The Wire: Old Cases   First Watch 
June 11, 2014 8:14 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Bodie avoids Herc and Carver. Avon discusses the loss of the pit's stash and puts the word on the street about Omar. McNulty and Moreland investigate an old murder that may be related to D'Angelo.

It's been 5 days since the last episode was posted, so I decided to jump in with it. Since I can't access HBOGo, I couldn't use their synopsis, so I tweaked the Wikipedia synopsis to make it less spoilery.
posted by Bugbread (60 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Fuck.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:34 AM on June 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck.
posted by skycrashesdown at 8:47 AM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


Fuckity fuck fuck. Motherfucker.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 9:17 AM on June 11, 2014 [2 favorites]


That scene was incredible - I wonder how they will handle it if the Wire is ever syndicated? It was just fascinating to watch them step through the crime and see them figure out how D did it. I thought at first D was bullshittign his crew, but tap tap tap...
posted by InfidelZombie at 9:19 AM on June 11, 2014


What was great about that scene was that in any other police procedural, the police would be describing their reasoning as they went along. ("Now, if the entry would is in the shoulder, but the exit wound is in the lower back, where was she shot from, etc.") This made their logic perfectly clear without any ongoing description.

I'm liking Freamon more and more with every episode. Although the way he was watching the others try to get the desk through the door at the beginning, I was half-expecting him to wait until everyone gave up, then get up and twist the desk in just the right way to slide it easily through the door.

Loved this when McNulty realizes that Freamon is really good:
"I should buy you a drink."
"Just one?"
Herc actually shows a bit of kindness towards Bodie's mother. Aww.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:23 AM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


People seem to be one of two ways about the Fuck scene - they either love it or they think it's one of those "Wire being too clever/showing off" moments.

I like it, personally - to me, it shows two really good detectives (true police) re-assessing a crime scene and both seeing how fucked up the initial work was, catching what was missed, and doing it all in a shorthand way with each other because they know each other so well that the use of one word and its tone conveys everything that needs to be said at each step.
posted by nubs at 9:26 AM on June 11, 2014


Although now that I think about it, there was one step in their reasoning I wasn't clear on. Once they go outside, they seem to know exactly how far the shooter stood from the window when he shot: they measure out a certain distance from the window with the tape measure, then start feeling around and find the spent shell within seconds. How'd they know the distance?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:53 AM on June 11, 2014


I don't trust Herc. I think he was extra violent in the bust in just so he could turn around and play "Good Cop" to bodie's mum.
posted by rebent at 10:35 AM on June 11, 2014


I love the "fuck" scene, and think it works fine. I suspect they are showing off for the caretaker: if it was just the two of them then maybe they'd use words, but fuck, a chance to mystify a member of the public? Well shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

Its also a lovely bit of well communicated detective work along with that of course, and a chance for them to demonstrate why both Bunk and McNulty have respect in the first place.

We also get to hear about D'Angelo's first murder, a cold assassination. Angelo uses this to try and put Bodie down, but I'm not sure it fully succeeds to be honest.

There's lots of fun bits in here, 'cause its a dense episode. Landsman getting McNulty an offer, thinking he's doing him a favour, but leads to Jimmy digging himself deeper: theres no way Jimmy wants this thing wrapped up in two weeks!
posted by Cannon Fodder at 10:46 AM on June 11, 2014


People seem to be one of two ways about the Fuck scene - they either love it or they think it's one of those "Wire being too clever/showing off" moments.

Both, I think.

As usual, Sepinwall has a great (newbie-safe) writeup.
posted by box at 11:57 AM on June 11, 2014


Yep, at first I thought the 'fuck' scene was too overdone, but then I realized they were showing off for the caretaker and it made sense.
posted by isthmus at 12:09 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Although now that I think about it, there was one step in their reasoning I wasn't clear on. Once they go outside, they seem to know exactly how far the shooter stood from the window when he shot: they measure out a certain distance from the window with the tape measure, then start feeling around and find the spent shell within seconds. How'd they know the distance?

They're assuming that the shooter had the muzzle of the gun right up to the window (tap tap). They're measuring the known (approximate) distance that a pistol would eject the shell casing.
posted by axiom at 12:59 PM on June 11, 2014 [4 favorites]


What was great about that scene was that in any other police procedural, the police would be describing their reasoning as they went along. ("Now, if the entry would is in the shoulder, but the exit wound is in the lower back, where was she shot from, etc.") This made their logic perfectly clear without any ongoing description.

The other great thing is that on the leading procedural, there would be any number of specialised high tech gizmos brought in to laser scan the room for a 3D recreation and find any magnetic anomalies out in the yard and so on. Bunk and McNutty have a tape measure, a marker and a pair of needle nose pliers - you could pick their entire tool set up at Hardware Barn for a $10 and tell the guy to keep the change.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 2:24 PM on June 11, 2014


I was okay with the "Fuck" scene the first time I saw it (actually, I think that was the first scene I ever saw, on YouTube or something, long before I knew what show it was part of, etc.). But I enjoy the scene less with each repeat viewing of the show, and this time it was just plain grating.
posted by Bugbread at 4:44 PM on June 11, 2014


After a bunch of viewings, I would probably like that scene better if it were silent. The 'fuck' part seems like it could be read as kind of a this-is-an-HBO-show thing. At first viewing, though, I loved that fucking shit.
posted by box at 6:22 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Bugbread! I've been swept up in a work thing and haven't been able to do this. Though I guess I could have made time yesterday when I got in that annoying argument on the Blue.
posted by Sara C. at 7:32 PM on June 11, 2014


That scene was incredible - I wonder how they will handle it if the Wire is ever syndicated?

They could probably just mute it and achieve the same basic effect. The dialogue contributes very little information in the scene, which is one of the reasons I'm much less impressed with this Famous Wire Scene as opposed to the chess one.

I also really feel like I would have enjoyed the scene more if I didn't know it was coming. The fuck scene is the biggest thing from the show I've been spoiled on so far, and while it didn't really ruin my enjoyment of the show in general, it definitely made the scene a lot less interesting. I wish fans would stop talking it up so much.

In fact I'm really happy the synopsis of this post didn't include even an arch reference to it.
posted by Sara C. at 7:36 PM on June 11, 2014


The other great thing is that on the leading procedural, there would be any number of specialised high tech gizmos brought in to laser scan the room for a 3D recreation and find any magnetic anomalies out in the yard and so on.

FWIW this trend in procedurals didn't really start until a few years after this season of The Wire.

I used to work on a procedural and there was a huge conspicuous bump in the gizmos and gadgetry at a certain point maybe circa 2007-2008. Probably in response to the success of NCIS? I'm curious what the tech level is going to be like by the end of the run, since that coincides so neatly with the rise of that trend.

It's definitely strange to watch The Wire and notice the sheer lack of tech. Typewriters. Phone booths. Newsprint. Index cards with handwritten labels. Film cameras. It's like another time.
posted by Sara C. at 7:44 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


The use of the word "fuck" and it's variations during this scene are great for the character's mood and focus and seems to be me to be quite realistic in keeping their focus. I highly doubt the use was for extra-narrative reasons. It's like a metronome to the entire procedure.
posted by juiceCake at 7:47 PM on June 11, 2014


I know some people like the scene, and some people hate it, but I never thought I'd see some describe it as quite realistic.
posted by Bugbread at 7:56 PM on June 11, 2014


I'd kill for it to be in syndication so it could be changed to "fuuddgge" like in A Christmas Story.
posted by MoonOrb at 8:04 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'd prefer the 80's R&B approach, where it all gets changed to "fuuuunk", because the voice-over actors might mess up and throw in a few "funky"s.
posted by Bugbread at 8:21 PM on June 11, 2014


Been waiting for this thread, I watched the fuck scene nicely cold without any spoilery hints or previous youtube links. First thought was "is this a real scene", then "ah, cool HBO stunt!" then "can't wait for this post". Noticed the super watching but it didn't look to me like they were performing for him as much as two guys that "got it" as they walked in the door and were riffing back and forth at each other.
posted by sammyo at 10:02 PM on June 11, 2014 [1 favorite]


FWIW this trend in procedurals didn't really start until a few years after this season of The Wire. 

This season of The Wire aired the same year as the third season of CSI - which was the most watched show in America (trivia: the last time a scripted show was #1). True, early CSI wasn't gizmoed up to the point of being basically a science fiction show back then, but it was still a much more tech heavy approach than you see here on The Wire.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 1:33 AM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


This is my second viewing of The Wire. Loved it, read Simon's book, and am psyched to have people to discuss things with for a re-watch.

Put me down as a vote in favor of the "Fuck" scene. Sure, it's a stunt, but I enjoyed it. They could have been completely silent or just been saying a nonsense syllable "Hm. Hummmm... Huh? Hmph." If they had done that, maybe the scene would be legendary among screenwriters, but the average viewer wouldn't notice or care. The fact that they said fuck made it into this legendary scene. It's cheap showmanship, but whatever -- cheap showmanship makes the world go around sometimes.

I sort of imagine that the writers had the basics of the scene and then said "Ok, cool, now we need to write some dialog for it." Then everything they wrote sounded super lame ("Now, if the entry would is in the shoulder, but the exit wound is in the lower back... " already mentioned above). So they just said "To hell with it, the viewers will put it together, just have them say fuck over and over."

For me, the scene with Herc and Bodie's grandmother wasn't Herc showing a bit of unexpected tenderness and depth. It was Herc showing that there isn't really anything to him. He just perfectly reflects whatever's expected of him in any situation. Put him in front of someone's grandmother and he's polite. Put him among his peers and he pounds his chest. Contrast with his statement in the last episode before the late night raid: "You've got to let them know who you are." The scene with Bodie's grandmother showed that Herc isn't anyone -- he's a mirror. There's no there there.

Speaking of, I think the scene with Bubbles and McNulty driving up to McNulty's son's soccer game showed that McNulty is just incapable of empathy. There was an emotional dimension to see all that stuff for Bubbles--a very different life that some people live. It was obvious on the trip there, when Bubbles met McNulty's wife, and especially when McNulty dropped Bubbles off at the alley upon returning. It's not that McNulty shouldn't have taken him along -- I don't mean to say anything like "Bubbles' world is an ugly one of concrete and broken glass, he can't handle/doesn't deserve to see the suburbs." What bothered me was that this went straight past McNulty -- he just wasn't tuned in to the frequency where it was happening.

This illuminates McNulty's refusal to go on the raid with his team. That could be construed as a principled stand (McNulty certainly does so in his head). But I think the scene with Bubbles shows that it wasn't so much McNulty making a principled stand as being unable to put himself in the shoes of his co-workers and boss. He's just not capable of that.
posted by ngc4486 at 4:52 AM on June 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


(BET showed reruns of 'The Wire' at one point. Anybody know what they did with the 'fuck' scene?)
posted by box at 5:45 AM on June 12, 2014


BET's cable, innit? no laws against swearing on cable
posted by rebent at 5:59 AM on June 12, 2014


I know some people like the scene, and some people hate it, but I never thought I'd see some describe it as quite realistic.

I was using realistic in a fiction/critical sense, not as it may commonly be parsed. Realism in fiction is, of course, a critical term, and it is also an illusion in that it doesn't mean realistic as in real life, but realistic in terms of how these fictional characters think and conduct themselves, hence the use of "fuck" as metronome for this scene. This is totally in character for both these characters. Whether or not it would happen in the "real" world is irrelevant.

Northrop Frye used the term displacement for realism from time to time, where fictional conventions are displaced by the illusion of realism, as if the story being told isn't really mythical, isn't really fiction, but is true to to life. This is hardly ever, if ever, the case.

The Wire, as mentioned in the first thread for episode 1, is an incredibly structured story.
posted by juiceCake at 6:54 AM on June 12, 2014


All fuckery aside, the cold open was my favourite so far of the slightly-on-the-nose statement of purpose scenes, such as the series opening and the bit about chess. The ineffective brute force of Herc and Carver, Freamon's knowing glance, Daniels exasperated "I'm embarrassed for y'all," and of course, Jimmy McNulty being the smartest fuck in the room:

"In?"
posted by Lorin at 9:04 AM on June 12, 2014 [2 favorites]


Maybe theme would be a better word there than purpose, but it's amazing how dense with meaning even the briefest of scenes are here.
posted by Lorin at 9:10 AM on June 12, 2014


BET's cable, innit? no laws against swearing on cable

All in the game.
posted by nubs at 9:12 AM on June 12, 2014


I was just thinking yesterday about the contrast between GOT, HBOs biggest success since the Sopranos, and the Wire, probably HBOs biggest failure in terms of time and money spent making it and audience. On Bullseye this week Jesse Thorn quoted George RR as saying something like "When two opposing forces fight, each is the bad guy to the other guy." And his books and show portray that world, everyone's a bad guy, wheee. But in the Wire, when two opposing forces square off, each is the hero in their own story. And that's a much better way to view the world in my opinion. That's a world much more familiar to me too, where the only evil is systemic, and every person is important and interesting in their own flawed way.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:21 AM on June 12, 2014 [7 favorites]


I think that was the first scene I ever saw, on YouTube or something

Me too. Even if it was a stunt, hey, it worked!
posted by Lorin at 9:36 AM on June 12, 2014


Wait, how is The Wire HBO's biggest failure? It's widely regarded as The Best Television Show Of All Time. Even if only 20 people ever watched it, having The Wire in their repertoire is important to HBO's brand as the place to go for premium content. It's sort of like all the movies that win a ton of Oscars but make no money for the studios.

Ratings wise, you're probably right, though I think you're probably overestimating how large GoT's audience is. Either way, the HBO business model means that ratings are entirely beside the point. The real metric is subscriptions/premium cable packages sold. That's part of why HBO is able to offer such niche programming: they're not beholden to advertisers and it doesn't actually matter who watches as long as they're paying the cable company.

Either way, I'm fairly sure that The Wire was meant to have a much more general audience than GoT, because everybody knows what a crime drama is, whereas GoT's format is less grokkable by folks outside the nerd/fandom universe.
posted by Sara C. at 12:25 PM on June 12, 2014


You bastards, I started watching this show last week and now I am on season four. I blame all of you. But yes, the 'fuck' scene was when I knew I was in serious trouble with this show.
posted by dogheart at 12:29 PM on June 12, 2014 [3 favorites]


dogheart, I'm halfway into season 2 right now :p

this show's got me hooked....... on a wire
posted by rebent at 12:39 PM on June 12, 2014


Oh...season four. <3.
posted by MoonOrb at 1:10 PM on June 12, 2014


The first time I saw The Wire, I was in the darkest depths of mourning, so I have no vivid memories of encountering any these characters. I thought by now, after countless rewatches, I had squeezed every last bit of entertainment from this show, but reading these threads is great as a vicarious first-watch experience.

The progression of Freamon from disinterested fuddy-duddy to bad-ass detective over the first four episodes is a great little storyline. Man, when he slaps that photo down on the table... finally we have someone to root for! Not a hero, but the least flawed member of the department and (perhaps?) a mirroring of D'angelo, who ostensibly occupies the same space in the Barksdale organization. One, a player with no real aptitude for the game he's forced to play, the other, a "natural police" denied the chance to do real police work.
Also, I wish I hadn't used the phrase "on-the-nose" having now read the extended discussion of it in the other thread. Boy is my face red.
posted by Lorin at 1:33 PM on June 12, 2014


The only reason I haven't started completely binge-watching this is so each episode is still fairly fresh in my mind when its thread shows up here.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 1:56 PM on June 12, 2014


DevilsAdvocate: "The only reason I haven't started completely binge-watching this is so each episode is still fairly fresh in my mind when its thread shows up here."

Me, too. I'm pacing myself.
posted by Bugbread at 3:16 PM on June 12, 2014


Does even McNulty not know who Omar is? I'm finding the whole Omar origin story really uneven. It seems like in episode 3 he didn't want anyone to know who he was, but then explains that away in E4 by saying he didn't want anyone coming back on Brandon...but Kima doesn't know who he is, and the Barksdale crew seems to have only sketchy information about him. Bubbles seems to know the most--he's the only one that suggests Omar has some kind of reputation. And if McNulty does know who is, it wasn't apparent to me, although he clearly knew of his brother, No Heart Anthony.

I don't know. Not even any kind of a gripe or criticism, it's just weird looking closer at this on this time around and realizing that Omar maybe always wasn't this legendary character I believed him to be.
posted by MoonOrb at 10:55 PM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have a vague notion that Omar got out of a longish prison term recently. There's some homophobic crack in one of these episodes about Omar fucking more guys now that he's out, contrary to all logic. Maybe they're referring to a long ago prison sentence, but it would make sense in terms of the degree to which the cop characters are aware of him.
posted by Sara C. at 12:06 AM on June 13, 2014


Yeah, I think you're right about the prison term thing. And, if you've seen the whole series (being vague to avoid spoilers), you'll know that people who aren't in the limelight are quickly forgotten on the street.
posted by Bugbread at 12:57 AM on June 13, 2014


I have seen this episode several times and still... what is the joke in desk moving scene?
posted by shothotbot at 9:12 AM on June 13, 2014


the guys outside the office are trying to move it in

the guys inside the office are trying to move it out
posted by rebent at 9:21 AM on June 13, 2014 [3 favorites]


As badass as the fuck scene was, McNulty taking a criminal informant out to the burbs to a kids ball game seemed incredibly uncool and I was expecting him to be served with divorce papers and worse in the next show.
posted by sammyo at 7:12 PM on June 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Funny, I thought it was incredibly uncool in the opposite direction. Who brings someone like Bubs out to a soccer game in the burbs? Why rub it in?
posted by Sara C. at 7:21 PM on June 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think it's pretty uncool in both directions. Pretty shitty parenting, and, given that it might open him up to blackmail etc., seems like pretty shitty police work too. Taken as a one-scene illustration of the way that McNulty can't keep everything together, though, it seems like a pretty good one.
posted by box at 6:32 PM on June 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, the degree to which the baseball scene shows McNulty mistreating everyone is rather the point.
posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 10:39 PM on June 14, 2014


Then again, "who DOES that?" is pretty much my default response to McNulty at all times.
posted by Sara C. at 11:32 PM on June 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


I like it, personally - to me, it shows two really good detectives (true police) re-assessing a crime scene and both seeing how fucked up the initial work was, catching what was missed, and doing it all in a shorthand way with each other because they know each other so well that the use of one word and its tone conveys everything that needs to be said at each step.

I love that aspect of it, but imo they don't quite sell it as either them playing a game with each other, or for the benefit of watching civvies (either of which would work better) so it comes off as writers being clever, which stands out against the poetic naturalism of the rest of the show.
posted by Sebmojo at 7:48 PM on June 15, 2014


The fact that they said fuck made it into this legendary scene. It's cheap showmanship, but whatever -- cheap showmanship makes the world go around sometimes.

Yeah, this. Even though I think it's overrated, I think putting it in was the right thing to do.

MY FEELINGS ABOUT THE FUCK SCENE: COMPLEX
posted by Sebmojo at 7:53 PM on June 15, 2014


It's not at all unbelievable that police are clueless about Omar. The only reason either division (Narcos and DBs) know anything at all about Avon Barksdale is because the one cop who cares to sit and actually hold conversation with the people of the Baltimore projects (McNulty) broke rank and went WAY over his head and said something to a judge. That there's some nobody (some gay, black, poor nobody) rolling drug stashes and disrupting a business the entire police force barely even had a clue about up until recently—and they don't know about it even down where the badge meets the streets is just about right.

Bubbles cluing Kima in to Omar is hilarious because Kima's been busy up until very recently busting deals and throwing kids into handcuffs, kids who would jaw about Omar eventually if she just took a minute to listen to them. She's a good cop, but she was too busy sprinting around with her baton out to catch that chatter. And then McNulty shows up to get Bubbles and further proves he's good cop through and through.

Oh man, and then there's "'s a thin line tween Heav'n an' here." Bubbles goes out to that soccer burb and watches McNulty's ex cuss him out and miss the entire point of the detour. "Did you see that?!" Nope. All Bubs sees is the 'bliss' of the suburbs. All McNulty sees is his wife cussing and the impossibility of his job. There isn't a single character on this show that doesn't have the truth of their matters staring them in the face, and who can't see that truth for the life of 'em.

Bodie's grandma telling Herc how he got there calls back to the earlier scene with Omar hooking up that young mother with the free drugs. This show does such a good job telling all these little stories that add up and add up and add up and string together into a much larger story that still just can't quite get it all. But The Wire gets close. I love this show.
posted by carsonb at 12:22 PM on June 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh and the whole technology upgrade storyline is fascinating too. Again, McNulting giving a fuck when it's not his turn is the only reason the Barksdale Detail has a single idea other than busting hand-to-hands and raiding stashes—his friend in the FBI showed him the tech and his girlfriend at the States' Attorney showed him the paperwork.

Once the team finally gets the go-ahead to proceed that way they quickly realize that tech is something 'the other side' has thought a lot about already and as such are way ahead of them on. Thank god there's more than one good police, and Freamon catches The Detail up a little. But thinking about the top-ranking characters we've met (on each side) so far, it's rather daunting to imagine what other aspects of the drug business the drug lords are way ahead of the good police on. Of course, the shiny tech holds their attention for now and there isn't a single one of them (except maybe Daniels and—gorgeously, oddly—Presbylewski) even thinking on a political level.
posted by carsonb at 1:04 PM on June 16, 2014


Carver's little story on the drive up to the jail gave me the feeling he'd be a great guy to play D&D with.

I always figured McNulty brought Bubbles along as a double deflection (obvious reason for being late and hope his ex won't chew him out in front of a stranger).

Anyone else surprised Lester doesn't carry a wheel gun?

The power of the "fuck" scene is that Bunk and McNulty don't have to communicate in anything but grunts because even working from pictures it is blindingly obvious exactly what went down making Keeley's non-investigation even more damning.

McNulty on the Where don't you want to go? "Fuck!, Too Late"
posted by Mitheral at 1:09 AM on August 1, 2014


I'm just watching this for the first time. There's a scene in this episode (or maybe the previous- I'm watching two at a time) in which it seems like something significant happened and I have no idea what it is. It's this one:

Okay, remember the scene where Sgt Jay Landsman talks about the thought of McNulty interrupting his wank, and how he realized that McNulty can't help thinking of himself as the smartest guy in the room?

At the end he and Mjr Rawls come to some sort of decision. I have no idea what it is. I think I missed half the dialogue and I'm not sure if it's because our speakers could be better or what. I don't want to read wikipedia because of spoilers.

Also, according to imdb there is an actor named Jay Landsman who plays a Lt Dennis Mello, which is very confusing.

The conversation in an earlier thread about accents is interesting because the cops have what sound to my ear like "north east". I'm in California and mostly can't tell one from another, so McNulty's apparently sketchy accent doesn't bug me. Pretty much any weirdness gets chalked up to someone spending time Someplace Else for a little bit.

The drug dealers don't sound too different from the black folks in my town, so I don't know what's up with all the accent analysis online of those characters. Sure, there's a smidge of difference but not so I'd notice if I were talking to them on the street. The vowels are a little ...harder? More pronounced? but that's true for half the black characters on TV and they can't all be from Baltimore.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:12 PM on December 29, 2014


Also, I'm indifferent as to fuck or not fuck in the fuckfuckfuck scene. I liked the teamwork and competence it showed. I would have liked them to figure out a different way to communicate it because I found it oddly showy in a slightly annoying way. But...eh. Not enough to not like the scene overall.
posted by small_ruminant at 9:20 PM on December 29, 2014 [1 favorite]


At the end he and Mjr Rawls come to some sort of decision. I have no idea what it is. I think I missed half the dialogue and I'm not sure if it's because our speakers could be better or what.

I suggest turning on the subtitles - the Bal'more accents at times are a little heavy for my Canadian ear, and there's a lot of slang in places that is hard to follow. Having the subtitles on has helped me catch some dialogue that went right over my head the first time.

What Landsman and Rawls come to is this: McNulty is a pain in the ass, but he's smart and true police and they want him back in Homicide. McNulty is to wrap up the detail - or his involvement with it - in two weeks, and he will be welcomed back.

Also, according to imdb there is an actor named Jay Landsman who plays a Lt Dennis Mello, which is very confusing.

The Wire used a lot of real police and drug dealers for background on creating show, and a few of them make their way onto the screen. There is/was a real Jay Landsman with the Baltimore PD (which is where the character of Sgt. Landsman comes from), and the real Jay Landsman wound up playing Lt. Dennis Mello in the Wire.
posted by nubs at 7:14 AM on December 30, 2014


Thank you, nubs!

It doesn't sound like slang- it sounds like mumbling. I'd rather not use subtitles because I read so much faster than I listen and I can't seem to get myself to not read to the end of the sentence and then I miss the subtleties in tone and delivery and it often ruins the flow.

However, not understanding anything also ruins the flow so I might have to turn them on after all.
posted by small_ruminant at 10:04 AM on December 30, 2014


I did my first watch without subtitles, but ever subsequent viewing I turn them on. I find it helps me a lot - I'm catching little details I missed the first time.
posted by nubs at 1:07 PM on December 30, 2014


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