At Homicide, Norris is watching the same report, as Gray says that his sources in the police department "are simply appalled by this blatant political manipulation." Holley and Mackey enter, telling Norris to turn it up. Holley calls to Kima, saying that she's famous, and she joins them in time to hear Gray refer to "a highly decorated veteran with fifteen years' experience as a murder investigator" (Norris: "That'd be me") losing the investigation to "a rookie who has yet to handle a single homicide investigation" (Norris: "That'd be you"). Kima frowns: "The fuck I ever do to him?" The other cops crack up. Any luck with the chair, you guys? It's the case of the century!
The kiddie crew is back at their hangout; Michael's tossing a ball against a wall while the other three desultorily talk about building something. Presently, Partlow drifts out of the shadows -- barely visible in his all-black ensemble -- walking up the alley toward Michael; Snoop approaches Michael from the opposite direction. The other three kids fall silent in terror at this close-up Zombie Master sighting, and watch as Partlow and Snoop flank Michael. Partlow tells him they need to take a walk, but Michael, looking down, says he's fine there. Partlow orders the other kids to get lost, then, and they don't need to be told twice. Partlow asks Michael if they're "smoking that shit"; still staring down, Michael shakes his head. Once Dukie, Namond, and Randy are out of sight, Partlow tells Michael he's been hearing good things about him -- that he takes care of his people and doesn't beg for handouts. Michael doesn't look up, so Snoop has to prompt him, "Motherfucker, you hear the nigga talking to you, giving you praises and shit, [and] you standing here looking fucking stupid." Partlow tells her to chill, and quietly observes to Michael that sometimes "she get a little hot." These two hoods are doing good cop, bad cop? Well, I suppose they would be familiar with the routine. Anyway, Partlow tells Michael that they're always in the market for a good soldier, and that when they spot a good recruit, they "take care of the situation -- take him in, school him, make him family." Michael still hasn't looked up by the time Partlow kicks it epigraph-style: "And if you're with us, you're with us, just like we'd be with you all the way." Michael finally cuts his eyes to Partlow for a second at this, as Partlow concludes his pitch: "You have a mind, you're in." Michael shakes his head respectfully, saying that he has a family already -- Bug, and his mother. Partlow nods, telling him to think on it, and putting a wad of cash in his hand: "We'll be around if you need something." Michael risks a look at him now, and watches as Partlow and Snoop go on their way.