Fridge / The Wire

Fridge Brilliance
  • Most of Barksdale's crew (before Slim Charles) are pretty short—except for Avon and Stringer. The King and Queen are usually the tallest pieces on a Chess board. And look where Slim Charles ended up.
  • Remember Bodie's Last Stand? Chris and Snoop take on Bodie by ganging up on him diagonally, like bishops, which fit their role in Stanfield Organization. Unable to run away, Bodie stands his ground and shoots them diagonally, like a pawn moves to take pieces in chess. Then he gets shot by O-Dog who comes out of an alley and turns left, like a knight would move, where a pawn couldn't protect himself. Even better: Bishops and knights are the pieces that D'Angelo didn't mention on the first chess scene. Bodie, a pawn, couldn't have been prepared.
  • When you learn that Season 3 was conceived as a metaphor for the Iraq War (confirmed by Word of God on the DVD commentary), many plot points in that season suddenly look a lot different. The first scene of the first episode involves "twin towers" being demolished, the West Side dealers name their new drug package "WMD", the season finale is titled "Mission Accomplished", Avon decides to start a war with Marlo on the false pretense that he murdered Stringer, etc.
  • Landsman doesn't really start his food and porn routine unabashedly until season 3, this could be a case of Characterization Marches On or just Jay waiting until Rawls has been promoted upstairs. He resumes his natural habits when nobody is breathing down his neck.
  • D'Angelo is talking about himself, but his analysis of The Great Gatsby eventually applies to Stringer as well and his desire to be something he could never be.
    D'Angelo Barksdale: There are no second acts in American lives. The past is always with us. Where we come from, what we go through, how we go through it, all that shit matters. It's like you can change up, right? You can say you're somebody new, you can give yourself a whole new story, but what came first is who you really are, and what happened before is what really happened. And it don't matter that some fool say he different 'cause the only thing that can make you different is what you really do or what you really go through. Like, you know, like all them books in his library. Now, he fronting with all them books but if we pull one down off the shelf, ain't none of the pages ever been opened. He got all them books, and he ain't read near one of them. Gatsby, he was who he was, and he did what he did. And 'cause he wasn't ready to get real with the story, that shit caught up to him.
  • When the Frankin Terrace towers are demolished, what Mayor Royce is saying directly contrasts with the conversation Bodie is having with his friends. Royce says: "Mistakes have been made, and we will learn from those mistakes", and the next second, Bodie says, "No matter how many times you get burnt, you just keep on doin' the same". Through this contrasting dialogue, David Simon critiques reform. Although Royce is saying that he is "learning", he is, in fact, just "doin' the same", as the destruction of the towers is nothing new in regards to reform. Additionally, it can be argued that the Mayor is just lying. Royce is trying to disguise Baltimore's minimal efforts at controlling the drug problem by showcasing his efforts at reform. The idea of Royce's deceit is demonstrated during the detonation proper. Royce pushes down on the plunger...then the camera cuts to a demolitionist behind Royce who carries out the actual detonation. What Royce is creating is just a front, a facade, a disguise. This is what all the politicians do, and they really are just "doin' the same".
  • Cutty is occasionally seen wearing a double-breasted suit jacket. Since he has no spending money and just finished a 14-year prison term, he hasn't had the means or opportunity to update his wardrobe.
  • One thing you'll realize in hindsight is that Marlo only was able to operate on the streets as long as he did because of everyone else having problems of their own: he first comes along right as the Barksdales shift almost entirely away from Avon's methods of controlling the street by brute force, leaving them unprepared to deal with him. The turf wars between Marlo's gang and the Barksdales ramp up as the Barksdale Organization falls from infighting between Avon and Stringer, while the investigation McNulty and Kima forced onto the Major Crimes Unit saves him from being crushed by Avon after Stringer's death. In Season 4 the MCU has wiretaps up on the Stanfield gang and is getting close to being able to bring them down when Rawls and Burrell gut the MCU, giving Marlo a free hand to rule West Baltimore unimpeded because Marimow shut down the wiretaps. In the first episodes of Season 5, he is able to outwait a police investigation because of Carcetti making budget cuts, and only gets investigated because McNulty and Lester went rogue. Played with in his final fate, as Marlo's luck even extends to allowing him to walk away from prison time and the criminal underworld.
  • After a bender, McNulty gargles Listerine (which Beadie notes doesn't actually hide the scent of Jameson) and then swallows it. Mouthwash contains alcohol, so Jimmy is still drinking even after getting home! Listerine, at 54 proof, has the highest alcohol content of any major brand.
  • Poot leaves the criminal lifestyle and gets a job at Foot Locker. But remember the chess scene from Season 1? Turns out Poot was "the smart ass pawn" that Bodie was foreshadowing that "made it to the end." Foot Locker is definitely a common job for people from Poot's age group, but the writers deliberately used it because the black and white striped uniform, reminding us of the chess board and Poot having survived the game by accepting the role of that smart ass pawn.
  • The scene where Bernard is tempted by Squeak into making bulk purchases of burner phones for the Barksdales, ultimately being convinced to bulk-buy from an undercover Lester Freamon, illustrates how the quality of the individuals in Barksdale's crew has declined considerably since season 1. With people like Wee-Bey and Bird locked up, the organization is having to employ second-rate people who just aren't as intelligent or conscientious as the previous crew members.
  • In Season 1, Augustus Polk attempts to throw himself down a flight of stairs to get disability coverage, but is interrupted. In season 5, Daniels finds him in Property and quips, "Good to see you landed on your feet!"
  • Compare these two quotes: Marlo Stanfield's "My name IS MY NAME!" vs. Spiros' "My name is not my name." Guess which organization gets ousted by the law and forced to leave "the Game" for good, And guess which one stays at the top and is never even remotely close to being caught by the law...
  • When Rawls explains the "numbers game" to Carcetti, it takes a few watches to notice it, but he's talking about Burrell specifically when he talks about "reflecting the hiring of black officers straight up the chain." Suddenly Burrell being such an ineffective commander makes a lot more sense. It wasn't just that Burrell was uninterested in true crime reduction, it was that he literally wasn't fit for the position because he was bumped through the ranks.
    • The scene also shows how smart and devious Rawls is. We spend most of the show, and every show about corrupt bosses thinking "they can't see the bigger picture" and all they want is immediate results and this just shows that they know exactly what they're doing. They know what cops like McNulty and Lester are trying to do and they stop them not because they are less intelligent but because it wouldn't benefit them.
  • The scene in the season 5 premiere where Chris Partlow ends up asking Daniels and Pearlman for directions to the clerk's office in the courthouse lobby gets this. There's already irony here - Daniels and Pearlman have come to ask for help with Marlo and the bodies in the vacants, but don't recognize the man responsible for the bodies being there. While Daniels noticeably has an intuition about Chris, neither recognize him because they're too high up on the ladder.
  • McNulty is proud of his Irish-American roots and makes occasional jabs at Protestantism and the English. No wonder that, in spite of being played by an English actor, his English accent is terrible. He might have had better luck with an Irish accent.

Fridge Horror
  • In the fifth season, Bunk goes to the Missing Persons Unit to get some files. If you thought the Homicide Unit was dysfunctional and underserved, Missing Persons is just one guy in an office the size of closet, surrounded by piles of case files. Given how difficult missing persons cases are to begin with, you're more likely to be found if you're a corpse.
  • Colvin convinces Wee-Bey, who on the outside was a ruthless assassin who did heinous murders for Avon, to do the right thing by his son Namond and let Colvin adopt him so Namond will have a chance at a better life. In the same season, Carver tries to convince the police and Child Services to do the right thing by Randy and let the kid have a chance at a better life, but is unable to do so, and the result breaks Randy. A hardened gang assassin is more willing and able to help a child than the police and Child Services, whose entire job is supposed to be protecting people and taking care of children.
  • How easily the police lab could destroy or mislabel evidence, resulting it being impossible to make cases against suspects. All the more so because it's completely true (and not always by accident), and is a problem that has bugged police laboratories around the country.
  • D'Angelo's death is tragic. But it's moreso when you realize that he died for the same things that got the witness at D'Angelo's trial killed: his conscience got the better of him (Gant refused to recant testimony against D'Angelo; D'Angelo had been convinced by McNulty to turn state's evidence on the rest of the crew before his mother convinced him to take the years. That, and D'Angelo was appalled when he realized Avon's complicity in the scheme to frame Tilghman). It's also quite appropriate that his death happens in the same episode where Bird is tried and convicted of Gant's murder.