The Wire Season 1 Episode 9: Game Day

The Wire Season 1 Episode 9: Game Day. The creators of The Wire clearly loved this show and all of its people, but they appeared to love some characters more than others because of the generosity they showed to them. Proposition Joe Stewart, the portly and predatory kingpin on Baltimore's Eastside, is given many singularly hilarious (and chilling) moments and lines during the series' run. The character is introduced in this episode, Game Day, as Avon Barksdale's competition. A sparkling metaphor for The Game of the drug trade, the basketball match up is rigged, of course, because neither man wants to play fair, only to win. When Joe takes the game, and $100,000, of Avon's money with a ringer, he's signalling to viewers that he's a force to be reckoned with. His appearances, which are often brief but terrific, are to be savored and studied.

Favorite Prop Joe line? Joe to stick-up boy Omar Little: "You ever steal from me, I'll kill your whole family." Joe to Nicky Sobotka (Season Two) after agreeing to repay Nicky for Joe's nephew's dirty dealings: "Fool, if it wasn't for Sergei here, you and your cousin would be some cadaverous motherfuckers." Genius.

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