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James "Jimmy" McNulty: What the Fuck Did I Do?


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#1

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 6:14 AM

He may or may not have left behind his hard-drinking, skirt-chasing ways, but no one ever accused McNutty of slouching where the casework is concerned. He may sometimes give a fuck when it ain't his turn, but if he's not going to, almost no one else in the Baltimore PD ever will.

#2

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 6:57 AM

Is McNutty going to return to a more prominent role in S5, per S3? Or will it be more like S4?

Also, I gotta say the best McNulty scene when he takes the second pass on that turn in his car.

Thank you JesseSP!

Edited by plunker, Apr 6, 2007 @ 8:53 AM.


#3

JesseSP

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 8:27 AM

From the blog of David Mills, writer on the upcoming season:

McNulty (Dominic West) is back in a big way for Season 5. They didn't know whether they'd have Dominic at all for Season 4... because of his movie career.

But yeah, the final story is built around him.



#4

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 11:13 AM

It's sad but I really hope at some point McNulty gets drunk in S5. I don't care if Jimmy's supposed to be happy or if Dominic West is happy in real life because he has a six month old daughter, make me happy and let McNulty be his old self for a least one episode. =)

#5

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 6:07 PM

Oh, I was hoping that would be the thread title. :D

But yeah, the final story is built around him.

Yay! Although the show has proven it can be brilliant without him, I'm totally looking forward to seeing him again.

#6

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 6:14 PM

Oh, I was hoping that would be the thread title. :D

If it hadn't been, I'd be demanding a re-name. Seriously, what else could it be named? LOL

#7

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 7:10 PM

Awwww, hell yes. I laughed when I saw the thread's title. Seriously, what else could it be?

I hate to admit, but I want to see the old McNutty in Seaon 5 too, but I hate the thought of him hurting Bea. Oh the tension.

#8

Flop Eared Mule

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Posted Apr 6, 2007 @ 10:45 PM

The Wire Recaps and own forums. So.Happy.

The accent thing is funny because it didn't bother me -- I'm Australian sure but probably hear more American accents than Aussie with all the TV I watch ;-) OTOH, I couldn't watch more than one episode of House because Hugh Laurie's American accent drove me insane. Maybe its because I've seen Laurie in a million and one British things and didn't know West at all before The Wire.

ETA: The thread title is perfect but if ever another one was needed McNulty: One Hot Monkey would fit the bill. Hee.

Edited by Flop Eared Mule, Apr 7, 2007 @ 1:48 AM.


#9

hypnotic

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Posted Apr 7, 2007 @ 2:17 AM

I am also happy with the title. When my husband and I went to see 300, there was one scene in particular involving Dominic West where I looked at my husband and said that exact line. :)

#10

BDasus353

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Posted Apr 9, 2007 @ 6:46 AM

How awesome is it that the The Wire is being recapped? As far as Jimmy is concerned, I still love the episode in Season 2, where the cold-opener is where he crashes the car drunk. I still crack up to it.

#11

plunker

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Posted Apr 9, 2007 @ 10:15 AM

That's two for "car-crashing scene". Can't be beat.

#12

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Posted Apr 9, 2007 @ 10:47 AM

When my husband and I went to see 300, there was one scene in particular involving Dominic West where I looked at my husband and said that exact line.


Would it be the scene where he got gutted like a trout by the Queen for basically selling out Sparta to the Persians?

I had no idea that he's English until I looked him up in imdb. However, the 2nd time I watched the episodes, his accent definitely slipped up here and there. Still a pretty good job, though.

Edited by hookahmasta, Apr 9, 2007 @ 10:46 AM.


#13

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Posted Apr 9, 2007 @ 11:43 AM

I may have died and gone to heaven with The Wire on TWoP.

Jimmy McNulty is so totally my TV boyfriend. He picks up where 21 Jump Street's Tom Hanson left off for me in the 90s.

I hate to admit, but I want to see the old McNutty in Seaon 5 too, but I hate the thought of him hurting Bea. Oh the tension.

ITA. I love Bea, and I like them together (I was all squeeee! over the last ep of S3), but I'd kind of like my tortured cop back! I'd also like lots more of Bunk & McNulty - my favorite onscreen couple (a close second being Coach and Mrs. Taylor on Friday Night Lights).

One of my favorite McNutty-solo moments was S1's drunken home improvement scene.

#14

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Posted Apr 10, 2007 @ 12:02 PM


Regarding the matter of Jimmy McNulty's accent:

  • having lived in Baltimore for 3 of the last 4 years and
  • having recently seen the trailer for "The Painted Veil," starring Edward Norton,

I must say that Dominic West's attempt at a Baltimore accent beats Edward Norton's (a Baltimore native) attempt at an English accent hollow. Baltimoreans famously slur their words, and McNulty would not stand out in a crowd.



#15

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Posted Apr 16, 2007 @ 11:36 AM

I find it funny that, while I respected his dedication as a cop, the character otherwise totally left me cold.

Then, when he got together with Bea and I actually got to see the man smile and be happy? He was suddenly attractive to me. Go figure. Guess I don't like 'em self-destructive, drunk and tortured all the time!

His entire relationship with Bea came out of left field for me, but I will always be grateful to it (though I'm sure it won't last in S5) for showing me that there is something attractive and alluring about the man.

#16

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Posted Apr 16, 2007 @ 11:02 PM

His passion for solving cases really endeared me to him. But his attitude that he was the only one with that fire, as well as the drinking and other irresponsible personal behavior turned me off. He is always fun to watch, but I agree it was nice to see him be happy and content for a while.

Before Beadie, he was in a pattern of wanting what he didn't have. When he was with his wife, he wanted other women, and when he was away from his wife and playing the field, then he wanted her. He was finally able to break out of that pattern. I think it what Lester said to him finally sunk in. I'm not going to be able to quote him exactly, but the gist of it was that McNulty couldn't continue to pin all of his self-worth on the job, because it was eating him alive. After losing his chance to nail Stinger Bell (because Bell was killed), Lester's words must have finally sunk in.

There was also the contrast between Beadie (stable home life, similar career and respect for the job), and Theresa, who was a lot like McNulty in the way she lived her life. He might have just seen himself in the mirror, and grown tired of the reflection.

#17

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Posted Apr 17, 2007 @ 3:32 PM

but I agree it was nice to see him be happy and content for a while.

Especially if that Fontana/Levinson series Spike Lee directed gets picked up because they'll be even less Beadie since Amy Ryan is the star of it.

I've never really believed the change Jimmy has made. He seemed like Stepford Jimmy and we all know how that movie ended, lol. I can however understand why he would want to make the change, I think anyone living like that would want to. However, it just seemed to happen really fast. Of course so of that could have had to do with DW's schedule, or just because DS wanted to. Hey maybe Jimmy just didn't want to live in his box apartment anymore. *wink*

#18

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Posted Apr 17, 2007 @ 4:08 PM

Especially if that Fontana/Levinson series Spike Lee directed gets picked up because they'll be even less Beadie since Amy Ryan is the star of it.

I'm not worried much about that. Beadie has appeared in three episodes over the last two seasons. Having her make a few guest appearances in the final season shouldn't be too difficult. Simon and Fontana go way back and the two shows are filmed relatively close to each other, so I'm sure they'll be able to work out some sort of sharing policy. Plus, she's a supporting player on the Fontana/Levinson show, not the star; Bobby Cannavalle is the star.

Edited by lynch, Apr 17, 2007 @ 4:09 PM.


#19

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Posted Apr 27, 2007 @ 6:50 AM

I personally love McNulty, screwed up as he is. I'm glad he's back with major crimes, although I fear for his relationship with Beadie.

A few days ago I was trying to find news on Season 5, and in a few places, I found posts or articles that said that McNulty was first offered to Ray Winstone, who turned the part down. I had never heard this before - has anyone else? I wonder if it's true, or just a rumor. I really like Winstone, but I think the show would have been very different with him instead of West. I love Dominic West - I was a fan of his before The Wire - but it's interesting to think how different the show would be with someone else playing McNulty.

#20

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Posted Apr 27, 2007 @ 11:49 AM

Regarding the matter of Jimmy McNulty's accent:

having lived in Baltimore for 3 of the last 4 years and
having recently seen the trailer for "The Painted Veil," starring Edward Norton,
I must say that Dominic West's attempt at a Baltimore accent beats Edward Norton's (a Baltimore native) attempt at an English accent hollow. Baltimoreans famously slur their words, and McNulty would not stand out in a crowd.


I got bored last night and broke down and watched the commentary West does on "All Prologue" for S2's DVD. In it he says he actually wanted to do a Baltimorean accent, but Simon and Burns told him to just do a general East Coast accent instead. So in reality, apparently he's not even attempted to do the Baltimore accent, so that would explain why he doesn't sound like he's from there.

#21

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Posted May 1, 2007 @ 10:56 PM

RoxieVelma: I listened to that commentary too, but I've got to say that Dominic does a fairly credible "Balmer" accent. My family's complaint throughout S1 was that the accents of many of the actors (Stringer, Avon, Bunk, and Herc) sounded too "general". My mother, who morally objects to McNulty on every possible level, likes the character based simply on the fact that, "he's the only guy that can say his 'Os' right." Maybe Dominic tried to do a more specific accent, or maybe the constant accent slips cause him to slur his way there...but he's got the accent approval of at least four Baltimore natives.

I mean, I've been a Dominic West fan for years, but I doubt my Dad would cut him slack because he has a charming smile.

#22

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Posted Jul 11, 2007 @ 5:43 PM

I was thinking about his relationship with Bodie (not Beadie) before Bodie died and I thought that it was a little weird, since I did not remember him interacting with Bodie that much before...then again, maybe not having the history with Bodie that Carver and Herc had with him made it more possible. Still, it contrasted a bit with his feelings towards Wallace, whom he seemed to view simply as an important piece of the puzzle. And Bodie was one of the main reasons why that piece got lost, though Jimmy does not know that.

In Season 3, Jimmy started thinking about D'Angelo. I don't know whether he was thinking fondly of a former adversary or if it was just nostalgia for a case from happier times or whatever. In any case it seemed as if he almost had something resembling a personal stake in looking at the evidence surrounding Dee's death.

As for Bodie, it seemed to me as if the new improved James McNulty was trying to be good and generous, maybe even turn someone around. If a case gets solved in the processes, so be it. But his attempts to be a good person backfired badly, and Bodie died. I cannot say whether the old McNulty would have been farsighted enough to consider the possibility that someone getting out of jail so quickly might have looked suspicious even without visual proof that it was because of a cop's interference, but it came across as a bit sloppy here. Again, McNulty tried to change, but his desire to be a good and happy person still did not change his tendency to ignore the rules of the bureaucracy (in this case, don't snitch and don't look as if you might possibly snitch) and not consider the consequences. I wonder if that went through his head when he learned that Bodie died: he tried to change, but he was still Jimmy McNulty.

#23

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Posted Jul 13, 2007 @ 7:17 AM

That's an interesting post, Ankai. I'm tracing back McNulty's interactions with Bodie. There was the questioning in S1 with D, when he called him "Mr. Shit". But Bodie dealt with Cole, IIRC, on the shooting in S3. Most of his cop interaction was with Herc and Carv. But in early S4, when Carv checks in on the corner, it's McNulty that comes by to break up business for the day.

I think McNulty's investigative instincts take over even as a patrol when he first makes contact with Bodie at the sandwich place in S4. Is that where he first recognizes the possiblity of turning a disgrunted employee? McNulty has a genuine respect for Bodie, he realizes how hard it is to survive on the streets. I think his line "You're a soldier" could have just as easily been switched to be "You're a survivor", but then his death scene wouldn't have had the payoff it did.

I'm also thinking Bodie's death could send McNulty back to his old ways. Lester is "in charge" of the MCU, and with McNulty's tendency to clash with any authority, he might go against him for the sake of going against him. I think a lot depends how where in the timeline S5 picks up after S4.

#24

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Posted Jul 13, 2007 @ 12:04 PM

I think Bodie and McNulty forged a bond during the "contrapment" interview after the Hamsterdam raid in Season 3. Jimmy always gives credit when it is due to the target ("Nicely done") and he was pretty impressed with Bodie's savvy there. He mentions it again in Season 4 to Carver.

I agree that I would have liked to see more reaction from Carver after Bodie's death as he (and Herc) did have a longer and more in-depth relationship with him.

#25

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Posted Jul 13, 2007 @ 12:55 PM

Yeah, that's the "contrapment" is what did it. IIRC, Jimmy actually doesn't even remember who Bodie is at the beginning of S3, and is reminded by someone else.

#26

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Posted Jul 13, 2007 @ 2:41 PM

Jimmy always gives credit when it is due to the target ("Nicely done") and he was pretty impressed with Bodie's savvy there.

Yeah, that is probably it. Jimmy seems to enjoy it when the target presents a challenge...which Wallace never did...mostly because he was not a target.

#27

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Posted Jul 13, 2007 @ 3:04 PM

Yeah, that is probably it. Jimmy seems to enjoy it when the target presents a challenge...which Wallace never did...mostly because he was not a target.


I thought Jimmy felt really terrible and guilty about what happened to Wallace, but was caught up in Kima's situation and the investigation which had reached a bit of a boiling point. And of all the corner boys, I think he sympathized the most with D'Angelo.

But the "contrapment" scene is one of my all-time favorites.

#28

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Posted Jul 13, 2007 @ 4:28 PM

I thought Jimmy felt really terrible and guilty about what happened to Wallace, but was caught up in Kima's situation and the investigation which had reached a bit of a boiling point.


See, I think Jimmy's supposed sadness about Wallace's death to D'Angelo seemed a lot like his "sadness" about William Gant's death to D'Angelo back in Episode 2. Jimmy never really formed a personal connection with Wallace. Wallace was just dropped off at the station one night and spilled his guts, breaking the case open-- so that's what he primarily was to Jimmy, the kid who broke the case open. Of course Jimmy wishes the kid doesn't die but I don't think he felt all that terrible and guilty, it was more just frustration about Stringer getting away. The Bodie situation, I think, is completely different-- Jimmy felt he "knew" Bodie in a way he didn't know Wallace, and also was more directly responsible for Bodie's death.

The last page of the recap for the S1 finale brought up an interesting point, which is that the season-ending montage shows all the results of Jimmy's decision to raise some hell in episode one for his own selfish reasons, and how that decision affected so many lives in unpredictable ways. Some were unabashedly positive (Prez, Lester), some negative (all the Barksdales, Wallace, Bubbles, Jimmy himself), and some mixed (Daniels, Kima). I think Omar's the only major character who ends up pretty much in the same place at the end of S1 as he would've been without Jimmy, which actually fits wonderfully with the show's theme. And then there's, of course, the larger idea that though Jimmy has really made a difference in all these people's lives, he has made pretty much no difference at all to the institutionalized drug trade, which continues unabated. What a great show.

#29

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Posted Jul 16, 2007 @ 10:21 AM

Yeah, there's that telling exchange after they find out about Wallace, with Daniels saying "poor kid" and Jimmy's reply saying that without Wallace, they don't have Stringer. Jimmy's thinking about the case, not the kid. His reaction to Bodie's death shows some growth, I think.

#30

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Posted Jul 27, 2007 @ 9:39 AM

I am guessing that it was Stringer's death, and Lester's subsequent berating, that led to McNulty's "growth". As much as McNulty was trying to take Avon down, it seemed to me as if Stringer soon became his main target, and he was disappointed that the case ended before he could take down Stringer as well. In all of their interactions, they seemed to act more like rivals playing a game than adversaries, particularly on McNulty's side. When Stringer died right as the police were going to take him in, McNulty was devastated. His ultimate victory was not just taken from him, but destroyed. His "game" was not postponed, but cancelled. Finding out that this String was nothing like thought him to be shook up his world even further, like McNulty was not on top of the world. Having the image of Stringer taken away from him may have even hurt more than having the target of Stringer taken away from him. Contrary to what Omar may have said, this was not a game, and Stringer was actually a person with ambitions beyond the violence and drugs. I would bet that having to see perpetrators and victims (and maybe colleagues) as actual people did not jibe with the mindset that made McNulty a competent cop. He was probably able to put it aside before for the most part, but it was different with Stringer. Now the one thing (other than maybe his kids) that gave him purpose and happiness was ruined.