The Wire Reformation Recap Season 3 Episode 10 – In the previous episode of “The Wire, rogue detective James McNulty made another run at the Washington D.C. political insider Theresa D’Agostino only to find class and cultural differences putting a wall between them. Omar Little wants revenge for the drive by shooting that missed him but got his grandmother’s hat when the two were on their way to church on Sunday. Stringer Bell has been trying to extricate himself from ghetto drug wars and put millions of dollars in illicit cash into legitimate businesses. But in his development projects, he finds bureaucratic obstructions and lots of crooked officials who need to be paid off. Freamon and his team, meanwhile, are still trying to get wire on the big players in the Baltimore narcotic scene. Prez gets caught up in a bad shooting and a racial situation when he mistakes a black undercover cop for a thug.
The Wire Reformation Recap Season 3 Episode 10
Episode 10 begins with another body chalk lined in the street as Avon Barksdale strikes back at Marlo Stansfield’s crew. Killing off the opposition is what reformation means to Avon. The chief characters in this violent street drama have different views about what the future brings. For Avon Barksdale, newly released from prison, his idea of reformation is to take back the corners he’s lost to Marlo Stansfield.
Help Me, Rhonda
Tossing burner phones means that Freamon can’t get a wire on anyone. Rhonda Pearlman is handicapped in getting more phone surveillance. Her boss, the state’s attorney is running scared for reelection and doesn’t want to upset the apple cart. The feds can’t help because, in the aftermath of 9-11, their resources are turned toward terrorism and the Patriot Act. Judge Daniel Phelan listens to Rhonda’s plea for help then starts babbling in French trying to hit on her. Rhonda’s new best friend, Lt. Daniels notes that Phelan has Rhonda on her mind. Apparently, the judge has been inappropriate with her from her earliest days in the courtroom.
Art Imitates Life
There’s an element of surprise when Major Colvin, under duress from the higher-ups for his Hamsterdam project, calls in Sgt. Carver for a major dressing down. Colvin thanks Carver for his loyalty but then proceeds to rake him over the coals. Shocking, because Carver’s one of the most straight-up sincere cops on the force. Well, there is that little thing about moving a dead body from one sector to another. But for Baltimore and it’s feuding drug gangs, that’s a minor issue. If anyone needs further proof that “The Wire” is on target with the realities of America’ s mean streets, I would point to Detective Dozerman’s death at the hands of a drug gang and last week’s shooting death of Baltimore homicide detective Sean Suiter, an eighteen year veteran in the same area of West Baltimore where ‘fictional’ “The Wire” series is based.
How are things going in ‘Hamsterdam,’ one of three areas blocked off by police in an attemnpt to confine drug dealing to limited areas? Colvin’s strategy has been successful in one sense (in the fictional account) but has outraged many including cops like Herc. Herc is fed up, contacts a Baltimore Sun reporter to the scene. The reporter can’t believe it and, for those of use watching the episode, the idea looks fanciful at first glance. Give “The Wire” creators credit for calling attention to Baltimore’s savage inner city streets – which is a polite way of saying black neighborhoods. Baltimore in 2017 is perhaps a microcosm of hundreds of cities elsewhere in America, but surely would be among the winners if urban violence were an Olympic event. With a population of about 620,000 people, the 2017 murder rate has already gone over the 300 mark. Perhaps that only qualifies for a silver medal, not the gold; the Chicago murder rate in 2017 has exceeded 500, down from 762 in the previous year, though with a population estimate of 2.7 million people.
The New Politics
The political plot thickens now that sultry Beltway bigwig Theresa has teamed with Councilman Thomas Carcetti in his bid for Mayor Royce’s job. Some of the status quo politicians who run the city (and the state) are corrupt – Clay Davis foremost among them – but others try to walk a tightrope with full scale corruption on one side and cynical ethical shortcomings on the other. They don’t understand that, to the average taxpayer, they are all corrupt bottom feeders.
This mismanagement and corruption is just as dangerous to society as the people who smuggle drugs into the ghetto. In fact, it gives the street gangsters justification for what they’re doing. Drug dealers, hustlers, gang leaders, point to corrupt city officials as just gangsters in evening dress, using political and economic power to stay in power. The strung-out and economically distressed inner cities offer opportunities for manipulation.
The Carcetti character is in the process of deciding if he wants to be just another political hack slurping up the benefits at the public trough or whether he’s truly the reformer the city needs. He has hit one home run already with his effort to protect witnesses to crime and prevent them from being murdered by people in the docket. Carcetti has begun to evolve from the clever and vitriolic critic into a more even tempered and wise person. He even has regrets about running against Tony Gray, his fellow councilman, a righteous and civic-minded reformer and critic of Mayor Royce.
Unlike many TV programs that talk around racial issues and represent themselves as the champions of whatever political correctness comes down the pike, “The Wire” isn’t afraid to actually talk about it. Baltimore is more than 60 percent black. Theresa D’Agostino at first wonders if it’s possible for white Tommy Carcetti to win. Tony Gray has the advantage of being black. In this subtext of plot, as if others, issues of race are rarely preachy or PC and are given fair treatment. It is what it is.
As in real life, it often seems there is no hope in the ghettoes of American cities, and in the Baltimore of the wire series. That’s when you can appreciate the character known at “Cutty” Wise, an ex-con released from prison and returned to the Baltimore streets. When he at first tries to return to the life of crime he lived before his imprisonment, he finds his heart is not in it. He doesn’t know where to turn and he doesn’t know how to make change.
A church deacon provides a bit of guidance and though Cutty rejects religion he knows he wants to do something positive for himself. As an ex-boxer, Cutty seizes an opportunity to turn an abandoned building into a boxing gym, not only getting kids off the streets but teaching them self-discipline, hard work, focus. The combination of Chad Coleman’s work as “Cutty” and the realistic depiction of inner city boxing gyms and the people in them combine to provide some ray of hope.
The soft-spoken Cutty is himself an inspiration, his face almost beatific, his eyes always searching. Full disclosure: I am perhaps partial to the boxing scenes because I volunteered and worked in boxing gyms for several years. So pardon my over-excitement. The way it was done here in “The Wire” was pretty real, as were the scrappy little boxers who went at it like Jack Russell terriers after rats.
War and Peace
With Avon’s early release from prison, there’s a difference in approaches to the business of selling drugs on the streets of Baltimore. Stringer Bell is ready to take the business to “the next level” which could to some extent insulate the gang leaders from being thrown into prison. Stringer tells Avon they need to stop the street violence. Avon doesn’t want to look weak, especially with the depredations of Marlo Stansfield. The dangers of continued street violence to the business enterprise was made clear in a meeting Stringer gad with Prop Joe and a couple of the other crew chiefs. Prop Joe threatened to cut off supply if Stringer and Avon kept up the street war. There’s a dramatic moment during the private meeting between Stringer and Avon when Slim Charles, one of Avon’s lieutenants, interrupts the meeting with a whisper into Avon’s ear. “Do you know what Slim just told me?” Avon asks. “Devonne come up dead.” Things aren’t looking good for peace. We saw Marlo step out of the shadows to kill her.
Side note: In several episodes, DeAndre McCullough plays Lamar, Brother Mouzone’s assistant. Sadly, in 2012, at the age of 35, McCullough passed away in Baltimore of what the NY Times reported as “heroin intoxication.” RIP.
Other episodes of The Wire reviewed on TV Eskimo:
The Wire Reformation Recap Season 3 Episode 10 characters and cast include:
Jimmy McNulty – Dominic West (Chicago, The Affair, Money Monster, Burton and Taylor, The Hour, John Carter, 28 Days, 300)
Tommy Carcetti – Aidan Gillen (King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Game of Thrones, Quantum Break, Calvary, Blitz, The Dark Knight Rises)
Bunny Colvin – Robert Wisdom (Ballers, Face/Off, Chicago P.D., Nashville, Ray, Burn Notice)
Rawls – John Doman (Gotham, The Affair, Person of Interest, House of Cards, Damages, Borgia, Blue Valentine)
Russell ‘Stringer’ Bell – Idris Elba (Luther, Prometheus, Thor, Guerilla, The Take, Beasts of No Nation, The Office, This Christmas)
Avon Barksdale – Wood Harris (The Breaks, Creed, Justified, Southland, Dredd, Once Upon a Time in Venice, As Good As It Gets)
Bunk Moreland – Wendell Pierce (Parker, Ray, The Gift, Suits, Ray Donovan, Treme)
Cedric Daniels – Lance Reddick (Fringe, John Wick, Bosch, White House Down, Lost)
Bodie – J. D. Williams (The Second Line, Saint & Sinners, The Night Of, The Good Wife, Happy New Year)
Kima Greggs – Sonja Sohn (Bringing Out the Dead, Shaft, Slam, Luke Cage, The Originals, Domain)
Herc – Domenick Lombardozzi (Frank and Ava, Rosewood, Bridge of Spies, Boardwalk Empire, God’s Pocket, Breakout Kings, Public Enemies, Phone Booth)
Roland ‘Prez’ Pryzbylewski – Jim True-Frost (The Hudsucker Proxy, Singles, Z: The Beginning of Everything, Treme, Hostages)
Sydnor – Corey Parker Robinson (Unstoppable, The Red Road, The Neighborhood, Orange Is the New Black)
Rhonda Pearlman – Deirdre Lovejoy (The Blacklist, Bones, American Gothic, Beauty Mark)
Cutty – Chad Coleman (Horrible Bosses, The Green Hornet, The Walking Dead, Arrow, The Expanse)
Marlo – Jamie Hector (Bosch, Max Payne, Queen of the South, The Strain, Quarry, Power, Person of Interest)
Lester Freamon – Clarke Peters (Notting Hill, London Spy, John Wick, Chance, The Tunnel, Jessica Jones, Show Me a Hero, Midsomer Murders, Treme, People of Earth)
Sgt. Carver – Seth Gilliam (Starship Troopers, The Walking Dead, Still Alice, Nurse Jackie, Teen Wolf, Change in the Air)
Burrell – Frankie Faison (The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, Luke Cage, Banshee, The Thomas Crown Affair, Red Dragon, My Other House, The Good Fight)
Mayor Royce – Glynn Turman (Super 8, Men of Honor, Fly, Queen Sugar, House of Lies, Southland, In Treatment)
Bubbles – Andre Royo (Super, The Spectacular Now, Empire, Hand of God, Fringe)
Judge Daniel Phelan – Peter Gerety (Sneaky Pete, The Good Fight, Public Morals, Mercy Street, Inside Men, A Most Violent Year, K-PAX, Flight, Rubicon, Public Enemies, Brotherhood, Changeling)
Omar Little – Michael Kenneth Williams (Hap and Leonard, The Night Of, Ghostbusters, Boardwalk Empire, Inherent Vice, Kill the Messenger, RoboCop, 12 Years a Slave)
Brother Mouzone – Michael Potts (Damages, Blue Bloods, True Detective, Show Me a Hero, Law & Order SVU)
Theresa D’Agostino – Brandy Burre
Slim Charles – Anwar Glover (Jamesy Boy, 12 Years a Slave, LUV, The Deuce)
Chris Partlow – Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Taking of Pelham 123, Mercy Home, The Savages, Edge of Darkness, The Deuce, Home, Nurse Jackie)
Snoop – Felicia Pearson
Lamar – DeAndre McCollough
Proposition Joe – Robert F. Chew (Something the Lord Made, Jamesy Boy, Homicide: Life on the Street)
Butchie – S. Robert Morgan (Luke Cage, Blind Date)