Elsewhere, Michael and Dukie walk down an alley, coming out to where some hard case we haven't seen before -- one of Marlo's lookouts -- is leaning against a pole. Michael and Hard Case lock eyes. Michael looks down, shaking his head at himself. He looks at Dukie like, "Talk me out of it." Dukie looks back like, "This is some heavy shit, dude." Michael exhales tensely like, "I don't have any other options!," and briskly walks up to Hard Case before he loses his nerve. They speak, but we don't hear what they say, and then Hard Case starts walking off, and Michael shoots one last look back at Dukie like, "Here's where the course of my life changes, I guess." Dukie clenches his jaw like, "There goes another piece of my youth."
PPOE. Hard Case comes to the edge of the playground and whistles to get everyone's attention. Hard Case stays at the edge of the yard while Michael shuffles up to Marlo. He looks from Marlo to Snoop, and then back to Marlo as he shyly says he thought he could catch up to Chris. He explains that he has a problem he can't take to anyone else. He is brave enough to keep looking Marlo in the eye as they talk, while Marlo watches him appraisingly, and finally motions to a chair, and the three of them sit.
In the squat overlooking the PPOE, Renaldo sees Michael sit down, and calls for Omar to come look at Marlo's visitor. Omar looks at Michael leaning despondently on his knees, and declares, "He's just a kid." Well...he is today. Tomorrow, who knows?