The Wire Final Season

Week 9: Reassessing Marlo's Putative Punk-Assedness
Talking television.
March 3 2008 10:28 AM

The Wire Final Season

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Tristan Wilds in The Wire. Click image to expand.
Tristan Wilds in The Wire

David,

Your hair look fine. Now can I just shoot you in the head already?

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Snoop's death didn't mark the coldest killing in last night's episode. Honors go to Kima, who just committed a multiple homicide—McNulty, Lester, and maybe even Bunk, who knew what was going on but said nothing. Maybe he wriggles out of this, but I'm not so sure. And by the way, I am, generally speaking, pro-snitching in the matter of official police misconduct, but Kima's testing my beliefs.

Snoop's murder didn't make perfect dramatic sense to me, but this may be because I was hoping to see her character spun off to a new, network-television sitcom. Something based on the Gilmore Girls model but with more Glocks.

I didn't see her death coming, either, to tell you the truth, and I should take this moment to revise and amend my previous comments concerning Marlo and the potential consequences of his putative punk-assedness. My belief that we would soon see Marlo's demise was predicated on an assumption (and you remember, of course, what Felix Unger said about assuming?) that Marlo knew that Omar was calling him out and that, even with said knowledge, he refused to meet Omar in the street. It turns out now that Marlo didn't know he was being called out. This raises questions about his leadership ability (Chris and company have obviously built a Bush-like cocoon around the boss) but not about his, shall we say, manhood.

Clearly—I'm going to regret that clearly, I'm sure, come the 10th and final episode—Marlo triumphs in the end, just as you Marxists would have it. Levy will discover the illegal wiretap and the Stanfield crew will be sprung from jail just as Lester is led inside. (McNulty, I assume, throws himself off a bridge.)

I found Michael's plight as moving as you did (I actually thought his parting from his little brother was the saddest thing I saw, sadder than his breakup with Dukie), but I thought the Bubbles-up-Dukie-down pairing a little too neatly TV-ish. Not that I don't root for Bubbles, mind you. I have a heart.

By the way, and I know you hate talking about this, but did you notice that the newspaper subplot has become even more ridiculous, as if that's possible? Gus hands off the investigation of Templeton to a presumably sophisticated, just-returned-home foreign correspondent who promises discretion and then immediately asks the library for everything Templeton has ever written!

It is simply impossible to believe that the reporters and editors of the actual Baltimore Sun, today or 13 years ago, when David Simon left journalism, could be so comprehensively stupid.

Best,
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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