The news hole

Now it starts. Episode 3 of Season 5 started to simmer – and not just because we finally got Omar back. I pity anyone who started to watch The Wire three weeks ago, bludgeoned into submission by the media hype. Nick James in his editorial in the new Sight & Sound calls it the “weakest” opening to any of the five series (he’s making a wider point about the spinelessness of British broadcasters, not having a go at The Wire), and I’d agree that it was the quietest opening, but that doesn’t make it weak. Ep 3 made sense of the slow start; all the threads thus far laid down started to intertwine. We have lift-off. McNulty’s seemingly harebrained scheme to cook up a serial killer now becomes a matter of honour, backed by Freemon. They all want Marlo, but need back-up. Marlo, meanwhile, is earning so much money he needs it laundering figuratively and literally. (For me, great to see Method Man again as Prop Joe’s slippery nephew Cheese – once again a minor player, but the link between Marlo and the exiled Omar, leading to a truly unpleasant scene with Butchie. I loved Prop Joe’s despair at “civilising” Marlo, sending him to the Caribbean so he could actually see the money Joe had diverted to an offshore account.) We’re talking about under an hour of drama and yet marvel at the amount of plates now spinning: “buyouts” at the Sun, little Michael taking his eye off the ball (or his corner), the Grand Jury investigation into Clay Davis, McNulty’s last stand with the “Ripper”, the bounty on Omar’s head, Daniels’ grooming/Burrell’s downfall, Templeton vs. Twigg (Twigg being David Simon, one must assume?), Bubs’ rehabilitation (not even touched on in Ep 3 – be patient, as always), the Greeks, the Russians … and yet the “news hole” is shrinking.

1 thought on “The news hole

  1. With every season of The Wire I’d get a little distracted in the first couple of episodes, thinking nothing much was happening. By half way through the season I’d be wanting to go back and watch them again. By the fifth season I’d finally learned my lesson and just basked in the relaxed opening.Am currently trying out Breaking Bad, which shows a twisted kind of promise.It’s not The Wire though. I miss The Wire.

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