Previously on Boston Public: Scott solicited opinions about his readiness to be principal as compared to Marla's; Jamal hugged Harry; Harry learned that Jamal bought his college essay, and yelled at him; Harry got Williams College to agree to still consider Jamal, and told Jamal this was the last time he's putting himself out there for him.
The mean streets of Boston by night. Sirens. Pizza. And whatnot.
Jamal and his brother are buying beers in a convenience store. We can tell that Jamal's brother is an unsavory type, because, whereas Jamal is wearing a dorky striped shirt and a dorky gray hooded sweatshirt, his brother is in all black and has one of those, like, black bandanna/hairnet things on. Anyway, he ribs Jamal for being so responsible about drinking, and Jamal counters that he got into college because he's so responsible, which reveals to us that, despite all his antics earlier this year, he was accepted to Williams. They approach the counter, where Ahmad proudly announces, "This here's my brother. He's going to Williams College, where he's gonna get his B.A., his Ph.D, and his XYZ, ain't that right?" I think that's aiming a little high. The XYZ is an extremely advanced degree; not everyone is cut out for the long struggle required to earn it. Anyway, the clerk asks if, amongst all these other acronyms, Jamal has an ID. Ahmad says he's buying the beer. So the clerk asks for an ID from Ahmad. Ahmad then freaks out and starts yelling about racism and harassment. Various white and Asian customers look up fearfully from elsewhere in the store. Ahmad really loses it when he shows an ID, but the clerk demands one with a picture. Ahmad pulls out a gun. Jamal tries to calm him down, but Ahmad's not hearing it. When the clerk reaches under the counter for something (a gun? a panic button?) Ahmad shoots him. He grabs Jamal, and they run out of the store together.
As a subtle song on the soundtrack croons, "Trouble again there was trouble again trouble again there was trouble again " Harry strolls into school, down the stairs, and into the Dungeon. Jamal is sitting on one of the desks, and tells Harry that he's in some trouble: "But you gotta promise: this is confidential." Harry says homey don't play that anymore, but Jamal tells him anyway, without eliciting a promise of confidentiality. "I think my brother killed somebody last night. We were buying beer. The guy pushed him for an ID. Ahmad starts getting angry. Suddenly he's got a gun. And he shoots him. He just shoots him. I think he's dead." Harry's all, "Kidding?" Kidding. He just stares silently.