In this time of fear and uncertainty, I finally started #TheWire. Here goes: a middle-aged white lady watches the greatest show on earth.
I’ve watched the first 5 so far. There will be SPOILERS, so if you haven’t seen it, feel free to mute this thread.

Of course, this applies to the kind souls who haven’t already muted me for my political rants and weak jokes.
So this show premiered in 2002 and People Magazine waited 16 years before naming Idris Elba the Sexiest Man Alive?

Insubordinate. And churlish.
I used to scoff at people who thought they discovered Michael B Jordan in Creed and Black Panther b/c I knew he was a star since Friday Night Lights. Who’s the dumb ass now?

(still/always: me)

Look at this precious, beautiful boy.
OMG this scene.
His first appearance!! There’s no one else on screen when he’s in a scene. Not just Omar, but Michael K. Williams. I remember watching “The Night Of” and I literally felt sorry for every other actor.
He’s totally fine pointing a shot gun at a baby, okay.


(seriously, don’t ruin it for yourselves)

(this is beautiful and you’re gonna wreck it)

Omar’s gay!

The greatest character in TV history, played by one of the greatest actors in the world, is gay. And tender and loving and funny and amazing and fearless and feared and I love him. OMG.
When I heard about “the fuck scene” in #TheWire, this is not what I expected.
When your new co-worker hasn’t figured out you’re gay yey, so he stops by your house in the middle of the night.
OMG these characters. This fool Pryzbylewski pistol whips a kid and blinds him, then proves to be invaluable in the office. Like when you think Kima’s running down the hill to stop a police beating, but she’s actually joining in.
5 down, 8 more to go!
Stay tuned OMG I'm obsessed.
Give this man an EGOT.
I thought McNulty's kids would be playing when Omar saw the body of his beloved. I wanted him to scream in agony so the kids would hear it from the floor above. And then that’s exactly what happened. And it ripped my heart apart.
"You come at the king, you best not miss."
(I watched this sequence 5x)
Wallace’s little sister unable to figure out her math problem when it’s about trains, but getting it instantly when Wallace puts it in terms of a drug deal. “Count be wrong, they’ll fuck you up.”
His whole self and body is in this character. Michael K Williams was a model, a choreographer, and danced with Madonna and George Michael. #OhIndeed
Clean for 3 days and thanking the Lord.
When the guy who hates your guts can still tell you it's not your fault.
Wee-Bey's the gif guy!

Stringer: “Well, shorty was a cop… And she ain’t dead.”

Surprisingly cute for a guy who raped a drugged girl, let her die then tossed her in a dumpster.
No, no, nope.
No, no, no, no, no.

“This is me, yo, right here.”

How DARE you.
I was bawling. I’m too fragile to watch this right now.
This was brutal and I was sobbing but I could still admire the touch of that Tupac poster.

The Hate You Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody:


Ah, Herc and Carver. Silently debating then deciding to take some money.
Very happy these two got together.
Back to work.
How can it possibly get better than Season One?

When I wonder why I never watched it in the first place, I think I thought it was depressing. It's not. It's devastating which is very different and way better.
Thank you to everyone who raved about the show, especially @Nick_Beaton who told me he re-watches it regularly!
And thank you to @AoDespair for creating something so beautiful, brilliant and humane.
When you write about #TheWire and @AoDespair posts your thread.

Time for Season 2!
So! #TheWireSeason2 blew my mind. I'm not live-tweeting but I scribble while I watch and I've left my crazy tangents in. I haven't read anything online b/c I don't want spoilers but I checked IMDb for a character name I got hilariously wrong.
Herc: White boys wanna sell drugs in Baltimore they have to make different laws for it. Like even it out for them.
Kima: Affirmative action?
Herc: Leave no white man behind.
I love Amy Ryan and I love Beadie Russell, but wow, that got dark quick.
"I'm an XL."

"No doubt."
Idris from #TheOffice interjecting to say Donette never stood a chance.
He says "Oh, indeed" before sex! I'm dying.

This is how you write a gay character. You don't Dumbledore that shit, you let him be who he is.
I LOVE Harry Potter and I know it's harder to have LGBTQ characters in kids' books, but until the Dumbledore afterthought, the main thing that bugged me about the books was how often Hermione was described as shrill.
Jay is like Brad Pitt - eating in every scene.
When your partner can't get on board with your job.
$2,000 buys you an ugly new coat, but it can't buy you respect.
The betrayal in this scene!
When you differ on what constitutes formal wear.
Not ashamed to say I would 100% be seduced by this.
This is just gonna be an Omar Fan Account.
When you tell the man with a moral code that he's amoral, he will correct you.
I was yelling at the screen, wanting him to call out this dirtbag. And he did!

"I got the shotgun. You got the briefcase. It's all in the game, though, right?"

Feels like Ares and Mars: same dude, different name.
And the same drugs that get resold under a dif. name.
I can't even handle this scene. Omar is just utterly himself. Calm, confident, no filter. I don't mean "he has no filter" like he's rude. I mean he lets his God-self be visible. He's in a room full of supposedly powerful ppl and feels no fear b/c he has nothing to hide.
Tangent!! The scene made me remember the 1st time I saw Richard Pryor perform on TV. The energy literally shifted in the room and I honestly thought, "Oh! That's God." Like that's what God looks like on earth - a person fully themselves.
This is nothing to do with religion and you don't even have to believe in God. It's about people and characters who make our heart soar b/c they prove that we can live like that. We can strip away whatever walls we've built btwn ourselves and the world and live life unafraid.
I realize my all-time favorite movies know this...

Maybe the hero is authentically himself from the outset, so he must sacrifice himself to save others.
Maybe he's been ashamed of who he is his entire life but has a moment of vulnerability at the very end when he shows one person his true self.
Maybe he doesn't figure it out until he's dead and a child has to teach his ghost.
OMG prison book club. I've always HATED The Great Gatsby b/c Daisy is so nothing! But D has a much richer understanding of the book.
"You can change up, you can give yourself a whole new story. But what came first is who you really are...don't matter that some fool say he different 'cause the only thing that make you different is what you really do, what you go through."

Same dude, different name!
Also totally felt like the chess scene from S1!

Still. I honestly, stupidly sat there thinking D wouldn't die. The whole time he was being strangled. When he went limp and was dragged to the door. I just thought, he'll get back up.
Guys, I don't know if I recommend watching this show when the world is in crisis and your mom died suddenly of a fall 2 months ago... after the slow, gradual death of 3 years of Alzheimer's.
When Wallace died, fictional character or not, I thought, "This is what my therapist talks about - cumulative grief, compound loss! What am I doing?"

When D died, I had to take a break.
Fake consoling the mother of the guy you had killed - just your typical funeral scenario.
When you know the robots will replace you.
Horseface contemplates fake vs. real tits - do we care, do we not?

Speaking of... let's take a moment to appreciate the stunning perfection of Nick's wife's body.
Yeah, this is not gonna end well.
This duck needs to pace himself. Do what I do, duck! Glass of wine, glass of water, glass of wine, glass of water, go home!

Seriously, this is animal cruelty and it's giving me severe anxiety.
When you think you're gonna get with the office slut but he puts on his jacket and goes home.

(Is she in later seasons? Do they get together?! Don't tell me. But... she's so much more interesting than Ronnie)
Cheese meets Brother Mouzone. It does not go well.

(Confession: I thought his name was Brother Moves On until I checked IMDb!)
McNulty with prostitutes: You're late!

Bunk and Kima: ...
Aaaaaaand the duck's dead.
A thought popped into my head and it made me mad so I'm gonna explore it! Is Ziggy the Wallace of S2? Because... I can't stand him. Wallace was a tender angel, Ziggy's a walking Kick Me sign. A teenage Fredo. He whips his dick out and says the n-word. Don't make me love him.
But... just like Wallace, his mother's a drug addict and grown men put him in harm's way. But in Ziggy's case, it's not for money, it's for laughs. It's like Lord of the Flies, he's (a thin, dumb) Piggy, but his bullies are adults.
But! He exposes himself. Regularly. He says the world's worst slur. Regularly. I believe it's intentional we have a hard time w/ this kid. It's easy to love Baby Killmonger. It's a lot harder to love a petulant prick who fucks up everything he touches.
DAMN. David Simon wrote Joker 16 years before Joker, didn't he.

Full disclosure: I never saw it, but doesn't he get tormented and kill people? Ziggy's gonna kill people, isn't he?

I did see SNL's Grouch and it's brilliant.
And there it is.
Daniels is all of us when Prez punched Valchek.
Merritt Weaver!! Since this season deals w/ the global disregard for female bodies, please go watch her in Unbelievable.
This petty little bitch!
Help me out b/c this scene bothered me. Why can I tell Stringer's lying but Omar can't? Not like how viewers know stuff before characters do. I mean Omar should know, shouldn't he?

Anyway, please don't let him shoot Brother Mouzone/Moves On without talking to him first.
Welp! So much for that. But he didn't kill him when he realized Stringer had lied.
Beadie in pursuit!!!

"Now she's got game."
Ziggy to his dad: "I got tired of being a punchline to every joke."

Sounds like a line from (my imagined version of) Joker to ME!
Dear God, please stop emailing this guy.

The world just keeps turning, right? You guys move on to something new, no one looks back.
This drinking scene vs. the one in episode one...
There was the same sense of tragic inevitability in Frank's world as in the towers. Like how else are they gonna survive if they don't commit crimes? It's not possible. And it's not possible b/c of the evil men far above them.
Some happy images until we meet again for S3 of @AoDespair's masterpiece.
#TheWire Season 3.
Subtitle: Rip My Heart Open Again, Why Don’t You.
Wow, the end of an era. Poot and Bodie watch the towers fall.
“Y’all some cold ass motherfuckers, man.” - Cheese to Bunk and McNulty who have no idea he's talking about an actual dog. The dog fight stuff was brutal to watch, but worth it for this scene.
“Do it or don’t. I got places to be.”
Bubbles thanks him for his kindness but that wasn’t kindness. It was… nothing. An absence of feeling. Blank, brutal, efficient.
"So y'all go to the movies?"
A lesson in status. You’re on a date, you get humiliated by your nemeses, then everybody gets upstaged by Hot Cop and his Hot GF.
Herc and Carver discussing their fantasies was hilarious, but I forgot how guys used to count down till the Olsen twins were legal. Sigh... men are the worst even when they’re not.
Cutty meets up with his ex.
“Lookin’ at you… hurts.”
“Shouldn’t look then.”
“Yo! My turn to be Omar!”

This is me in quarantine
Works. Of. Art.
When you realize you’re becoming McNulty.
OMG Brianna cutting Donette’s hair.
Celie shaving Mister.
Same Energy.
This is a Rembrandt painting. The emotion from still images is amazing this season. Shadows and gold, dark and light. I kept yelling Chiaroscuro at the screen like a mad woman.
This felt very… stigmata via cigarette burn to me. And again, visually beautiful.
“Damn, I opened up too early, man. Stepped on your shot.”

This boy was killed by accident while pulling out his inhaler. And Cutty realizes he can’t do this.

“It ain’t me no more.”
Omar gets a lecture from Bunk, spits when it’s done and later complains: “That fat man gave me an itch I can’t scratch.”
This is hell. This is Bubbles descending into hell. Oh my GOD.
Me sending my husband into the grocery store. “I want a Shrek Slurpee, Bernard. And some Krispee Kreme.”
Herc: “What are you, a fuckin’ communist?” as Carver hands out unemployment insurance.
Bunk gets the gun back from Omar and it’s gift wrapped specially for him.
Cutty meets with the Deacon, becomes a new man. “It’s like I’m standing outside myself, watching me do stuff I don’t wanna do… never, ever being able to stop the show.” From then on, he will be Dennis.

Also, OMG, the drugs this season are WMD and apocalypse.
Surrounded by pigeons, this is the most emotion Marlo’s shown all season.
Pretty in pink, Snoop gets her first kill.
Sweet, smiling Prez showing his skills on the job.
I love how the detectives admire the discipline of the drug dealers. With Hamsterdam, they’re all in one place, and “that place is hell.”

When “Are you saying I’m not likable?” gets you a five-minute response from your campaign manager and your wife.
McNulty reminds Brianna about her son: “You were the one who made him take the years, right?”
Stringer violates the Sunday morning truce to try to get Omar, but his fools shoot grandma’s church hat instead!
Colvin talks about his vacation and retirement so often, there’s no way in hell he’s gonna get either.
This is your parents on Skype.
Lester cautions McNulty that a job will not save you and a good case ends. Then… pan across to BEADIE!!! Her picture on the fridge! Oh please make this happen.
Oh God. This gutted me.
Prez: “I didn’t give a shit he was black or… whatever. Or maybe I did. How the fuck do you know if that’s in your head or if it’s not?”
What an HONEST answer. A hell of a lot better than McNulty talking about “the good ones” to that cop whose wife he just realized is black.
And when Daniels asks Prez if he identified himself as a cop first, he doesn’t answer. Because he doesn’t identify as a cop. !!!!!!!!!!! This whole season is about identity, oh my GOD.
Brother Mouzone! “Reform, Lamar. Reform!”
Dennis, bathed in gold, radiating purity and hope. Please don’t kill him.
Jesus, Marlo killing that girl by shooting her in the breasts and then mouth is sick and seems to go beyond (beneath?) his non-persona to something sexually depraved. Unless he sees it as fitting for someone who used her sexuality to trap him.
Theresa D'Agostino: “It’s politics. Live with it or lose.”
She and Marlo make a good pair. Machines, both of them.
Are you trying to seduce me, Ms. Pearlman?
(Yes Judge Phelan, and it’s comically sad how easy it is)
Rawls just casually in the bg of a scene in a gay bar.
When you think you see your long lost love, but it turns out to be just a pale imitation.
McNulty: I feel like I don’t even belong to any world that even fuckin’ matters. I’m just a breathing machine for my fuckin’ dick.”
#TheWire Season 3: Who are you.
Authentic, inauthentic or machine.
"Us, motherfucker."

Admiring the view, reminiscing, casually asking where the other one’s gonna be later. Just curious! Not sending someone over to kill them or anything.

Seriously, though. What a scene.
But what about THIS SCENE??!
Another Renaissance painting, this time with amazing dialogue.
BM: I admire a man with confidence.
O: I don’t see no sweat on your brow neither, bro.
BM: I want to ask you something. Brother.
O: Omar listenin’.
Levy laughing that Stringer got “rainmade” while the mayor and his staff figure out how to spin Hamsterdam to make themselves look good. The politicians FREAKING when they learned about Colvin's experiment was something to behold.
With just a bowtie, a shotgun and a dream, you won’t believe what this odd couple gets up to. Joining NBC’s iconic Thursday comedy block this fall, it's... Little/Brother
Omar barges in and shoots the body guard. Stringer takes off! Omar enters a room and birds fly up like in a goddamn John Woo movie! Stringer still doesn’t get that it “ain’t about your money, bro.”

And we end on more stunning cinematography.
Seeing your ex, part 2: “I’m proud of you, Dennis. Be well.”
McNulty in Stringer’s gorgeous apartment: “Who the fuck was I chasing?”

Kima really becoming McNulty, using his method for cheating, then thanking him the morning after. Who is she now?
Prez: 6 out of 10 black officers think I’m just an asshole racist.
Lester: On the other hand, 4 out of 10 think you’re just an asshole.

He failed to properly identify himself.
It's gut wrenching and perfect.
More Chiarascuro! McNulty looks into the light (while #DrunkBunk slumps over a car. I love drunk Bunk.)
McNulty shows Avon exactly who ratted him out. Russell aka Stringer Bell. (aka Achmed if you need the FBI’s help during the war on terror)
Bernard: "I can’t wait to go to jail."
Daniels and Ronnie (did not see that coming btw) have a real date in public, Johnny finally ODs, and Colvin’s out. No retirement, no vacation.

McNulty quits, channeling George Costanza: "It’s not you, it’s me."
Then... McNulty goes to see BEADIIIEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!
She invites him in for a drink.
He says no.
But he will go in to meet her kids.
I’m screaming.
As we pan across to Omar looking out at the water, we see a tattered poster for Frank Sobotka! Nice.

Marlo watching the trial. Still a terrifying blank.

Carver goes to Dennis' gym, sees more of a kindred spirit than Herc...?
McNulty, working “where it feels like home.”

Full circle with the woman at the community meeting who longed to know her policeman's name again.

Bubbles and Colvin look out at the rubble, a mirror image to the destroyed towers in episode one.
So there’s Season 3. Flawless.

Every morning for the last two and a half months, I wake up and think – remember, really - my mom is dead. Then I think of the characters on this show and how much I love them. All of them.
Thank you, David Simon. Again.
Until Season 4.
#TheWire @AoDespair
Finished #TheWire Season 4 on Easter Sunday.

I couldn’t stop crying and felt like I’d been punched in the heart. I feel weird posting this thread b/c Twitter reads like the obituaries, and actual obituaries are 20 pages long now.
I wake up scared every morning. I’m grieving the entire world, so I thought, maybe I'm overreacting. But I watched the whole season a 2nd time and cried all over again.
It’s perfect, I’m grateful it exists, and that’s true whether the planet is in crisis or not.
I also have no job at the moment, so watching and madly writing about this show feels like the most significant thing I’m doing!
1) The drug this season is called pandemic. PANDEMIC.
2) Every bad thing that happened this season was Herc’s fault. This arrogant, incompetent clown. May everyone look upon him like Sydnor and Bunk do for the rest of his days. #FuckYourFuckinStripes
3) OK, every bad thing is the fault of institutions: police, the political system, the school system. They all “juke the stats” and serve themselves instead of the people within them.
4) Nothing I’ve ever seen has so powerfully dealt w/ abuse and shame than #Season4 of #TheWire
When you’re quarantined, it’s fun to see other people shop for cool stuff.
In one episode, Randy goes from jubilant child planning a pee prank to haunted boy fearing a zombie he somehow created himself.
Sigh. I knew this angel would break my heart the minute I saw him. #Dukie
The whole political story was so fascinating, it could’ve been a show on its own. BONUS: the brilliant Reg E. Cathey who plays Norman got to call Kevin Spacey a motherfucker on House of Cards!
A BABY IS DRIVING!!! – what I yelled at the screen when Donut pulled up.
Norman (re: debate): Nothin’ matters more at this point.
Tommy: Let the truth set you free, Norman. Nothin’ matters at all.

Namond Brice: I’ll take any motherfucker’s money if he’s givin’ it away.
Clay Davis: I’ll take any motherfucker’s money if he’s givin’ it away.
Just a casual morning stroll for Honey Nut Cheerios. Whether you’re in a vest and trench coat or turquoise silk pajamas, everybody still yells, “Omar comin’!”
Trauma recognizes trauma.
Dukie trying to calm the girl who sliced her classroom nemesis.
Marlo: You want it to be one way. You want it to be one way. You want it to be one way. But it’s the other way.

(The final shot of Marlo in ep. 13 is by a One Way sign)
Bunk being Bunk while Lester works the case is my favorite thing - trying to pick up women (the plural of pussy is puss-i), dancing as Lester looks for clues, talking about JLo's "prime cut of ass" and "that itty bitty little Spanish dude" she married.
"Boy, you got me confused w/ a man who repeats himself."
I’m stunned this didn’t happen before now, and equally stunned Tommy stopped at just a kiss.
Sherrod drew Bubbles in his French dictionary (that he somehow thought would help with algebra).
Prez finding the ultimate stash: new textbooks and a computer.
All the boys happily learning b/c of Prez. "The math be right, Mr. P!"

I literally screamed at this shot of Dukie.
(Like I said, I watched the whole season twice.
Screamed both times.)
But if you need somebody to betray an innocent?
Herc’s your guy.

(I know Officer Walker's human garbage and ripped off Randy, Bubbles and Omar and broke Donut's fingers. Herc still does more damage.)
Colvin says later: I saw them plummet from masters of the universe to abject fear to humiliated fury w/ no awareness of it – it was too much for them to process – how do you get them to believe in themselves if they can’t even admit their feelings about who they are
Here it is – the moment I finally knew what Michael’s stepdad did to him. The moment where Chris sees him, the way Dukie saw that girl in the classroom. Trauma recognizes trauma.
I didn’t get it when Michael refused to ride home alone with Dennis. I didn’t get it when Michael ran out of Bug’s classroom terrified that Bug’s dad had taken him, and I didn’t get it when Michael called Dennis too friendly and a f*ggot.
The whole time, I assumed the stepdad had beaten him. I realized he’d molested him only when Chris realized it. He saw Michael’s pain b/c he’d been molested too.
He beat Michael’s stepdad to death with his bare hands. Chris - the guy who casually shoots someone in the head the second he knows they’re not from Baltimore. Dumps dead bodies in deserted buildings then goes for Chinese food.
It was revenge Chris had waited for his entire life, exacted on Michael’s sexual abuser instead of his own, and a stunned Snoop watched it happen.
Michael’s face to his mother: You promised me he would never come back. You lied. And now he’s dead.
On a lighter note! Bubbles getting Herc to chase the Reverend’s car was amazing. Only Herc would think Marlo’s license plate would be PR8ZGOD.
Omar entering Prop Joe’s shop to fix his clock. Why? "It ran outta time." #TickleMyFancyFatMan

Elena looking at McNulty and saying, "If I'd known you were gonna grow up to be a grown up..."

Bubbles welcoming Sherrod home again: "This is you, right here, right now." #Wallace
Lester: "This is a tomb. Lex is in there."
Bubbles makes poison… that will obviously not kill its intended target.
The Dream Team.
OMG this sequence.
Randy to Carver: "You gonna look out for me? For ME? You promise? You got my back, huh?"

Bodie: This game is rigged, man. We like those little bitches on the chess board.
McNulty: Pawns.
McNulty: You're a soldier, Bodie.
Bodie: Hell, yeah.
Cheese: This is some shameless shit.
Omar: Ain’t no shame in my game.

Omar has no shame in the best way possible.
Randy: It’s ok
Carver: What.
Randy: You tried. No need to feel bad. Thanks.

I mean... kill me now.
This scene. My God.
At first I was like, who’s the guy in the car w/ Kima? I couldn’t remember. How does he know Bubbles?
Then he says this:
"Shame’s some tricky shit, ain’t it. Makes you feel like you wanna change and then beats you back down when you think you can’t."
It’s Bubbles' sponsor. Walon!!!!! From Season 1!
AND (why didn’t I know this) it’s Steve Earle!
Who sang the S2 closing montage song!

I was fully on the floor sobbing at this scene.
Prez teaches the story of Damon and Pythias which I’d never heard of. It’s about two great friends willing to sacrifice their lives for the other. When one is sentenced to death, the other steps in for him so he can go home and say his final goodbyes.
But these boys can’t go home. They literally say that, in multiple episodes, sobbing. Their houses are burned, they’re evicted, their stuff is thrown into the street, and their parents are abusive, addicted, both or dead.
Even Sherrod – Bubbles keeps telling him he can come home, but when he finally does, he ends up dead by accident.

How do you have loyalty if you don’t have a home?
Despite all the efforts of Dennis, Carver, Prez and Colvin, only one boy is saved. One.
“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice… The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned.”
I kept thinking of these words by Bryan Stevenson, lawyer and social justice activist, and the subject of "Just Mercy" one of my favorite movies of last year.

I highly recommend watching it.

Bryan is portrayed by Michael B. Jordan.

"Thank you" feels so dumb, or at least inadequate, to say after getting to see something so stunning. But once again, thank you @AoDespair for this beautiful, compassionate work of art.

“Americans are a stupid people, by and large. We pretty much believe whatever we’re told.”
“The bigger the lie? The more they believe.”

I'm back tweeting Season 5 of #TheWire! And if it isn't the most painfully relevant thing you could see in 2020, I don't know what is.
It's taken me forever b/c I was stalling. I didn’t want to come to the end. It would mean I couldn’t watch it for the first time ever again. It would also, illogically, mean my mom was really dead, since the show’s been my obsession since soon after she passed away.
But here we go anyway and at last!

Mayor Carcetti declared it “a new day” at the end of Season 4, but now everybody’s broke. Cops and journalists have no money, and “Do more with less!” is repeated ad nauseum by smug, grey haired men for 10 episodes straight.
As in Season 4, every word Walon speaks to Bubs kills me.

Walon: You can’t let it go until you let it out.
Bubs: I don’t feel nothin’!
Walon: That was never your problem.
I LOVE when Avon Barksdale stepped into the prison visiting booth to chat with Marlo. I missed his smirking charisma.
Clay Davis’ shits last at least 4 seconds each this season and I love it. #Sheeeeeeeeiiiiitt
Bunk: You can go a long way in this country killin’ black folk. Young males especially. Misdemeanor homicides.
McNulty: If Marlo was killing white women--
Lester: White children.
Bunk: Tourists!
Lester: You think that if 300 white people were killed in this city every year they wouldn’t send the 82nd airborne?

In the newsroom, Fletcher tells Alma why her story’s not getting traction: “The 3 murders, they’re in the wrong zip code. They’re dead where it doesn’t count.”
This show is a masterclass is creative cursing:

McNulty: Most of the guys up here couldn’t catch the clap in a Mexican whore house.

Valchek: Fuckin’ Burell’s asshole must be so tight you couldn’t pull a pin from it with a John Deere tractor

Lester: A case like this, where you show who gets paid behind all the tragedy and the fraud, where you show how the money routes itself, how we’re all, all of us, vested, all of us complicit?
Sydnor: Career case huh?
Lester: Baby I could die happy.
Michael, Dukie and Bug go to 6 Flags. For one day, they’re just kids.
When you bring in the smart guy to talk logic, but he ends up on the side of crazy. Lester tells McNulty he’s on to something, but they have to make it more elaborate.McNulty replies, “We have to kill again!” 😂
But, um, McNulty’s idea isn't... terrible? How DO you get money to solve the crimes that endanger Black people? You pretend the money’s for something more “interesting.” And apparently, white homeless men chomping on each other fits the bill.
You can smell the ocean in this scene. Omar and Renaldo are living the dream, complete with sea, sun and sweet Honeynut Cheerios.

When I watched this a second time, I realized that kids see Omar comin’ and run toward him, not away. Please tell me how this show is so perfect OMG
When Omar learns of Butchie’s death.
Devastation. Rage. Resolve.
When Marlo met The Greek!
I'm obsessed w/ these two characters’ introductions. The second we saw the old man in the elegant coat in S2 and the young man in the terrycloth headband in S3, we knew we should be TERRIFIED.
Reporter Gus Haynes (Haynes!) told to lose the profanity and be more “collegial.” I love that the bosses kept asking for “the Dickensian aspect” of homelessness. I remember people talking about #TheWire years ago like it was a Dickens novel, rendering it quaint, palatable. Wrong.
Carver tells Herc, “It ALL matters. I know we thought it didn’t. But it does.”

Herc stares blankly in response b/c he’s the guy who buys drinks for cops to get info for Levy.
Beadie to McNulty: “We had something.”

I was ecstatic when these two got together and so bummed when he started drinking again. But Jimmy’s an addict. Why should his journey be so different from Bubbles’?
I like to think this was Dominic West’s audition for #TheAffair.
Prop Joe to Marlo: “I treated you like a son.”
Marlo: “Wasn’t made to play the son.”
The betrayal!
This is one of the most gut-wrenching exchanges of the entire series.

Dukie: “How do you get from here to the rest of the world?”
Dennis: “I wish I knew.”

Seriously. Just yank my heart out of my chest, smash it into a thousand pieces and kick those pieces off a cliff.
When you call your own cell to get a fake quote for your fake story.
Bubs’ HIV test comes back negative and Walon can tell he’s disappointed.
Walon: “This is you trying to make the past be everything. Mean everything. You don’t even wanna think about the here and now. Sorry, Bubs. Shame ain’t worth as much as you think. Let it go.”
Walon’s wisdom is like a decade’s worth of my therapy distilled into a few brilliant, compassionate sentences.
How great an actor is Dominic West? Look at his face when he knows Scott’s lying.
The shoot out!!
Omar’s best friend Donnie is killed.
Donnie is played by Donnie Andrews, the real Omar! He’s the basis for Omar! 🤯

I also watched this leap about 12 times.
Marlo: “That’s some Spider-Man shit there.”

It’s a great line, but it’s true too. Omar’s a legend. A super hero. Kids played him in the street. S5 is all about legacy – what will these characters leave behind? Who will immortalize them or seek to erase them altogether?
Spider-Man tends to his wounds.
“That’s nobody, Mr. Mayor. That’s nobody at all.”

Noooooo! It’s NICK!
When you give the speech of your career – of your life! – and it’s all over a lie.
Another gut punch: seeing a grown Randy abandoned in this hell hole.

“Why don’t you promise to get me outta here? That’s what y’all do, ain’t it? Lie to dumbass n--”

Again, just kick me in the stomach, it would hurt less.
Omar: "Tell Marlo I burned the money. Tell that boy he ain’t man enough to meet Omar in the street!"

Just like with Stringer, this is not about the money. It’s about the code. ❤️❤️❤️
When you’re looking for a legit job and stumble across an ad for exotic dancer.
Daniels is always in a suit, looking slim and proper, so I appreciate when we’re reminded that his body’s basically a yield sign. (I loved Ronnie this season too!)
Bubs won’t take money for Fletcher’s story, but asks him to “write it like it feels” – you know, the opposite of how Scott writes.
Omar: “I’m gonna drop all his muscle till he get the heart to come down to the street and dance.”

Michael’s terrified – as he should be – while that little shit Kenard is like, THAT'S Omar?
“A lie ain’t a side of a story. It’s just a lie.”

Joe Biden should put that statement in one of his ads.
When you’re about to blow up a cat but stop yourself to kill the king.
I thought the shop keeper was just screaming, but she’s saying, “Omar DEAD!” over and over. Dead at the hands of a child who we first met in Season 3 playing on a sidewalk and yelling, “It’s MY turn to be Omar.” You will never be Omar, Kenard. And I will never forgive you.
When the FBI profile of a serial killer is literally you.

“They’re in the ball park.”
Beadie goes Beyonce.
(I left a note in the hallway. By the time you read it, I'll be far away.)
Tommy’s wife watching her husband get off to his own image.
Lester gets his man… even if it’s only for a little while.
Marlo yells, “My name is my NAME.”

But what’s his legacy, though?

He’s a guy who risked nothing and sacrificed his friends for a reign of terror that protected only his ego.
The only ppl he killed himself are a girl who was the pawn in someone else’s scheme (S3), and some guy overheard praising Omar (S5 finale). He's the opposite of Omar. The anti-Omar. His name puts the O at the end and takes the L because his legacy is one of total and utter loss.
Walon finally learns Bubs’ real name is Reginald! And Bubs finally tells the story of Sherrod. “There ain’t no shame in holding on to grief… as long as you make room for other things too.”
Snoop: How my hair look, Mike?
Michael: You look good, girl.

Jesus Christ.
If that didn’t destroy you, here’s Bug saying goodbye to Dukie…
And Bug saying goodbye to Michael…
And Dukie and Michael saying goodbye without saying goodbye.
When Dukie visited his old school, I got excited. The principal’s gonna be so happy to see him! Prez will adopt him like Colvin adopted Namond! Of course the principal didn’t recognize him and Prez was guarded and wary – which he should’ve been b/c Dukie lied to his face.
Walon reading Fletcher's article: “Are you scared of somebody callin’ you good?”

Then Walon gives Bubs a quote to read...
“You can hold back from the suffering of the world. You have free permission to do so, and it is in accordance with your nature. But perhaps the holding back is the one suffering you could have avoided.”
… by Fonzie Kafka
There will never be anything as funny as #FonzieKafka.
Bunk: How are you not in jail?
McNulty: I don’t know. The lie’s so big, people can live with it.

Bunk can’t really respond since he said the same thing in the first scene of the season.
McNulty yelling at Scott was the most satisfying scene of the season.
McNulty: You lyin' motherfucker, you're as full of shit as I am. And you gotta live with it and play it out for as long as it goes, right? Trapped in the same lie. Only difference is I know why I did it. But fuck if I can figure out what it gets you, in the end.
But, hey, I ain't part of your tribe.

Scott: You're not serious. You...

McNulty: No. No, I'm a fucking joke. And so are you. Now get the fuck out of here.
Oh, and in case, like me, you didn’t know who played this smug little sleazeball, his name’s Tom McCarthy and he went on to do a few things... like co-write UP, and write, direct and win an Oscar for Spotlight.
Herc betraying it all for an Atta boy and a brisket dinner.
Jay eulogizes the dead career of “a true murder police”, Jimmy McNulty. The wake is so joyous, Jimmy and Lester forgive the one who made it happen in the first place.
When the right person makes front page news.
(Look at Bubs!!!)
Michael emerges as the new Omar, even winking after his first theft, while Dukie goes down Bubs’ tragic path. I pray his Walon shows up soon.
As for the new Marlo? Who else but that little sociopath, Kenard.
(I’ll say it for the hundredth time: this is the most staggeringly talented cast in TV history – like, how is someone this young so brilliant!)
Chris’ life sentence for doing Marlo’s bidding seems less bleak when he makes friends with Wee Bey.
The Feast of the Ascension! At last, Bubbles is welcomed back to the upstairs world and joins his sister and family for dinner. What a stunning and transformative story for a beautiful character.
The show’s final line: “Let’s go home.”
Thank you forever, @AoDespair, for illuminating the complexity of a city and its inhabitants through your brutally honest and deeply compassionate lens. I checked, and I see you’ve already received a MacArthur Genius Grant.
My memory of this show will always be intertwined with memories of my mom. She was an elementary school teacher whose students would visit her years later to thank her for believing in them. She volunteered at a shelter for abused women, taught ESL to immigrants...
and indulged a daughter who loved TV. I think she’d be glad to know that at long last, I discovered the greatest show of all.
@RobertRayWisdom @michaelpottsnyc and all the other brilliant actors I've missed or couldn't find on Twitter. 🙏🙏🙏 #TheWire @thewirepod
You can follow @barbhaynes.
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