The Wire
All Prologue

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

"It don't matter that some fool say he different..." -- D'Angelo. What about the ones who say he's the life of the party?

Detail office. Daniels is running a meeting, asking the troops, "What do we know?" Lester reports that Frank seems to "live within his means." Prez opens a folder to elaborate that he's paid off his truck and has a house in Glen Burnie, and that his credit history is okay. Lester adds that there's no flash to Frank. Kima says that Frank doesn't sound to her like much of a money man. Carver suggests that he could be hiding it. Lester says, "The union is also a little threadbare. They paid the taxes on union hall almost a year late, and that was only after they got hit with liens. Looking at their books--" Daniels breaks in to ask if Lester subpoenaed the I.B.S. books, but Prez says you don't need to, and Lester tells Daniels what we already know about the union and the Justice Department. Prez says that they called Washington and got a copy of everything the union locals in Baltimore have filed. Lester says that there are fewer than a hundred checkers still paying dues, and Beadie adds that the number is down from around three hundred in the '70s: "They're hurting." Daniels nods. Herc asks where all the money is that Valchek is freaking out about, and Prez mentions the lobbyist, Bruce DiBiago. He adds that, as individuals and union officials, I.B.S. guys have paid around $70,000 to "various PACs and Democratic organizations in the last eight months." Daniels asks whether any of that is on their books, but Lester says that they pieced it together from campaign finance reports: "And that's just what was in the names of the union officers we cross-referenced."

Kima asks where the cash is coming from. "Drugs?" asks Daniels, somewhat unimaginatively. Lester says that the DNRs on the phones at the union hall "don't show much": "Union business and personal calls, but no beepers. And not much in the way of cell numbers or pay phones, either." Lester asks about the hand-to-hands, and Carver says that they're buying from a lot of white boys, in neighbourhoods like O'Donnell Heights, Greektown, and Highlandtown. Kima says that any port connections "feel random." Daniels says that the money comes from somewhere. "Maybe it's what the checkers do," muses Beadie. Lester looks over at Beadie with interest. Getting nervous, she stiffens up: "I mean, they monitor what comes in and out of the port. That's what they do -- that's their value." "They're bringing the shit in?" guesses Herc. Beadie shrugs. "Or they're letting it happen," says Lester. "Like that can full of dead girls," says Beadie. "They kept that out of the computer." Daniels says that's why they're going to "quietly do some work on that side of things." He tells Prez and Kima to start looking at girls. "No problem!" cracks Kima, and everyone laughs, because Kima likes boobies. Prez looks like he's not so sure. Daniels elaborates: "If they're coming into Baltimore, who's working them? Are they club dancing? Whoring? We need to plug into that circuit." This kind of talk gets Herc all hot, and he starts gazing frankly at Beadie, undoing her sensible wheat-coloured henley sweater with his eyes. Daniels adds that Lester will stay on the paper trail and DNRs, "looking for connections to the union money." Beadie notices Herc noticing her, just as Daniels says that Herc and Carver will keep working the drug corners near the port. Carver elbows Herc in the shoulder, either to acknowledge the instruction or to signal him to roll his tongue back up into his mouth. Daniels concludes by saying that Beadie and Bunk are assigned to Homicide, but will be working with the detail to comb the port database for a pattern involving contraband. The meeting breaks up, and Herc makes a beeline for Beadie, sticking his hand out and introducing himself as "Thomas." She shakes: "Beadie." Herc, with remarkable delicacy, invites Beadie to accompany him to Royal Farms for a cup of coffee. Beadie holds up the mug in her hand, like, "All set," and wanders off. Once she's gone, Carver comes up to Herc with a dopey expression: "Yo. I'm Thomas. You want a coffee?" Herc lowers his voice: "Listen, I was gonna ask her for her panties to make some soup with, but I was afraid she'd take it the wrong way." Oh, I don't think there is a wrong way to take a request that appealing. Herc moves off, Carver staring after him like he wishes he had access to a lethal toothpick right now.

Courtroom. McNulty enters, dolled up in a sharp dark suit, and takes a seat behind Stringer. Nathan's just gotten around to asking Omar whether he can see the gunman who killed Gant in the courtroom today, and Omar nods: "Hey, yo, what up, Bird?" Sitting next to Levy, Bird just chews his cheeks and tries to look hard. Nathan translates, for the record, that Omar's identified "the defendant, Marquis Hilton." "It's just Bird to me," says Omar. Nathan asks whether Omar had seen Bird before Gant's shooting, and Omar starts to say, "We jailed together down the Cut--" This is where Levy breaks in with an objection, and asks to approach the bench.

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