I let out a primal "Nooooooooooo!" as soon as I saw the little boy holding the gun on him in the convenience store.
But with a pull of the trigger, Omar Little, the greatest character ever in the history of television, lay dead on the floor in front of the bullet proof glass. One clean shot to the head. It is a study in contrasts that his death was written so nondescriptly, while his character was anything but.
To an outsider, Omar's character probably sounds like a corny bar joke - a shotgun toting, black matrix duster coat wearing, Newport smoking, drug stash house robbing gunslinger, who also happens to be openly gay. But if you ever saw the flawless acting of Michael K. Williams, you would understand it was no joke. Williams' portrayal of Omar was as real as the scar that ran the length of his face. (bar fight in his younger days) What made me love this character so? I'll do this Bomani Jones style, in list format.
1. He had a code. While he was a wicked gunslinger, he "never did anyone who wasn't in the game." He literally robbed from the hood rich and gave to the poor, ala Robin Hood. Omar complied without complaint when his childhood friend, Detective Bunk Moreland, told him he didn't want "any more bodies on you" after springing him from a trumped up jail sentence. When you contrast him with the icy evil that is Marlo Stanfield, who would shoot Mother Theresa for looking at him wrong, you had to respect the man.
2. He was hilarious. Williams consistently had some of the best lines on the show, never took himself too seriously, and never played Omar as a stereotypical gay man.
- He told his grandmother he "worked at the airport" to shield her from his real profession because it was the "one place she wasn't going to go looking for him."
- While robbing a high stakes card game, he casually peered over his victim's shoulder, while holding a shotgun to his head, and advised,"I don't play cards but it seems to me 4 queens beats two 5s, yo."
- Disguised as a wheel-chair bound elderly man, shakes and all, gets himself wheeled inside a stash house so he can hold up. Pulls a pistol from under his coat and,upon being recognized, retorts "Do tell."
- My favorite image is him leaving the house in a pair of turquoise silk pajamas and slippers, strolling down the street to get a box of Cherrios from the corner store, .44 in hand.
THE PARTING GLASS
O, all the money e'er I had
I spent it in good company
And all the harm that ever I've done
alas it was to none but me
And all I've done for want of wit
to mem'ry now I can't recall
So fill to me the parting glass
Good night and joy be with you all
O, all the comrades e'er I had
They're sorry for my going away
And all the sweethearts e'er I had
They'd wished me one more day to stay
But since it falls unto my lot
That I should rise and you should not
I gently rise and softly call
Goodnight and joy be with you all