The Wire
Boys Of Summer

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"Lambs To The Slaughter Here"

At what is most emphatically NOT Home Depot, Snoop trudges through the aisles, a bright yellow nail gun hoisted up on her shoulder. She finds her way to a wall of nail guns, and has taken one down off the wall when a clerk approaches. She complains that she needs a nail gun that won't have run out its battery charge when she wants to use it, and he points to a couple of models, telling her that all the others are far inferior. He companionably asks whether she's a contractor, or doing work around the house, and she evasively tells him, "We work all over." He asks whether she works full-time, and she practically snickers as she replies, "We had about five jobs last month." The clerk tells Snoop that the cost of a "powder-actuated" nail gun justifies itself, in that case: their batteries don't run down because they don't have batteries -- they run on gunpowder. Oh, perfect, dude -- throw some accelerant into the mix here! The nail guns he would recommend boast an automatic .27-calibre charge, and will "throw a fastener into anything" without too much recoil. Snoop likes the sound of that, and muses about the damage she's seen from a mere .22, which is when the clerk's face starts to fall as he gets an idea of what he's dealing with. But he doesn't scuttle off before making the sale: Snoop takes his recommendation and asks what she owes him. He tells her it's $669 plus tax, and puts it in a box for her, but she's already peeling bills off a wad to hand him. He nicely explains that she can pay at the front, but she breezily asks him to take care of it for her. "This is eight hundred dollars!" squeaks the clerk. Snoop: "So what, man? You earned that buck like a motherfucker. Keep that shit." Man, I never got tips like that when I worked at the post office....

Outside, Partlow is waiting in the truck when Snoop emerges, proudly telling him she bought the Cadillac of nail guns -- "He mean Lexus, but he ain't know it" -- and explaining that it runs on gunpowder: "Fuck just nailing up boards -- we could kill a couple motherfuckers with this right here." Partlow cracks up, not realizing how much this innocent "Hardware Barn" clerk has just changed their operation, as they roll out of the parking lot and into the credits.

"Lambs to the slaughter here." -- Marcia Donnelly. "Slaughter," nothing -- that's ignoring all the torture that comes first.

Detail office. It seems like forever since I've been here! As we open on a messy, sparsely populated board (focusing first on a shot of Marlo Stanfield, and then sliding over to Snoop, Partlow, and Fruit), we hear Lester boasting that they're up to "seven and counting" in terms of suspects caught on the wire; they're not above the level of the corners yet, but he's confident that they will be. The shot widens out so we see that he and Kima are talking to Rhonda, who marvels, "They're not dumping phones?" Kima says that they do, "every month or so," but that they're sloppy enough that the cops might be able to track a phone to Marlo or one of his close associates. "Truth is, if they're still using cell phones in this day and age, they're mine," says Lester smugly. "And if Marlo Stanfield's on a cell, he'll be mine, too." Rhonda gives this news an appreciative head cock. "Cool Lester Smooth," cracks Kima. Rhonda giggles as Lester says that it's simple fact, adding that while Marlo might have "a lot of heart and a lot of corners," but that he's "a babe in the woods" in terms of the game, as he looks back at the board behind them. Lester adds that he was proud to chase the Barksdales, and Kima takes over to say that Marlo isn't as "fierce" as they had thought: "For months now, there hasn't been a body we can put to him." Rhonda twits that they sound disappointed, and Lester lectures, "This unit needs good, hard targets, or it'll go soft." Rhonda guesses that, in that case, they want another thirty days on their taps, and Lester says that they need at least that, adding that they have subpoenas to go out this week as well: "Asset investigations." Rhonda's like, "Marlo Stanfield has assets now? What, you're going after his bird coops?" Lester directs her to join him.

In the wiretap room, Sydnor and Massey are in place at a couple of terminals. Lester indicates a pile of work and says that it's what they've collected from the Barksdale money trail, based on the papers they recovered from Stringer's apartment, and the B&B office. Sydnor sighs that he misses Prez (hee), and Lester agrees, "I hear you," before telling Rhonda that Stringer and Avon had money going everywhere: "Investments, political donations, consulting fees...." Rhonda gets antsy as she asks, "You want to do this now?" Lester reminds her that he wanted to do it a year ago, but that fresh cases interfered. Rhonda asks whether their lieutenant is going to approve of their subpoenas, and Lester insists, "Our lieutenant has a fearless heart." Sydnor raises his eyebrows as though his lieutenant's heart's fearlessness is news to him, but doesn't say anything as Lester hands some folders to Rhonda, telling her they will get him started. Massey stops him, recovering her coupons. This kicks off some half-hearted bickering between Massey and Sydnor, who should possibly get some fresh air and not eat any more lunches together. As the bickering natters on, Rhonda gives Lester a very sharp look...

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