The Wire

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: A | 3 USERS: B
"A Lie Ain't A Side Of A Story. It's Just A Lie."

To the detail office, where Freamon is on the horn with Sydnor discussing the latest clock message -- 5:15:34. Trouble is, Marlo has given Sydnor the slip, thanks to a traffic accident and a too-slow-on-the-draw detour. "Well, let me know," Freamon tells Sydnor, hanging up as McNulty lets himself in to the detail office. "Bunk has a murder warrant on Chris Partlow," McNulty reports -- on the alley-beating, not any of the vacant murders from Season 3. "He lets this go now, these guy are gonna go to ground," Freamon protests. "We're right at the edge of something here." McNulty reassures Freamon that Bunk is going to give them a couple of days, so there's no worries there. Unless you're a big believer in the whole bird-in-the-hand thing. Which I am. So I'm worried. McNulty also hands over Omar's list of names to Freamon, who notes with some surprise that Cheese Wagstaff's name is among Marlo's henchmen. Freamon had figured Cheese was just another drug dealer getting his product off Marlo; now they have some indication that Cheese is under Marlo's employ. Which, as we all know, he is. Anyhow, McNulty gets up to go. Oh, one other thing, Lester -- McNulty kinda sorta told Kima all about how he's faking the whole serial killer thing in order to siphon off resources to fund this investigation. "McNulty, how many more people?" an exasperated Freamon shouts. It's a fair question -- who's next to be let in on McNulty's little secret? Norris? Landsman? Daniels? Everyone in Homicide? All of the outlying districts? Anyone on the city payroll? At this rate, they're going to need a much bigger office. McNulty protests that he couldn't stand to see Kima waste her time investigating murders that don't actually exist. Again, not to sound like a broken record, but not actually staging pretend murders is a pretty good way to ensure that doesn't happen. Freamon wearily inquires as to how Kima took the news; McNulty doesn't answer and walks out of the office. That well, huh?

Sydnor is still driving around Baltimore, trying to pick up his pursuit of Marlo. Trouble is, he's not having much luck. One of the surveillance teams radios in that they're watching Snoop at Edgecomb Circle -- maybe the meet is in the northwest of the city. Ah, there's the catch -- Sydnor's not too familiar with that area. So he pulls over and whips out one of those grid-maps -- we call 'em Thomas Brothers Guides out here on the West Coast, but basically, they break down your major metropolitan areas into a series of grids, spread out across multiple pages of a spiral-ring book. Sydnor flips through whatever the Baltimore equivalent of a Thomas Brothers Guide is, and starts repeating the page to himself -- Map 34, Grid E-3. If The Wire were a cartoon -- and the way the Baltimore Sun editors are portrayed, it can sometimes feel that way -- right here is where the giant lightbulb would appear over Sydnor's head. He phones into Freamon, asking him to repeat the time that appeared on the last clock. 5:15:34. 34, as in page 34. Say, you don't!

That evening, the aforementioned candlelight vigil is taking place, and Carcetti is filling the air with pretty words and stern finger-wagging. Caring about poor people -- yay! Republican governors of mid-Atlantic states I'm planning on running against in November -- boo! Vote Carcetti, folks, and maybe he'll actually back up some of what he's saying tonight with action. But don't hold 'im to it, okay? I've finally figured out, with just two episodes remaining, while I loathe Carcetti probably more than I'm supposed to: because he reminds me of another pretty-boy mayor 'round my neck of the woods who likes to talk and talk and talk some more without ever actually having to do anything. So if I seem like I'm coming down hard on Carcetti, it's only because I look at him and see art imitating life. And life, in this case, really sorta sucks. Anyhow, Templeton is there at the vigil, scribbling down all of Carcetti's stirring yet ultimately vacant words. "We will protect you," Carcetti bellows to the cheers of the multitude. Doing a bang-up job of it so far, champ.

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The Wire




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