Monday, April 7, 2008

So What Now?

If you noticed the new header on the page you made note that the title of this blog has changed. Let's face it, The Wire is over so there is no need to talk about it anymore. Let us let it die in peace. I will keep links to the old posts in the right nav. So those of you that might be catching up on the seasons can still follow it in your own way if you like.

Jaded Bitterman is going to be teaming up with Jr. Worthy to bring you a new podcast show, It's the Jaded and Junior Show. Live from Mt. Pleasant, DC we will bring you a wide range of topics and guests. So be on the lookout for those very soon. You know we're gonna rock it like no other podcast you have ever heard. Some topics on the show will be "Two Guys and a Bottle of Jameson", "A Conversation with Montgomery Foxx", "Baller vs. Musician", and our favorite topic, DC.

So in the words of the great wise rapper/philosopher/radical, Be on the Lookout Kids.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Season 5 Predictions: The Follow Up

Figure it would be fun to follow up on my Season 5 Predictions post:

Prediction #1: Snoop and Chris are Going Down!
When we left Season 4, Lestor Freamon had finally discovered the bodies in the vacants and got hair and blood samples from Snoop and Chris. He is on to them and if there is one thing we have learned about Smooth Lestor it's that he does not leave any business unfinished. There are too many things that could have gone wrong with the way Chris and Snoop disposed of the bodies. Mainly, I find it hard to believe there is not at least one hair or bit of DNA in any of those vacants that might point to them. Second, Lestor is simply too thorough of an investigator to not leave all stones turned. Unfortunately, I don't think either ends up dead, but both will end up in jail. If there are two characters on this show that deserve to get got, its Chris and Snoop. Though I will miss the humor that Snoop supplies to the show.

Follow Up: True
Technically, they both did go down, but Snoop went about six feet deeper. And the bodies in the vacants didn't end up playing as big a role as the clocks/wire and eventual discovery of Chris's DNA on Bugs Father (who I don't think was left in the vacants). Snoop got got cause, well, Michael Lee had to make his move.

Prediction #2: Marlo Goes Down...At the Hands of Herc!
Yep. You heard it right. Herc is going to be the one who finally gets to Marlo. Why? "Why ain't in your repertoire no more." No, seriously. I look back on Seasons 3 and 4 and the writers have made a point to show more than one confrontation between Herc and Marlo. The stare down in the lot during Season 3; Marlo snatching Herc's camera and sub sequentially getting pulled over and handed Herc card (which leads to that absolutely hilarious phone call Prop Joe makes to track Herc down); and finally, in a show that is about as unpredictable as it gets, wouldn't it just make sense to have the biggest fuck up cop of all be the one to take down the kingpin? Something just tells me that Herc is "accidentally" going to be the one that finally gets to Marlo. He holds a personal grudge against him and for Herc it ain't about the police work, it's about that grudge.

Follw Up: Sorta True
I guess it actually could be totally true since Herc's capturing of Marlo's cell starts the whole thing in order. And damm me if he didn't make a couple of references this season to his camera. Jaded called it. Didn't he? It'd like Jeter calling a blop single in the bottom the ninth.

Prediction #3: Michael Lee & Dukie Are the New Avon & Stringer
It is set up perfectly. At the end of Season 4 Marlo hands Michael Lee his own corner to run and crew to create. We see Prezbo watching Dukie take the money on the corner and realize there is no escape from the easy money. Michael Lee always acted as Dukies protector and now has him running in the game right along with him. They live together, work together, and now will rule together. Michael Lee being the ruthless corner boy that Avon was, with a heart of steel and a coldness unlike any other and Dukie with the smarts and business sense of Stringer Bell. Together they will be standing tall at the end while Marlo and his crew fall. Nothing lasts forever except the game itself and Michael Lee and Dukie are perfectly set up to take it all over.

Follow Up: False
Michael Lee turned out to be the next Omar and Dukie, well, sigh, just ended up as Bubbles. Though I think we all do agree that Michael Lee could run a crew or even be a Marlo or a Chris. He chooses independence. Gotta love the 5-tool player. And I've read a few people writing that the boy rolling with Michael Lee on his stick up of Vinson ("But you just a boy" BANG! "And that's just a kneee") was insinuating that Michael Lee was not only Omar in style but in sexuality. I don't see it.

Prediction #4: We're Going To See How Fucked Up the Press Really Is
This one isn't too much of a stretch considering we know the press is going to be a major theme this season. But I feel that viewers are going to be exposed to sites and sounds and words they have never been before. Just like politicians, the press plays upon the publics' perceptions. We know David Simon was a writer for The Sun so we know we are going to get that unique and genuine insight that we otherwise wouldn't get. What gets reported, why it gets reported, how it gets reported is really going to open some eyes into how we read newspaper articles. My ultimate prediction in how this will play out within the plot line is that there is going to be some reporter that gets wind of the bodies, finds out too much, threatens to go public, and is forced to hold back information by the police department and/or their reporting will give wind to Marlo that they are on to him and help Marlo avoid prosecution.

Follw Up: True. But We're Not Going To Enjoy It That Much
It's more that were going to see how fucked up one particular reporter is while his two senior editors pave his path to the pulitzer. But we never really grew into any of the press's characters. Sure I loved Gus, but why couldn't we have gotten Gus in, say, Season Two? That way by this season we have grown to really know him. I really enjoyed the Fletcher character and Alma. They showed the good side of the press. Overall I don't think many people enjoyed the newsroom storyline all that much but I found parts of it interesting and the way it tied into the homeless case was classic McNulty (including his dressing down--finally--of Templeton when he realized the scheme).

Prediction #5: Daniels Becomes Police Chief and Carcetti Becomes Governor
Again, neither is really going out on a limb here but we know that the storyline of Carcetti mimics that of O'Malley (current Gov. of Murdaland) and that Daniels was being groomed for Chief. The only thing I think might hold Daniels back is Burrell having some "dirt" on him. But I think Daniels will be untouchable at this point and with Carcetti in his corner he is heading to the top. Will this change a thing? Who knows. I am sure it won't. But it seems like Daniels will be all up in the new investigation into the vacant bodies and it's going to be a major news story and theme within the Governors race that Carcetti will be running. All the pieces matter.

Follow Up: True
Neither of these were a stretch going into the season and Daniels stay was brief and Carcetti wasn't Gov till the season ending montage (where many things happen in a short time). Daniels chose to not dirty the stats and go defense lawyer and from what we can tell our little Tommy might be making a future run for the White House? Could you imagine? hahha. That could be the ultimate series: From the creators of The West Wing and the writers of The Wire comes The West Wing with Tommy Carcetti as the president. That would be awesome.

So there you have it. The follow up to the pre season predictions.

Season 5 Episode 60: -30-

Fear not hoppers. I have not forgotten about you. Jaded Bitterman has a special surprise for this final blog post regarding The Wire. Special Guest Jr. Worthy joined Jaded for a live, off-the-cuff, one-time-only podcast. You can listen to it using the link below. Because so much is spoken of during this unedited exchange, I will leave it to be the final posting of The Game's The Same.

This blog will continue. Like Michael Lee taking out Vinson's kneee, you can count on me coming back.

The Wire Podcast: Jaded Bitterman and Jr. Worthy

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Season 5 Episode 59: Late Editions

Stephen King had this to say about Snoop Pearson:

"...perhaps the most terrifying female villain to ever appear in a television series."

Yet in her moments before meeting her tormentor she stays true to who she is and even shows a side of, might I say, femininity? "How's my hair look?" "It look good, girl." We knew it was coming. If you saw the previews for this episode you saw Michael shooting someone and saying "y'all told me to get there early". We knew it was either Chris or Snoop. The latter making the most sense.

Before I continue I must give a shot out to writer of this penultimate episode, Silver Spring boy George Pelecanos. If you look back at the episodes he has written you will always find him creating absolutely amazing dialogue (there is always some great exchanges between characters before they are killed), tension, and heartbreak. Season 3 he wrote the Stringer getting killed episode that started with the classic Omar/Brother Mouzone confrontation and ended with Omar/Mouzone/Stringer. Last season I am pretty sure he wrote the Randy yelling to Carver "you got my back, huh? you lookin out for me?" episode. And this year, well, he delivered once again with the gut-wrenching turns in Bubbles and Dukie. If you ever get a chance, check out Pelecanos's books The Night Gardener and Drama City. They read like a couple of good storylines from The Wire, but placed in DC.

The theme of this episode seemed to be betrayal. We had the following moves being made:

1. Kima "betraying" McNulty and Lestor by speaking up on their bogus investigation. Bunk knew and didnt do it, but she felt the need to. I still can't believe she is doing this. I mean, I understand her apprehension but come on girl!

2. Carcetti betraying the police by forcing the stats game on them as well as his betrayel of Colvin being shown in a new light. Of course you had to love seeing Namond just kicking it up there with his AIDS stats, using his verbal technique for some good. Carcetti getting dissed by Colvin was a nice touch as well. "Damn Mr. C, you know the Mayor too?!?!"

3. Gus finally betraying Templeton and doing some investigation of his own. Another shot out to Pelecanos for his usage of Walter Reed and mention of Georgia Ave. (read his books, they mostly all take place in that area) and another shot out to Gus for being the only real redeeming character in the newsroom storyline (though I do like Alama and Fletcher).

4. Marlo and Crew betraying Michael Lee...unjustified. Sure Michael was different and moaned a lot, but even after all their shit he still did his thing for them. Even after the jailhouse scene, both Chris and Marlo say they don't think Michael snithced. But neither were willing to "bet their future's" on it. Bad move Marlo. You and your fucking ego--just like Avon--will be your ultimate downfall. Though we won't ever see it.

And since we are nearing the end of the series I want to give yet another shot out to the makers of the show. Something we rarely give credit for is the little shots within scenes that can enhance the message. To me, from music to movies, it's the attention to minor detail that separates the good from the great. Tonight's episode had a few of those moments. Here is another list for you, I'm in a listy kinda mood today:

1. Ever notice that when characters are talking on the phone the voice of the actual character can be heard on the other end? Whether it's McNulty talking to Kima about furniture or Daniels calling Pearlman, if you listen closely, it's the actual characters.

2. When Snoop and O-Dogg are in Levy's office with Herc, when they are leaving, Snoop gives a "chin wave" to both Levy and Herc. Herc replies with a little wave of the hand. Is he boys with them now? WTF?

3. During the big bust scene, Lestor rolls up to Marlo's pit. Without saying one word, he walks past Marlo's crew right to Marlo himself, kneels down, pics up his cell phone, stares him down. No big deal. But then he walks over to the clock on the wall. The next shot is beautifully framed with the crew lined up and Smooth Lestor walking into sight, holding the clock in his hand, and just glancing over at Marlo as they exchange a tense look. Lestor mind-fucking Marlo, what great police work.

4. Reputations are built on the street and when you really think about it, who is in better line right now to gain on their rep than Kenard? Yet, we see the corner boys talking about Omar's death. And while Michael knows it was Kendard, Spider says it's some Pimlico Boys with uzi's. My point is this, that little comment by Spider shows you how easily the truth gets manipulated. Whether its Templeton, McNulty, or who is Omar's real killer, the truth is questionable at best.

5. When Colvin is approached by Carcetti and offered his hand, Colvin gives a quick look over to the cameras--which are not paying any attention to their interaction. I felt this was Colvins attempt to see how genuine Carcetti was being. Was he putting on a show for the cameras or making a real attempt to be genuine. That is why I was surprised Colvin didn't shake his hand. He seemed like a more forgiving guy by nature.

Continuing this long post (damn peeps, this was a very deep and rich episode) brings us to the you-know-what-scenes. The breakup of Michael Lee and Bug was one of the saddest scenes to ever hit the show. And that is saying something. But then it gets followed up with an even more gut-wrenching goodbye between Michael Lee and Dukie. "Who you talking to Duke. I know what they do in there." What a disturbing line. Dukie has tried so hard to find his place for so long. From Prezo and school to working the corner to Cutty's Gym of Reform to caring for Bug to "Arabbin' it." Nothing has worked for this caring and intelligent street kid. David Simon is not going to leave you with a smile on your face when it comes to the breakdown of the family unit followed by the breakdown of society and culture. Dukie is the victim of all these things and we are shaken to our core to see him start his life of Bubbles. We know his people are addicts already so it's in his blood. Will Simon ultimately show us Dukie's descent just as he shows us Bubbles rise? Could he really do that to us? Will Dukie end up Junkie or Junkman?

Classic line of the night:

"Shardene better be awake cause I do believe Lestor Freemon is in the mood for love..."

The No-Shows are getting less and less and with the preview's showing Prezbo I do believe that will finalize it. We have now seen all the boys (with Namond finally making an appearance) and Colvin. Shit, we even got The Deacon tonight. My season-ending montage of showing every character is still my prediction for the season finale.

And speaking of the season finale, I want to give a shot out to all you On Demand mofo's who are now being forced to wait for the season finale for two weeks since you watched Ep 59 LAST week. How does it feel? Think of it this way, this is the last time in your entire life you will have to wait for this show to air because it's over. Sadly, it's over.

On to my series finale predictions (finally). Once again I am basing a lot of this off the previews but we know that Marlo gets out of jail. I don't think he is going to fall. I do think Levy is going to spring him based on the false wire tap. I think the entire investigation is going to go to shit and McNulty is going to fall hard, as is Carcetti once he realizes he too has been "Hamsterdamned" so to speak. With Chris in jail with no bond, I think it's safe to say he is done. Snoop is gone. That leaves us with what happens to Michael Lee? Does Marlo continue to go after him? Does Marlo hit the streets and just start offing The Co-Op? Is McNulty going to jail, getting kicked off the force, or getting away with it? All I know is we have one more kids. Only one more.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Season 5 Episode 58: Clarifications


"That little bitch. I hate him."

Just a sample of some text messages I received last night around 9:22 pm est. Yes fellow hoppers, the biggest murder since Stringer Bell has happened and we are all still in shock--but not surprised. Perhaps some of you are upset it was Kendard---and not, say, Michael Lee or Chris or Snoop--that took out the street legend Omar Little. Perhaps some of you are upset that Omar was got at all (you only have two more episodes to really miss him). Perhaps you are upset because you foolishly thought a player like Omar lives forever in the streets. The brilliance of this murder was that it wasn't some big time shoot out or set up. It was quick, clean, and uneventful. Fuckin Kendard. The cat-torturing, foul mouthed little fucker that we already hated--and now will hate even more. He killed our beloved savior, our moral center of the game, our super hero, robin hood Omar. But you sorta felt it coming didn't you? Omar's depsperation looking for Marlo. Running the streets alone, gimpy, in broad daylight, with a worrisome look on his face. Omar orders some cigarettes, we hear the door open, he stares down who we now know was Kendard, looks away because he certainly sees no danger in a 10 year old hopper. Shot dead and robbed for souvenirs. Kenard looked every moment his age after that gun went off. His rep is secure for a long time.

Omar's death is not the first time a character we love has fallen. We have Wallace, Sabotka, D'angelo, Stringer, Bodie, and now Omar. All players with their own version of the game and each went down for it. In the streets your shelf life is shorter than that of an NFL running back. And you matter even less outside the streets. We see Gus a few scenes later dropping the mention of Omar's murder from the papers in favor of a fire story. At the end of the episode the coroners office mixes up his tags with a random white guy that the doc knew was not named Omar Little. Omar does not matter. That is what they are showing you. A legend of the streets is a John Doe to the common man.

One last thought on Omar: does Rinaldo come back for vengeance in the final episode?

Let me give all due praise to one of the most unheralded characters on the show: Sydnor. Does anyone else recall it was Sydnor is season one that was able to figure out who Avon Barksdale was in the East vs. West Side pick up game? Or the undercover work he did with Bubbles? He is "good police" and this episode was a shot out to good police work. From The Bunk legitimately getting a murder warrant on Chris (and what I think will eventually lead to The Bunk taking down that bastard) to Sydnor and Smooth Lestor finally figuring out the clock code on the phones, this episode showed the viewer what good police do with good police work. I think the case is very close and it's now a race to see who gets to Marlo first. But something tells me we might have another taste of what happened in season three with McNutty and Stringer. Just when McNutty had him, Stringer gets killed. McNutty was more depressed about that than anything: he had him, but didn't get to him in time. Will this also happen to The Bunk with Chris? I hope not because The Bunk deserves to get his man. Even though he did finally "taste" some of McNutty's money by getting him to expedite his lab work. Hey, at least it was for a legitimate warrant and not some stupid serial killer bullshit.

Speaking of that, now both Kima and Carver are in on McNutty and Lestor's BS. Will this backfire? Because Kima is NOT happy about it at all and the foursome is usually McNutty-Bunk-Lestor-Kima. And right now, two of those four are not down with what is going on. Lestor does make a mention of "someone else on this network we don't have yet" when he figures out some of the call patterns. Is that Vondas and The Greeks? Has to be. But I fear, once again, that there is absolutely no way The Greeks go down. That are far too insulated from the streets and have obvious federal protection. Like Furious says in Boyz in da Hood, "you think it's the black man bringing the drugs into L.A? We don't own no cars, no boats, no planes." There would be no Avons, no Prop Joes, no Marlos or Chris' or even Omars if there wasn't The Greeks. Think about that. Think about what falls under the umbrella of crime that they create in the city. From Carcetti to Bubbles (Reginald Cousins is his name now huh?) all the pieces matter.

Speaking of the Bubbles storyline, I think Fletcher is based upon David Simon himself. I remember reading that Bubbles was based off a C.I. that Simon was friendly with during his time at The Sun. Fletcher seems to be developing an affinity for Reginald and perhaps we see a front page feature on Bubs in the paper!

No Shows: Cutty, Prezbo, Namond.

Predictions: based off the previews for next week most of you seem to think that Michael Lee is taking out Snoop while Chris and Marlo get busted. Michael Lee is taking out someone, and since he says, "y'all taught me to get there early" and then BANG!, one would assume it's either Chris or Snoop. But something tells me that preview clip is purposefully misleading. I don't really know. We also see Marlo screaming out about "my name is my name on the streets" or whatever bullshit macho shit he thinks he is spewing. I fear Marlo is going to live and Chris is going to get busted by The Bunk and Snoop is going to get got by Michael Lee. Leaving Michael Lee and...KENARD atop the game.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Season 5 Episode 57: Took

McNutty with that freakin coal miner light on his head had to be one of the funniest things I've seen in a while on the show. That entire scene had me cracking up. From Templeton's worrisome, "that was him...again" to Lestor's comment about the Bawlmor accent, just classic stuff all around. Watching the resulting police action in the harbor just added to the humor. Cops tackling innocent civilians (do they even really exist? innocent civilians?) on the pier was just amazing. All it takes is the perception that you might have been involved and the cops have every reason to kick your ass.

Omar is on the war path and for a second I thought he had broken even and took out Vinson. Unfortunately it was just some stash house soldier Manny. And we also now see that it's not even about the stash. Omar flushed it. He is all about taking down Marlo. Usually, I would be happy about this but something just doesn't seem right with the method by which he is running right now. First, he usually runs with at least one crew memeber (where is Ronaldo?), and secondly hes a gimp. He can't maneuver like the rest. Third, him killing Sevino was very unlike Omar. I was shocked when he did it. His emotions are getting the better of him. I just hope he takes down a few more before he goes down. Let's face it folks, guys like Omar do not last in the streets. And if The Wire is anything, it's unremorseful in showing you that.

What the fuck are those damn clock images about? I have absolutely no clue and no theory on it even. But I do know that if anyone is going to crack it, it's Lestor. Just give him time. What will probably happen is he will crack it and then Marlo will get killed or busted before he can take him down himself. Kinda like McNutty with Stringer: he had em, but Mazone and Omar got to him first.

You will notice that I rarely, if ever, talk about the newsroom peeps. That's because besides Gus I really could care less. I guess I see how it all ties in (obviously) but I just so despise the Templeton character and the M.E.'s that it's hard to really invest and time into them. Thanks the Lord Jesus for Gus, cause at least he makes those scene bearable. (sorry folks but spellcheck isnt working today and I know I can't spell for shit).

"What the fuck just happened?" DA Bond.

Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet happens Mr. Bond. I feel very white today.

The closing scene this week was very poignant. I thought it would actually make a good closing scene for the entire series with Kima saying goodnight to all the different players in the game. A little campy, but very effective.

Note: As much as Jaded hated to admit it...I watched the next episode on Monday. I am sorry and therefor will not offer any predictions since, well, I already know what happens. Ill say this: Best. Episode. Of. Season. Flat out.

Season 5 Episode 56: The Dickensian Aspect

How in the fuck did Omar survive what seemed to be a six story fall? How in the fuck did Omar manage to hide for days in the utility room of the very building that was being hounded by both Po 9 and the Stanfield Scums? I guess it's the same as a serial killer storyline: a strecth. Something we are not used to on our show. But it is TV and I suppose the writers are allowed their creative leniency. Plus, doesn't it just add to the overall Omar mystique?

I'll admit that I loved watching Chris loose his mind looking for Omar. Chris was always so evenkeel, and that is what always bothered me about him. He seems to totally lack emotion (as do most of Marlo's peeps) unless he's beating the face in of a child molesting step dad. A couple of you think that beating might be the downfall of Chris and crew. How could he have NOT left any DNA? And we know from the end of season 4 that Lestor and crew took both Chris AND Snoop's blood. I never count out Smooth Lestor--perhaps the finest detective Bawlmor has to offer on the show.

I'll tell you who else I really love this season: Carcetti. From making his calls for money to his reaction when Norman tells him about the latest "phone call" to the press, Carcetti seems like the real deal as a politician. I am digging how they are opening up his character this year.

As for McNutty and his continually ridiculous escapades, I can only hope there is an end in sight here. Either way he is screwed. If they end up getting Marlo he wont get credit and there is no way he is going to catch a killer that doesn't exist. So now it's only Lestor and Sydnor that are in on it and The Bunk just might loose his mind during all of it.

When Marlo tells the coop about Joe, we see how Fat Face and others don't really buy it. This is later confirmed when Omar gets to him and laughs at the notion. Is the Coop going to take down Marlo? I don't think so, because unfortunately, Marlo is now the direct connect. Doesn't that just piss you off? Omar is running around the city calling out Marlo anywhere he can, but Marlo is no where to be found this episode. Personally, I think Omar is getting a little sloppy in his ways. I fear for him for the first time.

Oh Randy. How sad was it to see what the system has done to once-sweet Randy? Man, that was heartbreaking to watch as he hardened up on Bunk. I just keep thinking back to last season's incredibly emotional scene with Carver walking away as he asked him if he was going to look out for him. Turns out no one looked out for him and now we have yet another angry, young, black man. Everyone failed Randy.

No Shows: Marlo, Chris, Snoop, (last but not least) Namond, Bunny, and Prezbo.

I will be honest, I cannot offer any predictions since I am writing this post far after I have already watched the next two episodes. So I will not divulge what I already know.