McNulty is still cooking up his wild idea to fabricate a serial killer case that will eventually get put on Marlo and his crew. Bunk is still not feeling the plan at all, but you know who is? Fucking Lester! Love that guy. Anyway, having noticed that one of the dead vagrants from a previous file had a red ribbon tied around his wrist, McNulty just writes another into a previous file and a current one, establishing a pattern. Oh, McNutty. Will you ever learn? Yeah, I hope not.
Things at The Sun are super uncool. Alma is pissed not only because her homicide story got pushed way back beyond the fold, but she woke up early and went to the press to see it. Everyone else is pissed because apparently Chicago has decided to make a bunch of the staff redundant, including Twigg, which makes me sad. Augustus Haynes, too. Whiting makes a lame attempt at an apology, continuing the "more with less" theme. What a dicksmack.
Wilson leaks to Augustus the shakeup that Carcetti has in mind for the police department, namely that Daniels will be taking commissioner instead of Burrell. Burrell is not psyched to find this out in the paper. Too bad Templeton had to be such a little sneak and throw in an out-of-context quote from Daniels, making the situation worse. I hate that smarmy little prick. I hope he gets his, but knowing this show, he never will.
The grand jury hearings are under way, and Rhonda is kicking all kinds of ass (well, inasmuch as that's possible, seeing as half the jurors are watching The Wire on their new iPods), illustrating clearly how the money trail worked its way from the streets up to Davis's pockets. Even Ashy Larry returns as Clay Davis's driver! Love.
Speaking of money trails, Marlo's trying to clean his up. Vondas is unthrilled with his initial offering, because the cash Marlo brings the Greeks is literally dirty, coming straight from the streets. Stanfield decides to ask Prop Joe for guidance in cleaning the cash (both literally and figuratively), and he even gets an offshore account.
In what is, to me, the most heartbreaking part of the episode, Michael and Dukie go to Six Flags for the day, and meet a couple of cute girls, getting a taste of a life that usually seems out of reach. Upon their return, however, reality sets back in, as the corner boys who had to cover for Michael berate him and tell him that Chris has already been notified of his absenteeism. So sad. Prediction: dead by Easter.
Actually, there is another piece of sadness: in an attempt to get to Omar, Chris and Snoop kill Butchie, his blind, bar-owning buddy. To his credit, Butchie never blabs about Omar's location, even after getting blasted twice in the kneecaps, but it doesn't matter, because Chris and Snoop know that by killing him, they're effectively bringing Omar out of his retirement, something I'm frankly quite amped about. Can't wait to see what happens next week.
This week, we open on McNulty in the interrogation room, putting together ideas for his big made-up serial killer case. He's poring over previous case files, trying to find a common thread (or ribbon, as the case may indeed be) that he can latch on to. He finds one file with pictures of the decedent lying face down with his pants down. Upon closer inspection, he sees that the homeless man has a red ribbon tied around his left wrist. "Uh," he grunts.
Out in the main Homicide office, Bunk arrives and wakes everyone up by knocking on the cubicle walls and saying, "Early relief. Get the fuck outta here." Bunk announces that even though it's 4:30 in the AM, he couldn't sleep, "so get the fuck gone." He asks one of the night-shifters what time McNulty clocked out last night, and the guy responds that he never did. Bunk looks pissed.
A second later, Bunk busts into the interrogation room, and is met with the sight of a half-drunk and guilty-looking McNulty, who rubs his eyes. Closing the door behind him, Bunk tells Jimmy to "think again about what the fuck [he's] doin'." "Bunk, this can work. It can!" "Fuck you. I mean that." McNulty hits his pint bottle of Jameson, and Bunk immediately reprimands him: "4 in the fuckin' morning?" "So it is," replies McNulty, and puts the bottle on the table. Bunk snatches it up. "All of these?" Jimmy continues, gesturing to the case files. "Homeless murders from the last five years. Everything before that is on microfilm, but we've got enough right here--" "Jimmy--" "Most of it open. We don't do so well with homeless killings. Transient locales, no nearest, no dearest...no one gives a fuck. These could stay open forever!" Bunk seems unimpressed. "You're going to jail behind this shit," he tells McNulty seriously. "You know what they do to police in jail? Pretty police like yourself?" Bunk reminds McNulty that they have domestic bliss to keep up, and that he's fucking up the squad's clearance rate. "Fuck the fuckin' numbers, already! The fuckin' numbers destroyed this fuckin' department. Landsman and his clearance rate can suck a hairy asshole." Well, that's nice. Bunk says that Marlo isn't worth this, and McNulty says, "Marlo does not get to win, we get to win! This case doesn't go away just because the bosses can't find the money to pay for it. These are fuckin' murders! Ghetto murders, but still. I came back out of the Western to work this case because they said it would be worked." Bunk threatens to tell Jay: "You keep on with it, I'm gonna rat you out." "Do what you gotta do," says McNulty, obviously not concerned at the idea of Jay taking him down. I don't think I would be either. Bunk, realizing that his threat doesn't hold as much weight as he wishes it would, says, "My name is nowhere in the file. I don't want fuck to do with this." He storms out, but before he leaves, McNulty holds out his hand for his bottle back. Resigned, Bunk slaps it back in his hand and leaves as the title sequence comes a-rollin' on in.
It's now 5:10 in the AM, and Alma Gutierrez is getting up to catch her first front-page story. Her boyfriend asks what she's doing, and she tells him, "The final's out. I wanna see my story." "Now?" "It's my first time out front, I wanna see it!" He says something about getting home delivery, and she tells him she gets the paper for free at the office, so why would she go and pay for it? She heads out in a hurry.