During the five seasons of HBO’s The Wire (available to stream on HBO Now), Omar Little (Michael K. Williams) acquired quite a reputation for accomplishing what he’d set his mind to. While he lived by a strict personal code that set him apart from others in the game, his true engine was his dedication to the mission at hand. He didn’t just want to rob drug dealers, he wanted to rob the drug dealers, and eventually waged a one-man war (that was fueled by his rage over the death of his lover, Brandon) against Avon Barksdale (Wood Davis), his partner-in-crime, Stringer Bell (Idris Elba), and later, Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector), who took over the drug trade starting in the show’s fourth season. So, the next time you find yourself on a mission, let Omar’s musings about determination be your guide.
“The game’s out there, and it’s play or get played.”
While not as well known as his oft-repeated “All in the game, yo,” this quote speaks much more to Omar’s brutal day-to-day reality. When Detective McNulty (Dominic West) brings in Omar to discuss his do-it-yourself approach to Baltimore’s drug problem (something even he admits he has a begrudging respect for), he asks Omar to dial it back so his police unit can make their case and put Avon behind bars. Omar, however, explains why that’s simply not feasible, and, believe it or not, it’s not just because Avon put a bounty on Omar’s head. The simple fact is, when Omar’s on a mission, staying ahead of the game is all that’s on his mind. When you’re on a mission, your best possible outcome might result from having the same mentality.