The Wire Not for Attribution Recap Season 5 Episode 3 – RECAP: In Episode 2 of the final season of “The Wire,” McNulty is back with the homicide squad but has marched out on a limb once more. He stages a crime scene hoping to attract attention and resources to solve the twenty-two murders shoved under the carpet for lack of funding. At the same time, Bubbles Cousins is making a powerful effort to get cleaned up. Meanwhile, Snoop Pierson and Chris Partlow are doing what they usually do – killing people as the enforcers of Marlo’s mob.
The Wire Not for Attribution Recap Season 5 Episode 3
Episode 3 begins with McNulty at a desk poring over crime scene photos about homeless murders. He’s on one of his crusades again, warned by Bunk Moreland that he could go to jail for doctoring evidence. Bunk worries that he’ll go down the tubes with McNulty unless McNulty stops his shameful behavior.
McNulty feels he’s on the moral high ground, however. If police don’t care about “ghetto murders,” who will? The sum total of it is not looking, especially since McNulty has returned to his old habits of womanizing and drinking.
Hard to see McNulty as any kind of hero in this scenario, described to his face by Moreland as an “ass**** who lost his ******* mind.”
Alma Gutierrez gets up early anxious to see her story in the latest edition. “Three Killed in West Side Home Invasion” reads her headline. Promised thirty-five inches of copy space, her story has been chopped to fit in a twelve-inch block, and she’s not happy about it. The jargon gets a little dense when she discusses the slight with City Editor Haynes but it was probably a better choice than dumbing the dialogue down for public consumption. Alma is horrified to think three people could be murdered in a house and the story gets shoved away into a corner of the paper. Alma’s African-American colleague leans in to offer his opinion of the matter. “Wrong zip code. They’re dead where it doesn’t count. If they were white and they were murdered in Timonium, you’d have got your thirty-five inches.”
Valchek Makes a Pitch
Major Valchek is back in the season episode sitting with Mayor Carcetti and relishing a chance to avenge himself on Commissioner Burrell. Valchek’s angle is to get himself promoted to Acting Police Commissioner until Daniels is ready to take over the permanent position. In his favor are the insider statistics he hand delivered to Carcetti showing a large bump in Baltimore murders.
Ears perk up when Executive Editor James Whiting III marches into the City Room with a major announcement. Everyone’s in on it – feature reporters and sports reporters too. “It’s a bad time for newspapers. . . . The news hole is shrinking. Advertising dollars and circulation are down. . .” And so on. The newspaper’s foreign offices will be closed, followed by a fresh round of buyouts. Managing Editor Thomas Klabenow wants Gus to help him sort out who will be ‘let go’ and who will stay with the newspaper. The cliché of the moment is “doing more with less.”
Rhonda Pearlman is pleased to have her case against corrupt state senator Clay Davis before a grand jury. Her biggest challenge is to avoid the tedium of presenting evidence of white collar crime. There is little of what they typically know of forensic evidence – fingerprints, blood spatter, murder weapons. It requires a degree of economic sophistication to understand how state moneys might be diverted for personal gain, or how bribes may be disguised as invoices to be paid for services rendered. As Rhonda plows through the evidence, we get a glimpse of some grand jurors napping.
Onward and Upward
Marlo continues his assent into gangster heaven. Proposition Joe had helped him by introducing him to a pastor and money launderer who has a shell organization in the Caribbean. The banks are lightly regulated and willing to take large cash deposits. The terms are steep but Marlo is drowning in cash and needs the deal. He’s also got a line on Spiros Vondas, but still can’t convince Spiros to supply him directly. Everything runs through Proposition Joe, Spiros tells Marlo, and so Marlo is back once more knocking on Prop Joe’s door. During the meetup, Marlo hasn’t forgotten about Omar Little robbing and humiliating him, asking Prop Joe for help in finding him. “I’d let sleeping dogs lie,” is Joe’s advice to Marlo, though such advice is not likely to be followed. Marlo sends Chris and Snoop to torture Butch into giving Omar up. Later on, Omar Little gets the bad news of Butchie’s murder in his tropical hideaway.
The Lying Game
Mark Twain popularized the saying that there are three kinds of lies: “Lies, damn lies, and statistics.” McNulty is guilty of all three in his attempt to lure novice reporter Alma Gutierrez into his web. He calls for a meet at a café to tell her about the ‘serial killer’ loose in the city. There is no serial killer; McNulty has manufactured the evidence, but in this way he hopes a newspaper story will bring heat on the Baltimore Police Department. Another liar is Narece Campbell, the Baltimore City Council President with mayoral ambitions. She tells reporter Scott Templeton that Colonel Cedric Daniels is the man forcing Burrell out of his job as police commissioner. As Templeton justifies it to Gus: “She’s not going to slam the mayor’s choice publicly.” Her remarks were “not for attribution.” Daniels boils with anger when he reads the quote in the next day’s paper: “You see that quote about me stabbing Burrell in the back? It’s a damn lie!” he tells Rhonda. You can’t blame him. Anonymous “not for attribution” material is a typical tactic of politicians trying to spin and turn media to their own purposes.
Where are We?
Unless you watched “The Wire” first time around, it’s hard to tell where this is going. The best bet is to guess that it’s going badly seeing as how things in Baltimore never seem to go well, including 2017 which in real life surpassed its own record of murders. One wonders too if the current Baltimore Mayor is not being satirized in the troubled city wracked by violence and protest. At this point though, viewers likely understand that problems depicted here are not confined to Baltimore. Regardless of what political side of the spectrum you’re on, “The Wire” is a series with tremendous impact, rarely striking a false note.
Other episodes of The Wire reviewed on TV Eskimo:
The Wire Not for Attribution Recap Season 5 Episode 2 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)
Sydnor – Corey Parker Robinson (Unstoppable, The Red Road, The Neighborhood, Orange Is the New Black)
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)
Duquan ‘Dukie’ Weems – Jermaine Crawford (DC Noir, Damsels in Distress, Twelve, An American Affair)
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)
Michael Lee – Tristan Mack Wilds (90210, Half Nelson, Red Tails, Shots Fired)
Gus Haynes – Clark Johnson (Alpha House, Magnum Opus, The Shield, Homicide: Life of the Street)
Rhonda Pearlman – Deirdre Lovejoy (The Blacklist, Bones, American Gothic, Beauty Mark)
Scott Templeton – Tom McCarthy (Win Win, The Station Agent, Spotlight, The Lovely Bones, Boston Public, Michael Clayton, Duplicity)
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)
Spiros ‘Vondas’ Vondopoulos – Paul Ben-Victor (Don Jon, Vinyl, Matador, Mob City, John from Cincinnati, Any Day, Preacher)
Bubbles – Andre Royo (Empire, Hand of God, Fringe, Prime Suspect, In Security, The Spectacular Now)
Sergei ‘Serge’ Malatov – Chris Ashworth (Deepwater Horizon, Underground, TURN: Washington’s Spies, Terminator Salvation)
Odell Watkins – Frederick Strother (Twelve Monkeys, Beloved, Law & Order: SVU, All Square)
Omar Little – Michael Kenneth Williams (Hap and Leonard, The Night Of, Ghostbusters, Boardwalk Empire, Inherent Vice, Kill the Messenger, RoboCop, 12 Years a Slave)
Sgt. Jay Landsman – Delaney Williams (Law & Order: SVU, Blue Bloods, The Punisher)
Michael Steintorf – Neal Huff (Spotlight, Moonrise Kingdom, Big Daddy, The Mist, Billions, The Affair, The Wannabe, Show Me a Hero, Fringe, The Grand Budapest Hotel)
Chris Partlow – Gbenga Akinnagbe (The Taking of Pelham 123, Mercy Home, The Savages, Edge of Darkness, The Deuce, Home, Nurse Jackie)
Snoop – Felicia Pearson
Clay Davis – Isiah Whitlock Jr. (The Mist, Cars 3, Atlanta, Chi-Raq, Veep, Rubicon, Cedar Rapids)
Slim Charles – Anwar Glover (Jamesy Boy, 12 Years a Slave, LUV, The Deuce)
Maurice ‘Maury’ Levy – Michael Kostroff (The Blacklist, The Good Wife, The Deuce, Molly’s Game, The Wizard of Lies, Banshee, Show Me A Hero, Damages)
Alma Gutierrez – Michelle Paress
Thomas Klebanow – David Costabile (Breaking Bad, Billions, The Post, Suits, Damages, Flight of the Conchords)
James Whiting III – Sam Freed (Coneheads, American Gangster, House of Cards)
Butchie – S. Robert Morgan (Luke Cage, Blind Date)
Cheese – Method Man (The Deuce, Rebel, Blue Bloods, Keanu, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation)
Proposition Joe – Robert F. Chew (Something the Lord Made, Jamesy Boy, Homicide: Life on the Street)
Valchek – Al Brown