Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Talking The Wire

Welcome to our weekly (-ish) conversation about The Wire!

Nicole and I have watched episodes 3 and 4 (Amy will hopefully be joining us again next week.) Here's a quick recap of what we've watched, and our conversation about the episodes:

Episode 3 - The Buys

After early morning "field interviews" conducted by Herc, Carver, and Prez lead to a minor riot and bad publicity for the police, the Deputy Commissioner calls in Daniels. McNulty sends Mahone and Polk to the terrace to get a photo of Avon Barksdale. They come up short, but soft-spoken Freamon comes through with an old photo from Barksdale's boxing days. McNulty and Greggs get surveillance equipment from McNulty's FBI contact.

Episode 3 - Old Cases

Bodie manages to slip through security and escape from lockup. Meanwhile, Herc and Carver continue their renegade ways by traveling to Marlboro to find Bodie and beat him into giving up information on the case. Once they get there, Herc has a change of attitude after meeting Bodie's Grandmother. Furious at being robbed of his product during the "re-up," Avon Barksdale instructs Stinkum, Wee-Bey, and Stringer to double the existing reward for anyone who eliminates Omar and his crew.

First things first. Are you into it more after watching the next few episodes?

Elizabeth: Absolutely. People are starting to have personalities, and I can (mostly) remember character names, which helps. But mostly I'm starting to catch glimpses of the feelings and motivations behind some of the actions, and that makes it much more interesting for me. For example, I really didn't care about McNulty at ALL in the first two episodes, but now I'm beginning to see that he might actually be an interesting character.

Nicole: It really is starting to click. I totally agree with you Elizabeth about McNulty. He was probably the character that I felt the least about throughout the first two episode. I didn't get what his motivation was at all and it seemed like he was just doing things. I was just as annoyed with him as everyone else was. All of the characters were a blur before and now I am having a much easier time recognizing who they are and what the agenda is in all the goings on in the different offices and apartments. I am definitely getting to the point where I am looking forward to the next episode so that I can see what is going on next with all the characters. Elizabeth is Kima still your favorite character?

Elizabeth: Yep, Kima is still my favorite. I really appreciate when writers can write female characters who don't just let things happen TO them - do you know what I mean? She is an active participant in the workings of the case - really, she is the best officer they have, and she knows how to get things done. I just love strong female leads, and she hasn't disappointed me yet. I also am starting to like D'Angelo quite a bit.

Nicole: I love how she is so smart and basically and equal to McNulty, and runs teh other two guys on her team. D'angelo is atarting to grow on me as well because I see him questioning the choices that he has made and am hoping that they might lead him to make some changes down the road.

What have been your favorite parts about watching?

E: I LOVED D'Angelo's speech comparing gang life to chess. I thought that was brilliant, and the analogy completely worked. I'm also getting very interested in the officer with the glasses (Hmm, guess I don't quite have all the names down as well as I thought!), who found the poster of Barksdale for them. I think the relationship between him & McNulty shows a lot of potential. Mostly, I'm just getting excited to see how the relationships start to deepen.

Nicole: I was glad to get to know his story more. He has that "still waters run deep" vibe going on. He quietly goes about making observations and figuring things out and then he will bring the team key pieces of information.

Are you seeing any themes and is there any foreshadowing that you have noticed?

E: Well, I'm usually the LAST person to pick up on foreshadowing, so predictably I haven't noticed any of that yet. I have definitely noticed the way that they seem to portray every department as having some good guys and some bad guys - this doesn't seem to be the type of show that portrays "the cops as heroes" or something like that. There are some cops who are really good cops - McNulty and Kima come to mind - but there are also some who clearly just want to skate along and don't care if they actually get anything accomplished. There are some members of the drug gang who are really BAD guys, and some who are just caught up in a situation they don't really know how to handle. It's interesting that they seem to be setting things up to blur the lines between the "good guys" and the "bad guys", and I think that will be one of the things that makes me like the show a lot.

Nicole: I am starting to worry about the informant that I like. I think his name is Bubbles. He has shown compassion for his friend, and that is how he started snitching again in the first place, in order to get revenge for his beating. Sometimes when they are sitting the car and driving places it seems so obvious to me and I wonder if someone has caught on. It makes me so uncomfortable!

E: Oh, I know what you mean! It seems like he pops up everywhere! When he took the undercover cop in to buy drugs, and then they left and walked up to the van to talk to Kima, I thought for sure someone would see them. I definitely have a bad feeling for him.

Nicole: One of the things that strikes me the most among the cops and the crooks is that everyone seems to think that they are so smart. They have the two cops talking about Mcnulty and how he thinks he is smart, and them Kima is makes a comment about how dumb they will seem if they can't outsmart the criminals and crack the beeper code, since they don't think that the criminals are that smart.

I do agree with you on the mixed nature of both the crooks and the cops. Lots of shades of grey that we are watching develop with each of them. McNulty is such a good cop but we are learning that alcohol plays a factor with him and he hasn't been able to balance his home and work life, which has cost him his marriage and left him with a pretty hostile relationship with his ex-wife. But I like how the plot is thickening in all areas. I'm starting to look forward to the next episodes.

So there you have it - episodes 3 and 4 in the bag! If you are a fan of The Wire, we'd love to have you join the conversation! Where did YOU think the season really started getting good?

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