Detail office. Shardene leans her head back so that Lester can moisten her eyes for -- ta-da! -- her new contact lenses. This being Lester, he is putting the drops in her eyes as tenderly as such a task can be performed, gently placing a Kleenex under her lower lashes and everything. Shardene blinks uncomfortably, and Lester congratulates her on "the gift of corrected vision, courtesy of the BPD." Sydnor and Herc look on fondly. "Dang, y'all are focused," grins Shardene. "What man wouldn't be?" drawls Lester, superfly. Herc and Sydnor exchange a look over the apparent weirdness of being present while Lester performs his dance of seduction...which is quickly interrupted when McNulty strides in. He throws a glance at the computer room, which is silent; we can see at least one monitor with "SERVICE INTERRUPT" on it. He heads in, Lester following. In the room, several other monitors show "SERVICE INTERRUPT" as well; another indicates that no one's used the line in close to twelve hours. "They been cleaning us for the past few days," says Lester. "Last night they burned us all the way." "I knew it, I fucking knew it," spits McNulty. "I swear to God, Lester, I'm in this motherfucker's head." Lester says that there hasn't been a message on the wire "since early morning," and that he didn't even have anything for Prez to do, so he sent him to Annapolis: "State campaign finance reports. I checked all the stuff here in the city, but I got the feeling Barksdale's money has legs." "Shit," mutters McNulty, complaining about all the work they did to get up on the wire, now lost. Lester is philosophical, saying that they couldn't have hit Barksdale the way they did and expected them to "stay in the pocket": "Plus they know they dropped a police." McNulty says that the cops need to change up, too.
This is all Lester was waiting to hear; he brings McNulty out to the open area and introduces him to Shardene, saying that she's been helping at Orlando's for a while, and that Lester thinks she can see well enough now to match faces to voices. Shardene breaks in to tell Lester she's "scared of this shit." Lester calmly pats her knee, telling her he knows she'll step up when the time comes. He tells McNulty that they'll need Ronnie to approve Shardene's wearing a wire at Orlando's. Shardene asks for a cup of coffee. Sydnor springs up to ask what she takes in it, but Lester waves him off: "A little cream, right?" Goddamn, Lester is smooth. Never mind that this all happened five years ago and he's on DVD; somehow MY panties just came off! Herc and Sydnor watch Lester go, taking mental notes to improve their own game.