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Omar reaches a stalemate on ‘The Wire’

Tae Andrews | Monday, February 4, 2008

Disclaimer: There are two types of people: people who watch “The Wire” and people who don’t. If you are one of the latter, feel free to continue living in ignorance of the best show on television. However, if you are one of the former and haven’t yet seen Sunday night’s episode of Season 5, this column contains plot details that may ruin your viewing experience. Continue reading at your own risk.

Fans of HBO’s “The Wire” breathed a collective sigh of relief Sunday night as fan favorite Omar Little (Michael K. Williams) escaped certain death. Or did he?In his ongoing blood feud with Baltimore drug czar Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector), Omar and an associate launched an assault on some of Stanfield’s men, who had holed themselves up in an apartment. Normally, the ever-vigilant Mr. Little has a leg up on the competition with his patience and seasoned eye, but on this particular evening, Marlo’s muscle, Michael (Tristan Wilds), Chris (Gbenga Akinnagbe) and Snoop (Felicia Pearson) flipped the script on him with an ambush.

Things looked bleak for the trench coat street soldier when the trigger-happy trio had him pinned down behind a sofa beneath a hail of bullets. Staying alive appeared to be a tall order even for the survival-of-the-fittest Omar. In an act of desperation, he narrowly avoided taking a lead shower by smashing through a glass door and making a swan dive off a balcony several stories off the ground.

When Michael, Chris and Snoop peered out over the ledge, Omar had vanished like a ghost into the night. Over the course of the show’s five seasons, Omar has built a reputation for himself throughout the course as the biggest, baddest cat on the street, but has he finally met his match?

In Chris and Snoop (and now their protégé Michael), Marlo has a triumvirate of merciless murderers. For Omar to get at Marlo, he’ll have to take care of his enforcers first, and going three-on-one appears to be overwhelming odds even for Omar.

In his resolutions of earlier plot arcs in seasons past, “The Wire” creator David Simon has proven that he’s not one for happy endings, instead opting for realistic conclusions to conflicts on the show. He has also shown no hesitation in killing off show regular characters and fan favorites. As such, in Omar’s case it’s uncertain if he’ll give the fans what they want and if Omar will get his revenge. However, one thing is certain: the man, the myth and the legend that is Omar Little lives to fight another week.

Contact Tae Andrews at tandrew1@nd.edu.