‘The Wire’ Rewatch (Again): Season One

On yet another rewatch of ‘The Wire,’ looking back at season one

I have decided to watch ‘The Wire’ againThis might the fourth or fifth time, I can’t remember.

The first time I watched the show, I took an unusual route, starting with season four and then going season three, season one, and then season two. After that, I rewatched it again in chronological orderI watched season five when it aired. Now I know for certain that at some point while dating the gal who I would eventually marry, I watched the series again. So that is three times I am sure of. There may have been one other pass-through which is why I don’t know if this is re-watch four or five.

Upon finishing each season, I’m going to recap it via awards. For more about ‘The Wire,’ check out my rankings of all-things related to the show.

HBO

SEASON ONE AWARDS

Low-Key MVP: Jay Landsman

I have always like Landsman. I think part of it is because of how he reminds me of someone I used to work with. Nostalgia is powerful like that.

But I also appreciate how Landsman goes about his business and how he’ll give you shit one minute, but then prop you up the next. Like when he goes to bat for McNulty with Rawls or gives McNulty a cup of coffee when McNulty is working late, typing up a report that helps Santangello clear a case. I liked seeing him in action after Kima was shot too, following the trail with Bunk, sweaty as hell, huffing and puffing and following footprints.

Landsman is that guy who is great if he’s on your side and shitty if he’s not.

I could have done without him detailing himself masturbating though, but that could just be me.

Moment That Hit The Hardest: Kima getting shot

Not Wallace getting shot? No, not this time. Don’t get me wrong; that still stung. But when Little Man and Wee-Bay popped Kima, I felt myself getting tense. I got goosebumps.

Part of it was the suspense that came with the rest of the unit trying to track her down and then when they did, how emotionally raw the scene was. How Carver and Syndor were a mess and how McNulty somehow kept it together enough to administer CPR.

Usually, the Wallace shooting takes it, but this time? Not so much.

Most Likeable Moment From An Unlikeable Character: Rawls after Kima gets shot

The episode after Kima gets shot picks right up from there, with the aftermath. The scene is chaotic, people are everywhere. And Rawls shows up and for a brief moment, is a character you can feel good rooting for.

He takes command of the scene as a true leader should and does so in a complete no-nonsense style. And then, to seal the deal, he gives McNulty the kind of hard talk that a hard-headed, narcissistic guy like McNulty needs at that moment.

Every character in The Wire, no matter how bad they might be, seems to get at least one moment to show that they aren’t totally a terrible person. This was Rawls’.

Favorite Character: Lester

When watching The Wire again, you know certain things. Like, you know that Lester isn’t the quiet house cat he appears to be when he first gets detailed to the unit. No one else knows that, but you know that.

So with that inside knowledge, it’s fun waiting for him to show his hand and prove to the others that he’s the real deal. And then once he’s done that, he basically becomes the Number Two behind Daniels.

On a related note: I need to pick up a hobby that nets the kind of money that making dollhouse furniture does.

Favorite Bubbles Moment: When he first calls McNulty “McNutty”

It’s endearing and comes so naturally.

I will say that again, with some inside knowledge and knowing that in the end, Bubbles is one of the few characters who end up in a good place, it’s easier to follow him as he goes through his ups and downs. It’s still tragic, but not as tragic.

One Semi-Big Realization (or Reaffirmation): Stringer is kind of bad at this

HBO

I already knew that Stringer wasn’t cut out for the game, but watching it again, it really kind of becomes obvious. He’s the classic example of being book smart when street smarts are needed. This obviously becomes more apparent as the show goes on, but the track is laid during the show’s first season.

It’s his fault that Kima was shot. He thought they could pop Orlando and make some money in the process. But as Avon rightfully points out, where would Orlando have gotten the 30K he somehow had to buy from them. Stringer didn’t think about that though. Instead, he thought he was being clever, and trying to be clever is dicey. It either works or it doesn’t. There’s never an in-between when it comes to being clever.

He does make it out of the both alive and not arrested, so it’s not like he’s a total hump. But you can see that he’s not long for the game.

An Unanswerable Question: What happened to the kids Wallace was looking after?

Do they get sent away to foster care? Are they Poot’s problem now? Are they anyone’s problem?

Maybe that was why Wallace’s death didn’t get me as hard this time because I was thinking about things like the four or five kids he was taking care of. And we never hear from them again either, which is a little but surprising seeing as how The Wire is so thorough.

You would have thought that one of those kids would have grown up to become one of the kids in season four.

Thing That Surprised Me: Wallace wasn’t gone as long as I thought

I knew he goes to the Eastern Shore at some point, but I didn’t realize that he’s only out of Baltimore for an episode. I thought Daniels drove him down there around episode nine and then he came back in the second-to-last episode. But no. It’s much shorter.

Daniels drops him off, then we see Wallace talking to Poot on the phone, then we hear him talking to Poot on the phone, asking him to help him get back to Baltimore and then there he is, back in Baltimore. He essentially went there for a long weekend whereas I thought he was at least there for a month or so.

A Subtle ‘Oh, Shit’ Moment: When Pooh shoots Wallace twice

He did! I don’t think I ever realized it. I feel like it’s become entrenched in The Wire lore that Bodie and Bodie alone killed Wallace. Poot’s presence is acknowledged but when we talk about Wallace getting killed, we talk about it being Bodie the one that did it.

And that first shot might have in fact been the one that killed Wallace but damn, it’s worth noting that Poot, somehow who by all accounts seemed to be Wallace’s best friend, shot him twice. Not once, not another shot for good measure. He shot him twice.

Did he fire those two shots to make sure Wallace was completely dead? Or did he do it to drive the point home? I’d say it was probably to make sure his friend was really dead. But either way, Poot fired twice. Let the record show that yes, Poot fired second, but Poot fired twice.

The Geico Insurance Best Driving Award: Carver

Carver, he might be kind a hump and it was totally not cool (although a little understandable) how he was snitching on Daniels to the Deputy Ops, but I have to give my guy credit for his driving. He drives with laser-like focus.

And that’s it. At this time, I refuse to give Carver praise for anything else.

Okay. On to season two.

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