Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thrall

Wow, the fourth season of The Wire just concluded tonight. Season Five, shooting next spring and due to air about a year later, it to be the last.

No doubt they set it up for a grand finale. The Major Crimes Unit is geared up like never before, fresh for the season, there's a developed villain in Marlo with personal stakes for McNulty, the kids can be tapped any which way now, and there's the tantalizing possibility we might even glimpse "The Greek" again. Is Nicky Sabotka far behind?

The opportunity for such a tightly plotted, widely plotted show is to really pay off the particular grand investment made by the show's particular fans -- by it's particular demands. This season was remarkable not just for reigniting the series after the big tie-up at the end of last season, but for introducing hope into the always pessimistic mix. Saplings of hope, really. In The Wire world, that's saying a lot.

The bellweather will be whether McNulty stays on the wagon.

Executive Producer David Simon has said that the final season will add the media into the mix, just as this season added the school system, Season Three added City Hall politics (giving us Thomas Carcetti) and Season Two added labor (the decline of the ports and the corruption of the union, the decline of white working class Baltimore).

Who can wait? Rome had better kick ass in January.

For fans of this season here's the four brave young actors who were so memorable, interviewed by HBO. They're all around 16 or 17, so I imagine we'll be seeing a lot more of them in the future.

Here's David Simon being as candid as he usually is, and with a lot of background on the season.

For fans who want to hear what other reasonably intelligent fans are saying about the season, there's a great Matthew Yglesias post with smart comments, and the stalwart Heaven and Here site with the best running discussion all season long (including visits by David Simon himself).

For anyone who has never watched the show but wants to experience arguably the best dramatic series ever made in America, here's Seasons One thru Three on DVD. By the time you finish watching those, Season Four will be out on DVD or in HBO rebroadcasts. Altogether that's 50 hours of astonishingly consistent high-quality episodic.

You'll be all caught up and primed for the final 13 hours come 2008.

2 comments:

Erika Schickel said...

Just watched my TiVo'd final ep, and damn, that was one fine 90 minutes of TV! That show, which tends to move incrementally, went like gangbusters (pun totally intended). The scene between Colvin and Wee-Bey was so beautifully scripted, and I loooooved seeing Naiman's Bitch Mom get her comuppance from Wee-Bey (who has the best eyes). That actress is so chillingly good. I love all the Major Crimes reunion stuff. So nice to see Freeman take the helm and get vindicated. My only quibble was there was a little too much big-brother, adopt-a-banger action. I mean, will every cop end up with his own little homie? Interesting though that out of all of those bleeding hearts, Prez is the only one who didn't leave with a door prize. He's toughened up.
Oh, and all the school stuff is so fantastic. Simply the strongest statement on television about the bankrupt school system. Clearly Baltimore is bad, but you can extrapolate to all inner-city schools. That scene where they're all sitting dumbly in front of their standardized tests (then get back to learning as soon as its over) was the most biting indictment of "No Child Left Behind" I've seen. Especially the moment when the teacher (I'm forgetting his name) glances at the Eiffel Tower model beside him. Between that, the death of Bodie, Carcetti's leaving the Governer's school money behind, and all the rest of it, that world is utterly FUBAR.
Sidenote: hilarious moment when the hospital patient is watching Deadwood and says, "Ha, ha, ha, he said 'Cocksucker'!" Nice little Milch jab? Or a nod? Can't decide.
Oh, and I think Omar is delicious. Such a fantastic character and so beautifully developed this season. Now 2007 is just a year to be killed to get to the final season in 2008.

Mark Netter said...

What a nice compendium of the episode highlights (although it'd be hard not to find one every two minutes!). I was particularly moved by the Colvin/Wee-Bey interaction as well.

Not to mention seeing Michael "unidentified" on the targets board.