The Wire
All Prologue

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: A | 2 USERS: A+
"It Don't Matter That Some Fool Say He Different..."

Under the neon sign of the Domino Sugar plant, Ziggy stumbles out of a doorway and into the street. He's putting a cigarette in his mouth when Frank comes loping up behind him. Once he gets close, Frank gets his first good look at Ziggy's beat-up puss, and asks what happened to him. Ziggy says he fell down. "How many times?" asks Frank. Ziggy looks away and doesn't answer, and Frank beckons, "Let's walk." Ziggy tries to resist, but Frank is not having it. It's time for a pleasant-ass walk, shitbird! Get on board!

The Sobotka boys trudge past the waterfront as Frank tells Ziggy that if they get the votes they need, they'll have the pier operating again by the next spring: "More ships, more work." Ziggy doesn't care. Frank is silent for a few beats, and finally blurts, "What the fuck are you about?...Is that my son lighting hundred-dollar bills like an asshole in a bar full of working stiffs? What the fuck is that?" "Just a smile," says Ziggy. Yeah, it seemed to bring Ziggy as much joy as it did everyone else who happened to notice it. He sighs and offers, "You wanna hit me again, Pop, go ahead, take a shot." However, he seems to be keeping a safe distance of five feet or so as he says it, perhaps counting on superior speed to preserve him. Frank asks where Ziggy got that much money from: "You know you ain't had no days." Ziggy knows that all too well: "It's 'cause my father's in the union." Frank testily reminds him, "Seniority prevails, Zig. It's the only way to keep it halfway honest." Ziggy knows; he says he's not complaining. Frank defensively says he wishes he could give Ziggy more work. Ziggy doesn't really buy it, and Frank muses that maybe Ziggy's mother was right that he should have gone to community college, like his (never-seen) brother. But as Frank keeps talking about how he must have done Ziggy wrong, Ziggy keeps breaking in to try to explain that he doesn't have any regrets: "You wanna know what I remember? Do you? I remember you, and Uncle Jerry, and Uncle Walt Pe-Pop, all sitting around the kitchen table, talking shit about this gang and that gang, who's better with the break-bulk, who could turn it around faster. Who's lazy. Always a fucking argument, right?" "Four Polacks, six opinions," says Frank. Heh. Ziggy smiles, and says he remembers when Frank and his boys went to picket against scabs at Covington Piers, and one guy who got run down by a police car in the middle of it. He remembers when a ship fell during a windstorm and killed a guy. Frank, moved that his experiences actually had this much impact on his fuckup son, gruffs, "Yeah, what else you remember?" "Everything," says Ziggy simply. "Everything." Frank slowly looks over at his son, and they bridge the distance between them as Ziggy takes the cigarette out of his mouth and holds it out to Frank. Ziggy watches as his father takes a drag, and finally Frank asks, "So tell me, Mr. Back In The Day -- what the fuck are we doing down here with the wharf rats in the middle of the goddamn night?" He smiles, and Ziggy grins back as he replies, "Beats the fuck outta me." Having what passes for a hug among tough guys?

Detail office. Beadie, Lester, and Bunk are presenting their findings to Daniels. They've differentiated between containers that seem to have been legitimately lost and the ones that are suspect. They've assigned the colour pink to the containers from the Talco line, that were within Horseface's purview. Daniels asks Bunk whether they tried to question Horseface already, and Bunk -- who doesn't look like he got much sleep last night (his hair's all ungroomed and shit) -- sighs, "We Grand Juried his ass, but that motherfucker didn't blink." As soon as he's uttered this sentence, he has to lurch up in his seat like he's about to barf all over the floor. Daniels disgustedly brings the wastepaper basket over to place under Bunk's suffering face, suggesting that he go to the bathroom to freshen up, but Bunk insists that he's fine. As Bunk struggles to keep his breakfast down, Lester takes over, saying that what the port guys are doing "eliminates almost all of the paper trail." He says that as long as they can get a truck out of the area -- which is easy -- the only trace of their miscreance "is a little telltale in the computer." Throughout this, Bunk keeps threatening to upchuck, and Daniels's total contempt of him is kind of hilarious. "Our target is supposed to be Sobotka, right?" asks Lester. "I mean, on paper, anyway." Daniels, ruefully: "What you're telling me is that it's better than a fair bet that he actually is a target in Bunk's murders." Bunk: "[Retch, gurgle, choke.]" He gets control of himself, barely, and tells Daniels, "Maybe we can fold our investigation into yours." Daniels reiterates how little he cares to risk being responsible for fourteen homicides that could never be solved. "The bosses wouldn't blame you for that!" says Lester, spreading his hands. "I wouldn't shine, either," says Daniels. He blah blahs about why he doesn't just want to take this one for the greater good, with all the reasons we already know because we watch the show and we're not as amnesiac as the chumps who still watch 24. Anyway, Daniels asks what their next move is, and Lester pouts that they need to clone the port computer so they can start watching dock activity in real time. Daniels is down with that, and pushes his chair back to dismiss them, leaving Bunk alone and on the cusp of losing his guts. It's not his most dignified display of all time.

Prison. Avon and a couple of hangers-on are in the hall going one way, D'Angelo the other. As they cross, Avon greets him, but D'Angelo totally ignores him. Avon has to call his name again, and D'Angelo finally turns around and gazes at Avon with a look of such complete disdain that Avon is actually struck dumb by it, and can only stare back in shock at his formerly worshipful nephew until D'Angelo turns and continues on his way. Brrrrr.

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The Wire




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