We Own This City Part 4 is the fourth instalment of an American true crime drama miniseries based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton. The miniseries was developed and written by George Pelecanos and David Simon, who had previously collaborated on The Wire and Deuce. The premise involves the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) and the corruption surrounding it.
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We Own This City Part 4 brings the focus back to Wayne Jenkins – played by Jon Bernthal – the key figure in the corruption saga unfolding in this miniseries. While once more, following the numerous time jumps might be disorienting and difficult to keep track of, Bernthal’s performance and gritty crime sequences make for compelling viewing.
At the end of We Own This City Part 4, Jenkins utters those four words that make up the series title in a bizarre pep talk to his men in the GTTF – bravado that asserts that as long as their gun recovery numbers are high, the powers that be will leave them alone and they can continue with their robberies, unjustified arrests and killings.
Even though the miniseries is very light on characterisations – unusual for a miniseries created by Pelecanos and Simon – the realism of the events portrayed helps us viewers to set that aside somewhat and simply reveal guiltily in the crime drama. After all, the contradiction of corrupt police officers, breaking the law they have sworn to uphold, manufactures its own potent mix of tension and conflict. All this even though we know that ultimately, Jenkins and company pay for their crimes.
Which is why We Own This City Part 4 continues to put this miniseries in recommended territory.
Now streaming on HBO Max.
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