Monday, December 13, 2004

saved by bell?

Avon, I heard you're looking for a partner...

The question of this season of ‘The Wire’ was: Who was going to get it? Avon Barksdale, Stringer Bell, or Omar? Brother Mouzone, Brianna Barksdale and Marlo Stanfield could also be potential participants in a blood bath of sorts.

Well… I won The Wire Dead Pool amongst friends. Safe bets were on Avon since he had not had the stronger presence this season and it looked like Stringer was adept enough at manipulation that he could have taken out ANOTHER Barksdale… just to be safe.
But I figured the Wire writing crew couldn’t pass up the chance to show how difficult the transition from ‘streets’ to ‘backrooms’ could be. The Shakespearean tragedy was set-up perfectly: Bell could negotiate with the gangsters AND the politicians so he would HAVE to be hobbled by having his feet on both sides of the fence. His cold business sense and instinct for self-preservation would be no match for ‘family’ (Avon and Brianna) and ‘honor’ (Omar and Mouzone), two things he placed far behind his B.I.

Prepping for ‘Wire withdrawal’ I began reading ‘The Corner’ and, from what I’ve read so far, many of the situations and ideas in ‘The Wire’ stem from details and people documented in ‘The Corner.’ However, a couple of things are not consistent. ‘The Corner’ introduces the ‘Omar-type’ jacker-of-drug-dealers as the lowest-of-the-low so it’s interesting to see Omar endowed with honor (with Mouzone) and loyalty (to his crew), and even love (for his boys) and care (for his grandma). Which brings up another change in tone for the Simon/Burns B-more… ‘The Corner’ talks a lot about the new generation of hustlers as lacking a ‘code of honor’ or larger system of checks and balances but ‘The Wire’ has dealt with the ‘honor among thieves’ angle with the gang-leader sit-downs and the classic ‘no shooting on Sunday’ rule. I think even the Wire-writers are feeling HBO pressure to have more ‘drama’ and ‘sympathy’ worked into it’s study of the B-more underbelly.

Although some of the speeches this season have been too dramatic for my taste (look at Season One and see how quiet and/or restrained most of the scenes play) it’s been a fascinating plot and I can’t wait to see how the Amsterdam/Bunny Colvin experiment works into the political bubbling of Carcetti. Who’s gonna take the weight/heat?

Most folks couldn’t fathom the show without Stringer and I’m looking forward to seeing how they deal with his absence but since I’ve got my swag on with the prediction of the plucking of String… allow me to predict a Marlo/Avon alliance. Marlo is even more calculating and careful than Stringer and is still into clapping for corners with Avon. But Avon’s fire needs a balance of ice and with Stringer wetted Avon will need another cool brother. Marlo even earned Avon’s respect… in much the same way Mouzone and Omar ‘understood’ each other… as warriors.

Of course the red herring pursuit by Mouzone of Omar had to resolve with an alliance and I’ll credit Wire-writer George Pelecanos’ love of Elmore Leonard westerns for the classic alley face-off between the two street ronin. It was only topped by the image of the side-by-side stalk/step by Omar and Mouzone as they moved towards the showdown… Stringer even indicated to Avon that his meeting was at 12… High Noon?

Also, is anyone else noticing all the overdubs for Stringer, McNulty and Carcetti? Dris covers his Brit accent well for two seasons and all of a sudden he can’t handle it anymore? McNulty actually needs more overdubs… what kind of accent is he doing exactly? (B-more chime in!)

And before I’m ‘tapped’ out… DJ Stringer Bell and MC Wee-Bay on some Native Tongue type shhhh?