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Recap / The Wire S 05 E 10 Thirty

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After Marlo tells Levy the only people who knew their code were himself, Chris, Cheese and Monk Metcalf, all of whom are in jail, Levy begins to dig as to who exactly the police's CI is. Greggs tells Daniels that McNulty and Freamon made up the serial killer, and Daniels in turn tells Carcetti. However, fearing for his campaign for governor, Carcetti orders a cover-up, much to Daniels' disgust. As McNulty tries to talk the homicide department out of throwing more man-hours into the serial killer case, an unanticipated problem presents itself. Elsewhere, Freamon learns who the leak is at the courthouse, and Levy realizes the Marlo investigation used an illegal wire, forcing Pearlman to negotiate. At The Sun, when Templeton tries to sneak his biggest fabrication yet into the paper, Haynes decides to make a move against him. Meanwhile, Bubbles debates whether to let Fletcher publish his story, the hierarchies at the police department, City Hall and The Sun receive a shake-up, Michael makes a choice about his future, and Dukie turns to an old friend, but not for the help he really needs.

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Fade to Black.


This episode contains examples of:

  • Asshole Victim: After Cheese is killed, the various drug lords and such can be heard saying things like "Motherfucka had it coming" in the background.
  • Back for the Finale: Donnelly, Prez, Shardene, and Wee-Bey.
  • Badass Beard: Prez's stubble coincides with the fact he's no longer cowed by his students as he was in the previous season, but has become more forceful.
  • Bait-and-Switch: At the beginning of the "wake", it looks like there's really a dead body laid out on the pool table. Then Jay starts in with his over-the-top eulogy, the others also make jokes, and if that doesn't clinch it for you, we see McNulty's eyes open when the camera shows him on the pool table, and he laughs at one of Jay's remarks.
  • Bittersweet Ending: On the bright side, McNulty reconciles with Beadie and appears to be on the road towards becoming a better person but he is told he will never do 'real police work' again. Lester retires happily with Shardene. Bubbles fully recovers from his depression and self loathing. Kima and Bunk continue in Homicide. Carver is promoted to Lieutenant. Daniels makes use of his law degree to become a layer while Rhonda becomes a judge. Kenard is arrested by Crutchfield, presumably for the murder of Omar. Slim, a virtuous gangster, becomes one of the leaders of the co-op. On the Downer Ending side, Scott wins a Pulitzer for his writing, Gus and Alma are demoted, 'Dukie' becomes a heroin addict, Valchek becomes the police commissioner and Carcetti becomes governor, fully abandoning Baltimore. Marlo has a more ambiguous ending as he is kept from going to jail but can no longer sell drugs, which is all he wants to do. And ultimately, the game "continues" unabated.
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  • Bloody Hilarious: Cheese dies as he lived, always providing humor. His death is something to behold, twitching and everything.
  • Bond One-Liner: When Michael sticks up Vinson's shop.
    Vinson: You're just a boy.
    Michael shoots Vinson in the leg.
    Michael: And that's just your knee.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Slim interrupts Cheese's Motive Rant with a bullet to his head.
  • Call-Back: In addition to what's listed above, at the "wake", we see pictures of Detective Cole and Col. Foerster.
  • Canon Welding: Bunk refers to the interrogation room as "the box", which was also the term used in Homicide Lifeonthe Street.
  • Catchphrase: During his "wake", McNulty says, "What the fuck did I do?"
  • *Cough* Snark *Cough*: When Jay tells McNulty he'd want McNulty to be the one standing over him if he was killed, Fitz fakes a cough while saying, "Bullshit!"
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  • Country Matters: When McNulty refuses to get a confession for the other "murders," Rawls responds, "Motherfucker, you are a cunt-hair away from indictment, and you see fit to argue with me?"
  • Creator Cameo: David Simon can be seen briefly in the Baltimore Sun newsroom.
  • Epigraph: "...the life of kings," by H. L. Mencken, which is part of the quote on the wall in the elevator lobby of the Sun.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Subverted; when McNulty finds out Kima told Daniels, he's not bothered if she thinks she was right, and even Lester asks Kima to drink with him after he finds out.
  • Gay Bravado: At the "wake", when Bunk and a few others are trying to get Lester to join McNulty on the pool table, McNulty also says, "Come on, Lester, come and snuggle!" Lester begs off by saying, "Keep our secrets, Jimmy; I got Shardene with me tonight." Lampshaded by Jay, who calls this exchange a homoerotic lapse.
  • History Repeats: Carver is following in Colvin and Daniels' footsteps, Dukie is becoming the new Bubbles (or worse, Johnny or Sherrod), Fletcher seems on his way to become the new Gus, Michael is becoming the new Omar, and Sydnor and Kima are becoming the new McNulty.
  • I Warned You: When McNulty gets to the crime scene of the copycat murder, Bunk yells at him, "Jesus fucking Christ, Jimmy. I told you. I fuckin' told you it was going to come to this."
  • Irony: At the end, Marlo gets what Stringer, his onetime enemy, always wanted; to be seen entirely as a legitimate businessman, with none of "that gangsta bullshit" attached to him. Marlo, however, sees this as his own personal hell.
  • It's Personal / Laser-Guided Karma: "That was for Joe."
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Cheese pulls a gun and starts making a good case against nostalgia, shaming the other drug lords for lacking enough cash despite dealing in a captive market.
  • Karma Houdini: Carcetti and Scott are rewarded for their actions. Marlo is an ambiguous example, given that he dodged jail by making a deal, but it's implied that he'll quickly break that deal. Sydnor is a heroic example, as the only detective who who knew about the "serial killer" being fake and yet dodges any punishment.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Cheese.
  • The Last DJ / Internal Reformist: Daniels, not that it helps him any.
    Marla: The tree that doesn't bend, breaks, Cedric.
    Daniels: Bend too far, you're already broken.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...:
    Steintorf: (to Daniels) You're quiet on the homeless fiasco, but this makes you squeal?
  • Literary Allusion Title: The title refers to the traditional ending to any article or press release.
  • New Era Speech: Cheese mixes a speech about the new era after Marlo with a Motive Rant about himself. Slim objects to it, with a gun, so Cheese doesn't get to finish it.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Both Alma and Gus learn this.
  • Polish the Turd: Daniels thinks the "stats game" the police department has been forced to play is this; "Shining up shit and calling it gold."
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Shorty berates Slim for killing Cheese, but only because the action is economically unsound.
  • Pull the Thread: Ruby tells Gus that if he does this with Scott's pieces, he'll find exaggerations and made-up quotes.
  • Running Gag: "And four months."
  • Semper Fi: Jay claims McNulty was like this during the early stages of his "serial killer" investigation.
  • Shout-Out: Gus compares Fletcher's piece on Bubbles favorably to something Joseph Mitchell might have written. Mitchell was a well-known staff writer for The New Yorker, best known for writing about people living on the margins. Later, Gus mutters at another writer for being a wannabe Tom Wolfe, author of The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities, among others.
  • Shout-Out to Shakespeare: During his "eulogy" for McNulty, Jay uses the phrase, "From whose bourne...no traveler has ever returned."
  • Shrouded in Myth: The corner boys Marlo scuffles with were arguing about how Omar really died, with one saying the police framed the New York crews, while another saying he died in a hail of bullets while facing off against nine gangsters.
  • Yiddish as a Second Language: Levy calls Herc "mishpocha", meaning family.

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