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."

Let's continue with our Women Whom McNulty Has Angered theme, and return to Beadie's porch, where Beadie is trying one last time to make McNulty understand why maybe alienating people who love him might not be such a good idea: "All the guys at the bar, Jimmy? All the girls? They don't show up at your wake." Because they're down at the free clinic mainlining penicillin? "And not because they don't like you," she continues, "but because they never knew your last name. And a month later, someone tells them, 'Oh, Jimmy died.' 'Jimmy who?' 'Jimmy the cop.' 'Oh,' they say. 'Him.'" And then they surreptitiously check around to make sure his demise wasn't because of some sort of easily transmittable disease. Beadie's point? The drinking pals and the one-night-conquests and the random acquaintances are not going to mourn McNulty. "Family," Beadie emphasizes. "That's it. Family and, if you're lucky, one or two friends who are the same as family. That's all the best of us get." Unless the weather happens to be nice on the day of your funeral -- that can drive up attendance, too.

Anyhow, it's powerful stuff from Beadie -- honestly -- and it moves McNulty to do a little truth-telling of his own. "There is no serial killer," he says. "There are no murders. I made it all up." Beadie's face is a mix of uncomprehending confusion and slowly rising rage. McNulty struggles to explain what he was thinking -- and I think it's slowly dawning on him that the reason it's so hard to explain is because he wasn't thinking terribly well at all. "Now that I've done all this, now that I've watched myself do this, I can't even stand to..." McNulty's voice trails off. McNulty repeats the oft-told promise that Freamon's close to making his case, and then, with the passage of time, he'll be able to shut everything down. "If you don't go to jail," Beadie points out. And if you thought she was mad at McNulty before, imagine how she feels now that she's learned he's not only stepping out on her, he's also potentially dragging her down into a morass of corruption and scandal. "You had no fucking right," she says. "This is my life, too." McNulty acknowledges that he had no right: "You start to tell the story, you think you're the hero, and then when you get done talking..." Your justifiably aggrieved partner turns her back on you and walks into the house, lest she spend another minute looking at you? Because that's what just happened here.

Hey, if you thought that was uplifting, here's another scene to carry you home. We're in the morgue, where Omar is laid out on a slab, bagged and tagged -- tagged incorrectly, as it turns out. The morgue attendant realizes that the grayed-haired white dude with a surgical scar on his chest is probably not the African-American male killed by a gunshot wound as the tag on him claims. So the tags are switched to their proper places, and we get one last look at Omar as his bag is zipped up -- his ending about as anonymous and inglorious and unheralded as a death can be.

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The Wire




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