The Wire
All Due Respect

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Mr. Sobell: B | Grade It Now!
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"There's Never Been A Paper Bag"

If, as Freamon posited earlier, good things come to those who wait, then mildly acceptable things come to those who sit around passively, because Marlo just pulled up across the street from Bodie. No time like the present, then, to have that long-awaited face-to-face meeting, so Bodie sidles up to Marlo, who prefers to focus attention on the golf club he's using to practice phantom chip shots with. Chip shots have never looked so menacing. "You know I'm with Avon, right?" Bodie begins. "Stringer Bell? Can we talk?" No -- we cannot: "I need you to walk back up there and pack up your people," says Marlo without ever making eye contact with Bodie. "I'm being a gentleman about it for the moment." As if to illustrate his point, he begins swinging his golf club like David Ortiz swings for the fences at Fenway. It is not a very effective golf swing, but as an intimidation tool, it does the trick; Bodie beats a hasty retreat.

At the Inner Harbor, the Major Case unit is meeting to eat crabs and strategize, with an emphasis on the latter. Pearlman is listing the downsides of picking up Cheese on the strength of his apparent audio-taped confession. "You offer up what you have on this, you start the clock running on yourselves," she says. "The wiretap has to surface in court." She finds an unlikely comrade-in-caution in McNulty, whose usual bloodlust for Stringer Bell is cooled by his desire not to give up the wire just as it's yielding good information. For McNulty, this is Garry Kasparov-level strategizing, so it seems like his colleagues should start paying attention. They do not; Daniels invokes the disastrous Comstat meeting to underscore the fact that the commanding officers want some scalps; left unsaid is that Daniels would prefer one of those scalps not to be his. "We're about the violence," Daniels explains to McNulty, as if speaking to a child who just can't grasp a seemingly straightforward concept. "Have been from the jump. Barksdale was violent. But right now, Stringer's quiet, and over on the Eastside, we got bodies." They go after Cheese, get a murder conviction or two, and maybe they get someone to roll over on Proposition Joe and Stringer. "As far as bodies go, four's a big number," Kima concedes, leaving McNulty as the only person at the table wanting to protect the wiretap at all costs. The wounded look he shoots at Kima suggests that he's taking this latest development with all the grace and equanimity you've come to expect from Jimmy McNulty.

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The Wire

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