Michael arrives back at the apartment, post-killing, to find Dukie watching TV. "You gotta see this," Dukie says of the show he's got on. "There's this serial killer, but he only be killin' other serial killers." We're in enough trouble right now, young man, without you promoting Showtime offerings. Michael's main concern right now is not an irate Bill Nelson, however; it's Stanfield goons arriving to wipe out him and anyone else in the apartment. So grab your things, Dukie and Bug -- we're going for a ride in a rented cab.
Apparently, at the Daniels-Pearlman love nest, Rhonda's "How was your day, honey?" was answered by Cedric with something along the lines of "Pretty good until I found out that this serial killer case gripping the city is actually a massive fraud perpetrated by one of my detectives." Because Pearlman is standing there dumbfounded. "All the calls to the newspaper," she says. Made up! "The photographs of the missing man," she continues. Completely staged. "We have a wiretap," she says. Yeah, you don't even want to know what that's been used for. "He wouldn't dare," Pearlman says of McNulty. Did you just meet him five minutes ago? Because I should think that at this point you know perfectly will what he'd dare to do. Anyhow, there's one way to find out if this is all a lot of hokum: look up the cell phone number on the affidavit and see if it matches any cell phones the police have seized from any notorious drug dealers lately. To the evidence locker!
Toto, we aren't in the Westside anymore. Michael pulls up his cab into a pretty swank suburb where his aunt lives. "She expectin' him," says Michael, referring to Bug, who's sitting teary-eyed in the back seat. "And what's in this box." That refers to the cigar box Michael has that's stuffed with cash. Yes, the Brothers Lee are about to go their separate ways -- Bug into the care of his aunt, and Michael to a decidedly less certain future. "It's nice here, huh?" Michael observes. Nobody answers. Michael tells Bug it's time to go, so he and Dukie say their goodbyes. ("Wish I was going with you," says Dukie. I think we all do, dude.) Then Michael escorts Bug to the front door of the aunt's house, telling him to give the boxful of money to Aunt Carla and to tell her there's more where that came from should the need arise. "Make sure she cop you some fresh things, too," Michael says, straightening up Bug's clothes. "I don't need you going to a new school looking all..." His voice trails off, and for a moment, it looks like Michael's steely façade is about to crack. "Come on now," he says. "A man don't be sheddin' no tears." I beg to differ. And with that, Bug walks into his aunt's house; she takes him and shuts the door, presumably forever on Michael. (What's the matter, Joke-Man? All out of your stupid little jokes? Apparently so.)