But the final moments of Boardwalk Empire cast the entire show retrospectively in a classical light. King Arthur dies by the fruit of an early incestuous relationship with Morgana le Fay and with him the unity of the kingdom he had devoted his life to establishing. The young Nucky Thompson's deliberate collusion with evil, a single act taken for the sake of his own advancement, literally spawned the child whose child, like another Mordred, ultimately did him in. Of course, what dies with Nucky is but the remains of the petty fiefdom he was able to construct in Atlantic City by ruthlessly exploiting the demand for drink during Prohibition. But the basic moral structure is the same as in Malory: our own evil undoes us, and this implies that the cosmos is ordered. And then as now, if this to be delivered on streams of blood, well then all the better.
For the record, I thoroughly enjoyed The Wire, and perhaps I go too far in declaring it amoral. Season 2 was worthy of classical tragedy, telling of a man undone by an unchecked urge to fatherly protection. But that was only an episode within a larger tale that cannot abide Aufhebung. How exactly could you boil the drug wars down to a moral? Doesn't the morally ambiguous career of Jimmy McNulty rather mirror both sides of the law in Baltimore?
But in the Timaeus, the universe exhibits an order that endures. The only struggle is for man to rise to the challenge of imitating that order:
And by reason of all these affections, the soul, when encased in a mortal body, now, as in the beginning, is at first without intelligence; but when the flood of growth and nutriment abates, and the courses of the soul, calming down, go their own way and become steadier as time goes on, then the several circles return to their natural form, and their revolutions are corrected, and they call the same and the other by their right names, and make the possessor of them to become a rational being.