Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Wire Season 5 Episode 7- "Took" review

One of the million things I love about this series is how they weave characters all in this one universe. We see what became of Cherry, the former Barksdale cut-house operator, who now is employed by the Stanfield organization. And lo and behold, Savino is back as well (although in the previous episode, we see Savino too when Chris is on the hunt searching for Omar)- also employed by the Stanfield crew.

Once arriving, the two are horrified to find what is inside. Omar has stormed the stash house and killed one of the men, Manny- but left the other (named Vincent) tied up and alive. Alive for one purpose- to send a message to Marlo. And the message is that Omar is out on the streets waiting for Marlo and the whole city will know that Marlo is not man enough to come out to the streets to face him. Omar in turn, flushed the entire stash (4 kilos of heroin) down the toilet.

This is a very dangerous Omar Little right now. With his injury and the loss of Butchie weighing heavily on his mind, Omar is single-minded. He will bring down all of Marlo's muscle and disrupt his operations as much as possible- in order to get Marlo. Omar came at the Barksdales hard in season one, but even then, he wasn't coming at them as hard as he is with Marlo and his people.

And from that scene at the stash-house, we see a dead body. Which means that Omar has broke his word with Bunk about no more bodies on him. This was something that Omar was adament about keeping when we saw him talk to Reynaldo last year. However, Omar is vulnerable and weakened now- which makes him very dangerous. And if you didn't think Omar would continue to drop bodies, we cut to later in the episode, with Savino walking down the street.

Omar has been staking Savino out for a while and disarms him quickly when he emerges from the shadows. Savino admits that he did work with the Barkdales when Omar recognized him (I remember that Savino, Stinkum and Wee-Bey were on the hunt for Omar in season one and burned his van). Savino tells Omar that he had nothing to do with Butchie's murder. He says that it is all Chris and Snoop. Omar coiunters by asking that since Savino is muscle, what would he do if he was there at Butchie's bar.

Savino has no answer. Omar knows that he's right. And after a pause of what I believe was deliberation, Omar decides that he doesn't care about the promise he made to Bunk. In turn, Omar blows Savino's brains out in the middle of the street.

I read on some bulletin boards, that Omar committed his first seemingly evil deed by killing Savino. I don't see that. I see him taking out Marlo's muscle as something normal that he would do in th situation. We saw him going through the Barksdales in the first season. Omar only puts his gun on people who are in the game, and if you wronged Omar, then that's your ass.

To me, it's breaking the promise to Bunk that may be Omar's undoing. "A man got to have a code" as Omar once told Bunk, and Omar has always been a man of his word. Although, with a major injury, dead loved ones and a huge bounty on his head- Omar may not really have any other options.

Later, Omar sneaks up on Michael's corner- and tells Michael to inform Marlo that he's going to drop all of his muscle until Marlo gets the heart to come to the streets and dance. And he mentions that he is responsible for what happened to Savino. Michael is shook because he is afraid that Omar would recognize him from the shoot-out at Monk's condo. Fortunately for him, Omar did not.

While Michael and his whole crew were frightened, there was a point made to show Kenard's reaction. He was exasperated that the guy limping on a crutch was Omar- and commented, that he was "gimpy as a motherfucker". This plays into episode 8 but it shows how Omar- despite his legacy- is becoming less and less relevant to the younger kids in the game. These kids are so emotionally numb- and they can't relate to someone like Omar with his code of ethics that he adheres to.

Again, this plays into episode 8 which is a very powerful episode. I know my analysis of that episode may be a few thousand pages long.

Freamon and McNulty's fake serial killer story continues to pick up momentum and now, it's completely out of control. With McNulty posing the call to Templeton and sending him the pic of the homeless man in the previous episode, that is enough to allow funding to see what is Marlo's cell phone (which everyone thinks is going to the serial killer investigation). Templeton seems a bit shocked at the turn of events but loves to have the chance to shine in the spotlight. McNulty though plays along with Templeton, because his lies are furthering McNulty's own lies.

It's amazing how this investigation is spinning out of control. The police searched everyone in the vicinity with a cell phone, and trying desperately to catch this guy since it's a mandate coming from the Hall. The mayor's purse-strings are officially loosened. With the media attention and the positive press Carcetti is getting from it, this case is crucial. Now, it seems that McNulty and Freamon are doing everything in their power to keep this fake story under control.

Freamon is getting close to cracking the code. There is something that is of importance with the clocks. I have trust in Freamon- who is the closest THE WIRE has to Sherlock Holmes. Freamon is a brilliant chess player when it comes to police work. It may take him a while, but he will figure out this code.

On to the Clay Davis storyline. Since season 1, this case has been brewing. The detail was following the money and Lester built a great case against Clay Davis. Freamon was able to see where the money went to and how it dispersed itself. Who got paid and where the money didn't go.

Rupert Bond and Pearlman never expected that the case would blow up in their face like that.

Clay hires Billy Murphy to represent him, and convinces him through his great bullshitting- to not accept the full fee of representation. Murphy is impressed with Clay's shownmanship and decides to take the case in order to go against the State's Attorney. On the stand, Bond and Pearlman threw everything that they had at Clay. From Freamon's testimony to Damian "Day-Day" Price (from season 1) testifying against Clay- they thought they had it.

Billy was able to chip away at Day-Day's credibility and through his showmanship, Clay was able to convince the entire jury that it's cash and carry in his district. He never keeps a dime and disperses it to people who know him and need something. The way that Clay had the whole courtroom eating out of his hand was spectacular. But also, very believable. If Marion Barry can sway D.C. to elect him back as mayor after being caught on video smoking crack, I can imagine this. Clay, used his charm to get off. Bond and Pearlman never counted on the power of old-fashioned charisma and bullshit.

Bond should have taken the fucking trial federal. Now, the case is as good as dead.

Bunk has been able to do a lot of exceptional work in terms of real police work- by connecting the man Chris beat to death last season to the Stanfield crew. And after Michael's mom informed Bunk that Michael knows what happened to her ex, Michael is arrested and brought in for questioning.

He stands tall and does not implicate Chris in for the beating. I'm glad that the murder may be what brings down the Stanfield crew. Remember, Chris spat on the body after killing the man. So, over a year from now- Bunk may be able to help bring down Marlo.

I think Bubs may be the one character who emerges from the ashes like a phoenix. He seems content finally- and has his life somewhat in order now. He's working at the soup kitchen (when not handing out the Baltimore Sun as well) and spots Fletcher. I see a real maturing in Bubs when he refuses to take Fletcher's money. He says it's not about that- it's about telling whatever story seems the best one to tell.

Speaking of stories, Templeton is making enough of them up, and Gus Haynes is able to realize that the guy is making this shit up. Although, Klebanow and Whiting defend Templeton and his work- it's becoming more obvious that Templeton is fabricating these stories. However, it may take Gus a while to convince everyone that Scott is a liar.

Holy shit, Munch is at the bar. Nice Homicide:Life on the Street moment when we see Munch talk about how he knew how to run a bar (as he did on Homicide) as Gus walked on (Clark Johnson played on Homicide with Richard Belzer too).

And the end is spectacular- lifted from Richard Price's "Clockers" with Kima doing her own rendition of "Goodnight Moon" with Elijah. Goodnight scammers, goodnight fiends, goodnight hustlas..goodnight to one and all.

It may be the closest this show has had to a happy ending but I think it's the perfect ending for this episode (maybe for the show as well now that I think about it). All of these type of characters exist in this world- and the ending seemed to be an acceptance of that.

Absolutely beautiful and for his first time directing, Dominic West did a magnificent job.

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