Revisiting ‘The Wire’ Characters Part 1 – Chris Partlow

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chrispartlowStarting today and ongoing 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. Kicking off the series, we begin with Chris Partlow, played by Gbenga Akinnagbe.

Chris, along with Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, represented muscle and intimidation for Marlo Stanfield. He was likely Marlo’s best friend and closest confidant, unafraid to give advice to a figure who didn’t take dissent well. The riveting dynamic to Chris as a character was his polarizing demeanor. In one instance, he could be quiet and calm, in others, he was a ruthless murderer who spent little to no time second guessing his kills. This was never demonstrated more than when Chris beat Michael Lee’s stepfather to an absolute pulp, one of the bloodiest and most gruesome TV attacks I’ve ever seen.

The reason? It was suggested in The Wire that Michael’s low-life stepdad was a child molester. The implication to be had was that Chris was a victim of child molestation earlier in life, and a perceived victimizer became the perfect target for Chris to unleash his anger. Beyond this beat down, Chris sent plenty of victims to their deaths by killing them and hiding their bodies by boarding them up in abandoned houses. He stopped at nothing to aid Marlo’s rise and his own status in the process.

What I enjoyed about Chris, if it’s acceptable to enjoy character traits of a multiple television murderer, was that he never wavered in his personality. Even as his crew rose and his pockets got deeper, he still wore the same crummy clothes. Chris never became a loudmouth or one interested in glorifying his acts. The deeds weren’t committed for namesake purposes or for earning respect. Chris was loyal to his character, loyal to his friends, and that simple but profound ease to his decision making made his role particularly chilling.

In the end, Chris landed a life sentence because of his work under Marlo. Murders and terrible deeds caught up to him. But for his part in a critically important crew of The Wire, and his necessary presence in a complicated HBO world of violence and codes, Akinnagbe’s character deserves recognition.

Published Entries of my Revisiting The Wire Characters List
Part 2 – Jimmy McNulty / Part 3 – Bodie Broadus / Part 4 – Frank Sobotka
Part 5 – Tommy Carcetti / Part 6 – D’Angelo Barksdale / Part 7 – Marlo Stanfield
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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About Author

Tyler is the Editor-in-Chief for Hardwood and Hollywood's pop culture section. He has an unrelenting fascination with Lisbeth Salander and Omar Little. If you're looking to work on a writing project with Tyler or to be interviewed, reach him at [email protected]

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  1. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 2 - Jimmy McNulty - Pop Culture Spin

  2. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 3 - Bodie Broadus - Pop Culture Spin

  3. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 4 - Frank Sobotka - Pop Culture Spin

  4. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 5 - Tommy Carcetti - Pop Culture Spin

  5. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 6 - D'Angelo Barksdale - Pop Culture Spin

  6. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 7 - Marlo Stanfield - Pop Culture Spin

  7. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 8 - William Rawls - Pop Culture Spin

  8. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 9 - Bubbles - Pop Culture Spin

  9. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 10 - Ellis Carver - Pop Culture Spin

  10. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 11 - Michael Lee - Pop Culture Spin

  11. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 12 - Stringer Bell - Pop Culture Spin

  12. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 13 - Roland Pryzbylewski - Pop Culture Spin

  13. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 14 - Wee-Bey Brice - Pop Culture Spin

  14. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 15 - Lester Freamon - Pop Culture Spin

  15. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 16 - Slim Charles - Pop Culture Spin

  16. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 17 - Wallace - Pop Culture Spin

  17. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 18 - Bunk Moreland - Pop Culture Spin

  18. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 19 - Howard "Bunny" Colvin - Pop Culture Spin

  19. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 20 - Avon Barksdale - Pop Culture Spin

  20. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 21 - Snoop - Pop Culture Spin

  21. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 22 - Clay Davis - Pop Culture Spin

  22. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 23 - Brother Mouzone - Pop Culture Spin

  23. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 24 - Cedric Daniels - Pop Culture Spin

  24. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 25 - Proposition Joe - Pop Culture Spin

  25. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 26 - Maurice Levy - Pop Culture Spin

  26. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 27 - Dennis "Cutty" Wise - Pop Culture Spin

  27. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 28 - Randy Wagstaff - Pop Culture Spin

  28. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 29 - Kima Greggs - Pop Culture Spin

  29. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters - Entire 30-Part List, Omissions, and Final Thoughts - Pop Culture Spin

  30. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 30 - Omar Little - Pop Culture Spin

  31. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 2 - Jimmy McNulty - Hardwood and Hollywood

  32. Pingback: Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 3 - Bodie Broadus - Hardwood and Hollywood

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