The Wire Boys of Summer Recap Season 4 Episode 1 – Season Four of “The Wire” picks up with the story of four wayward boys making their way in the streets of Baltimore. These are ‘young-uns,’ – too young to pose serious threats to anyone but themselves, too young to join the Barksdale clan, though they are occasionally pressed into service by the older boys. They are not entirely innocent but neither are they guilty of anything except stupidity.
The Wire Boys of Summer Recap Season 4 Episode 1
The oldest one of these young boys is Namond Brice, a tall boy with a distinctive pony tail which irks Bodie who is paying him by the hour. The pony tail, says Bodie, makes it easier for the police to distinguish him from the others. Business is slow in that part of block and Namond begs to go off with his boys – Randy Wagstaff and Michael Lee.
Soon the fledgling street thugs are hunched over a makeshift trap in which they hope to catch pigeons. Yep, these boys are unschooled and naïve, believing the white pigeon scratching near the cardboard box is a homing pigeon. You can get maybe three hundred bucks for one, Namond tells his friends. The white pigeon is just about to walk into the trap when, off and away, Dukie smashes a bottle on the sidewalk scaring the pigeon away. Now the others have yet another reason to scorn him, as if being dirty, unkempt, and hopeless weren’t enough. The slap fight stops short of real violence but the Dukie character is one many people will recognize. He’s the pitiable one, scorned, bullied, but still part of the little group on this side of the tracks.
Love and Murder
These street urchins look up to the mid-level dealers like Bodie who has now assumed more of a leadership position. Avon Barksdale is in prison and Marlo is dominating the corners. Bodie is having a street corner chat with his pal Lex who is bemoaning the loss of his girl Patrice. It seems that Patrice has taken a shine to Fruit, who works for Marlo. “If Fruit doesn’t back off I’m going to fill him up with some hot ones.” Bullets that is. Bodie tries to give him some practical advice, believing on the one hand that it’s idle talk, and on the other hand telling him to let it go. There’s nothing to be done about it, Bodie opines. Jealousy beats the common sense Lex is hearing from Bodie, however. Lex stalks Fruit and Patrice as they exit a club arm and arm blissfully unaware of what is about to happen. It’s shocking to watch, not as much as it is to Patrice who, after all, was splattered with blood when Lex shoots Fruit in the head.
This shooting of Fruit looked like the start of another flareup of gang warfare but Marlo is cool-headed when he gets the news. Though his soldiers are chomping at the bit, Marlo holds them down. He doesn’t want to begin another round of violence. But he can’t look weak by ignoring Fruit’s murder either, telling his crew: “Just Lex. He did one of us. He got to fall.” To effect this plan of revenge, they get one of the youngsters to tell Lex his former girlfriend Patrice wanted to get back with him. It’s dark when the lovesick Lex arrives at the meeting spot. The only girl waiting for him is Snoop. Chris Partlow is the backup. The way one of Marlo’s boys tells it is that “Lex went up the block but he ain’t never going to come back down.”
The character and real life Snoop Pearson wasn’t the first person to get the idea but maybe she and Chris were the first to use it in such a cold-blooded and violent manner. “The Wire” is frequently realistic to the point of being painful to watch. In an opening scene, Snoop is in a Home Depot style hardware store buying a .27 caliber nail gun. It’s gun-powder activated, can drive nails into concrete which, as everyone knows, is harder than a human head. In a scene of horrific violence, Chris and Sno0p put plastic over a cowering victim and shoot him dead with a traditional gun with a silencer – the nail gun is for sealing up the vacant row house doors to keep the bodies from being found. This is after a fairly entertaining conversation between Snoop and the Hardware manager – who is all too eager to share the features of the nail gun. When Snoop shares her knowledge of the calibers necessary to drop a man, the manager becomes anxious. He’s further stunned when Snoop shoves $800 into his hand for a $600 tool, explaining that he more than earned the extra with his time and effort.
To Sir With Love
Prez doesn’t look like the tough cop you’d expect to find in Baltimore’s western district when he goes in to talk to the principal and assistant at the high school where’s he’s hired as a teacher. Remember that Prez has lost his detective’s job in an accidental shooting that ruined his career. The principal and his assistant are discussing preparations for the coming school year as the summer comes to an end. The assistant is telling her colleague about certain outlaw students returning, teachers who couldn’t take it any more and quit their jobs. “We got six teachers quit at the last minute, two in math, four in science.” With the receptionist telling them there’s a new teacher applicant outside, the principal jumps at the chance: “Quick. Buzz him in before he changes his mind.” Any teacher or staff person in the schools these days know it’s no exaggeration when one teacher in the orientation session tells of a student who ripped the pencil sharpener from the wall and threw it at him. Another teacher complains of a student who broke a classroom window by throwing a box of textbooks through it. Truth to tell, this is perhaps understated in America’s worst schools. So it’s no surprise when the principal hires Prez the ex-cop on the spot.
You can see the series turning a corner from the previous season’s street focus. There will always be streets in the episodes but now the creative approach is turned toward education and different police policies. There’s an amusing point-counterpoint as the cinematography switches from the annual start of the year teacher orientation to the orientation police are receiving at their headquarters. The teachers are –and I hate to use the word – brainwashed with bromides, forced to recite silly phrases like “I am lovable and capable. “IALAC” is the educational hierarchy’s answer to deteriorating public schools where political correctness and generational neglect and irresponsibility rule. The police departments too are receiving their marching order orientations under a cloud of uncertainty and political manipulations.
Save Our Cities
That’s what incumbent Mayor Royce is promising to do. But these are the same homicidal drug-fueled streets of the previous season. Head city councilman Tommy Carcetti is making a run at the mayor’s job, and so is his fellow council member Tony Gray. Gray is an educated, middle-of-the-road Democrat who has good intentions, and is less cynical than Tommy. He feels betrayed by Tommy, his former ally on the council, and was surprised that Tommy decided to run. “The time for a white mayor of Baltimore is over,” the aged former white mayor tells Tommy in a tete-a-tete over breakfast. But Tommy has a few things in his favor. He’s smart, though too much of a smart-ass to make him appealing. To help out, he’s got political wizard Theresa D’Agostino to run his campagn, and his hard-driving black chief-of-staff Norman Wilson. Like Theresa, Wilson is the veteran of past political campaigns and is well-versed in racial politics. Though he’s getting a paycheck from Tommy, he derides him and taunts him all the way, even to the point of telling Tommy he wouldn’t vote for a white guy. If there is uplift in the episode it fell to Tommy’s campaign to provide it, and to the public schools, the only place in the troubled neighborhoods where hope is not yet dead and buried.
Other episodes of The Wire reviewed on TV Eskimo:
The Wire Boys of Summer Recap Season 4 Episode 1 characters and cast include:
Duquan ‘Dukie’ Weems – Jermaine Crawford (DC Noir, Damsels in Distress, Twelve, An American Affair)
Randy Wagstaff – Maestro Harrell (Bone Tomahawk, Ali, Fear the Walking Dead, Suburgatory)
Namond Brice – Julito McCullum (The Wool Cap, Akeelah and the Bee, Show Me a Hero)
Michael Lee – Tristan Mack Wilds (90210, Half Nelson, Red Tails, Shots Fired)
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)
Donut – Nathan Corbett (Half Nelson, The Tested)
Rawls – John Doman (Gotham, The Affair, Person of Interest, House of Cards, Damages, Borgia, Blue Valentine)
Norman Wilson – Reg E. Cathey (The Mask, American Psycho, The Machinist, Seven, Outcast, House of Cards, Banshee)
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)
Fruit – Brandon Fobbs (Pride, David’s Reverie, Getting On, Southland, The Shield, This Christmas)
Tony Gray – Christopher Mann (Loving, Duplicity, Michael Clayton, Mindhunter, House of Cards)
Omar Little – Michael Kenneth Williams (Hap and Leonard, The Night Of, Ghostbusters, Boardwalk Empire, Inherent Vice, Kill the Messenger, RoboCop, 12 Years a Slave)
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
Off. Anthony Colicchio – Benjamin Busch (Bright, Generation Kill, The West Wing)