The Wire
Backwash

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: B+ | 1 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
"Don't Worry, Kid. You're Still On The Clock."

In their car, Herc is putting the bug into a tennis ball and teasing Carver that even though he's a sergeant in Valchek's district, he hasn't been able to get hold of "Valchek's spy van" for the detail. Carver says he's never seen the van in question. Take a personal day in Panama -- you might catch it! Herc successfully pops the bug into a slit in the tennis ball and squeezes it closed again, and they roll out, really suffering from the lack of a Reservoir Dogs-esque soundtrack.

Detail office. Lester, with Bunk over his shoulder, watches the cloned port database, commenting, "This shit is hypnotic." "Boring, too," mutters Bunk. Beadie enters, having just changed into civvies, and Bunk asks her, "You make a show of it?" Beadie proudly says that everyone working at the port saw her in her cruiser. The Homicide cops both beam. Their little beat cop's all growns up! Beadie checks out the monitor and identifies the ship as the Valparaiso. She explains that it's not on the Talco Line: "Doesn't have Horseface working. Probably wasting half a day watching it offload." Bunk cracks that they should all be at the bar by now, but Lester intones, "Nothing's wasted." He says that watching the process has been giving him a feel for the system -- "how it plays and works without the dirt." Beadie: "So when they lose a can--" "I see it go," Lester concludes. Beadie nods knowingly, so glad to be out of polyester.

And then, we appear to be at a very dull seminar of the sort I would try to pretend to have a migraine for if I worked in shipping, titled, "ROTTERDAM: The Future of Cargo Management Defined." A dude calls the session to order, and the camera cuts to a boardroom table around which are gathered Nat, Frank, and a whole bunch of dudes we've never seen before. It will interest you to know that the future? Is now. A minion starts the projector, and a movie starts rolling that tells us about delivering goods "faster, cheaper, and safer." In Rotterdam, "the world's largest seaport," most work is performed by "modern robotics." The film pans over thousands of containers as it exposits that moving cargo is a "traditional skill of the Dutch, who shuttle more freight in fewer man-hours than any port in the world." Nat and Frank look dubious as the narrator says that the Dutch have modeled "the future of cargo management." There's smart-card technology that allows "greater security" and "improved accountability," with no need for unreliable human surveillance." I guess "unreliable" is a nicer way of saying "potentially crooked."

Herc and Carver have deployed their tennis-ball bug; Carver snaps photos while Herc listens to the usual posturing and profanity. We see that they're surveilling Frog and some other gentleman. We learn that a "Mad Dog" will be coming the next day with the re-up, and then Herc grins at Carver that technology is "the fucking bomb." Carver doesn't bother answering either way.

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The Wire

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