Daniels and Pearlman have arrived at the evidence room. You know what they say about the couple that uncovers massive fraud together? That's right -- they become jaded and cynical together. Anyhow, they've retrieved Marlo's phone, and now it's the moment of truth. Pearlman dials the number of the supposed serial killer on her phone, and after a few agonizing seconds of silence, the phone in the evidence locker starts ringing. Daniels and Pearlman share pained looks. MCNULTY! You got some 'splaining to do.
So were you not totally wrecked by the heart-rending Michael-Bug farewell? Were you left thinking, "Well, sure that was a little sad, but it's not as if Dukie and Michael have to split up, too? Do you finish episodes of The Wire and turn to your loved ones and complain about how upbeat the endings are? Friend, this scene is for you. Michael and Dukie are no longer in a stylish suburb of Baltimore. They are parked in front of the stables where Dukie meets his junk-hauling employer. It's also apparently a primo spot if you want to shoot up some heroin. "Why here?" Michael asks. "Why you wanna mix with their kind, man?" Well, the Arabber gives Dukie work, for one. And Michael's not exactly facing a future that's much better than this. The two sit silently for a while, when Dukie suddenly asks whether Michael recalls that time last summer when "[Michael and the kiddie crew] threw them piss balloons at those Terrace boys." Do we ever! Didn't end terribly well for all concerned, as I recall. "You know, I took a beatdown from them boys," Dukie continues. "I don't even throw a shadow on it. That was a day. Y'all bought me ice cream off the truck. You remember, Mike?" Michael says he does not. Michael is a terrible liar. More silence, while Dukie struggles for something to say. But there's nothing left to say but "See you 'round, Mike." "See you, Duke," Michael replies. Neither one of them says it with much conviction. Dukie gets out of the cab and begins walking toward the stables; when he turns around to look back at Michael, the cab is already gone. Dukie continues toward the stables, and a life where piss balloons and beatdowns really can be classified as the good old days.