1.1: The Prophecy of the Anti-McNulty

By Peter Honig

Barlow: Think I give a fuck?

Detective Barlow is a perfect example of The Wire’s ability to put significant lines in the mouths of some of the most insignificant characters. Barlow is the homicide detective who worked the pivotal Blanchard murder, but he only appears in first ten minutes of “The Target” and then disappears entirely from the show until he makes a brief return in Season 5.

Right from the beginning, he is presented as a smug, sneering jerk (and his  nasty season five appearance does little to dispel that notion). Even the thick-skinned McNulty seems like he can barely tolerate him, but that makes sense. Their approach to the job couldn’t be more opposite.