Saturday, March 8, 2008

Marlo Stanfield is a regular Daniel Plainview. Except, you know, black.

Even though I'm in the midst of this really cool Pedro Costa thing at the PFA, I can't quit thinking about The Wire. There's plenty of reasons why, like that podcast at THND between Matt and Alan Sepinwall and Anthony Johnston and the Fresh Air interview with David Simon and a ton of writings all over the internet (from blogs to rags) and clips of the show on youtube. Two of my favorite Marlo scenes are currently available for your viewing pleasure, or discomfort, although my "all-time favorite" scene (to a nobody rent-a-cop: "You want it to be one way...but it's the other way"), which is from the same episode as this Fat Face Andre scene, is not to be found. So, while the videos are up, let's talk about Marlo. Like a lot of fans, like my friends, I'm more interested in The Street (which overlaps with The Schools) than in The Hall or The Paper or The Police or The Docks. Part of it is curiosity, sure, but I feel like I know this side better. Or I understand it better. Or it simply plays better. Or I just like all the actors better (or if not "better" than "a lot"). Jaime Hector is a weird actor playing a weird role -- a role he'll probably never top. Marlo Stanfield is a regular Daniel Plainview. Except, you know, black. And he would never let Paul Dano slap him, even if it got him rich beyond the sea; Marlo would bury Eli underground (or in a vacant) real quick. It's that way with Fat Face Andre here: Omar's only ever out for that angle on the crown, for a leg up, a way to keep everybody around him off kilter and subservient. Then, when he no longer needs you, you get dead. If Marlo can call Omar "Spiderman" and say things like "My name is my name!" then I think I can call Marlo "Daniel Plainview." Because, really, what does Marlo want but to make enough money to get away from everybody? He's barely "in" the street anymore, even though this season, for the most part, we only ever saw him out of doors before this arrest here at the close. He's learned to not trust spaces as much as he has trained himself to not trust people. Have we actually seen him driving at all this season? He just appears places. Hell, he plays with time, too, pushing clock hands around. And he may walk free in tomorrow night's episode, just as Daniel Plainview has his way. But something tells me that suit he's wearing in the series finale (seen in that preview I posted) will get torn up, maybe even bloodied. But I can't quite make out by who. Nor will I rule out that it will be another's blood. Ah, I'm probably a little too excited. I'm sure David Simon will undercut me somehow. As much as I've learned to not trust Simon, I've learned to trust him to be himself. It's the same story with anybody: Marlo, Daniel, me, you. --RWK
These pix are reminders that (1) Jaime Hector is probably a cool guy, (2) Jaime Hector can wear cool clothes well and (3) I will never be able to look this cool. The best I can hope for is something like this, with shorter hair and glasses.

1 comment:

  1. Just reading this old ass post because I love Marlo, he is my favorite of the "bad guy" characters on The Wire. Just wanted to comment and say you were spot on about the suit getting not only ripped, but bloodied too! Unfortunately it was his own blood but what a way to end his story arc, with him standing on a street corner wearing that suit and getting a rush out of "the game".