The Wire Season 1, Episode 6: The Wire

The Wire Season 1 Episode 6: The Wire. The episode that shared the series' title is exceptional. It opens with the battered and sadistically tortured body of the stick-up boy Brandon laid out on the hood of an abandoned automobile behind project tenements. The camera moves from that horrifying display to the squalid apartment in which the young yard boys Wallace and Pout and a half-dozen school-age children live and are preparing for the day. In a scene of brilliant economy, writer/creator David Simon and episode director Ed Bianchi establish Wallace's gentle spirit and his extraordinary, parental care of the "hoppers" who are also victims of Barksdale's predatory organization. This episode belongs to Wallace, from first to last. It's the expression on his youthful face as he stares at Brandon's discarded body that seals the viewers' emotional investment in this young man and in his fate. In many ways, Wallace becomes emblematic of what's at stake.

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