(Unless y'all still wanna talk about that other thing . . .)
Quick Note on Spoilers: I'm only up to Season Three, but I'm not a spoiler-stickler like others may be. For instance, I already know the "big thing" that happens next season. However, because some people have that disposition, you might wanna throw up a "Season ?? Spoiler" warning just in case. And if you still haven't seen the third season and don't want it ruined, leave this post now.
Okay . . . Although I can surely appreciate this season without needing to compare it to the previous two, I guess I have to say that all the reasons why I really liked this one--primarily the rather ingenious 3-D perspective on the drug game that movies or TV seldom offer, especially the street level activity-- are the same reasons I loved the first season and was relatively more lukewarm on the second. But anyway . . .
My only issues this season: the music was less a potent force than it's been in the past; Cheese and his storyline (and Meth's acting) were not up to snuff; and McNulty's relationship with the campaign strategist, while supplying a role reversal of sorts, was cliché (though even it acquitted itself overall by the end). Everything else? Terrific.
Just about every new character introduced proved himself a worthy addition. Colvin was a guy who had reached the end of the line and thought he had nothing to lose. This made him risky by conventional bureau standards, but of course it was those conventions that were failing the city already. In that way, he was honorable in a dishonorable fashion. And losing his high-scale pension was bittersweet but necessary, as was the rather ambiguous response Bubbs gives to him at the end. Next, Carcetti was served well to be a mystery for at least the first half of the season, where you were left wondering who he really was: Another scum politician? Man of the people? Self-serving prick? Trusted ally? In the end, he was all of those, led by ambition, admirable and an asshole for the same reasons. Ultimately, the government storylines were well-handled and thankfully more fleshed out than in S1.
On the street side of things, Slim Charles, especially his voice, fit in nicely as a Barksdale henchman: smart but not ultra-serious like a Stringer and not a showboat like Wee-Bey either. Marlo then was rather quiet and elusive, but that worked well for him. Again, he was ruthless but not exactly in the same way we have seen another player before. I also appreciated how Cutty went back and forth and forth and back with his own moral dilemma. There wasn't just one turn, and even when he got "saved" by the church, he just changed his direction not his style. Each point added complexity to his character. Finally, although we have long since been familiar with Avon and Stringer, watching their two business styles clash over and over was quite thrilling. I knew ahead of time that Stringer was going down, but still it was interesting to be able to trace the fracturing of their relationship and then guess when and how (I still ended up surprised).
Then the finale, aided by a great Solomon Burke track, was a satisfying but not necessarily clean closing of a truly great season. Anyway . . .
The Wire Season 3: 25 Best Moments / Scenes.
25.RELEASED ON P&P (EPISODE 7: BACK BURNERS) McNulty and unit learn of Avon's parole.
24.MAKE-A-FACE (EPISODE 8: MORAL MIDGETRY) Herc and dealers play with identity kit.
23.THE GAY BAR (EPISODE 10: REFORMATION) Rawls at the back table.