HBO's The Wire follow-up, We Own This City, ended with what would conventionally be called a happy ending: the villains are jailed

But We Own This City is not a conventional story, it is a harrowingly true one, based on real events that meant Wayne Jenkins (Jon Bernthal)

and his racketeering Gun Trace Task Force being thrown into prison was far from a happily ever after.

We Own This City is deeply important, more contemplative than The Wire, and less spectacular in its character moments.

It introduced Baltimore residents as notable as the notorious Omar Little and Stringer Bell but had them waving badges or bail bondsman licenses rather than running the streets as criminal empires.

The Wire traded in moral ambiguity, We Own This City ended up being a relentless horror story of exploitation, classist violence, crime, and corruption.

This was always the world The Wire promised, but David Simon's most famous TV show sought to be something of a final warning.

It's important that shows like this hold a mirror up to the worst parts of us, and that we look back unflinchingly and furious. Here's what We Own This City's ending really means.