The Wire
Hard Cases

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Wing Chun: B- | 1 USERS: A
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"If I Hear The Music, I'm Gonna Dance"

Said scapegoat continues his prowl through the streets of Baltimore. As he scans either side of the street, something pulls him up short: "Fuck me!" It's Bubbles, in a nice tweed coat and his Sunday best, accompanied by Johnny. McNulty backs up, and the camera cuts over to Bubbs and Johnny, repositioning some plastic bags inside their coats. The bus pulls up, and McNulty smirks as he watches the guys climb on. They're alive! What are the odds?

Little Johnny's. Nick and Ziggy are meeting with Glekas, who gets right to the point, telling them that if they're able to repeat their earlier success with the cameras, there are other things Glekas & Co. can use. Ziggy immediately asks, "Like what?," but Nick talks over him, saying, "We shook things up down there snatching all them cameras. It comes to expensive shit like that, we gotta lay back for a while." Glekas, smirking, produces a slip of paper from his coat and slides it across the table, assuring Nick, "Stuff we need is not like that." Nick unfolds the paper and reads, "Acetone, sulfuric acid, potassium permanganate." "Chemicals?" squeaks Ziggy. Nick confirms that it's "paint thinner, shit like that." Ziggy blurts that Glekas doesn't need them for those: "Just go get them at the hardware store!" Shut up, Ziggy. Glekas: "No. We need much. Metric tons. Five or ten tons." He tells Nick that he should check and see: "They make these things here. Send them from here. Tanks and tanks down at your docks." Nick furrows his brow. Glekas leans in: "Good money for those." Nick keeps his chin down as he looks up, through his eyebrows. Ziggy doesn't wait for him to figure his shit out, smiling as he asks, "How much?" Glekas can't answer without knowing how much product they can put their hands on. Nick lurches off, compromised, saying that he'll look into it, and Ziggy scurries off after him, dreaming of all the millions he'll be able to get by selling Glekas acetone from Home Depot.

Bubbles and Johnny truck out of a store, tucking what I assume are ill-gotten gains in their coats and giggling about how awesome they are. McNulty, parked in the lot waiting for him, calls out to Bubbs. Both junkies freak out, Bubbs dropping a bag out of his coat, and McNulty calls to him to get in the car. Bubbs trudges over -- not easily, because I think he might have, like, a ham in his outerwear -- and they climb in the back seat. He shows off his booty, including a Walkman, and McNulty reminds him that he'll have to pay taxes on them. Bubbs jokes, "No taxation without representation, you know?" McNulty doesn't need much -- just Omar. Bubbs's face falls: "Wild Omar?" Johnny asks whether McNulty really wants him and Bubbs to wander around town "looking for a crazy motherfucker with a shotgun." Well, when you put it that way, it sounds insane! McNulty promises Johnny that he and Omar are friendly. Bubbs spits that if Omar and McNulty are friends, then McNulty should be able to locate him without involving Johnny and Bubbs. McNulty says that's fine -- he can just show McNulty the receipts for their stuff. Bubbs and Johnny shift around disgustedly, but Bubbs's departure from the car, I suppose, is his way of agreeing to McNulty's terms. McNulty calls him back to give him his Walkman, but Bubbs tells him, "Keep it. Part of my tax." "Your tax is Omar," McNulty yells after him. "I need a line by Friday, Bubbs." McNulty squeals off. Bubbs's life: not easy.

Warden's office. Levy -- hi, Levy! -- is promising that his client will give accurate information about the source of the tainted package (which, I have to say, between the "package" part and the "taint" part sounds much dirtier than it actually is). The camera pans over to show that the client in question is Avon, of course, while Levy adds that Avon will also dime on the method by which contraband is getting smuggled in. Reynolds, spreading his hands, says that talk is cheap, but Levy says simply that he's going to help them make a case, if that's what they're interested in. The warden asks Levy's terms. Levy says that Avon wants to have his first parole hearing in a year, instead of twenty-eight months; he'd also like institutional support for work release and early parole. "One year on a seven-year bit?" squints the warden incredulously. Levy ingenuously points out that they're offering "extraordinary co-operation," adding that Avon's putting himself at considerable risk by selling out other inmates, as well as staff. Levy concludes by saying that Avon's current conviction is his first, and that he has no priors. The warden considers this as Reynolds says he understood that "a city police got shot behind Mr. Barksdale's business." Avon denies it: "I remember the officer got shot, and I remember being upset about that, not only because the officer got shot, but because I knew it meant there was gonna be more police on me. And I remember thinking, any time any fool do something like shoot a police, it's bad on everyone. And I know you know that my name ain't nowhere on what happened to your friend." Reynolds, you will not be shocked to learn, does not appear convinced. Levy says that what they're asking is reasonable under the circumstances: "Until someone identifies the source of the tainted heroin, you could have another five overdoses tomorrow. Or the day after." Reynolds and the warden shift uncomfortably. Levy smugly tells them to consider the offer: "But the next time we talk, an assistant attorney general has to be in the room." Reynolds and the warden are pissed, because Levy totally has their number. Avon manages not to queer it all by totally laughing in their faces.

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