The Wire

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: A | 3 USERS: B
"A Lie Ain't A Side Of A Story. It's Just A Lie."

From: Larry King

Gentlemen -- I was a little dismayed to tune into your fine television program on Sunday night to hear you describe me, Larry King, as "that fella with the big forehead." I will have you know that my forehead is perfectly normal-sized -- no bigger than Bill O'Reilly's or Regis Philbin's or that of any other television personality that you did not choose to defame on your little TV show. And I want to know that if I ever run into either of you, I'm going to strangle you with my suspenders.

P.S. Call me crazy, but I just can't get enough gazpacho...You want to talk happening towns? Then you want to talk about Research Triangle, North Carolina, friend...It may only be February, but it's not too early for Katherine Heigl to start thinking Oscar for the fantastic 27 Dresses. What a talented little lady -- though not nearly so talented as the great Dixie Carter...Look for the Toronto Blue Jays to make some noise in the American League East this year...When I've got an evening at home alone, how do I spend it? A little Toblerone, a little cranapple juice, and a whole lot of clown porn.

Now where were we? Ah, right: Deputy Director Toland was telling us about all his media appearances, and Kima and McNulty were acting unimpressed and puzzled, and we were wondering why this scene was dragging on as long as it did. Toland mentions his book; Kima and McNulty register their lack of interest. Hey, did you know Toland consulted for those CSI shows? If anyone did know, they certainly can't be bothered to care. After some more awkward banter, Toland finally slinks off to let us have our show back. But not before FBI Guy #2 points out that Toland was the lead investigator on the Unabomber case. "That was like sixteen years, right?" Kima asks. "And then his brother ratted him out," McNulty observes. The FBI guys look around, embarrassed. Ha -- it's funny because a guy I just met and will probably never see on this show again just got humiliated.

Over at the Sun, Gus is wrapping up the editing of Fletch's contribution to the paper's Parade o' Homeless stories. Unlike some of the other stories the Sun has run, this one is apparently good and, we presume, factual. Gus compliments Fletch on his sense of time and place, and for capturing the drama in small moments; Fletch says that he owes it all to his tour guide, Bubbles. "There's something about this guy," says Fletch. "I just -- I don't know. The more he talked, the more I felt like it was him I really wanted to write about." But the drawback there is that Bubbles isn't homeless and doesn't fit into the Sun's current All-Homelessness-All-the-Time mandate. Fletch fills in Gus on the Bubbles backstory -- recovering addict, volunteers at a soup kitchen, sells the Sun on Light Street to make money, and lives in the basement of his vaguely disapproving sister's home. Gus suggests that Fletch spend some time with Bubbles developing the story. Just make sure you do off-camera out of deference to the peculiar and not-at-all widely shared tastes of your recapper.

As Fletch dashes off to provide a true-and-faithful account of Bubbles's life and therefore establish himself as the polar opposite of Templeton, Alma comes over to give Gus the last-minute rundown from the cop beat: two dead from a house fire, and a shooting death in the city. Trouble is, the metro digest only has room for one more brief. "What's the homicide?" Gus asks. Alma rattles off the details: thirty-four-year-old black male shot dead in a West Baltimore grocery story, with a juvenile sought as the suspect. "Write up the fire," says Gus. And the grim reality of Omar's time on this earth comes a little more sharply into focus: He may have been able to have entire neighborhoods cringe in terror at his name at one point, but in death, he doesn't even rate a four-paragraph story. I can't decide whether that's sad or fitting.

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The Wire




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