(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.
4. "I'd bump the Alley to #1, but otherwise, good job" In response to Reply # 0
Another season I absolutely love for no particular (though it's definitely in my top 5 for the show, period) is in Episode 5, I believe, where Prop Joe, Stringer, and all the other dealers first start the co-op. After the meeting, Stringer walks up to one of his crew, who's sitting in the corner dilligently taking notes, snatches the binder from his hand and says "I know you ain't taking official minutes on some fucking Criminal Conspiracy shit!?!?"
5. "It had a nice anti-climatic climax." In response to Reply # 4 Mon Jun-11-07 06:40 PM by genius.switch
Where they both draw weapons, you're expecting some kind of Western shootout, and then it ends rather calmly. Only reason it didn't reach higher is because it was cut short with Omar saying, "I'm listening" (or something to that effect). Still great though.
I also found Muzone's attitude towards Omar's lifestyle and Lamar's trips to the gay bars great: "your homophobia is so visceral." At the end, right before they get at Stringer, dude then mentioned something about how not going in from behind would be a change for Omar.
>Another season I absolutely love for no particular (though >it's definitely in my top 5 for the show, period) is in >Episode 5, I believe, where Prop Joe, Stringer, and all the >other dealers first start the co-op. After the meeting, >Stringer walks up to one of his crew, who's sitting in the >corner dilligently taking notes, snatches the binder from his >hand and says "I know you ain't taking official minutes on >some fucking Criminal Conspiracy shit!?!?"
Right . . . and the whole "the chair recognizes" formalness of the meeting was funny.
12. "Yeah, twas a good one." In response to Reply # 7
Going back over my S1 list, I feel like that may still be the strongest, though, as I wrote in my org. post, the political storylines were handled better here. That being said, it's definitely stronger than S2, maybe even purchase worthy (especially with sales going on).
>the best closing musical montage of the four seasons
I don't know. The Jesse Winchester Step By Step track--which I'm still looking for by the way--that covered everything from McNulty on the docks to Santangelo back on a foot beat to random drug sales everywhere to Omar's return is pretty unbeatable. Maybe that also has something to do with the fact that I wasn't expecting such a "wrap-up" either.
>>20.A LIFE (EPISODE 9: SLAPSTICK) >>Lester to McNulty: "The job will not save you." > >I loved this scene...to me it's the best summation of Jimmy >McNulty and the flaws that make him great/ruin him
Right . . . McNulty tried to crack on Lester's dollhouses, but that was really more than Jimmy had.
>great list, although any list on S3 has has to include Chris >Partlow's drive-by on Avon (unless I missed it)
That whole transaction--all three scenes total--were great.
First, I think it was Bernard's (cell phone buyer) girl that was with Devonne at the bar. That was a smart little clue to the audience that shit was a fix from the start. From there, you see how cautious Marlo was, as he hooked up with Devonne but only in the back of a SUV with his man lurking just feet away.
Then, as you say, you had little dude playing spy at the restaurant spot as Avon's cover is blown. (Surprising that Avon accompanied them on the would-be set-up.)
Finally, Devonne's gunned down, as Marlo leaves a bullet in each breast, then finished with one in her mouth. I guess that was the most shocking and visually interesting scene to me, particularly with the smoke from the gunshot rising up, so I chose it to represent all the related action.
>I think Partlow had ten lines all season...but his nods and >shit came off so fucking cold, like he was the grim reaper >himself
Yeah, and I don't know if the actor couldn't grow a proper beard, but those patches he had on his face added character.
11. "Season 3 should have a top 50" In response to Reply # 0 Mon Jun-11-07 08:09 PM by will_5198
too many classic moments for me
TIME OUT (EPISODE 1: TIME AFTER TIME)
"Joint mighta broke him."
"Boss, you talking bout homie walked up and shot Elijah Davis, broad daylight, at Pennsie and Gold -- then picked up the phone, dialed 911, told the police 'I just shot a n/gga, come get him.' That dude ain't breakin. Nah."
I like the show way to much to do a list like this, and in general I'm not much of a list guy because my subjective choices are too guided by my moods and temperments. Props for making this list though.
And the bias that I have for Lester being my favorite character makes me want to say the moment you have listed at 20 should be higher, but I don't know which of the prior ones listed should be moved in its place. Wish I had season three fresh in my head to add more to this post.
15. "man, you left out my favorite scene" In response to Reply # 0
when an angry, humiliated String goes to Slim to put a hit on Clay Davis, and Avon's hanging back in the doorway listening to the whole thing. As Mr. "I think before I take a life" lets his emotions get the best of him enough to order some shit waaay above his head.
i love just about every line in that exchange
"The Clay Davis? DownTOWN Clay Davis"
"I think Slim gonnna have to sit this one out boss"
"Naah you a fuckin' business man, you wanna handle it like that. You don't wanna get all gangsta wild with it and shit"
"Basically you need a day of the jackal type muthafucka for some shit like that, not a rough and tumble n*gga like Slim"
"What'd I tell you about playin' them fuckin' away games?"
"They saw your ghetto ass comin' from miles away n*gga"
16. "Because I hate you." In response to Reply # 15
>when an angry, humiliated String goes to Slim to put a hit on >Clay Davis, and Avon's hanging back in the doorway listening >to the whole thing. As Mr. "I think before I take a life" lets >his emotions get the best of him enough to order some shit >waaay above his head.
No, that, and all the worthy ones I might have missed, were plenty good, it's just that as far as Stringer vs. Avon clashes were concerned, as it was the lone scene where they actually physically fought*, where Avon challenged Stringer for not being hard enough, and where Stringer confessed to Avon about D's murder, I went with the blow-up in Episode 8. I didn't intentionally disallow any other similar scenes to be considered, but I guess that one was so strong that anything that came after was already towered over.
"Know what I see when I look at you nowdays? I see a man without a country. Not hard enough for this right here and maybe, just maybe, not smart enough for them out there."
*I half expected Avon to take the final shot later, not Omar and Muzone, but I guess he had to keep his hand cleans extra for this assignment.
18. "I hear what you're saying." In response to Reply # 16
They had like 4 great ones that all tie together and you chose the most explosive. He picked the funniest, and I took the subtle one. The only one missing is where avon openly questions string's "businessman" thing. The chump brothers.
The irony is that all these scenes in hindsight the delayed fistbump while avon was in jail at the end of season 2 a more telling scene.
---------------------------- "The Mets had a chance last year to go to the World Series. They made it to the playoffs. They won the division. Congratulations, but last year is over."
26. "the first big showdown definitely hits harder" In response to Reply # 16
especilly the first time around. I really like this one because it's the moment String, who believes he's moved up in class (so to speak) and is above all this 'corner bullshit', runs right back to it when his back is against the wall. not that that in itself is all that surprising, but the fact that he thinks he could get away with killing a state senator shows just how delusional this 'thinking man's gangster' had become.
that and i was sorta taking avon's side most of the time lol.
>"They saw your ghetto ass comin' from miles away n*gga"
Watching bits and pieces of the third season, the scenes with Clay Davis playing game with Stringer are hilarious if only because Bell is so smart in everything else he does, but is reduced to a little child in how badly Clay Davis played him out.
I don't think it should really be included in the top 25, but the scene where Clay Davis tells Stringer 5 thousand of the 25K he gave him was for bribing the downtown suits priceless to me. Davis is screwing with Stringer and letting him know it right then and there.
19. "RE: Here are some of mine...." In response to Reply # 17
>Us! (EPISODE 11: MIDDLE GROUND) >The Balcony scene w String and Avon.
That was an interesting scene for a couple reasons:
1) You got some humor (no matter if it was coated in something more dramatic) in a season where their relationship was terribly strained.
2) As I have said before, some storyline (like a prequel) about how Stringer and Avon rose to power, from snatching treats at a candy store to first gaining control of The Towers, would surely be great.
3) When you think about it, Avon had already given Muzone the go-ahead to get Stringer. He knew his man, his friend before they even sold a single ounce, had less than a day to live--and his death was essentially by his command. He even asks Stringer when's he meeting with the contractor (or whoever that white guy was), so he has a time and place for the set-up. That's rough.
The manner in which the Stringer / Avon relationship fell apart and led to murder reminded me strongly of Michael / Fredo in Godfather II.
Also, as you mentioned, the jailhouse confrontation in S2 is when it all most obviously started to fall apart. That's why I included it in the number three spot for that season's list.
22. "RE: Here are some of mine...." In response to Reply # 19
>3) When you think about it, Avon had already given Muzone the >go-ahead to get Stringer. He knew his man, his friend before >they even sold a single ounce, had less than a day to >live--and his death was essentially by his command. He even >asks Stringer when's he meeting with the contractor (or >whoever that white guy was), so he has a time and place for >the set-up. That's rough.
Awesome scene. What put it over the top for me--and I love the little things in this show--was the extra bump/hug that Avon gives Stringer after "Us, motherfucker." Even Stringer could detect something unusual about that gesture; to us viewers, of course, it was like a final goodbye.
21. "RE: Here are some of mine...." In response to Reply # 17
>Poot’s Question (EPISODE 1: TIME AFTER TIME) >The Roberts rules of order scene…”Do the chair recognize that >we gon look like some punk ass bitches?”
Yeah, all of those 'meeting' scenes, whether with the co-op or at the funeral home were gems. I especially liked the "how hard are you looking for Marlo" scene where Bodie gets sonned for attending the meeting Stringer called rather than looking for Marlo on the street.
20. "Colvin - Riding the District" In response to Reply # 0
Kind of a parallel to "Vincent Street at Dark," but there's a scene in the first or second episode where Colvin rides the Western and the camera just records the view as he drives by. You just see people out on the street, bottles breaking, people yelling Five-Oh. Come to think of it, it had a Taxi Driver type vibe to it, but I found it pretty chilling and powerful. The scene ends comically with Justin trying to sell dope to Colvin in his radio car.