Monday, January 28, 2008
hold on to jesus' hand:
How good was episode four? See, I told you haters to keep the faith.

We've got a couple weeks before the next installment of WireTAP. But I can't wait! There's nothing I love more than guessing how The Wire will wrap its plot up, not least of which because whenever I try I get it massively wrong. But why should that stop me? I'm a journalist!

So here's my guess for season five -- thanks to friends BP and KG for bearing with me as I thought this through over IM. (I use the term loosely, natch.) Herc tells Carver that he knows how Marlo cleans his cash: Levy helps him funnel it from the streets to the ministers, to the front businesses, to the politicians. Carv steps up, goes to Freamon or Daniels and eventually gets made Western District commander in return. (Mello, mirroring the Sun storyline, takes the equivalent of a buyout.)

Cheese doesn't realize that by selling out Proposition Joe, he's just outlived his usefulness to Marlo. Cheese gets killed by Omar. Marlo either lets it happen or kills Cheese himself. Now that he has the Greek's hook-up, he tells the co-op: take my package, get out of the game, or die. He sets to work trying to finish off Omar, thereby knocking out his last obstacle to absolute domination, and any co-op members who resist. Who knows: Maybe he kills Cheese as an olive branch to the co-op, as if to say that Marlo will avenge the "unjust" murder of Hungry Man, although Marlo himself murdered Prop Joe. Kings are capricious by nature. Marlo appears to have Baltimore by the throat.


As the Greek prophesied in episode four (he may not be Greek, but he is Aristophenes), he doesn't want all the violence that Marlo is bringing -- especially when Marlo can't easily kill Omar. Maybe Chris or Snoop falls to Omar, and Marlo just can't bring Omar down once and for all. The Greek's desired stability is threatened. So he and Vondas figure: fuck Baltimore. This town is dead anyway, thereby mirroring the theme of the entire show. They leave. The good coke & dope leave with them. All of a sudden Marlo looks like a Kurosawa character, atop a throne of bodies but with nothing to show for it.

And that's when Major Crimes gets him. Totally illegally, after Herc's violation of attorney-client privilege. But no one cares: Carcetti wants the crime-drop, the Sun wants a good story, Daniels wants Major Crimes back, Major Crimes wants to be Major Crimes again. In the end, it's precisely the systemic corruption of Baltimore that the show has railed against for 5 years that accidentally benefits the good guys. Marlo goes to Jessup, where he's murdered by Wee-Bey as Avon watches.

What's everyone think? Too neat, bright, happy an ending? Yeah, me too.
--Spencer Ackerman
Way too happy - it leaves out the dangling twin threads of Daniels' dirty past and McNulty's doomed serial killer invention. Both will come to light in time to take down both men, and probably the cases they're working on, too.

You're dead right about the show in general, though - episode 4 was about as good as it's ever been; even the much-maligned Sun arc is looking a lot brighter.
Blogger Christopher M. | 8:16 AM

Yeah, but what about the Sun/phony serial killer plot? I actually like your plot better than the one I see shaping up, where the Big Lie/Homelessness plot eats up the shortened season and the street (always the best part) gets short shrift.
Blogger JK | 12:51 PM

You forgot McNolte and Beady's marriage (covered by the Sun, natch)? Spider beating Apollo Creed? A reunited Omar and Brother Mouzone reprising the "who's-on-first" bit at the Orioles' postseason opener?
Blogger Armsmasher | 5:28 AM