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The Wire: When I say there are spoilers included, I am not kidding. These aren’t just spoilers, these are SPOIL…ERRRS. SPOILERS! I take no responsibility for ruining anything for you…
First e-mail (from the end of the last season 3 one...):
So...now I've watched the first episode of season four...I knew it was going to be paradigm-shifting when the theme seemed to be sung by KIDS...eek! Not a good sign! Then, the opening scene was just epic. I'm not sure I thought enough about it to really figure it into the theme of the season, but Snoop is fantastic. She and Slim Charles are my faves at the moment.
Other things I noticed about the episode:
1. Prez is credited! Woohoo!
2. Everything is turned upside down - we have a season starting outside of Barksdale's crew, there's a new lt., Avon's AWOL and Herc is in a suit!
3. Prez is a teacher...I have two theories on how this could end: 1) Very, very badly. 2) His shockingly quick trigger could serve him well in a disruptive class and he could be the next Morgan Freeman a la Stand By Me. However, I'm going to stick with it ending very, very badly until I see otherwise. I hope there are no class pets because they'd just be collateral damage you KNOW. (Side note: I spelled collateral right on the first try! One thing to know about me is that that's a big deal. Spelling isn't my best trait.)
4. Collichio scares the crap out of me.
5. I knew something was up with Lex. He was either going to turn out to be deaf, or mentally out of it. Turns out it was the latter.
6. I am expecting big things out of Dukie and Randy. Or early death. :( Hopefully the former.
I'm guessing that with the credits (music and images) and the premiere episode, this season is going to show us how the kids go from being the kids like we know kids (in their world, that apparently equals throwing pee on people) to being kids like Wallace - shown when Randy realizes that he has, in effect, been an accessory to murder. Sad, sad, sad.
I like the political stuff, too, but am still just not sure about Carcetti. I want to like him...I just don't know...
Random: I've decided that a major reason why I like Freamon so much is because he looks like Ernie Hudson crica Ghostbusters.
It's good to have Bodie back and I hope he makes it through the series alive!
Okay...on to episode two...
My e-mail re: episode 2 +:
You guys. You GUYS. This season is breaking my heart. Sigh.
Here are some stream-of-conciousness bits from episodes two through eight...attribute my fast watching to the CRAZY week I've had...I've spent a lot of time editing papers and cataloging books in my living room floor. My back hurts. Seriously.
Anyway, the bits:
4 ep 2
Holy cow! The co-op has stepped up
Randy is awesome! All the shirts for the different grades...
Dukie is breaking my heart ...sympathizes with the bullied girl
4 ep 3
WeeBey's son! WHAT?!?!?!
Forgot season three: johnny :( Does Bubs know about his friend?
I keep expecting one of these SUVs to blow up...I've watched too much Criminal Minds.
I love all the mothers at the gym! Just looking for fathers for their sons :(.
After the first episode, I made the statement that Lance Reddick is the coolest person on television. I stand by that statment even today.
I also love that all of the business terms that they use - like Bub's "glass ceiling."
I love Clay Davis!
I like how the cops ("Sounds arrogant, doesn't he. Like he's the king of everything. Ahhhh, youth.") recognize them for the kids they are.
Bub's apprentice - seeing if Bubs wants him to go to school - they WANT to be kids, and the adults, for the most part, want themt to be kids, too. It's the "tweens" that are pulling them out of childhood. This explains why Avon was so annoying compared to String - he seemed childlike; he wasn't aware of his role as an adult.
LOVE the look between Bubs and Prez on the first day of school! My faves!
During the debate I could hear Carcetti's UK-ness coming out...
4 ep 4
Soft eyes for Prez & Kima - They're both told...as rookies, more or less, to have soft eyes by the pros. Interesting.
Was Michael abused? He moves away from physical contact w/ older men. That first shrink away from Dennis got me!
4 ep 5
Chris - Zombie Master - he IS creepy looking!
They're still just kids...telling ghost stories...
Marlo & Avon - the ignorant rise to the top
Oh Gosh - please don't let Prez hit a kid...he's doing so well! (This is basically a fear I have in each of his scenes.)
4 ep 6
I like the actress who plays Bey's wife.
"Make me pround, here!" - Mama Brice
4 ep 7
NERVOUS (That Royce is going to shaft Carcetti somehow...I just don't trust him.)
Man! The father situation in this show...father figures: real ones/symbolic ones...
Marlo makes it to the train station, but doesn't try to leave - I'm all the time paying attention to those trains now!
That robbing police is going to get it GOOD.
LEVY! I missed him.
4 ep 8
Rawls vs. Burrell - There was something very specific I was going to say about this, but I can't remember what it was. Hmmm...
Bunk taking Omar's advice in looking for the real killer: another table turned for the season.
Sorry that I'm such a huge nerd and actually write down what I'm thinking. Seriously, though, if I had a roommate, we would be gabbing all the time about this show. I'm about to have a week long hiatus but when I get back, we should all try to watch some of season 5 together...
Hope y'all are having good weeks so far!
More of my words...eps 9+:
A moment of silence for season 4.
When I came back from my vacation, I picked up with episode 9...I'm guessing that between their filming of episodes 8 and 9, the writer's strike happened. All of the kids looked SO OLD, especially Randy. He must have grown a foot and a half during the season!
So, the main thing I noticed about season four is that it really did take everything we knew, or were introduced to, and turned it around. I know that before I pointed out Herc before in response to this, but I'd have to say that if season one and two were about the partnership and teamwork of Herc & Carver, then season 3 was about the corruption of Carver and season 4 was about the corruption of Herc and the redemption of Carver. I hate to see them rise and fall, but I'm sure it's more realistic. Herc made me SO MAD throughout this season, because last season he really seemed to come into his own as good police.
Another big turnaround was the role reversal of Michael and Namond - who would've guessed they'd be in the positions they're in by the end of the season?
Characters that broke my heart this season: Randy, Bodie, Bubbles (:() and, surprisingly, Chris. I DEFINITELY wouldn't have guessed I'd feel sympathetic toward him at the beginning of the season, but I was by the end. It's just sad that the path he chose is now being pressed onto Michael. This is the way Chris learned how to handle his problems and escape his inner demons...which was juxtaposed by the experimental classroom for the corner kids - those teachers (& Bunny) were trying to keep those kids from falling into the same trap as Chris by opening them up to other processing methods.
Things I loved about the last few episodes: I love that the show reintroduces characters or things (like Spiros and Walon) without it seeming gimmicky. Having them show up seems natural and seemless, and definitely an Easter Egg for viewers, but never feels like a "ta-da!" moment. I hate it when shows do that. (I'm looking at you, Friends.) I also loved how the season ended with empty corners in Bunny's neighborhood. I love Bunny's character and I'm glad it all worked out for him. Also for Cutty (because I do remember calling them both "doomed" last season). I was so pissed about Herc for Bubbles, but like that Landsman got his "I'm not a total asshole" moment in that situation. (Side note: Whoever had to do makeup for Andre Royo should've won the Emmy. That's all I'm saying.)
I am really apprehensive about starting the new season...I was so hoping Marlo would be killed or caught! I feel weird longing for the return of Avon. Also, because every season until now has shifted the focus to another set of players in the game (season 1: cops, 2: dealers, 3: politicians, 4: neighborhood kids) I'm worried about what could come next. Who's left? I'm also scared for Bubbles :(.
PS This isn't about The Wire, but instead about another show near and dear to my heart (for entirely different, non-exemplary-script-writing reasons). Happy 90210!!!
Reply from Andy:
I’ll type more later, but I’m so impressed that you got the idea Michael might have been abused so early, episode 4.
Now, here’s the next step: Did you get that Chris was also abused when he was a boy? Think about that, and let me know if you want me to give you the evidence. It’s not something they ever say out loud, but it’s there.
YES - he said something to Snoop after he beat Bug's dad to death, plus, you could see the look of understanding pass between Michael and him when Michael asked them in the first place. That's why I found myself feeling sympathetic toward Chris, and this:
It's just sad that the path [Chris] chose is now being pressed onto Michael. This is the way Chris learned how to handle his problems and escape his inner demons...which was juxtaposed by the experimental classroom for the corner kids - those teachers (& Bunny) were trying to keep those kids from falling into the same trap as Chris by opening them up to other processing methods.
It makes me wonder that if Chris, and then later Michael, had been taken into the "corner boys" class and taught better ways to express themselves, would they still be living the life they live now? It's interesting to see the ways different life experiences can influence people...take Chris vs. Omar for example. Could you ever say that one of them had a better/worse upbringing than the other? That one of them lives a better life now than the other? Yet Omar is definitely the most "well-adjusted." Interesting...