The Wire

Episode Report Card
admin: B+ | 1 USERS: A
"Don't Worry, Kid. You're Still On The Clock."

Back in the seminar, I'm still bored. Frank is still resistant to change. The presenter mutes the film as he tells his audience that some of what they're seeing has already been upgraded: "Rotterdam now works 350 million tons of cargo annually, leaving Singapore a distant second." And Baltimore is...where, on that list? Is that like checking the ratings to see where Life Is Wild is ranked? Frank pointedly asks how many hours the stevedores work in Rotterdam, and the presenter dodges that he doesn't have the figures handy. Translation: there's one guy, and he works a half-day. From home. While high. The presenter does say that four thousand people work at the port. "Four thousand people to move 350 million tons a year?" needles Nat. The presenter nods proudly. Some other dude sitting at the table pipes up to condescend, "That's efficiency, Nat." The presenter says that eliminating some of the dangerous jobs at the port means that work-related accidents are down 60%. He tries to say that they can all be happy with that, but Frank doesn't look remotely happy about a few Dutch goons who avoided tragic maimings. Another guy at the table asks the presenter a question as Frank turns to Nat and grumps, "You can't get hurt if you ain't working, right?" Depends what you do in your off-hours. Ziggy doesn't work that much and he gets hurt plenty.

Stringer shows up at Brianna's apartment, where people have evidently gathered to mourn D'Angelo/eat some snacks. There is a tray of cellophane-covered fried chicken, and you know that everyone who's still there is just hanging around waiting for that to get unveiled. Stringer hands a tray to Jackie, who sighs that they already have enough food to last them a few weeks. Stringer asks after Brianna, and Jackie points down a hallway. As he goes toward Brianna, Stringer passes the kitchen, where Donette prepares yet more food -- man, that ham looks awesome. Stringer stops and asks how Donette's holding up, and she swallows hard and shrugs. Stringer gives her shoulder a noncommittal squeeze and moves along, his game face already firmly in place.

Stringer knocks at Brianna's bedroom door. Hearing nothing, he gruffs, "Bri," and knocks again. Finally, he lets himself in; we can see Brianna, reflected in the mirror over her dresser, sitting despondently on her bed. Stringer enters and sits next to her on the bed, putting his arm around her; she manages to touch his hand, but can't look up, instead contemplating the wadded Kleenex in front of her, obviously just about to lose it again, more, still. After a moment, she starts to sob. Stringer rubs her back, his face somehow both wistful and stony.

Clement Street Café. Ziggy drinks a beer as he flicks through a small sheaf of papers in his hand. Nick enters and is heading toward him as someone unseen asks whether he's worked any days this week. Nick, unconcerned, says he hasn't. La La says that with four ships coming through the port on Thursday, he could have gotten some work, but Nick moves on without bothering to make up an excuse, taking a stool next to Ziggy's. He drops a wad of cash on the bar, telling Ziggy it's his share of revenues for the last two packages, and the balance Frog had shorted him. Ziggy doesn't react, focused as he is on scowling at his papers, so Nick asks what's wrong with him. Ziggy claims "Nothing," for now, and then asks Nick what Frog said: "'Here's a couple hundred extra, make the little fucking goof happy'?" Actually, he said "pissant," so...oh. He actually wasn't serious. Ziggy pouts, "The packages were my thing, Nick. Fuck if you ain't handle that business better, too." "Zig, we're making money," says Nick, not really caring who deserves credit for what now that no one's life is in imminent danger, for a change. Over by the jukebox, Maui starts cracking up like crazy, making his way back to a table with La La, Horseface, et al. Nick looks over to see what the commotion is, and the old-timers (and older-timers, in the case of Maui, who's probably, like, thirty-five) salute him. Picking up his papers again, Ziggy crabs, "Fuck it. I got other issues right now." He throws the pages at Nick, who reads, "Paternity?" It's at just this time that Maui's jukebox song gets to its chorus: "LOVE CHILD! NEVER MEANT TO BE!" Hey, with extremely literal music cues like that, Maui could work for MTV! "Priscilla Katlow," reads Nick on the next page. Ziggy nods, dimpling at his own virility. Nick can't believe Ziggy "knocked up Prissy Katlow." Ziggy says he "only fucked her once" -- which, it turns out, is actually all it takes. Nick says that "everybody down the Point fucked her the once, Zig!" If Ziggy is dismayed to have his baby mama's reputation thus besmirched, he lets it pass. Nick asks how Ziggy knows it's his, and Ziggy shrugs. Nick asks, "You call this lawyer?" Ziggy shakes his head, saying he figured he'd get drunk first -- because what better state is there in which to speak to an officer of the court? Nick calls that a good plan, anyway, and they toast before throwing back their shots. To drunken fatherhood!

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The Wire




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