(THIS POST CONTAINS SOME MINOR SPOILERS ABOUT THE WIRE SEASON 5)
I'm almost willing to take back some of my earlier criticism of this season of The Wire. The last two episodes were as good, maybe better, as anything that came before it. I still have some questions about the McNulty storyline, which didn't quite hang together, but in light of the final scene I'm willing to forgive a certain gaping plot hole, which seems to have escaped the writers. I'm willing to believe they overlooked it on purpose for dramatic effect, and that's okay with me because it worked.
Overall, though, I was surprised it ended on such an optimistic note. For the most part the good guys came out unscathed. They didn't exactly win, but this ending was as close to a triumph as The Wire could ever get. Simon and company actually hold out the possibility of redemption for just about everyone, even the dope dealers. The final scene with Cheese serves as a repudiation of the ruthlessness and raw ambition of Marlo and his crew.The values of Prop Joe, imperfect though they were, aren't forgotten. Marlo walks, true, but he can't walk away and save himself. Even Dukie's undeserved descent is balanced out by Bubbles' trip up the stairs to his sister's dining room. And Michael found his place.
Lester and McNulty both made it out the other side, even after the rules they broke. I was surprised they got off so easy and ended up happy. Before the finale I was certain McNulty would end up putting a gun in his mouth. I was relieved when he ended up making peace with himself and with his girlfriend, even if it seems a little too convenient. I believed it. I believed it all.
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