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“The Wire”: Episode 8, “Clarifications”

POSTED BY STUART LEVINE Cynthia’s comments below

Omar dead.

If only Omar had listened to the surgeon general, who told us years ago that smoking kills. Buying a pack of Newports at a Korean convenience store, Omar was gunned down not by Snoop or Chris but by Kenard, the pre-teen kid who would hassle Dukie whenever he walked by.

But that it was Kenard, who actually used to look up to Omar, is almost besides the point. Killing is so random on the blight-infested streets of The Wire that there’s often nary a reason drugslingers — most of which are only in their teens and 20s — often find a bullet in the back of the head. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time, unknowingly pissing off a drug lord and or having your allegiances questioned is all it takes.Omar

Not that Omar was a seller. Maybe at one time, but he’d seen the evils of all that dope on the streets and tried, in his own way, to clean his hood just a little.

Omar’s demise wasn’t all that unexpected. He’d been living dangerously for awhile now, especially since coming back from Puerto Rico after learning Butchie and Prop Joe were offed. And limping around on a bad leg — I still love Marlo’s line, “That’s some Spider-Man shit,” after realizing that Omar jumped out of the fourth- or fifth-story window — made him an easier target.

Kudos to Michael K. Williams, who had a throwaway minimal role in the third episode of season one and turned Omar into a fan favorite. As it turned out, his death wasn’t even worth a mention in the Sun, but how do you compress his tumultuous life into a couple of graphs anyway?

Other observations while wondering if Bubbles prefers to go by Reggie:

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