The Wire
Collateral Damage

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: A | 1 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
"They Can Chew You Up, But They Gotta Spit You Out"

Morgue. Frazier, Beadie, and McNulty meet with some bald guy in Frazier's office. They're discussing jurisdiction; McNulty says, "Case needs real murder police." Frazier, though, is suspicious, and says that McNulty doesn't give a shit, and just wants to fuck Rawls. McNulty cheerfully admits it, and asks what Frazier can give him. Uh -- double-headed dildo? Beadie, disgusted, asks if this is all about fucking over the boss for McNulty, and he points out that if Baltimore Homicide doesn't eat the cases, then Beadie will. Frazier, walking over to Kojak, asks how big the false compartment was; McNulty checks his notes and reports that it was 13 by 7 by 7. Frazier sits next to Kojak as the latter does some calculations on a handy pad of paper, Frazier working it through: "We got thirteen adult females, breathing at a normal to elevated rate. That's 0.25 litres of oxygen per minute, per victim." Kojak nods, which is when Beadie asks about him and we learn that he's from the State Bureau of Mines. ...Huh. I guess it takes a village to rule on fourteen deaths.

Prison. Tilghman enters an open recreation area, currently full of inmates. A guard on a higher tier, overlooking the whole area, pinches his tie; Avon notices the signal and gets up from the table where he's been sitting. He strides up and respectfully greets "Officer Tilghman," who ignores him and continues past him up some stairs. Avon politely tries again: "I was wondering if I could parley with you for a moment?" Tilghman recognizes him: "Barksdale, right?" Avon, deferentially, starts to say, "I wanted to know if you can help me--" "NO," says Tilghman immediately. Avon squints: "Par-don me?" "I said NO, motherfucker!" murmurs Tilghman. He scowls, and continues up the stairs, hassling some dude sitting on them as he goes by. Avon saunters off, pondering his next move. I'm guessing it'll involve a shiv somehow made out of leftover cole slaw.

Marine Unit office. McNulty finishes typing something, contemplates it proudly, and signs his name to the bottom. Back to the fax! Diggins, in the doorway, suspiciously asks, "What the fuck are you up to now?" McNulty, standing over the machine, excitedly rubs his palms together, and jiggles delightedly as his fax goes through. Diggins: "You're deep into somebody's shit, McNulty. I can tell." Didn't take him long to get McNulty's number. McNulty walks out, chuckling.

Next, we see the fruits of McNulty's faxing: Rawls, sitting in a conference room (uniformed, which, again: unsettling), holding a sheaf of papers, smirking, "This is bullshit." Robbie, pointing aggressively, says that the "computations" were checked and confirmed by the ME's office. From this angle, we can see we're having some kind of inter-jurisdictional pow-wow; in addition to Robbie, representatives of the Port Police are in attendance as well. On the other side of the table are two other guys; there's some other kind of cop and then, like, a dude from the Air Force. I assume the representatives of the Texas Rangers are late because they were carpooling together. Anyway, Robbie adds that the numbers Rawls has are "accurate for time of death to within a three-hour window." "So you say," says Rawls, tossing down the papers. Robbie adds, "Your man in the Marine Unit did the measurements on the container." Uh oh. The red flag having been duly waved in front of the bull, Rawls spits, "I happen to know my man in the Marine Unit intimately, and he's, without a doubt, the most swollen asshole in American law enforcement." The Air Force guy giggles. Rawls straight-up declares that he is not eating thirteen murders: "If they were already dead when the container hit the dock, then they were murdered on-board ship. That means Baltimore County or Anne Arundel [County] on the other side of the bridge, and if they're further down the bay, then you fellows with the Coast Guard can take it. This is not a city problem!" His piece having been said, Rawls stands and walks toward the door. Before getting out of there, though, he leans down condescendingly: "Talk amongst yourselves. One of you is taking this case home tonight." Robbie, however, refuses to back down: "No, Bill. The Atlantic Light passed the Key Bridge at 2300 hours, and laid up at anchor two thousand yards off Patapsco, until 0600, when it docked." The Coast Guard guy (fine, I was just joking about the Air Force) says that, by the map, that's Baltimore City. The cop beside him says that puts the ship in Rawls's jurisdiction "for the three-hour window for the time of death." Rawls doesn't have a smart remark for this, so it looks like the gravity of the situation has finally penetrated. Now it's Robbie's turn to be smug: "Bill, you look like you could use a good cup of coffee." OH! Irony burn! Rawls smiles sickly, and lurches toward the door.

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