Here's a really interesting interview from the LA Times with actor Dominic West (aka, Jimmy McNulty) about season five of The Wire. As the intro to the interview says, there are a few lines that might be considered oblique spoilers, so read it at your own risk. It doesn't give away anything crucial, though, if you ask me, and it goes a long way toward explaining why this season feels rushed and more implausible than earlier seasons: to wit, HBO cut the season from the usual 13 episodes to only 10. If Simon and his writers had had the extra three episodes, I'm confident Jimmy McNulty's derailment (and Lester Freamon's astonishing decision to join in) would be a lot more credible. It also explains why Clay Davis's trial, which would last weeks in real life, lasted only a day in the show.
But I hasten to add, even less-than-perfect Wire is still better than the best of almost anything else on TV. And I also have to say that West's debut as a director (he directed last Sunday's episode 7) resulted in the best episode of the season so far. Especially that lovely moment at the end, with Kima doing the Baltimore version of Goodnight Moon with her adopted son. It was gorgeously written by the great Richard Price and beautifully shot by West. The Wire usually doesn't go in for bravura filmmaking, but when it does, as in the crane shot of Kima and the boy in the window, it's stunning. It wasn't just one of the best moments in the season, it instantly became one of my favorite moments in the whole history of the show.