This is far premature for me to be writing about The Wire, since I haven't watched a second of Season 5, but I couldn't resist. For those who are following, the ongoing discussion at Slate.com is very good, even when it stretches its arguments (I still don't understand how the show is Neo-marxist).
According to fans, the last three episodes of The Wire (episodes 7, 8 and 9) have been absolutely amazing and devastating. Even a David Simon fan like myself, who is far behind on the series, couldn't avoid following the excitement that suddenly saved the fifth and final season. And happily, David Simon isn't out to stage a morality play ending. He is letting events play-out in the seedy world he created. David Plotz in Slate sums it up simply:
The lesson of The Wire has to be that the game never stops and that it always gets worse.
It's a very simple theme for what many believe is the greatest television series ever. It was truly a highbrow show about low-life, hardcore street crime. It was a fascinating mix, and a success story that a crime drama can still be compelling television without being pulpy (think The Sopranos). I just hope it wasn't critically acclaimed simply because it had more fully-developed Black characters than any TV show before it. White guilt should not the be cause for The Wire's success. It was far-superior writing and character development that made the show the very best, like Homicide before it.