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Questions From The New or Confused: Confidential Informants


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#1

kieyra

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Posted Apr 10, 2007 @ 11:34 PM

I think I'm going to have a lot of these, especially as I work my way through the series while trying not to spoil myself too badly.

One that springs to mind as I watch season 3: why doesn't Kima have any scars from her shooting? Didn't she get shot in the throat? It seems like they are very particular about that kind of detail, such as Omar's bullet wound on his chest. I guess this may actually be a medical question...would cop benefits cover plastic surgery? Does that level of plastic surgery for a gunshot wound even exist?

Edited by kieyra, Apr 11, 2007 @ 12:05 PM.


#2

RoxieVelma

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Posted Apr 11, 2007 @ 11:18 PM

why doesn't Kima have any scars from her shooting? Didn't she get shot in the throat?

Rewatching "The Hunt" from Season One, Det. Norris says she has a gunshot "to the chest with no exit wound and a through and through to the throat". Now 2 episodes later, in "Sentencing" she's talking, so the injury to her throat couldn't have affected her that much because her trachea, larynx and her vocal cords are still working. I think the major wound was in her chest.

If the wound was anything similar to a tracheotomy scar, there is a procedure to do a revision of the scar that would make it less visible. I have no idea how much it cost or if insurance pays for it, since it could be seen as a plastic surgery, not medically needed.

#3

LS28

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Posted Apr 11, 2007 @ 11:33 PM

In Season 2, the wound on her throat is actually quite visible.

No idea what happened to it in Season 3.

#4

kieyra

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Posted Apr 11, 2007 @ 11:59 PM

Thanks. I was looking for it at the beginning of S2 but didn't see it; forgot about it till I was watching season 3. Of course, not long after I posted this question I saw her in a well-lit scene in 3x03 and I think a small circular scar is visible.

#5

thingsthatshine

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Posted Apr 13, 2007 @ 12:26 PM

Can I ask a question about the police jargon The Wire uses? What are 'DNRs'? It can't be "Do Not Recesitate" in this context, and the police talk about going down to the towers, doing some rip and runs, some hand to hands and some DNRs.

The internets, now on computers, was no help in my agoogling search.

#6

Gob

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Posted Apr 13, 2007 @ 12:51 PM

A DNR is a Device Number Recorder. It records all the incoming and outgoing (I believe) numbers that are on calls to any number on which it is placed. Mind you, it is not an actual wire, it just tells who may be calling, but especially useful for the pagers that Barksdale's crew is using is season 1.

Edited by Gob, Apr 13, 2007 @ 12:52 PM.


#7

Vikingkingq

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Posted Apr 13, 2007 @ 1:45 PM

Also, DNRs are often combined with wiretaps, because they create a master database of all calls made and from what numbers, which is a useful resource.

One question I have: what's the difference between a DNR and a pen register? They seem to do the same thing.

#8

Season Pass

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Posted Apr 13, 2007 @ 7:01 PM

DNRs and pen registers are the same thing, at least according to this local-government Web site. Also, it looks like DNRs are Dialed Number Recorders, not Device Number Recorders.

The footnote of that definition is the best part:

7. See 18 USCS 3124(a), 3127(3); Smith v. Maryland (1979) 442 US 735, 736, fn.1; United States v. New York Telephone Co. (1977) 434 US 159, 161, fn.1, 167; People v. Blair (1979) 25 Cal.3d 640, 654, fn.11; People v. Larkin (1987) 194 Cal.App.3d 650, 653; People v. Andrino (1989) 210 Cal.App.3d 1395, 1399, fn.2.



#9

Navin

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Posted Apr 20, 2007 @ 10:22 AM

This may sound stupid, but what's up with Omar and his "duster" that I keep reading about? I know it's not a feather duster or a car.

#10

Orion7

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Posted Apr 20, 2007 @ 1:48 PM

This may sound stupid, but what's up with Omar and his "duster" that I keep reading about? I know it's not a feather duster or a car.

It's his coat. A long coat is called a "duster." The meaning dates back to the horse-riding days, and the early days of the automobile, because the long coat kept the dust of the road off one's clothing. Here's a picture.

And here's a picture of Omar in his duster.

Edited by Orion7, Apr 20, 2007 @ 1:51 PM.


#11

smurfty

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Posted Apr 20, 2007 @ 4:08 PM

There is a scene in Season 3 where Freamon poses as a hustler to sell phones to Bernard at discounted prices which have pre-approved for wiretap.
To convince Bernard that he's a legit crook he gets Bernard to use his phone and then recites back which numbers Bernard pressed.

Could anyone explain what's going on in this scene? Obviously Freamon is demonstrating his expertise at some scam - but what scam is it?
I've watched it a few times and I'm still baffled.

Edited by smurfty, Apr 21, 2007 @ 9:26 AM.


#12

RoxieVelma

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Posted Apr 20, 2007 @ 7:47 PM

Freamon is uncover trying to convince the two people in the middle to buy cell phone "burners" off him because the crew lost wiretap to try and get Stringer since everyone was dumping their prepaid cell phones after the minutes were used up. What they don't know is that the police have pre-wiretapped the phones and they can hear every conversation being said on those particular phones. In the scene Freamon can tell exactly which numbers the guy in the white shirt is punching into the phone. In the end, that convinces them both to start buying the prepaid phones from him so they can sell them to Stringer's people.

#13

schnitz

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Posted Apr 20, 2007 @ 8:15 PM

Why, exactly, did Burrell attempt to bury the Barksdale case at the beginning of season 1?

I can think of vague reasons (doesn't like how it came up, doesn't trust Daniels, doesn't want to give Judge Phelan license to bug him, thinks Barksdale is better than, say, someone like Marlo). But none of these reasons really makes sense to me.

#14

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Posted Apr 20, 2007 @ 8:21 PM

I'm not postive, but I think it was because the police didn't want it to become public that a witness (Gant) was killed by a crime syndicate.

Later (spoiler alert) they really get pressure to let up because the trail of money is starting to lead up to powerful people, such as Senator Clay Davis.

BTW, smurfty I asked the same thing today in the Freamon thread! That part was kinda confusing.

Edited by Mutante, Apr 20, 2007 @ 8:23 PM.


#15

Puds38

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Posted Apr 20, 2007 @ 8:54 PM

Could anyone explain what's going on in this scene? Obviously Freamon is demonstrating his expertise at some scam - but what scam is it?
I've watched it a few times and I'm still baffled.

It used to be the different buttons on the phones had different tones. A thief with good ear could tell what numbers you were dialing by their tone. Freemon was pretending to have that skill. Not sure why that would convince them to buy the phones. I may have to re watch that episode.

#16

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Posted Apr 20, 2007 @ 9:20 PM

Freemon was pretending to have that skill. Not sure why that would convince them to buy the phones. I may have to re watch that episode.

I know in the scene Freamon uses the paper Prez made way back in Season 1 about how the perps were using the numbers on the pagers. You can see him look down at it when Bernard finishes with the numbers. Freamon, I assume is using the peripheral vision, to see which numbers Bernard is pushing. He's not as much listening to the number's tone as he is looking at the numbers being dialed. I gather that from the line where he says "That last number might be a 7, I'm not to sure with these small keypads and all".

I always just assumed the two dumbasses bought the phones off him because they assumed if he knew how to crypt numbers, he was as "legit" as they were and wouldn't steer him wrong. Bernard and Squeak just assumed he was a hustler just like they are.If Freamon had the capacity to figure out the numbers he pushed into the phone, he was a man of his word and could do business with him. Plus, he's Cool Lester Smooth, wouldn't you fall for it? LOL

It's actually not that hard to distinguish the different tones for each number. I've been able to do that and know exactly what coins are being tossed in a jar or fall to the floor since I was about 10.

#17

Orion7

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Posted Apr 20, 2007 @ 9:56 PM

Yes, I always thought it was to establish his street cred as a hustler. My dad had his long distance calling card number lifted years ago, probably by someone standing near an airport pay phone and watching his fingers on the keypad (this was before cell phones were in common use). The numbers were then sold to others, who generally used them to make thousands of dollars in overseas calls.

Also, smurfty, a friendly suggestion: edit your post to link to that picture rather post it. It's someone else's copyrighted material, and you may be warned by a mod.

#18

smurfty

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Posted Apr 21, 2007 @ 9:30 AM

My dad had his long distance calling card number lifted years ago, probably by someone standing near an airport pay phone and watching his fingers on the keypad (this was before cell phones were in common use). The numbers were then sold to others, who generally used them to make thousands of dollars in overseas calls.


Cheers Orion7, that explains it.
P.S.
I edited my above post to be on the safe side.

#19

kieyra

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Posted Apr 23, 2007 @ 2:32 AM

This is a general question about season four (so be spoiler warned). I don't know if it's kosher to start season-specific threads yet, and I wouldn't really have much to say if I started one for season four, so I'm posting here.

I'm through episode 2. So far I'm a little concerned with the change in tone and pace--I'm not hanging on every single word like I did while watching the previous three seasons. The political speeches/debates leave my mind wandering (and so does Carcetti and his endless whining), and I'm having a hard time keeping all the kids and their stories straight. And the lack of McNulty is troublesome.

Er, enough preamble, the actual question is: is it going to be more of the same throughout the season? Specifically, lots of political speechifying and little to no McNulty?

#20

JimKing

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Posted Apr 23, 2007 @ 6:00 AM

kieyra wrote:

I'm through episode 2. So far I'm a little concerned with the change in tone and pace--I'm not hanging on every single word like I did while watching the previous three seasons. The political speeches/debates leave my mind wandering (and so does Carcetti and his endless whining), and I'm having a hard time keeping all the kids and their stories straight. And the lack of McNulty is troublesome.

Er, enough preamble, the actual question is: is it going to be more of the same throughout the season? Specifically, lots of political speechifying and little to no McNulty?


It'll be more of the same, but you will grow to love it.

This might help your perspective, from the man himself...

David Simon interview question

Edited by JimKing, Apr 23, 2007 @ 6:04 PM.


#21

Puds38

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Posted Apr 23, 2007 @ 6:19 AM

Dominic West made several movies when season 4 was filmed. Still, the kids will break your heart & the political race storyline does get more interesting. You may find yourself even cheering for Carcetti to win.

#22

kieyra

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Posted Apr 23, 2007 @ 3:19 PM

Thanks for the season 4 feedback. (As an aside, it's not that I favor McNulty over the other characters or have a thing for Dominic West, I just find his absence has changed the flavor a lot.)

In any event, I will keep the faith.

#23

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Posted Apr 23, 2007 @ 8:38 PM

kieyra, to add to the echos, do stay with it. For me, season 4 blew me away emotionally in some ways like season 1 did, which sounds odd, because they are so different. I thought the emotional depth started to kick in by about the 4th or 5th episode. And then I was all in. (And I, too, missed McNulty so much!)

Edited by dreamy, Apr 23, 2007 @ 8:38 PM.


#24

smallaxe0217

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Posted Apr 24, 2007 @ 11:15 AM

This is a question to the mods:

How often can we expect recaps of the episodes to be posted? I love the discussion, but I love the episode recaps even more and the two posted thus far have whetted my appetite. I know that it's a beast to recap, but I was just curious to know what the projected "schedule" is. Thanks again for doing this job!

#25

ThatGuamGuy

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Posted Apr 24, 2007 @ 12:42 PM

I didn't realize this forum would combine my two posts, now it looks like one big long one instead of two distinct responses.

Obviously Freamon is demonstrating his expertise at some scam - but what scam is it?


Freamon has a whole scene with Bernard prior to that where he talks about previous scams he was running, and how he fell into the business of selling these phones. One of the things he says is that he used to get information by doing what he proceeds to do there. (It's tricky, because they're talking fast and dropping references that don't neccessarily make sense, even in context, until you see what he proceeds to do.) I actually thought he did it by ear -- or was pretending to -- and that "maybe a 7" thing was because 7 and 4 sound similar, and peripheral vision wouldn't help. I also didn't remember seeing Prez's sheet (and it wouldn't make sense, since Freamon's brilliant mind can surely remember what a phone keypad looks like). I thought he was focusing his eyes down so he could listen better.

Either way, the scam is that Bernard wants him to demonstrate the abilities he's bragging about, and, one way or another, he does (maybe I'm giving Freamon the benefit of the doubt, because he's so awesome, but I believe he could do what he's at-least faking doing there).

The political speeches/debates leave my mind wandering (and so does Carcetti and his endless whining),


I believe that the whole point is, after season 3 where he's so excited about reform, he realizes (like everybody else with high ideals) that *actually* running for mayor is a whole lot of bullshit. [There's even a great speech about eating shit which I won't spoil for you.]

and I'm having a hard time keeping all the kids and their stories straight.


I would say that by the end of the first week of school (episode 5 or 6?), they're completely distinct. It may help to watch those early ones again after you've learned to distinguish the characters. I had the same kind of trouble, but they all click into place. The kids are amazing, by the end of it.

And the lack of McNulty is troublesome.


Oddly, I watched the 4th season first, so I was actually confused why they would occassionally devote a seemingly inordinate amount of time to a random patrol cop. I figured he had been more important earlier, but didn't realize that he was the main character prior to that. I think it's great, though it's weird that Carcetti and Prez are the main guys.

Edited by ThatGuamGuy, Apr 24, 2007 @ 12:43 PM.


#26

WithoutFeathers

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Posted Apr 24, 2007 @ 1:11 PM

Why, exactly, did Burrell attempt to bury the Barksdale case at the beginning of season 1?



A lot of what you said is part of it, but mostly it comes down to the basic critique of bureaucracy at the heart of the show. A sprawling expensive investigation without an immediate payoff is of no use to Burrell personally, or to the police department. Burrell cares about stats and photo-ops in front of a table of drugs or guns. When the case came up, he wanted to please the politically powerful judge and keep anything from getting to media, but in as clean and cheap a way as possible.

He's not displeased with the results at the end, just the insubordination of Daniels.

If you think about it from a utilitarian perspective, he's not entirely wrong. There are a lot more crimes that can be solved by the manpower thrown at the Barksdale case, and what good does putting away Barksdale and Bell do, anyway? Somebody else will just take their place. McNulty, as the show makes clear, isn't in it out of a deep sense of justice- he just wants to prove he's smarter than Stringer.

And yeah, stick with Season 4. All of the seasons have moments where it's difficult to tell the sprawling cast apart, or to care about some subplot or another. I remember feeling deeply bored by Cutty for a lot of Season 3. It all comes together eventually. It's been four seasons, and I can't think of any individual plotline that I felt was a serious misstep.

#27

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Posted Apr 24, 2007 @ 1:52 PM

This is more of a continuity error, but I didn't know if I should start a thread up about those so I'll put this here.

In the season 3 ep Slapstick, there's a scene where the cops at the Detail office decide to order Chinese food and Prez says that he'll go get it. It is clearly daytime, early afternoon at the latest. But in the very next scene when McNulty and Prez pick up the food it's nighttime. The time discrepancy just doesn't add up.

#28

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Posted Apr 24, 2007 @ 1:55 PM

I believe that the whole point is, after season 3 where he's so excited about reform, he realizes (like everybody else with high ideals) that *actually* running for mayor is a whole lot of bullshit. [There's even a great speech about eating shit which I won't spoil for you.]


Well, I do get that he's becoming frustrated and disillusioned. And that's the problem--I get it already. I was a little glib when I referred to his 'endless whining', I guess what I mean is that they are visiting the topic too often for my taste, when I am used to this show having such a light touch. You never got hit over the head with anything. I'm now having the same problem with the (admittedly early) classroom scenes with Prez. I have faith that's going to turn around in one way or another, so I'm still hanging in there. :)

Edited by kieyra, Apr 24, 2007 @ 1:53 PM.


#29

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Posted Apr 25, 2007 @ 5:54 PM

This is more of a continuity error, but I didn't know if I should start a thread up about those so I'll put this here.

In the season 3 ep Slapstick, there's a scene where the cops at the Detail office decide to order Chinese food and Prez says that he'll go get it. It is clearly daytime, early afternoon at the latest. But in the very next scene when McNulty and Prez pick up the food it's nighttime. The time discrepancy just doesn't add up.

Well, if McNulty was driving, there's no telling where they ended up before they went to get the food. *wink*

#30

Gob

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Posted Apr 25, 2007 @ 6:29 PM

I think it's worth mentioning that the whole disillusionment issue is pretty much the point of the show. Simon talks a lot about the failure of American institutions, and I think that's really the exploration that occurs, and is Season 4, between the kids and Carcetti, it's worlds better than what he tried to do with the docks. My impression is that the idea at that point is that even someone like Carcetti, who is completely different from just about any other character in the show in that, being young, white, well-educated and nominally wealthy, can still not accomplish anything meaningful in the face of the momentum of the institutions in which he is forced to exist. No other character spends as much time actually trying to fight the system - everyone else tends to try and circumvent it. Carcetti is actually trying to go through the system, and Simon's point is that even in an ideal situation, it's virtually impossible to actually affect a real change.

I came up against the same kind of worries in season 4, and my epiphany moment occured in the conversation between VP Donovan and Bubbles regarding Sherrod's social promotion (I'm, like, 90% that was the scenario - maybe it was about Dookie?) At any rate, when I first saw the scene, I was a little taken aback with how obvious and completely lacking in subtlety the scene was, until I thought a little deeper about it. I don't really think there would have been another way to really give the viewer an idea of just how screwed up the system is - certainly not as immediate and effective. It's weird - sometimes, I think this show is so good at usually introducing a point subtlely, that when its required to be a bit more obvious, it feels wrong.