The Wire
Know Your Place

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Wing Chun: A | 2 USERS: A+
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"Might As Well Dump 'Em, Get Another"

Night has fallen on the dice game, and Randy, having made enough, is walking home, accompanied by Dukie and one of the other players. They thank the guy for walking them home, since they were afraid they might get rolled for their winnings. They make sure he isn't going to rob them, and he asks, "You think I'm that ungrateful?" Apparently, he just bet the same way Randy did and made more money than he has in a month. Randy breezes that it's "all about the math." Their escort asks where they learned the game, and Randy proudly tells him, "Edward Tilghman Middle." Hee.

Bubbs's squat. Herc is telling Bubbs that all they have is Little Kevin. Bubbs knows him as "Bodie's boy," and says that if Herc comes by the next day after school, Bubbs will give him a new hat. "A hat trick," Herc recalls. "Cool." Bubbs tells Herc that it's not about the money, and gives him the short version of his Arch troubles, saying he can't take it anymore. Herc easily promises that as soon as he's done with Little Kevin, the next time Bubbs sees Arch, he just needs to call Herc, and he'll come straight there. He gives Bubbs his card. Bubbs looks reassured. Is Bubbs new?

Lee house. Bug is showing Michael his model volcano and getting some pointers on how fast to pour the baking soda into it when Michael notices Maplewood loitering in the doorway and sullenly bitches, "What are you still doing here? Ain't nobody want you here." Maplewood smugly says that Michael's mother wants him there, and Michael mumbles, "You and the pipe." Maplewood warns that Michael shouldn't talk about his mother that way. (Don't worry, Michael -- even if you can't, I've got you covered.) Bug tries to show Maplewood his volcano, but Michael tells Bug to go up to his room. Maplewood stops him before he goes up, though, putting his hands possessively on Bug's shoulders as he says that Bug needs him too, and reminds him about Saturday. Bug explains to Michael that his teacher said he needed glasses, so an adult has to go with him to pick up the glasses and sign for them. Michael looks away, briefly working his jaw before telling Bug again to go to his room. Once he's gone, Maplewood complains that Michael's cold: "Ain't got a forgiveness to your soul." Michael looks over his shoulder to spit, "Man, fuck you." And, I mean, honestly. He steps toward Maplewood, who closes the gap between them even further, telling him to watch his mouth: "You're big, but not big enough." Michael turns his cheek and carefully looks away as Maplewood asks for the DSS card. Michael tells him there's nothing left on the month's cheque anyway. But that's okay with Maplewood; he'll just wait to get it before the first of the month, then. Michael is still looking away, but when Maplewood tries to fondle his head, he snaps to, slapping Maplewood's hand away and defiantly glaring at him. Maplewood watches him stomp out of the room, knowing that this isn't over.

Kima walks up to an apartment door, screws up her courage, and knocks. Cheryl opens the door to the apartment they used to share, obviously not expecting to see Kima on the other side, but she smiles warmly and lets her in. Standing in the foyer, Kima looks into the living room and says it looks like "the little man" took it over. Indeed, their son, Elijah, is colouring at the coffee table, and oh my God, he is so cute I want to cry. Cheryl half-assedly apologizes for the mess in that way parents do when they're actually kind of smug about it, but Kima says she was just kidding. Without taking her eyes off Elijah, Kima hands Cheryl a cheque. Looking at it, Cheryl's like, "This is--?" Kima says that it's for the past few months. Cheryl jokes that Kima must be knocking over liquor stores, but Kima proudly says she got it working overtime in Homicide. Cheryl starts trying to say something, shaking her head, but Kima interrupts to say, "This ain't 'Please take me back.' But a deal's a deal, right?" Before Cheryl can answer, the door opens and a tall, lovely lady walks in, saying she's home. It's kind of awkward as she and Kima size each other up, but Cheryl gamely introduces Kima to Nancine Owens. Nancine also apologizes for the state of their home. Kima gets a read on the situation as Cheryl says that Kima could stay for dinner, but that they're having people over to celebrate; Nancine says she just passed the bar. Kima says that most of the guys she works with have a problem with that. Nancine's like, "Huh?" "Passing the bar," says Kima. Cheryl giggles, but Nancine is a humourless bore and still doesn't get it. Eh, she's probably still a good mother without a sense of humour. Cheryl thanks Kima for coming by, kind of waving the cheque around awkwardly like it's covered in scum. She tells Elijah to say goodbye to "Aunt Kima," and we get another shot of Elijah, the most gorgeous little boy I have possibly ever seen, as he says goodbye and makes my uterus twang. And then Kima's back in the hallway -- whether more regretful or relieved that she's not part of this domestic scene left ambiguous.

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