I am done. I finished it. There are spoilers here. There is discussion of a TV show here. If you don't care, or if you aren't to the end yet, stop reading.
I am filled with rage at the sight of Stan Valchek and Scott Templeton in their glory. I am near tears over Dukie. I am giddy at Kima and Bunk busting each others' balls. I find myself strangely happy that Chris and Wee-Bay are friends in prison.
I want more.
Season 5 was by far, in my opinion, the weakest of the five seasons. As much as I enjoyed the Gus Haynes character's wit, I found the whole newspaper storyline to be a blunt instrument. Yes, Mr. Simon, we get that you don't like what the Baltimore Sun turned into, but be a bit more subtle.
The beauty of this show has always been that there are vew few heroes and villians. Templeton -- and his toady editors -- were one-dimensional. And while I agree that someone who makes up stories is horrifying to those in the industry, it is hardly the biggest problem journalism faces.
Simon lost me with the very first episode on the newspaper, when he had the exec editor stand up and say the Sun was closing its bureaus in London, Moscow and Jerusalem due to budget cuts. My first reaction was, "Why the f--- does a Baltimore paper have a Moscow bureau???"
For someone whose major thesis is allegedly that the newspaper doesn't have the resources to cover a city like it should be covered -- as illustrated by the poor coverage the deaths of Prop Joe and Omar received -- then why the hell doesn't it just rely on the AP for international coverage?
But I digress. I'd rather talk about the series as a whole, now that I have finished it.
It's been fashionable to say that the cycle goes on and on -- Bubbles becomes Dukie; Omar becomes Michael; Carver becomes Daniels; etc. etc...
But the heartbreaking thing is that the cycle seems to be gettng worse.
Bubbles at least had his sister, who gave him chance after chance until he broke the cycle. Dukie has no one and just threw his last friend, Prez, out the door.
Carver has the intergrity that Daniels did, but just seems too light, too conflicted, too compromised, to be able to rise to power.
Michael has a great smirk, but I just think he's going to be dead in two years. I can't reconcile the sweet kid with the master street tactician Omar.
Just as Marlo was worse than Avon -- who at least had a code and honor and family -- I fear the next will be worse than Marlo.
And yet Bubbles does get to walk up the steps. Bunk and Kima get to keep doing their thing. Prez is a good teacher. McNulty finally gets thrown off the job he was born to do, but would have killed him eventually. Daniels may eventually rise to power through the defense side of the courtroom.
We are left with enough optimism that we can hope that Dukie gets out; Templeton gets found out; Carcetti has some sex scandal and gets thrown out; and that Lester somehow becomes the greatest private detective ever while McNulty guards the hell out of a shopping mall every day and comes home to Beadie and the kids every night.
But we are left with just enough pessimism to believe that Michael's body will be zipped into the body bag before he's 30; Marlo will return and no one will remember the threat to put him in jail; Carcetti will be someone's vice president someday and Randy will come out harder and more vicious than Marlo dreamed of being.
In the end, I fear that most of them will end up like Nick Sobotka. I found that heartbreaking. The case cost him his uncle and his cousin and he had to leave his city for Witness Protection, but he was able to come back with no fear because no one cared.
McNulty and Lester and Colvin and Randy and the rest of the cast-offs could just disappear into the system, consigned to "Remember that guy?" That depresses me most of all. I'd rather see Randy kick ass on the streets that just get lost as a minor player. I'd rather see McNulty in jail for beating the crap out of someone who committed rape in a hotel where he was security than just be a nameless rent-a-cop.
In short, we can make this show everything we want it to be, depending on how we feel that day.
I want more. And I can have it anytime I want.
But I won't say no to Simon doing another year...