Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / The Wire

Go To

The Wire

    open/close all folders 

    Prez's teaching career 
  • How did Prez walk into a teaching career when he was thrown off the force for shooting another cop and had a history that included clear acts of mental instability (shooting up his own car) and blinding a child? I know the school he was hired at was desperate, but would he have even been able to pursue a career in teaching with that on his record?
    • When he first arrives at the school, the principals agree to hire him immediately and likely skipped the background check. It's also possible that Valchek had his record expunged somehow.
      • Let me just say as teacher in real-life, I have seen teachers who were convicted of having sex with students serve their sentence, get out of jail, and get hired again by moving to a different district in the same state. Consequently, Prez's job transition didn't faze me in the slightest. It wasn't until I came across this page that it even occurred to me that others might find it weird.
    • Not to nitpick, but I think it was implied that he resigned from the force before getting thrown out (unlike Herc). So his background probably looks less sketchy than it actually is at first glance.
      • This is correct. Prez resigns rather than face a trial board. Lester informs him that he can fight the charge, and win, but Prez notes that he wasn't sure he was meant to be a Police.
    • As far as anyone but Herc, Carver, himself and Daniels know, he hit that kid in self-defense. As for shooting up his own car, I think that's a story only known to others in the police department, as Valchek (I think) had that covered up to save face.
    • Perhaps the principal's hiring of Prez, given his questionable background, was meant to illustrate the desperation of city schools for new teachers, in which case it would actually be Fridge Brilliance.
      • This, and the fact that any police experience makes Prez an ideal candidate in the school's eyes. When Prez reveals that he used to be a cop, the other teachers are very impressed and suddenly take him much more seriously. Even if he didn't distinguish himself as a cop, they'd still want him.
  • Sadly Truth in Television as the recent focus on police brutality has shown. There is no way to track officer involved shootings as there is no central database for it and individual police departments don't publicize such things. Police officers can simply switch to a new department and just not tell their new employers, and barring a highly publicized event, there is no way to check.

    The truth being buried in the finale 
  • In Season 5, during the newspaper portion of the show, are we supposed to believe that a major newspaper would cover up an obvious plagiarism scandal inside of their own paper by DEMOTING a person that could prove that the scandal exists? If anything, a promotion would have been the logical manner to dispose of the problem.
    • Seeing that Gus and Alma are obviously persons of integrity, they'd be unlikely to accept a higher position as a bribe for their silence. They're more likely to get the message with a disciplinary sanction. When dealing with lawful goods, the stick is often more efficient than the carrot. Also, it wasn't plagiarism, it was Templeton just inventing news. There's a big difference.
    • "Just inventing news?" Several major news celebrities have lost their careers for "just inventing news." It's actually the worst sin in the journalism trade. And the paper had no real leverage over Gus nor Alma. Neither had done anything wrong nor improper and if they broke the story about a dishonest colleague, punishing them would have been seen as either paper being aware of the fraud or punishing whistleblowers. Or both.
    • Short answer: yes. Coverup, including the punishment of whistleblowers, is a sadly commonplace institutional response to a scandal. By the time any direct accusations of malfeasance took place, the paper was riding Templeton's homeless coverage on the bullet train to a Pulitzer. (Although one could argue Gus and Alma could've taken what they'd known to another paper, and possibly gotten offered jobs at that paper)
    • The real problem is that the newspaper industry as a whole was dying, so Gus could tell them to stick it and reveal the story, but where would he go? Taking a demotion for his silence is perfectly in keeping with the Crapsack World of the Wire.
    • And, to be fair, there are cases of this happening in the real world, where a newspaper's star journalist fabricates a story, but their colleagues are dissuaded from pursuing the matter further.
      • In the context of this universe, however, Gus' demotion scenario is worse. Even if he doesn't say anything, there's still the matter of several sources who were lied to by Templeton, and an independent investigator who dug up info for Gus (who isn't tied to the Baltimore Sun in any way). What happens if they go after Templeton with a class-action suit for slander?
      • Also, the demotion puts Gus that much closer to being offered a buyout. Whether he'd accept it remains to be seen...
    • As much as Gus valued journalistic integrity, he also loved his paper. Being a whistleblower would mean putting The Sun in an even bigger hole than it already was. If the higher-ups were shutting down bureaus all over the world simply because the paper wasn't profitable enough (not unprofitable, mind you), then a fabrication scandal would at best tarnish the reputation of the paper for the foreseeable future and at worst, kill it entirely. At least at the copy editing desk, he can keep an eye on the new blood and try to keep them honest.
      • It's also worth pointing out that Gus didn't have an ironclad case against Templeton. If he accuses his more successful colleague of fraud after getting demoted it would scream sour grapes, and without excellent proof it might ruin his career.
    • The biggest problem with the entire scenario is that Templeton is such an obvious fabulist that Klebanow and Whiting (but especially Klebanow) get far too credulous to be taken seriously as characters. Gus was just using common sense and the paper's own sourcing standards to show why these stories should not be getting published, but the bosses are portrayed as being so clueless that he seems like the perfect journalist by comparison. In honesty, the entire execution of the Templeton matter would've worked better if Klebanow had been portrayed as someone who was so set on selling papers that he was willing to ignore his own suspicions (as opposed to being completely oblivious). Instead, Klebanow gets concrete evidence that Scott is making shit up, and the best he can do is "it's personal between you and Scott". That kind of ineptitude stacks the deck more in Gus's favor than anything Gus does.

    McNulty's disciplining 
  • Umm..wasn't McNulty still in the driver's seat still even after the events of Season 5 were revealed to be untrue? While they could have prosecuted him,the embarrassment and incompetence that would have been revealed at any trial would have destroyed so many careers that making it "go away" would have been the best option. And moving McNulty to a minor position that wouldn't threaten his pension would have accomplished that.
    • Yes? What's your point? He quit if that's what you're worried about.
    • While McNulty might have enjoyed destroying some careers, that would have included friends of his like Bunk as well. Plus there's the whole part about being a white cop sent to prison...

    NY drug dealers moving into Baltimore's market 
  • Wouldn't dealers from DC,Philly and/or New Jersey try to move into the market?
    • I don't know to what extent this is actually true, but in virtually all media, New York is portrayed as having the most efficient and widest reaching criminal organization, in all senses of the word. It seems likely the dealers in Philly and Jersey just didn't have the resources or the reach to move into an entirely different city. Just as likely is the possibility that they were dealing with incursions of their own.
    • I suspect it's logistics. Most crews are going to be operating on the Avon model of Territory, Territory, Territory and aren't going to risk the muscle and time trying to control another town. They likely only have the manpower to keep up their own ground and any connects with people in Baltimore would be risky for the purpose of establishing oneself. So that takes out Philly. DC is closer, but still an hour away and problematic for gangsters who barely know anything outside of their own neighborhoods. Plus, they're two different games - Baltimore is a heroin town and DC a crack town. DC would have to likely get new supplier connects - connects already familiar to Barksdale, Prop Joe, and Marlo, and word gets around. It's easier to just play the game and not worry with territory that doesn't concern you. As for New York, however, yes, they'll be more powerful, and closer to the source. They've got a robust heroin trade among other things but are more likely to be on the Stringer Bell model than Philly or DC. This allows them leverage over product which then frees up manpower to enforce in Baltimore while they get established. Just this troper's understanding of the drug trade.
    • What New York and Baltimore have in common is that they're both ports, where the drugs enter the country - thus giving the criminals there additional leverage over those further down the food chain, such as DC or Philly. I always read the occasional NY guy coming down as an attempt to consolidate the two entry points under one leadership.
    • From a comment Prop Joe makes to Stringer during the negotiations to set up the joint East/West cartel in the Towers, and a scene in season 2 where Stringer has to go to New York to check up on why a supplier has cut off their contract with the Barksdales, it seems that a lot of the Baltimore crews rely on New York for their supply (Joe says that now he only needs to go to NYC for his cocaine), however, with the rise of a new drug connect that starts being used not just by Joe's smaller outfit but also by the big Baltimore players like the Barksdale Organization and the New Day Co-Op, it could be that the New York crews are trying to get a finger in the Greek's distribution network; the dope the Greek smuggles in is noted by many characters in the series to be of extremely high-quality. Either that, or they want to try and muscle out the B-more crews who have now switched supplier and regain control of the Baltimore connect.
    The New Day Co-Op's Reliability 
  • How come Joe and the other Eastside dealers can't put a decent resistance to New York and need Marlo so bad? Joe being Joe may have reasons to have a cat like Marlo in the bag, but the combined drug lords should be able to muster quality muscle on their own. The new good dope and the co-op gives them new more resources. Were they out-muscled offscreen? And it's not like Chris and Snoop fight any kind of complicated war to get rid of the unlawful incursions, they just walk by, kill the NY dealers where they stand and there is no retaliation seen. Marlo carries a big stick, but killing the intruders -who just seem to occupy them corners without much of a crew- gets the job done and sends the right message anyway.
    • In one of the New Day Co-op meetings, the leaders discuss that it would be better for all of the Baltimore dealers to put up a united front: Baltimore vs New York. Marlo was always an independently-minded drug lord. His soldiers are fiercely loyal and way more violent than the other gangs and Marlo owns a sizable amount of territory. Given the havoc he caused the Barksdales, it's not unreasonable for the New Day Co-op to fear Marlo accepting a package from New York and undermining the other Baltimore dealers. Plus, competent muscle like Snoop and Chris are hard to come by, given the high turnover rate for Baltimore gunmen. They are methodical and patient whereas every other hitter seems content with drive-bys and spray-and-pray tactics that result in collateral damage as seen in Season 2.

    Murder attempts on Marlo 
  • Why were the murder attempts made against Marlo Stanfield shown to be done so amateurishly? There were several competent killers shown throughout the series (Omar, Brother Mouzone, Slim Charles, etc) that might have undertaken the task successfully. Why weren't they at least offered the task?
    • Omar, at least, doesn't take on assassination jobs for pay. And it's not like with Brother Mouzone, where Stringer was able to send Omar after him by telling him that he was responsible for Brandon's torture. Omar had no reason to target Marlo until season 5. And the ties with Brother Mouzone were completely burned over the Omar thing. So that's two out of your three options down.
    • There weren't actually that many attempts on Marlo's life, directly, throughout the series. In Season 3, Avon sent Devon, the woman who seduced Marlo and attempted to lead him into an ambush. Marlo sniffed out the trap (sending Chris to scope it out first and attacking the Barksdale car that was waiting there) and killed her first. Beyond that, he was either holed up during his war with the Barksdales (where Avon was so sorely lacking for muscle that he had serious trouble taking out soldiers, let alone considering a straight shot at the king). From Season 4 and beyond Marlo is in command and nobody dares to take a straight shot, at least until Omar, who put substantial effort into flushing him out onto the street. The closest Marlo comes to dying, incidentally, is in his final scene when, after forced into retirement, he starts a fight with the two corner boys and beats them down after they pull a gun and knife on him.
    • Actually, Marlo was pretty lucky on one occasion. In the Season 3 finale, Slim Charles and some other mook spotted Marlo, Chris, and Snoop hanging around that rim shop they liked. Avon and his boys were literally walking out the door with the guns (and GRENADES!) to go murder him when the Major Crimes Unit showed up with the warrant from Stringer's snitching. But in general, Marlo was very clever and Chris and Snoop really knew the game. Marlo's only realistic enemies were Omar, Prop Joe, the Greeks, and the Police. Omar he baited into a trap, Prop Joe he played like a fiddle, the Greeks he bought off, and the cops were defeated by Levy making a deal (also because they FUBARd the evidence from the vacants.)
      • Marlo was lucky with Omar as well. If Kenard (or any other small child) hadn't shot him, Omar probably would have continued harassing Stanfield's crew and putting the word out that Marlo is a punk. Judging by Marlo's reaction when he discovered that Omar was calling him out("My name was on the streets!?"), it's pretty likely Marlo would take Omar's challenge to heart and attempt to throwdown with Omar in the streets, in order to protect his reputation. This is the reason Chris didn't want to tell Marlo about Omar's hijinks; he didn't want to see it come down to "Who would win in a fight: Omar or Marlo?".
    • The Barksdales have to rely on their own muscle, as these guys, except for Slim, are independent and have no reason to help them in the war or hit Marlo later (until Omar is drawn into it). Part of the point is that the Barksdale empire is no longer a gang but an organization, and as with every institution of the story, dysfunctional. Stringer's heart and mind are not in the streets (the botched hit on Omar happens thanks to slow bureaucracy, Slim is not in reach and String is in a business meeting and has to give a quick answer), he hasn't been able to find competent soldiers to replace Wee-Bey, Bird & co, and he doesn't really have to, because out of necessity and pragmatism, he chose to co-exist with Prop. Joe. Years without a real threat have filled the ranks with incompetent muscle, with the short-lived exceptions of old-schoolers like Cutty and Country. Avon has to swallow his pride and hire some Eastside good soldiers, but by then internal strife is already eating away the crumbling organization. By contrast Marlo runs a militarized gang, simple and focused in the streets (they don't even have a lawyer on payroll until season 5), with a single leader, so much more agile and effective.

    Omar's bounties and whereabouts 

  • How did Bird, Stinkum and Wee-Bey find Omar's place of residence in season one? They already established that none of his neighbours were going to pass that info on, if the Barksdales even knew who to ask, and we're always left with the impression that Brandon stayed tight-lipped under torture (you could put this down to people making assumptions, or not wanting to speak ill of the dead by presuming he would have caved, but he can't have been the information source because presumably, otherwise, they would have come for Omar much more quickly, rather than waiting a few days). And Omar plainly expected them sooner or later, because by the time they do ransack his place, he's holed up with Shirley and her adorable baby. So... what's the deal there?
    • Keep in mind that season one is the only time we see Omar living anywhere other than a vacant. Maybe the place was in his name. Hell, maybe it was in Brandon's name.
      • No, that's definitely a vacant, even in season one. Remember when he comes back after the enforcers have cased it, with the KFC? It's only like a ten second scene, but he has to pry a panel off the stoop to get in, which has been stuck there with chewing gum, it's not a proper door.
      • The chewing gum was Omar's way of checking if anyone had been in his place since he left, similar to putting scotch tape or a hair across a door. If it's been disturbed then someone opened the door.
    • Actually, on this subject, it's a minor nit-picking point, but why does everyone refer to the white van as being Omar's? Of course, Omar is the main focus of the story, Brandon is only present to get Stuffed into the Fridge, but it's clearly Brandon's van. Omar's always in the passenger seat, Brandon is driving.
      • Omar's in charge.
      • Well, on the show, who even knows who Brandon is until after he dies? McNulty and Kima call it Omar's van because Omar is the only one of the three they know by name until after the van gets torched. But it is a consistent detail that Omar never gets behind the steering wheel of any of the vehicles from which he conducts surveillance. His boyfriends and other contacts chauffeur him around.
      • Plus, Omar identifies the van as "my ride" (not even "our ride"; and Brandon's standing right there!).
      • And of course he's in the passenger seat — what's the point of having a crew if you're going to drive yourself around?
      • Where else would Omar ride but shotgun?
    • It would not be out of character for Omar to let that address circulate on the streets to see how Barksdale chooses to hit him back. Or potentially Brandon did give them some information under torture, but it was vague or took them some time to piece together.

    Omar's drug stealing 
  • Was it ever explained or shown, in any great detail, what Omar actually does with the drugs that he steals? Apart from giving a few free hits to a junkie in Season 1, and selling Proposition Joe some of his stolen Barksdale drugs in another episode, he never really seems to sell them to anyone, and it doesn't seem like he would have a reliable network of dealers or fences that could sell them for him (considering his relationship with most dealers). All in all, he seems to steal drugs far more often than he steals money, but he doesn't seem nearly altruistic enough to steal them just to get them off the streets.
    • It's mentioned after Omar hits the stash house early in season 1 that he gives the drugs away to people near his safehouses so they will act as lookouts for him and keep his secret. So he does give them away, but he's not doing it out of altruism but rather self-preservation.
    • This troper also got the impression Omar does what he does not necessarily because it makes economic sense but because he loves it so much he can't stop. Think about it, the guy routinely steals vast stashes of drugs and money; it's likely that he steals enough money per season to run far away and retire in peace. If he actually tried to launder or save that money, the guy could be sitting on a beach in Mexico or Hawaii, or be the richest man in Cody, Wyoming - but instead he lives effectively from hand to mouth in shitty Baltimore vacants, constantly looking over his shoulder. This is reinforced when he moves to NYC in preparation for Bird's trial at the end of season 1 - and starts doing exactly the same thing. It is also possible, although he's never shown doing it, that he sells them to out-of-down dealers, or possibly fences them via Butchie?
    • In addition to his stick-up people, Omar seems to have a small organization selling the merchandise; right before he gives away some free hits in episode 4, he has a little boy in a corner serving paying customers. One of the reasons Omar cites for wholesalling it back to Joe is that he's never going to be able to sell all that much in his lifetime.

    Stringer and D'Angelo 
  • What reason did Stringer Bell have to ride on D'Angelo? Not only did he sent him to jail, he bedded his baby mama and put the hit on him. While it's true that D'Angelo was a loose thread, he gave no indication that he was actually going to turn against them and he specifically told his mother so, only requiring from them that he be left alone. What then did Stringer have against D'Angelo personally?
    • Stringer was just super paranoid that D'Angelo could turn at any time for any reason, despite what he says. If he folded, the entire Barksdale Organization is gone, and Stringer is facing years in jail, if not life. He saw it as too much of a risk to take. As for sleeping with Donette, I think Stringer just took a liking to her and there wasn't any intentional attempt to ruin his life (besides having him killed, of course).
    • Stringer has every reason to consider D'Angelo a liability after he gets called out in the "Where's Wallace?" confrontation. "No seconds acts in the American life". D'Angelo consistently proves that he is a weak link from the beginning, when he's demoted from the towers and reassigned to the pit over the entire matter of Pooh Blanchard, and has to be babysat by Levy and Avon several times. After he's arrested, he ask for his own defendant and reveals that Wee-Bey is in Philly, which leads to his arrest. He's about to make a deal with the authorities and only a last minute plea from his own mother stops him. The moment he brushes Avon off in jail, he proves again that he cannot be trusted and Avon implicitly knows it too. This is the game, Resignations Not Accepted if you don't play by the rules (as Cutty did do).

    Who played what role in Brandon's death? 
  • On the subject of Brandon... "Heard it might have been Wee-Bey, his boy Stinkum, and Bird," says Omar, and he usually has his ear pretty close to the ground, so we take his word for it — but when the $2000 bounty is divvied up, $500 goes to Wallace for the scout, $500 to D'Angelo for the relay, and $500 each to Wee-Bey and Bird for doing the deed. If Stinkum was involved, why didn't he get a cut, too? And if he wasn't, this leaves us with the impression that one of the only two people that Omar actually kills for his part in Brandon's murder wasn't actually involved. I dunno if this is a plot hole, or if we're actually meant to think that Omar got bad intel.
    • Wallace put Stinkum at the scene, too. Quoth McNulty, "Picks out Wee-Bey, Bird and Stinkum from photo arrays. Puts 'em all up at the Greek's the night they grab up Omar's boy, Brandon." The best story you can piece together from that is that all three enforcers were at the Greek's, but only Wee-Bey and Bird were responsible for anything that happened after they hauled Brandon out of there (neither Omar nor Wallace would have any way to know what happened after that point), though that seems a little weird. Or... the writers just thought a four-way split of the bounty seemed more dramatic.
    • If we're being technical, Poot (who, if we recall, was actually the one who noticed and successfully identified Brandon as the stick-up guy) should also have gotten a cut. However, this one is more easily explained: he probably asked Wallace and possibly D'Angelo to keep his name out of it; that's consistent with his character development. Why Stinkum was omitted is still unknown. Unless maybe he just volunteered to do it for free because turning gay stick-up guys into ashtrays was his specialty.
    • Remember that it's Stinkum who gets to take a shot at Scar's territory and gets a chance to go "off salary" and get a percentage of his business. It's possible that he turned down payment for his part in Brandon's murder for that opportunity. It's also possible that Stinkum didn't actually take part in the murder, and was just there to oversee. Bird and Wee-Bey are straight muscle; Stinkum's job also involves moving product.

    Informing on The Greek 
  • Is it me or does the entire investigation team grab the Idiot Ball when Frank Sobotka agrees to inform on the criminal pals? An outfit that is efficient and ruthless and has just cleaned their operation down to the last scrap of paper, but sure, let's have our key witness and link walk around another day without any surveilance or escort until he can bring his lawyer in tomorrow!
    • It's understandable that the police had no idea that Frank would try to double dip or contact The Greek for any reason whatsoever. It's not revealed until later that the FBI unwittingly leaked that Frank turned snitch. The whole point is that no one knew that Frank was walking into his own death.
    • Also important: The Greek, like any good capitalist, has a friend in the FBI.

    Black Sugar 
  • "Gold Coast slave, she bound for cotton fields/ Sold in a market down in New Orleans" - it's not *that* hard to work out, if you listen at a decent volume a couple of times. But Prez's brilliant ear is illustrated by his saying he worked it out because "I used to sit with my ear to the speaker playing it over and over"? Course, maybe he's of the vinyl generation and mp3s are just easier to understand...
    • "Gold coast slaveship bound for cotton fields." So yeah.
      • So, two letter typo (she->ship) notwithstanding, this troper agrees 100% with that IJBM. This isn't rocket surgery, it's brain science!
      • She —> ship isn't a typo. The original poster misheard, which kind of undermines his whole point.
    • Perhaps it's less demonstrating his great ear than the interest in details he demonstrates when solving the beeper codes, etc? When you listen for stuff like unclear song lyrics you get an ear for speech variations, which Prez is putting to work. It's not the ear on the speaker that gave him the knowledge, that's just a weird kid thing (as he's mocked for immediately after). It's that he bothered listening over and over to hear it. I didn't know that lyric—now that I listen for it, I hear it, but I'd never bothered. I'm dancing or working out or talking at a party when that song comes on, not taking notes. I bet most people aren't taking notes either—but Prez was.

    Kima's girlfriend 
  • Here's one: Kima's girlfriend (who wasn't shown to be neither flaky nor promiscuous) moves another woman into her home w/o telling Kima about that fact? This bothered me quite a bit (as much as a TV show can) because the woman had recently given birth and had her and Kima's child in the house.
    • That one doesn't bother me as much because there are so many complicating factors. Kima has been going on a McNulty-style path of destruction, and there were legitimate questions about the extent to which she was committed to being a parent, if at all. Also, the relationship was new and the partner may have been thinking more in terms of wait-and-see rather than have a potentially messy conflict with her ex immediately. Keeping the news from Kima wasn't a good decision, but it's the kind of mistake even smart, capable people can make.
    • There's a joke: "What does a lesbian bring to a second date?" "A U-Haul." It describes the purported tendency of lesbians to shack up more quickly than people of other sexual persuasions. That doesn't answer why she doesn't alert Kima, but I think the previous poster speaks to that ably.

    Bubbles a homosexual? 
  • Not that it matters, but was Bubbles supposed to gay? He always had a guy w/ him and he was never shown talking to women other than his sister and Kima.
    • When I first saw the show, I got kind of a gay vibe from Bubbles. But I don't really know why. He talks in season one about having a son and an ex-girlfriend, though, and he flirts a bit (but really only in a "salesman" way) with a woman in season three. So I don't think he was meant to be gay - I just don't think he was very interested in romance at all.
    • He said it himself. When you're an addict, "you married to the needle, man."
    • Among its other effects, heroin kills your libido along with any other desire other than doing more heroin. In the finale when he's addressing the NA group and says that he couldn't get a hold of any sponsor a woman pipes up that she sure as hell would have taken his call (the implication is quite clear what she really meant). Bubbles smiles at this and says he will definitely call her next time. Of course Bubbles charms everyone he meets, but it seems to me that he was definitely interested.

    The Barksdales 
  • Three things, all from The Target. Why is the epigraph "...when it's not your turn", when McNulty clearly says "when it ain't your turn."? Why does McNulty say that D'Angelo is cousin to Avon Barksdale? And why is Johnny's hair blonde for the episode but then brown/black for the rest of the series?
    • The "when it's not your turn" thing is a reference to the rotation that Rawls describes. When a murder comes in, someone takes it, they move to the back of the line. So, they take turns "giving a shit" about murdered people. McNulty was taking an interest in a case that wasn't his. In a larger sense, it's a comment on the overall apathetic nature of police and people in general. Nobody really gives a shit. They get paid to, they work it a bit, and they take up a new case when their turn comes back around.
      • He's saying the line's been transcribed incorrectly. To which I ask: you're really scratching your head over that?
    • D and Avon are cousins. Literally.
      • D'Angelo is Avon's nephew - he's the son of Avon's sister Brianna. However, probably McNulty was just wrong in saying they were cousins. I seem to recall Avon calling D 'cuz' in the first episode, but Stringer does too.
    • In-universe answer: it had been dyed. Real life answer: Pilot was likely shot well before any other episodes and the actor's hair was no longer dyed or they just felt he worked better as another color.
    • Johnny is arrested and sent to rehab in the first episode. Chances are pretty good that part of cleaning him up in rehab included cutting his hair. After that he was just regrowing it and had yet to re-dye it.

    Carver and Randy 
  • It bugs me that at the end of season 4, Carver is unable to save Randy Wagstaff from a group home. Sure, he can't take in Randy himself because he hasn't completed a screening process deeming him a suitable foster parent, but there's a readily apparent solution the show doesn't address - he could have asked Colvin, with whom he's close, to take Randy in. Colvin is able to adopt Namond, so he must have been cleared by Social Services, and Carver knows that he took in Namond for a night previously if not that he's adopting him permanently. The writing on the show is generally great, but the impact of a tragic event is lessened somewhat when somebody has to pick up the Idiot Ball for it to happen.
    • Colvin may not have been willing or able to take another child in, especially one whom he hadn't been building a relationship with beforehand. Additionally, Namond and Randy might not be friends any more since Randy has been branded a snitch. Also, Randy has not-unjustified disgust for the cops after what happened and would probably have objected to living with an ex-cop. It probably should have been addressed in dialogue, but I wouldn't call it an Idiot Ball moment for any character.
    • Sure, Colvin could have adopted Randy. Was he also going to have to adopt Dookie too ? Kenard ? All the other little hoppers on the block whose lives get shat on by the game before they even begin ? IMO that's the whole point of Randy getting fucked over despite dozens of people who could have, hell who even wanted to help him, and that's what makes his final fate so poignant. Yes, he was a good kid, and yes he could have gone out and had a good life. But he didn't. The few saviors only have so many hours to their days. They can't save 'em all. Life be that way. And that's why it goes on being that way. It's all in the game, dawg.
    • Additionally, Randy is already in the foster care system so he has to be handled according to that system's rules. Namond's mother agreed to give him up to Colvin.
    • We don't even know if Colvin officially adopted Namond by going through the system. It was never made explicit in the show. All we know is that Wee-bay consented to Colvin's guardianship over Namond. And another difference is that unlike Randy who had no parents and was already registered in the system, Namond still had his mother as a guardian. It is entirely possible that Colvin didn't even go through the official foster system like Carver had to.
    • Indeed, it would have taken Colvin the same few months to go through the same paperwork that Carver would have had to go through, so there was no real reason to call him since it would be the same situation; Carver was better off taking responsibility himself. Also add to that the fact that he has no idea how to bring this up. How do you go to a retiree and ask him to take in a boy he doesn't know permanently when you have no idea what his home life or financial status is? Awkward that.
  • Perhaps a bigger question is why Carver chose to give up trying to save Randy from the group home. In theory, I think he could've gone through the application process. Randy would still stay in the group home, though temporarily. I'm sure that they would have okayed him within a couple of months, 3 at the most. It (probably) would have been easier to tell Randy to hang in there for a couple of months, rather than a couple of years. Then the next season, by the time Bunk drops by to see him, we see a taller, more muscular and angry, Randy, who has obviously been hardened by the system. As upset as Carver was at dropping him off, you would think he wouldn't let something so minor stop him from getting Randy out of that situation.
    • Carver wanted to prevent Randy from going back to the foster home for even one day because the damage would have already been done months later. If it weren't already clear from the fact that Randy was getting beat up on the streets and having his house burned, his snitch label is exactly what Carver was fearing about Randy returning to the foster home. Also keep in mind that Carver made an impulsive decision about adopting Randy in the first place. No one really knows if he was actually cut out to be a guardian in the long run, which is why there is a vetting period in the first place. Carver may have realized it himself after cooling off and opted to not go back for Randy. He knew the minute Randy stepped into the foster home he was already done for which is why he reacted the way he did in the first place. It's a different situation compared to Namond's, where Namond's father and the willing foster parents were both on-board and Colvin had spent quality time with Namond before the application process, making it faster.

    "Randy's a snitch!" Wait, what did he snitch about? 
  • A different problem with regards to Randy. When Marlo passes judgement over him, he specifically asks his gang not harm him but to pass word out on the street that he's a snitch. Which means that all the kids that attack him repeatedly, going as far as setting fire to his house, are not affiliated with Marlo's gang. They probably don't even know what Randy talked to the police about, and DO know that it's not about any of their friends or comrades. They basically go through all this risk and trouble because they've heard a rumor he's talked to the police about something that doesn't have to do with them. Seems... a bit misplaced.
    • First, it seems likely that a lot of those kids have friends or family who have been arrested and would have no love for informants. Second, even if Marlo told his gang not to do anything (because it might lead back to him), that's not going to stop wannabes from doing something to try to impress him. Third, teenage boys, especially ones with the rage issues shown over and over on the show, don't need a big excuse to bully anyone. Randy's like the gay kid in class, only much worse in their eyes.
    • Marlo was in clean-up mode and ordering the deaths of anyone that could have possibly snitched on him, including Little Kevin (who didn't say a word), and Bodie (who was getting ready to snitch, but hadn't given any useful information yet). He makes an exception for Randy (probably because of his age), but his ordering of his crew to "spread the word" that he'd been snitching was obviously done to get the results that he did. It's clear that snitches are not tolerated in the school, and the retribution that Randy receives isn't any specific kind of payback from Marlo's crew but more in line with a more general bullying, taken to extremes.

    Wallace's name 
  • The character Wallace is exclusively addressed as Wallace. The viewer is led to believe it's his last name, as his mother is introduced as Darcia Wallace. However, if one looks closely at the investigative board the Barksdale detail uses, he is listed under his picture as Wallace Wikes. So is Wallace his first or last name?
    • Maybe it is just an internal inconsistency, but it's possible to rationalize that his mother's name was Darcia Wallace, his father Mr. Wikes, and they used the mother's maiden name as his given name.
    • Or perhaps "Wallace" is really his middle name (taken from his mother's maiden name), and he uses it as his given name.

    The sexual act 
  • In season 4, Randy is asked to stand lookout for two older boys who take a girl, Tiff, into a bathroom and do something sexual with her, which she later claims was rape. Randy gets in trouble along with the two boys, revealing his knowledge of Lex's murder to Mrs Donnelly in an effort to bargain his way out. Tiff later withdraws her allegation and Randy is off the hook for his crummy judgement. My question: does the show ever tell us or imply what actually happened? Did Tiff make it up because the two boys she was with insulted her along with Namond, or was she pressured into withdrawing the allegation by her friends or someone?
    • The show never explicitly says whether or not it was consensual, but (if memory serves) Tiff is seen smiling and greeting the two boys in the hallway soon after having sex with them, which seems to heavily imply that it was. The boys insult her and refuse to talk to her after she tries to casually talk to them, which gives her a reason to want to get them in trouble. The writers likely kept it ambiguous to avoid excessively vilifying Tiff, and to keep the focus on Randy's part in the whole debacle (since he clearly has no idea if it was rape or not).

    Desk in the doorway 
  • The whole desk in the doorway scene kind of lacks sense to. At one one point you have everyone, minus Freamon, trying to get the desk in/out. Some of them switched sides to work with Herc. They had to have noticed that Herc was trying to get the desk in and not out.
    • 'Fraid not. Carver and Herc start out on either side of the desk, Mcnulty and Sydnor come in and they stop trying to move it, asking the two to help before they can see exactly what they're doing. Mc Nulty goes around to help Herc, Sydnor stays with Carver. Then they both push. Sydnor sees Carver pushing and assumes that's what they're doing. Same with Mcnulty. Meanwhile Lester chuckles. Nobody changes sides.
    • Re-watch the scene carefully. Herc was grabbing a handle in a more or less neutral looking position. Just from a simple glance it's not really going to be obvious that he's pushing the entire time. Compound that with the fact that everyone else likely thought the desk was stuck because it was stuck, not because someone was actually pushing against them. People gave Herc the benefit of the doubt which is exactly why they reacted with such shock and annoyance when they found out what he was really doing.

    Bodie's entrapment 
  • At the start of Season 4 it's revealed/implied that Bodie avoided jail at the end of Season 3 by claiming contrapment (um, entrapment?) over the whole Hamsterdam thing; they were told they could push drugs in the free zones, and then the police scooped everyone up (eventually). How come no one else (like Poot) did the same?
    • Poot may have had other charges outstanding that Bodie did not, or a worse lawyer.
    • There's also the fact that Bodie wasn't charged in part because he had McNulty there to advocate for him (note the halfway-regard Bodie treats McNulty with the following season)... probably Bodie didn't even need a lawyer this time. Poot was not so lucky.
    • It's never really shown what happens to the Hamsterdam dealers. But Poot himself was not arrested for dealing in Hamsterdam, he was implicated in the MCU wiretaps of the Barksdale Organization and that is why he is at that arraignment hearing with the Barksdale organization members in the ending montage. It could be many if not all of the Hamsterdam dealers did indeed beat their charges this way - certainly, arresting all those mid-level dealers is not shown to have made any dent in the drug trade by season 4.
      • Also, the operation to take out Hamsterdam was entirely a political one. It's done quickly and instantly after Burrell makes his deal so that the police can round up the witnesses and stick them in the joint for a few days and demolish the vacant properties, and that in turn allows the Mayor's office and Burrell to make Colvin their scapegoat for the debacle.

    Cheese Dog 
  • What was the deal with Cheese's dog? It seemed to be implied that the other guy cheated somehow, but how do you cheat at a dog fight?
    • I'm no dogfighting expert, but I thought they vaselined the winning dog so Cheese's couldn't get a bite on it.
      • Pretty much. It's also possible they rubbed some chemical or scent on the winning dog, like bleach, cayenne pepper, or washing-up liquid that made Cheese's dog unwilling or unable to bite. Indeed, this was a common way of cheating in dog fights, which is why old dogfighting rules used to have the opposing handlers wash each other's dogs before each bout.

    Landsman letting Bubbles go 
  • One minor point I don't think I fully grasp. In the finale of Season 4, Landsman gets a big Pet the Dog moment when he refuses to arrest Bubbles for Sherrod's death. At issue is the fact that he and Norris lose the clearance. But why couldn't they just record Sherrod's demise as an accidental death instead?
    • It's been a while, but as I recall the drug/chemical mixture of the "hot shot" Bubbles made could not plausibly be passed off as anything but an attempt to murder. And once the death has been classified as an open homicide investigation, with evidence like that backing it up, they can't go back on it without risking getting caught and severely punished for juking stats. That's why Landsman's saying "fuck the clearance", it's essentially that on paper it's an open case without a suspect.
    • Murder police don't always get to decide what is and what is not a murder - they have a lot of sway, but they aren't the only ones in the chain. If they say "oh, this is an accidental death/suicide" and the body goes to the ME who finds otherwise, not only will they look at best incompetent, they'll also have to investigate. David Simon talks about this in Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. The crime the homicide unit most hate investigating is arson, because they have to go with whatever the Fire Department say is arson; one veteran detective in the book notes he is still carrying an open "triple murder" from a few years ago which he is convinced was an accident started by a faulty fan unit. So it seems that they couldn't just fake it, because they'd have to fool the people who's job it is to determine cause of death.
    • If the Baltimore PD had any influence over the coroner's office, then the entire plot about the jurisdiction of the container of bodies in season 2 would make no sense. Remember then that McNulty convinces the coroner that the dead girls are homicides using evidence from the container showing the air pipe was hammered shut instead of a container shifting on top. If Rawls could have leaned on the coroner to change that ruling, he sure as hell would have to get rid of those twelve open murders.

    Sturdy stain glass window 
  • VERY minor, but I noticed that the windows behind Stringer Bell didn't seem to take any damage during his shooting. I mean, I can see Mouzone's PPK not hitting glass, given the angle, but Omar's shotgun would at least have hit one with an exit wound or scatter (depending on the ammo).
    • The pellets from a shotgun only spread, on average, one inch per yard of range from an unchoked barrel, and Omar was 4-5 yards away. Too close for scatter, and depending on what size pellets, you likely would not have an exit wound.
    • It could be that there aren't any windows there. The building was under construction, they may not have put it any glass to fill the empty space yet.

    D'Angelo's age 
  • Minor one, but is D'Angelo an example of Dawson Casting? Everyone always treats him like he's younger and less experienced than Avon or Stringer. But, if you look at the actor's ages, Larry Gilliard Jr. was born in 1971. This makes him only two years younger than Wood Harris (1969) and, ironically enough, a year OLDER than Idris Elba (1972). This is especially jarring because Avon is supposed to be D'Angelo's uncle, but the two actors are close enough in age to be brothers or cousins instead.
    • Nevermind, I answered my own question. Prison records we see in season three would seem to indicate that D'Angelo is in his early 20's, making him almost a decade younger than Larry Gilliard. Updating page accordingly.

    "Does he have hands? Does he have a face? Than it wasn't us!" 
  • So says Sergei of the Greeks' modus operandi for disposing of the bodies they create. Yet Frank Sobotka has both when he's found. One would think making sure his body wasn't easily identified if found would be a high priority, given he was killed for offering to snitch to the cops.
    • Sergei has just been arrested, so Spiros is responsible for the body management, but he's not as competent because it's very rare that he has to do it himself. He really expected that Cement Shoes would be enough and apologizes to the Greek for the mishap. "Sergei would've done better, I admit." They concur that's just bad luck that the water just coughed Frank back up.
    Sydnor's absence in Season 2 
  • How come Sydnor is not present at all in season 2? Taking the quick way in the Watsonian vs. Doylist road, Corey Parker Robinson probably was unavailable, but the in-universe reasons are troublesome. Daniels can handpick anything he wants (except McNulty), and he made a big point in the previous detail about Leander being a pretty talented cop. Granted they are working in a white zone where his undercover skills are not needed, but he's known as the The Reliable One and wanted more after the Barksdale case wasn't properly closed. He deserved a quick mention at least. He only says much later that he doesn't know the details because he didn't work the case, and that's all.
    • Sydnor is a highly sought-after officer who, as you point out, is commonly used for undercover work. Most likely he was already in an undercover role elsewhere and couldn't be pulled out, especially for a role that didn't require a black undercover cop. As for not being mentioned, yeah, that's a sticky point. Likely he was mentioned offscreen, but he probably should have been mentioned onscreen.
    • Daniels can handpick his own team but is only given a limited number of slots. He shows favoritism for his old narcotics team, Prez is already there, and Freamon is obviously a better choice than Sydnor.
      • More importantly, of his old Narcotics crew, he already has Kima and Herc. Herc requested for Carver to be brought on, and Daniels obliged. Best guess is, Daniels had planned to set aside a slot for Sydnor, and it was that slot that Carver ended up filling. Carver's slot was probably the one that he had been intending to reserve for Sydnor. You'll notice that in season 3, the Major Crimes Unit is still the same size as it is in season 2. Once Herc and Carver transferred to the Western District, Daniels had two openings he needed to fill, and thus, he was able to snag Sydnor on a permanent basis, and Caroline Massey coming along with him.
    Season 5 Wire Tap 
  • The investigation in Season 5 involves a wire tap on a serial killer's cell phone. However, the fictional "serial killer" never used a cell phone before they started tapping one. He called Templeton only once and it was from the pay phone Templeton used. How did they get a judge to sign a wire tap warrant without knowing where the cell number came from? And furthermore, if they had a serial killer's cell phone number, why wouldn't anyone try calling it?
    • They try to get a wiretap on Templeton's phone, which Judge Phelan doesn't approve, but Lester says they don't need that one. They apparently are monitoring the payphones; before Templeton makes up he's been contacted, Jimmy and Lester were already cooking up one call, and at the paper Jimmy mentions the "serial killer" made another call to Homicide. These two calls give them the wiretap on the payphones. During the meeting, Jimmy and Rhonda (who can really sway the judge) also sell that they are "on the killer's cellphone" because "he's using a burner", Phelan apparently bought that lie. It's implicit in the dialogue (5x06, "The Dickensian Aspect"). As to why they never call the serial killer, McNulty is the one calling the shots in his case and is trusted completely until he's busted, and he states that the guy takes the battery off between calls. Make–believe is the theme of the season.
    Criminals' usage of Levy as their defense attorney 
  • After watching Bird's trial, I wonder, why do any of the guys Levy is defending trust him if he's on Avon and Stringer's payroll? Isn't it likely he'll fry them if the kingpins want someone to take the fall?
    • Why would they possibly have any say in the matter? What are they going to do, exactly? Complain to Avon or Stringer about how they don't like the hand they're dealt? They'll do whatever they're told to do. See the scene of O-Dog and Snoop in Levy's office in season 5 for a likely similar scenario.
    • In Bird's particular case, Wee-Bay had already admitted to the Gant murder. Obviously it didn't convince the detectives but Bird didn't have to be imprisoned if it could have been avoided. They didn't need a fall guy. The Barksdales at the point of season 2 weren't looking to lose more muscle.

    "Major Taylor, you are relieved" 
  • When Burrell had Major Taylor relieved, was that an on the spot demotion or was that already planned? It was almost like Rawls and Burrell had this planned out, especially the way Burrell said, "If you'll permit me." Like they're thinking "Let's execute one of these fucks in front of the rest to scare the shit out of them to juke the stats even further."
    • I think Burrell was asserting his authority since Rawls probably doesn't have the authority to relieve the Majors on his own. And yeah it was a very clear message to the others that no one was safe until they started towing the party line (Burrell's line of "There isn't one of you here who isn't here by appointment" is further proof of this).

    Removing the bodies from the vacants 
  • So there's a bit of scheming about recovering Marlo's victims from the vacants, with removing the bodies before New Year's so the stats fall on Royce instead of on Carcetti. But part of me wonders if, had any bodies had been recovered from the vacants in January (and thus their stats fall on Carcetti), Carcetti would have cared enough to hold off on budget cuts to the police (and stave off the shutdown of the MCU).
    • It's to maximize benefit and minimize risk. Assuming that the cases go cold, those bodies are on Royce's plate. But if there is a breakthrough, then the clearance will go on Carcetti. Keep in mind, at this point, the police aren't aware that the budget shortfall will affect them the way it will the next season.
    • I think it's meant to be dramatic irony: if the police had waited until the year was over to pull the bodies from the vacants, perhaps Carcetti would have cared enough about it to not shut down the Major Crimes Unit like it was in season 5. (I'm not saying that would be what would happen, just in this specific scenario the whole fake serial killer thing may have been avoided just by following the chain of command for once).

    McNulty, Brianna, and D'Angelo 
  • Very small thing, but how did McNulty know Brianna Barksdale talked her son out of a deal in season 1? Are we to assume that cop talk rippled out from the jailhouse to the Baltimore PD, or is there something I missed?
    • McNulty probably took a guess that D'Angelo would've only backed out of the plea deal if he was told to do so by someone he trusted, and that would be his mother.
    • The police in general likely knows who visits who in cases like this. D'Angelo suddenly had a change of heart following a visitation by her. So it wouldn't take long for them to conclude what happened.
    • Keep in mind the viewer doesn't even see that conversation, the only thing we know that McNulty doesn't was the chat between Brianna, Stringer and Avon where she assures them that D'Angelo won't roll over on them. But a read of the visitor logs would make it easy for McNulty to figure out what happened. Stringer visits, no change. Brianna visits, D'Angelo fires his lawyer, goes back to Levy, and the deal is off.

    Plugging the budget deficit 
  • One thing I've always wondered was why Carcetti felt the need to hide the huge deficit in the city budget (particularly schools) and then bullshit ways of getting money (siphoning it from the BPD). He could've just explained that he inherited the problem from Royce and say it was Royce's fault in the first place. Would've made Carcetti look more sympathetic to his constituents and make Royce look even worse in hindsight.
    • If he openly admits the problems, he'll be the one on the hook for it. Even if he pushed the blame on to Royce, he is the one expected to fix the problem. He's the new mayor after all. It's why he was adamant about burying the fake serial killer case in season 5 as well. There's a common trend here. Keep in mind being the mayor was not the end game for him. He wants his public image to be as squeaky clean as possible before he goes for the governor seat.

    Rawls and McNulty 
  • So what's the biggest root behind Rawls' dislike for McNulty?
    • The primary reason is that McNulty is a complete loose cannon and it's not good for a supervisor to have an employee going off on his own, doing his own thing. Of the three types of cops in the show, Rawls is the "archetypal bureaucratic" type, and wants easy cases to keep his clearance rate up so that he can look good and move up the ladder. McNulty gets in the way of this. Rawls will admit that yes, McNulty is a pretty competent investigator, but he's also a loose cannon who runs his own agenda and doesn't respect the chain of command. He causes Rawls a lot of headaches in the first two seasons. In season one, McNulty gets Rawls in trouble with the brass and forces him to send a couple of much needed investigators to deal with this pet project of McNulty's. In season two you have this terrible "stone cold whodunit" of a case. There's fourteen dead girls from the container, no ID, foreign nationals, killed on a boat, probably by other foreign nationals. They're never going to solve that case and the sheer number of bodies will screw up their clearance rates. So what does McNulty do? After Rawls takes care of the case so it's not his responsibility, McNulty goes out of his way to make sure that the BPD has to eat that case. After this season, Rawls doesn't care about McNulty too much because their career paths take them out of each others orbits.
    • In the show's Baltimore Police Department, there are three kinds of cops: the ones who care about doing real police work (McNulty, Lester, Major Colvin), the ones who care about climbing the career ladder (Rawls), and the ones who are essentially thugs with badges who parade about like the playground bully thinking the badge gives them license to abuse anyone they please (Valchek, Herc and Collichio). McNulty does real police work (though he's too self-righteous for it to not also be about himself and his own ego) and he specifically bucks the chain of command stuff. The problem is that by doing real police work he actually makes it harder for the career climbers to do what they do because in this department the shit always rolls downhill. And that is a theme that repeats itself ad nauseam throughout the show. That real police work is pretty hard in a department where all the people in charge of policy are trying to climb the ladder. Of course, there is that scene where Landsman gets Rawls to give McNulty an out and bring himself back into the fold because McNulty is a fairly competent investigator. Rawls isn't totally blind to this, but he's also a self serving career climber and a true believer in chain of command and the way the shit rolls down to everyone below, keeping him unburdened so that he may continue his rise.
    • There's an implication that when they first entered the police department, Rawls and Burrell actually DID care about real police work. But when they saw how hamstrung you'd get when you don't understand the game, so they figured the only way to survive was to just play the game and work on their careers. There's a clear difference and self-awareness between them (Rawls shows it a lot. We don't see it with Burrell until the very end) and guys like Valchek who are clearly just bullies who wanted the badge for the power they think it'll give them. So Rawls' negativity towards McNulty could be because he sees where McNulty is coming from. And he hates that because he knows McNulty will just cause problems for everyone due to the system he decided to give up fighting a long time ago. If anything, back in the day, Rawls did all the sorts of things McNulty did, but whereas McNulty ended up destroying his own career, Rawls eventually chose to fall in line with the program rather than be the loose cannon. Burrell was probably a Lester Freamon type.

    The Greeks and Marlo 
  • As cautious as the Greeks are, why would they let Marlo replace Joe? I know the Word of God reason for this: The Greek himself concluded that Marlo was going to kill Joe and rather than warn Joe and possibly get entangled in a war over their product, they just let Marlo proceed. But they still don't know Marlo like they know Joe. His inexperience in being the main connect may lead to a mistake that compromises them. Joe likely didn't teach him everything there is to know. Is that risk really better than warning Joe and seeing what happens?
    • It's important to remember what The Greek represents: Capitalism in its purest form. Capitalists only benefit from conflict when they can directly profit from the circumstances, i.e. when conflict only indirectly affects them. Otherwise, they strongly hate conflict, as like government regulations and laws, it creates an encumbrance to trade. A conflict over a link in the supply line is guaranteed to kill business. Marlo's strength in this series always came from playing the game innately. He knew or deduced the Greeks wouldn't want a war to erupt over their connection. So his plan was to minimize conflict. Moreover, to The Greek, Marlo is just another face in a long line to represent the distributor of the supply. It matters not who he is or what he's capable of. As long as Marlo doesn't threaten the Greeks by bypassing access to the supply, they have no quarrel. The Greek's "competition" is not the dealers like Marlo and Prop Joe, but other drug suppliers.

    Dukie's fate 
  • When Cutty sees how hopeless Dukie is in the boxing ring, why does he just shrug his shoulders and give up? Why not introduce Dukie to the Deacon, who's better equipped to help a kid like Dukie? (The obvious answer is that Dukie needs to become an addict, so he can replace Bubbles, but that's not a satisfying answer because it means Cutty is holding the Idiot Ball.)

    Avon is a snitch 
  • Avon's deal with the prison to get out early by informing on Tilghman. How does this not get him a snitch jacket, destroying his reputation both in prison and on the street? Even though the deal was certainly confidential, the circumstances are so conspicuous that it had to be known far and wide: A drug-dealer guard who was publicly dissing him and fucking with his people ends up with a hot-shot batch; Avon shortly thereafter has a meeting with the prison administration, and immediately the guard gets caught and Avon is suddenly a short-timer for no apparent reason.
    • There's a few reasons people on the street wouldn't consider Avon a snitch. First was who he informed on. He wasn't informing on one of his own or someone from the streets. He was informing on an enemy of his, as the crooked corrections officer was being an asshole to Wee-Bey. He got what was coming to him in their eyes. Pretty much everyone knew that Avon set up the corrections officer, for some reason that's considered different. La Cosa Nostra used this tactic and it wasn't considered breaking omerta, I imagine the same would be true on the streets. Lastly Avon had power, nobody was gonna bad mouth him because he'd step to them and Avon would win that fight.
    • There's a possibility some people still did see Avon as a snitch: in season 3, there's a scene where Slim Charles is talking to Avon, running down the list of soldiers who left the Barksdale organization or are refusing to work with it. It's entirely possible that word about Avon's deal did reach the street, and while nobody would talk shit to his face or around his remaining soldiers, they'd cut ties with him as a precaution and to protect their own reputations.

    Colvin's forced retirement 
  • I get Colvin's storyline kinda required him to get kicked out, but shouldn't he have also considered having an insurance policy on hand to avoid getting screwed over by Rawls and Burrell? Like, maybe record all the Comstat hearings they participated in, so as to document all of Rawls and Burrell's behavior and orders to lower the stats by any means necessary? If he'd done that, then when Rawls and Burrell threatened Colvin's subordinates unless he did exactly what they said, he could have threatened to release the recordings to the press (which would make them look bad, and would essentially mean they'd be going down alongside him).

    Stringer's plan 
  • What was Stringer's plan, assuming Brother Mouzone and Omar didn't catch up to him and kill him? After he gave up Avon and all the muscle to Colvin, what was he planning to do? He wasn't going to leave the game at that point, he had no workers, no muscle. Except a few guys like Slim Charles and Bodie, all he had was product from Joe. There's no way Marlo would have let him live or squash the beef. His reputation outside Baltimore ain't shit, so I don't get it what he thought he'd be doing after giving up majority of the crew.

    If the bust hadn't gone according to plan 
  • It seemed like good timing that the Major Crimes Unit busted Avon at the end of season 3 when it did. What would've happened if they'd been even a half hour late (when Avon and his people would've already left to go hit Marlo at the rim shop)?

    Herc spying on Marlo 
  • When Marimow's people attempt to raid Marlo's stash houses and find nothing, he tells Herc that he wants more information about Marlo and a case against him. Herc then takes a camera without authorization and places it where Marlo has meetings, only for it to get stolen afterward. Why didn't Herc just get authorization from Marimow to use the camera? The guy obviously wanted to get information on him, and if he had a good reason to use it he probably would've signed off on it.
    • Marimow wanted rip and runs; he did not want a big long expensive investigation. Also by this point Marimow was getting suspicious of Herc's Fuzzy Dunlop ploy; Herc needed a win, badly to take the heat off of him. Instead he gave the brass the perfect opportunity to burn him and reason for it to boot. This sequence of events also shows the depravity of the department's priorities: They're fine with Herc the serial violator of civil rights, Herc the mindless thug, and Herc the reckless jackass who puts kids in danger when he's not locking them up, but Herc the guy who lost a piece of equipment? That's when they do him.


Example of: