The Wire Season 2 Episode 5: Undertow

The Wire Season 2 Episode 5: Undertow. The fine character actor Chris Bauer plays union boss Frank Sobotka, a role that Bauer, who works a lot, has described as one of the greatest characters he's ever played. Most viewers of the second season would agree that Sobotka is a character of nearly Shakespearean complexity. A truly tragic figure, not brought low by hubris, arrogance or greed but by the cosmos or the Fates. Sobotka is a kind and caring, though misguided man, who, not unlike Michael Corleone in Godfather 3, tries to rise above the crime and corruption of the Greek's drug and prostitution trade but is pulled back down, the undertow of this episode's title. And as befits classic tragic figures, Sobotka, a truly good bad man, pays dearly for his actions.

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