Archive for the Season’s Finale Category

Seasons Finale

Posted in Season's Finale on March 10, 2008 by sourcingit

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Havrilesky:“It does have a certain charm to it. They manufactured an issue to get paid. We manufactured an issue to get you elected governor. Everybody’s gettin’ what they need behind some make-believe.” — Norman Wilson

And so one elaborate game of make-believe ends, and another one begins. In that first scene of the finale, when Carcetti and Daniels and Rawls and Pearlman are all speechless, cringing and staring at their feet, and then Wilson cracks up? That’s when we know that this last chapter may have a lighter ending than we expected. In fact, after a brutal season where it looked like everyone would be going straight to hell, our favorites have been largely spared: McNulty and Freamon retire and forgive Greggs, McNulty looks ready to be a good husband and an upstanding citizen again, now that he’s no longer haunted by his work (I guess I was wrong about police work being his reason to live!), Carcetti is elected governor with that sleazy Rawls as his State Police Superintendent, Daniels leaves the force and becomes a lawyer again, Pearlman becomes a judge, Bubbles gets a job, stays clean, and joins his sister at the dinner table, and Donald gets a ride home to Baltimore with McNulty. Cut to the Baltimore skyline, and that smooth first-season theme song.

It’s true that the kids on the street are facing a less promising fate, but hey, this is no Disney movie: Dukie is the new Bubbles, shooting up junk and hitting up a disappointed Prez for cash, and Michael is the new Omar, sticking up Vincent and his two men. But weren’t you afraid that was Dukie, sprawled out dead on the pavement in that quick scene where Greggs and Bunk are back on the job? And isn’t it a little tough to feel all that sad for Michael, since he could’ve just as easily ended up killed by Snoop or stuck working for Marlo indefinitely? Because we love Omar, we’re privately thrilled to see Michael try to fill his shoes.

While there’s something to be said for the freeze-frame ending of “The Sopranos,” I love that David Simon and Ed Burns and the other writers delivered a truly satisfying, clear-cut finale. Even with Marlo out of jail, Levy continuing his evil deeds, Templeton winning prizes and Rawls riding Carcetti’s bullshit train to the statehouse, anything less would feel like a lie. At least we got to see Cheese hit the ground, with even less fanfare than Omar.

I’m really going to miss this world and the unnervingly authentic characters who lived in it, from the most malevolent to the most kind-hearted. I’ll miss greedy Stringer Bell and idealistic Bunny Colvin and earnest Bubs and world weary McNulty and courageous Omar. I feel lucky to have spent time in David Simon’s Baltimore. We’ll all feel even luckier if one day we stumble on another show with half of the intelligence, integrity, and soul of “The Wire.”