The Wire

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
"They Don't Teach It In Law School"

At the Greggs estate, Kima is putting the finishing touches on assembling what I guess is either a cabinet or a dresser or quite possibly the world's most uncomfortable Scandinavian bunk bed. Because this is IKEA merchandise, though it falls apart the first time anyone looks at it funny, and Kima curses her fate. My wife would like to point out that she just assembled a microwave tray that we purchased at IKEA with very little fuss and or muss, thus making her more skilled than Kima. I back up her story although I hasten to add that apparently Jesus Christ himself was hiding in our house and leaping out to surprise my wife while she worked on assembly, given the number of times she shouted out his name in anger and alarm.

Outside a bar, Gus sits in his car staring at the day's newspaper. Of course, Templeton's story is above the fold and of course it made it into the paper untouched by human hands. Into the nearest waste basket goes the paper -- they are really not into recycling on this show -- and into the bar goes Gus.

And inside the bar, we find Richard Belzer, berating the bartender for having the temerity to demand that he pay off his tab at all once. "It just isn't done," Belzer says. "I used to run a bar." I can only assume that this is Richard Belzer continuing his world tour of TV programs around the dial in the guise of John Munch, who started out on Homicide: Life on the Street but has since fanned out to appear on everything from Arrested Development to The X-Files to multiple flavors of Law & Order. And it's disconcerting, not just because Gus walks right by him and those two used to be on Homicide together when Clark Johnson played Meldrick Lewis -- they co-owned the very bar to which Munch was referring to just now! But it's also troubling because if this is John Munch from Homicide, then this show exists in the same universe as Homicide, which also featured Alfre Woodard and Ed Begley Jr. reprising roles that they originated on St. Elsewhere, which, as anyone who's the least bit familiar with that show's series finale remembers, was the figment of an autistic kid's fertile imagination. Therefore, by the property of transference, Munch's presence means The Wire is also the imaginings of that same autistic kid, doubtlessly contained in a "Welcome to Baltimore" snow globe situated right next to the one that housed St. Eligius hospital. Stop it, David Simon -- you have officially blown my mind. Anyhow, Gus didn't come here to spot out-of-place characters from other shows whose very presence threw the world as we know it into chaos -- he wants to ask a couple questions of Major Mello, who just happens to be at the other end of the bar.

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The Wire




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