Pop Culture Spin

Revisiting ‘The Wire’ Characters Part 7 – Marlo Stanfield

marlostanfieldOngoing for a serious chunk of the future, I will be revisiting some of the best characters to appear in HBO’s The Wire. My series will be a 30-part piece of admiration to the greatest show in entertainment history. With lists come inevitable omissions and controversies, and The Wire is known for amassing a selection of numerous legendary figures. This list will be my best attempt to pay homage to these characters, ranging from popular fan favorites to occasional lesser known ones who made an impact. Parts are placed in no special order.

While disagreements may still come even with a lengthy series, I contend that 30 parts will be a plentiful total to give respect and please fans simultaneously. Certain days will feature two articles and thus two parts being published, others will just be one. If you’re a fan of The Wire and you find my series fulfilling, please share it with others. Pop Culture Spin appreciates your viewership and your efforts to spread the word. You will find each published entry in the series linked at the bottom of this article. Each fresh installment will link all published entries in the same spot. Landing next in the series, we have Marlo Stanfield, played by Jamie Hector.

The first thing that pops into my brain when discussing Marlo is a quote.

“My name is my name!”

While fans weren’t necessarily meant to like Marlo, he was, after all, an enemy to the beloved Omar Little and a thorn in the behind to Avon Barksdale, his importance goes without saying. I suppose that means my article is finished.

Seriously, though, the above quote is memorable for all the right reasons. With Chris Partlow and Snoop by his side, Marlo rose to basically run Baltimore for a time being. It’s arguable that this trio represented the most cold and ruthless threesome in television history. Marlo had zero empathy for others, and committing a kill or ordering one had the same level of ease as having lunch. Was he a psychopath? Possibly. He definitely had severe detachment issues from others. And something about his demeanor was consistently unnerving.

Despite this, Marlo had a desire for community admiration. He sincerely wanted to have respect of those around him even if he didn’t care about these people in the slightest. Stringer was interested in breaking into the business world, Avon simply wanted to run the streets, but Marlo wanted people to know it was he who was running the streets, a subtle but important difference between Marlo and Avon. His status was governed by fear, something easy when the scariest intimidators in the world (Chris/Snoop) were helping back your cause.

Like Chris, Marlo appeared a bit later in The Wire than some other meaningful characters. Although joining midway can have a negative impact on viewers, Marlo was so gripping and pivotal to David Simon’s examination of the drug trade that he’s easily one of the most important characters the show had. Yes, everyone on this list is important, but most weren’t drug kingpins who slaughtered competition without mercy.

Out of all the characters from The Wire, Marlo’s pre-show backstory might be the most interesting to speculate on. What made him such a detached and remorseless figure? Some bad dudes were in Baltimore, but Marlo, in terms of straight demeanor and lack of care for others, might have been the coldest.

Published Entries of my Revisiting The Wire Characters List
Part 1 – Chris PartlowPart 2 – Jimmy McNulty / Part 3 – Bodie Broadus
Part 4 – Frank Sobotka / Part 5 – Tommy Carcetti / Part 6 – D’Angelo Barksdale
Part 8 – William Rawls / Part 9 – Bubbles / Part 10 – Ellis Carver
Part 11 – Michael Lee / Part 12 – Stringer Bell / Part 13 – Roland Pryzbylewski
Part 14 – Wee-Bey Brice / Part 15 – Lester Freamon / Part 16 – Slim Charles
Part 17 – Wallace / Part 18 – Bunk Moreland / Part 19 – Howard “Bunny” Colvin
Part 20 – Avon Barksdale / Part 21 – Snoop / Part 22 – Clay Davis
Part 23 – Brother Mouzone / Part 24 – Cedric Daniels / Part 25 – Proposition Joe
Part 26 – Maurice Levy / Part 27 – Dennis “Cutty” Wise / Part 28 – Randy Wagstaff
Part 29 – Kima Greggs / Part 30 – Omar Little / Extra Part – Final Thoughts

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