Beyond the Bootleg – The Wire Episode 8
By: Vasco B.
Monday, February 25, 2008
For all you Wire fans: We are now down to the nitty gritty.
Only 2 episodes remain of The Wire – the most captivating show on television. For many of y’all episodes 1-7 were out on the street as bootlegs, so this episode (#8) is the first where we’re all 100% captivated. So I gathered a little e-chat with some of my friends who are all as big of fans of this show as I am.
There are spoilers.
Episode 8. *exhale* So…can we pour out a bag of yellow-tops and a shot of Jamison Whiskey for one of the best characters EVER created on TV — Omar Little? Done in by a toddler….
When I saw Omar hit the floor, it felt like someone kicked my dog or punched a family member. Its rare that I actually get emotionally invested in a character on television, the last one that I remember was Kevin Arnold from the Wonder Years.
The fact that Omar was killed by Kenard points out what I feel is the strength of the show. No one is sacred, real people don’t die glorious deaths, and things don’t always add up.
I don’t even know what else to expect from the rest of this season. I’m not sure if I’m worried because they might actually wrap it up, or worried because they won’t.
True Lemu, nothing illustrates that more than these two parts of the show. Did y’all see how the Gus from the paper nixed his story even being covered and how at the end of the episode in the morgue, they had the wrong bodies in the wrong body bags with the names switched up. a legend, laying before you with a hole in his head, and they didn’t even know.
And WTF at jim jones making an appearance on the corner?
You’re right FWMJ about Omar not getting any love. I thought Bunk (given that great scene they had together back in season 4 on the park bench) would have given him more respect.
The thing about this episode it highlights what has been a consistent theme in every season: When the situation gets crazy, legalized drugs, random homeless serial killer — people with true talent shine. Real problems can get solved when people are forced to step OUTSIDE the bureaucratic box. See in this episode: Sydnor really stepping into his own as a great detective and the young Mike Fletcher as a great writer and reporter.
I may be alone in this, but I’m glad Omar’s dead. Not because I wanted him murked — I think it’s safe to say that Omar is the most popular character on The Wire — but his exploits increasingly seemed out of sync with the mood of the show, or even out of sync with what we know of his character. That time he went in the apartment with his partner, guns blazing? They were staking out the place for all that time just to run through the front door? That’s the best plan they could come up with? And then he turned into Batman and lept from the fifth-floor balcony. WTF?
Besides that, I knew he couldn’t keep limping around and catching bodies; he was on this rampage both physically and mentally diminished. Omar’s flirtation with death has been stressing me out for two seasons now — please, anybody but Omar — so when he finally bought it, I actually felt a measure of relief. I didn’t want him to go, but his death was honest, random and bracingly unstagey, which The Wire has always been at its best.
But I think a great point as Frank mentioned is that Omar dies….and life just….well…goes on. Kenard (I think it was kenard, but I’m still not sure) walks out of the store, and life goes on. The Newspaper doesn’t care. The morgue doesn’t care. Even Chris and Snoop don’t even realize, and Marlo just chuckles it off.
This is the third time Simon has killed off a very popular character. The difference is, when Wallace and Stringer got shot each got shot, the show came to a halt. It was toward the end of an episode, toward the end of a season. It’s like the show took a big inhale-exhale. In this episode, Omar’s shot about 15minutes in, and the show just keeps going. It’s kinda sad.
what was also kind of gangster was Gus finally getting the proof he needed that Scott was fabricating all his stories. There’s nothing better than watching some cat that’s been cutting corners the whole time finally get called out on it and get all flustered and tongue tied.
Templeton is so poorly drawn. It’s hard for to muster the appropriate contempt for dude because he’s clearly A Point That David Simon Wants To Make.
I think Templeton may be the only Character in the whole show with no redeeming qualities. None.
And that’s surprisingly rare. No too often in this show’s history is there anybody that I just straight up dislike 100%.
Yea, the only other person I can think of that is that polarizing is Rawls.
Why was it never brought up that he was gay? They showed him in the gay club in season 3, and never mentioned it again.
From this episode: “Jesus McNulty, I like freaky shit every now and again…”
lol. yea, that was too subtle for non-wire zealots to pick up on. I giggled, but the people I was watching it with didn’t pick up on it.
Gene, you work at a newspaper? how’s their depiction of a news room?
Yeah, I do.
The newsroom scenes are pretty disappointing. They get some stuff right but get a lot of stuff very, very wrong. (No web integration for a daily newspaper?) Klebanow and the other dude (with the white hair) aren’t people, they’re villains. It’s not anywhere near as well-realized as the other worlds Simon and Co. have chosen to examine. There’s too much clunky exposition, too much of Gus’s unshakable decency (he’s as noble as Scott is reprehensible), too much dialogue that drives the point home too neatly (the outgoing cop reporter just happened to know EVERYTHING about Daniels?) and too little character development.
What’s wrong with Gus being so likable? I guess up until now the dude has absolutely no flaws….so it makes me feel like something’s gonna happen where he just I dunno….goes off the handle?
I like Gus. But he’s a saint.
I think Gus has asshole potential, but its only hinted at and not flushed out enough. I think the writers needed another season to really dig into Gus’s character and background. They should get into stories about how he knows everyone from the Mayors office to the police headquarters. I know he was a beat reporter before becoming an editor but I’d like to know more. Does he have a family? A Drinking problem? A cousin that hustled? Did he go to school with Prop Joe too?
I say all of that to say, its hard to give the usual wire depth to a character that only has 10 episodes to develop.
the annoyance of the short final season. 10 episodes. what in the world am i gonna do wiht only two more eps left? ugh
Well Sonya Sohn and Wendell Pierce went to HBO execs a while ago to talk about possibly making a prequel film.
As much as I’d love to see it, I don’t think they can do the show justice in a 2 hour film. There are just too many stories to tell, and not enough time. It would take 2 hours just to skim the top of the history of the barksdale organization.
I could see it as a series of direct-to-DVD movies. Kinda like Mary kate and Ashley Olsen’s joints.
except decidely more gangster than those two lil darlings.
they got their drug problems too….
decides against making a heath ledger murder plot joke*
oh wait, i just made it .