I have made a practice of writing about my favorite The Wire character after I finish each season. Last season Cutty took that honor, and for the first time my favorite character was not killed off. This season the stable of would be fav characters grew. There were the usual suspects, Cutty (returning favorite), Colvin and Omar, new comers, Randy and Doughnut, and some surprising contenders like Prez, Carver and even Bodie. Here’s the thing though, I come here not to talk about my season four favorite, but instead my season four most frustrating character, Michael Lee.
Michael Lee seemed destined to take the mantle of favorite character. He denies Marlo’s handouts, stands up for Dukie and Randy and looks out for his little brother. Add that Michael impresses nearly everyone he comes into contact with including Prez, Bodie and Cutty. We find out Michael’s mother is a drug addict, routinely selling her kid’s food for drugs, and her, recently released from jail, boyfriend most likely sexually abused Michael in the past. When Michael’s mother invites her boyfriend to stay with them, Michael becomes wary of what he may do to his little brother. Michael faces a predicament, who does he turn to? There is Cutty, his boxing instructor, Prez, his teacher, or hell he could have even turned to Bodie, but no he turns to Marlo’s thugs, Snoop and more directly Chris. In turn they groom him to be one of Marlo’s henchmen and soon have him kill Bodie. He smacks his best friend Namond around and then enlists Dukie into Marlo’s crew. What seemed so promising ends in corruption. I even found myself yelling at the TV in disappointment “I HOPE YOU DIE MICHAEL LEE.” That being said, he is set up to be a major player in the fifth and final season, so I hold out hope he can redeem himself.
“Young man if I was talking to you, you’d know I was.”~Cutty
P.S. Herc in the worst (although he did take his pinch like a man).