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Red Right Hand: TV08: THE WIRE: "-30-"
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.


TV08: THE WIRE: "-30-"

Continuing my review of my favorite episodes of stuff from the last calendar year Not necessarily the best of the year, but ones I liked for one subjective reason or another.

There will be spoilers.

That which goes up, must eventually come down.

Satisfying finales are hard to come by, it seems, between sudden Journey blackouts and unresolved cliffhangers, though there are two such things on my list. This is the first.

David Simon came though for us long-devoted Wire fans. The Wire has always been about the long game, and I agree with Time Magazine in the idea that it's antithetical to single out a particular episode (though their choice of "Late Editions" is a solid one, very well written within itself for Michael's story) but in "-30-" we're getting five years of payoff for our paying attention so closely for so long.

Simon really made an effort to let you know where everybody stood and was likely to continue standing for some time to come. And the bastard can put a smile on your face and break your hear in a matter of seconds. Syndor takes up the mantle of McNulty, looking out for real police work in B'mo. And Dukie, the good kid we knew would eventually break our hearts when we met him in the fourth season, chooses the needle and fulfills that destiny.

And as a fan of Homicide: Life on the Street, to which I view The Wire as spiritual sequel series, I was glad to see Clark Johnson in the show for this final year and also to close the same door that he opened by directing the finale, sixty episodes after he directed the pilot. That's also something we'll see again on this list.

Though calling this a satisfying finale is a little strange because it's typical Wire, to be sure. It's not full of win, it's win some, lose some. If it was all win, it wouldn't be right. It wouldn't be satisfying. It would suck.

And the fight is never over. This show made that clear. Good men fall on their swords for the right to see something good done, only to be replaced by those who out their ambitions and ego first. Daniels for Valchek. If one man escapes the life (Bubbles) another is sucked in (Dukie). But it works both ways. Omar may have been felled, but Michael's looking to fill those shoes. And one day, he'll end up like Omar. Baltimore goes on as does the cycle.

In that sense, I suppose the final episode reveals the cup half-empty or cup half-full side of you.

Regardless, this finally left me with enough closure for our characters, but the sense that The Wire is still going on in Charm City...just nobody's shooting it.

If you haven't seen this series, you need to. There's never going to be a another show like this.
©2024 Michael Patrick Sullivan
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