‘He (the Mayor) wants us to solve the murders, he just doesn’t want the cost. Don’t look so shocked, you’re running with the big dogs now.’
Police chief Rawls reminds Daniels of political realities after the Mayor tells the press he’s determined to see McNulty’s fictitious serial killer brought to book.
This series of The Wire has been strong on the effects of budget cuts on a city and its institutions – the police, the newspaper, the schools… and last night’s episode, The Dickensian Aspect, followed the same theme.
McNulty continues to distort real police work by continuing his campaign for more funds by inventing a serial killer; the forensics lab has messed up the evidence because it employed a temp who didn’t really know how things worked; and The Baltimore Sun has switched its emphasis from a real story about schools to McNulty’s fictitious serial killer.
Meanwhile, as a backdrop to a city where institutions aren’t working properly, we find Marlo and Omar trying to settle scores with guns.
It’s an episode where you can chew over the politics of a city and how and why things work and don’t work, but it also offers the disturbing, yet entertaining, duel between an ice-cool Marlo and emotional Omar.