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Recap / The Wire S 04 E 05 Alliances

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The fallout over the dead witness continues; Valchek tells Carcetti about Kima being put on the case and Norris taken off it, and Norman gets the idea to let Gray hammer Royce with the news (on the theory if Carcetti does it himself, it'll be more of the same, and this way, he not only does damage, but sees Gray split the vote with Royce even more). Gray realizes he's being used, but agrees to do it (Norman points out he'll gain traction for a future congressional run). Naturally, Royce goes ballistic when the news comes out, and Watkins decides this and Eunetta being on Royce's ticket again are the last straw, saying he'll be sitting the primary out. Rawls, of course, plays both sides; he covers by making it look as if Norris and Kima were both on the case all along (and even says so at a press conference), and tells Carcetti about Watkins defecting from Royce's camp.


Marlo, on Chris' advice, decides to put Omar in jail instead of coming back at him. Chris murders a delivery woman at Old Face Andre's store, and Old Face Andre identifies Omar as the killer to Crutchfield and Holley. Marlo also meets with Proposition Joe about the card game Omar robbed, and the two agree to work together for the moment. Speaking of Marlo, Lester continues in his quest to try and find murders associated with Marlo, but a trip in the woods, and a look in the sewers, turn up nothing, and reluctantly concedes it may be time to move away from that. Marrinow orders raids on Marlo's territory, and they also turn up with nothing, leading Rhonda to conclude it's time for her to get out of the drug game. Herc, on his own, comes up with the idea of hiding a camera where Marlo likes to conduct business, but Monk spots it.


Prez attempts again to try and find ways to get his kids to do homework, but gets little success; he even has to kick Namond out of class (for which Namond gets suspended for three days). Prez also finds out more about Dukie and Michael's circumstances, which makes him more compassionate towards them. Colvin and Parenti, meanwhile, get the go-ahead for putting their program into practice at Tilghman Middle; Donnelly suggests they start small, with about 10 kids, and they all agree Namond should be one of them. As for Michael, Chris and Snoop try to convince him to join them, but he once again turns them down. Also, Bubbles decides Sherrod can't work with him anymore.


This episode contains examples of:

  • The Artful Dodger: Donut, who expertly jimmies open Prez's locked car.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Chris' way of killing the delivery woman.
  • Call-Back: Marlo admits he should have listened to Chris and had protection at the card game.
  • The Consigliere: Norman.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Justified trope here; as soon as Carcetti and Norman hear from Rawls that Watkins has abandoned Royce, they run for their car, and Norman instructs their driver, "District office for Watkins. Gilmore street. And fuck them red lights."
  • Epic Fail: Marrinow's raids on Marlo. When Herc knows the drug crews move around the stash and you don't, that's a sign of how bad a commander you truly are.
  • Epigraph: "If you with us, you with us", said by Chris to Michael.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Royce shaving off his beard, which Watkins thinks is just trying to change his image to cover for his bad policies.
  • Foreshadowing: Randy agreeing to act as lookout for the kids having sex with Tiffani becomes very important later, as does the grand jury file Proposition Joe has, and the camera Herc uses.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Chris and Snoop basically play this on Michael; Snoop gets upset when Michael refuses to look at them, but Chris says it's okay.
  • Insult Backfire: Once again, Jay is nonchalant about someone (this time, Kima) telling him, "Fuck you, fat man"; he calls it "not original, but succinct".
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: For once, they use this expression.
    Coroner: Let me get this straight. You're looking for extra bodies, no one in particular, other than this one kid you already put out on the teletype.
    Lester: Yeah, you on it.
    Coroner: You fellas don't have enough work?
  • No Name Given: The junkie (played by Armando Cadogan Jr.) who beats up on Bubbles and Sherrod is never identified; the IMDb lists him as "Bubbles' tormentor", while the official companion for the show identifies him as "the Fiend".
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Marlo wants to go after Omar at first, but Chris points out Avon tried doing that and never got anywhere.
  • Shout-Out: Wee-Bey sarcastically agrees Namond would have gone to the mattresses against Marlo's crew.
  • Tempting Fate: When Carver is incredulous at the idea of doing street sweeps on Marlo's crew, Herc says Carver's giving them way too much credit for smarts.
  • Voodoo Zombie: Namond claims Chris and Snoop are taking people into the empty row houses to turn them into this, which terrifies Randy; of course, Dukie knows better, and shows Randy (and Michael) they're just dead.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Watkins gives this speech to Royce.
    Watkins: Look at you, Clarence. Just look at you. You've forgotten your agenda. You've forgotten your base. You think a shave and some Marcus Garvey posters are gonna get you over? Do you think that's gonna make up for jumping in bed with every damn developer?

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