We Own This City Breaks The Wire’s Most Important Rule

Omar Little was a ruthless vigilante, but he insisted upon living in accordance with his strict moral code, and while Stringer Bell operated under a slightly looser set of ethics, his endeavors were all focused on achieving something greater than himself. The actions of Wayne Jenkins and the GTTF caused tangible harm to their community for little reason more than unfettered narcissism and greed, turning the characters against one another in a dramatic reversal of The Wire’s themes of loyalty and necessity. Omar robbed drug dealers and thugs to make his living, but he did so (in his mind, at least) as a service to his community, whereas the characters in We Own This City acted only to benefit themselves despite their pledge to serve others.

We Own This City is a worthy successor to The Wire, with David Simon’s deep understanding of police work and the Baltimore area again on full display. The story’s detailed account of the crimes of the GTFF and the broader impact of their actions is as compelling as it is infuriating, with the characters made all the more detestable by their total disregard for their surroundings. In an ironic twist of fate, morality played a bigger role in a show about drug dealers and street criminals than in the one about police.

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