I know I'm the least credible person to be making this point -- guy who kicked the Tribune Tower in rage, remember? -- but there's something about the Whitting character that's not sitting quite right with me. The Wire has a fine history of creating characters with nuance that it's a shock to the system when someone so obviously sinister -- He talks over his editors! He spikes stories that afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted! He forecloses on widows and ties them to railroad tracks! -- shows up on screen. Either add some shades of gray to that character, or just drop all pretense and have him wear a dark cape and twirl his moustache every time he enters a room.
Outside the meeting, the regional affairs editor chuckles at Haynes' effrontery. "Why poke him with a stick?" she wonders. Haynes replies that if he has an opinion on a story, he's going to speak up. "You know what a healthy newsroom is?" he asks. A fucking delusion from people who still envision a world with reporters running around in fedoras with little cardboard "Press" tags shoved in the band? "It's a magical place where people argue about everything all the time." That too. "I'm not poking anyhow," Haynes concludes. "Dean Martin?" another editor counters. "A little poke," Haynes allows.
In the clerk's office -- definitely the criminal clerk's office -- Chris thumbs through a folder, looks around to see that no one's looking, and snatches the photo of the young man contained therein. The photo's a shot of Sergei Malatov, by the way. And who is Sergei Malatov? Well, we'll let McNulty fill you in, since he trailed Chris to the clerk's office, exchanged pointed glances with Chris, took a look at the folder Chris rifled through, and has a full working memory of Season Two. "Remember that Russian we locked up for murder?" McNulty says to Sydnor, once he's back in the Surveillance-Mobile. "Part of that port case from a year back?" Sydnor didn't appear much in Season Two, so no, he doesn't know who Sergei Malatov is or that he's Ukrainian and not Russian and that he doesn't like it when people call him Boris. "Well, Chris Partlow does," McNulty says ominously. Which means y'all better familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of Season Two right quick. And by y'all, I mean me.