In case you wanted an answer to Carver's how-long-before-the-wheels-fall-off-the-cart, it's "right about now." Mello gets a heads-up that there's a problem on the back lot -- it's Brown arguing with another officer about the deplorable state of the squad car he's turning in. The other officer says it was like this when he found it. Brown tells him to clean it up. "Clean this," the other officer says, and the thing he grabs for emphasis is decidedly not the squad car. Tempers flare, punches are thrown, and the two wrestle each other into the filthy car. Carver wonders if he should put a stop to the fight; Mello stands there silently. "You think this is good for morale or something?" Carver asks. Mello points out that nobody's gotten an honest paycheck in weeks: "We have no fucking morale, sergeant." Well, good-natured brawls for everyone, then!
After thirty minutes of driving through the streets of Baltimore, Freamon, Kima, and Sydnor have followed Moped Man to his meeting with Chris Partlow. And that stocky young man standing there with Chris? That's Michael Lee, somewhat more grown-up than he was at the end of Season 4 and certainly more ensconced within the Stanfield organization. Chris says he has a meeting, and dispatches Michael to go check on his corner. So Chris is Michael's mentor now -- fantastic. As Chris drives off, Freamon, Kima, and Sydnor get ready to follow him in their respective vehicles. McNulty radios in that Marlo is on the move as well. Dozerman wonders if they should follow him. "Why?" McNulty asks, sighing audibly. "We know where he's going." Boy, everyone's feeling defeatist today.
Over at City Hall, we join Burrell and Rawls mid-meeting with the mayor, as they outline their plans to keep vehicles in service, no matter how filthy and inoperable they become, and to defer overtime and court pay no matter how mutinous it makes the force. "How's crime?" Carcetti demands. "How are your stats?" How do you think, dummy? Excuse me -- that wasn't very polite. Let me rephrase: How do you think, Mayor Dummy? Rawls more diplomatically notes that the double-digit reduction in crime Carcetti was hoping for isn't feasible with the kind of budget cuts the department is forced to endure. Yes, yes, Carcetti knows all this -- but he has to cut where he can because of that damnable school budget crisis. So, uh...what else can you guys cut? Well, there's the Major Case investigation into all the bodies found in the abandoned houses -- if that investigation were to, say, get suspended, that might save some dough. "You're saying you want us to come down on a case in which twenty-two people were murdered and left to rot in city houses?" Norman Wilson asks incredulously. Well, yeah. Carcetti's like no, no, no, okay, you talked me into it. Also, Burrell asks that the ten-hour cap on moonlighting get removed. "You do that, and your police aren't doing police work," Norman protests. "They're guarding liquor stores, bouncing night clubs, putting up drywall." Rawls counters that there's a morale problem, and without something like this, officers might just up and quit. Guess who Carcetti sides with in this argument? (Hint: Not Norman.) "Hold the line now," Carcetti says, as the meeting breaks up. "We'll get to a better place, I promise." Oh, you're expecting a visit from the Free Money Fairy, too? Because that's my plan.