Mission accomplished.

We sold our house. Verbally, anyway.

Also, I’m opening the Wire thread early, because the season finale’s tonight, and I fear the next few days will be wack, work/chores-wise.

So to get you started, here’s a snippet from the David Simon Answers Your Questions thingie on the HBO website:

This is amazing. True story:

In December 1984, Melvin Williams – a lgendary player in the Baltimore drug
trade — was arrested by Det. Edward Burns as a result of an investigation
of more than a year that included cloned pagers, wiretaps, undercover
reverse buys of drugs, etc. Because of Little Melvin’s long history, I was
assigned to write a longer piece on his life, a profile so to speak. Over
two years, I gathered string on Melvin — meeting and getting to know
Detective Burns in the process — and ultimately, I wrote a long, five-part
series about Melvin that ran in January 1987. During the reporting for that
series, I was able to talk at length with Melvin at Lewisburg Penitentiary.

Less than a year ago, after winning his release from federal custody on a
parole, Melvin Williams, Ed Burns, myself and Norris Davis (who plays Vinson
on the show and has a lot of street history of his own, I must say) met for
lunch in Little Italy, enjoying each others company, reflecting on things
past and possible futures. It was a remarkable lunch, one of the strangest
and improbable gatherings to which I have ever been a party.

At one point, Melvin handed me a business card with his cell number and Ed,
dry as dirt, looked up from his salad just long enough to say, “What I
wouldn’t have given for that twenty years ago.” Melvin smiled at that, and
later, he gave Ed — the man who had run the wiretap that finally caught him
talking furtively at city payphones, who had brought about his last
conviction and longest incarceration — a little tease back. Professing that
he was now retired from the game, Melvin declared that he was grateful that
he was now free, that he had some good years left and that he still had a
little money to spend.

“We didn’t find much of the money, did we?” said Ed.
“No,” said Melvin, smiling slightly. “You didn’t.”

I genuinely admired the way these two guys handled that lunch. Like
professionals. Nothing personal, just two men with a lot of shared history
accepting each other on present terms.

Melvin is now very active in Bethel A.M.E. church and outspoken against the
drug culture. It seemed perversely appropriate to cast him therefore as the
Deacon. He seems real and credible to me in the role. Having paid his debt
and served his sentence, I wish him well and look forward to getting an
expensive lesson in billiards from him.

Posted at 7:33 pm in Uncategorized |

6 responses to “Mission accomplished.”

  1. Mary O said on December 19, 2004 at 10:16 pm

    Not to gloat, but I called it a few weeks ago: Bunny lost his new job AND the pension. Harsh. But I’ve seen it before, just not in this detail. Nice political work by Burrell, though

    I’m sorry to see this show go if it does end now. But if it does go, it goes out on a high note. I think the re-humanization of McNulty was a great thing. And the courtroom scene where Avon turns around and there’s … Marlo. Priceless. Now I’ll contradict myself and say we need another season to develop Marlo’s story.

    What wonderful storytelling, writing, acting and direction. Thank you everyone involved.

    One good thing: My Sundays now belong to the rest of my family. No more getting the kids in bed by 8:55 so we can watch The Wire in peace (though we’ve had to turn the sound down so wayward ones can make bathroom breaks). I’ve been a little difficult to deal with over the past three-to-four months.

    902 chars

  2. ashley said on December 20, 2004 at 1:53 am

    For each of the 3 seasons, I have felt drained after the finale. I feel hopeful for some characters, and dejected for others.

    Thank you, Simon, Burns, and company, for another 12 hours of perfection in storytelling.

    It seems like, after watching a Wire season finale, I don’t want to watch anything else on TV. Everything else will fall short.

    Who was the genius that thought “Bend it like Beckham” would be a good lead-in for “The Wire”. Maybe the same programming guru that put “The Wire” up against Sunday Night Football. If you want to go up against the NFL, put Carnivale or Six Feet Under. Go for your demographic, dammit.

    Mary, you did call it. I didn’t see Bunny losing both the Hopkins job and the pension, but sure ’nuff, he did. There will be other security jobs, but getting busted down to Lieutenant stings. I had no idea that Burrell was a political animal like that.

    Maybe, if Carcetti gets elected, he can do something with Bunny. He owes Bunny one.

    Was Carcetti not downright statesmanlike in that speech? Hell, the boy grew cojones. Even impressed D’Agostino and Odell. Kinda pissed off Gray, though.

    Think about it: Slim Charles and Bodie are the big players in the Barksdale organization on the street. Looks to me, for next season, like Barksdale may try to join up with Marlo (yes, I said Marlo), since Marlo ain’t in the co-op, and Avon is about to be out of the co-op.

    Daniels made major, McNulty wants to walk a beat. I may be totally off here, but I think that the focus of one of the next two seasons may be the educational system. It makes sense, since a) Cutty’s old flame is a teacher, and b) Ed Burns worked as a middle school teacher. That would also dovetail nicely with McNulty walking a beat.

    The one thing I did see coming was McNulty and Beadie. Of course, the foreshadowing really helped.

    It’s nice to see that Pryz isn’t totally gone. Like I said, don’t give him a gun, and tether his ass next to Freamon’s desk.

    Cutty, my man, expended his energy in a slightly different way than Daniels. I guess they both work out, huh? Did Fruit not look like he had seen a ghost when he walked out of that convenience store and saw Cutty? At least he made it through the season. Go ahead and kill off whoever you want, because they’ll bring a character just as good into the mix.

    And now you have the brain-dead Herc busting corner boys, which he and his ilk think is real police work. The status quo is back, and the brass is happy. Too bad the people that live in the Western aren’t.

    And I had the same routine as Mary: get the kids in bed in time to see the HBO East showing. I won’t have a routine like this until next season, if there is one.

    But, since the Sopranos, Sex and the City, and Six Feet Under are all going the way of the dodo, it makes sense for HBO to keep what Time calls the best show on TV. Let’s hope so.

    2926 chars

  3. Nance said on December 20, 2004 at 4:00 am


    For some reason, this conclusion felt more…conclusive than the last two. I think it’s the rule of three, maybe, and the fact more big-arc loose ends were tied up this year. If it has to end here, it will end very satisfyingly. There really aren’t any characters I’m still wondering about. You can see the end; the big themes have all been stated. We know the score.

    That said, though: Wow. This was really a great, great season of a great, great show. I”m still thinking about it. More later.

    506 chars

  4. ashley said on December 20, 2004 at 5:09 am

    Forgot one big thing: Johnny, Rest in Peace. The needle got him before the bug did.

    84 chars

  5. Maureen said on December 21, 2004 at 11:44 am

    Question for you Wire-aficionados…

    Why exactly did Daniels split with his wife? I saw all the episodes, but it never made any sense to me. Because he wanted to do a job he felt a call to do? Because she thought he was better than that? I guess that could be a marital disappointment, but hardly the type of thing that one ends a marriage over. This plot line always seemed a contrivance to me, although maybe they couldn’t figure out any other way to work in that, ahem, character growth evidenced in the final episode… Comments?

    542 chars

  6. ashley said on December 21, 2004 at 3:55 pm

    I thought that the Daniels/wife situation paralleled the Kima/wife situation. Cheryl wanted Kima to be a house cat, and it seems to me that Marla wanted the same thing for Daniels. The fact that he already has a law degree, and he wasn’t making any progress toward Major let Marla to believe he was wasting his life.

    I don’t know if that’s the only thing, but it did seem to me that they had other problems, ’cause they never quite seemed to be without conflict.

    467 chars