The Wire Season 4 Episode 5: Alliances


The Wire Season 4 Episode 5: Alliances   Simon and company have dealt with racial politics in Baltimore since the beginning but more fully explores its complexity with the show's signature skepticism this season. The principal players in this narrative are the incumbent mayor Clarence Royce (Glynn Turman) and his opponent Tommy Carcetti (Aiden Gillen).  Royce, who is black, is entrenched and connected; Carcetti is white, idealistic and ambitious in equal portions, and the presumptive loser in the mayoral race of a majority black city. Carcetti, somewhat reluctantly, exploits the city's escalating murder rate to argue that a new direction is needed and he's the man to lead B-more into that New Day. The "alliances" referred to in the title of this episode describes those being forged by the respective political camps and those partnerships that are guiding the New Day drug co-op headed by Proposition Joe (a consisently wonderful Robert Chew). The most vicious of the Baltimore drug dealers, Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector), has told the co-op he has no interest in joining the group -- he doesn't need their product nor their protection. Prop Joe approaches young Marlo repeatedly, trying to change his mind or, perhaps to discover chinks in the arrogrant kid's armor. The latter move will most assuredly not end well for the cagiest and most endearing of the show's primary characters.

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