Bodymore, Murdaland.

They left things mostly up in the air by the end of Season 4 on The Wire; now they have exactly one more to line everything up for a tidy conclusion to the series.

With a slight exception for Season 4 (which has the feel like it should've gone about 20 episodes as opposed to the standard 13), The Wire has proven to be the kind of show that has a clear beginning, middle, and end. It's just a show that smacks of total pre-planning before shooting begins, all the plotlines are carefully mapped out, everything happens for a reason, nothing is taken for granted or left to waste.

You can't say that about two of my other favorite shows on right now, The Sopranos and 24. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-it! They just be makin' shit up as they go along as far as 24's concerned. And, don't get me wrong, The Sopranos is fabulous television, but you can't say there aren't some useless episodes sitting around like a stale White Castle fart.

It occurs to me as I sit here that I never did write a proper review to the 24 finale. As far as a rollercoaster of a season is concerned, the highs and the lows and the whatnot, I have to say the finale did right by me.

Here's the thing. 24 Season Finales normally aren't all that satisfying, with a couple of exceptions: last year and Season 2, because both ended on trippy cliffhangers we never really saw coming. You take out those left-field finishers, what you have mostly is Jack Bauer saving the day and then going off by himself for a good cry. Not the way any of us like to see the man, but I cut him some slack because he's gotta be tired after all that runnin' around and lack of sleep. This time around, though, may be more compelling than any other, simply because for a second there we get into Jack Bauer The Character as opposed to Jack Bauer The Action Fiend. Get in his head for a minute: he's saved the world a countless number of ways, most of his compatriots are dead or preggos, this is his first day back to humanity after something like 2 years of Chinese Bauer Torture where he's had to save the world once again. That's gonna be rough on anybody, I don't care who you are.

Of course, we know Jack will be back; he's locked in for at least two more years (though, word has it that the 24 Movie will be pushed back until after the series ends; look for the movie to disappear completely if viewership declines over the next two seasons). Seriously though, you can't keep a man like him down for long. Give him a bed, a shower, couple women willing to do the deed knowing they may not end up living to tell about it, he'll be all right.

As for The Wire, I'll give you another take on things: unlike any other show I've ever seen, I've never had such brazen affinity for the so-called Bad Guys as I have with those on this show. Senator Clay Davis is the skeeviest, shadiest, untrustingest cocksucker I've ever seen in the history of television. This guy makes those Enron executives seem warm and cuddly. But, I'll be damned if I'm not smiling at the end of scenes he's in, simply because it's UNbelievable someone can be on the take ALL the time like this guy is.

Then, there's Omar, who is my favorite character by far. He's just a bad motherfucker any way you slice it. Take this scene in Season 4 when he walks into the enemy's junk fix-it shop (a front for a drug kingpin on the Eastside of Baltimore) with a gun brandished in one hand and a broken clock in the other. Only someone like Omar could set it down on the table after the drug kingpin asks what's wrong with it and say, "Thing ran outta time," also alluding to the fact that he's about to kick some major black ass. Though, possibly the greatest quote I've heard in a while is when he said to a different, more dangerous drug kingpin on the Westside of Baltimore, "Boy, you got me confused with a man who repeats himself," after robbing him blind at his poker game and requesting a flashy ring from his finger.

There was another cat, D'Angelo Barksdale, who was a solid individual always with something thoughtful to say about The Life. They straight up murdered his ass in prison and it almost broke me. I had to take a break from the show for a couple days after that. While I don't agree with the decision to write him out of the show, I can see why it was done and why it was necessary for the overall story. Still, I contend since then that if they kill off Omar, I'll write this show off so fucking fast; it better be in the series finale because that'll be the last episode I ever fucking watch.

But, for some reason, I don't think it'll happen. If there's one overall theme to The Wire, it's the idea that after the apocalypse the only living creatures remaining will be the cockroaches. No matter what goes on around them, no matter how far-reaching the hammer of justice is when all is said and done, it's the people like the honorable Senator Clay Davis and Omar who will be left standing. Because they're scavengers feeding off of the evil that surrounds them. With Senator Davis, he's just taking bribes from both sides, one corrupt politician taking money from another; he's got no agenda but that green and that continued power. Don't rock the boat and you won't fall in the lake. Omar, he robs drug dealers and gives whatever money he makes to his peoples. The Ghetto Robin Hood, Reggie Hood. They both know how the game works and they know how to survive because that's all their lives have become.

It's the ones with ideals you have to worry about. They get so wrapped up in their causes that they can't see the hoodlum with the 9 walking up behind them, hammer cocked. That's what happened to Bodie. He stood tall defending his corner against the new drug regime aiming to take him out because he couldn't be trusted. See, for him, the game changed and he couldn't adapt. Having been reared by the Barksdale family and now incorporated into the Marlo crew, loyalty is one trait that didn't transcend. He couldn't handle that and, as such, had to be taken out.

You never like to see it happen, good kids turning bad, bad guys with good morals being taken out, but that's just the way shit plays out in Bodymore, Murdaland.