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Things come to a head.

Episode #23: “Storm Warnings”

“It pays to go with the union card every time.” – Ziggy
Racial tension over the next union secretary continues to build; Sobotka still plans to run contrary to a long-standing gentlemen’s agreement. Ziggy steals several cars from the docks and fences them to George “Double G” Glekas. When Glekas double-crosses Ziggy by halving his original cut Ziggy flies into a rage and murders Glekas. He breaks down emotionally right outside the warehouse and is arrested. Nick is the first to learn of his cousin’s arrest and after facing the wrath of his uncle, drowns his sorrows in a local park. The detail uses satellite technology to its advantage but meets a setback as Valchek turns over control of the investigation to the FBI. Bodie is pleased with the new supply of drugs, but unhappy that Proposition Joe’s nephew Cheese is on his turf. Cheese is wounded by Brother Mouzone, further complicating relations between Stringer and Proposition Joe.

New Characters:

Lamar, Brother Mouzone’s assistant (played by D’Andre McCullough, as profiled in The Corner)
Prissy, Nick & Ziggy’s friend

Deceased:

George Glekas

Episode #24: “Bad Dreams”

“I need to get clean.” – Sobotka
Stringer manipulates Omar into pursuing Brother Mouzone. Omar shoots Mouzone and then leaves him alive having realized his mistake. The detail serves warrants on the targets of their investigation. A raid of Nick’s home turns up large amounts of cash and heroin but Nick himself escapes arrest. Frank Sobotka is arrested when the FBI storms the union offices. Valchek ensures the press is there to see Sobotka embarrassed in a perp walk. Sobotka agrees to work with the investigation into the Greeks in exchange for leniency for Nick and Ziggy. In the wake of the arrests The Greeks decide to cut their losses and leave Baltimore. A report detailing Sobotka’s plan is passed to Vondas from a contact in the FBI. Vondas lures Sobotka into danger by offering him a meeting with The Greek and a promise to help Nick and Ziggy.

6 Responses to “Episodes 23 and 24: “Storm Warnings” and “Bad Dreams””

  1. Jake Moritz says:

    Episodes 23 and 24 reveal and emphasize one of the several decisive shifts between Seasons 1 and 2 of The Wire. In Season 1, the efforts of the police and the detail were often suppressed by the chain of command and the career and political motivations of certain individuals. While ultimately the case was never bought to trial in its full form, at least McNulty, Daniels, and the others could identify people who had suppressed their work and viewers could identify a sick and depressing status quo that justified stopping the case.
    Conversely in Season 2, viewers see the string of bad luck that continually breaks the wrk of the officers in the detail. Starting with Frank getting suspicious about his phone, continuing with the dirty FBI agent tipping off the Greeks and ending in these episodes with the cops missing the drugs and evidence int he store and Frank leaving the police before giving his testimony, time and again the police miss chances while the viewers can only watch, frustrated.
    While Season 1 shows the damage a broken police system can inflict, Season 2 reveals how bad timing and bad luck also play significant roles in limiting police and judicial success.

    Reply

    Matt Hedgpeth Reply:

    This element of frustration is something I was also thinking about a lot while watching these past couple of episodes. One of the hardest parts of seeing both sides of the crime world is seeing “bad” people get away with their schemes. On the same note, I think it helps to make the show as great as it is: just as we get attached to the law characters through sound development, we get attached to their struggles and goals as well. A missed opportunity for them is hard to sit through, only because we know how hard they are working within the confines of Pearlman’s given judicial powers, and the cunning adaptability of the criminals.

    But it is not just bad timing/ luck to which these failures can be attributed, such as in the examples Jake mentioned above (one of the roughest of these moments for me was when the Greek walked right by Kima’s car). There are still some of the “fucked-up department” fumbles like those found in the first season. Between Landsman’s failure to identify and connect Ziggy Sobotka to the detail, and Herc and Carver’s arguing over McDonald’s french fries while Spiros exits and leaves the diner post unnoticed, the show makes clear that both good and bad police can make some pretty hair-pulling blunders that leave us, the viewers, utterly helpless and anxious as a result.

    Reply

  2. Sofia Zinger says:

    We have discussed the idea of the tragic character in previous classes, mostly talking about D’Angelo. I know that he doesn’t die, but I consider Ziggy to be equally, if not more tragic. Despite all of the stupid stuff that he does, he continues to be just a lost soul in my eyes. He even brings out a sense of pity from Landsman, who is usually not a very sympathizing character.
    In these past two episodes, the character that has intrigued me the most is Brother Mouzone. At the end of episode 24, his strange connection with Omar got me thinking. Has Omar found a new counterpart in Mouzone? They are both people who harm others with “class”. Besides seeming a bit pretentious, I have actually come to like Mouzone. He is a new character, and who knows what’s going to come in the future, but as of right now he seems to be someone who’s just doing his job.

    Reply

    Emily McCabe Reply:

    Ziggy continued to irritate me right up to the bitter end, but in these episodes the viewer gets a clear picture of why he is the way he is. When he tells his father that “he got tired of being the punch line of every joke” and Frank sits there speechless and helpless as his son walks away from him in the jail the view gets a final picture of their father son relationship. Ziggy’s need to prove himself and live up to the reputation his father has built for the family among the stevedores proves too much for him. Each time he gets picked on or acts out foolishly he hopes for a reaction from his father that Frank is often too busy to give. Frank expects Nick to look out for him saying “youre supposed to know your his cousin” Nick replies with disbelief “youre his father”. The show relies on Nicks memories of Ziggy (as a fuck up, always screaming, always making noise) rather than Franks because of this distance between father and son. Both Nick and Frank would like nothing more than to protect Ziggy from himself, but by introducing him to a world of moral ambiguity, not enforcing strict boundaries, and failing to push him to play to his strengths and strive for something more he makes illogical and poor decisions that make him as Sofia implies a tragic and pathetic figure.

    Reply

  3. Baird Kellogg says:

    These were two fantastic episodes. Now it seems to be non-stop action where I can understand just about everything happening unlike the slow yet confusing start to the season. I wanted to point out two related aspects I really liked about Episode 23.

    First is the Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale relationship. They hold completely opposite views in what to do about their inferior product. Stringer brings in Prop Joe’s supplies in exchange for three towers, but Avon brings in Brother Mazoune to block Stringer’s move. A conflict is brewing between what seemed to be the tightest of partners. Stringer is definitely bringing his “economics class” business approach to the situation, which to me makes good sense if Prop Joe can be trusted. Avon, however, is bringing the reality of the streets, that territory is the gem. It is hard to see whether Avon knows the game better or if he is just stubbornly unable to relinquish the towers which he fought so hard to keep.

    What comes of Stringer allowing the East Side dealers on the tower, however, is the best part of the episode. Bode, in an effort to win over Bubbles and the other customers, starts lowering prices and making deals since they no longer have the monopoly on the area. The East Side then does the same thing: capitalism and competition at work. I saw this as sort of a symbolization of a McDonalds vs. Burger King competing over burger deals. I think the idea of the American system was very present in this episode, seen as well with Omar’s “I Am the American Dream” T- Shirt. I am not quite sure what the message of all this was, but I really enjoyed seeing the transition from monopoly to oligopoly in the drug world.

    Reply

  4. Tahirah Foy says:

    In Episode 24 Bad Dreams I notice a remarkably well done parallel between the decision that Frank had to make and the decision D’Angelo had to make in the first season. Both characters were presented with a situation where they are forced to remain loyal to their morals and confess everything to the police or remain loyal to their family (for Frank this is his immediate family as well as the dock workers) and make a deal. It is interesting to see that even though Frank represents the head of the family while D’Angelo represents a member of the family they still lacked the agency to truly make their own decisions. Even though Franks fate is still unclear I feel like his death is inevitable like D’Angelo’s was.

    Reply

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