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.
  • Stringer Bell fancies himself a man who is "above" the streets, and he takes college classes in an effort to educate himself. Freeze-Frame Bonus sightings show that he gets A-'s on his tests: smart...but not the smartest guy in the room like he thinks he is.
  • 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 scene. Royce pushes down on the plunger, and 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.
  • When one thinks about it, Stringer Bell's downfall was due to him getting his thoughts and approach backwards. During the entire battle with Marlo Stanfield's crew, and even before that when the Barksdales were basically on their own, Stringer is trying to be businesslike with what he's doing on the street. But when it comes to his real business, he's going around making shady deals, and using the sorts of practices that are more appropriate for the streets. When he discovered he was getting played by Clay Davis and his people, he immediately wanted to have him killed until Avon stopped it. Such an action would have been appropriate, though, if he'd been targeting Marlo, and he should have left Levy to handle the legit business dealings. Stringer had both of his worlds screwed up.
  • 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 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, and the investigation that McNulty and Kima forced on the MCU 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 the city's huge budget hole, 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 classic 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 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!"

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 find horrific criminals. All the more so because it's completely true, and is a problem that has bugged police laboratories around the country.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fridge/TheWire