Spoilers lie ahead.
Season 4 of The Wire is considered one of the greatest seasons of television of all-time. I don’t know if I can get on board with that until I watch it again. It is very good, and this show as a whole has lived up to the hype for me, but I struggle to separate it all that much from season 1 and season 3, which were also just so good.
This season focuses on the schools and the mayoral election, and does an interesting job of keeping a couple of characters from past seasons around, although this is the first time that I felt like it was a little forced. The police work really takes a back seat and we see a lot less of McNulty and company.
Everyone is back for the most part and Aiden Gillen (a.k.a. Little Finger from Game of Thrones) really shines this season. Michael K. Williams as Omar is his same spectacular self and has probably already earned his place for me as the one of the best TV characters of all-time. The kids introduced this season are very good and I found myself rooting hard for them as the season wore on. Cutty is back, and although I didn’t enjoy him much in season 3, he was much better in season 4.
As I already stated, the cops really took a back seat in this season as things focused on the school, politics and the rise of Marlo Stanfield. Wendell Pierce was great as bunk, but I got tired of Herc’s nonsense as time wore on. I find it very interesting that after seeing Rawls in that gay bar a while back that hasn’t come into play at all.
Omar’s story continued to be my favorite. I loved watching him methodically make each and every move, and the scenes after he get’s arrested are wonderful. Chris and Snoop always got my attention as well since them being around usually indicated that someone was going die. Bubbles has an interesting season as well, and has easily become the most sympathetic character on this show despite being a junkie. I can’t see his story ending in a meaningful way, but it would be nice for him to have some closure at some point.
As I said, I got tired of the Herc stories after a while, and some of the later season political stories dragged a bit. What probably speaks so highly of this season is the fact that outside of that there wasn’t a lot of a down story lines this season.
All of my previous praises of the season continue. The show is very well paced and big jaw dropping moments don’t happen completely out of nowhere, something that a lot of other shows tend to do. Although there were a couple of really great jaw dropping moments, especially late in the season, that just took things to another level. Much like The Sopranos, and even Mad Men to a certain extent, I am betting that upon re-watching the show there will be a lot more appreciation for things, and references and little info drops that are just to hard to pickup on a first watch through.
Overall I continue to completely enjoy this show and can’t wait to see how it all ends.