Another sunny afternoon in Baltimore. A police boat motors through the harbor, shipping cranes and shit visible behind it, and before long, we learn why we are looking at it: it contains Jimmy McNulty, who's bundled up in winter uniform gear, but is still bitching at his partner, Claude Diggins (Jeffrey Fugitt) at the helm, "Freezing my balls off." In McNulty's defense, it does look fucking cold. Diggins tells McNulty to buck up, reminding him that it'll be spring in a couple of months. McNulty doesn't look reassured as his balls hit the floor and roll around the galley. Skipper says that McNulty's going to realize that the bosses in the department did McNulty a favour by sending him to the marine unit, but before he can elaborate on why, they get a call from the dispatch sending them to a sixty-foot yacht with dead engines. As Diggins brings the boat around to respond, McNulty stares morosely at a long-abandoned grain pier, possibly thinking he wishes it were up and running and producing grain alcohol right now.
As they come around, McNulty exposits that his father used to work in the shipyards at "Beth Steel." Diggins knows someone else who did, but got laid off in 1978; McNulty père only lasted until 1973 -- and presumably, if he's anything like his son, then proceeded to drink himself to death. Unless he's still alive, in which case I would love to see him on the show in Season 5, played by Ian McShane.
Diggins locates the boat in distress, and McNulty rightly guesses that it's a party boat. McNulty asks whether a boat like that wouldn't have more than one engine, but Diggins theorizes that it's having electrical problems.
We cut inside, where a fancy party is underway, with dudes in tuxedoes and a jazz combo tootling gaily (in every sense of the word).
The police boat pulls closer, so that we can all be grossed out to learn that the vessel is known as the Capitol Gains, of Washington, DC. Shut up, rich douches.
Inside, a guest notices the cop boat pulling up. We then get a shot of some random old white dude glad-handing before transitioning to McNulty, entering the wheel house. Some passing slag offers McNulty a glass of champagne, but he declines (for once), identifying himself to the captain. The captain thinks the problem is the starter, and McNulty offers a tow line. He radios the request to Claude, and then the old white dude is on him, trying to weasel out of the tow because it'll end the party. McNulty tells him they're in the shipping channel, and Denny Not-stert rolls his eyes and moves around the corner. Poor people's cheap household goods from China are so tiresome! Even the captain looks apologetic as McNulty follows Denny, and we watch through the glass as he offers McNulty a bribe for Claude to tow the party boat out of the shipping channel. McNulty peers through to the wheel house, sees that he can supplement his income this week...