Bodie Broadus

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Preston Broadus
The Wire Bodie.jpg
First appearance "The Target" (episode 1.01)
Last appearance "Final Grades" (episode 4.13)
Created by David Simon
Portrayed by J.D. Williams
Information
Aliases Bodie
Occupation Crew Chief
Family grandmother; brother James, deceased

Preston "Bodie" Broadus is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by actor J. D. Williams. Bodie is initially a Barksdale organization drug dealer in "The Pit" who slowly rises through the ranks. Bodie is an intelligent and disciplined lieutenant, and he shows strong loyalty to Avon Barksdale and the rest of the Barksdale organization after they are severely weakened by both internal conflict amongst leadership and police interference, allowing the Stanfield organization to make their claim over Baltimore's narcotics trade. Bodie is a relatively goodhearted character who sticks to his principles, but at times he can be violent, such as when he took part in the murder of friend and fellow dealer Wallace on orders from Stringer Bell. His relationship with the police is also dynamic. His frequent interactions with Ellis Carver and Thomas "Herc" Hauk begin as purely hostile but improve over time. He eventually earns the respect of Officer Jimmy McNulty.

Biography[edit]

Preston "Bodie" Broadus was raised by his grandmother after his mother fell into addiction and homelessness, dying when he was four years old. He began working with the Barksdales at age 13. His older brother James was a renowned street dealer, who had working ties to Dennis "Cutty" Wise; he too was killed early in Bodie's life, depriving him of immediate familial support.

Season one[edit]

Bodie, aged 16, worked under D'Angelo Barksdale in the low-rise projects known as "The Pit", with his friends Poot and Wallace. He was a more prominent member of the area, and was also more openly violent and hostile than his peers. This caused Bodie to chafe under D'Angelo's soft style of leadership and lead him to sometimes challenge his authority. When The Pit's stash was robbed, he made a positive impression on Stringer Bell by noticing the name of the stick-up artist, Omar Little, and describing the van.

Bodie often displayed a quick, violent temper; he instigated the severe beating of drug addict Johnny Weeks after getting angry at Wallace for letting the group get ripped off with fake dollar bills. In a later conversation in which D'Angelo tries to emphasize decent treatment of the customers, Bodie is unsympathetic; this is perhaps because of his mother's addiction-fueled negligence while she was still alive. In telling his troubled past to Detective Thomas "Herc" Hauk, Bodie's grandmother says that when she took him in, "he was only four, but even then, I knew he was angry." Later, Bodie punched Detective Mahon while being searched. Bodie received a beating for this, from Detectives Hauk, Greggs and Carver. He was arrested, but almost immediately after arriving at a juvenile detention facility, he walked out and stole a car, and was soon back in Baltimore dealing again. He became a personal target of Herc and Carver, who picked him up in the pit and gave him a second beating. However, while waiting for prisoner transfer, they softened towards him over a game of pool. The Barksdale Organization's lawyer, Maurice Levy, soon convinced a judge to release Bodie. Herc and Carver were incredulous at this, but when they realized he had legitimately beaten the charges against him (thanks to Levy), they relented.

Later, Bodie was tasked by Stringer Bell to murder his erstwhile friend Wallace after Avon Barksdale decided to eliminate anyone who might talk to the police. Bodie's willingness to carry out the hit further impressed Stringer. He gathered Poot with little hesitation to aid him in his job. During the lead up to the hit, Bodie was the more confident of the two; however, when they cornered a fearful Wallace, who pleaded with his friends, Bodie showed much hesitation. Only after Poot told him to finish it did he pull the trigger. Although Bodie fired the initial shot, he found it difficult to follow through and kill Wallace as he saw his friend dying in agony. Poot took the gun and finished Wallace off for both of them, and Bodie left the room soon after. After the arrest of his one-time mentor and crew chief D'Angelo, Bodie's leadership skills shone and he stepped into the position by gathering The Pit's members to physically force away a rival drug gang.

Season two[edit]

Stringer began entrusting Bodie with more difficult tasks, such as picking up the main supply in Philadelphia, and assigned him one of the prized Franklin Terrace Towers to run. Poot was assigned to run the pit and he reported to Bodie. They faced problems with poor quality product because the Barksdales' favored New York suppliers severed ties following Avon's arrest. Bodie came up with considered suggestions to work around the problem at Stringer's meetings.

When an independent crew of dealers moved in on the Barksdales' territory, Bodie's violent outburst led the other crew to start a gunfight which resulted in the accidental death of a child. After failing to adequately dispose of the guns, Bodie was picked up and interrogated by detectives Ed Norris and Ray Cole in connection with the crime. They attempted to bluff a confession out of him, but he saw through their trick and was released.

Stringer was unhappy with him, and ordered him to welcome "Proposition" Joe Stewart's dealers to the towers, because Joe was providing high-quality product. He and the other West Siders started friendly competition to entice buyers away from Joe's nephew, Cheese. Bodie was pleased when Brother Mouzone drove away the East Side dealers, but worried about the quality of the product that would be available to his crew without Proposition Joe's help.

Season three[edit]

The Franklin Towers were demolished and Avon Barksdale was released from prison. Western District Major Colvin tried to deal with the spread of the drug problem by offering "drug zones" where dealers and users would go unpunished. Bodie worked in one such zone nicknamed "Hamsterdam"; this brought him back into contact with Herc and Carver, now working in the Western District. When the police made their inevitable move on shutting down the free zones, Detectives McNulty and Greggs tried to arrest Bodie for possession. Bodie, having already once been stopped but quickly released by McNulty on his way into Hamsterdam, displayed his characteristically sharp mind during interrogation and cited entrapment (or "contrapment" as he mistakenly put it) leading to wrongful arrest, leaving an impressed McNulty and Pearlman no choice but to let him go. He also helped Dennis "Cutty" Wise to contact Avon Barksdale on several occasions; the two appear to have a rapport and mutual respect most likely derived from Cutty having known Bodie's older brother.

The Barksdale organization became embroiled in a turf war with Marlo Stanfield's crew. Although Bodie's crew was badly beaten, Bodie himself was not present at the time of the assault. The escalating murder rate brought further police attention. Avon was sent back to prison, Stringer was murdered and the gang was scattered. Bodie was one of the few prominent Barksdale members not present at the home-base, which spared him from the weapons charges.

Season four[edit]

Bodie was forced onto a less-desirable corner due to the Stanfield Organization's complete control of what used to be the Barksdale Organization's prime territories. His newest crew included his second in command Curtis "Lex" Anderson, Little Kevin and Reesy; he employed Namond Brice as a runner out of respect for his father's reputation, despite Namond's poor attitude and lack of street skills. He tried to tempt Michael Lee, a far more effective runner, to take a permanent position at his corner, but Michael declined. Bodie's experience and intelligence allowed him to build up a solid business in his out of way corner, even with a lack of muscle and experienced support, as he only was able to hire younger dealers and inexperienced students like Namond. He continued to have dealings with Sergeant Carver and Officer McNulty, since his operation fell within their jurisdiction, and was considered a source of information for the two; this was shown most when they immediately came to him in confidence after Lex's disappearance. After being released from prison mid-way through the season, Bodie's oldest surviving colleague Poot returned and helped Bodie by working on his corner.

Bodie was supplied quality product by ex-Barksdale enforcer Slim Charles, now working for Proposition Joe. Slim's connections and support helped Bodie build his corner into one of the busiest drug markets. Chris Partlow and Marlo saw this and a few days later offered Bodie an ultimatum: let Marlo's operation take over the corner by force, or remain but work Marlo's package. Bodie had little support from his crew, and even after seeking out Slim Charles was still enraged to submit. After Slim refused to help on the basis of being outnumbered, Bodie acknowledges the lower quality package of drugs that Marlo was supplying from, compared to the high-potency Proposition Joe package, which makes him more determined not to back down for fear of damaging his already fragile business; he ultimately began selling the package offered by Marlo, after realizing that neither Proposition Joe nor the other members of the Co-Op would come to his aid.

In a fit of romantic jealousy, Bodie's second, Lex murdered his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend: a Stanfield dealer known as Fruit. In retribution, Stanfield enforcers Chris and Snoop executed Lex, in an ambush he was lured into by his co-worker Little Kevin. Little Kevin in turn was executed by the pair weeks later because of his failure to follow directions to the letter. Bodie felt that Marlo was violating the rules of the drug trade, yet he was unaware of Little Kevin's betrayal of Lex. He sought Poot for advice on the matter, but his old colleague disagreed with his resistant stance, saying when they killed Wallace, it was just as unjustified. Bodie however remained certain that Wallace's death was necessary, as it involved (supposed) betrayal, whereas Marlo's murders were on the basis of ruthless killings. After Little Kevin's body was discovered, angered Bodie was arrested for kicking in the windows of a patrol car in rage; he was responsible for advising Little Kevin to go see Marlo after the latter asked for his audience. He was released on the recommendation of McNulty, who hoped to turn Bodie as an informant against Marlo. Bodie expressed resistance to giving information on his former Barksdale allies, but was eager to talk about Marlo's crew. McNulty had an increasing respect for Bodie which had been developing since Season 1; this and their unified hatred of everything Marlo had done ultimately convinced Bodie that he needed to step up in order to stop the wave of ruthless murder that Marlo had been causing.

Bodie was seen getting into McNulty's car by Monk, one of Marlo's lieutenants, who later relayed this information to Marlo, who swiftly ordered his death. Later that night, Bodie is dealing with Poot and Spider when Chris and Snoop set up an ambush. Bodie refused to submit anymore and, despite Spider's retreat and Poot's pleas to run away with him, held his ground by firing at the pair. After Poot realizes he cannot convince him otherwise, he retreats. Shortly after Poot's departure, while Bodie is still focused on Chris and Snoop, O-Dog emerges from a doorway behind Bodie and shoots him twice in the head, killing him. The way the scene plays out alludes to the chess metaphor from season one; with both Snoop and Chris advancing diagonally like bishops, Bodie (the pawn) refuses to retreat, O-Dog then steps out of the doorway and turns to towards Bodie like a knight and kills him. When McNulty later asked Poot who had killed Bodie, Poot stated that he held McNulty personally responsible for his friend Bodie's murder.

Bodie's death draws parallels to his older brother James, who himself had died young. McNulty, having developed a genuine respect for Bodie throughout the season, is stricken with guilt. Bodie's death is what ultimately convinces McNulty to return to the Major Crime Unit, as he wishes to atone for being responsible for Bodie's death by catching Marlo once and for all.

Judging by his age at the start of the series, Bodie was around 20 years old when he was killed.

References[edit]