The Toyota Prius’ Super Bowl ad had a big, shiny easter egg for “The Wire” fans: It reunited three of the actors who played members of the Sobotka family in Season 2 of “The Wire.”
That was James Ransome, who played Ziggy Sobotka, behind the wheel. Chris Bauer, who played his dad, Frank, was in the passenger seat. Pablo Schreiber, who played Cousin Frank, was in the back. As of this writing, we’re not sure who the other guy in the backseat was. But he seemed pretty well connected.
Apparently, the Sobotkas have fallen on even harder times: In the ad, the four actors play bank robbers who buy a Prius with their stolen cash after their car is towed. (Ziggy probably planned the heist — typical Ziggy.)
In a follow-up ad that aired moments after the Super Bowl, cops trying to catch the Prius-driving bank robbers souped up a Prius of their own for a hybrid hot pursuit.
The ex-“Wire” actors are getting plenty of work lately — Bauer plays Det. Tom Lange on FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson,” Ransome is in the upcoming feature “In a Valley of Violence,” and Schreiber plays Pornstache on Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black.”
One fan on Twitter wasn’t too happy about Ransome’s new role, but Ransome had enough of a sense of humor about it to retweet the critique:
Why is Jason Ransone doing Prius commercials? Dude is seriously talented.
— Nick Prime (@NC_Prime) February 8, 2016
Hey @Toyota nice subtle ploy for sanders by making bank robbers the good guys
— james ransone (@jamesransone) February 8, 2016
More Twitter reactions:
— Christian (@LivChristianLiv) February 8, 2016
— Brandon (@BrandonUlrich2) February 8, 2016
Frank sobotka faked his death and ziggy broke out if prison to rob banks and steal prius'
— Pretty Dick (@StankJankins) February 8, 2016