March 10, 2008
Seconds after the credits started rolling on The Wire's finale, diehard fans began offering pointed opinions of the episode and the show's five-season history.
Reactions to the mostly anticlimactic endings for the show's many intertwining story lines ranged from contentment to anger.
Jon Dubay, a 23-year-old who lives in Hampden, felt satisfied with the business as usual but realistic conclusion.
"It was a pretty fitting ending," said Dubay, who installs home theaters. "All these competing elements were so tied to each other it prevented anything from being done."
Dubay and a couple of his friends sipped Natty Boh and black cherry soda in a Hampden rowhouse while watching the finale play out on a flat screen TV. They groaned, burst out laughing and gasped "Oh my God!" over the course of the roughly 90-minute episode.
In Federal Hill, 28-year-old Christopher Evan Siple was pleasantly surprised when Melvin "Cheese" Wagstaff took a bullet to the head.
He was a jerk," he said.
Siple also enjoyed seeing Michael rob the rim shop.
"I didn't really see either of those [moments] coming."
Looking back on the series, Siple shared Dubay's sense of satisfaction.
"I can't remember a single episode of the show that was bad or didn't have depth to it," Siple said. "There was no filler."
But not everyone was happy with the way The Wire wound down.
Beverly Farmer, a 30-year-old who lives in Dundalk, sat in her sister Victoria King's West Baltimore home and screamed when the show ended, she said. She was so angry she wanted to throw a hammer at the television.
"I would really like to take the TV out but that's not going to get me any closer to [series creator] David Simon," she said. "We were hoping for closure."
Farmer thought more characters -- such as journalist Scott Templeton -- should have paid for their wrongdoings.
"Templeton should have been hung by a hook," she said.
Still, Farmer said she'd probably buy the box set because the show helped her understand the reasons why Baltimore has drug and crime problems.
"This show for me was like a guide," she said. "I've always wondered how kingpins got to be kingpins."
Siple felt The Wire's finale gave him a sense of closure that he never got from watching the final episode of The Sopranos.
"It was very satisfying -- especially after the sour taste The Sopranos left in my mouth. It's good to see a series end in a very thorough way."
Craig Davis, a 23-year-old part time music teacher who lives in Hampden, is sad to see The Wire finish its five-year run. But now he will have more room on his Netflix queue -- and fewer excuses not to practice his saxophone.
"It's bittersweet," he said. "Now I'll have to do actual work on my days off."
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