This week's Wire episode seemed to show a dichotomy in the skills of the writers. The story line on the drug dealers gets more compelling -- although gets less screen time -- while the story lines on the three other fronts, the mayor, the newspaper, and the police, gets less so.
McNulty moves forward with his nutcase plan to create a fictional serial killer and manages to get Lester on board. What seems silly about this plan is that they are trying to get resources for an investigation into murders of black people, but I'm going to be cynical and say that the problem here is that McNulty is targeting white homeless men. This hardly seems the demographic that will launch a full-scale investigation. McNulty, meanwhile, is back to his reprehensible self: drinking too much, and caught by fellow police in a compromising position with a woman in a parking lot. I definitely missed the lecherous McNulty last season, but they seem to have gone too far in the other direction.
On the newspaper front, the management has announced the next round of buyouts. Among them is a character, Roger Twigg, that is surely a representation of David Simon -- an on-the-ball reporter who knows his stuff and promises to move on to write "the next great American novel." Meanwhile, the young ambitious reporter, Scott, is clearly depicted as a fabricator. He manufactures quotes to contribute to Twigg's story. Alma, the only female reporter with a name, sees her reporting on a triple murder bumped from the front page due to the "shrinking news hole." The mayor's office leaks a story to Gus to feel out the prospects of bumping Ervin Burrell for Cedric Daniels. Gus -- the only black reporter depicted -- is safe in this round of buyouts.
Meanwhile, Marlo is inching his way to becoming more powerful, courting the Russians to become a direct buyer so he can shut out Prop Joe. Thankfully, they've brought Omar back into the storyline by having Snoop and Chris dish out some retribution. The next episode promises to have Omar play a more prominent role. Michael is struggling with the desire to just be a kid, spending the day at an amusement park with his little brother and Dukie, and his life on the street. Bubbles didn't even make an appearance in this episode
The story lines on the newspaper end seem pretty simplistic, but I'd like to see more of what's going on in the street. Part of the problem is there are so many plots and subplots going on it's impossible to give enough time to everything. We'll see if the drug dealers and addicts get more time in the next episode.
Cross-posted at campusprogress.org/blog.