Once those towers went down, man…
I know this is all in fun, but it’s kinda silly to second-guess fictional characters’ decisions. They make the choices the drama needs them to make, not the wisest or cleverest choices. Romeo shouldn’t have assumed Juliet was dead; Hamlet should have acted sooner. But if they were wiser or clever, then we wouldn’t have a satisfying drama.
I’ve touted Season 4 quite highly in these comments, but the drama of the Stringer Bell/Avon Barksdale dynamic in the first three seasons is much superior to the flat, bland malice of Marlo Stanfield in Season 4.
I always thought Marlo’s kill everything that may or may not have moved strategy was more part of the overall theme of the series, which is that with the current state of everything in modern American society, the drug trade will never die. Like the Major Crimes Unit went through all that work to bring down the Barksdale Organization, but all it really did was open the door for an even more violent, more problematic drug organization in Marlo Stanfield.
From the related questions section-
because that’s so Ziggy
Ziggy is Raven?
yeah it’s kind of a like a Fight Club kind of thing, I’m sorry I should of put spoiler tags first
I see what you’re saying, but I just think asking “What if?” is a part of the culture. I don’t find it all that bad, but rather just another way to understand why certain decisions in storytelling were made, what the audience reacts to and expects. It’s why stuff like this exists.
I guess what I’m saying is it’s all a part of the game.
Good lord! That white guy in the purple suit just called Rick James a “brotha”!
Also, I love how they are so non-committal/insecure about how this offbeat hulk saga rates –
“The most Awesome Hulk comic ever!”
“Uhh, nah, maybe just put perhaps there, I mean we don’t know for sure…”
“Okay uhPerhaps the most Awesome hulk comic ever”
“Now waitasecond, can we really say “Ever,” I mean, what if someone finds a better hulk comic in another year…it would be nice if this comic at least got credit for being the best of the year. Maybe just write….”
“Okay okay, I got it: Perhaps the most Awesome hulk comic of this, or any other year and the perhapscould apply to both the issue being the best ever, but maybe also could be referring to this year, or ever. Now surely this covers all of our bases…”
“Just one more thing – now can we really call this a ‘comic’?…”
You’re right, but debating the actions within a drama are a crucial part of fandom. Of course it’s silly, but it’s fun!
But if you can’t discuss a character’s choices and flaws, what’s the point of paying attention to serious fiction?
If everything can be dismissed with “oh, he just did what the drama demanded”, that seems to render something like The Wire totally pointless.
Sure, Romeo & Juliet would be boring if Romeo took a deep breath and talked to Fr. Lawrence. But talking about that flaw, about why he made that decision and what it says about the character, and so on, is what makes it a worthwhile play.
So the point here isn’t so much “Stringer should have done X, then he would have succeeded”; it’s to lay out what mistakes he made, and in doing so to better understand his character, and why he made those mistakes, and so forth.
Is you takin’ notes on a criminal fuckin’ conspiracy??
Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see
An open letter to people who continue discussing The Wire on a semi-regular basis:
Everyone who has never seen The Wire
Being a regular Videogum commenter who hasn’t seen The Wire is like being Lester Freamon without dollhouse furniture.
I’ve never seen The Wire, SO THERE
You’ll never be one of us till you’ve seen The Wire and read Infinite Jest, Kelly!
Did this comment just change? Did I just get incepted?
An open letter to people who continue to complain about people discussing The Wire:
Everyone who has seen The Wire
Seriously, why do you even care?
Why do you care why I care?
maybe you should just watch the wire
An open letter to anyone who has not watched The Wire:
WHAT ARE YOU CRAZY GO WATCH THE WIRE NOW!
maybe if he didn’t fuck like dogshit he could have smoothed things over with Omar
So basically his mistake was that he didn’t kill enough people? Some of these read like they were written by clinical psychopaths.
yeah really, killing Avon and his sister is a little out there especially since him and Avon have matching AB+SB=4EVER heart necklaces
I think it was ultimately the titular phone-hacking that did him in.
I think it was when he didn’t shoot Ian when he had the chance.
I think Stringer’s main fault was he had no code. Avon had a code. Omar had a code. Once Omar started to get reckless and abandon his code, he got killed (there is a LOT more to Omar’s demise than simply killing Sevino and sort of breaking his code and then boom shot in the head, but still). I always saw the Stringer/Avon relationship as two halves of a perfect whole. Together they were the perfect leadership. Avon’s principles and values balanced out Stringer’s cold calculated businessman mentality, and Stringer’s intelligence in business balanced out Avon’s rash, violent nature. Once their relationship soured, so did their drug empire.
Huh. I don’t think I agree with you re: Omar’s code. He held so closely to it that he risked his life to avenge Butchie because he had to bring justice. Omar’s downfall was just shitty luck, ultimately. I don’t think killing Sevino even counts as breaking his code, as Sevino was involved with the Marlo organization. Especially compared to his treatment of Slim Charles and that other dude he cornered. Omar held to his code through it all, but time just ran out.
Also, dissecting the wire is awesome!
SPOILERS TO FOLLOW: I think you are more right than me regarding Omar. Killing Sevino broke his promise to Bunk that there would be no more bodies on him, but his code was always about not killing anyone that wasn’t in the game and Sevino was sure as hell in the game. I always thought that Omar’s death was supposed to show 3 things: “a man’s got to have a code,” the utter chaos of the streets, the level of malice in Kenard. The first one I have always been kind of iffy about, but my friends argue the code aspect so much whenever we talk about this that I have been somewhat convinced. I think the main point of Omar’s death is just to show that the streets are spinning out of control and nobody is safe, which I think is a fucking great way to demonstrate that. I literally yelled at my computer screen in shock when it happened.
Also yes, dissecting the wire is really awesome and I wish this comment thread had more of it.
I think everyone can agree that Kenard is awful.
It’s weird. The code thing is most evident when Stringer’s people break the Sunday morning truce, although I think the entire Marlo/Omar feud demonstrates the kind of chaotic evil at work in Marlo’s organization and how it filtered into the lives of everyone in West Baltimore, including little shits like Kenard.
And I am pretty much just saying the same thing that you said but I am saying it again because isn’t it fun just to sit and think about how great The Wire is and now I want to go back and rewatch it again.
ughhh I just finished the first season like a month ago, and haven’t started the second season yet, and I saw this link and went, “Oh, boy, definitely shouldn’t click on that,” and I did, and already I spoiled one big thing for myself
anyway should I watch the rest of this show or just…take it breezy
AAA and the comment above mine, why am I so stupid
Noooo I’m so sorry if I ruined quite a bit for you but I just figured that people who don’t want anything spoiled wouldnt bother with the comments for this post because its kind of a minefield of spoilers. If it makes you feel any better I had a lot of the series ruined for me and still loved it. Don’t give up!
Also thats not supposed to be sarcastic. I’m not trying to be an asshole I genuinely feel bad now.
This is pretty unequivocally my fault, so please don’t beat yourself up too much.
On that note (spoiler), awhile back, Gabe wrote a post about playing paintball with the cast of The Wire, and the post title, which showed up on my RSS feed of course, was “Now You Too Can Get Shot In the Face Like Omar,” and I was still on the 2nd season at the time. That was a very unhappy day for me. I tried to forget it. I never did.
Here is where a sad emoticon would go if I were that kind of person.
And now, reading the comments on that post, I realize that I was not alone:
Wasn’t the inherent problem that he was a black man born into poverty? Not to get all “big picture” and “whoa man” but this was a really smart and driven dude who in any other situation would be a successful business man, or at least have a good shot at being one. Avon Barksdale couldn’t grow into a kingpin because he had a sense of “gangster honor”; it wasn’t really about the money to him but the power and turf war. To Stringer Bell, the Baltimore drug trade was a profitable business and he saw fit to run it like one. But neither strategy worked. The Wire seemed to be saying that black criminals are always doomed somewhat because they’re low-hanging fruit. It’s why people like The Greek and the italian mafia can make a living off crime (and get away with it) if they’re smart but for Bell and Barksdale, they’re days are numbered from day one.
Marlo seemed to get to where Stringer wanted to be by the end of the series with his lawyer introducing him to all those white businessmen but he didn’t seem to be satisfied with it. He was kind of similar to Avon in that way, where he cared about his name in the street and people being afraid of him.
And that’s also why I think Marlo ended up losing more than winning by the end of it all, because the number one most important thing to Marlo is his name, which is shown in that crucial scene with him, Chris, Cheese, and Monk in jail. Only time he ever loses his cool. And in the last scene with him where he walks up on that corner with the two guys talking about Omar going out in some ridiculously epic fashion, they don’t even know who he is. His name meant nothing to them, and even though Marlo may have gotten out of the game unscathed, what was truly important to him was lost.
Yeah I agree, getting out of the game was the real problem for Marlo. The game was all he had and everything he was. You remove it and there’s not much left. Sort of like Jeremy Renner’s character in the Hurt Locker? Some people meld so much with their environment that they can’t thrive outside of it.
@ death of speedy, your last line, it should read “their days are numbered” not “they’re”.
I should’ve capitalized “Italian” too.
This isn’t France, we capitalize out nationalities here in America; learn the language, etc…
Avon Barksdale = Vito Corleone
Stringer Bell = Sonny Corleone
That’s it. That is all you need to know about what Stringer Bell did wrong.
Also, while we’re on the subject, Marlo Stanfield = Michael Corleone. Motherfucker is merciless!
In my opinion, I think most, if not all, “what ifs” would have made that much sense in Stringer’s overall arc. He was portrayed as someone that wanted the best of both worlds: to be both a legitimate suit-wearing business man and to use the threat his gangster power to help him get ahead, but who couldn’t commit to one side overall (unlike Avon who was totally committed to the gangster side). That flaw was responsible for his ultimate downfall.
the increasingly poor decisions of stringer bell.
stringer bell was neither a stringer nor a bell. discuss!
Stringer should have told DeeAngelo where Wallace at.
yeah he’s in the witness protection program in east dillon
nope, he’s dead
You must be logged in to post, reply to, or rate a comment.