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ToxicUnicorn

Season 1 : Case of a Lifetime

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Here's the place to discuss Season 1 as a whole, so if you haven't finished watching it, maybe wait awhile and come back.

 

Does anyone know if renewal was assured when the season ended, or was the finale supposed to function as a series end?  It looked to me like it could have easily ended there and still have been incredibly satisfying.  Of course, I don't know how the threads are picked up in Season 2 yet.

 

I had no idea during the first few episodes that I would care about so many characters by the season finale, or that the ending would be so studiously grim.  I got all hopeful for a few minutes there, when they went to the Feds, but then that was resolved incredibly quickly.

 

As opposed to Kima's end of season story.  I can't remember any other show that has dared to let a main character's fate hang for so many episodes.  Respect.

 

I'm heartbroken about Wallace.  On a different note, did Stringer Bell ever smile all season?

 

In the still-confused column:  everyone keeps saying McNulty was making it all about himself.  I never picked up on this - only that he was like a dog with a bone to work the case, but not in any kind of narcissistic way.  

 

Please weigh in!

 

 

 

 

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In the still-confused column:  everyone keeps saying McNulty was making it all about himself.  I never picked up on this - only that he was like a dog with a bone to work the case, but not in any kind of narcissistic way.

Maybe it becomes clearer in subsequent seasons -- or maybe you'll end up disagreeing about this, which is fine of course. In any case, this aspect (as I see it) of McNulty's personality works in a subtle way (as befits the series, right?), not like a Ted Baxter or GOB Bluth kind of narcissism. He does want to do a good job and work things out; but at the same time he figures that he's smarter than most of those around him and can see things that they can't, and he's entitled to cut some corners getting to the result he's aiming for. He never imagines things won't go his way (whether it's his drinking, or his reckless telling his superiors the job he would most hate to have), and then he's surprised when they do, or when he discovers that he pissed people off by being so tenacious -- "What the fuck did I do?"

 

But as I said, it builds up over time. And at the same time, of course, he's charming and likable. And he is trying to do the right thing at work. It's a well rounded picture.

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I really appreciate your description, Rinaldo.  You are right, he did end up in that boat, didn't he!  Ok, I'll try to keep my mind open to these possibilities

 

I thought the episode did a good job of pointing out how unevenly members of the police team were treated after the investigation.  Doll house furniture guy got back on homicide.  (I really like him, but I can't remember his name.)  Carver and Herc both seemed to have been promoted somehow.  Prez got a gun.  I suppose Kima recovers.  However, in contrast, the two most passionate policemen were punished (McNulty - transferred) and Lieutenant Cedric (passed over for command).  I sure hope they both stay around.  It wasn't clear to me how the lawyer woman was going to fare.  She certainly did not get the career boost she had been wanting.

I liked her, a lot as well, hope we see her again in S2.

 

What was Avon's sentence?  It looked to me as though he was being sentenced to jail for a few years.  Is that the way I should be thinking right now?  Why didn't his lawyer get him out?

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Then Sergeant Carver got promoted by being the Deputy Ops spy on the detail. Herc wasn't promoted, pay grade wise at this point. He went on to be like Kima. The go to detective on his new squad as the second season opened as a result on his experiences working a major case.

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I just finished watching Season 1. Wow. It really is as good as everyone said . . .

 

I'm not sure which impresses me most--the acting, the writing, the cinematography, even the opening song. Maybe it's all just top-notch.

 

I don't think there's a weak link in the cast, and for such a large cast, that's quite something. Singling out anyone seems unfair somehow, but I'll do so anyway. I love Dominic West and think he's perfect as Jimmy. I don't notice his accent slipping, although I've read elsewhere that others do so (on a regular basis). This was my first time seeing Idris Elba, and, when Stringer Bell is on the screen, you can't take your eyes off him. And Larry Gilliard, Jr? D'Angelo is the character that sticks with me. Great, haunting performance. And then, of course, there's Michael B. Jordan as Wallace. 

 

They're all great. Every actor on the show.

 

I do wish the show weren't so unrelentingly grim, but then it wouldn't be realistic, I suppose. I'm assuming this doesn't change in the subsequent seasons?

 

Does anyone know how the show was received by the Baltimore police and politicians?

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I had to watch this show online and became as engrossed as you. 

 

I just finished watching Season 1. Wow. It really is as good as everyone said . . .

 

I'm not sure which impresses me most--the acting, the writing, the cinematography, even the opening song. Maybe it's all just top-notch.

 

I don't think there's a weak link in the cast, and for such a large cast, that's quite something. Singling out anyone seems unfair somehow, but I'll do so anyway. I love Dominic West and think he's perfect as Jimmy. I don't notice his accent slipping, although I've read elsewhere that others do so (on a regular basis). This was my first time seeing Idris Elba, and, when Stringer Bell is on the screen, you can't take your eyes off him. And Larry Gilliard, Jr? D'Angelo is the character that sticks with me. Great, haunting performance. And then, of course, there's Michael B. Jordan as Wallace. 

 

They're all great. Every actor on the show.

 

I do wish the show weren't so unrelentingly grim, but then it wouldn't be realistic, I suppose. I'm assuming this doesn't change in the subsequent seasons?

 

Does anyone know how the show was received by the Baltimore police and politicians?

Same here. I had to watch the entire series online on my laptop. I almost regret missing it first run but then would have missed viewing all of it like one long magnificent movie! Love your view of the characters...

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I do wish the show weren't so unrelentingly grim, but then it wouldn't be realistic, I suppose. I'm assuming this doesn't change in the subsequent seasons?

 

Does anyone know how the show was received by the Baltimore police and politicians?

Since you are in nobody will want to spoil you.

 

As to how official Baltimore reacted. Just like they do on the show, they are politicians telling us things are better to get reelected

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I love Dominic West and think he's perfect as Jimmy. I don't notice his accent slipping, although I've read elsewhere that others do so (on a regular basis).

 

The first time I watched the show, I never noticed a thing about his accent--probably because I was fully occupied with trying to keep up with the story and the dialogue.  Now I'm rewatching the series and the accent is really hard to ignore!  He's still a perfect McNulty, though.  (Rhonda: "What's the most useless thing on a woman? ...A drunken Irishman!"  [cracks herself up]).

 

 

What was Avon's sentence?  It looked to me as though he was being sentenced to jail for a few years.  Is that the way I should be thinking right now?  Why didn't his lawyer get him out?

 

Avon was sentenced to 7 years for possession of a kilo of heroin with intent to distribute.  The 7 years was a result of the lawyer (Levy) bargaining with Ronnie (the Assistant District Attorney), so I assume it would have been higher if Avon had not taken the plea deal.  They had enough evidence on him because of the conversations they caught when they wired his office from the vacant building next door.  His lawyer couldn't get him off completely.

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I just finished season one. This is my first viewing. It took me a couple of months. I couldn't just sit and watch like I do with other shows, it was just too grim and too slow.

I had huge issues with McNulty's accent. It was all over the place and really distracting at times.

Something that confused me, was Bubbles a pedo? It seemed like he was fondling himself at the soccer game, but then that never went anywhere.

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I never thought of Bubbles as a pedophile. If he was touching himself oddly, it was probably a junkie itch. McNulty had him pretty far away from his corner where he could cop.

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I'm getting the pleasure of my first re-watch with someone who has never seen the show.  The first few episodes of season 1, which had me SO LOST the first time around, unfolds beautifully this time.  

 

So far, it's like going back to a restaurant where you had a great date and having it be even better the second time.  Everything is so clearly imagined at the start...I'm stunned by how efficiently the politics of the po-lice are laid out, and how clearly the comparisons between the police and the Barkley group are made.

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Rewatching Season 1. The first time I saw it, I hadn't yet moved to Baltimore. Now, I've lived in the city for a year and teach in the neighborhood where this season is set. It's disturbingly realistic. Such a good series. I haven't yet made it past season 1, but I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of the series.

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AmandaPanda, you teach in that neighborhood?  Season 4 focuses on the schools -- I'd love to hear what you think after watching.

Season 2, the docks, is my favorite.  Then 1, 3, 4, and 5. 

One scene I remember (and I hope it's from S1 so as not to spoil), is when the cops are beating up on somebody who hit a cop.  Kima runs like hell to where it's happening, and I'm thinking Kima's going to stop them.  She's so "by the book" -- and she's also female, and women are supposed to be calming, motherly, non-violent, etc.  So I'm thinking she's going to put a stop to it.  But nope, she gets in a few kicks of her own.  It made me re-think some of my biases. 

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I have had the pleasure of rewatching this truly awesome show 4 or 5 times now, and every time I do so there's some small detail I pick up that I never noticed previously. 

Season 1, really laid the foundations, which may explain the relatively slow but detailed pace; coupled with various major story-arcs going on concurrently, that would all blossom throughout the remaining 4 seasons. 

I am so grateful that the producers of the show managed to convince the studio bosses to keep faith with the show, and not cancel it after season 1 which suffered from pretty average viewing figures. And I suspect that's why the final few scenes were a little open to interpretation given that no one really knew if there would be a S2.

My favourite character from S1, just has to be Omar Little. Very much a bad guy, and not the kind of person you'd like to meet in the street; and yet he has such a charming & irresistible persona, that I couldn't get enough of him.

I also loved Bubbles - again a character you would probably walk across the street to keep away from in real life; but here he gives us so many different emotions, and that his life is driven by the need for his next fix.

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I just finished the first season, first watch.  Now I'm watching the first episode again, because it's a treat knowing what's important and what isn't.  The whole cold open, regarding Snotboogie's death--ha, not important.

 

I paid close attention when I was watching the series--used the closed captions and everything.  A lot of people say The Wire is as good as television gets and I didn't want to be fuzzy on the details, knowing they were building four more seasons on these characters.

 

But here's one thing I don't understand:  Jimmy's asked where he does not want to end up.  He knows it's a trick question because Freamon had told him that whole story about being stuck in pawnshop hell for 13 years (and four months.)  So why did Jimmy end up as a harbor cop, breathing the diesel fumes that made him seasick?

There's a post above that says Jimmy always thought he was going to skate on the rules as applied to everyone else, but in this case, he already had the ace up his sleeve and he just had to use it.  Did he feel he deserved to wind up being unhappy?

 

A little surprising that John Doman (Rawls) got second billing.  He didn't really seem any more important than any of the other grey area "good guys."  Not surprising at all that Idris Elba wound up famous--he's mesmerizing.  You can't even see anyone else when he's onscreen.

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37 minutes ago, candall said:

The whole cold open, regarding Snotboogie's death--ha, not important.

Except, in that sneaky way of this series, it is. Not to the plot -- you're right. But each season has a cold open, an anecdote seemingly unrelated to the big story, that turns out to symbolize the whole thing in an indirect way. Like "Why do you let him stay in?" "You got to, man -- this America"... all these institutions and gangs and systems that work the way they do just because... they do, everyone knows that's how you have to do it.

37 minutes ago, candall said:

So why did Jimmy end up as a harbor cop, breathing the diesel fumes that made him seasick?

I think your description shows that you do understand this; or perhaps you don't believe Jimmy could be that arrogant. He gave an honest answer about the job he would hate the most because he was conceited enough to figure he would always come out on top and be a star. Nobody would ever punish him with a distasteful job. Well, we see how that turned out.

37 minutes ago, candall said:

A little surprising that John Doman (Rawls) got second billing.  He didn't really seem any more important than any of the other grey area "good guys." 

Dominic West got first billing either because he insisted on it, or more likely because they thought he deserved it as (relatively speaking) their biggest name (with his British credits going back some years). After him, all the other names are alphabetical, so Doman comes first.

Edited by Rinaldo
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Yipes, I thought I could get back here and delete my mistake about the billing order before it was detected--it hasn't even been an hour!  No such luck.  Yes, watching the Season Two credits, I realized they were alphabetical, post-Dominic West.  Derrrp.

 

I think the puzzle as to how Jimmy ended up on the water is not as complex as any of us have been trying to make it, though.  Ten minutes into S02:E01, Jimmy's grimacing to Bunk that the practical joker guy on the squad, Landsman, was "probably the one who told Rawls where I didn't want to go." 

 

Thank you for drawing my attention to the cold open allegories.

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I think I am becoming a little like Jimmy McNulty and his "dog with a bone" dedication to the work: having finished S5 just a weeks ago, am now going back to S1 AGAIN!

I don't think there has been any other TV drama that has captivated me so much to the point of wanting to watch repeat-viewings so often in such a short space of time. Shows like "Game of Thrones", "Boardwalk Empire", "The L Word", "Peaky Blinders" and another big favourite "The West Wing" are amongst my other perennial repeaters, but none of them quite captivate me so much as "The Wire", especially Season One.

I have become a Wire Junkie, and I need another fix :)

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Going back you notice things while watching like Bubbles talking about a wedding ring which just got a highlight when played off in other seasons

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On 9/9/2017 at 9:25 PM, candall said:

But here's one thing I don't understand:  Jimmy's asked where he does not want to end up.  He knows it's a trick question because Freamon had told him that whole story about being stuck in pawnshop hell for 13 years (and four months.)  So why did Jimmy end up as a harbor cop, breathing the diesel fumes that made him seasick?

Actually in the very first episode Jay Landsman asks where it is Jimmy doesn't want to go and he says 'the boat". When Lester tells his story and warns Jimmy that when they ask, because are are gonna ask, he needs to keep his mouth shut, it's too late. After Lester tells him to keep his mouth shut I thought Jimmy thought back to his conversation with Landsman and knew he'd screwed himself.

In season 2, Jimmy tells Landsmen he's the one who told Rawls where he didn't want to go and Landsmen's like "yeah I told him where you didn't want to go" and clearly he was playing dumb big time LOL

I can see Jimmy being arrogant enough to think they'd never transfer him but I'm not convinced that's why he was honest with Jay. I think Jay was very smooth in getting that information out of Jimmy and Jimmy was none the wiser ... until it was too late.

Edited by GodsBeloved
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I just came up with a really meaningless observation while rewatching.  The video store that Mahon partnered with his brother in law in, after he took his medical pension, probably went out of business within a few of years because of Netflix.  He should have stuck it out, and maybe he could have ended up in evidence control with Augie. :)

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Well its been a few months now, and I need my fix once again. 

Back watching season 1 once more, and hearing McNulty's "what the fuck did I do?" all over again.

It's good to be back :)

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