The Wire: One Arrest   First Watch 
June 25, 2014 2:02 PM - Season 1, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Tipped off by the wire, Greggs, Herc, Carver and Freamon make a bust, but the incident makes Avon and Stringer suspicious, leading them to close shop in the Pit. Meanwhile, Bunk and McNulty look for another witness in the Gant slaying. (Summary via Amazon)

Epigraph: "A man must have a code" - Bunk

Scene from Homicide-the-book: some dialogue between Bunk and Jimmy

Song heard: Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn, >'You're the Reason Our Kids Are Ugly'

Firsts: Senator Clay Davis, Donnell Rawlings as Damien 'Day-Day' Price, Steve Earle as Walon, Rafael Alvarez as lead writer on an episode
posted by box (23 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Wherein we are reminded that whatever progress Prez has made, he did put that kid's eye out.
posted by Lorin at 2:43 PM on June 25, 2014 [3 favorites]


Sheeee-it.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:19 PM on June 25, 2014


We get Bubbles going to a meeting in this episode, which is a great moment. He takes a "clean for 24 hours" keyring even though he got high very recently. Theres a desire there, but not the will to see it through at the moment.

Gotta feel sorry for the detail, who's opponents are two damn smart for them. They try something a little tricky, and Stringer instantly changes up.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:02 AM on June 26, 2014


Random notes:

I love drunk Bunk. I could watch drunk Bunk all day.

Knockos vs. narcos: At 38:34, Stringer says "nahcos", what y'all are saying sounds like "knockos". At 38:36 Avon says "nahrcos", what y'all are saying sounds like "narcos". Since they're talking about the same thing, then by the commutative theory, "narcos" = "knockos", and y'all are overthinking a plate of beans.

Is breaking a bottle on someone obliviously walking down the street an accepted form of arrest?

How does Bird know Kima's gay?

I like how Omar's comment on Bird getting beat up by the police isn't about police brutality or anything, but, "Bird sure do know how to bring it out of people, don't he?"

I like how Michael Santangelo is given the ultimatum to give up McNulty, or solve a whodunnit. Not knowing this, McNulty and crew give him the killer for one of his whodunnits, unknowingly saving him.

Cannon Fodder: "He takes a "clean for 24 hours" keyring even though he got high very recently."

Well, it was "does anyone here have 24 hours, or a sincere desire to live".
posted by Bugbread at 5:59 AM on June 26, 2014


Everybody is saying "narcos". What y'all need are ears from the north of England.
posted by vbfg at 7:12 AM on June 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


I would guess that Kima, being in narcotics (and with a proven record out in the street) is well known to most of the senior members of the Barksdale crew.
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 7:18 AM on June 26, 2014


How does Bird know Kima's gay?

Also, how does Bird know Mcnulty is a "downtown white wh--e"? I think that one hit the closest.
posted by FJT at 7:55 AM on June 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wherein we are reminded that whatever progress Prez has made, he did put that kid's eye out.

Interesting backstory a little on Prez too. Right there in the first scene he explains how he can understand what the drug dealers are talking about on the wire by quoting a song by a British band (recorded in Alabama) about sex, slavery, and drugs. It's a little silly, and I'm still not Team Prez, but I'm glad he's finding a niche. I presume, since this is high dramatic television we're watching here, that he'll be brutally ripped from that niche soon enough.

Also, how does Bird know Mcnulty is a "downtown white wh--e"?

Earlier in this episode there's a beautiful set-up shot of the high rises in downtown Baltimore, just before we go into Police Headquarters for a Major dressing-down. That's where they are later when they're, uh, interrogating Bird. I buy that he knew Kima was gay because she's a known narco and Bird was of a high enough rank in the Barksdale crew to be in on what they know about the local policing entities. Or he just thinks calling someone gay is a horrible insult.

As we're learning just how high Game-players go (even if from a distance, sheeeeeeeee-it) the show is also filling in the known entities in this episode, rounding them out and moving them around the board a bit. Characters that are in very specific places within both police and Barksdale's crew show up in unexpected places. Orlando, Barksdale's front man on his home office, makes an appearance in the courtyard, yammerin'. Daniels shows up at the $500/plate fundraiser, is greeted warmly by his boss but also told in no uncertain terms that he's a bit out of place even for a ladder man. D-C goes to glad-hand Davis; Daniels goes to hang out with the drivers. Note, however, that he keeps his trap firmly shut about why he even showed up.
posted by carsonb at 4:18 PM on June 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Richard Price (who was a screenwriter in some later seasons of The Wire) consistently spelled it knocko in his novel Clockers where it is used by New Jersey dealers and cops to refer to any narcotics officer.

Clockers was written a decade before The Wire, so the spelling clearly isn't just based on Dominic West's pronunciation in his role as McNulty. I think it's definitely a variant spelling of "narco" based on certain mid-Atlantic accents. (Also, isn't "narc" more common slang for drug enforcement agents in most of the U.S.? In my limited experience, "narco" usually means a Mexican drug lord, not a cop.)
posted by mbrubeck at 6:06 PM on June 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


mbrubeck: "Also, isn't "narc" more common slang for drug enforcement agents in most of the U.S.?"

At least in my day, "narc" was synonymous with "informant", not narcotics officer. Is "narc" no longer being used that way (do people no longer say "Don't narc on me?")
posted by Bugbread at 6:13 PM on June 26, 2014


I've heard it in that sense, but also to mean an undercover officer or by extension any infiltrator, as in "He's a narc!"
posted by mbrubeck at 7:07 PM on June 26, 2014


I love drunk Bunk. I could watch drunk Bunk all day.

This for sure. But Bunk at any time is incredibly great; Wendell Pierce is magic. Look at the way he leans in when asking Omar to give up any other murders while they're being chummy anyway. It's totally over the top, and completely in character, and charming as a motherfucker.
posted by carsonb at 8:02 AM on June 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


Man, that's what I thought when I watched the Wire, but trying to watch Treme, I just could not get interested in his character. at. all. Obviously, the actor is responsible for a ton of that greatness, but it's not just the actor alone.
posted by Bugbread at 8:17 AM on June 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


One thing I've never quite gotten is what McNulty was referring to when he gave his "When it came time for you to fuck me" speech to Bunk in the bar. Is he talking about Bunk advising him to kiss Rawls' ass? There was a scene a few episodes ago where Bunk, Kima, and McNulty were arguing outside of some city-hall type building where it occurred to me that Bunk might not be playing straight with McNulty, but that impression didn't seem to play out as the show progressed. So what was McNulty talking about?
posted by ngc4486 at 3:06 PM on June 27, 2014 [1 favorite]


I have wondered that myself and always assumed it referred to some piece of ancient history between them. Or simply a reference to Bunk having (sorry) "broken him in." I couldn't turn up how long McNulty has been with homicide at this point, but Bunk seems to have been his first partner.
posted by Lorin at 4:11 PM on June 27, 2014


One thing I've never quite gotten is what McNulty was referring to when he gave his "When it came time for you to fuck me" speech to Bunk in the bar.

I picked up on that ambiguity too, and the closest thing to an explanation I can find is on this screenwriter's blog, down in the comments someone mentions that the dialog was taken directly from the Homicide book.

As such, I think it's just another little detail that's meant to build characters and relationships rather than forward (or related specifically to) the plot of the season.
posted by carsonb at 4:54 PM on June 27, 2014


I'm fairly certain that that speech is intended to establish their history together, yeah. It implies it was fairly early on in Jimmy's career.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 1:40 AM on June 28, 2014


What's the schedule for posting more episodes? It's been a week but I don't want to jump in if someone else is about to post one.
posted by desjardins at 10:58 AM on July 2, 2014


I was wondering the same. I say please, post away. If there is a draft out there, it could always be posted as a comment.
posted by Lorin at 11:14 AM on July 2, 2014


Yeah, do it!
posted by carsonb at 11:36 AM on July 2, 2014


What they said. Do what you feel.
posted by box at 11:50 AM on July 2, 2014


McNulty is starting to chaff being the Judge's informant.

Sydnor is driving a Metro in the low rise chase scene. Personal car or seized/undercover police vehicle?

Stringer reinforces phone discipline.

It is depressing as hell no one has 9 months at the meeting.
posted by Mitheral at 12:21 AM on August 4, 2014


This episode highlighted for me a bit how lonely Daniels must feel. He doesn't fit in anywhere--not with the rich folks all mingling, not with the drivers hanging out watching baseball. Also nice to see Waylon for the first time, as well as Clay Davis.

Bird really is a nasty fella.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:07 PM on January 11


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