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ToxicUnicorn

S01.E04: Old Cases

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If it's new to you ... I'm watching the series for the first time, completely unspoiled (except for the fact that this is supposed to be the greatest show ever).  This episode blew me away.  Like, clear off my seat, through the wall, and into the next room.

 

Starting with the desk in the door scene, going from Bodie's tale of murder, to McNulty and his partner investigating an empty kitchen ... to an incredible monologue by Landsman to convince McNulty's boss to let McNulty "come home" ... yo, I'm officially into this show.  If anyone wants to discuss, feel free!

Edited by ToxicUnicorn
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This is one of the greatest scenes of all time:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LN5eYFH8HZ8
 
I think this was probably also the episode for me where I was totally, completely in. When I get around the rewatch I'll post more thoughts.
 
This is the first episode of The Wire that got into the Extra Hot Great Canon, from the Mark One podcast. You can listen here (discussion from about 30:30 to 1:01:30; see caveats about availability here). I just relistened to make sure about spoilers: there's some very minor big-picture stuff, but nothing that should bother someone going through for the first time unless you're a Matthew Wiener-level spoilerphobe.

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Is the canon at that link supposed to match this canon? It doesn't; there are a couple in common but each list has some the other doesn't. If that's deliberate, what is the distinction intended to be?

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I wondered what anyone thought of the explanation/excuse that Landsman gave to the boss, that McNulty is "addicted" to himself.  I don't know about anyone else, but that's a weird phrase to me.

 

So far, I've just gotten the impression that McNulty can't let things go, not that he is some kind of narcissist or always has to be right or smarter or something.  Am I supposed to have caught onto something else by now?  

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It seems about right to me. I don't know that there's any specific thing to catch onto. But I recall feeling, without necessarily choosing to believe what others said, that he felt he was the smartest one in most rooms, and liked to prove it. (Let's just say that I'm, um, in a position to recognize this syndrome rather well. I do think I've gotten better about it, though.)

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Is the canon at that link supposed to match this canon? It doesn't; there are a couple in common but each list has some the other doesn't. If that's deliberate, what is the distinction intended to be?

I think it's just that the first link includes the first iteration of the podcast, but is a little out of date; the second link is only ones that they wrote up as stories, which seems to just have been some of the ones from last fall for whatever reason. Every (main) episode of the podcast has a submission in it.

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But I recall feeling, without necessarily choosing to believe what others said, that he felt he was the smartest one in most rooms, and liked to prove it. (Let's just say that I'm, um, in a position to recognize this syndrome rather well. I do think I've gotten better about it, though.)

 

 

The fact that I find this admission to be utterly charming suggests it doesn't pose a problem for you.  :)  I guess I can see that McNulty would have rubbed his boss (Rawls, according to Seppinwall) the wrong way, seeing as Rawls was upset that McNulty talked to the judge and McNulty didn't apologize.  I guess I can also see how the Lieutenant would think McNulty was acting superior.  (Perhaps that face-off is the strongest evidence.)  But when McNulty is around Kima and Bubbs and Bunk, he seems to be pretty relaxed and treating them as though they're all equals.  If he has a flaw, it doesn't seem like a pervasive one.

 

Oh, I think the red hat trick was in the last episode and this one - I thought that was a brilliant idea.

 

I also thought the contrast between McNulty's suburban neighborhood and the projects was very effective (very uncomfortable), but maybe too heavy handed?  It was so jarring, it through me out of the story a lot.

 

As for the f*** scene, when this show first aired, was there any talk about the language that D'Angelo and Bodie used?  Because that has been pretty shocking as well.

Edited by ToxicUnicorn
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I also thought the contrast between McNulty's suburban neighborhood and the projects was very effective (very uncomfortable), but maybe too heavy handed?  It was so jarring, it [threw] me out of the story a lot.

That's Baltimore, though (and possibly other similar cities as well). The "nice" neighborhoods (that may not even have been suburban, but within the city limits) and the projects and derelict neighborhoods are not that far apart -- a matter of a couple miles. One of the ongoing themes of the series (I don't think I'm spoiling anything) is how geographically limited people's worlds can be. There's a scene where a kid's world is shaken when he discovers that other cities have their own radio stations; and moving from one side of town to the other is seen as unthinkable.

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