“How come they don’t fly?”

The second half of season 2 took us in some interesting directions. We saw Frank’s crusade for the canal dredge, Nick’s desire to provide for his family, Ziggy’s quest for respect, and Stringer’s fight to survive in the drug world. Frank’s story really takes shape in episode seven “Backwash” when he attends a seminar on robotic dock technology and becomes enraged by the fact that these machines would make stevedores obsolete. This scene and others, most notably in episode eleven with the line “You know what the trouble is Brucey? We used to make shit in this country, build shit, now we just put our hands in the next guys pocket” really demonstrate what Frank wants, which we will address later. Stringer’s storyline is centered around his struggle to maintain the towers, as a result, he turns to Proposition Joe for good product. Ziggy’s storyline is all about respect, he doesn’t care about money, everything he does is to feel like he means something. No one gives him this respect which eventually leads him to murder. This season asks some really important questions, what are we willing to do to get what we want? and what are we willing to do to protect what we have?

Frank is the embodiment of these questions. We’ve seen throughout the season and particularly in the second half of this season what Frank is all about. Frank does not care about himself, all he cares about is the union and his family and we’ve seen that through the season. When he finds out that the members of the state legislature that he had bribed were backing out, he responded with “so what so I’m dirty, the grain pier still the grain pier right? They ain’t voting for me Brucey it ain’t about me”. Frank just wants the union to survive and will do whatever it takes to make that the case but this is not a selfish goal. This is why he’s so infuriated by the prospect of automation, he wants to keep everyone else’s jobs intact. This also relates to Stringer and his need to keep the towers up. They worked hard to get those and they’re not about to lose them. This causes Stringer to turn to his main rival as a source for product, he has to keep this up. Both of these characters are losing what they have due to circumstances beyond their control, and do anything and everything within their power to keep that from happening.

Season Two of The Wire directly addresses this disillusionment with the American Dream that we see in modern times where one wants to live a good life while also ensuring success for their loved ones. One key scene that reflected this is in Episode Seven where Frank talks with Mr. DiBiago about their children’s futures. Mr. DiBiago’s son goes to Princeton and will have unlimited possibilities once he graduates, while Frank’s son and nephew will be forced to work as stevedores for the rest of their lives. This reflects the growing trend among White Americans where many feel that their children will not have the opportunity for social mobility or even better lives. The best metaphor for this is when Ziggy asks Mr. Diz, the duck owner, why they don’t simply fly away. Since the ducks’ wings are clipped, they lack the ability to fly away. In a similar sense, throughout Season 2 and the entirety of The Wire, David Simon argues that the working class is like the ducks. Capitalist institutions and declining opportunities in work and education are keeping the working class in a subjugated state that prevents social mobility and forces them to remain in their social class for their entire lives. This mindstate has been shown to affect how people in this predicament behave and act. In Simon’s world, the American Dream that was so fabled by older generations is no longer accessible or even imaginable for new and future generations. For example, owning a home was once seen as just a way to provide a happy life for your family. However, we see through Nick’s dilemma that a home is not just a material possession but also an investment, which he hopes he can keep in his family for their sake. Unfortunately, we see how difficult it is for him to afford a home without resorting to selling drugs, which could be seen as an additional barrier for Nick to move to a higher socioeconomic status. Overall, David Simon’s portrayal of the American Dream throughout The Wire reflects on how the American Dream is becoming increasingly unattainable by the lower and middle classes due to increasing institutional constraints and their effects.

26 thoughts on ““How come they don’t fly?”

  1. Elizabeth Colantonio

    There is no doubt that season two brought us all through a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts. I agree with you that Frank tends to look out for those around him more than he does himself. This can been seen in the example you brought up and when he goes to the bridge to talk with the Greek about getting Ziggy out of jail. For me, it was sad to see the Frank have to turn to crime to provide for those he cares about. As I see it, this ties into a key aspect we discussed in season one- turning to crime in times of need. It is hard to face the reality that the American government has made it so difficult for some citizens that the only choice they have is to turn to crime. In season one we see the Barksdale crew illegally dealing drugs and in season two we see Frank smuggling the cans. In both cases the groups are aiming to provide for those around them. As you brought up, the American dream now is an American dream that is totally different than what it use to be. The American dream has become more and more difficult to obtain by citizens as the years pass and because of this, or at least as I view Simon trying to show this as, citizens have felt like they need to turn to crime to achieve this dream. Although I don’t agree with crime,I do see some of the reasons Simon shows as to why citizens turn to crime. As a citizen who has not had to face many financial hardships it is still a little difficult for me to fully understand the need to commit crime, but The Wire has definitely helped move me in the right direction of understanding it more. Hopefully as the seasons continue, The Wire will continue to open my eyes and help me to understand the other situations citizens face that I am unaware of.

    1. Avery Solsbak Post author

      I like your point regarding the hard choices Frank made. One thing I was thinking about was the similarities and differences between Frank and Avon or Stringer. I think really the big differences are present in their outlook and I think that’s what Simon is going for. Avon does what he does at least in part out of a sense of pride. I don’t think Frank is in the right, but he still does everything for others and really doesn’t enjoy what he does nor does he have any desire to do it. Everything he does seems to be in pursuit of the American dream for his employees and family, but not really for himself

  2. Shira Greer

    Great catch on Simon’s comparison of the working class to the ducks! I didn’t catch that the ducks had clipped wings, but it completely makes sense that the ducks’ clipped wings could be a metaphor for how unchecked capitalism has led to the slow decay of the American dream considering Simon’s Marxist tendencies.

    The decay of the American dream is a concept Simon has been exploring over the past two seasons, and one he will likely continue to explore throughout the coming three seasons. Simon’s exploration of this decay has been so impactful because of his treatment of the idea of the “other.” Simon chooses to focus season one on a group that would traditionally be considered the “other” by introducing HBO’s predominantly white, middle class viewers to the black, predominantly lower class Barksdale crew. But, he takes this concept of the “other” and flips it on its head, as Simon takes the traditional stereotypes of lazy, thuggish black drug dealers and instead portrays hardworking, cunning individuals such as Avon and Stringer. Through the Barksdale crew’s actions, Simon demonstrates how after being locked out of the American dream due to race, the Barksdale crew attempts to manufacture it on their own outside of standard white American society. However, in season two Simon explores a different group which can be considered the “other,” Frank Sobotka’s union men. While this “other” may be somewhat more familiar to HBO’s typical viewer due to the commonality of race, there is still the great barrier of socioeconomic class, which was overshadowed in season one due to the more obvious difference in race. By focusing on the white working-class, Simon illuminates how black people aren’t the only ones systemically locked out of the American dream; it is also ostensibly impossible to escape one’s socioeconomic class, as evidenced by Frank Sobotka’s fruitless efforts. Despite Frank not being a part of white American society, he is still kept stagnant in terms of social mobility due to his working-class status which is declining due to the boom in technology. Through shifting the focus in season two, Simon demonstrates how the American dream has decayed, and how attempts to keep it alive are ultimately done in vain.

    1. Avery Solsbak Post author

      I like your point about the presence of the “other” in the wire an how it relates to different characters in different ways. One thing I’ve been thinking about throughout this season I how conscious of this “othering” the union really is. One really big difference between the Barksdale crew and the dock workers is organization. Frank and the other dock workers are a lot less organized than Avon and Stringer. For a while, I couldn’t figure out why Simon made this choice, but I think I get it now. I don’t think the dock workers see themselves as being outside of typical society. They’re aware that what they’re doing is illegal sure, but Frank and definitely Nick see this line of business as temporary. They’re doing something bad now so they can go back to normal later. That’s why they openly talk about drugs on the phone because they’re just “normal” people and “normal” people talk about their jobs on the phone. That thought process would never even occur to Avon. What I’m getting at is the idea that the Barksdale guys see themselves as outside of the system, so they find themselves living in a completely different world. The union guys are still “othered” by the system but they don’t recognize it. Sorry, I kinda got off topic but your post got me thinking.

  3. Miquell

    I agree with your comparison of the working class to the ducks having clipped wings. I also find it interesting , and extremely relatable, that this comparison could be stretched to the drug-dealers and outlaws in Baltimore as well.

    This was clear in the scene where Omar visits Butch in his store. First of all, since Omar has made very few appearances in the second season compared to the first, I find it striking that every scene Simon chooses to cast him is of extreme significance. Now in this scene, Omar delivers some money to Butch saying it was “for my people”, while also sliding Butch some extra cash for himself. More importantly, Omar’s shirt reads, “I am the American Dream.” When I saw this, my views about the American Dream altered in a sense.

    When thinking about the American Dream, I believe it to be something along the lines of a social construct. And like most social construct, it is created by and defined through the lens of what White America deems to be the ideal definition. In this case, we all believe the American Dream to be this uniform definition of “honest” social mobility and success. However, it is your circumstances and what you wish to achieve out of life that defines your own individual understanding of what your unique American Dream is. This applies especially to those whos “wings are clipped”, like most individuals residing in the inner city. This just means to me that you have to go about different ways to achieving what you believe to be your own dream.

    Omar’s shirt, and him saying the money was for his people, highlights his own American Dream of giving back to his people when no one else seems to care about them. Because of his circumstances of coming from that same place of poverty where no one who has the power is willing to use it to make productive change, I believe he is dawning the mantle of the Hero In his community that everyone else is either to afraid to do, or too preoccupied with achieving their own selfish ideas of what they believe to be “The American Dream.” In doing so, Omar is playing the game to the best of his ability, and living his own version of the American Dream despite America dealing him an unwindable hand.

    1. Cameron Keeley-Parker

      Wow Miquell that honestly left me speechless, like I’m truly blown away by your interpretation! I never noticed Omar’s shirt saying “I am the American Dream”, which is a nice spot by itself. I most definitely agree with you that the American Dream is based entirely on how each person defines it. Omar’s version of the American Dream is sort of like being the vigilante of the community in a sense. He doesn’t harm the innocent and robs the drug dealers, giving him a morality that is the strong backbone of his interpretation of the American Dream. Overall, great thinking to connect the metaphor to Omar, who I honestly overlooked this season. Good job!

    2. Avery Solsbak Post author

      I can’t believe I didn’t see the shirt! I think you’re absolutely right. Omar is trying to make the best of his circumstances even though those circumstances are pretty dismal. One thing I’ve been thinking about a lot in the context of Omar is the idea of purity. We talked before in class about how Omar and Kima in season one are portrayed as pure. Both of them do what they feel to be “right” (I’ll get to that in a moment) regardless of the consequences.

      The reason I find Omar so interesting is that he shows what pure can mean in a world like this. Omar is the least underhanded, most honest character on the show. These are traits that we all see as noble. Yet, Omar also walks around with a gun sticking up drug dealers. The thing I find most interesting about Omar, and the aspect that relates to your point about the American Dream, is his complete lack of remorse for his actions. In his mind “it’s all in the game” is all the justification he needs. His desire to live his version of the American Dream is pure. He’s trying to make something for himself, which is kind of the point of the American Dream.

      Thanks for bringing this up, I’m definitely going to talk about this in class.

  4. Camryn Williams

    I really liked what you had to say about the ducks. I noticed that there might be a metaphor there, and I am glad that someone else saw it and was able to elaborate on it. This metaphor, along with other examples in these episodes, made me even more aware of the class distinctions and the American Dream in the show.
    The American Dream is an idea that Simon has used in both season one and season two. When taken down to its roots, the American Dream represents a goal of prosperity and success, while also trying to provide for those around you. In this season particularly, we see how the American Dream has created somewhat of a false hope for the characters. For example, in episode 7, Frank talks about he grew up drinking tang, and how everyone drank it because they thought that they could be astronauts one day. He is not an astronaut and is now confined to the working class with really no chance of mobility. The false hope associated with the American dream is only made more prevalent through these episodes, as each character deals with their own problems of success. Stringer needs to keep the towers operating, Nick wants to buy a house, Frank needs to protect his family and keep the union going strong. All of this is extremely important in establishing the America that Simon wants to portray and maintains the idea of the American Dream as something that is altogether hard to reach.

    1. Cameron Keeley-Parker

      Stellar thinking, Camryn! I like how you brought up the conversation between Frank and his lobbyists where he brought up the Tang story. In my opinion, this was the standout moment of Season 2 since it basically summarizes everyone’s position. All the Sobotkas- Nick, Frank, and Ziggy- believed that they would be able to work jobs they enjoyed and still be able to provide for their families, but as we see, that is not the case. Overall, great conclusion and recollection of an important scene.

  5. Charles Bugg

    I agree with you 100% on your ideas of social mobility revolving around the Wire. Especially in the case of your example about the clipped duck wings. It is incredibly symbolic when they are talking about the ducks because, as you explained, it directly correlates to the social mobility of the working class. In this case, it correlates to Ziggy the most. We see Ziggy in these episodes doing his best to be respected. He tries to fight a man who is so much bigger than him, Ziggy ends up on top of a stack of shipping containers. He buys a duck with clipped wings, walks it around on a leash, and gives it whiskey all to give him respect and attention and to be “the funny guy”. He even refuses to take Nick’s “drug money”, because he wants to be bigger than that. However, in America, it is hard to move up and improve your reputation. He is trying to achieve the American Dream, but does not have a plan, or any way of going about it. Ziggy is staying on the docks, trying to garner respect from other dock workers who know him as a laughing stock. He is going no where as of now, while Nick is earning real money going about his goals in a more illegal way. Ziggy, trying to be an honest earner of money, will likely never earn any real honest money if he does not change. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. He is a working class kid, son of Frank Sobotka, who is used to his way of living life. His attitudes and rash decisions won’t just go away either. In other words, Ziggy is a young man with a long road ahead of him to get off the docks and advance in class. He is a duck with clipped wings, and let’s hope he does not end up like his pet duck, dead on a pool table from drinking too much whiskey.

    1. Cameron Keeley-Parker

      Great work Charles! Ziggy is an interesting character since, in essence, he wants what everyone else wants. However, he has an interesting approach to achieving this dream. Like you said, the clipped wing metaphor works for Ziggy since he has no way to move upward socially. Although not addressed, I would like to know what caused Ziggy’s clipped wings. We never get a full explanation, which would be a great way to understand Ziggy as a person instead of comic relief.

  6. Amara

    “How come they don’t fly?” I thought this was one of the most interesting parts of season 2. As you mentioned in your post, their wings are clipped and they lack the ability to fly. I relate this to both season 1 and 2 of the wire. Why didn’t Wallace simply leave the game and never return? Why couldn’t Nikko stop business with the Greeks once he had made enough money? Simply because they had been conditioned to this lifestyle and all previous methods of survival had been expunged from their memory. Their wings had been clipped in this scenario simply meant their hands had been tied. They could no longer live in a way they did not understand or benefit from?
    Another interesting part of season two that

    1. Amara

      You also talked about how the American dream has changed over a period of time. It is now a very difficult thing to achieve and that does play a role in why citizens like Nikko and Wallace can not just simply walk away. Initially, Nikko refuses to deal drugs and is upset when his cousin Ziggy brings it up, but eventually, he notices that he cannot achieve his American dream, owning a home, without joining the game. The growth of Nikkos character just reinforces the idea that the American dream is simply a luxury.

      1. Cameron Keeley-Parker

        Fantastic thinking Amara! I never thought about the appeal of luxury in the sense of the Wire but it makes sense now. You’re right, Ziggy is only focused on the luxuries that money can get you. Whether it was his expensive coat or diamond duck leash, Ziggy’s American Dream centered around his desire for wealth/luxury and showing it off to others. In a sense, Ziggy’s American Dream ends up getting him incarcerated. Although we don’t know what Ziggy would have spent the stolen car money on, it can be assumed that he would waste it on another incredibly lavish, but unnecessary item. I feel like this was part of his motivation for killing Glekas and ultimately his incarceration.

  7. Jamie Polak

    The second half of season two definitely took us into some interesting directions, revealing to us the true persona of many characters, especially and most notably Frank. With the second half of the season we see how far Frank will go to help his union to achieve the goal of dredging the canal deeper in order to get more ships so there will be more working hours available for his stevedores. Frank is a fascinating character because he will allow his pier to be a smuggling port for a Greek criminal gang who deal with drugs and prostitution in order to make more money to bribe and donate more to state officials for the dredging of the canal (more work for his union). As we watch Frank throughout the season we see how everything he does is for the union. All he wants his for his union workers, who represent the typical white male working class, is to have more hours, and as we’ve seen he stoop into criminal activity to get them. You accurately point out how Simon uses season two to demonstrate how the working class does not have social mobility in the contemporary world; how Simon is trying to demonstrate that the American dream is no longer a reality. By Nick only being able to afford the investment of real estate (a home) through the practice of drug smuggling and not through his dock worker’s wage, Simon exemplifies how the typical American dream of the working class WHITE male of buying a house for his and his family is no longer possible.

    1. Cameron Keeley-Parker

      Great synopsis Jamie! In your comment you mentioned the typical American Dream. In my opinion, the American Dream is different for everyone based on race, socioeconomic status, gender, etc… I like how you summarized the American Dream for typical working class white men. The common notion that the Dream is to buy a home was fairly prominent in white communities, but I feel Simon also portrays how the Dream is also portrayed in other communities. For example, I believe D’Angelo’s dream was to escape the life he was so ingrained in, which is completely different from the white male’s dream.

  8. Caterina Erdas

    As you mentioned, lack of respect is an important topic this season. Ziggy’s struggle with respect is mirrored by Herc and Carver in the police department. Ziggy tells his father when he is in jail, “I got tired of being the punchline to every joke.” Herc also complains about how they don’t have respect from their new promotion, and that all they do is wait in the car for someone to appear. Lieutenant Daniels, who is still punishing Carver for leaking information on the Barksdale case and Herc for stealing money on the job (which he did not do), feels like he cannot trust the pair, placing them to the side of the investigation. Danielas even forgets to tell the pair that Nick Sobotka turned himself in. This pushes Carver over the line; he yells at Daniela’s and storms out. On the other hand, Nick and Beadie Russell are new to an international smuggling organization and homicide investigation respectively. They perform and improve without any past reputation to hinder their progress. Ziggy, Herc, and Carver all acquired a bad reputation with the people they worked with, which had a lasting negative affect that was impossible to undo, and it made their working environment unbearable.

    In this season, we are introduced to Omar’s foil, Brother Mouzone. There is a lot of build up before seeing Brother for the first. Everyone seems to fear him and his body count is large. In my mind, I was envisioning a scary, muscular, tall man carrying big guns and wearing street clothes. Brother is the complete opposite, breaking down our preconceived notion of what a dangerous person looks and acts like (similar to how Omar does the same for gay men). These two individuals are powerful, incredibly intelligent people, and there scene together is one of my favorites so far. I can’t wait to see Brother in future seasons.

    1. Avery Solsbak Post author

      I’m really glad-you brought up Brother Mouzone because he embodies one of the show’s core themes, no one is what you expect. The guy dresses like Pee-Wee Herman and is still the most intimidating character on the show. We see this with pretty much everyone on the show, from corrupt cops to noble drug dealers. This works really well to display the message of the show because it encourages us to not make assumptions about people.

  9. Arthur Worthington

    You made some really good points about the American dream in your post. I enjoyed the connection you made between the duck being unable to fly and the working class. I feel like this connection can extend beyond the working class to what we have seen earlier in the series. For example within the Barksdale organization there is no way out. We saw this with both Wallace and De’Angelo. Now they have shifted this same concept to the middle class in the second season.

    The only thing that I would disagree with you on is when you said that Ziggy doesn’t care about money. I feel that Ziggy has a reckless personality and is often drunk which causes him to make irrational decisions. I agree with your point about respect and I think when he feels disrespected is when he tends to act out. This is seen when he throws a lot of drug money out of a car window. That being said, he is still motivated to make money. Which is clear when we see him both wanting to sell cars and drugs. While money may not be his top priority, it still is a driving force in a lot of his decisions.

    1. Avery Solsbak Post author

      I don’t think money is the driving force behind his decision to steal the cars or the cameras. There are a lot of decisions he would have made differently if it was. Ziggy isn’t stupid, if he really cared most about the money he would have let Nick help him with the cars. Spiros and Glekas like Nick and hate Ziggy. Ziggy knows this, and yet he went alone. Why? Because he wants respect more than anything. He wants to prove to everyone and more importantly himself that he’s a man. He’s surrounded by people who disrespect him. Nick was already paying him plenty, Glekas gave him a decent amount of money. Then, he snapped. When Frank asked him why he killed Glekas he didn’t say “he broke our deal”, he said “I was tired of being the butt of every joke”.

  10. Lauren

    I agree and disagree with your points. I love how you discussed the lack of mobility in the middle class. However, as we discussed in class, I do not believe that the characters in the docks are considered middle class. However, this concept is also applicable to the working class. As you stated in class, it is now much harder to work manual jobs and earn a decent living. It is also harder now for children to surpass their parents as far as in economic class ranks. This is a quickly growing issue in the economy of America. I do believe that this is what Simon was alluding to with the duck that could not fly.

    On a separate note, with Ziggy’s arrest we also see the recurring presence of racial inequality. Bodie was beat up when he was arrested for selling drugs. Then in this season, Ziggy is given a cigarette to smoke as he sits and writes down the details of his crime. He even explains how the greek that he killed “begged for his life”. There is a clear difference in the amount of respect that the suspects of these crimes receive. There is even a drastic difference when the crime committed by the white man is much more vicious than he black counterpart. This ties back to reality with the difference in Eric Garner and Dylann Roof’s arrests. Eric Garner was begging for air after he was arrested for re-selling cigarettes; Dylann was carefully arrested after killing 9 people inside of a church.

    1. Avery Solsbak Post author

      Sorry, I guess I didn’t articulate this correctly. I don’t think the union guys are middle class, I think they want to be and that’s why they’re doing this stuff.

      You’re totally right. I think Simon is trying to talk about intersectionality with that part of Ziggy’s story. It’s clear that people with low-income status have many of the same issues, but there are also plenty of issues that are only really dependent on race or other factors. Income is immensely important, but it’s not the only factor consider.

  11. A'Kayla Williams

    I really enjoyed reading the comparison between the ducks and the working class. I initially did not recognize the comparison and I started to think about how social mobility affected the characters in the show. I appreciate how Simon brings attention to the idea of the American Dream and the struggle it takes to achieve it. I believe that many of the characters are working towards something to better themselves and to work towards that dream, no matter what that may be, and goes about achieving it in different ways. In your posts you mentioned how the American Dream is becoming increasing unattainable due to to the increasing institutional constraints and I 100% agree with you. I once again thought about Simon’s article about the two Americas and how there’s inequality between the two worlds. While the American Dream seems unattainable is it safe to say that American dream no longer exist?

  12. Brianna Charlton

    “How come they dont just fly away?” Not only are their wings clipped, but they have become comfortable in the state that they’re in. A perfect example of Ziggy, he is able to have such a reckless personality because he has become complacent- to a certain extent – in the lifestyle that he has. He is continually throwing away money not because he doesnt see himself moving forward, but because he also sees the societal roadblocks ahead of him. Why fly away when you have everything you need here? Why aim for more when you’ve been surviving just fine where you are? This makes the idea of the American Dream exactly how others have stated – a luxury. Another quote that really seems to tie into this idea of the American Dream that seems to come up a lot throughout the course of the show is “it’s all in the game right.” Which of course, most literally has to do with the drug game and that the things you do in order to succeed, “don’t count.” This could also be applied to Frank Sobotka and the American Dream. With as many technologically advanced systems that we’ve developed, it is in a lot of ways inevitable for the dock workers to be replaced by machines. Sobotka becomes desperate, and the things that he does- like facilitate prostitution and drugs- is all “just part of the game” even if he doesn’t directly benefit from it. To connect the two quotes and also some of the replies that others have posted, it seems as though the clipped wings are an unspoken part of the game. The American Dream wouldn’t be such a fantasy if there weren’t clipped wings and hardships, it would just be America. And that’s what I believe Sobotka realizes, his wings have to be clipped in order for the people around him to truly thrive and make the American Dream just a bit more obtainable even though societal pressures are actively working against them.

  13. Jordyn Lofton

    I find that the entire ideal of the American Dream was created with the majority in mind. Which is why with this season, I found it interesting that Simon showed the struggles of the white working class. Watching the first season only could cloud ones judgement on what race is poor and what race is not poor, but in this season he blurs the line even further and broadens the perspective of his viewers.
    I partially agree with your comparison of the ducks and the working class. When Ziggy said “Why don’t simply fly away”, is comparable to how the upper class views the lower class. It baffles the upper class how the lower class just simply can’t get ahead, even though the answer is right in front of them. “Why don’t they simply fly away” can be compared to “why won’t they simply get a job”. However, I don’t think that the duck comparison can be applied to the black community. I feel as if though Frank and the union workers once had their “wings” and they were then clipped due to their economic status but I feel as though in the black community they didn’t have any “wings” to begin with. Comparatively, both groups are trying to “fly” without “wings” by any means necessary and the environment they are trapped in isn’t helping them achieve that goal.
    Additionally, I found it interesting how Simon highlighted how union works have been devalued over time due to the development of technology. In this situation, it isn’t surprising that some of the union workers would turn to crime as a way to make ends meet. Frank recognized this and truly wanted to make a change even though the way he went about it ultimately got him killed but I believe his motive came from a genuine place.

  14. Joseph Angrick

    I want to challenge where you say, “Frank does not care about himself, all he cares about is the union and his family and we’ve seen that through the season.” While he clearly does care about the Union, he did not do a very good job of taking care of his family. For example, He was arguing with Nick after Ziggy killed the Greek and he said, “why’s he with the greeks, you gotta know where he is, you are his cousin.” Then Nick responds with “Well you’re his dad.” I thought this was very powerful and we got to see how Frank wasn’t paying attention to his family and keeping tabs on what they were doing. In addition, he allows Nick and Ziggy to get into the business of stealing things and this continues to pile on until eventually Ziggy commits murder and Nick is caught with copious amounts of Heroin. I think one thing that Simon might be trying to tell us is that when you stretch yourself thin, you can lose sight of what is important and forget about those close to you. This seems to happen to Frank throughout the show because he is so preoccupied with the canal, the union, and even Valchek.

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