The Wire - Season 5 "Unconfirmed Reports"

Category: , , By Rev/Views

Last weeks season opened was solid, but slower than usual (and The Wire is a slow show to start anyway). So I pushed back watching the second episode till today.

I'm only just past the cold opening and credits and I'm already feeling compelled to write about it. The cold opening is a simple piece about Bubbles at an Addicts Anonymous meeting, it opens with a young ish woman talking about her experiences as an addict. The degrading things she did to chase her next high are not explicitly mentioned. But they are hinted at, which makes it all the more disturbing. Bubbles himself doesn't directly talk about his experiences (many of which the viewer has also experienced) instead he attempts to make light of it with amusing metaphors and jokes. But it's clear that things are wearing on him as he keeps it short before sitting down crushed.

Such a powerfull opening scene is part of what makes The Wire so great. We have only two characters talking a lot, one of which is only a bit part. But the writing and acting is so strong that the desperation and decay that is creeping through Baltimore permiates everything.

Then we're onto the season 5 cover of Tom Waits's "Way Down in the Hole". It's really grown on me this past week, I might like it more than The Blind Boys of Alabama's rendition. It has such a wonderful downbeat drive to it.

It seems that lies are a major part of this episode and even season. Both the media and McNulty are creating stories where there are none. McNulty in particular has lost the plot, as his tampering of evidence in a death to make it appear like strangulation (to match earlier post mortem neck damage on another body) is a new low even for Jimmy. Right now I can't really figure out why he's acting out this way, before Jimmy's motives have been clear if a little twisted but now... I don't know, he's gone way beyond his usual levels of bad behaviour into something that could end up with him being tarred as a 'bad guy'. As I said in the previous review, I think he's in for a major fall.

In the other fronts Marlo is pushing out again after the Major Crimes Unit relax their vigilance (having been essentially disbanded last episode) and he strikes out against people who offended him. Omar is on that list, but hasn't appeared yet. It's going to be legendary when Marlo goes up against Omar. Hopefully Snoop catches a bullet in the process.
I'm also hoping that Marlo's conversations with Avon and the "Russian" (Really Ukrainian) result in a return of "The Greek" I loved that guy in season 2 and I'd like to see the return of that organisation as it would tie S2 in nicely before the end.

The media section of the story still remains the weakest, Clark Johnson is fantastic again this episode. But on the whole it doesn't seem to have as much punch as any of the other parts of this story.

But the action is back and the ball is already rolling. Things are looking bleak in Baltimore and that means good television.


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