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10 Questions Left Unanswered by the Wire Finale

Courtesy of HBO

Last night’s series finale of The Wire took great care to tie up a whole lot of loose ends and answer a whole bunch of nagging questions. Thanks to the events of the finale — and especially the montage at the end — we know that McNulty and Freamon lose their jobs, but McNulty is at least temporarily reconciled with Beadie; that Carcetti is elected governor and Nerese replaces him as mayor; that Valchek replaces Daniels as commissioner and Daniels winds up a public defender; that Slim Charles and Fat Face Rick seem to have taken over the Co-op’s connection with the Greek; and that Scott Templeton wins a Pulitzer.

But one of the great pleasures of The Wire has always been the rich and novelistic details of plot and character, and over five seasons and 60 hours of TV, a lot of questions were raised. Some of them just weren’t answered by this finale, as conscientious as it was. So we’re going to ask. We’ve sent this list to David Simon, and we’ll see if he writes back to drop us a few hints. Weigh in with your thoughts in the comments, and ask a few questions of your own.

10. What, exactly, is in Cedric Daniels’s incriminating file?

9. It seems as though Sydnor didn’t lose his job as a result of the scandal the way McNulty and Freamon did. How did he end up unscathed?

8. Are Chris and Wee-Bay still in the game from prison, or have they just bonded over being muscle for a charismatic drug lord?

7. How is it that Nicky Sobotka is back in Baltimore and out of Witness Protection? Shouldn’t the Greeks be after him?

6. David Simon told an audience at USC a couple of days ago that Randy Wagstaff is actually Cheese Wagstaff’s son. Was that a dropped story line, and would Randy have been affected at all by Cheese’s death?

5. What would have happened to Rawls if he had been outed? Or was his sexuality always intended as simply a little piece of (out-of-nowhere) character flavor?

4. What happens to State’s Attorney Bond? He saved his tail by joining in the serial-killer cover-up, but his choke job on the Clay Davis trial surely cost him capital. Does he go anywhere?

3. Why Valchek as commissioner and not Bobby Reed? Just because Mayor Nerese has the clout with the ministers to name a white commissioner?

2. What happened to wisecracking, coupon-clipping Officer Massey?

And finally, and most confounding …

1. What could Jimmy McNulty possibly do besides be a cop?

Vulture’s complete coverage of the Wire finale:
‘The Wire’: One Last Long, Boozy Irish Wake for David Simon’s Accidental Masterpiece
Actor Ptolemy Slocum on the Emotional Last Night of Shooting ‘The Wire’
‘The Wire’ Finale’s Montage: A Shot-by-Shot Commentary
Sternbergh on ‘The Wire’ Finale: The Anti-‘Sopranos’
Debating the Legacy of ‘The Wire’

10 Questions Left Unanswered by the Wire Finale