The Wire Watchalong: Season 2, Episodes 3 and 4

The_Wire_Season_2Welcome to the Inanimate Blog watchalong for The Wire. Every week all summer we’ll be watching two episodes and posting our thoughts. We’re not recapping each episode in detail; that’s what Wikipedia is for. This week is Season 2, Episodes 3 and 4.

S02E03

Emily: Omar’s back!

Sam: Omar’s back! Yay! He’s the best. I thought it was interesting that in the episode where there’s a fair amount of gay kissing, there also ends up being a fair amount of straight kissing. It’s like HBO said “Okay, sexual content in this one: go.” and David Simon and Co. were were on it.

Emily: Sometimes my mind just kind of blocks out sexual content, especially on HBO shows. It’s like “Oh, something’s on the screen. OK.” so the amount of kissing didn’t even register with me.

Sam: I noticed it particularly in this one because the other kissing is between Stringer Bell and D’Angelo’s baby mama, which had me raise my eyebrows a bit. There’s often a lot of nudity in this show (after all, Orlando’s was a strip club), but I wonder if there’s something to a theory about actual intimate actions meaning something more. Kima and her wife kiss, so we know they’re serious. McNulty repeatedly screws everything up and his lack of sexual performance is more significant than what he manages to achieve with Ronnie. Huh! I might accidentally be on to something on this tangent. Anyway, in Season 2, Episode 3, Stringer talks to Donette about taking care of D’Angelo while he’s inside, and then Stringer takes care of Donette.

Emily: And while Stringer makes sure that Dee has somebody on the outside taking care of him, Avon is looking after his nephew from the inside. When all of the people you do drugs with get poisoned from said drugs, it’s probably going to make you think twice about doing them again.

Sam: You have a lot of opportunities to be scared straight working for Avon and Stringer, but that’s a pretty hard-hitting one. As D’Angelo veers back towards the straight and narrow (or what passes for it in the illegal drug trade), Nick and Ziggy on the docks are veering back off the back of righteousness. Hard up for cash and seemingly honestly wanting to do right by his girlfriend and kid, Nick takes Ziggy up on the offer to divert a shipping container and sell the contents for a quick score.

Emily: We have some interesting uncle and nephew parallels to follow here between the Barksdales and the Sobotkas. Frank has a son but he’s not the one we follow. Instead, it’s Nick that we see more of. Nick probably had a better life than D’Angelo did while he was growing up but finds himself in a similar situation. Both are unmarried young men with a child who are a bit adrift in life.

Sam: Huh! I knew the relationships between each set, but I hadn’t lined them up so nicely in my head. It seems like the moral of the story in The Wire is to listen to your damn uncle because he probably knows what he’s talking about.

Emily: Either that or that you should have enough ambition to find your own path in life because if you just go into your family’s business you might find that you’re actually not the right fit for it.

Sam: Basically, if you’re going to get out, get out, but if you’re going to stay in, you should probably listen to your uncle more than you do. Back on the real straight and narrow, Bunk and Freamon (and McNulty and Officer Russell) continue to try to unravel the story of the girls who died in the shipping container. More happens on this in the next episode, but for now, let the sartorial decisions of the team not go unremarked upon: may Freamon’s brash, tweedy impertinence go on forever.

S02E04

Sam: We’ve mentioned in the past how much we dislike the fake quotes at the beginning of the episodes. I have a much better quote to start this episode, and it’s not fictional: “Dicks. Dicks everywhere.” Man, everyone in this episode is being an asshole to someone.

Emily: For an interesting change of pace, McNulty is probably the least dickish, especially when it comes to his estranged wife.

Sam: Yeah, but it should be noted that it’s not so much that McNulty is not a dick as everyone is just extra dickish to make up for it. From the Barksdale’s lawyer, who is the sleaziest son of a bitch to ever carry a briefcase (and don’t you want to slap the smirk right off his face!) to Valchek, who’s basically always a dick to everyone, to Rawls, who thinks he’s screwing over Daniels in who gets assigned to the new detail… Dicks. Dicks everywhere.

Emily: Even two of the most pleasant people to spend time around, Daniels and Kima, are dicks to their wives. They made major life promises and they totally went back on them.

Sam: That was pretty fun to watch, though. Great scene.

Emily: I’m just glad that we’ve got the team together. No more of this setup bullshit. We even have Bubbles in the loop as an informant again. Poor Bubbles.

Sam: I’m so delighted to have the band back together. I didn’t actually think it was going to happen, I assumed we’d just get the various disparate storylines for the season. While there’s still going to be a lot going on in different places, I was happy for everyone to get to work together again. Especially now that they’re happy to get to work together. Bubbles, aw, Bubbles. I liked that McNulty strong-armed him back into working with the police. I also like how easily manipulated he is. At least, how easy he is to lure in. Scrap radiator? It’s better than cheese in a mousetrap.

Emily: The fact that he’s so easily manipulated is totally why he’s so lovable. He’s just a simple guy. That Omar knew to leave the radiator shows how smart and observant he is, though.

Sam: Omar knows everything. I love Omar. I love that last episode, when McNulty starting looking for him in earnest, one of the primary descriptors he gave was “Shotgun about this long…” You know, that guy, about this tall, hair like this, shotgun this long… Oh, Omar.

Emily: Fortunately, he’s back in Baltimore so we should be seeing a lot more of him. See you next week?

Sam: See you next week!

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