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Barbed ‘Wire’

Granted, The Wire has more scary characters than Night of the Living Dead and Return of the Living Dead combined. But is there a scarier character on television than Snoop? The opening scene from this season’s premiere—Snoop asking a litany of questions about nail guns to a dorky middle-aged white guy working at a hardware superstore who's so out of touch that he thinks she’ll actually use the device to drive nails into boards—is downright chilling.

Last night, Snoop, portrayed by Felicia Pearson on the terrific HBO drama, showed that finely-tuned menace once again as she scoped out a convenience-store guard who’s to be punished for talking back to Marlo. The nearly indecipherable ghetto-speak delivered in a slow, scratchy drawl, the loping stride, the hands always poised to strike or draw a gun…she chills me to the bone. And I only realized last week that she was a she.

By Michael Malone