Bubbles shows up for the Narcotics Anonymous meeting with Fletch in tow. Outside the church, Walon is amused to see how well-groomed Bubbles is for this, his one-year anniversary meeting. I would say that I'm not so much amused as I am stunned. Seriously -- go and pop a DVD of one of the early seasons of The Wire into your DVD player. I'll wait here while you do. Done? Okay: now compare and contrast that scraggly-looking hophead with the respectable-looking gentleman before you. Quite the night-and-day transformation, wouldn't you say? And I guess this is the sort of rebuttal to wisenheimers like myself who always joke about The Wire's it-will-all-end-in-tears milieu -- sometimes, on this show, good things actually happen to deserving people. Which just makes the defeats and setbacks happening elsewhere all the more devastating. But there I go, dwelling on the negative again. Anyhow, Bubbles looks presentable, Walon tells Fletch it's okay if he sits in on the meeting so long as he respects the privacy of the people in the room, and Fletch agrees, since he's not a dick who goes around betraying sources and making shit up. "I'm just here with Reginald," says Fletch. Walon is stunned to learn that Bubbles actually has a Christian name.
Meeting time, and Bubbles is up in front of the group, taking care of some unfinished sharing. "My name is..." Bubbles begins, catching sight of Walon sitting in the back. "My name is Reginald. Round the way, they call me Bubbles." Hi, Reginald who's known as Bubbles round the way. Anyhow, Bubbles introduces himself as a drug addict celebrating his anniversary, which certainly deserves the round of applause he gets from the other attendees. Bubbs notes that his family is not in attendance tonight. "I left a trail of fire behind me," he says. "Time gonna make it right with them, I guess. Same thing get me right with myself." Case in point: Bubbles found himself in a park at sundown the other day, and he got to thinking about all the times he used to get high in that very park. "I had this moment where, you know, I was wantin' to feel that way again," Bubbles says, his voice cracking. So he tried calling his sponsor -- Walon was on a motorcycle ride at the time, unfortunately -- as well as some other Narc-Anon members. No dice. "You didn't call me," one young lady in the audience says, a bit too invitingly for mixed company. "'Cause I would have got up with you, Reginald. You can believe that." Where's the twelve-step program to drive that image out of my head? Long story short: Bubbs didn't get high: "I knew if I did, I wouldn't get that good feeling back I was daydreamin' on." And that got Bubbles thinking about Sherrod. "Been carrying his passing for a long while," Bubbs says, fighting back tears. "Like that memory I had about those summer days in the park. Then, thinking on that made me smile. With Sherrod, it's more of a hurt. But not as...not so bad like it was. Ain't no shame in holding on to grief, as long as you make room for other things, too." And with that, Bubbles has had his breakthrough. The Wire, ladies and gentlemen, where your uplifting moments for the episode feature characters coming to grips with the wrenching deaths of loved ones.