Daily Archives: February 19, 2008

Weekly Wire grumblings

“We don’t have to keep watching this …”

I believe my fiancee said this three times (though it might have only been twice) during this week’s episode of The Wire. It’s getting hard for me to stop pausing/snorting in frustration, I guess.

The most annoying thing about the episode was the Clay Davis courtroom scene. First of all, it sure seemed like they were in and out of a major political corruption trial in a single day. This wasn’t even narrative compression, as far as I could tell. Davis arrived on the courthouse steps in the morning, and stood on the same steps that afternoon as an exonerated man.

Secondly, what kind of prosecutor — a state’s attorney, no less! — puts a major political figure on trial for corruption without concrete evidence that he used his position to take bribes that enriched him personally? That is, when Davis gives his big speech about how sure he takes kickbacks, but he gives it all back to the poor folks in his district so they can buy winter coats and food, why doesn’t Bond come back at him with receipts for Davis’ BMW purchase, the deed for his Eastern Shore estate, or whatever other extravagances to which Davis surely has helped himself?

Bond seemed to build his case around donations going into Davis’ charities, followed by the exact same amounts showing up in Davis’ bank account. So when Davis says “But I gave it all away to my needy constituents by the time I walked down the street,” you’d think a good prosecutor would have solid evidence to be able to say, “No, you didn’t — you bought a $5,000 umbrella stand and a private jet” or what have you. Or at least to say, “Nice act turning out your pockets, Senator, but how does that explain the $2 million you still have in your bank account?” Maybe Davis would have won the jury over anyway. But as it is, it just seems like the state’s attorney is a moron.

Now, if this were a normal (i.e. good) Wire season, I would chalk that up to David Simon showing that Bond is paying the price for arguing the case himself as a potential launching pad to the mayor’s office, rather than taking it to the feds like Freamon wanted. But Bond is too smart to present a bad case like this. And since this is the season where everything is a joke, it’s probably just another bad piece of writing.