Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I finally made it to the last episode of The Wire. It was a mess, poorly paced and an uneasy mix of urban rhapsody and rushed plot points. But, of course, it didn't matter. The Wire at its worst is television at its best. And great moments flooded from the screen: Snoop facing death by checking her hair, Cheese telling the drug lords, 'There ain't no back in the day, nigga. Ain't no nostalgia to this shit here. There's just the street and the game and what happen here today', Bubbles, as ever, condensing the suffering of the world, Bunk's cigar after he'd cuffed Chris Partlow, the fake wake for McNulty when they all roared 'I'm a free-born man of the USA!', McNulty's speech to the lying hack on the Baltimore Sun, Carcetti's epic disbelief at the serial killer scam, Omar's death at the hands of a child, Rawls looking massively uncomfortable in the uniform of a state trooper, Marlo suddenly asserting his identity, 'My name is my name', Marlo returning to the street just to smell its cold lethality (real shiver there) - I could go on for hours and just about this one sub-par episode. But perhaps it wasn't sub-par. Perhaps the whole point is that The Wire is uncomfortable with endings because endings are lies. The same returns, life goes on and, as the little neighbour boy says, ' Nothing is revealed.' The Wire is one of the great works of art of our time.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 8:52 am