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"The Wire" Stray Rounds (2003)

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

"the case is bigger now"

Author: RainDogJr from Mexico City
16 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

For the record, some weeks ago I got from ebay the set with the 5 seasons of "The Wire". It's been more than a year since I first started watching this amazing show. I watched all of the first and second season and began watching the third one but never got through more than 3 episodes. Seasons 4 & 5 are, unfortunately, yet to be released on R4 DVD so as soon as I entered to this fascinating thing called ebay I began thinking again in "The Wire".

So, as for today I have watched again the entire first season (you know, I didn't pop immediately the DVDs of the third season, I needed to be again with these characters since the very beginning) and I'm about to finish the second. I just finished watching this episode, the ninth one of the season, and checking my IMDb comments from last year I realized for some reason I stop writing about "The Wire" after my comment for the previous episode "Duck and Cover". Also noticed that I wrote this: "I'm beginning to write my IMDb comments for each episode of Season 2 of the amazing show "The Wire" after seen already the entire Season and is just as great as the first one, actually I liked a little more this one". If you ask me right now, and having in mind that I have still 3 more season 2 episodes to re-watch, I prefer season 1 over season 2, but anyway let's write a couple of things about this key episode, "Stray Rounds".

In the before the credits scene of this episode we have on one hand a territory fight between Barksdale people (including Bodie and Poot) and some other Westside boys, and on the other hand we have some of the residents near the territory fight (a mother inside her place with her two kids, getting ready for another school day). It's a pretty effective scene, as a whole, with this shooting that sort of remind us why "The Wire" is usually described as one of the most realistic shows ever made (see the scene and maybe that makes sense to you) and the other thing that certainly is as sad as common. And the scene doesn't ends when the dealers hear the arrival of the police but when the mentioned mother realizes that this time the any given day drama (certainly to hear the sound of a gun ain't something very unusual for the residents of that area) will force the police to act as they should act always, this time some policemen will be asking themselves something like: "why a 9-year-old kid had to get killed to make us do our job?"

During the hour the consequences of a kid getting killed will be shown, obvious stuff, as mentioned, the cops will have to show some work (is the first time we see Major Howard Colvin, who is welcomed by Rawls with the "It used to be when a 9-year-old kid hit the pavement the district commander would be there within minutes" thing), no matter if it doesn't really takes them to any *important* place, and on the other hand, well just picture the reaction of Stringer Bell after knowing that for this now all of the police will be after them ("they got to"). And he and company must act too: no activity in the towers, the low-rises, doing the appropriate with the guns that, maybe, killed the kid and thinking in the "what if we had already Prop Joe's straight-from-the-docks s***?".

This is a key episode for the season. We do feel that this is when everything gets bigger, there's a whole lot of police movement in the streets of West Baltimore, and as much police movement as much important situations happen during this hour. This is when the FBI returns to "The Wire", via McNulty's "brother" again (Daniels wanted to see what the FBI had on the Greek's people. The detail during this hour is basically seeing that their targets know they are after them, and also getting ready to "attack" the brothel –very funny since the McNulty who is going undercover to the brothel is from Europe; "it's a man's purse, European men like yourself sometimes carry one". "Them people ain't right over there"… all fun as Dominic West is from England! And the "the officer was unable to resist the ministrations of the suspect, and found himself brought to the point of a sexual act" is hilariously priceless!), when we see more of the Greek and this is when Stan Valchek realizes that, indeed, "his" case is bigger, that is much more than just Frank Sobotka.

Also here we have this introduction for a character that goes with the classic way of making us think that, thanks to the words of others (in this case, words of Avon, Stringer, Brianna and Prop Joe), it will be totally fascinating and exciting to watch it in action. Brother Mouzone is this character (this time, with Brother Mouzone I recalled Isaach De Bankolé's character in Jim Jarmusch's THE LIMITS OF CONTROL)… the ending of this episode is definitely promising, leaves you really hungry for more.

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