In the cafeteria, some young kid with remarkably large features sits down and tells Alvarez that he wants to be shanked. He's seen what it did for Alvarez and wants in on the action. Alvarez is getting left alone, plus Morales, though he's acting "powerful and generous," is really running scared. Behind his eyes. Which seems impossible to me, but whatever. The kid wants to join Alvarez's gang. I want to see him naked. In this guy's world, Alvarez is the next wave, and he wants to get in early. Alvarez mulls this over for a second, and says that he understands that the kid feels the need to prove himself, but that he's not going to shank him. There is, however, something else he can do. "Kill Guerra." And then the dramatic music swells, as though we couldn't see that one from miles away.
As Morales speaks to the air in front of him, Officer Dave Brass hobbles over to his table and tells him to "Step over here." Over here, Brass asks if Morales knows who he is. Yes, says Morales, you're the baller. "Pretty good for a white boy," says Morales, but Brass isn't interested in small talk. He wants to know who cut his Achilles tendon, but Morales claims he doesn't know. Baloney, says Brass; I don't care whose idea it was, I just want the guy that made the cut. Morales wishes he could help; Brass says he'll be sorry he didn't. Then Morales waxes sentimental about Brass's amazing crossover dribble, a dribble like he'd never seen, and moves in for the kill. "You know what they say," he says. "You take away a basketball god's first step and all you got is a seal with a broken wheel." Ouch. Wait -- what? What the hell does that mean? And is that really what they say? Because I've never heard it before. And it's stupid. They should say something else. Many flashback shots of Dave Brass playing basketball confirm that he made a few baskets in his day. Before he became a cripple.
In his cell, Busmalis writes; a stack of pages sits on the table to his left. Rebadow walks in and asks what he's doing. It's a letter-writing campaign to protest the rumored cancellation of Miss Sally's Schoolyard, and Busmalis has heartfelt letters from many inmates, except that he's faked all of the signatures, including Adebesi's, and I get a warm, fuzzy feeling imagining Adebesi writing a letter to save a puppet show: Dear Motherfuckers, Don't fucking cancel that great fucking show or I'll rape you all. Love, Adebesi. And this is just an aside, but if I produced a puppet show for kids and got a bunch of letters from a prison telling me how great it was, I'd have to think long and hard about what I was doing with my life. Busmalis asks Rebadow if he'd like to write one, but Rebadow declines and makes some lame joke about renewing his grandson's chance to beat leukemia. Oh, yeah, the diseased child. Guess Rebadow's cure for cancer hasn't leaked yet. Busmalis wonders how that's going, and Rebadow uses the phrase "pay to play," which makes me want to take back all the nice things I've said about him. Poor Rebadow can't figure out how to raise the money to find the cure. How about a bond-building walk from one city to another, where people are forced to hit up their friends for cash in order to participate?