One of the best parts of the Wire is the relationship between criminals and police. Carver had the best interactions of any of the police in the series, even better than Colvin and McNulty. And it’s precisely the quality that he lacked when Colvin told him in Season 3 that he wasn’t a very good officer.
A woman in a city hall meeting said that what she hated most about police-work nowadays was the police only came to the neighborhood to terrorize. It’s the western district way and what Carver had come to believe was good police work. Busting heads and jumping on top of cars screaming (great scene by the way). The woman in the meeting said when she was growing up, the police knew her parents by name and they knew the policeman by name, and they talked about their community together, not just when things were bad, but when nothing was going on. There was always a working relationship between the civilians and the police. That relationship is hardly ever depicted in the series, except for when Carver begins to develop as a policeman late in Season 3.
What’s interesting is his partner Herc got that lesson back in Season 1 that talking with the community was a good idea, but Carver is the one that takes it a step further and involves himself in the lives of the corner kids that he is policing. He goes to their hangup spots, learns all of them by face and name, and tries to keep them from their worst fears. He allows Namond to sleep on the police bench overnight because Namond is afraid of going to Juvenile Hall, and he desperately tries to find a foster home for Randy so that he doesn’t have to go back to the group home. He talks with community outreach leaders like Cutty and also takes action on a crooked policeman like Culluchio who had unjustifiably attacked a citizen. Even Herc had to respect who Carver had become by Season 5.
Carver was known for being crooked and stealing drug money, but just as Daniels said in Season 1, he was going to have to learn if it was about him or the job. Carver learned that they weren’t separate. It was about him and the job. And when he threw his full weight into trying to police the broken neighboorhoods of Baltimore and got promoted, the future of the city got a little bit brighter. Carver provides very rewarding character development through the five seasons.
Best Ellis Carver Moments
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