Wired on The Wire: Season 5, Episode 3 – "Not For Attribution" | Wizards Blog Truth About It.net

Wired on The Wire: Season 5, Episode 3 – “Not For Attribution”

Updated: January 28, 2008

I definitely meant to get the episode 3 write-up out before episode 4 came on, but time is a muther. Episode 4 was great though, you can really see everything coming together. My goal is to get some thoughts on it posted by Monday night.

[the wire: season 5, episode 1 write-up – “more with less”]
[the wire: season 5, episode 2 write-up – “unconfirmed reports”]

In talking about The Wire with my friend Chris in a DC coffee-shop, specifically episode 2 of this season, we both came to the conclusion that this McNulty crime-scene tampering scheme left a bit of a bad taste in our mouths. Is this plausible? It just seems too risky, too half-baked…or with McNulty, half-Jamesoned. By all means, I have faith in the writing. This captivating series has got me enthralled to this point, so a little faith on my part is justified. But it seems like they’re setting the bar a little high for themselves. However, in the end, Simon is giving us what we want.

The Wire needs to go out with a bang, leaving us satisfied. Personally, I have no problem with how the Sopranos ended. But with The Wire, David Simon wants to build a consensus. He doesn’t want his audience to focus on how the series ends, rather the topic of his work: the education system, police & crime, political structure, and the media’s connection to it all. The media, being the general publics connection to government services; it’s obvious that it would be the focus of the fifth and final season. At face value, season 2 at the docks doesn’t seem to fit into the equation. But if you don’t think the origin of the drug trade, labor union involvement, mob influence, and a statement on the nation’s trade are key factors in this epic, then I’m not sure why you are watching in the first place.

This girl asked me on Sunday, “The Wire? What’s that about.” My knee-jerk reaction was to say it was a cop show that takes place in Baltimore. Guess like Lupe Fiasco, I had to dumb it down. Next time I’ll say, as David Simon has put it, “It’s a show about an American city.”

On to episode three….

Yea, people are wired differently. Jimmy McNulty is powered by the slow consumption of booze. I would just get tired.

Self preservation. Jimmy has no use for this. To Bunk, it still makes sense. Can you blame him? We live in a world of individual self preservation. And when risk in the form of Jimmy is involved, Moreland’s conditioned reaction is obviously to go on the defensive. Bunk’s threats of ratting him out, which Jimmy knows that he won’t follow through with, are nothing. Nice Bunk, you locked yourself in the box…or your “office”….with Jimmy. Moreland is locked into this scheme with McNulty and he knows it.

Jimmy just doesn’t care, or does he? Is his motivation truly virtuous? I don’t get the feeling that he’s doing all of this for him. Rather, he’s doing it to stick it to all the a-holes who have crossed him in the past…..from Marlo to those within the Baltimore PD.

A lot of progression is made in episode 3 and the writers made a pretty large stride in convincing me of the feasibility of Jimmy McNulty’s plan…….and it’s a sign of good work when you don’t see it coming. I suppose if Jimmy is going to fix current crime scenes, then “adjusting” past unsolveds, especially unsolved cases of the deceased Ray Cole, would be a great way to make a connection as opposed to contriving the whole thing from scratch.

“Brother Ray, God rest he.” -Jimmy McNulty

By the way, the ineptly portrayed Ray Cole was played by former Wire executive producer, Robert Colesberry, who himself passed away as a result of complications from heart surgery.

“Three people murdered in a house and it gets 12 inches below the fold. Explain that to me.” -Alma Gutierrez

Hey, as the song in the opening credits puts it, you gotta keep the devil way down in the hole. At least that’s what executive editor James Whiting wants to do. Unfortunately, that’s the media not doing their job of delving into the circumstances behind the stories rather than the surface. Did they have to make him the biggest suspender-wearing twit in the world? Now that’s what I call entrenched character building.

Tumescent. New word to my vocab. Yea, you didn’t know it either. For example: Bill Belichick is coyish with the media, but we all know that he’s a tumescent son of a bitch.

The one thing I understand is the closure of foreign bureaus. In this flat world, does it make sense to keep a beat on the world when it’s obvious that the focus needs to be local? Outsourcing.

Yes, it’s cheaper to keep the inexperienced youth at face value, but how much is the Baltimore Sun losing in the intangibles of the veterans? The experience of police reporter Roger Twig, who knows more that the documented history, is immeasurable outside of the bottom line.

Another by the way….guess who Alma, played by Michelle Paress, is married to in real life. None other than Larry Gilliard. You know him as D’Angelo Barksdale.

“It ain’t easy civilizing this muther fucker.”
-Prop Joe

Marlo is using Prop Joe to his advantage. For one, he is learning from him in seeking advice on what to do with his excess of money. Seems like Marlo is smart enough to know that he doesn’t know enough. But also, in going to Prop Joe, Marlo is making further steps towards gaining the trust of Prop Joe. Now, we know that Joe didn’t get where he is by trusting everyone….he’s not a fool. But I guess any little thing helps the Stanfield organization.

“It’s Baltimore, nobody lives forever.”
-Tommy Carcetti

The “bunkies on Calvert St.” mentioned by Tommy to Norman, The Baltimore Sun is located at 501 North Calvert St.

“This is the hard part, getting these guys to give a shit.”

By the way, who are McNulty’s “witnesses” who heard struggling inside the house? I guess that he trusts that the city mortician won’t check into that….if the witnesses are, in fact, mentioned in Jimmy’s report.

You think Jay Jay Landsman gives a shit? A meal of Diet Pepsi, Chinese takeout and Pepto Bismal say no.

“Everything is so serious now.”

It was always serious…..he’s just starting to realize how serious “it” is.

Is Chris trying to put dissent into the mind of Sl
im Charles? With his “More like Joe make it complicated…” comments. Does this go back to Marlo’s “compliments” about Slim in front of the co-op.

“Everything runs through Joe. Everything is clean with Joe.”
-Spiros Vondas

I still don’t think Marlo gets it. Yea, he gets clean money that hasn’t been touched by the corner…..but clean to Vondas means trust, at least that’s what I assume.

“He only needs smoke. He doesn’t even need fire to drag you down, to drag me down.” -Marla Daniels

Yep, it’s all about self preservation. The past of Cedric Daniels is still a bit of a mystery for me. We know that Burrell and the DEA have files on him, and the FBI knows about suspicious assets, measured in hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s believed that Daniels somehow “acquired” this money from his days in the Eastern District. But it’s yet to be revealed how Daniels got the money. But we do know it’s serious enough for him and his wife to worry about, which means the allegations, whatever they may be, are probably true.

“Marlo wants Omar. What else to you need to know.”
-Chris Partlow

Snoop is questioning the plan after she and Chris kill Butchie. Problem is….they are on defense now and as we know in football, you can’t always predict where the receiver is going to cut before the bomb is thrown.

“Messin’ With The Kid” by Junior Wells is playing in the background of the scene in Butche’s bar. I only see trouble from messing with Omar the Kid.

Prop Joe wanted to let a sleeping dog lie. But I guess that too many bridges burned by Omar and cash will always kick a sleeping dog.

“Now where my cheese at man?”

“Sensatoinalize it.” -Lester

Bringing Lester Freamon in…..Great move Jimmy, cause there’s no way he can do it alone with a reluctant Bunk. Only this time, the door wasn’t locked on Bunk.

Couple Questions for Thought.

Dukie is still doing mystery during the day. Wonder what that is, aside from going to Six Flags.

What’s going on with Randy? Between his foster mother’s house getting Molotov’ed putting her into the hospital, to Carver leaving him about to get a beat down in the group home, I’m not sure that Randy has survived these past 15 months. You think at least there would be an early follow-up to get it out the way.


Not sure where Marlo is making his bank transaction, probably one of the French islands in the Lesser Antilles. But I do know that Omar is in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I made the trip down to San Juan in December of 2005….mostly to catch my college basketball team, Mississippi State, play in the San Juan Shootout, but it also was nice to go to a place filled with sun and beautiful women during the cold DC winter.

But the reason that I know where Omar is living these days is that I walked right through that barrio with my friend Adam. I thought I was leading us on a short-cut between San Juan’s two historic forts, Fort San Felipe del Morro and Fort San Cristobál. I didn’t know I was leading us through San Juan’s version of Hamsterdam where we witnessed open drug use (nothing hard-core, just some cats smoking weed) and a dude tried to sell Adam some Puerto Rican cocaína.

The view of Omar’s beach-side barrio from the first fort, looking towards the 2nd fort.
It would be nice to live on the water like that.

The view from the second fort.

Next on the Wire

  • Sweet Jesus Omar is going to work them.
  • Police beating on teachers.
  • If Jimmy gets sloppy, they get caught.
  • Michael ain’t paying her to be his mother.
  • Looks like Marlo is present for a killing.

Other Wire Links:

An NPR interview with Michael K. Williams, the dude who plays Omar.

Baltimore Sun’s ‘Wire’ Portrayal Fuels a Hot Debate [Washington Post]

Felicia Pearson: Through the Wire [[Si] Entertainment]

What Do Real Thugs Think of The Wire? [Freakonomics, New York Times]

Does the News Matter To Anyone Anymore? [A Rant in the Washington Post by none other than David Simon]

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Kyle Weidie
Founder / Editor / Reporter / Writer at TAI
Kyle founded TAI in 2007 and has been weaving in and out the world of Wizards ever since, ducking WittmanFaces, jumping over G-Wiz, and avoiding stints on the DNP-Conditioning list. He has covered the Washington pro basketball team as a member of the media since 2009. Kyle lives in D.C. with his wife, loves basketball, and has no pets.