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Kwisatz Haderach
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Discussion Starter #1
I just finished this show earlier today and you know what my first move was afterwards? I went on the internet searching for in depth write-ups, and then to youtube watching scenes.

At first the finale wasn't too good to me (and I think it could've been better) but it resonated after it's over. I'm making this thread to talk about the show and show some of my favorite clips from the show.

I have to start with this:


George Pelecanos is one of the best crime writers in America and he proved it on the Middle Grounds. This scene between Avon and Stringer is just so powerful especially the way it's played. Both know what they did to the other but are unaware what's going to happen to them.


There's so much to talk about Marlo. I still hate him as a character but the more you watch the more you understand his pathos. He didn't hate Prop Joe but he felt he had to kill him because of weakness and he couldn't trust Joe. He had no use for arbitrary rules that were set up in the game.

At the same time he was a guy with a lot of power and a lot of money but he was trapped. His aspirations were to end up either dead or in jail. He didn't want to be like Stringer and become a business man and that's why his freedom in the end was the worst thing that could happen. He was trained to go to jail.


I'll just have to unload my brain later.
 

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do better
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Hano @ Anything involving Herc. He's one of the least interesting characters on there.

But I already love this thread because I literally watch no television but a loop of the entire Sopranos and Wire series on my computer..for the past 6 months or so.

About Marlo though, I don't think it was weakness at all getting rid of Joe. I think it's pretty clear that he uses people for what he can get out of them and keeps it moving. The only people he has some semblance of respect/regard for are Snoop and Chris, Chris especially (probably because there's somewhat of a sense of fear of him).

Everything Marlo did from season 3 on was about climbing up the escalator and keeping his name pristine, point blank. Taking Avon's corners, trying to get rid of Omar as a thorn in his side, soaking up game from Joe (who's mind he respected) until he got enough lessons and the connect...Joe had outlasted his usefulness to Marlo at that point. Once he got himself that "insurance policy" spot from the Greeks, and Joe had taught him about everything he needed to know to keep his nose clean he was done with him.

He didn't fear Joe's organization whatsoever. Remember when Joe came to him at the pigeon coop trying to recruit him into the co-op in exchange for helping Joe out with his NY problem, and Marlo stated he could care less about East Baltimore right to his face...Slim was their main muscle but he's just one guy. Cheese is nothing to be scared of.

I was reading an interview about Marlo with Simon...and he talked about that scene, and how Marlo had to hold all the energy and emotion he had until that one moment so the fans could know he was for real. I think Marlo's mentality was an imperfect storm. You combine someone who legitimately had a social disorder with the streets and you get a sociopath who wants to be feared and on top just because.

His character is so crazy I'd hope it's completely unrealistic. If you pay attention to him and his crew they didn't party like that...no flash..no nothing...they were just about the next rung up the ladder.

His final scene was fitting...because he had everything Stringer Bell always wanted, walked outside and nearly got killed beating up some nobodies. The top 5 of that organization (besides Monk) are all incredibly written characters.

My favorite scene that encapsulated the shows theme for the streets was when Wallace and the other kid were doing the math problem. He couldn't figure out the answer when Jack and Jane were trading apples or wtf they were doing, but as soon as Wallace spit it out in corner terms he got it right. Wallace asked him why he could spit it out so much faster, and he said "if you mess up the count they'll **** you up"...too perfect.
 

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Dope scene. Not a ton that needs to be explained.

Just interesting in the fact that Bunk got to Omar so much you realized this was kind of just Omar's job. All that "code" stuff pretty much meant he wasn't a sociopath, just a bounty hunter in the hood. I think his character was a bit overly mythologized, however it was fiction and needed a bit of that.


I'm a big time fan of potent concision, so this is a dope scene too. Pretty much birthed the realization that the police and the "workers" they were investigating (to lead to the big headline fish) were one in the same. Elsewhere that season after the raid and the dope on the table, the unit got back to their little cellar and saw the big wigs on TV ranting and raving about the work they had just done..one by one they walked away from the screen almost too apathetically.


Pretty much The Chronic of the wire scenes. No huge message but just too dope.
 

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Limehouse Blues
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Actually I have been looking for HD torrents of the Wire. I've seen every episode at least two or three times, but I think I lost most of it to a hard drive crash and I just can't find exactly what I want...Don't have a blu ray yet or I'd think about buying them. I hope the Steve Buscemi thing is going to measure up to the Wire. HBO hasn't been able to sustain IMO.
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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Discussion Starter #5
Hano @ Anything involving Herc. He's one of the least interesting characters on there.
There was a lot going on with Herc. He was a dirty cop who just wanted to bust heads from the jump and then he became a dirty investigator for Levy.

About Marlo though, I don't think it was weakness at all getting rid of Joe. I think it's pretty clear that he uses people for what he can get out of them and keeps it moving. The only people he has some semblance of respect/regard for are Snoop and Chris, Chris especially (probably because there's somewhat of a sense of fear of him).
What I'm saying is he killed Joe because he knew that Joe being alive would have come back to hurt him. Prop Joe was probably the biggest liar on the show outside of Clay Davis and he had a history of giving people up. I think Marlo liked him enough but he had to go. I think he respected Joe, but he didn't trust him. Only people he trusted were Snoop and Chris.

Everything Marlo did from season 3 on was about climbing up the escalator and keeping his name pristine, point blank. Taking Avon's corners, trying to get rid of Omar as a thorn in his side, soaking up game from Joe (who's mind he respected) until he got enough lessons and the connect...Joe had outlasted his usefulness to Marlo at that point. Once he got himself that "insurance policy" spot from the Greeks, and Joe had taught him about everything he needed to know to keep his nose clean he was done with him.
Marlo was the Wire's Ozymandias.

He didn't fear Joe's organization whatsoever. Remember when Joe came to him at the pigeon coop trying to recruit him into the co-op in exchange for helping Joe out with his NY problem, and Marlo stated he could care less about East Baltimore right to his face...Slim was their main muscle but he's just one guy. Cheese is nothing to be scared of.
The only thing he feared really was what he got at the end. If he followed the agreement (which I doubted) he would've been resigned to a fate that would be worse than prison. He wasn't made for that life. He wasn't really civilized because everything he was was meant for the confines of what he was doing.

I was reading an interview about Marlo with Simon...and he talked about that scene, and how Marlo had to hold all the energy and emotion he had until that one moment so the fans could know he was for real. I think Marlo's mentality was an imperfect storm. You combine someone who legitimately had a social disorder with the streets and you get a sociopath who wants to be feared and on top just because.

His character is so crazy I'd hope it's completely unrealistic. If you pay attention to him and his crew they didn't party like that...no flash..no nothing...they were just about the next rung up the ladder.
Considering how many people end up in group homes and on the streets I wouldn't be surprised if there were people like him.

Marlo and his crew had no lives outside of the game. Sure, Chris had a family but they were basically the street's answer to McNulty. They completely lived for what they were doing and there was really nothing outside of that.

His final scene was fitting...because he had everything Stringer Bell always wanted, walked outside and nearly got killed beating up some nobodies. The top 5 of that organization (besides Monk) are all incredibly written characters.
Yeah, and it's why I believe there's no way he could go without ending up in jail. The fact he couldn't stay away showed a lot. It was also a recurring theme of the show where people got out of jail and went right back to where they're not supposed to be seen.
 

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BAIT
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A Wire thread?

Let me get in on this ****...

I'll start with some of the more underrated scenes. I don't think they are the best scenes of the show, just the ones that are a bit overlooked.

The absolute best scene of the show has already been posted (Avon and Stringer), so I'll post some other ones.


One of the most underrated scenes of the entire show. Up until this point, Avon was an interesting character, but he wasn't fully fleshed out yet. He was the kingpin, and that was it. This scene began what I believe to be one of the best character arcs of the show, and resulted in Avon being one of the finest characters of the show as well.

Wee Bay.

On any other show Wee Bay is your typical soldier, but sprinkle in scenes like this...



(Just go from 4:10 to 5:00 for the Wee Bay scene I'm talking about)

...and contrast them with scenes like this...



...and finally, his last lines of the show...


I mean, it's like...goddamn. No other show does this as well as The Wire.

This one I just enjoy personally for the guilty pleasure of it...


You rarely get to see the police, let alone McNulty get personal victories, but I like to think McNulty got a little personal victory for this one after Brianna convinced her son to **** McNulty's case.

And, of course...


Yeah, I know, it's not really an underrated scene, but it's sooo ****ing dope and I feel that it's mainly glorified for the wrong reasons (even though I enjoyed it on the same level as everybody else as well).

It's just so ****ing tragic, and I didn't even like Stringer. But god damn. He's trying to find a way out of his own building! He's running up the floors of the "empire" that he created, trying to find a backdoor to escape from Omar's shotgun! He's trapped in his own ****ing building, and it has locked him in...assuring his death. Too ****ing good. Sometimes metaphorical deaths suck, but sometimes metaphorical deaths are ****ing brilliant, and this one is brilliant. His illusion finally trapped him, both literally and figuratively. I mean, he's running from door to door, exit to exit. One door is locked, another staircase blocked off. His crumbling business bringing him down, and the failures of his endeavors literally blocking him from escaping. They never finished the building, and because of it...Stringer is dead.

Another one...


When I first saw this scene, I knew Omar was going to die. It was over for me at this point.

Look at that moment of hesitation...Omar pauses. He looks around and then, "You know what yo?"

POP.

A man's got to have a code. Omar had broken his.


Another scene I enjoy out of pure pleasure. Nobody else can leave the house for Cheerios, only to come back with a stash, and still look disappointed that there was no Honey Nut!


"We're like them little bitches on the chess board." What a pay off. Especially because we saw this first hand in Season 1 when D'Angelo was schooling them on how to play chess. And the end of the clip is great too. It sums up completely why McNulty can not be police unless he's police on his own terms and why in the end, he must retire.

Finally, I'll end it off with some lighter ones...


"You married to the needle boy." Bubbles was one of my favorite characters.


McNulty's reaction is priceless.
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm just glad for Youtube. After I got finished with the final episode I spent time watching different clips on youtube. One of my favorite scenes from the past two seasons was after Bubbles tried to commit suicide. Kima was no longer working drugs but she went to the hospital anyway. She was asked if she wanted to go and see him as he sat depressed in the room and she declined. Instead she watched from the other side of the glass as he broke down and cried. This was the last time we saw the two characters in the same scene and you could see that Bubbles was much more than a C.I. that he was actually someone that Kima loved. I think having her not go in there was perfect way to finish their relationship.

Oh, and THIS scene was hilarious. It just showed how ****ed up the reasoning of some people were:


His advice is to "bang awhile long and come back" lol.
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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Discussion Starter #8
One thing I didn't get was why didn't Dukie go to Prez when he was in trouble? Here was a guy who already went beyond the call of duty to help him when he was in his class. He cared enough about him to give him a gift when he was supposed to be going to high school. He doesn't go to him until he's strung out? That didn't really ring true. I think he would've gone for help sooner especially when he was searching for help before going with Junk Man.
 

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BAIT
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Another humorous scene...


Bunk and them taking advantage of how illiterate these hood dudes are when it comes to technology. Great.
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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Discussion Starter #10
Oh, and have you read any of the Alan Seppinwall write-ups after he went through and re-watched the seasons? http://sepinwall.blogspot.com/

It's unbelievable and the reader's insights and things they pick up are just as great as what he puts into it.
 

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do better
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There was a lot going on with Herc. He was a dirty cop who just wanted to bust heads from the jump and then he became a dirty investigator for Levy.
A lot? He was just a hammer head dolt who wanted to crack heads. The only interesting two things about him are his relationship with Carver, where they went from the same guy pretty much in season one but went two different ways...and the fact that he was another incompetent in a long line of them within the show who basically lucked into a very good job.

What I'm saying is he killed Joe because he knew that Joe being alive would have come back to hurt him. Prop Joe was probably the biggest liar on the show outside of Clay Davis and he had a history of giving people up. I think Marlo liked him enough but he had to go. I think he respected Joe, but he didn't trust him. Only people he trusted were Snoop and Chris.
If you're trying to say he wanted Joe gone because of how he just played him for the connect, OK...but that's kind of laughably common sense.

I think from the get Marlo wanted what he wanted and took Joe out when he got it. That's why he told Joe "he wasn't meant to play the son".

Marlo was the Wire's Ozymandias.
Do explain

The only thing he feared really was what he got at the end. If he followed the agreement (which I doubted) he would've been resigned to a fate that would be worse than prison. He wasn't made for that life. He wasn't really civilized because everything he was was meant for the confines of what he was doing.
What sucks is that you know he's going back to the game, and McNulty and Freamon ended up doing time because of the breaking of the deal.

Considering how many people end up in group homes and on the streets I wouldn't be surprised if there were people like him.
Of course there are but. It's still a small percentage even in a street sense.
 

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One thing I didn't get was why didn't Dukie go to Prez when he was in trouble? Here was a guy who already went beyond the call of duty to help him when he was in his class. He cared enough about him to give him a gift when he was supposed to be going to high school. He doesn't go to him until he's strung out? That didn't really ring true. I think he would've gone for help sooner especially when he was searching for help before going with Junk Man.
Dukie probably didn't factor Prez in as an option because his only solution would've been go back to school.

Dukie had passed that point in his life, he was looking for a job, and how was Prez really gonna help him there?

Plus Dukie was never social anyway. Prez did all that stuff to him out of his own heart, Dukie didn't ask him for any of that. Dukie never asked anybody for anything. Mike asked him if he wanted to move in with him...you can't think of one scene where he asserted himself until it was the dope telling him to do it.

And it's kind of sad because people are calling him the next Bubbles, but he doesnt have the street smarts or charm Bubbles had so he's not going to get a lot of stuff done. He's probably gonna end up being the homeless guy sleeping on the ground before Bubbles.

That's what separates him and Namond..Dukie probably should've been the one that lucked into a Colvin, but he had no social skills so he didn't know how to impress on people. Namond was likable and charming whereas Dukie was more a pathetic figure who faded into the background.
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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Discussion Starter #13
A lot? He was just a hammer head dolt who wanted to crack heads. The only interesting two things about him are his relationship with Carver, where they went from the same guy pretty much in season one but went two different ways...and the fact that he was another incompetent in a long line of them within the show who basically lucked into a very good job.
He didn't have as much range as other characters but there was some depth to him. He was a product of the system but there were glimpses that showed what he could've been if he was in an environment to do real police work.

If you're trying to say he wanted Joe gone because of how he just played him for the connect, OK...but that's kind of laughably common sense.
No, that's what you're saying. He did use him for the connect but the main reason he killed him was because Joe was Joe. He could have pushed Joe out of his position and Joe would've left but just like everyone else in the show Joe would've been back. That's why he was killed.

I think from the get Marlo wanted what he wanted and took Joe out when he got it. That's why he told Joe "he wasn't meant to play the son".
I think he just meant that he's not sentimental and not loyal to people who are a liability. Where Joe refuses to have Cheese killed because of their family tie. I think that line was meant as a contrast between the two.

Do explain
It's a Watchmen reference. I'd have to do a lot of unpacking so you should take my word for it.

What sucks is that you know he's going back to the game, and McNulty and Freamon ended up doing time because of the breaking of the deal.
It really sucks for Freamon because he has a life outside of the job, but McNulty? What does he have? His relationship with Beadie is destined to fall off, and he can't do anything besides police work, whore, and drink. His life is just about as bad right now as prison.

Of course there are but. It's still a small percentage even in a street sense.
I never said there'd be a large portion of people like him, but there are people like him.
 

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Limehouse Blues
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Really I think Prez wanted to help Dukie a lot because he was smart enough that he could have benefitted from the help. He was the one who learned how to use the PC. He's really the embodiment of the failure of society, his mother was too ****ed up to give him a chance at life and the schools were too ****ed up to help him become a useful member of society.
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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Discussion Starter #15
The biggest shame with Dukie was he was pushed ahead to high school when he wasn't ready for it. That big jump just killed all his progress because it was a further jump than he was ready for. **** was so sad. For the money I think him refusing to go into the High school was just as sad as his walking up to Junkman after Michael pulled off.
 

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He didn't have as much range as other characters but there was some depth to him. He was a product of the system but there were glimpses that showed what he could've been if he was in an environment to do real police work.
That's true, and I reference that with he and Carver's relationship. How come Carver turned into a respectable character but Herc only showed "glimpses"...

No, that's what you're saying. He did use him for the connect but the main reason he killed him was because Joe was Joe. He could have pushed Joe out of his position and Joe would've left but just like everyone else in the show Joe would've been back. That's why he was killed.
I'm not about to pretend like I'm Big Meech but there's no way you take a connect from somebody and let them live. Like I said, what you're saying is an ancillary reason, but in the context of what the show was trying to say Joe was just a tool to illustrate Marlo's mentality.

It really sucks for Freamon because he has a life outside of the job, but McNulty? What does he have? His relationship with Beadie is destined to fall off, and he can't do anything besides police work, whore, and drink. His life is just about as bad right now as prison.
He was a good guy for all of season 4. He only devolved again because Daniels asked him to go to major crimes and help take down Marlo. Once you take real police work from him, he's a pretty boring guy, but at least he's not self destructive. I think a good deal of Season 4 was spent showing what he could be without the grind of chasing kingpins. The kids loved him, Beadie loved him, he was the average guy you'd see at the supermarket everyday.

I think the series liked to play it up like he had no chance doing anything else, but they shot themselves in the foot showing him so content without the grind of major cases. Now that he's removed from it and has no opportunity to turn into that person again he'll have just as much of a life as Freamon, his sexy ass wife and his dollhouse miniatures.

I never said there'd be a large portion of people like him, but there are people like him.
There are people like him, but do those people reach the heights like him is my point.
 

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Limehouse Blues
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McNulty and Freamon didn't go to prison anyway...They both got put on the shelf for the rest of their careers in the BPD and the Prosecutors (Ronnie whats her name Pearlman?) apparently hushed up what they had done to get the money to illegally chase Marlo. At least that's what I read after thinking that was wrong.

Lester probably went back to the pawn shop unit or something similar. He only crossed the line out of desperation after the city budget crisis cut off the funding to do major cases. All of their shenanigans in season five were based around the fact that they had no official avenue for pursuing Marlo because the city was bankrupt.
 

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You're not reading..the deal was the Marlo case got put on the shelf because of what McNulty and Freamon did and Carcetti didn't want their coinciding indictments on his resume while running for Governor.

But like Pearlman said...with Carcetti gone or as incumbent Mayor the city had nothing to lose trying the case, even if they had to get Freamon and McNulty on corruption charges.

We're saying because we believe Marlo got back in the game the courts eventually took the case to trial and McNulty and Freamon went down with Marlo.
 

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Kwisatz Haderach
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Discussion Starter #19
That's true, and I reference that with he and Carver's relationship. How come Carver turned into a respectable character but Herc only showed "glimpses"...
I think a big part of it had to do with Carver having his card pulled by Daniels after it was found out that he was the snitch. He made such a big deal about his stripes prior to that. Herc never got off of his stripes and always bristled when he had to take orders from Kima.

He was a good guy for all of season 4. He only devolved again because Daniels asked him to go to major crimes and help take down Marlo. Once you take real police work from him, he's a pretty boring guy, but at least he's not self destructive. I think a good deal of Season 4 was spent showing what he could be without the grind of chasing kingpins. The kids loved him, Beadie loved him, he was the average guy you'd see at the supermarket everyday.

I think the series liked to play it up like he had no chance doing anything else, but they shot themselves in the foot showing him so content without the grind of major cases. Now that he's removed from it and has no opportunity to turn into that person again he'll have just as much of a life as Freamon, his sexy ass wife and his dollhouse miniatures.
He was a good guy when he wasn't a detective but he was still doing police work. He would never (and could never) take a job like Herc. What helped him straighten up was stepping down and having a support system in Beadie. Now he doesn't have the job at all, and they did everything but tell us that his relationship with Beadie is almost over. He's as lost as a civilian as Marlo.

There are people like him, but do those people reach the heights like him is my point.
Absolutely. That's not saying everyone has a social problem but there are more than we'd be comfortable with knowing. I'm confident of that after having read a few books on different crime groups.

Something I had no clue about that adds something to this is that Randy was Cheese's son. I'm glad they didn't go into that but it's definitely interesting.

Another note: I think season five could've used one more episode to better setup the finale.
 

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I think a big part of it had to do with Carver having his card pulled by Daniels after it was found out that he was the snitch. He made such a big deal about his stripes prior to that. Herc never got off of his stripes and always bristled when he had to take orders from Kima.
I think it was that and Colvin's speech. He had some good rabbis.


He was a good guy when he wasn't a detective but he was still doing police work. He would never (and could never) take a job like Herc. What helped him straighten up was stepping down and having a support system in Beadie. Now he doesn't have the job at all, and they did everything but tell us that his relationship with Beadie is almost over. He's as lost as a civilian as Marlo.
That's true when I think about it. I mean he'll figure something out I'm sure, a factory worker or some dumb **** like that, but he'll never have a career again. But I actually think the relationship with Beadie was on the brink but the final scene was their to show us they had weathered the storm. I think the lack of any dialogue symbolized how uneventful the rest of their lives would be together, but that's just fine with them.

Something I had no clue about that adds something to this is that Randy was Cheese's son. I'm glad they didn't go into that but it's definitely interesting.
Yeah, remember when Officer Walker chased him down and took the money Marlo had gave him, and he asked his name? Randy said Wagstaff, and Walker said noone would make that **** up.

I never understood if it was because Wagstaff was an off the wall name or if Walker was saying that based on Cheese...but I don't know if an east side lieutenant would have a reputation that a west side patrolman would know about.

I was reading that blog you posted, and the said the writers weren't sure of who was going to be the "next Bubbles" between Randy and Dukie. I wonder if it was Randy instead how Dukie's narrative would play out any differently. I wonder if he'd have a Ziggy moment but end up shot himself.

Another note: I think season five could've used one more episode to better setup the finale.
Yeah if Season 5 had like two more episodes we might've gotten to catch up on more bit players from the past.
 
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