Speaking of people who are not to be trusted, McNulty arrives at the scene of what most definitely is not the latest incident involving the Red Ribbon serial killer. Christeson reports that the victim was beaten pretty savagely, but there was some neck bruising, so Christeson figured that maybe McNulty's serial killer was involved. He's not -- that's McNulty's verdict after a cursory investigation turns up no ribbon or bite marks, and hey, if anyone should know about the serial killer's comings and goings, it's McNulty. So I guess that means this homeless guy was beaten to death by somebody else. So...um...yippee?
Gus is back in the newsroom, while the object of his obsession is on the phone with the governor's office, trying to further the Sun's chances for a Pulitzer. ("Sun Exclusive: Governor Reacts To Sun's Coverage!") Gus interrupts Templeton's penetrating interview -- "Does the governor think that's a problem, that it's something that needs to be addressed?" is the probing question we get to hear him ask -- to inquire as to whether Templeton's had any luck obtaining military records from the Marine Corps that will confirm or deny Terry Hanning's accounts and descriptions of that situation outside Fallujah. Templeton says that the Marines told him it would be three weeks at least. Gus assumes that Templeton is lying, because no sooner does he arrive at his desk, then he starts asking Luxenberg about his chances of getting into Walter Reed Army Medical Center down in Washington. Slim and none, after the Washington Post's series on what a shitty job our country does of caring for its veterans. But Gus is most insistent. Luxenberg has a neighbor who works with the Army's Wounded Warrior program who might be able to get Gus in -- provided he's not writing an article. Gus insists that he's not. So what is he doing, then? "Scratching an itch," Gus says cryptically.
Ain't no party like a Western District shift-change party, where Carver and company are joined by police force alumnus Herc J. Hercelstein, who compliments Carv on the fine work the force did busting Marlo. "My number, right?" says Herc, a little too inquisitively for my tastes. "I mean, it definitely smells like a Lester Freamon wiretap." Carver doesn't know nothing about any wiretaps and couldn't tell Herc even if he did -- you know, on account of Herc doing investigative work on behalf of Marlo's lawyer. Seriously, isn't a "fuck off, Herc -- this is one case you're not going to bungle" in order here?