The Wire season 5 episode 5 review

Drugs, serial killers and politicians abound as Leo catches up with The Wire again this week...

The Wire

Episode 5 opens with Spiros and Marlo having a meeting after the death of Prop Joe. Marlo has become the new contact for The Greek and his drugs but in a surprising twist he is given a cell phone by Spiros so he can make contact. Marlo doesn’t use phones as a security precaution but Spiros assures him that it’s safe provided he never discusses business on the phone.

That’s the first and last part that drugs play in this episode. There are a couple of short scenes to remind us that Bubs is still around, that McNulty has a home life of sorts with Beadie and Dennis Wise is working away in his gym. Out of sight is truly out of mind.

A section of the episode is devoted to the travails of Senator Clay Davis who gets indicted for being a money-grabbing sleazebag. Davis is determined that he won’t go without a fight and if necessary he will name names but the facts of life are spelled out and he soon realises that he can’t take the other politicians with him. Instead he launches a campaign to paint the charges as a race issue as the States Attorney, who is black, is clearly obeying his masters.

Davis is shown as a desperate man who sees his options evaporating before his eyes but it’s hard to see why his story matters. We don’t know much about his character and have no reason to care whether he gets off the charges or is sent to jail. Perhaps he is being used to illustrate the way that politicians defend their own kind and don’t give a damn about the people.

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The main story in this episode is McNulty’s fictitious serial killer. After some judicious leaking to The Sun McNulty gets a prominent story that spreads concern in the Mayor’s office and which results in a budget for two detectives to be assigned to the case. McNulty has hoped for at least a dozen and is devastated that he won’t be able to divert resources to nail Marlo, which is the object of the exercise. In particular he can’t arrange a wiretap on Marlo’s cell phone (Lester has been passed the number) so he comes up with the idea of making phone calls while posing as the serial killer.

But fate takes a hand in the form of Scott Templeton who is desperate to stay on the serial killer story. He had been sent out to get react quotes from the homeless in Baltimore about the killer who was supposed to be stalking the streets. Unsurprisingly the homeless weren’t too fussed about the non-existent killer so Templeton did what he does best and made up some quotes. Even so he gets reassigned to another job so he fakes a phone call from a pay phone to his cell phone and writes up a supposed conversation with the serial killer. McNulty is called in to The Sun to hear the details of the call and knows full well that the call must be a fake so he refers to an earlier call from the killer, which is a figment of imagination. This rattles Templeton who blurts out ‘he made another call?’ He clearly has no idea what is happening and seems to have got in way over his head.

The episode closes with Omar making a move on Marlo’s apartment. He’s been staking it out with a friend for the past few days and is confident that he’s worked out Marlo’s routine. During the evening he goes home with Chris and Snoop for protection but when it’s time for bed they leave him alone in the apartment. Omar makes an assault with his oppo as backup but it’s a trap. Chris, Snoop and Michael are waiting for them and kill Omar’s man. Omar is trapped behind a sofa that is apparently bullet proof as dozens of rounds are fired all over the room but none seem to hit him. He takes a desperate leap through the window of the fifth floor apartment and will surely be killed by the fall. The three assassins rush to the window expecting to see Omar lying in the street but instead he has vanished.

What the f…… ?