(Photo courtesy of http://readjack.wordpress.com/)
Two characters that are featured throughout Season 1 and Season 2 are the “unlikely duo” of Roland Pryzbylewski and Lester Freamon. These two characters found strength in one another after being paired together in the Barksdale detail. They formed a unique bond as they were both labeled the outliers of their departments.
The thing that I found to be extremely interesting about them is how they both show great skill in their respective talents and how both have benefited from one another. Pryzbylewski “Prez” was a bit of a loose cannon in Season 1 as he was banished to office work after assaulting a minor during a drunken rage. However, in his down time of doing puzzles, he found the missing connection in the wire taps. As he and Lester began working together, we saw a relationship form and their work broke open the information on the wire taps.
However, though he excelled in the Barksdale case, we remember that Prez is the son-in-law of the Southeast Major Stan Valchek. It is the only reason he was not fired for the assault, but also that he is only seen as being around because of his father-in-law. Throughout Season 2, we begin to see Prez grow as he becomes a better police officer, though not out in the field, and a lot of his brillance is kind of glossed over. The work that he and Lester accomplish has been vitale to both investigations and the only people that seem to benefit are Major Valchek and Lt. Daniels. It shows the flaw in the police system that a man who does good police work and tries to stand up to the system is only batted down to the basement graveyard shift.
Enjoy this scene of Prez.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7n8NcWSIvsM]
Lester Freamon is also a great example of what is wrong with the system. We learn in Season 1 that Freamon began his career in homicide and after pressing forward in a case that called for him to defy orders, he was sent to the pawn shop division. It was only after the Barksdale case that he was promoted back to homicide where he took McNulty’s job. But that did not mean any respect for him.
According to an article on DiscovingtheWire.com (link here), they put it best when they say “Lester Freamon represents what you ultimately want out of your most diligent detectives. But the tragedy in detectives like him is they are never satisfied with the surface of an investigation. They follow the rabbit hole as far as it will go, which more often than not forces them to disobey orders from superiors who don’t want to bite off more than they can chew. And this is why Lester Freamon, on two occasions, has his career buried. Ambitious policeman are rewarded only when their ambitions are sanctioned…It’s that disconnect between majors and detectives that cripple the police department in this series.”
We see the flaws in the police structure in both Season 1 and Season 2, but with characters like Lester and Prez, we see who really gets burned in the end. The guys who are not respected are sometimes the ones who do a lot of the intelligent work.