The Wire Blog Post Episodes 6-11: Tyler Rosenstein

     Over the course of episodes 6 through 11 of The Wire, the investigation continues as the police force get closer to Avon and his crew. In these episodes, we see new sides to certain characters, showing that The Wire is more than the average crime procedurals such as Law and Order or CSI. Everyone in the show is a layered character with a multitude of motivations for their actions. Unlike the majority of network television programs, it is impossible to pick someone from the show and simply label them as “good” or “evil”. For example, Wallace, who might be portrayed by most showrunners as a typical lazy drug dealer, is shown to feel immense remorse and sadness from seeing the body of Brandon, resulting in him eventually turning to drug use and leaving the pit. Many others are also expanded upon. Lieutenant Daniels, who had often put his personal goals before anything else, stood up for the case in front of Major Rawls, risking a potential promotion. Bubs tries to get clean, but his addiction constantly pulls back at him. Our preconceived notions about drug dealers and the police are flipped on their heads as it is revealed that Stringer is not only attending a macroeconomics class, but is even participating and providing correct answers to the teacher. In a brilliant decision by the director, this is displayed just after a scene in which Herc and Carver struggle with their Sergeants exam. Here, expectations are subverted as two experienced detectives are lazy and unprepared, whereas the drug dealer is focused and business-minded. 

     The plot culminates in episode 10 when Kima is shot by a member of Avon’s crew. What follows is evident of the true mindset of the police. That is that the badge always comes first. The police are not heroes who can do no wrong. In episode 7, McNulty, Kima, and others even beat a handcuffed man. Additionally, Herc and Carver often talk about cracking skulls and taking advantage of women. These characters are often shown as selfish individuals, and subpar officers. However, when Kima gets shot, the gang mentality of the police force is exceedingly visible. While an injury like Kima’s would have been largely overlooked if it had happened to a casual civilian, an officer’s injury brings dozens of others to work on the crime scene. Even inefficient detectives such as Herc and Carver contribute without complaints. Major Rawls unexpectedly consoles a grieving McNulty and they temporarily put away their differences. The inclusion of these character’s change in behavior intelligently shows the ‘badge first’ mentality within the police force.

     An additional technique that showcases the cleverness of The Wire is it’s subtle music cues. This tactic is most noticeable in episode 6. In the final scene, Lieutenant Daniels reveals to McNulty that he talked to the deputy about putting the murder warrants on hold. He also reveals that Omar gave himself up as a witness in the Gant murder. McNulty smirks and thanks him as the 1962 song “Fleurette Africaine” by Jazz artist Duke Ellington softly plays in the background. According to Duke Ellington researcher Janna Tull Steed, the song came from Ellington’s vision of a beautiful flower blooming. This is symbolic for a variety of reasons. First, it is representative of Daniel’s new motivation as an officer. In the same manner in which a flower blossoms, Daniels blossomed into a more dedicated public servant by prioritizing the investigation and possibly sacrificing a promotion. This music also represents the investigation itself, progressing and blossoming even further due to the help of Omar and the deputy. Lastly, it symbolizes the blooming of Mcnulty’s newfound respect for Daniels. 

     Another instance in which the music helps tell the story is in episode 11, when D’angelo believes Wee-Bey has been ordered to kill him. During their car ride, the song “Unfriendly Game” by Masta Ace plays on the radio. In this 2001 rap song, the drug trade is compared to a typical football game. Although viewers may initially question why D’angelo would not fight or run from his potential demise, his reasoning is elaborated upon in Masta Ace’s lyrics. He raps, “But if you ask why somebody got slain; Yo, it’s just an unfriendly game.” D’angelo understands the dangerous nature of the drug game, and knows that the loss of human life is just an everyday occurrence. Moments like these showcase the brilliance and subtlety of The Wire, and why it helped to revolutionize television.

 

Bibliography

Hall, Matt. “The Music of The Wire.” The Guardian, 20 Oct. 2008. www.theguardian.com, https://www.theguardian.com/media/organgrinder/2008/oct/20/wire-television.

Masta Ace (Ft. Strick (EMC)) – Unfriendly Game. genius.com, https://genius.com/Masta-ace-unfriendly-game-lyrics. Accessed 9 Sept. 2019.

Steed, Janna Tull. Duke Ellington: A Spiritual Biography. Crossroad Pub. Co, 1999.

Wallace-Wells, Ben, and Ben Wallace-Wells. “How America Lost the War on Drugs.” Rolling Stone, 24 Mar. 2011, https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/how-america-lost-the-war-on-drugs-170965/.

“Why an Ex-FBI Agent Decided to Break through the Blue Wall of Silence.” USA TODAY, https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/policing/2019/01/31/blue-wall-of-silence-policing-the-usa-cops-community/2604929002/. Accessed 9 Sept. 2019.

30 thoughts on “The Wire Blog Post Episodes 6-11: Tyler Rosenstein

  1. Yasmin Sykes

    For me, these episodes helped to unmask the many dimensions of each character, as you touched on in the first paragraph. One scene that really stood out to me was when Wee-Bey, Stinkum and possibly someone else were ransacking Omar’s old apartment. They come across Polaroid photos of Omar and Brandon laughing together and kissing. Those photos stood in stark contrast to Omar’s gangster, no-mercy attitude that he portrays to the streets. The depiction of these men being emotionally intimate with each other was really a beautiful thing to me and is something that made The Wire stand vastly ahead of its time.
    Another point made strong through these episodes was the idea that the drug trade truly does benefit no one, and alongside that, parallels between the drug trade and the police department, raising the question of how effective and beneficial the police force truly is. We see Stinkum shot and killed and Wee-Bey shot by Omar, and Avon simply orders his men to hunt harder. We already begin to see Stringer growing away from Avon, when he suggests that they postpone the hunt, so as not to lose any more men. We also see Orlando beaten. Avon views his men as being disposable, though also demands complete loyalty, similarly to what we see in Rawls. Rawls demands McNulty be only loyal to him, and has gone through significant efforts to try and shut down the detail, but also constantly threatens to fire McNulty and clearly hates him. And in both Rawls and Avon, we see that this mindset and negativity may temporarily benefit themselves, but absolutely no one else, and is not sustainable long-term. If Rawls were to fire McNulty, he’d lose his best detective. And if Avon were to kill Orlando, he’d lose the good name for his liquor license. The parallels between them are strong. We also see significant parallels between Daniels and Stringer Bell. Both had a history of ruthlessly only looking out for themselves (Stringer made an exception for Avon), but in these last few episodes we see them both start to look out for others around them. We see Daniels risk his promotion to keep the wire alive, and we see Stringer attending a community college macroeconomics class, to better his business practices. These similarities between the drug ring and the police force raise the question of how effective either one is, and if they can operate in harmony.

    Reply
    1. Tyler Rosenstein Post author

      That scene with the pictures of Omar and Brandon is something I completely overlooked. The writers go out of the way to show the humanity in all characters. Although Omar is a shotgun-wielding gangster, it is subtle nods to his softer side like these that help to fully develop him as a real person.

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      1. Michael Moore

        I agree with Yasim as well as Tyler’s idea that these line up of episodes prove that David Simon’s character aren’t the single facetted law and order detectives as describe above. The beings in the wire embody more than the trade they take part in. Omar is more than a local con-man killer and theft. The death of Brandon brought everything out of Omar, the emotional traits we expect from “humans” not just any old 2 demission character

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  2. Thomas Elia

    I thought that this series of episodes really enforced the parallelism between the drug dealers and the police as already presented by the curators. The classroom scene stood out to me the most when “Stringer” Bell is in a microeconomics class learning about elasticity of demand while Herc and Carver are taking a police exam. The curators already touched on this, but I thought that this scene was really interesting because Stringer was presented as seeming to really understand the concepts of the class which relate to his business while the two cops were presented as more immature and unconfident in what they were doing. Another example of parallelism was very slight, but McNulty and other members of the police force were talking strategy in a courtyard and at a certain camera angle, you can see a chess game being played. This could be trying to get the audience to think back to the discussion between Dee and other drug dealers about chess and how it directly relates to the conflict between drug dealing and the police. I thought this was a sly way of implementing parallelism in this scene. Episode 9 of this show was also interesting because it showed how a little thing such as a basketball game could bring the police and dealers somewhat together as Herc and Carver were talking to people that they have busted in the past about the game. It kind of showed how the two groups were not that different in the end and could come together to watch a game. One concept from one of the articles, “How America Lost the War on Drugs,” that I want to touch upon is the fact that drug dealing and arresting drug dealers is a continuous cycle or loop. The police will arrest someone for selling, they will go to jail and eventually get out, and then they will go back to selling drugs until they are arrested again or something tragic happens to them. This is somewhat presented in The Wire with “Bodie” and how he is arrested then released and then back on the streets selling again.

    Reply
    1. Tyler Rosenstein Post author

      I feel that the basketball scene was very integral to the story, as it shows the dealers and police as cut from the same cloth. They share similar interests, and perhaps if they met in a different scenario, they would even be friends. Putting this in perspective, the two different groups share more in common than ever before.

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      1. Michael Moore

        I in fact feel that Simon uses the camera angle in the classroom to show the “unexpected” intelligence and intellect of Stringer when it came to the market of the drug trade. It became very apparent that Avon and his crew were not taking any of the advances of the Baltimore’s police department lightly. I related this idea to the excerpt of Pablo Escobar on “How We lost the War on Drugs”. When law enforcement raided Escobar’s villa they realized that the one being watched was also watching the watcher, going all the way back to episode 1 when Stringer comedically hinted at McNulty. The comic superhero sketch signified that they realized they were being watched.

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  3. Marlem Louis

    In episode 10, when Kima got shot, the shot that they took was a medium shot for the majority of the scene where all the cops find her in the car. In Chapter 3 of “Television Criticism,” it talks about how medium shots are considered the most natural framing for conversation, emphasize continuity, and let the viewer concentrate on the interaction between characters. These go together because in a way the scene is trying to tell you what these characters are feeling and Lieutenant Daniels conversating by walkie talkies. It emphasizes continuity because when it goes back and forth between how all the officers are reacting to this it just flows together, and they all have the same shocked and sad feeling. It also lets us concentrate on the interaction between the characters by showing McNulty grabbing Kima and checking to see if she is still alive, Detective Carver pacing back and forth in anger and proceeding to kick something, Detective Sydnor just standing there in complete shock, not knowing what to do, and even after being frustrated for a while Detective Carver joins in being shocked and sad. This all goes back to what you said in paragraph 2 “However, when Kima gets shot, the gang mentality of the police force is exceedingly visible. While an injury like Kima’s would have been largely overlooked if it had happened to a casual civilian, an officer’s injury brings dozens of others to work on the crime scene. Even inefficient detectives such as Herc and Carver contribute without complaints. Major Rawls unexpectedly consoles a grieving McNulty and they temporarily put away their differences. The inclusion of these character’s change in behavior intelligently shows the ‘badge first’ mentality within the police force,” the way the shot was taken influenced how you saw this scene.

    Reply
    1. Tyler Rosenstein Post author

      Sometimes, we as viewers overlook all that goes into putting a show or movie together. While I mostly focused on the story of the wire, there are many other aspects that can affect how we view or feel about a scene. Every shot in the wire is meticulously planned out, such as the opening scene in the first episode when McNulty is seated next to Snot’s friend.

      Reply
      1. Michael Moore

        I agree with the point out that a medium shot kind of drowns out whatever was going on in the background and just allows the director to make us focus on what he wants us to put our main concentration on. As the camera closes in from that crime scene to just the backseat and kima, the angle eventually starts to zone Orlando’s tragic scene out, indirectly noting that Orlando’s death yet tragic isn’t as important as the critical injuries kima sustained. Another point is how they respond to kima compared to how the cops have responded to other tragedies throughout the show so far. When detectives were on the scene of the maintenance man or Brandon’s death the emotional aspect of the detectives were completely docile no matter how heinous the injury was.

        Reply
  4. Tristan Wheeler

    I agree with what Tyler had to say. These episodes were about looking deeper into the characters and getting on a personal level with everyone unlike the shows Law and Order or CSI. I do like to see deeper into the lives of the so-called, “bad guys” because it reminds us that they are people too. It reminds us that they have emotions and are capable of being loving, intelligent, and hard-working like everyday people. I feel that we have this fixed idea that all these dealers and gang members are just emotionless robots with no hearts but it proves us wrong throughout these episodes. For example, the romance of Omar and Brandon. This caught me by surprise and brought me back to the reality that these guys know how to love too and that they do. Omar was also so upset by Brandon’s death that he ended up helping the cops, who are usually viewed as his “enemy”. This just goes to show that these people are humans and can be sensitive. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. These guys still have to protect themselves along with their boys, money, and product. This results in gun violence as we previously know takes place throughout the episodes. This is seen when Omar breaks into the stash house, Brandon gets shot, Kima gets shot, and the plenty of other murders that happen. In the article, “How America Lost the War on Drugs”, one of the sections talks about the federal government’s fight with marijuana. They then realized that the problem wasn’t pot, but the drug-related violence that comes with cocaine and other hard drugs. After the crack pandemic in the late 1980s, police commissioners around the U.S. began adding more officers and other tactics to target neighborhoods where crime was on the rise. Without a surprise, the crime rate dropped. The police eventually realized that they couldn’t get crime below a certain point. They tried mass jailings but that wasn’t doing the trick. Only fifteen percent of those convicted of federal drug crimes were actual traffickers. The rest of these people were the common street drug dealer and mule that could be replaced by anyone. Instead, they went after the goal of separating gun-related violence from the gun trade. They did this by making the Boston Gun Project. This was pretty much a deal made with these gangs and dealers to keep from using gun violence and killing. Miraculously, it worked. The rates of homi­cide and violence among young men in Boston dropped by two-thirds. Although the drugs did not stop, this is a step in the right direction. Efforts like this can and should be used everywhere to attempt to fix something in these drug run neighborhoods like Baltimore.

    Reply
    1. Tyler Rosenstein Post author

      Bringing up the Boston Gun Project is a very interesting point. If it was this successful when it was incorporated in Boston, it makes you wonder why a similar idea has not been introduced in Baltimore. Maybe, other methods have been effective at lowering the rate of violence since the filming of The Wire.

      Reply
      1. Michael Moore

        If a similar initiative such as the “Boston Gun Project” were to be implemented and put to use on the streets of Baltimore the during the time of the Wire, would it be successful and if so, how successful? In my opinion I believe that something like this could work but the gang related death count would not be as nearly as low as the results in Boston. This is because not all of the crimes being committed in the show are directly correlated to the direct effective of drug or gang activity. (e.g Omar killing stinkard)

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  5. Andrew Moy

    I agree with the statement that each and every character in the show is layered and cannot be layered as “good” or “evil”, but I also think it is deeper than that. I think the idea of these layered characters answers Paul Achters question that he asks in his article Have You Seen ‘The Wire’: “How is a show that is so critical of America, so critical of much of its audience, also so beloved?” (Achter). Though the show is critical of America, and brutally honest about inherent American issues, the characters are what make the show so widely loved by all demographics of people. More specifically the relatability of the characters, no matter if they are supposed to be “good” or “bad” in the show. Achter explains that The Wire is meant “to move privileged audiences toward greater compassion for people whose lives are forgotten in America” (Achter). And while this is true, I think these privileged people that the show is aimed at, often find relatability in characters they might not expect, and that’s what makes the show so great. For example, a privileged person may find Dee’s (a drug dealer) moral struggles relatable, or may even find McNulty’s struggle to balance family and work relatable. Regardless of where, or who people may find a connection to, The Wire’s in depth character development allow all viewers to connect on a deep level with at least one character. Its this level of connection that makes The Wire so popular and loved by everyone who views it.

    Achter, Paul. “Have You Seen ‘The Wire’.” Huffington Post, 21 July 2016, http://www.huffpost.com/entry/have-you-seen-the-wire_b_7840604?guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAABKwmZ8Xr4B4MM0R9r3NPWV6vA1qBH5ZwnQLfXJ3G_GlcM1nK_UPUAkRN-vsLEY_msKF6bqLOzSx2MzxE2Njc7dobrpl4sjGjhLYObFHhydcyMfmOxRWOzl9cd9q2KD_26ZNt-W7tS6LWbUKrn5WQK2EmqO6SYCs0zYTSQXHgbHP&guccounter=2.

    Reply
    1. Tyler Rosenstein Post author

      The question from Paul Achter that you reference is certainly one that can be discussed at length. How is a show that is so critical of America, so critical of much of its audience, also so beloved? When first starting The Wire, I was frustrated when characters I had wanted to root for, such as Kima or McNulty, participated in selfish acts. However, now I realize that this take is more realistic, because even the most well-intentioned people can do bad things. On the contrary, even someone like D’angelo, who had murdered multiple people, can be showed to have compassion. The WIre was so successful because it did not dumb down it’s characters and presented them as real people.

      Reply
      1. Michael Moore

        I totally agree with Andrew that what makes the wire to enjoyed and praised by many is because the characters share common everyday human emotion and can be two different types of character in a single episode, just as a human brain can change their mind at any given moment. Not everyone can see themselves in a downright good detective, but we can find a little bit of ourselves in a single father having issues with his children’s mother who also has a drink from time to time

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  6. Mackenzie Seward

    I am so glad you mentioned the music choice in episode 6 and 11- I noticed similar moments to those after reading Chapter 3 of Television Criticism. A few paragraphs of the chapter are dedicated to “Television Sound and Editing”. A quote that stuck out to me was from the Blacklist’s composer Dave Porter, who said “‘The score’s role is to make the terrifying parts even more powerful…One appeal of The Blacklist is it’s many, many layers and twists. I try to hint that things are not necessarily as they seem”‘ (Slate, 2014, p.60). I think this applies to The Wire perfectly: music can be used to foreshadow something like the blossoming investigation and respect, or it can be used to share a little of what is going on inside a character’s mind. I believe you are what you listen to, and D’Angelo listens to music that reflects how he feels about the drug game: that he is merely a player. These two examples you picked to share were two very different situations but showed how music has that same critical impact. As someone who loves to listen to music, I found myself asking what the soundtrack to my life’s “TV show” would be. What would it say about me? I would like to go back through the episodes I’ve seen and really listen to the soundtrack. It just goes to show that each time you watch The Wire there is another aspect you can delve into.

    (I am struggling to find the actual citation that the Television Criticism book used rather than just the in-text citation…when I find it I will attach)

    Reply
    1. Tyler Rosenstein Post author

      I agree that there are many different uses for music in modern media. It makes it seem as though music is not only a small part of The Wire, but almost like an actual character that can help to drive the plot forward, reveal details about other characters, and foreshadow what is to come.

      Reply
      1. Michael Moore

        Just as Tyler stated above, music can add a new level to a scene that words can not immolate. Even though as a audience, we tend to to focus more on the words being said by characters or the actions being portrayed in a drama, but as the music rises in tone and the words seem to fade out, you start to feel the emotion the sounds were meant to evoke and in my opinion can make a scene for meaningful than what was actually spoken in that frame.

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  7. Samantha Kelly

    In watching this series of episodes, I also found that Simon and the writers continued to show the multifaceted nature of the characters. This applies not only to members of the police force but also to members of the drug game. I would like to expand specifically on the character of Wallace, as I feel that he is immensely dynamic throughout these episodes. In episode six, it is clear that Wallace is greatly affected by the death of Omar’s boy and the role that he played. Although he is not the only character that has shown remorse for death in the game (Dee in the death of Gant), he is the most impacted. In episode seven, he continues to not only show remorse but he begins being reckless, breaking explicit rules by getting high. He also begins to lessen his interest in the kids that he previously cared for, which was essential to his character. The fact that he begins to take less interest in this matter is concerning. There is a key moment where he gets frustrated at one of the young boys for struggling with a math problem. He can get the kid to count if it has to do with the stash, but when it comes to the book problem, the kid can’t do it. The reasoning behind this is that the kid knows that if he gets the stash count wrong, he gets messed up. It is a more urgent life-or-death situation. This aspect of the drug game is eyeopening to the audience, but it is a reality that Wallace continuously deals with. Finally, in episode nine, Wallace decides he “don’t wanna play no more.” In other words, he wants out of the game. This is crucial information, and although Dee seems hesitant at first, he comes around to the idea that Wallace can go back to school and start something for himself. It will be interesting to see how this plays out, because it is part of human nature to choose what you know, and for Wallace, that’s drugs. In the Rolling Stone article that we read, “How America Lost the War On Drugs,” it is shown that mass incarceration isn’t doing its job. Many of the people who are arrested are “nothing but street-level dealers and mules, who could always be replaced.” This is relatable to Wallace’s story. Although Dee might miss him in the pit, he is replaceable. Everyone down there is, and I am sure as the series continues, this theme will reoccur.

    Reply
    1. Tyler Rosenstein Post author

      I’m glad you talked about Wallace. He is one of my favorite characters on The WIre. The scene where he is shown taking care of the children and bringing them to school was very telling of him as a person. Despite only being 16, he has more responsibility than most adults. Seeing him be so selfless gave me a new respect for his character.

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      1. Michael Moore

        I love how the chararters are shaped by occurances through out the episode. I appreciate how things don’t just go back to normal after the show is over but it has left a unchangeable mark on the person. For example, Dee’s positive additude towards his uncle’s business continues to decline as he sees how life is taken for granted in the game. Seeing that his uncle has no fear of taken any of his men out, even the front name of his night club, Dee realizes that his role in the drug trade and just life is not guaranteed.

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  8. Camryn Carter

    I agree that David Simon, the creator of The Wire, created a show that portrays complex characters. While there are police officers who commit serious offenses, there are also criminals who have altruistic and sympathetic personalities. For example, when Detective McNulty showed Omar Brandon’s body (episode 6), he turned away to give Omar some respect. This scene shows the intricate nature of both characters. This scene shows how even though Omar is a criminal, societally defined as an evil, the show humanizes him by showing his significant connection with Brandon. This scene also depicts how Detective McNulty saw the admiration Omar had for Brandon. McNulty’s primary reason for bringing Omar was to help the case, but he understood that Omar needed a minute to express his remorse. The following day when Omar was dealing with his grief by displaying his anger into a need for revenge, Kima helped him channel his feelings. She allowed Omar to be a witness in Gnat’s murder. Although it was Omar who initiated the idea of testifying, Kima took advantage of his state to support the case against Avon Barksdale. I believe this scene also supports the theory of the “badge first” mentality. “Badge first” mentality is not only supporting and protecting fellow police officers, but it is also protecting their job. I believe that this theory can explain why the detectives focus primarily on solving their cases and using tactics like physically abusing their suspects. In the previous example, Kima saw an opportunity to help the case and she exploited it. Another example of the “badge first” mentality is when Lieutenant Daniels goes to Herc and Carver about the missing money before informing internal affairs (episode 9). Daniels is constantly covering for his team to protect them.

    Reply
    1. Tyler Rosenstein Post author

      While the scene with Brandon’s body certainly revealed a lot about Omar, it also revealed a lot about McNulty. By bringing his kids with him, it helped to highlight the point that he is a good officer, but a very questionable parent. One of my favorite scenes is when Omar howls and it cuts to security footage of the children sitting in the lobby, reminding the viewer that they are in this high-intensity situation.

      Reply
  9. Griffin King

    I appreciate how you brought up the point that not one character can be label as good or evil. Not one character in the entire show can be branded as one type of person. We see these complexities time and time again. D’Angelo is one character in specific where we see his multiple layers frequently. In a quick scene early in the season, we see Bubbles’ friend Johnny get caught trying to use counterfeit money to buy drugs. The members of D’Angelo’s crew ask him what they should do with Johnny to which D’Angelo does not respond and walks away. A quick shot of D’Angelo’s face as he walks away shows him with visible disdain for the brutal sounds of the beat down. We see how he feels pity and empathy for Johnny and does not want him to be beaten up. However, he allowed it to happen to maintain his power within “The Pit.” This scene and many others show how D’Angelo is an empathic person who is forced to appear as ruthless by his role in the organization. But we also see a more sinister side of D’Angelo too, when he is bragging about murdering Avon’s ex-girlfriend. In David Simon’s letter to HBO, he stressed that this show can not be a stereotypical cop show where the cops are always the good guys and the criminal are always the bad guys. Simon wanted each character to have layers of good and bad. He wanted to also highlight the humanity of the criminals who were often times like Wallace working these tough jobs to provide for people and the horrible actions of police officers such as McNulty and others forcing Bird to confess by using physical violence.

    Sources:
    Simon, David. Letter to HBO. 27 June 2001, http://blog.richmond.edu/watchingthewire/files/2015/08/Simon-Letter-to-HBO1.pdf.

    Reply
    1. Tyler Rosenstein Post author

      D’angelo is someone who I still have many questions about. We see scenes like the one you mentioned where he has a disdained look as his crew beat Johnny. But we also watch him discuss how he murdered innocent people with no remorse. How can he commit these horrible acts, but then not even be able to watch as Johnny is punished? Does the guilt from his actions weigh heavily on his conscious? I am looking forward to how the writers will explore his character in future episodes.

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  10. Michael Moore

    I will also like to see the progression of Dangelo as the story line continues. I wonder if his displeasure with what Avon and the crew is doing starts to conflict with his loyalty to his uncle. Just as Wallace took a heavy and surprising shift after seeing the slain body of Brandon, I wonder if another if another death or deal gone wrong will cause Dee to shift from tolerating what has been going on within the crew to taking a actual stand against his uncle.

    Reply
  11. Valentina Castellar

    During these series of episodes we really got to see the humanity of each of the characters. Whether it was Dee taking his time picking out his outfit, or Avon getting visibly upset about his team losing the basketball game. Even Stringer Bell, a character that seems heartless, goes out to the farmers market once a week.
    We see a three dimensional sides from both the drug kingpins and the police force. Although they realize what they are doing is wrong they are still trapped in their respective institutions. This is shown when Dee tells Shardene he wants to quit his uncles and her agreeing that her work at Orlando’s isn’t going to last forever. Another important aspect is how interconnected the drug industry is and Lester stating, “Once they track the money they don’t know where they’ll end up”. A key part of the investigation is figuring out all the assets that are incorporated in the Barksdale operation. The police force soons finds out that they are creating a sphere of influence, donating large sums of money into politics and owning various properties. Avon’s operation is very intelligent leaving little connections towards Avon at all. Lester approximates that they are generating a gross amount of one million dollars a year, just from the properties they know of. Barksdale doesn’t even flinch when they lose 22,000$ to the police. Daniel’s is even surprised when his supervising officer tries to pull the plug on “the wire”. There is a constant struggle with the bureaucratic chain of command and whether the police department actually wants to prosecute everyone involved with Avon’s drug kingdom.

    Reply
  12. Valentina

    During these series of episodes we really got to see the humanity of each of the characters. Whether it was Dee taking his time picking out his outfit, or Avon getting visibly upset about his team losing the basketball game. Even Stringer Bell, a character that seems heartless, goes out to the farmers market once a week.
    We see a three dimensional sides from both the drug kingpins and the police force. Although they realize what they are doing is wrong they are still trapped in their respective institutions. This is shown when Dee tells Shardene he wants to quit his uncles and her agreeing that her work at Orlando’s isn’t going to last forever. Another important aspect is how interconnected the drug industry is and Lester stating, “Once they track the money they don’t know where they’ll end up”. A key part of the investigation is figuring out all the assets that are incorporated in the Barksdale operation. The police force soons finds out that they are creating a sphere of influence, donating large sums of money into politics and owning various properties. Avon’s operation is very intelligent leaving little connections towards Avon at all. Lester approximates that they are generating a gross amount of one million dollars a year, just from the properties they know of. Barksdale doesn’t even flinch when they lose 22,000$ to the police. Daniel’s is even surprised when his supervising officer tries to pull the plug on “the wire”. There is a constant struggle with the bureaucratic chain of command and whether the police department actually wants to prosecute everyone involved with Avon’s drug kingdom.

    Reply
  13. Cameron Kirwin

    After watching episodes 6-9 of the Wire I felt that the parallels between the police and the drug dealers were further emphasized. A scene that I found particularly moving was when D’Angelo’s girlfriend was brought into the police station, and found out about the previous murders. In this instance, the police served as the bearers of bad news, which portrays the stereotypical expectation about police “saving” individuals from crime. However, it sets up an interesting parallel when you consider that the only reason the police gathered the evidence was illegally listening to a phone call for longer than they were meant to. I thought this once again demonstrated the corruption of police bureaucracy.
    Another parallel that stuck out to me was the parallel about money. When Daniels thinks that two of his cops have stolen many from the crime scene, they face a threat of being kicked off the team, but that is it. However, in the scene were Wallace asks his sibling about the math problem, and she says if she misses the count on drug money she ends up dead. The double-standard between these two worlds is quite obvious. The police force has little consequence for their action and their actions are actually fairly unregulated, while the drug world is full of harsh consequences, which ironically seems to keeps a higher sense of order. This sense of consequence was something that came up in the article “How America Lost the War on Drugs.” Drug dealers are used to consequence, and mass incarceration by police as a form of “punishment” is not going to stop the trade, or even slow it down.
    Furthermore, responding to the idea about music cues, something that stuck out to me was the repeated humming of “Farmer in the Dell” specifically by Omar. I am curious about the significance of this melody, because it certainly contributes to an eerie sense throughout the show. I feel as though it is a moment of foreshadowing, because the whole melody of the song goes the “something” takes the “something” over and over again. In this show, there are always parallels between the two separate worlds, and it seems that one is always trying to take something from another. Even more literally, Omar’s own apartment is broken into by Wee-Bay and Stinkum, and then he retaliates by shooting Stinkum.

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