The Wire Season 2 Episode 4: Hard Cases

The Wire Season 2 Episode 4: Hard Cases. The Wire never wanders too far from the idea that family is the locus of both solace and disaster. The parasitical Barksdale operation is every bit a crime family as anything in the Mafioso, maybe more so. In Season 2, the show's creators extended their examination of cancerous familial ties to include the dysfunction of the Sobotka stevedores -- misguided but well-meaning Frank, his fiercely loyal nephew Nick and Frank's clown prince of a son, the substantially endowed Ziggy. These men are as toxic to one another as the imprisoned Avon Barksdale is to his nephew D'Angelo, who in Season 2 is doing 20 because of Avon's rash decision to have D'Angelo transport a heroin re-up from New York City to Baltimore. At the end of the first season, D'Angelo was ready to turn the entire kit-and-caboodle of his murderous kin and their hangers-on over to Baltimore's Finest but was dissuaded by his mother Brianna, a fascinating combination of Medea and Calpurnia, who urged him to think of his son, his baby's Mama, and the cousins. It worked. D'Angelo took the 20 but then in Season 2 tells Brianna, Avon and the rest to leave him be. But, tragically, he cannot escape the reach of the family's most treacherous member, Stringer Bell.

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