Kinder’s essay discusses the ensemble cast in The Wire, which we have also certainly experienced in Homicide. The ensemble class allows for every character to in a way be expendable, whereas in a show like The Sopranos, there is no way the show could succeed if Tony gets shot in Season 3. Perhaps we do identify McNulty as the protagonist and see it hard for him to be removed with the show continuing on. But, McNulty isn’t constantly on the screen and there are so many characters and many more to be introduced.
Throughout the first season we are introduced to multiple character on the cop side and the drug side, and start to make our own judgments on each of them. Someone the viewer identifies with is Wallace, who is forced to spend time at his Grandma’s in the country after talking to the cops, but is desperate to return to his home in Baltimore. Wallace returns to Baltimore and D’Angelo allows Wallace to get right back into the game, while others including Stringer and Bodie have doubts. We see Wallace bring back Chinese food for a bunch of children he is supporting. In a sense, Wallace is one of the most likeable and moral characters on the drug side. Wallace is certainly beginning to be developed as a character amongst the ensemble cast, and just as this is happening, we witness his murder by his two closest boys. The viewer certainly then realizes that The Wire will be different in this sense, and even two of the most likeable characters on both sides, Wallace and Kima Greggs, are not invincible. The ensemble cast allows for this to happen, introducing new characters, which builds into the cyclical nature of The Wire that is discussed in both articles. Certainly, Wallace is replaceable and many other Baltimore kids can fill his roll or are waiting in the wings.