To the palatial Bubbles esta...er, basement, where Bubbs is holding court for his newfound Boswell, the Sun's Mike Fletcher. Their one-on-one session is interrupted by Bubbles's sister, who appears at the top of the steps with some fresh supplies for her brother, and a reminder that, no matter how far he's come in battling his addiction, he's still got a long ways to go. For instance, he's about to celebrate an anniversary with his support group, and this is the sort of thing where family members are encouraged to attend -- maybe sis would like to come along. She would not. She couches it in the context of it being hard to plan ahead, what with her hospital job, but it's pretty clear that going with Bubbles to his meeting is not exactly something she'd do in her free time. "My sister," Bubbles explains to Fletch after Rae leaves. "She good people. But been through a lot, though, you know?" Left unsaid: "Most of what she's been through has been caused, directly or otherwise, by me. Hence, her distance."
Let's head over to a bar, where Clay Davis and Freamon are having their sit-down. I do not know if this is the same bar where Freamon confronted Clay in the last episode, but if Baltimore has more than one wood-paneled, naugahyde-lined bar, then truly the city's problems can't be all that bad. The calming blend of naugahyde and bourbon chases a lot of woes away, you know. Clay is busy telling Freamon that if he wants to follow the money in his corruption investigation, he should follow the lawyers, including but not limited to Maurice Levy: "All those guys who take the high-end drug work, they don't just make money off the criminal fees." So what...they're clipping coupons? Doing freelance work? Maybe moonlighting as exotic dancers? Nah -- something less horrifying than that last bit: they're laundering money. "They showin' all these kingpin motherfuckers how to send it overseas, bring it back, invest the shit," Clay explains. "They the ones who these ignorant ghetto motherfuckers always listen to when it comes to cash money. And Levy, man, he got the most grease." So what Levy does is funnel the money toward developers, elected officials, whoever, making sure to take his cut along the way -- out of both ends, when possible. "He only gonna let you rob one of his clients only so much," Clay continues, with just a hint of irritation aimed at Levy. "I mean once you get a Barksdale or a Joe Stewart on the hook, you wanna go deep on their ass. Levy'll let you get a taste, but he won't let you run wild. 'Cause once you get past these motherfucking lawyers, you can really play the pimp." Case in point, Clay talks about how he once had a fellow named Bell hooked into a development project -- Freamon nearly does a spit take with his whiskey at the mention of Stringer's name -- and "got it so he wasn't runnin' his shit past the lawyer. Boy, I tell you, we bled that motherfucker." That jury had no idea what the lasting damage it did when it turned Clay Davis loose on society -- it's like giving Hannibal Lecter a pardon and handing him a wine list on the way out of prison. Anyway, Freamon presses Clay for more intel on Levy, and at first the senator pulls the "That's all, folks" routine, but when Freamon threatens to finish his drink and head straight to the U.S. Attorney's office, Clay lets it slip that Levy's the one who obtained all those sealed documents that wound up in Prop Joe's possession. "Levy been buyin' papers now for years," says Clay, while Freamon tries desperately to maintain his poker face. "And sellin' 'em to whoever needs an early look. And don't think there ain't no real money in that." You wouldn't happen to have a name there, would you, Clay? He does not. "But it seems to me that you start looking at the people hangin' around the grand jury, you'll find I'm right," he adds. Now can Clay have that file with the incriminating mortgage application back, Freamon? Please? Pretty please? "You know, you could buy a round, too," Clay adds, as Freamon gets up to go. By the way, the song playing at the bar during this entire scene was "The 'In' Crowd" by Ramsey Lewis. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Consider The Source by The Ramsey Lewis Trio, and speak well of me in the future.
The muckraking reporter detector at Walter Reed must be on the fritz, because Gus has eluded the guards and is sitting down with the solider who got his hands blown off in the incident Hanning related to Templeton. At least, that's what we assume, since the soldier's getting fitted with visually-controlled prosthetic hands, and really, how many severely wounded veterans can there be at this place? Other than far too many, I mean. Anyhow, Gus is here to verify the details of the story the Sun printed about Hanning. The soldier is very familiar with that story, since Hanning comes to visit at the hospital every couple weeks and was pretty agitated about what Templeton wrote, as we are well aware. And yes, the solider confirms, while some details of the article were correct, others were most decidedly not. "That day wasn't no Black Hawk Down thing," the soldier says. "You know, when shit went bad, after I lost my hand, them Habudabi motherfuckers weren't even around after the shit went on. That's how they do." Gus asks whether it might have been possible that Hanning exaggerated the details of the story; no sir, not at all. "You lie about combat because you weren't there," the soldier explains. "Terry was. Two tours. He's got stories if he wants them. Just not on that day. He ain't lie; y'all did. Sorry to say." No need to apologize, guy who lost both hands in service of his country. Gus silently mulls what he's just been told. Presumably, we'll be spared the scene where he flies to Fallujah on his own dime, and painstaking interviews everyone who was within a twenty-mile radius of the incident, just to confirm once and for all that Templeton's pants are, indeed, on fire.