The Wire: Middle Ground
February 11, 2015 9:00 AM - Season 3, Episode 11 - Subscribe

"We ain't gotta dream no more, man." -Stringer Bell

With Hamsterdam exposed, the Mayor tries to find a middle ground - one that preserves the apparent good the free zones are doing, without suffering political fallout. Chief Burrell reads the hesitation as City Hall planning to feed him to the guillotine, so he reaches out to Carcetti so that Carcetti can use Tony Gray to leak the story. But Burrell doesn't know Carcetti's own aspirations and how he might use the information. Carcetti goes to Bunny for his side of the story.

Stringer is informed of how well he's been played by Clay Davis. His rage leads him to a schooling at Avon's hands and a further reminder that he's caught in the middle ground between two worlds, and maybe doesn't fit in either any longer.

The detail learns that Avon and Stringer have compartmentalized their phones, so the wiretaps won't reach them. But a reminder that they have some technology gathering dust leads to a break. And Daniels calls in a favour from the Feds, ensuring that they get their wiretap on Stringer in record time. And they catch Stringer in an incriminating conversation.

Stringer meets with Bunny to complete the sellout of Avon and ensure that the Barksdale crew can get back on the good package. Meantime, Avon is confronted by Brother Mouzone, who has returned to Baltimore. Faced with the fact that giving up Stringer is the only way to keep a connection to the New York package that his crew needs without the co-op, Avon gives up Stringer to the formidable duo of Mouzone and Omar.

Omar and Brother Mouzone renew acquaintances in a distinctly Western inspired showdown.

"Us, motherfucker."

The String gets cut
posted by nubs (3 comments total)
I think the pairing of Omar and Mouzone is probably the most "fictionalised" this show gets, with, as the post says, a fair amount of western logic to it. Omar and Mouzone have always been the most fantastical characters on the show, with background and abilities that make them somewhat mythic. As a result, we get the rather satisfying death of Stringer Bell. It is worth noting that he does not die terribly well, but then, really, probably very few do. This marks the essential close of the very first character arcs of the show: this is, in a way, an ending in a way the show mostly doesn't do. I enjoy it, and it would be hard not to, but it's a very different end to the one some other characters receive. We also have the mildly amusing issue where, yet again, Omar has killed someone the Detail were just about to be able to arrest!

I love the scenes of Stringer and Avon in this episode, especially that last goodbye where both knows they betrayed the other. Who knows what precisely leads Stringer to give up Mouzone. Maybe if Stringer hadn't killed Avon, broken the Sunday truce, tried to have a senator murdered, disrespected Avon, he might have stood up for him. Maybe not.

I think the death of Hamsterdam is also really interesting. This is the Mayor's most shining moment, because for all that he has been a politican, he is actually willing to give it a shot. While Carcetti, the new, uncorrupt challenger, is instrumental in it's death. In his defence, he does actually investigate it, but ultimately it's a stick with which to beat the mayor, and he won't be able to resist that. This also gets Watkins fully on his side, which is key to his political fortunes.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 2:41 AM on February 13, 2015

Okay, I don't really keep up with FanFare, but this is the first I've noticed the third season of 'The Wire.' Sorry I've missed it, will be checking in, when I'm not watching 'Better Call Saul.'
posted by box at 5:29 PM on February 13, 2015

Royce is willing to give Hamsterdam a shot, and even pulls in the social scientists et al. to understand the extent of the positives to it. Which is heartening! But Royce's relationship with Burrell has degraded so much by this point that Burrell is cut out of the discussion entirely except for an instruction to wait for the order to take the blame. This feels natural to us by this point in the season/series because of all we've seen before it, but seriously think about what it means that Royce spends six days trying to figure out how to adapt this police initiative to be politically feasible, and doesn't include the Police Commissioner in the discussion.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:22 AM on April 25, 2021

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