On The Wire: Thirteen Essays on The Wire, Season 1

Our regular readers, if they exist, will no doubt have noticed that our output has slowed to a trickle of late. While there are many reasons for this, the most significant is that we have been spending a lot of time focusing on releasing several e-books via the Amazon Kindle. While our most exciting project, … Continue reading

“all in the game…”

Like an essay that introduces, builds and restates its argument, Season 1 of The Wire ends as it began, by addressing the tent-pole themes that have supported the narrative since the first episode. Having worked its way through numerous sub-themes that gave its overall argument shape, it is able to present a much clearer view … Continue reading

“This is me, yo, right here.”

Amidst all the tying of loose ends that naturally pervades the final hours of a complex season of television, deeper meanings and themes can often be obscured by the inevitable flood of plot development and resolution. In the case of the first season’s penultimate episode, titled, “Cleaning Up,” this effect is amplified by Wallace’s murder, … Continue reading

“Come at the king, you best not miss.”

Episode 8 of The Wire is opened with the quote: “Come at the king, you best not miss.” While this is undoubtedly one of the most memorable quotes from the entire series, it is actually the official title of the episode that gives us the primary theme. The Wire’s episodes are generally titled quite innocuously. … Continue reading

“A man must have a code.”

“A man must have a code,” is the quote that guides episode 7 of The Wire, but even before the quote appears on the screen at the end of the credit sequence, the cold open of the episode presents us with one aspect of the phrase’s double meaning. In the case of this first scene, … Continue reading

“…and all the pieces matter.”

The quotation that opens episode six of The Wire’s first season has a double meaning. The first meaning is most apparent if we place the quote within the larger context of the conversation in which it arises. In this scene, Freamon and Pryzbylewski are having a discussion while monitoring the wire they have on the … Continue reading

“…a little slow, a little late.”

Note: These posts are not meant to be plot summaries, but commentaries (for a more in-depth description of what we’re aiming at, go here: The Wire). While we will make every effort to avoid including spoilers about later episodes, do not read this post unless you have watched the episode we are discussing. As the … Continue reading

“Thin line ‘tween heaven and here.”

Note: These posts are not meant to be plot summaries, but commentaries (for a more in-depth description of what we’re aiming at, go here: The Wire). While we will make every effort to avoid including spoilers about later episodes, do not read this post unless you have watched the episode we are discussing. The Desk … Continue reading

“The king stay the king.”

Note: These posts are not meant to be plot summaries, but commentaries (for a more in-depth description of what we’re aiming at, go here: The Wire). While we will make every effort to avoid including spoilers about later episodes, do not read this post unless you have watched the episode we are discussing. Chess: As … Continue reading

“You cannot lose, if you do not play.”

Note: These posts are not meant to be plot summaries, but commentaries (for a more in-depth description of what we’re aiming at, go here: The Wire). While we will make every effort to avoid including spoilers about later episodes, do not read this post unless you have watched the episode we are discussing. Chicken Nuggets … Continue reading