Weeks 7 and 8 were fairly lacking in boneheaded thoughts and comments from Plotz and Goldberg. Mainly because all of the loose threads they had complained about all year were being resolved and, really, what could they say about that?
But let's examine a money quote from Week 6.
Marlo has to live, because capitalism can't be put down, but Chris can be shed. Snoop, however, is too smart to die.
Well, as we all know, Snoop was shot in the head last night. She was driving Michael to his impending assassination, but he saw it coming and armed himself. Michael feigned having to piss and asked Snoop to pull into an alley. So Snoop, who Goldberg thought was too smart to die, was unarmed while driving somebody to be killed and then pulled into a tight, blind alley, leaving herself no escape. Pretty heads up play. I know what you're thinking. But Snoop told Michael he didn't need a gun! She told him she'd provide one for him! Oh, then I guess she is smart. And dead.
So how does Goldberg react to another colossal predictory whiff? Snoop's murder didn't make perfect dramatic sense to me...I didn't see her death coming, either, to tell you the truth...
Perfect dramatic sense? One of the two people in that car were going to die. It's just a matter of which one. The smart one who knows what he's in for and protects himself or the one who was Snoop. And of course you didn't see her death coming. You don't see anything coming, ever. And you predicted that exact opposite outcome! Who predicts A and then sees B coming? Do you ever listen to yourself?
...and I should take this moment to revise and amend my previous comments concerning Marlo and the potential consequences of his putative punk-assedness. My belief that we would soon see Marlo's demise was predicated on an assumption (and you remember, of course, what Felix Unger said about assuming?) that Marlo knew that Omar was calling him out and that, even with said knowledge, he refused to meet Omar in the street. It turns out now that Marlo didn't know he was being called out.
Let's see, you originally predicted Chris would die, Snoop would live and Marlo would perservere. Since then, Chris was arrested (alive, mind you), Snoop was killed and Marlo was jailed as a drug kingpin. Yes, this would be a fine time to amend your previous comments.
Here's what's interesting about Goldberg's belief. Not one time did we see Chris tell Marlo what Omar was saying about him. In fact, we never saw anybody tell Marlo. What we did see earlier what Marlo having a security guard killed because the guard harrassed him for ten seconds about a stolen lollipop. It's almost like Chris knew Marlo had a hair trigger to his rage and didn't want to stoke the fire. Especially when they were already gunning for Omar. It's almost like Chris feared Marlo's rage and didn't want to be killed himself because he couldn't catch Omar. It's almost like everybody except Jeffrey Goldberg can grasp basic characterization!
Clearly—I'm going to regret that clearly, I'm sure, come the 10th and final episode—Marlo triumphs in the end, just as you Marxists would have it. Levy will discover the illegal wiretap and the Stanfield crew will be sprung from jail just as Lester is led inside. (McNulty, I assume, throws himself off a bridge.)
In a way, this paragraph should've had SPOILER ALERT heading it. Because now we know exactly what won't happen. Thanks for ruining it for us, Goldberg.
By the way, and I know you hate talking about this, but did you notice that the newspaper subplot has become even more ridiculous, as if that's possible? Gus hands off the investigation of Templeton to a presumably sophisticated, just-returned-home foreign correspondent who promises discretion and then immediately asks the library for everything Templeton has ever written!
Yes, if the foreign correspondent wanted to investigate Templeton's work, he should've...um...not done that. Because it's ridiculous to think the archivist would be better friends with the foreign correspondent than with Templeton. I mean, did you see the archivist's glasses? No way that guy can keep a secret! And think about this! The entire newsroom hates the executive editor and the managing editor. Those two guys love Templeton. Of course somebody will talk! It just makes so much sense!
Another thing Goldberg misses is that when the archivist looks askew at the correspondent's request, the correspondent says, "Hey, I'm a fan," and the archivist rolls his eyes. So maybe - just maybe - he believes the correspondent has been away from Baltimore too long and doesn't know the truth about the young star reporter. Just maybe.
Plotz, of course, isn't afraid to chip in with his own stupidity. And I must confess that I'm excited to see how Simon is going to destroy Gus since it's clear that Gus must fall and Templeton must rise.
Yes, it's very clear that Gus must fall. When he presents his bosses with a stack of Templeton's clippings and evidence that he made up quotes, Gus is going to be in so much trouble! Templeton will probably get his job!
For some bonus material, let's go back to Week 8 and look at yet another thing Plotz and Goldberg didn't get. Keeping in mind that unless everything is perfectly spelled out and closed captioned with flaming arrows pointing at the exact intended aim of a scene, these two don't get it.
From Plotz, But I've been wrong about everything and you've been right, so Chris will probably pop one in Marlo's skull five minutes into Episode 9.
Right on the first count, wrong on the next two. But for these guys, one of out three should be considered a runaway success.
Did you get the feeling, as I did, that Chris is going to kill Marlo? After all, Marlo did not, in fact, come down to the street to meet Omar's challenge. If Chris sees Marlo for the punk he apparently is, well, it's goodbye, Marlo.
Goldberg is on to something here. Except, as we discussed above, Chris intentionally kept this information from Marlo. So...uh...this would never come to pass. However, you have to admire a man who's confident enough to misinterpret a show and make rash predictions off of his own mistakes. That takes real gumption!
And in regards to Carcetti's wife, Goldberg observes, No wife I know, including my own wife, and yours as well, would sit even semidisagreeably by her just-come-home-from-a-long-day-at-the-office husband's side as he surfs cable for images of himself, of all things.
It's almost as if he speaks from personal experience here. After being found guilty for murder, Chris is going to be given a choice of sentences. 35 years in prison or one night with the Goldbergs. They'll go out for Indian food (with Mrs. Goldberg going vegan) and then take in a foreign film. After, they will discuss the emotional resonance of the film and the obvious influence of Bertold Brecht on the picture. Chris will choose the jail time, figuring it will be less excruciating.
So I think the only way Marlo can die is if someone is established as an equally brilliant, equally ruthless heir, and none of the gangsters we've met—not even Chris, who's too pensive and moody and facing airtight DNA murder evidence—has the brains and skill to replace Marlo.
Plotz is totally right about this. Unless, of course, you count Michael. Please don't count Michael. All he did is fend off an assassination, take down somebody after him and send his brother out to the suburbs so he could wage war alone.
After Plotz and Goldberg take turns batting around Gus for the unimaginable crime of chasing down a lying reporter, Goldberg confesses, To be fair, I've had editors, especially early in my career, who mesmerized me the way Gus mesmerizes David Simon. But then I realized that most of them were narcissistic shitbags. But maybe that's just my experience.
Only a narcissistic shitbag would dare edit Jeffrey Goldberg's copy! I mean, nobody has been editing this exchange for Slate and look at how electric it is! Jeffrey Goldberg cannot stomach narcissistic shitbag editors who try to make Jeffrey Goldberg's pieces about themselves instead of Jeffrey Goldberg. The shitbags!