don't watch those previews, so I may have missed some foreshadowing. Do you watch them?

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Second, because I'd rather read smart Wire commentary than write it, I'm going to hand over this week's final entry to reader Nate Denny, who sent us a perceptive answer to your question about the final scene with Omar's corpse:

I think the whole point was Simon telling us how much we've missed the point in our five years of Omar-worship. The whole episode serves to take Omar down a few notches. He doesn't get his big, badass face-off with Marlo; he gets got by the same little punk (possibly the show's most obnoxious, least sympathetic character) whose face Michael pounded last season and who has nothing better to do than torture cats. Further, a bunch of kids disrespect Omar by rifling through his pockets for souvenirs, Sun writers don't even realize that a legend has passed, and inept city morgue employees almost bag the wrong guy with Omar's name.

No one in the episode realizes how important Omar's passing is, and maybe that's because it's ultimately not that important. Omar is a distraction: entertainment in an otherwise bleak and weighty depiction of the death of a city. Simon puts his finger in our eye and dismisses our favorite character with nary a backward look, and he's probably right to do so.

Talk to you next week,
David

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

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