The Wire Season 3 Episode 3: Dead Soldiers

The Wire Season 3 Episode 2: All Due Respect More than any of the other law enforcement characters in The Wire, Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin epitomizes Simon and company's conflicting views of the general ineffectiveness of modern day policing and the general decency of police officers. Colvin is in charge of a district that is swirling down the toilet with heroin being sold openly and law abiding citizens barricading themselves in their homes while warring gangs pull their children into their criminal operations to replace those killed defending their turf. This is not the community Colvin remembers as a boy or even as an officer on foot patrol back in the day. He's despairing and counting the days until he can retire. But pressure from City Hall to clean the street of dealers and druggies and lower the murder rate leads Colvin to philosophize about the nature of the crime they're asked to police and prevent. Running low-level drug dealers off the street is not an efficient use of police time, he reasons, but he knows his elected bosses won't understand. Toward the end of this episode, Colvin gives a speech to the officers in his district in which he describes the corner as the poor man's lounge, a place where he could go and drink a beer as long as it was in a paper bag and the police would look the other way. It's a resonant moment that is just the opening salvo of one of the most intriguing narrative threads the writers of The Wire will concoct over the five seasons: Hamsterdam.

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