The Weekly Wire: “Snot Boogie”
It’s that time, again. Class bell’s ringing. Take your seat, cats and kittens, boots and mittens. I didn’t know what to do for this installment of The Weekly Wire. I figured I’d pluck something from one of the episodes after the last one I used — after all, I’m moving in a progression, right? (Finished the first season, holy crap awesome, why dear God why is Disc 1 of Season 2 listed as a ‘Long Wait’ on Netflix?). If I’m moving in a progression, why not go along with me? Except, a lot of the really killer scenes of dialogue are somewhat… mm, “spoiler unfriendly.” This makes me wonder how long I can keep this up, but for now, let’s stow that pessimistic bullshit. I decided, hey, fuck it. I don’t need to go forward. I can go backward. And so I give to you the opening scene of the entire series. Scene one, episode one. Watch it. Read it. Think about it. Talk about it. Consider: this is an opening scene. The opening scene of anything has to be it, baby. It’s hook or book, suck it or fuck it. It has to do more than that, too — it has to establish. I’d say that the best opening scenes establish and encapsulate the entire project in some way — thematically, visually, morally, whatever. So, when you look at this, when you talk about this, first ask, is it a good scene of dialogue? But second, how’s it as an opening scene to an entire series? Focus on the writing above all else.
Det. James ‘Jimmy’ McNulty: So your boy’s name was what?
McNulty: You called the guy “Snot”?
Kid: Snot Boogie. Yah.
McNulty: God. Snot Boogie. He like the name?
McNulty: Snot Boogie?
McNulty: This kid, whose mama went to the trouble to christen him Omar Isaiah Betts… You know, he forgets his jacket, so his nose starts running and some asshole, instead of giving him a Kleenex, he calls him “Snot.” So he’s Snot forever. Doesn’t seem fair.
Kid: Life just be that way, I guess.
McNulty: So, who shot Snot?
Kid: I ain’t goin’ to no court… motherfucker didn’t have to put no cap in him though.
McNulty: Definitely not.
Kid: He coulda just whooped his ass like we always whoop his ass.
McNulty: I agree with you.
Kid: Kill Snot. Snot been doing the same shit since I don’t know how long. Kill a man over some bullshit. I’m sayin’, every Friday night in an alley behind the Cut Rate, we rollin’ bones, you know? I mean all them boys around the way, we roll till late.
McNulty: Alley crap game, right?
Kid: Like every time, Snot, he’d fade a few shooters, play it out till the pot’s deep. Snatch and run.
McNulty: What, every time?
Kid: Couldn’t help hisself.
McNulty: Let me understand you. Every Friday night, you and your boys are shoot crap, right? And every Friday night, your pal Snot Boogie… he’d wait till there’s cash on the ground and he’d grab it and run away? You let him do that?
Kid: We’d catch him and beat his ass but ain’t nobody never go past that.
McNulty: I gotta ask you: if every time Snot Boogie would grab the money and run away… why’d you even let him in the game?
McNulty: If Snot Boogie stole the money, why’d you let him play?
Kid: Got to. It’s America, man.