The Wire 4.4-4.5

4.4 Refugees

How do you make a difference in these kids’ lives? Cutty is trying to teach kids boxing, give them something that shows them discipline and control. He also picks up a job at the school doing “custodial work,” which is pulling in kids off the street and getting them back into school. Cutty finds out this is all just to get the school money as they only have to have students attend twice a year to get funding for them. Prez tries to give a speech about the violent incident that happened in his class, but the kids blow it off. Bubbles is trying to get his understudy Sherrod into school so he can learn math, but Sherrod keeps jumping class.

Meanwhile, the major crimes unit is dying and the wire-tap is cut. Is the age of the wire over? Lester and Kima go to homicide. We’ve spent a lot of time with homicide before, but it’s funny to see it again through a rookie’s eyes as Kima goes through the ropes. There’s a great scene with Kima and Bunk where he talks about how to examine a crime scene. “Soft eyes, grasshopper.” Kima ends up getting the dead witness case because the higher-ups want to delay the case until after the election.

This episode got me thinking more about what makes Marlo a different cut than people like Bell and Avon. He’s quiet and has a wisdom beyond his years. He’s not afraid to play things on the down-low. While Avon was all about reputation, Marlo seems more interested in control. His ways is silent, slow and sinister. He plays it smart, so when he turns down joining the drug union, Proposition Joe decides to turn Omar on Marlo. Both of these guys are smart and aren’t afraid to lay low, so it’ll be interesting to see how they battle.

4.5 Alliances

Prez seems to have found a system that gives him a bit of control amid the chaos: the carrot and the stick. Do your work, get the chance to win a prize, disrupt class or fail to do work, get detention. Unfortunately, Prez gets a bit too soft and caves in on the first day of enforcing detention. We’ll see if this incentive vs. punishment system ends up having an impact on the kids.

Bunny and the professor are still trying to figure out how to go about studying these corner kids. They start thinking about pulling them out and putting them in a separate class. I wonder if once again this will get Bunny in trouble for trying to make a distinction of weeding out criminals from the rest of society. Seems like this could be a great way for it all to backfire on them. Also of note is that one of the kids working with Cutty, Michael, gets tagged by one of Marlo’s guys. Marlo wants to turn him into a soldier. This could show us how some of these kids get into the game.

Downtown, the campaign game is in full swing. Tommy finds out about the witness murder case getting buried and decides to pass it on to Tony. Tommy can’t come out with the information, because it will seem like he’s investing too much in one issue, but if Tony comes out with the story, it’ll hurt Royce, which benefits both of them. It’s intricacies like this to the political game that are easy to pass over, but the amount of detail involved in setting all this up leads to a great payoff that’s still reaping benefits.

Major crimes ends up going for low-level sweeps but comes up empty. The new Lt. Charles Marimow (Boris McGiver) seems too set in his own boneheaded ways of surface level policework. He decides to set up cameras and a wire at the place Marlo hangs out, but Marlo finds out before they can catch anything. Also of note in the Marlo story is that he has his crew stage a murder and get one of the survivors to finger Omar as the murder in the hopes the cops will get him. The game just got a lot more interesting.

 © 2014 James Blake Ewing