- "This is me, yo, right here?"
Wallace is a young drug dealer in the Barksdale crew's Low Rise Projects' operation (called The Pit) under D'Angelo Barksdale. Wallace is friends with fellow dealers Poot Carr and Bodie Broadus. Wallace is in fact his surname, whereas his given name is never revealed.
Wallace is first seen in the pilot episode, when D'Angelo makes his acquaintance. Wallace jocularly asks how D'Angelo got demoted, to which D'Angelo replies that he "killed a nigga". Later, Wallace unknowingly receives counterfeit dollars from Bubbles and Johnny Weeks. D'Angelo realizes that the money is counterfeit and chastises Wallace for being blind to it before dismissing him. Next time around, Wallace is given the same counterfeit dollars by Johnny Weeks, now failing to notice it due to his focus on an unruly customer. Bodie takes notice and the crew confront Weeks. Though D'Angelo grabs a real $10 bill from Weeks and is willing to let it go at that, the other young dealers brutally beat him and he lands in the emergency room with severe injuries (stemming particularly from Wallace having smashed a glass bottle onto Weeks' head). The next time we see him, Wallace is eating McNuggets with Poot and expressing his liking of it. Also, Wallace and Bodie have troubles with a game of chess and D'Angelo helps them by describing the pieces as representative of Avon, Stringer and the other Barksdale enforcers/drug dealers.
After Omar Little and his gang pillage The Pit crew's stash of drugs, Avon immediately places a bounty on them. Wallace isn't present at either the robbery or the ensuing police raid, in which Bodie endures a beating by the police and many of the Barksdale drug dealers are arrested. Bodie escapes the police and returns to Baltimore, where Wallace betrays the extent of his youthfulness to him by playing with a toy in Bodie's sight. Since Wallace was supposed to be on guard duty at the time, Bodie smashes a bottle in Wallace's proximity, causing a minor injury on the latter's forehead. After, while both Wallace and Poot are visiting an arcade, Poot recognizes Brandon Wright, Omar's boyfriend and accomplice, on the pinball machine. He points him out to Wallace, who decides to pass the information on by calling D'Angelo. Both Wallace and Poot wait outside the arcade for Stringer Bell to arrive. Wallace fingers Brandon for Stringer, who is with his team of Stinkum, Wee-Bey and Bird. They abduct Brandon and later torture him to death. His body is then displayed on the hood of a car, coincidentally outside of Wallace's residence. After Poot and Wallace gather food for children in their home, the young dealers visit the crime scene of Brandon's body. Poot is merely sickened somewhat by Brandon's mutilated corpse, but Wallace is overcome with moroseness and guilt. For most of that day, Wallace voices his disdain of the display to D'Angelo, who reminds him that murdering Brandon is "...part of the game." Avon, alongside Stringer and Stinkum, visits The Pit, in order to fork over 25% of Brandon's bounty to Wallace for "doing the scope", and also to D'Angelo for "doing the relay". This only serves to sharpen Wallace's feeling of blame. He approaches D'Angelo and expresses a desire to return to school. D'Angelo is friendly and supportive and gives him some cash. Poot soon finds that Wallace has spent the money on drugs and is pining away at home. Wallace has been skipping work for him, much to Poot's disappointment. In a scene taking place by the slacking Wallace's bedside, the latter asks Poot for more money, as he intends to absent himself from work again. When a stymied orphan asks him for help on his homework, Wallace presents the problem as a drug dealing process, which his disciple answers correctly. He questions him on his not being able to get the answer earlier, receiving the retort: "Count be wrong they fuck you up."
Wallace gets picked up by the police. At the station, without any coercion or compunction, he reveals Stringer's involvement in the killing of Omar's boyfriend Brandon. In order to keep him safe pending testimony in court, the Detail sends Wallace to live with his grandmother in rural Cambridge, Maryland. After detective Kima Greggs is shot in an undercover operation, the Barksdale detail become so preoccupied with her condition that Wallace gets temporarily forgotten. In the episode following Gregg's shooting, he maintains contact with Poot, and, at one point, states that he decided to live with his family in the country. It turns out, however, that this bores him, until he concludes it was a mistake to cooperate with the police. He then returns to the Low Rise Projects and tries to get involved in the trade again. Bodie suggests he take a demotion, but D'Angelo welcomes him back. Bodie and Poot act friendly towards their returning comrade. Wallace's return, however, arouses Stringer Bell's suspicion, and he questions D'Angelo about him. D'Angelo unsuccessfully tries to reassure Stringer of Wallace's loyalty. The skeptical Stringer assigns Bodie to kill Wallace. Bodie informs Poot, who is reluctant to participate, as he can't imagine Wallace being a snitch. After considering Wallace's period of mental anguish over the Brandon affair, however, Poot decides to go along. Bodie and Poot then spend the day with Wallace, dining at a local restaurant, to accompany him home at night. When they arrive, the orphans are nowhere to be found and, seeing his opportunity, Bodie pulls out his gun and aims at Wallace, making his and Poot's intentions clear now that they had him cornered. Wallace begs for mercy for the sake of their friendship, which only engenders Bodie's disgust. Bodie tells him that he brought the penalty on himself (for having snitched), and, when the nervous Wallace starts crying, Bodie orders him to be a man. He hesitates to shoot Wallace until Poot urges him to fire, which he does, hitting Wallace in the abdomen. More reluctance follows, and Poot takes the gun and finishes him off with two bullet wounds to the face. The pair then leave his body behind.
D'Angelo was outraged by Wallace's death, and it was one of the factors that gave him contemplation to leave "The Game" himself. It also drove a permanent wedge between himself and Stringer.
Wallace is naive, but fairly intelligent on account of his (half-finished) education. This is born out by (among other things) his affinity for pointing out famous icons. Wallace is eager to learn the drug trade and was able to handle it until the watershed event of Brandon's death. As mentioned, this results in the vanishing of Wallace's drug trade ambitions, and his taking up of the habit himself, as a way to escape his bad memories. Wallace's gullible persona increases as the show progresses. He also develops a dependency-type relationship with D'Angelo.
Behind the scenesEdit
Wallace is played by Michael B. Jordan. Creator David Simon has described Wallace as an emotional centre to the show's first season and praised Jordan's performance, saying that he was sorry the character had to leave but that the story comes first. Simon sees the character as an illustration of the adage "a 14 year old drug dealer is still 14."
|Season 1 appearances|
|"The Target"||"The Detail"||"The Buys"||"Old Cases"||"The Pager"|
|"The Wire"||"One Arrest"||"Lessons"||"Game Day"||"The Cost"|
|"The Hunt"||"Cleaning Up"||"Sentencing"|
- ↑ David Simon. (2005). 'The Wire "The Target" commentary track [DVD]. HBO.