The Ports Region:
- Avon vs Pryzbylewski. Talk about mis-seeding. This is not so much an upset but a product of poor seeding as Prebs was more complex, more interesting, evolved where as Avon's tale is very much of stagnation. Avon could not adjust and died for it. Prebs went from being the lousiest cop to a puzzle solver to a teacher, and the evolution was most realistic.
- Prop Joe vs Frank Sobotka. Both were interesting characters with Prop Joe innovating with a co-op to organize the drug trade while Frank realizes that he got himself and his pals way in over their heads. Tougher call than it would appear, but Prop Joe due to his endurance.
- Bunny vs. Serge: Bunny in a runaway. Serge was an interesting character, but Bunny had heaps of character and development. He came back after the Hamsterdam fiasco to play a key role here and there, always with great impact.
- Carcetti vs Dukie. Oh, we felt bad for Dukie, but he mostly was acted up on, rather than acting. Carcetti always ended up letting his ambition triumph over doing the right thing. Over time, we saw that again and again, but each time it was still powerfully disappointing.
- Stringer Bell vs Herc. Stringer tries to change. Herc is an idiot who messes everything up again and again. I hope in the mythical future he ends up destroying more Levy cases than he helps. But Stringer, who seeks to change himself and the drug trade, finds himself way out of his depth among the sharks in the construction racket.
- Marlo vs Kima. Again, a mis-seed. Marlo may be seen as cool by the Grantland boys, but Kima was the one who was the more interesting character. Marlo was just Marlo, but Kima faced a variety of challenges, including getting shot, her relationship, dysfunctional partners, and so on.
- Bodie vs Rawls. Tough choice here, as both were there for all five seasons. Bodie started out as a lunkhead but did develop several shades. Rawls was a smart, abrasive, abusive bureaucrat out for himself, helping to undermine various efforts. But he could see why other folks might choose alternative courses and was capable of seeing the good even in McNulty. I think Bodie gets the nod with his amazing spitting ability.
- Wee-Bey vs Lester. Again, a tragedy in seeding. Freamon showed far more shades, did far more interesting things, was smart, dynamic, funny, and flawed. He went along with McNulty on the season 5 serial killer hunt due to his own obsession.
The next round:
- Omar vs Michael Lee: Omar but just barely. Both are great characters, with Michael moving us more. But Omar was with us from season one, and his courtroom scene puts him over the top.
- D'Angelo vs Chris: D easily as D'Angelo in one season was a far more interesting, dynamic character than Partlow in the entire run.
- Bunk vs Bubbles: Close call as both were great characters, but Bubbles was iconic--the drug addict who tries and tries and tries all kinds of schemes, including the occasional effort to go clean. Until he finally succeeds. The Wire was mighty bleak, but at there is one happy ending, more or less.
- Daniels vs Maurice Levy: Daniels was simply in more interesting situations and had had more interesting reactions.
- Pryzb vs. Prop Joe: Przyb again wins with far more interesting shades.
- Bunny vs. Carcetti. Oh my. Both were great characters, but Carcetti simply had more opportunities to, alas, disappoint us. So, given the screen time over the five seasons, Carcetti but only by a whisker.
- Bell vs. Kima. Tough call, but Stringer's tale of trying to change himself and the business, his duplicity against his best pal, the copy-shop, the co-op put him ahead.
- Bodie vs. Lester. Not even close.