The Hunt – Episode 11, Season 1 – The Wire
Teleplay: Joy Lusco
Story: David Simon and Ed Burns
Directed by: Steve Shill
Opening quote: “Dope on the damn table.” Cedric Daniels
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
I’ve watched Season 1 multiple times and there were three things that I noticed this viewing that I hadn’t noticed before. The first is that in the midst of the most acute stress that could befall a police department, the shooting of an officer, Rawls and Burrell lead particularly well.
Rawls arrives at the scene of the crime – Kima’s been taken to the hospital – and his first order of business is to go to Landsman and ask him what he needs. Then he promptly gives him what he needs – room to work the crime scene without additional bodies from the DEA and Narcotics. He then asks Landsman to bring him up to speed. He gives two directives “Slow this down to a crawl and give them no chance to f* up in a meaningful way” and noting that neither the helicopter nor the tails saw a car leave the scene – to check out which direction the perps may have fled on foot. Rawls then leaves it to Landsman.
He then tends to McNulty. He cares for him in such a way that is not false or condescending and helpful. He gets him up and moving and takes him to the hospital to check on Kima and meet with Forester, Burrell and Daniels who are listening to the tape they have of Kima in the car.
Rawls handling of McNulty (in the video clip below) in the hospital is believably merciful given the history between them.
“Shit went bad. She took two for the company. That’s the only lesson here.”
Lester Freamon’s leadership skills are put into the spotlight when he gets to the crime scene and barks at Herc, Carv and Sydnor who are wallowing in feeling bad. Lester asks them where they’d rather be if there was some chatter on the wire regarding the shooting. They see Lester’s point and head to the roofs. Lester asks if anyone has contacted Kima’s people – and Carv volunteers to tell Cheryl.
We see Burrell step up speak to Cheryl in the hospital when the Commissioner declines (even though he is a little slow on the uptake when Carv describes Cheryl as Kima’s girl).
I’ve written before about how I think Avon and Stringer are wrongly depicted as ‘brawn’ and ‘brains’ respectively. This is the second new thing I noticed in watching this episode – namely that it’s Avon who is looking at the plan that Stringer had put together and pointing out all the flaws in it. They are together in the club quickly putting a plan in place for damage control and Avon succinctly points out that they knew Orlando had snitched (which meant that he would assist police in exchange for a lighter sentence on the reverse buy) and didn’t anyone think it was suspect that he suddenly had $30,000?
Stringer takes the blame after mentioning that he thought when dispatching with Orlando, Wee-Bey, Little Man and Savino could “have their payday” in taking the $30,000. Avon gives him a “what were you thinking” look but says nothing more. You get a sense that he’s firing on some cylinders and keeping his thoughts to himself.
It’s decided that Little Man will have the same fate as Orlando, Savino will take the charge, and Wee-Bey will head off to Philadelphia. In the logistical planning of getting Wee-Bey to Philadelphia and the truck back to Stringer, D’Angelo is called in. Not knowing exactly what is going on, D’Angelo fears the worst.
Another story line that is being developed is around Wallace. Last we saw, Daniels had dropped him off in the country to stay with his grandma until they could bring him back to testify before the Grand Jury on Brandon’s murder.
Wallace is homesick and has been calling Poot. We realize that no one at the low rises other than Poot knew where Wallace was. A parting scene at the deserted basement office at the detail shows the call coming in with no one to monitor it (the third thing I noticed for the first time), and Wallace asking Poot for money to catch a bus home – which is a heartbreaking foreshadowing of Wallace’s fate.
We learn that someone in the detail is reporting back to Burrell. Even though Daniels makes the decision not to disclose the main stash house in the raids to put “dope on the table” someone has let Burrell know.
In a last ditch effort to save this bit of intelligence for more meaningful arrests, McNulty goes to see Judge Phelan. When Judge Phelan is less than enthusiastic about confronting Burrell, McNulty puts two and two together and comments “Back on the ticket, huh?”
The most fascinating aspect of the raid on the stash house is a silent exchange between Herc and Carv when they find bundles of cash under the mattress. Without a word, they both take a bundle and stuff it into their flack jackets. Is it because they know they can get away with it? Is it because Daniels has already accused them of doing something similar when in fact they hadn’t – kind of a “they already think we’re guilty so we might as well be guilty” line of thinking. Or have they always been predisposed to being opportunistic if a situation like this presented itself? I honestly don’t know.
A la Carte
- “See, you moving up in the world…long as you don’t fall in with the trash they’re taking out.” Bodie talking to D’Angelo.
- As smart as Bunk is, when Lester returns to the path that Wee-Bey and Little Man took to escape the scene, he is the one to find the important evidence.
- There is a great shot of McNulty looking at Kima’s baseball hat when he returns to the detail that shows us just how ripped up he is.
- Prez continues to shine under Lester’s mentoring and is able to identify Wee-Bey’s pager code as 07 and tie it back to the Baltimore General ER where Wee-Bey was treated for the bullet in the leg compliments of Omar.
- Levy’s defense of Savino is brilliant.
- Were you impressed with Wee-Bey’s aquariums? I was.
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
The Wire – Episode 6, 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
Cleaning Up – Episode 12, Season 1, The Wire