Duquan "Dukie" Weems

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Duquan Weems
The Wire Dukie.jpg
First appearance "Boys of Summer" (episode 4.01)
Last appearance "–30–" (episode 5.10)
Created by David Simon
Portrayed by Jermaine Crawford
Information
Aliases Dukie
Gender Male
Occupation Student

Duquan "Dukie" Weems is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by Jermaine Crawford. Dukie is a student at Edward Tilghman Middle School. He has a difficult home life due to the fact that many of the adults in his home are either alcoholics or drug addicts. Because of his struggles through abject poverty, he is a recurrent target for teasing and bullying for his body odor and his clothes. He relies heavily on his friends Namond Brice, Michael Lee and Randy Wagstaff for emotional and sometimes financial support, despite Namond's tendency to bully him. Michael remains loyal to Dukie, giving him both work and residency at the end of the fourth season.

Series[edit]

Season 4[edit]

Dukie faces bullying and beatings from a rival gang of boys, from whom his friends fiercely protect him. Following Dukie receiving a beating, his friends plan a retaliation. Dukie takes part but the plan backfires and some of his friends are caught and beaten. Namond rewards his efforts with an ice cream at Michael's urging.

The assistant principal at Dukie's middle school, Marcia Donnelly, provides him with second-hand school supplies. She has one of his peers, Crystal, deliver it to him at home but is careful to instruct her to give it directly to Dukie to be sure that it reaches him.

When the school year begins, Dukie walks to school with his eighth grade classmates Randy, Michael and Namond. Rather than them calling for him he waits for them and then joins them. Randy gives Dukie his packed lunches to eat. De'Londa Brice refuses to let Dukie into her home when the boys visit Namond. Outside school Dukie finds a discarded electric fan and he spends his free time on the first day of school repairing it. He is teased by his classmates for his lack of personal hygiene. In particular, a girl named Chiquan refuses to sit next to him in Mr. Pryzbylewski's math class. Chiquan is attacked with a boxcutter by a female classmate whom she bullied earlier in the season. The girl injures Chiquan and is then disarmed by Mrs. Sampson. Dukie approaches the disarmed girl as she sits on the floor in a state of shock. He gives her his repaired electric fan.

Dukie helps to convince Randy that Stanfield soldier Chris Partlow is a murderer rather than a supernatural force. He tells Randy he witnessed Chris kill someone in a vacant building but asks him to keep it a secret. He shows Randy and Michael a body interred in a vacant house as proof.

Prez tries to help Dukie by giving him food at lunchtime and providing him with new clothes. The clothes are soon taken by Dukie's family to be sold for drugs and booze. Prez later gives Dukie another set of clothes, which are to be kept in a gym locker at school. He offers to let Dukie inside the gym early to wash up in the morning and to take his clothes home to clean in the evening. Dukie becomes close to his teacher and helps him to unearth a computer from storage at the school which he later uses for a special class project. Dukie begins to enjoy the class and becomes one of the more competent students, as well as learning a variety of skills on the computer.[1]

Before the end of the school year, Duquan's improved performance gets him promoted to the ninth grade, much to his dismay. He is promoted, according to Ms. Donnelly, to "be with his peers." Although it's clear Duquan is not socially ready to enter the ninth grade, the school looks at it as a way to "juke stats" which makes it look like their students are showing better progress and advancement in their skills than they really are. Duquan bids farewell to Prez, who tells Duquan to visit him at school whenever he can. Duquan goes to his house one night with Michael and sees an eviction notice on the door. With Duquan's family being evicted and no place to live, Michael offers Duquan to stay at his new residence which was provided by Marlo. Duquan accepts. Michael further shows his loyalty as a friend to Dukie by beating down Namond after Namond makes fun of him for a last time in Cutty's gymnasium.

In the season finale Duquan makes an attempt at going to his new school but, without the presence and support of his friends, he can't bring himself to go to class. Later he pays a visit to Prez at school without his backpack, wearing brand-new clothes, and bearing a gift for Prez. Suspicious of this, Prez follows Duquan, only to find out he's now dropped out of school and is on the corner selling drugs as part of his friend Michael's crew.[2][3]

Season 5[edit]

Duquan fails to win the respect of Michael's drug dealing crew including Spider and Kenard. When the drug dealers won't communicate with Dukie, Michael decides to take him off the corner and pay him to look after Bug. Dukie is worried about the emasculating effect of the decision and concerned over how he will spend his time but accepts Michael's recommendation.[4][5]

Following his involvement as a lookout in a triple homicide Michael becomes socially withdrawn. Dukie convinces Michael to take a day trip to Six Flags with him and Bug. The two enjoy their day but when they return Monk confronts Michael about leaving his corner unattended.[6][7] After being taunted by Kenard and beaten up by Spider, Dukie tries to get Michael to teach him to shoot, and approaches Dennis "Cutty" Wise for training in self-defense. Dukie tries to find work at a shoe store but the salesman, Poot Carr, tells him that he can not apply until he is 17. When Michael is forced to go on the run from Marlo's crew, Dukie goes to stay with the heroin-addicted arabber who offered him work. Duquan pays a visit to his former teacher, Mr. Pryzbylewski, asking him for a loan in order to get back in school and get his GED. Prez is immediately suspicious of this, but gives Duquan the money anyway. When Pryzbylewski drops him off after giving him the money he sees that, as he expected, he has in fact been hustled by Duquan, who returns to the arabber with the money in hand. Pryzbylewski drives off as Duquan and the arabber go off to buy drugs, evidently disappointed. In the ending montage, Dukie is shown shooting heroin with the arabber. His actions parallel those of Bubbles.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Character profile - Duquan "Dukie" Weems". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-09-16. 
  2. ^ Ernest Dickerson (2004-12-10). "Final Grades". The Wire. Season 4. Episode 13. HBO.
  3. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 50 Final Grades". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  4. ^ Joe Chappelle (2008-01-06). "More with Less". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 1. HBO.
  5. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 51 More with Less". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  6. ^ Scott and Joy Kecken (2008-01-20). "Not for Attribution". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 3. HBO.
  7. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 53 Not for Attribution". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.