The Wire
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"What They Need Is A Union"

We open panning through a typical bad neighbourhood of the sort we've seen many a time on this show. Eventually, we come to rest in a doorway, where we see Omar! He's leaning way in on a new...er, "friend" named Dante (Ernest Waddell); their posture is intimate, but instead of getting ready to make out, Omar's giving instructions: "Darnell's little brother" is about to come out of a doorway with a laundry basket that will be full of the morning's take; they go through this procedure once in the afternoon, and once at night, always with the same basket. Dante, smiling proudly at his man, asks how Omar knows, and Omar replies that the money's got to come out somehow. Dante stares at Omar's mouth for a moment, and then confirms, "We ain't got to blast our way to the top floor -- we just wait 'til they're in the street with their shit." Omar grins: "We gonna do them tonight, you heard? After it get dark." The camera pans past them to the doorway, where Darnell's little brother is indeed emerging with a laundry basket. "Just like you said," comments Dante. But Darnell's little brother doesn't get far before a woman with a righteous Afro, standing on the sidewalk in front of the building, pulls a gun and orders the guy to put the basket down. The guy drops it in a hurry, and the Afroed woman and her accomplice gather up the money and back away, taunting, "You got caught slipping! Sorry it had to go down like this, baby, because your ass is cute. But you got got." Back in the doorway, Omar watches this whole transaction, beaming: "Nice, very nice." The women pull off in their getaway car, Darnell's little brother impotently yelling after them, "Bitches!" Omar: "Now, that's something you don't see every day." True -- and it's this sort of initiative that Omar apparently needs an executive search committee to locate; these girls certainly have a lot more pep than Brandon or Dylan (may they rest in peace).

"What they need is a union." -- Russell. Sure, what industry couldn't benefit from a little graft?

After the credits, we're back on the Atlantic Light, where Lester and Bunk are trying to take crewmen's statements. The guys aren't really making it easy, though, what with their insistence in speaking in their various (unsubtitled) foreign languages and stating, to a man, "No English." The last guy in the montage appears to be from somewhere in Africa -- or, at least, so Bunk surmises: "Kunta Kinte? Yabba dabba dabba doo." The guy doesn't get it. Lester: "Mishy gishy gooshy gooshy mishy meshy mooshy, motherfucker." The guy doesn't get that either. Lester: "Negro, you cannot travel halfway around the world and not speak any motherfucking English." The guy tries to protest in Yoruba or Farsi or whatever the hell, but Lester has had it: "ENGLISH, MOTHERFUCKER!" Bunk looks like he needs a shot for each guy he's just tried to interview. Maybe two.

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The Wire

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