Detail office. McNulty comes through the computer room, telling Lester, "He called again -- same pay phone." "Same voice?" asks Lester. McNulty says, "It was the main stash house -- it's gotta be." Lester asks who took the call at the low-rises, and McNulty is maybe a tiny bit smug in telling Lester that no one was, because of Daniels's pointless Avon-chasing posse. Lester chuckles, and then tells McNulty about turning Shardene, graciously giving all the credit for it to Kima. McNulty nods appreciatively.
In Buttercup's basement, Bubbs is kind of losing his mind. We can faintly hear the sounds of activity above as Bubbs perches on a torn-up loveseat, sweating and pulling hairs out of his moustache. As he twitches and fidgets, he notices that the flotsam he's playing with in his right hand is his one-day keychain, and chuckles a little to himself before almost starting to cry. This is why you never move in with a disapproving family member. Or do so much drugs that your family member disapproves of you in the first place.
Detail office. Lester and McNulty roll into Daniels's office, even though Daniels is staring with so much intense rage that I'm surprised he hasn't blown a flaming hole through the door frame. After a moment, Daniels admits, "This guy's good. We threw everything we had at him." True, but don't forget: part of what you had was Herc. McNulty dryly replies, "You know what they say -- stupid criminals make stupid cops." Lester nods. "I'm proud to be chasing this guy," McNulty adds. Daniels looks like he wishes he could staple McNulty's tongue to his eyebrow for saying something so dumb. Lester weighs in on the business side, saying that there are four front companies "so far, buying up all kinds of shit -- a club, an apartment building, a funeral home, and a whole lot of real estate on the west side of downtown by that Howard Street corridor. Shop fronts and warehouses." Daniels perks up a little, asking whether Avon's name is on anything. "Fronts, mostly," says Lester. "Relatives, some." He tosses down some papers in front of Daniels and sits, as he explains that Avon's controlled the Projects for more than a year, "and it's a money factory": "We popped Wee-Bey coming out the other day with $22,000. And the boys talking on the wire were saying it wasn't that much of a loss." Daniels repeats the figure. McNulty says that just represents revenues from one morning in the Towers and the Pit; adding the avenue corners might bring the figure up to $30,000, and another take for the evening could make $60,000. Jesus, I know there are arguments against legalization, but how can the government not want to regulate a market that healthy and tax the shit out of it? I mean, honestly. Daniels confirms that they're talking about $60,000 a day. "That's twenty, twenty-five million [dollars] a year, conservatively," says Lester. Well, sure -- that probably goes way up in December, given holiday shopping. "You take out 20% for running expenses and spillage, and you are still clearing a million dollars a month." Daniels, floored by the figures he's hearing, asks where the money all goes. "He shows no flash," says Lester. "He's got no house, no car in his name, no jewellery, no clothes. Just front companies and the property." Daniels is impassive until Lester adds, "And political contributions." Daniels looks up. McNulty watches Daniels, and the camera slowly pushes in on him as Lester goes on: "Seventy-five thousand [dollars] the last month alone, all from his front companies or their listed officers. And that's just at a quick glance. I'm just totaling up the legal contributions. You've got the likes of Damien Price, aide to a state senator, driving out $20,000 in cash from the Projects whenever he feels it. Now, I know you don't want to hear this, Lieutenant, but the money is real, and it's everywhere. And more than the drugs, it's the money that matters." You guys, seriously, Daniels is going to have to mark this day in his diary with a big frowny face.