Observations: The Wire meets The Dark Knight
“Because sometimes, the truth isn’t good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded.” Batman – “The Dark Knight”
“Don’t matter who did what to who at this point. Fact is, we went to war, and now there ain’t no going back. I mean, shit, it’s what war is, you know? Once you in it, you in it. If it’s a lie, then we fight on that lie. But we gotta fight.” Slim Charles – “The Wire”
I was watching “The Dark Knight” and the final battle with Two-Face aka Harvey Dent, Commissioner Gordon and Batman reminded me of the third season of “The Wire”. The reason being both chose to conclude on the basis of a lie. Then I took it a step further and re-watched “The Dark Knight” and realized that it was extremely similar to that third season of “The Wire” especially Stringer Bell, Avon Barksdale and Marlo Stansfield.
Of course it’s not canon. It’s not an exact duplicate. But the similarities are right there especially the final battle and the last three episodes of season three. They are so similar, it’s almost eerie. Both Stringer and Harvey are held to a higher standard than they can ever reach. So much so that when they fall from grace, it seems from a much larger height than it truly is. Avon and Gordon are both trying to gain something. Avon is trying to regain what he lost and is now a man from a different time with different rules. Gordon is trying to gain a lawful prescence in Gotham but again, his rules no longer apply. Marlo and Batman are the new guard; ready for war and ready to take whatever comes their way.
Now we are talking a four year difference here and also some major differences. The biggest difference is… tone. “The Wire” has a very realistic, street tone while “The Dark Knight” has a fairly optimistic tone and one of redemption. “The Wire” has a tone of loss for criminal sake while “The Dark Knight” has a tone of loss for justice’s sake. They share a tone of sacrifice and while one avoids the light, the other is trying to capture it.
Also the two major deaths are dealt with similar but for totally different reasons. When Marlo is blamed for Stringer’s death although it was Avon who facilitated it, Marlo gladly takes the blame because it strengthens his street credibility. Batman takes the blame for not only Harvey’s demise but those he murdered to safeguard the lie and protect an entire city plus to not let his arch nemesis win the war. Both deaths are wrapped, encased and buried in lies of epic proportions.
Check it out for yourselves. I’m telling you, it’s one helluva quick, fun and ultimately meaningless case study (unless you’re a full blown entertainment whore like myself). I don’t know about you but I think Christopher Nolan was watching “The Wire” on some late nights. I’m just sayin’…