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Episode #54: “Transitions”

“Buyer’s market out there.” – Templeton
Freamon and McNulty draw more attention to their fake serial killer by sensationalizing the murders. McNulty’s compulsive behaviour jeopardizes his relationship with Beadie Russell. Campbell learns of Daniels’ history but convinces Burrell to leave quietly with the promise of a comfortable replacement position. Sergeant Ellis Carver puts his principles first in the Western District and his former partner Herc is shamed by his integrity. Stanfield convinces The Greeks to consider him an insurance policy and continues to assimilate Stewart’s contacts including Maurice Levy. Omar returns to Baltimore and quickly learns that Stanfield was responsible for Butchie’s death. Stewart prepares to leave town fearing reprisal from Omar but is once again betrayed by Cheese and murdered by Partlow as Stanfield watches.

New Character:

Officer Oscar Requer


Hungry Man
Proposition Joe

Episode #55: “React Quotes”

“Just ’cause they’re in the street doesn’t mean that they lack opinions.” – Haynes
Stanfield takes over as The Greeks’ Baltimore distributor and is given a phone and a code to use to contact them. Stanfield gives the number to Levy and Herc steals it and passes it on to the police department. Freamon appeals to Daniels for a wiretap but is unsuccessful. McNulty leaks further details of his invented serial killer to the press and the story gains momentum. When Templeton stages a phone call from the serial killer McNulty uses it as probable cause for a wiretap. Freamon sets up on Stanfield’s phone while the homicide unit believe they are manning another, disconnected, wiretap of the killers phone. Dukie struggles with bullying and searches for a new path. Bubbles learns that he is HIV negative. State’s Attorney Bond announces the Davis corruption case. Campbell convinces Davis to protect his fellow politicians and he embarks on a publicity campaign suggesting that his race has motivated the charges. Partlow sets up an ambush for Omar which he narrowly escapes by jumping from a balcony.



8 Responses to “Episodes 54 and 55: “Transitions” and “React Quotes””

  1. Edwin says:

    In episode 55, while Mike is teaching Dukie to shoot, a frustrated Dukie says “Can’t shoot, can’t fight, can’t work the corner, I can’t do nothin’.” Mike responds telling Dukie, “You got other skills, you smart like that.”

    Dukie’s comment was really tough to hear. From what Dukie showed last season in the classroom, he is intelligent and has other skills, but from his comment it seems as though he sees the corner and street life as his only option. I find it both frustrating and interesting that Mike of all people tells Dukie that he’s smart and has other options when Mike is also smart and has other options. Although Mike is very good at being a soldier, he has shown multiple times that he can excel in nearly whatever he does (school, boxing, and just plain surviving on his own). So it’s hard for me to understand why he does not choose to take another avenue knowing that he can and would most likely succeed if he tried.


    Alex Oberg Reply:

    I think it comes down to the fact that Michael has found the father he never had in Chris Partlow. Chris has given him the validation and support needed for him to find a direction in life (that other avenues have failed to provide). Michael looked for direction/meaning through the gym, but Cuddy was busy spending time with the other kids and flirting with the visiting mothers. Michael also looked for meaning in school, but Prez seemed to favor Dukie more and did not provide as much attention to the shy Michael. And Michael certainly wasn’t getting the support he needed at home from a drug addict mother and an abusive stepfather.

    On a related note, it was a huge shock for me to see that Chris actually does have a real family. Even a cold-blooded killer like Chris has time and conscience to raise and support a wife and two children. It’ll be interesting to see how complicated Chris gets by the end of the show.


  2. jwmoritz says:

    Burrel’s review of his career while cleaning out and vacating the commissioner’s office was striking for me. I don’t like Burrel, I think that the show is designed for viewer not really to like him, particularly when he is compared to pseudo-heroic characters like Daniels. Despite my dislike of Burrel’s commitment to ‘holding water’ for the mayor’s office and playing politics for his own gain, his short monologue about the crippling effects mayors can have on police ability to operate put many things about him and the larger failings of the Baltimore PD into perspective. Burrel is a tool, any commissioner is a tool, a link in the chain between the street cops and the mayor, and a link that can be severed if there is the need.


    Addison DiSesa Reply:

    I think what you are saying is that we hold people in “The Wire” to incredibly high standards. When they have opportunities to do the so-called right thing rather than the politically wise thing, we, as viewers, want to see the characters do the former. The reason that I believe we dislike Burrell by-and-large is that he generally does the politically wise thing. When compared to some of the more altruistic characters in the show, Burrell seems selfish and arrogant. Standing alone, however, I have to admit that I don’t find Burrell to be nearly as cold-hearted and disingenuous. I think you’re right, Jake. He is a tool and has found his way to a respectable career. We only see him at the end of his 34-year tenure at BPD. How noble Ervin H. Burrell may have been during year one remains a mystery.


  3. Tom Ladeau says:

    Another important scene with Dukie in these episodes is when he visits the gym and talks to Dennis. At one point Dukie asks, “How do you get from here to the rest of the world?” Dennis responds that he wishes he knew and that it all seems to amount to hopes and wishes. Both characters are in the process of searching for a way to escape corner/street life. Cutty has done the best he knows how to do by starting his gym. His comments reveal that he does not know where to go from here, nor is he necessarily to concerned about moving any further. Dukie is trying to find some direction in life, as shown in his ambivalence about being on the corner and being in school.

    It is good to see at least one character taking Dennis’ advice to heart, as it is some of the best most of these kids get. Michael and Spider were both unable to accept him as an authority figure and left the gym. Hopefully this works out well for Dukie and he is able to find some positive direction.


    Emily McCabe Reply:

    As nice of a scene as this was between Dukie and Dennis it only served to raise the audiences hopes and dash them yet again. While it certainly must have been nice for Dukie to talk to a stable adult male figure, the conversation, as Tom alludes to, only serves to make an escape from the street culture seem more distant and improbable. The advice Dennis gives Dukie is almost cruel, he tells him he is fit for something better and because of his own limited experience cant provide any concrete suggestions, leaving Dukie more confused than before. Having all the figures you turn too for help and encouragement tell you that you don’t fit in hardly constitutes constructive advice. More satisfying would be a renewed relationship with Prez or an introduction to the Deacon, a figure who could get Dukie back to school and potentially on into the working world. Dukie is one of my favorite characters this season and last. I love that he has maintained a kindness and compassion that would serve him well anywhere but on the street. However this episode doesnt bode well for his future and leaves us as the audience afraid to hope.


  4. Chris Anderson says:

    Carcetti had better look out for Campbell. Her maneuver with Burrell is incredibly cagey. First she manages to get Daniels effectively promoted, which the administration needed to bolster their crime stats. Then she keeps the file in her back pocket in case Carcetti decides to endorse another mayoral candidate should he be elected governor. It would be catastrophic to his image if he fired an ineffective police commissioner in favor of a dirty one.

    Addison raises a good point about Burrell, but, even though we might sympathize with him, I think the show’s ultimate bent is to portray the job-oriented individuals as right. McNulty, for all his selfish arrogance, may be motivated by nothing more noble than Burrell, but at least he strives to do something about the situation, where Burrell is content with–and even glib about–allowing his department to crumble.


  5. Andrew Ostroff says:

    Carver has really come full circle in considering the opening to “Transitions,” in which Colicchio, simply stated, loses it. His reaction to Kenard’s prank, as well as the subsequent proceedings, is painfully raw. He reminds me of the less experienced versions of Carver, Herc, and Prez from the first season. I particularly think about the scene in which the three detectives drukingly decide to pay a visit to the towers to flex their muscles, only to initiate violence and controversy in the neighborhood.

    Later in this epsiode, Carver decides to write up Colicchio for his actions, who furiously exits, although not before calling his superior a rat. The parallel here between Carver and Randy is obvious, and I think it is a nice connection that reminds us how other stories continue to progress, although we, as the audience, might not be privy to them.


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