Wired on The Wire: Season 5, Episode 4 – “Transitions”
Episode 4 contained so many great scenes.
Cedric Daniels in Erv Burrell’s Office
Burrell has the goods on Daniels, it’s the very last card up his sleeve. I think Erv genuinely believes that Cedric hasn’t gone behind his back to Carcetti in an attempt to usurp him. Why would Daniels? He knows that Burrell has him by the balls; Cedric wouldn’t be there with hat in hand otherwise. Erv knows this as well. He’s trying to use that last amount of leverage to intimidate Daniels, and it’s working. So much is communicated with silence. Burrell has Daniels eating shit like Ron Burgandy.
“…My answer will be to decline the position and say I serve at your pleasure. Sir? Sir?”
-Daniels, Deputy Commissioner of Operation
Marlo’s Return Visit to the Greeks
I love the dialogue of both Vondas and the Greek. Perfectly timed and well written, their delivery is so rhythmic, they could bring a certain level of comfort to any situation. The characters simply convey an adroit aura about themselves. Very calculated men, surely a prerequisite to running an international crime ring. Hard to imagine that the actor who plays Spiros Vondas, Paul Ben-Victor, once played Moe in a made-for-TV movie about the Three Stooges.
As I suspected, the Greeks spurn the initial attempts of Marlo. But as the Greek admits, in this day and age of uncertainty, nothing is wrong with being insured. Marlo easily convolutes these words into permission to kill Prop Joe; he only hears what he wants to hear. Marlo sees no other choice but to make his organization the one and only customer.
Clearly, the Greek has the correct insight of Marlo’s character. I’m sure he’s dealt with similar criminals before. The Greek has no interest in violence, or anything else that happens once the product leaves his hands. Those steps just increase the potential of getting caught. No sir, the Greek is in no position to tell Marlo off. The Greek is not from Baltimore.
“If we were to tell him no, he will still come back. This, he shows us.”
“But he is not Joe.”
“He is not Joe.”
-The Greek and Vondas
Clay Davis Being Clay Davis
Thank you for coming indeed Senator. When Davis walked into the prep room as Pearlman, Sydnor and Freamon were discussing the case, I almost wanted to jump into the scene myself to cover up their paper-trail board.
“The comin’ out tells the tale.” -Freamon
After this episode, Clay Davis just might be my favorite character. Davis is played by Isiah Whitlock, Jr., you know him from that Southwest Airlines commercial. But Whitlock, who initially went to Southwest Minnesota State on a football scholarship before getting injured, includes this quote on his site, “I never asked whose cake it was, I just went in and cut myself a piece.” Sounds like the perfect man to play Clay Davis to me.
I was disappointed that we couldn’t get Clay Davis’ patented “shiiiiiiiiit”, instead of the “damn right” when he was in front of the grand jury. Maybe he wasn’t in the right mind. You know it’s tough on Clay when he has to pause to gather himself in front of the cops after pleading the fifth. Then, his heart seemed to jump right in his throat when he saw the cameras outside of the court house. When Clay put his head down, for a second, I thought he was going to make a run for it……then he came up with that sly smile on his face, that my friends was classic theater.
“Nooooo partner nooooooo, some people are confused by some thangs.” -The Honorable R. Clayton Davis
The Death of Prop Joe
It strikes me as odd, yet truthful, that Joe doesn’t blame Marlo for the position he’s in, rather his nephew, Cheese. Joe knows that Marlo will be Marlo. He also is aware that since Cheese was the source, Marlo knows Joe lied to his face. Proposition is too old to go after people with preemptive violence so he’s getting the hell out of town.
“Butchie, Woe to them that call evil good and good evil -Your true and loyal friend, Proposition Joe.”
Marlo wasn’t made to play the son. His Royal Addiction hints to that. Are the Greeks really cool with the departure of Joe? Marlo should have said that they’ll deal with it. Is it true that Prop Joe wouldn’t be able to change up any more than Marlo? Maybe, maybe not. I’d like to think that Joe would have really left the game. But to Marlo, and you really can’t blame him, any part of the past has the potential to be a threat. In Marlo’s world, bridges are burned to the ground.
In the end, Joe takes it without a fight, but I’m not sure that he concedes to being just like Marlo. Many are upset that Prop Joe died. He seemed the one aspect of the drug game with composed intelligence; wise enough to know when to say when. Then again, from the featurette on HBO On-Demand, 1962: Prop Joe, we do know that he got the ‘Proposition’ moniker in grade school. Hard to imagine him losing the penchant to make a deal.
Sweet Jesus Omar Is Back
In one of the other featurettes, 1985: Omar [by the way, I really thought that the three featurettes, the 3rd being 2000: Bunk/McNulty, would be longer than 2-3 minutes], young Mr. Little, perhaps 10 or 11, is looking for trouble with his older brother, his friend, and a couple guns. A common man at the bus stop seems like the perfect target. But upon learning that they only got $16 from the man, Omar decided it just wasn’t right to take from a hard-working guy. His brother’s older friend wasn’t on the same page. That’s when Omar used the force of the trigger to “convince” him that the money should be returned.
So Omar, after all the dirt, is still an honorable dude. That’s why he doesn’t off Slim Charles. He knows that Charles is telling the truth, and he respects the truth. Still, although spared, Slim needs to be more careful. He came face to face with the homo devil, probably best that he lays low for a while. Marlo probably is not stopping with Prop Joe and Hungry Man. Then again, going from Avon to Joe, Slim is a survivor. I can easily see him joining the Stanfield organization.
Some people say you gotta cut the snake off at the head. But who said that Marlo didn’t have any legs? That’s why Omar is smart, even though he calls Marlo a snake. He’s going to start his revenge with going after Marlo’s people, the legs of the operation. If you isolate the problem, you make it easier to solve.
“Yo mark that ride yo.” -Omar
Tony & Carver
You can’t do a true cop show without some white hot-headed cop throwing some civilians around. Tony Colicchio just has the look that fits the mold. It happens. A-hole cops fly off the handle. A-holes anywhere in life fly off the handle. Kenard should have known there would be repercussions to his doo-doo bag prank. Maybe it was worth it. I do love Kenard’s reaction to truancy accusations was “it’s Saturday.” I bet he really knew what day it was, but his instinct was just to lie.
At first, I was disappointed that Carver was going to cover for Tony’s attack of the teacher. Good for him that he stands up for something. Simon is definitely commenting on the “fraternal” rules of the police. Seems like so many times, the brotherhood gets in the way of the right thing.
“It all matters. I know we thought it didn’t, but, it does.”
Oh yea…with the side-effect of Herc working for Levy in our face when he, Marlo and Prop Joe are in the same room…..I must wonder, will this be a factor in the show? Or is Herc too much of a dunce? Simon is putting the scene there for a reason, just not sure how it will unfold. Herc is talking to Carver in the very next scene where tells Carver to do what needs done, in terms of dealing with Tony….but I still don’t think he gets it.
Burrell’s Exit Plan
Ervin Burrell sure had a big show planned for Madame President, Nerese Campbell. You have to wonder if the former glee-club member scripted his “spic and span” references to Daniels as he dramatically tossed the file on Eastern District dirt. What a quintessential “bummer” face from Burrell when Nerese casually dismisses the report. Just like it was when you were four with your mom in a grocery store, it does not pay to go kicking and screaming. Nope, Burrell is just going to carry the water off into the sunset. Maybe he’s done “eating shit”, maybe he’s not. Ervin tries to give the 411 to Rawls in a parting shot. But Bill Rawls just brushes Burrell off. He walks away, perhaps because it’s hard to get used to the taste of shit when he’s dished out so much of it in his life.
Nerese Campbell is smart to keep the file on Daniels all to herself. Of course she’s not going to tell Carcetti the details. Now, she’s got that power over Daniels, especially useful with her mayoral aspirations once Tommy attempts to get himself to Annapolis. Cedric Daniels just may be paying for the money he took the rest of his career. And now, we have more details on what he got his hands on, seized drug money from the East side…..most likely a former piece of Prop Joe’s pie. Sometimes, no matter what you do to reconcile, your past will follow you.
At the press conference, it’s easy to tell that Daniels has no idea why exactly the higher-ups have his back. He’s been given a second chance, he better take advantage.
The New Day Co-Op
The co-op dealers ironically talking about profiting from what some call gentrification in Baltimore. Marlo, still uncivilized, doesn’t want to hear it. In the end, it may be his downfall if he doesn’t protect his business interests; if he makes it that far. Then again, that fact that Prop Joe tried to “civilize” the drug game might be what ultimately did him in.
Snoop & Chris are putting Cheese in their pocket with their gift of Hungry Man, but it also serves as a warning to Cheese. The enforcers will easily do the same to him. Then again, Queso is no stranger to violence himself having received a rat shot from Brother Mouzone and being the Michael Vick of The Wire with his dog killing tendencies.
Jimmy & Freamon
Jimmy is a good detective, but he still shows a lot of youth and immaturity. He’d be screwed without Lester.
“Work it like a real, it’ll feel like a real case, and more importantly, it’ll read like a real case.” -Freamon
Freamon is also trying to expose Jimmy a little by their visit to the land of the forgotten. Yes, they are there to fill in the case background, but Lester is always playing the unseen angles. The Wire, wherever it ends up, has me on the edge of the seat. Much has been said of the media attention and David Simon’s commentary on society, but it’s the brilliant drama of the show which has us hooked.
Michael Kostroff, an actor who was in town to volunteer for Obama and had a chance to meet him, told the Sun that Obama’s favorite TV show is his own: HBO’s “The Wire,” which chronicles Baltimore’s violent drug culture and the police who quixotically try to stop it.
Obama told the Sun his favorite character is Omar, a stick-up artist who steals from drug dealers and then gives the loot to poor people in the neighborhood.
“That’s not an endorsement. He’s not my favorite person, but he’s a fascinating character.”