Tuesday, 7 March 2017

The Wire, Season 2 (2003)

Thirteen women are found suffocated to death in a shipping container after their air pipe was damaged.  Another woman is found bashed and floating in the harbour.  Meanwhile an argument - over of all things, a stained glass window - puts a senior police officer on a vendetta against the local stevedores' union.

How all these events tie together, and where else the connections might spread, is the central framework of The Wire's sophomore effort.  And while this season isn't quite as good as the first, that's a high bar indeed: one not many programs attain.  This season is still a fine show, and effective TV drama.

One reason I don't think this quite reaches the same heights as the first season is that it has a rather longer, slower burn to it.  The police characters are scattered when the season starts and it takes quite a long time for them to reassemble.  This means that for quite some time they each have their own plot threads going on.  Meanwhile, the show has to introduce and track a new group of crooks, at the same time also keeping the Barksdale crew from season one in the mix, because you can be sure that business isn't entirely over.

Which brings me to the plus side for season two, it's clear that they knew they were getting at least a third series when they made this: the conclusion of this arc very neatly dovetails into a new storyline that will clearly drive the third season.  I, for one, am eager to see it!

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