The Wire
Time After Time

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: B+ | 2 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
"Don't Matter How Many Times You Get Burnt, You Just Keep Doin' The Same"

The raid goes about as well as you would expect, which is to say, not at all. The one kid runs off, and the cops bid him a mocking adieu -- only this time, the runner grabs the stash of drugs as he exits stage left. Cue the ensuing panicked chase, only replace the theme from Shaft with "Yakety Sax" from The Benny Hill Show. The chase ends with many squad cars and even a helicopter descending upon the alleyway where Carver and his men think the kid might be hiding, and Carver standing on his car and impotently screaming for the kid to spare himself future beatings by turning himself in. "We do not lose!" Carver screams. "And we do not forget! And we do not give up, ever!" About the only thing we're missing here is a skywriting plane spelling out "NOTHING YOU DO WILL EVER WORK OUT" in 50-foot-high letters in the sky above him.

As if the stark fuck-knucklery of the Western District peace-keepers weren't depressing enough, it seems the criminal element is getting even more organized: Stringer Bell is conducting a meeting of his underlings according to Robert's Rules of Order. I'm guessing that this is one of the few meetings where the sergeant-at-arms actually is quite heavily armed. We seem to have wandered in during the New Business portion of the agenda: Bodie is arguing for an aggressive takeover of new corners now that the Towers have come down. Stringer wonders how Bodie proposes to do that. "You say, 'Fuck it,' and take 'em," Poot offers. "Nigga, you ain't got the floor," Stringer counters. "Chair don't recognize your ass." Oh, to hear those words just once emanating from the House of Representatives -- The Chair does not recognize the ass of the distinguished gentleman from Ohio. C-Span's ratings would go through the roof. Anyhow, Stringer scoffs at Bodie's plan and proclaims that the days of worrying about territory are over with. The watchword these days is about product: "We got the best goddamn product, so we gonna sell no matter where we are, right?" says Stringer. "Product, motherfuckers. Product." Be sure to copyright that motto, Stringer; you'd hate to see it on the cover of G.E.'s next annual report. The chair recognizes Slim Charles (Anwan Glover), who posits that the pushers have to stand somewhere to move this glorious product. "Three words for you," Stringer Bell says. "Amazon. Dot. Com." No, he says no such thing, actually; instead, he points out that profits are up since the inception of the Barksdale partnership with Prop Joe, even though the Barksdale gang had to give up territory. "Territory ain't shit," Stringer reiterates. "Especially when you consider it's the fight for the territory that be bringing the bodies, and the bodies that bring the...." He pauses here for effect. "Police," he concludes. And the thing of it is? He's absolutely right. If more criminal enterprises approached things with the sort of vision espoused by Stringer Bell here, society would be in a world of shit -- as opposed to the Camelot-like circumstances we live under these days, I suppose.

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The Wire

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