The Wire – Episode 6, Season 1 – The Wire

Lester, Sydnor and Herc

Teleplay: Ed Burns
Story: David Simon and Ed Burns
Directed by: Ed Bianchi

Opening quote: “All the pieces matter” Lester Freamon

Spoiler Alert: This is written for those who have viewed The Wire at least once if not multiple times. If you have not viewed, please enjoy the wonderful experience of the series for the first time with the delight of not knowing what is coming next. I encourage you to leave this blog and go watch The Wire, or better yet, buy the DVDs from Amazon (affiliate link). The Wire: The Complete First Season

Guess who* said this and about which system: “I’m going to tell you something, just my opinion but the [fill in the blank] system in this city is f*d up – it’s a big ass f*ing joke, no offense.”

Once again, we’re reminded that the systems and institutions in The Wire are completely dysfunctional.

Kids are being raised by kids. In the opening scene, we have Wallace motivating the handful of kids that live with him to get up and go to school. When they don’t move quickly enough, he warns them, “if you want to end up in foster care…just climb back into bed.” Even though they’re living in a condemned row house with pirated electricity (an extension cord from the power lines coming in through a broken window), we will see in Season 4 of The Wire, that Wallace is right, it’s much better than being in the system.

Daniels goes to Burrell to try and stop Rawls for prosecuting the murders too early.

The Baltimore Police Department is completely dysfunctional. Budgets and politics trump real police work, “I have no love for your wire tap,” Burrell tells Daniels.
Nobody outside of the Daniels’ detail and Judge Phelan really wants to solve this case. The three murder cases that Bunk and McNulty have linked to the same gun, and one witness who puts D’Angelo with one of the murder cases, are still being investigated with more and more information coming out on Avon. Rawls wants the positive metrics that would come with closing down the cases and prosecuting the three murders, even though, as Bunk points out, none of the cases will get past the Grand Jury. Burrell, finally relents, when Daniels points out that if they can’t make a case against Barksdale, they won’t have a good answer for Judge Phelan. For the moment, politics trumps budgets and murder close statistics – Daniels and the detail can stay up on the wire through the end of the month.

Avon (along with Stringer and Stinkum) go to the low rises to pay the bounty.

There’s a wonderful scene, done in slow motion with music in the background, which shows Avon, Stringer and Stink walking into the low rises. Avon looks to the right and the left, not out of paranoia, but rather, taking in his empire – relishing in it. He’s come by to make good on the bounty he offered for Omar or one of his people. Wallace gets $500 for his part in the capture and ultimately the torture and murder of Brandon. I think this is on of the few times, if not the only time we see Avon anywhere near the drug trade.

Meanwhile, Santangelo is on the roof, when Avon makes his visit, but manages to miss the entire meet-up and an opportunity to get some photos of Avon.

Wallace is visibly shaken when he and Poot see Brandon’s body on the hood of the car early in the episode. Later on he tells D’Angelo how much it bothers him. Wallace asks D’Angelo why they can’t just sell the stuff and walk away – words that D’Angelo (who heard it first from McNulty) said to Bodie, Wallace and Poot. “But it’s not like that,” D’Angelo says, “You’ve got to let it go.”

“They tend to go to that one payphone in the courtyard a little too much.” Lester comments on the good fortune they’ve had with the wiretap they have the phone. This will prove prophetic.

One of the tipping points in the episode is McNulty reaching out to Omar after he discovers what happens to Brandon. He picks up Omar to take him to the morgue with his two sons in tow. “It’s my night to have the kids,” McNulty explains to Omar. The video below captures Omar’s reaction at the morgue.

A la Carte

  • The ‘rhetorical’ and ‘reasonable’ conversation that Rawls, Landsman and McNulty have is pretty much the only comedy we have in the episode.
  • McNulty doesn’t enjoy the good graces of Rawls for even an entire episode.
  • We discover that D’Angelo is a clothes horse.
  • *It’s Bodie who makes those comments about the juvenile justice system after getting rousted by Carv and Herc…again.
  • A nice scenic couplet – McNulty playing soccer with his sons, and D’Angelo playing football with the kids in the projects.
  • “That boy ain’t got no luck.” Bubbles on Johnny

The Target – Episode 1, Season 1, The Wire

The Detail – Episode 2, Season 1, The Wire

The Buys – Episode 3, Season 1, The Wire

Old Cases – Episode 4, Season 1, The Wire

The Pager – Episode 5, Season 1, The Wire

One Arrest – Episode 7, Season 1, The Wire 

Lessons – Episode 8, Season 1, The Wire

Game Day – Episode 9, Season 1, The Wire

The Cost – Episode 10, Season 1, The Wire

The Hunt – Episode 11, Season 1, The Wire

Cleaning Up – Episode 12, Season 1, The Wire