The Wire
Collateral Damage

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

I.B.S. hall. A town car pulls up out front; Valchek gets out, braying at his driver to wait.

Inside, Frank is on the phone, trying to calm down Mims about some work he's not getting, reminding him about seniority: "There ain't no union without it, brother." Horseface waddles in at this point to tell Frank, "Your sweetheart's out there." Frank doesn't know which of his antagonists to expect on this particular day, so Horseface pulls down his lower eyelid and Frank gets it. Forget it, Mims. It's Polandtown.

Frank stalks out to an open area where Valchek is loitering, waiting for him. Seeing Frank, he makes with the needling right away, commenting, "Kinda empty in here." Frank lies that "everyone's working." Pleasantries dispensed with, Valchek asks Frank, "You getting the message?" "'The message'?" Frank repeats. Valchek explains: "I had people workin' on a window for the nave up St. Casmir's since Easter. You know that? I took money from half a dozen different people. Told 'em where it was gonna go." Frank, impassively: "You tell Fr. Lewandowski?" Valchek says that he'd planned to surprise him. Frank: "Yeah, you surprised everybody! Now there's one window too many, right?" Valchek tries to sell Frank on the notion of moving his gigantic, already-installed window to the second floor of the rectory, as Fr. Lewandowski had tried to palm off on Valchek. Frank, disingenuously: "Good for you." Heh. "No, good for you, Frank," says Valchek impatiently. "You don't want my finger in your eye, you better do what's right, here." "'What's right,' huh?" says Frank. "What's right would be for you to come down here to my house like a decent human being and ask a common courtesy. But that's not you -- it's not your way. My old man always said you were a half-assed punk over at Holy Redeemer, as a kid. And my sister said you were a pain-in-the-ass pest at all them CYO dances where none of the girls would even look at you. And damn near everyone at the Point said when you got your badge, it was too much for anybody named 'Valchek' to have even a patrolman's drag. And sure enough, you've been an official asshole every day since." Wow, that...has been festering for a while. Valchek can't even manage a response; he just stares imperiously (up) at Frank and then drifts out. As he walks out of frame, Frank calls after him, "Fuck you! And your window!" Let's call that a good subtitle for this whole season.

The police boat backs up to a pier, and McNulty hops out to tie it up; even I can tell that's a piss-poor attempt at a knot, and I grew up in Saskatchewan. He asks Diggins where he's going to be, and Diggins says he's going to "go find some lunch somewhere, maybe." If McNulty was fishing for an invitation, he's been denied. "Fishing!" Ha! McNulty asks Diggins to give him an hour. He staggers up some stairs and away from the water as Diggins calls after him, shit-talking the poor quality of his knot: "Why don't you just do bunny ears?" Because McNulty wears loafers?

Warehouse. Beside the container the dead women were found in, there are now several neat stacks of linens, and a table with small bits of paperwork. Adjacent to those is another table, at which three cops work; Beadie reports to her colleagues that all they've recovered is "medics, clothes, bedrolls -- that's it." Another cop produces a letter. She asks what language it's written in, but the guy doesn't know: "Same backwards-ass writing, though." Cop With Hat (not much point trying to get to know him, trust me) says that the writing is Russian. Beadie inspects the envelope; she can't make out the name or address, but says that the stamp reads "Magyar."

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The Wire




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