The Wire

Season 3 Episode 9

Slapstick

3
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Nov 21, 2004 on HBO
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
162 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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"...while you're waiting for moments that never come." - Freamon

Responding to a call for an officer's call for help, McNulty and Prez turn up the wrong alley, with unanticipated results. Under orders, a Barksdale crew violates the long-standing, but unspoken, Sunday truce with gunplay, increasing discontent among the New Day Co-op members. Stymied by the bureaucracy in his effort to open a gym, Cutty is surprised to find help from within Baltimore's power structure. Omar decides to go it alone against Avon and Stringer Bell, who are pressed by Brianna for some answers. Bubbles is wired up and sent into Amsterdam to help make the case against the Barksdale organization, while Pearlman and Daniels confront a cell phone company over its foot-dragging on wiretap orders. Proposition Joe goes to Vinson in an effort to broker peace between Marlo and Avon, while a murder in Amsterdam presents new challenges and further divides the Western District troops and their allegiance to Colvin. Councilman Gray tells Carcetti he's running for mayor and offers him the council president's slot on his ticket.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • And then some

    10
    Again, this episode showed with enormous power how good, how particularly perfect "The Wire" is. It offers more than any other show ever did or does on television. It's as simple as that.



    This episode was the best yet of this season, a 60-minute collection of 60 perfect minutes, not a dull moment, but only brilliantly written scenes, wonderfully acted and directed. Everything, simply everything, was good; good in its purest form; good as good can be.



    Lester's speech to McNulty in which he not only takes all the glory of policework, but also sees right through McNulty and uncovers some truths about his characters that neither the audience nor McNulty himself had even realized and which where yet strikingly accurate.



    Dennis desperate march through the authorities and his luck to get in touch with powerful people who use and help him at the same time. The stretch that plotline makes, from a felon and hitman to a (probably) respected local inspiration is wonderful.



    Colvin's struggle in satisfying the reverend and in the end his own self-assurance is titilating to watch. He knows that he can't get through with his plan and as he loses his strings on the free zone, everything seems to be falling apart.



    The assault on Omar and what will probably be the aftermath just shows another layer, not only of his character, but of all the rules of the game in the streets. As Avon explains to Stringer how important the "Sunday Morning Rule" is, we realize again how serious they take the 'game', how it is much more than just some crooks making quick money, how much honor and pride rules those affairs.



    Pres' fall is one of the most tragic events I have ever seen, even more so because the setup was so perfectly laid out and presented. His accidental shooting wasn't shown but the way the discovery was handled said everything about how accidents really happen and how people get killed. Not necessarily because of incompetence but mostly because of simple bad luck. Everything about this event, the Chinese food prologue, the chase itself, the talk in the homicide department and the final shot of Pres and his work, was so uniquely done that there is even the possibility of achieving such brilliance in any other show.



    And finally, there was the combination of the episode's pre-title sequence and the final scenes with McNulty and Teresa, which, with pure genius, linked the way McNulty switches TV channels with the incompatibility of those two having a real relationship, even adding a political and factual dimension to the whole plot. Can you remember a show (or even a movie for that matter) where people talk about the Bush and Kerry election, really talk, not mock or defend or paraphrase, but just talk about it, like, well, real people?



    I can do nothing else but be thankful that "The Wire" exists and is allowing me to watch something that surpasses anything available on television or any other medium, considering the scale and infallibility of its (up to now) three seasons. Thank you!moreless
  • I can't really add anything to the excellent review below mine- read that one first; all I can say is amen, amen, amen!

    9.6
    Just when you think this series can't get any better- Bam! This installment had it all- action, pathos, dense plotting, spot-on acting, intricate interplay among the crack ensemble cast, and surprises galore. One of the things I love about The Wire is its ability to shake up the formulaic world of episodic television and truly shock you week after week with the totally unexpected. I also love the realism- the whole Prez storyline echoed the randomness of real life- one minute you're going out to pick up Chinese; the next minute, your life has changed forever. It's a shame- I was really beginning to like Prez. I also like the fact that Cutty, er, Dennis is finally having some luck in the legit world. And I hope McNulty's budding romance works out- although that's a long shot, given his history.moreless
Wendell Pierce

Wendell Pierce

Bunk Moreland

Wood Harris

Wood Harris

Avon Barksdale

John Doman

John Doman

Bill Rawls

Robert Wisdom

Robert Wisdom

Bunny Colvin (Episodes 26-, recurring previously)

Lance Reddick

Lance Reddick

Cedric Daniels

Deirdre Lovejoy

Deirdre Lovejoy

Ronnie Pearlman

Sho Brown

Sho Brown

Philboy

Guest Star

Ryan Sands

Ryan Sands

 

Guest Star

Brandan T. Tate

Brandan T. Tate

 

Guest Star

Isiah Whitlock Jr.

Isiah Whitlock Jr.

Clay Davis

Recurring Role

Chad L. Coleman

Chad L. Coleman

Cutty Wise

Recurring Role

Michael Hyatt

Michael Hyatt

Brianna Barksdale

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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