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"Moral Midgetry" is the eighth episode of the third season of the HBO original series, The Wire. After Colvin, Roman, and the Deacon meet with a representative of a public At Rico's funeral, Avon and Slim Charles plot revenge on Marlo. Both Avon and Prop Joe believe they see themselves in Marlo and above all is shown when Herc tries to take him in to meet Bunny Colvin. She is first mentioned by Avon as a means to get close to Marlo Stanfield. Snoop sits in the restaurant Marlo arranged to meet Devonne at and recognizes a.
Marlo feigns retreat, then organizes retaliatory attacks against Barksdale territory. Snoop kills Barksdale soldier Rico in a drive-by on Poot Carr 's corner.
Avon responds by hiring a woman named Devonne to seduce Marlo and lure him to a meeting.
Marlo Stanfield - Wikipedia
Though Marlo has sex with Devonne, he grows suspicious of her. Before their next arranged meeting, he has Chris and Snoop scout the location. Chris spots an SUV responding to Devonne's presence and correctly deduces that the meeting is a setup. Chris has his driver drive up alongside the Barksdale vehicle and lets off a single shotgun blast through a side window, wounding Avon and killing another Barksdale soldier named Tater. Marlo and Chris later track down Devonne to her house, where Marlo personally kills her by shooting her once in each breast, then once in the mouth.
Avon responds by ordering more attacks. An attack led by Slim Charles kills two Stanfield soldiers. When Stringer Bell is murdered, the police and drug gangs assumed that Marlo is responsible.
In reality, Avon had facilitated his death by giving Brother Mouzone and in turn Omar Little information about his whereabouts. Marlo and Chris come close to also being murdered when Slim Charles tracks them down.
Slim Charles calls for backup, but Avon and his soldiers are arrested. At the end of season three, Avon is convicted of parole violations and possibly a conspiracy charge. Marlo and Chris attend his sentencing hearing. Avon acknowledges Marlo, thus conceding that the crown has been passed. He ruthlessly protects his territory through Chris and Snoop, who kill off targets on his orders and hide the bodies in vacant buildings.
When one of Marlo's crew chiefs, Fruit, is killed by a dealer from Bodie's gang, Marlo is quick to order the death of Lex, the dealer responsible.
Marlo furthers his reputation around the neighborhood by giving away money, through Monk Metcalf, to children during the back-to-school period. Although most children are happy to accept the money, Michael Lee notably refuses, in an early show of his strength of character.
Marlo keeps his own skills and his soldiers' sharp by organizing shooting practice sessions in the woods. The Major Crimes Unit targets Marlo and begins to monitor his organization using wiretaps, but fail to link him to any murders because of the hidden bodies. They do manage to get Marlo on tape when he uses Monk's phone to talk to a subordinate known as "Old Face" Andre.
When Bill Rawls puts Lt. Charles Marimow in charge of the MCU for political reasons, the investigation stalls, due to Marimow ordering a shutdown of the money-tracing. Stanfield agrees to join the Co-Op to learn more about Omar and the mounting police interest in his own organization. Marlo plans to have Omar framed and killed in jail.
The plan fails and Omar retaliates by stealing an entire shipment of narcotics meant for the New Day Co-Op. Marlo is suspicious of Prop Joe's claim that the shipment has been stolen, and insists on some kind of satisfaction.
Prop Joe agrees to set up a meeting between Marlo and his suppliers The Greeks. Marlo meets with Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos and is convinced that Prop Joe was not involved in the robbery. Marlo begins having Vondas followed in order to learn more about his role in importing drugs into Baltimore.
At the same time, Marlo is impressed with the teenager Michael Lee for standing up to him and believes that he will make a good soldier. He is arrested by Jimmy McNulty and Cedric Daniels on charges of possession with intent to distribute, but as this was the only arrest he had ever incurred, he is sentenced to a total of seven years with possibility of parole.
Season Two[ edit ] The Barksdale Organization season two Avon continues to run his organization from prison through Stringer. D'Angelo and Wee-Bey are imprisoned alongside Avon, serving much longer terms.
When Avon fails to dissuade prison guard Dwight Tilghman from harassing Wee-Bey, he conspires with Stringer to taint Tilghman's illicit supply of heroin into the prison. When the resulting deaths lead to an investigation, Avon comes forward as an "informant" and frames Tilghman for the crime. For his "testimony", Avon's first parole hearing is moved up a year.
A depressed D'Angelo grows more distant from Avon and turns to drug use. Without Avon's knowledge, Stringer has D'Angelo killed and his death staged to look like a suicide.
The Dominicans cut ties with Avon upon suspecting he gave them up in exchange for a lighter sentence. Avon recommends secondary suppliers to Stringer, but is unable to secure anything much better. Stringer tells Avon that Proposition Joe has offered to supply high-quality heroin in exchange for doing business in Barksdale territory. Avon dismisses the idea, but Stringer eventually decides to go over Avon's head and approve the plan. Not knowing of Stringer's double-dealing, Avon contracts feared hitman Brother Mouzone to defend his turf.
Stringer tricks Omar into believing that Mouzone tortured and killed Brandon. Omar shoots Mouzone, but lets him live after realizing things do not add up.
Season Three[ edit ] The Barksdale Organization season three Upon his release from prison, Avon is outraged at how much territory Stringer has lost and gets involved in a gang war with rising kingpin Marlo Stanfield. When Stringer orders two Barksdale "hitters" to ambush Omar as he accompanies his grandmother to church, Avon is angered by the breach of a long-standing truce on Sunday mornings.
After letting the soldiers responsible wait for hours at headquarters, he orders them to buy Omar's grandmother a new hat. Meanwhile, Avon tries to recruit Dennis "Cutty" Wisea former gang soldier, into his organization.
Cutty joins the group for a time but soon admits that the game is not in him anymore. Avon and Stringer continue to clash over their conflicting methods of leadership; Proposition Joe tells Stringer that he will withhold his drug supply if the gang war continues, but Avon believes that giving in to Stanfield will diminish the Barksdales. In the latest of our Wire blogs written by you, the readers, stupidmansuit aka Ben Davie argues that Marlo was the very essence of the world that David Simon was trying to explain: Many see Marlo as the most "evil" being on The Wire.
He lacks the humour and profane wisdom of the more popular B'more denizens, but I believe he is key to understanding the show's themes. He is, in effect, the ultimate bureaucrat, one who plays the system without empathy or fear. His sole aim is the increase of bureaucratic power — both his own power within the bureaucracy, and the power of the bureaucracy itself.
Although he is certainly a person without a moral backbone, it is not really a question of good and evil at all, but of efficient success. Marlo's methods are the same approach taken by say Rawls; the only difference is the bureaucracy is the drug distribution system, so the brutality is more overt. The system itself is the evil, Marlo is just another player, albeit more successful than most. He may come across as robotic and emotionally dead, but I don't think he's some unreal satanic bogeyman.
He does still have feelings and desires, but he has obtained absolute control over them in order to succeed.
The Wire re-up: In defence of Marlo
Marlo allows himself to evince real care only with his pigeons. Emotional reliance of any kind on other humans is detrimental to playing the game so he has denied this to himself and uses his pets as a substitute, a means to safely bond with something.
The first time Marlo makes an impact is when his underlings are about to punish Bubbles and Johnny for leaning on their car, threatening them with a handgun.
Marlo takes in the situation and says simply 'Do it or don't. I've got places to be.