The Wire: Bad Dreams   Rewatch 
September 14, 2014 8:31 PM - Season 2, Episode 11 - Subscribe

As much as they'd like to continue investigating the sprawling criminal activities of the (still largely unknown) Greek, The Detail's hand is forced and with the help of the FBI they break down all the doors they know, gathering evidence and suspects. Valchek finally gets to participate in a very special perp walk. Sobotka eventually visits Ziggy, after a stop at the union hall and a quick trip downtown. Lieutenant Daniels and Omar Little dash off to deliver very personal messages to Landsman and Mouzone, respectively.

"I need to get clean." - Sobotka
posted by carsonb (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
God this episode. Frank's long walk to meet the Greek: does he know what awaits him there? Probably, but he is trying one last chance to save his son, even though nothing can save his son at this point. It's worth noting that while we re-meet practically every character in Season 5, we never see Ziggy again.

I love this season because it does tell a complete story, the tragedy of Frank Sobotka, and it works perfectly, something the show doesn't really do again: Stringer and Avon need three seasons, Marlo and Carcetti two. Technically the newspaper arc is only one season, but its nowhere near as good as this one.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:40 PM on September 14, 2014

Nobody knows that nothing can save Ziggy except Ziggy and Landsman, and neither bother to mention it (it being Zig's confession) to anyone until it's way too late. Frank wouldn't have had to entertain The Greek's offer, which I'm 99% sure he knew would result in his death ('Why under the bridge?' he asks Nicky), to save a son who has just confirmed he's not actually Frank's son. That knowledge breaks Frank, and he goes on autopilot to Save His Family, to his death.

Took me a long while to figure out why Vondas acts the way he does, attempting to preserve Sobotka and Nicky as part of the org, but it finally clicked on a recent watch: He's got a gigantic crush on Nicky.No wives for Vondas!
posted by carsonb at 6:21 AM on September 15, 2014

Carsonb: indeed, and as you say Frank goes to the bridge fairly sure it will kill him, but knowing he has to do it for Ziggy.

I feel like I've seen the reading of Vondas as gay elsewhere. I don't mind it, although I've always interpreted his relationship with Nicky as a more fatherly one.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 7:09 AM on September 15, 2014

>a son who has just confirmed he's not actually Frank's son

I guess I missed something -- where is this revealed?
posted by oakroom at 8:28 AM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

You know? I think it's cut out of the final version of this episode oakroom. The HBO synopsis mentions it though.
posted by carsonb at 9:39 AM on September 15, 2014

HBO synopsis: "He also reveals to Sobotka that he's known for years that Frank is not his real father."

Ziggy: When I seen what I did to that kid down at the store, it made me sick to my stomach.
Frank: That ain't you, Zig.
Ziggy: It ain't? 'Cause the same blood don't flow for us, Pop. I mean, I wish it did, but it don't.

I guess I can see how that exchange could relate to Ziggy's paternity, but it sure doesn't seem like the most natural reading to me -- I took it to mean that his character/personality was too different from Frank's. I wonder how authoritative the HBO summaries are meant to be.
posted by oakroom at 10:16 AM on September 15, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah I had always assumed it was a comment on their natures rather than their genetics..
posted by Cannon Fodder at 12:33 PM on September 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I feel like I've seen the reading of Vondas as gay elsewhere

The show plays around with it. "You know what they call a guy who pays that much attention to his clothes, don't you?" "Mmhmm. A grown up."
posted by kithrater at 3:04 AM on September 16, 2014

I think the HBO synopses aren't gospel, and that the supposed "reveal" of Ziggy's parentage is open to interpretation, though if that's the interpretation, I don't think it comes as a surprise to Frank, who a few episodes earlier was lambasting Ziggy and said "and I don't care who your mother is," which could also fit that reading of things, but would mean that this is a more-or-less open secret. In any case it doesn't matter - Frank's gonna go die on the slimmest of chances of helping the kid.

I'm not sure that I understand Frank's going down to the Union Hall and picking up the day's work for the guy, though. Is it just to spend one more day with the docks/union/work before it all inevitably comes crashing down?
posted by Navelgazer at 11:03 AM on April 24, 2021

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