Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jimmy McNulty

"He was the black sheep, a permanent pariah. He asked no quarter of the bosses and none was given. He learned no lessons; he acknowledged no mistakes; he was as stubborn a Mick as ever stumbled out of the Northeast parish just to take up a patrolman's shield. He brooked no authority. He did what he wanted to do and he said what he wanted to say…”

If Detective Jimmy McNulty isn’t getting too drunk to put together a child’s bed frame from Ikea or weaving an elaborate plot to deceive the entire city of Baltimore into thinking there is a serial killer on the loose in order to get more public funds for the police department, he’s probably banging a state’s attorney or driving his car into pylon and then going home with a waitress from some local dive just like Warren Zevon taught him to do.  For Jimmy, hair of the dog has no meaning because he hit the dog backing out from the bar and taught Shane MacGowan everything he knows about drinking. Accordingly the FBI labeled him as “a high functioning alcoholic” in their profile of him. High functioning is right - it takes gallons to give him whiskey dick.

“It’s like I'm just a breathing machine for my fucking dick.”

When McNulty takes a woman in, he is like a hurricane hitting a trailer park: He tears it up, he flings it wherever he wants, and then he puts it down miles from where he found it, in a state of utter chaos. With two kids and a vengeful ex-wife, it’s no surprise that McNulty has to throw down Trump change on alimony and child support. He slams women faster than shots of Jameson and if he isn’t doing it in his car, he is doing it with a married woman on his car, because it’s his night with the kids and he doesn’t want to wake them up. His method is simple and predictable, yet entirely irresistible: A) Find woman. B) Pretend that he is cleaning up his life. C) Get woman to take him in. D) Revert to doing exactly what he was doing before he met the woman, but way, way harder. E) Find another woman.

“You don't look at what you did before, you do the same shit all over.”

Soaked in Jameson and cloaked in defiance, Detective Jimmy McNulty clearly doesn't care what anybody thinks. He alone looms larger than either the George Washington Monument or the one-eyed Natty Bo sign that glows eerily through the crime-filled Baltimore night, alternately scowling with disdain at any and all authority figures, or grinning in delight as he staggers from the ruins of another woman’s life. He is a hell of a cop, a renowned hellion, and he is killin’ it night and day. 

“You play in dirt, you get dirty.”

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