(Photo Courtesy of HitFix )
In Season 3, we are introduced to Dennis “Cutty” Wise, a former highly regarded enforcer sentenced to jail for 14 years, taking the fall for several murders. After being released, Cutty finds that the game has continued on without him. But we also see from Cutty that the game has not changed in the years that he was locked up, but his outlook on society has.
After witnessing his two Barksdale companions beat up another dealer on the streets for stealing money, the expression on Cutty’s face shows just how removed he was from the game while in prison. The brutality that he was known for lashing in his prime, was a horror to him now.
We saw from Cutty early on that right before he was released, he met with Avon that if he wanted back in the game, he had a number to call. Cutty tried to survive on his own, living with his grandmother in her basement and getting work doing lawn maintenance. But he couldn’t resist the money that the package brings with it. After being robbed of his first package earnings, we saw Cutty go after the kid that stole from him, but let him run off alive even though he had his life in his hands.
After awhile, Cutty can no longer handle the game. This leads him to talk to Avon in the scene below.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YLl2S95dBM]
In a great read on Discovering the Wire, it says:
“Cutty represents reform. An institutionalized man trying to break free and become accepted into a society that will never forget, or let him forget about his past. Though the series ends with Cutty still in the beginning stages of helping other kids not make the same mistakes he did, you can already tell that Cutty has something that people that remained on the straight and narrow all of their life hardly ever have. Pull in the streets. Irony takes center stage again here as a felon may be the best person to help the corner kid, not the police, or the mayor, or even the teachers who are told to steer clear of having personal relationships with the kids. Cutty represents some of the changes that need to happen in order for change to begin to happen.”
I think as this season progresses, we’ll see more change in Cutty and see him with the same struggles as a similar character in D’Angelo Barksdale.