You know what I like to do after yet another successful sortie in my unrelenting campaign of terror and revenge against the remorseless drug lord what done me wrong? Pick up a pack of smokes. Omar and I are a lot alike, because he's doing exactly the same thing. Omar orders a pack of Newports from the Korean lady ensconced behind the counter and the kind of bulletproof glass that would make a head of state covetous. While Omar's waiting, the tinkle from someone entering the store rings out -- Omar shifts his eyes rightward, decides to pay it no never mind, and turns his attention back to the clerk. "And let me get one of them too," he says. And then a gunshot rings out, and Omar's brains are on the floor. Oh shit! As the Korean lady screams, we cut to the shooter -- it's Kenard. OH SHIT! Judging by Kenard's wide-eyed expression, he's as shocked by all of us this as the rest of us probably are. Kenard turns the gun toward the screaming lady -- "Don't shoot!" she manages to blurt mid-scream -- and then back to Omar, who is most definitely not moving. Kenard gingerly walks over and pokes Omar once or twice -- because this is a tightly-written HBO show and not Saw V: Omar Back, Omar does not sit up and bite Kenard's face off. Though admit it -- you wouldn't be entirely disappointed if he did, now, would you? Kenard drops the gun and runs out of the story. And that's how things end for the man who couldn't be done in by Barksdales, Bells, Stanfields, or four-story falls. Killed while buying cigarettes by someone who couldn't even see over a steering wheel without sitting on the Yellow Pages. It's probably fitting, given the way other lives have gotten snuffed out on this show, but is it fair? Probably not, but not a lot of what happens in the Wire-verse is.
Personal note: If one were to compile a list of the most shocking death scenes in Wire history, you'd have to think that Omar's demise and Stringer Bell's would be at the top of the list. They would be -- don't be argumentative. And you know what? Despite not reading spoiler sites or background material on the show that isn't carefully vetted by others or, really, anything that isn't about sports or pornography, I was spoiled for both the deaths of Stringer Bell and Omar in ridiculously idiotic ways. The Stringer Bell incident, I'll save for when I get around to recapping that particular episode. But Omar's death, I found out about on a goddamn baseball website, of all places, when some would-be wit who clearly gets HBO OnDemand made some joke about how a particularly improbable happening in the upcoming season would be as shocking as Kenard gunning down Omar. "Too soon?" he wrote. Yeah, just a little there, Slick. And I'm sorry, fans of the Philadelphia Phillies, but I hope your team goes 0-162 this season if only to teach one of your fellow rooters the importance of keeping one's mouth shut until the goddamn episode actually airs.