Toronto Mike

The Wire Season Three: A Review

The Wire

Last night, I wrapped up episode 12 from Season Three of HBO's The Wire.  That was the season finale and the 37th episode overall.

Season One was all about the Barksdale Organization and we spent those first 12 episodes on the streets of Baltimore and in the pit with Avon's crew.  Season Two focused on the Baltimore port and an international smuggling organization known as "The Greeks".  In Season Three, we returned to the streets, spending more time with the Barksdale organization and watching the rise of the Stanfield organization. We also delved into the local Baltimore political scene and watched the birth of Hamsterdam.

I'd like to say more about Hamsterdam, but I'm trying not to spoil anything for anyone who wants to take this 60 episode journey.  Hamsterdam is the brainchild of Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin, under extreme pressure to reduce homicides in the Western District.  It's essentially a zone of tolerance, where drug dealers can sell their wares without interference from the police.  The existence of Hamsterdam eliminates drug dealing on residential street corners, reduces the body count and enables needle exchange and safe sex social programs to work directly with their target audience, all in one convenient space.

I'm not going to glorify Hamsterdam, and neither does The Wire.  The beauty of The Wire is that there aren't good guys and bad guys, nothing is black and white.  The good guys have vices and many of the bad guys have honourable attributes.  In fact, one of my favourite characters and a character I root heavily for, is a brash, openly homosexual thief and murderer.  Omar Little is a character you don't find in other shows.  Nothing sends chills down the spine like Omar whistling "Farmer in the Del".

The Wire is many shades of grey.  From Hamsterdam to Omar Little, there is no good or bad.  I hope I see more of Omar in season four.

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