The last season of this summer’s The Wire Virgin Diary is quickly coming to a close. “Stray Rounds” and “Storm Warnings” were both very solid episodes, finally setting the stakes for what this season is likely all about. As great as this show is supposed to be, I’m going to assume the first half of this season was an aberration, not unlike Friday Night Lights experienced in the same timeframe.
Season Two, Episode Nine: “Stray Rounds”
Stringer Bell is playing a dangerous game. First he has D’Angelo taken out. Now he’s moving towards his deal with Proposition Joe against the direct orders of Avon. He’s in for a rude awakening when he realizes that the famed Brother Mouzone is already walking the streets of Baltimore. It’s hard to blame the guy though; his logic is sound. Avon is too far separated from what’s going on outside of prison. He might be a great field general – and he obviously is to have risen to the level he was at – but locked away, he can’t see the consequences of his poor decision-making.
You knew that Valchek was eventually going to catch on to the fact that Frank Sobotka was no longer the focus of the detail’s investigation. His insistence to ignore the greater case once again proves that the Baltimore Police Department – at least the one in the world of The Wire – is run on ego and politics, and not necessarily the protection of the public (Though the district commander Rawls was jawing with at least seemed to recognize how screwed up the situation is).
The raid on the brothel had much less of an impact than I expected – at least in the short-term. Getting caught with his pants down … at least that far down … is one of those things that McNulty truly deserves to catch hell for. It will more likely be one of those things that he gets away with, though it is pretty obvious he’s burned himself with Pearlman. He just “couldn’t resist,” eh?
Episode Ten: “Storm Warnings”
I really liked the montage in the cold open. It was a great way to show the passage of time, and the fleshing out of the case. It also shows how Prez is growing as a cop ; he has come a long way from inexperienced police that tuned up a kid early in the first season – though I’m not sure him taking a swing at his father-in-law helps or hurts that case. I particularly enjoyed metaphor of cutting down Sobotka’s picture to make room for the rest of the case.
I promised myself I wouldn’t talk about Ziggy several episodes ago, but doing so is unavoidable at this point. It isn’t that I don’t understand his primary motivation as a character; he’s just trying to prove himself to everyone that has ever doubted him. The problem is everyone has always doubted him for the same reason: he’s an incomparable screw-up. His duck, over the last several episodes, was proof enough in and of itself. But now we’ve got him popping two of the Greek’s people, over being suckered out of half of the fee for the stolen cars. The saddest part of Ziggy’s story was his confession, how he pumps up the story for him to look more badass all failing to hold back his tears.
I can’t even call Ziggy a tragic character; he still feels like a pile of wasted storyline at this point. The Greeks are scrambling to shut down their operation, but not because of Ziggy – it was their mole in the FBI and thus Valchek’s ego that tipped them off. I’m sure it will all tie together in the end, because that is supposedly how The Wire works. But considering I was never really given a reason to care about Ziggy, it’s hard to be pushed one way or the other about his actions here. Until they directly to the greater story line, I’m not interested; at this point, I’m not sure I ever will be.