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The Wire Season 04: Saying things without speaking – mini analysis

What’s up everyone , these days i’m deep into the TV show The Wire which is fast becoming my favorite TV show of all time! Now i have only finished about 4.5 out of the 5 full seasons but i’m loving it to the bone already. 

This post however  , is not a rant about the entire show . Heck i could write a book about the whole damn show , i love it that much. This is not even a character analysis because heck i can do an essay each on most of the characters , they are that detailed. This article , is merely a small analysis your boi gaba conducted on some episodes in season 4 which i thought of sharing with you guys. So that means , from here on wards …



OK i warned you mofos , so let’s get to it ..

The Wire Season 4

To begin my small analysis i`ll give you a small background about The Wire season 4. Each season of The Wire focuses on various areas of city life in the urban jungle of Baltimore. In season 4 , we are introduced to a group of school children who are the center piece around which the story unfolds. This group of boys i’m talking about are the ones in the picture above. From left to right : Namond , Michael , Randy and Dukie. All four are buddies who are in the same clique. ( There is another adorable kid called Donut but he is not in this picture and is somewhat a side character ).

So these four boys are each very different in character and my favorite of them all ( least at this moment ) , is Michael. On whom my little analysis will be built around.

Now like i said earlier , i am NOT going to do any in depth character analysis here because character build ups in The Wire is so deep , so deep and layered that it would take a long ass essay just to analyze each character. So i will only tell you guys the points that are relevant to my analysis.


Image result for michael the wire

Michael , is a kid who is more complex than the rest of the kids in his group. He is:

  • Responsible : taking full responsibility of his step brother bug , acting as the man of the house because his mother is a crack addict 
  • Strong , both psychically and mentally : coach Cutty saying that he has a natural ability to fight , remaining cool through all mayhem in his life
  • Smart ,  both book and street : Finishing all his math home work alone and tutoring his brother , not panicking when drug fiends tried to pressurize him 

And unlike his friends he is not naive and has clearly matured waaay past his age. Because of all these strong characteristics both street hustler bodie and Kingpin Marlo ( through his right hand man Chris ) try to recruit him to their gangs. But Michael being the man he is , shows us that he is a man of principal by simply working for bodie until his debt is payed off and rejecting the Marlo gang offer two or three times. Which assures everyone that Michael despite being a kid is not to be fucked with.

So , there is a load of good things about Michael right ? Looks like he is one hell of a strong , junk free character right ? Well , NO.

You see i once heard this saying while watching a video essay on a movie , i can’t remember where exactly. But it said A movie is about two things , what the director tells you on screen and what he does not tell

In short , sometimes the creators of a movie will leave little seeds of doubt on screen , which if we pick up , can lead to numerous conclusions and imaginations of our own.

There are such seeds in Michael’s character too , various strange behaviors that he exhibits which make us think that there is something else going on here. Something that is not shown on screen about Michael.

Let me break down those suspicious clues one by one.

  • Michael and his friends all visit Cutty’s boxing gym often. Cutty is an ex-con who has now turned around and is trying to serve his community as a boxing coach ( and my favorite character from Season 3 probably ). It is evident from the beginning though , that Michael does NOT like to be touched by Cutty. He even turns down the offer Cutty made to train him personally after Cutty spotted how gifted he is.

  • Suspicions about these strange behaviors by Michael grow , when he gets out of a car ( almost slightly scared ) when he and Cutty are alone in Cutty’s car and Cutty offers him a ride home after taking the boys to a boxing game.

OK by now , unless you are a real “tube light” , you would have figured out that Michael has some sort of a) homophobia OR , b) he has been sexually harassed earlier on as a kid right ?, either of the two..
  • Before long , we get a clue about what really must have happened to Michael. Michael’s step father comes home from prison ( i think ) . And from the moment he walks in to Michael’s home , we see an immediate change of the vibe around Michael. He seems to be upset all the time ever since step father came home and in my opinion , the below scene really puts the seal on what must have happened to Michael. Step dad tries to threateningly mop his hair to which Michael reacts with fear + disgust.

  • A few days after the above incident the Director lays it down clearly for you slow mofos ( 😛 ) where Michael in conversation about his troubles with his besties , directly voices his concern about Cutty being gay.

You said it boi

So by now we can be quite certain that something dark and bad went down between Michael and his step father and that in turn , is the cause of his strange behavior towards father figures. Even though Cutty was purely leaning on to him out of fatherly / elder brotherly love , Michael’s past trauma is clearly making him act repulsively towards that love. Understandably so.

So , so far dear Watson , the creators of the show have told us this story without even saying it directly. The dark past of Michael. 

But , It gets better ! Oh yes..

Enter Chris !!

Image result for chris the wire

Chris is the exact opposite human being that Michael is. He is stone cold , brutal , doesn’t seem to have much principal or morality about him and is the right hand man of young drug Kingpin Marlo. Ever since we are introduced to Chris in the show , his character is played in a very stone cold manner. Even when he is being violent , he remains so cold and emotionless. As if he is a rock ! 

But we see a change in this behavior , when Michael , having nowhere else to go comes to Chris and tells him about his step father. Let’s watch the seen first and then we will analyze it.

Now this is one of my favorite scenes from The Wire. Please note that in no where , no where in the scene does Michael indicate what his step father did to him ! No clue at all.. Heck even Snoop ( the other person here) is confused why Michael is ordering a hit on his step father.

The conversation goes like this..

Michael : “I just want him away from me and bug”

Snoop ( confused as hell ) : “The fuck he do to you??”

And then my lovely ladies and gentlemen , right at this moment , Chris gives Michael which for me is one of the most powerful moments of season 4. A stare which tells you a thousand stories.

Now you have to watch all the seasons up to season 4 to fully feel this feeling that i’m talking about. Because like i said , from the beginning the character of Chris is portrayed as that of a stone cold killer. A character that you would hate all the way. But when Michael orders the hit on his step father here , in this moment , even without Michael saying anything about the troubles he went through , you can just see it in Chris’s eyes… All that ruthlessness and barbaric nature of Chris went away , just for once.. and his face and eyes resonated with Michael’s feelings… As if his eyes are saying “i feel you bro” , towards Michael with sympathy..

And because of that , despite how much i hate Chris , i even fell sorry for him for a minute when watching this scene :(. Everyone is human after all… Remember that Satan is also a fallen angel.

Ok before i get all emotional here… , he sums it up with this beautiful piece of dialog. 

 We’ll take care of it , boss

That’s the only time i probably heard Chris displaying that much of feelings , towards anything. And this is exactly why i love The Wire , because no character is flat and one-dimensional. Even the worst characters have something lovable about them.

Just to finish our analysis off , after the iconic scene above Chris proceeds to murder Michael’s step dad. This scene without further footnotes or annexes proves that Chris clearly has pain in his heart. You can just watch the scene for yourself and see what i mean , no commentary required here.

Like i said earlier Chris is someone who shows very little emotion even when he is angry or violent. But here you can see him sort of taking out his pain , his vengeance and hatred all out on Michael’s step father. As if he is avenging what happened to himself. Brutal but sad scene…

Our analysis that started with Michael has now ended with Chris. Two very different men living in two different branches of life spanning from the same seed. Which shows that sometimes in life even the most contrasting things can be summed up to similar roots and this is why my dear readers , i totally recommend and heart The Wire as a great show! It really covers a broad spectrum when it comes to shades of life.. 

So on that note,  this concludes my long ass essay and analysis on the wire oh and just to let you know , none of this is googled but only things that i thought of my self but guess what ? After doing my own analysis and sketching this article i did some googling and found out that David Simon , the creator of the wire has mentioned that Chris has been molested as a child in his director’s commentary. So high five to myself for figuring this out all by myself , Dora the explorer style 😀 ( I know , it’s no Einstein shit but hey come on boomer , cut this millennial limited attention span retard some slack will you 🙂 ). Until next time , keep it real fruit cordial ! 

gabz out !

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