Respect My Authority:
The Evolution of Michael Lee
Lucas Smith
From "Know Your Place, 4.09 The Wire.
t the beginning of Season Four of The Wire, the
show introduces us to a seemingly normal
middle school student: Michael Lee. He is
good friends with Namond Brice, Randy Wagstaff, and
Duquan “Dukie” Weems, and while he is more soft-
spoken than his peers, it appears that Michael
assumes a leadership role within the group. A product
of a broken home, evidenced by his drug-addicted
mother, Raylene, and the absence of his step-father,
Devar, Michael assumes a protective role over his
younger half-brother, Bug, to whom he is effectively a
parent. Due to this, in combination with other factors,
Michael has little trust in the adults in his life. Through
the character of Michael Lee, The Wire showcases the
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