The Wire
Old Cases

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: A | 4 USERS: B+
"It's A Thin Line 'Tween Heaven And Here"

Phelan's in his chambers, chatting with Burrell, who's telling him that because of an electrical failure in a lab freezer, blood samples from fifty-six homicides and fifteen rapes went off. Phelan confirms that the State's attorney and the mayor both know, and Burrell exposits, "Most of our trace lab is now twenty-five years old." But the one in Las Vegas seems so well-appointed! Then again, that city has a much richer tax base. But I digress. Phelan asks whether Burrell's ever gone looking for money from non-profits, such as an Abell Foundation, on which board Phelan's brother serves. He offers to "run it up there" for Burrell, who accepts. Burrell's wheels greased, Phelan asks, "Where are we with the Barksdale probe?" SNAP! Oh, that's just the sound of Phelan's trap, clamping right into the meatiest part of Burrell's leg. Ever the politician, Burrell affably says that's his other reason for stopping by, and hands Phelan a folder. Oh, no -- he's not bragging about the bust in the low-rises the other day, is he? Because that's not so much a feather in his cap as it is a turd. Phelan opens the file and curtly reports, "Hand-to-hands and search-and-seizures. I've heard about these." Burrell's face falls a little, but he pastes on an ingratiating smile to crow about the "mid-level players" they've caught: "Look, it's not a knockout blow, but we've sent a clear message." Phelan, getting irritated, flaps the folder closed and spits, "I don't see Barksdale's name anywhere. Or Bell['s], or anything about the murders." Burrell claims that the casework "goes towards that," but Phelan just replies, "No." Ha! Dropping the folder and pulling a pill bottle out of his pocket, he tells Burrell, "We've got work to do, don't we?" Burrell works his mouth, clearly thinking of all the different rusty implements he'd like to use to disembowel McNulty.

In a cozy living room that looks like it hasn't had its design plan re-evaluated since about 1975, a woman sits in an easy chair folding laundry. We can hear an insistent knock, and then the announcement that it's the police. She slowly makes her way over, as the calls get more urgent: "Open the motherfucking door!" She does, and in bust Carver and Herc, guns drawn. Oh, lord. They do a quick sweep of the premises as the woman, apparently unconcerned, takes up her position in the chair again, and we can hear the officers rifling through the upstairs rooms, Carver offering, "I'm gonna beat this bitch like a red-headed stepchild for hiding up in this pisshole." Hey! The pisshole's owner is ight-ray ownstairs-day! Carver reappears in the living room and says, "Tell Bodie we're on his ass." Grandma Bodie has no reaction. Carver leaves with a uni. Herc comes downstairs to join them, but seeing Grandma Bodie back in her chair, he pauses sheepishly, and finally says, "I'm sorry for cursing at the door. I mean, um, I couldn't see that it was only you." He makes to leave, but Grandma Bodie stops him by asking, matter-of-factly, "Is it the drugs again?" Herc nods. He's already moving toward the door again when Grandma Bodie asks if he wants to sit down. He does, reluctantly, and Grandma Bodie explains, "Preston [Bodie] came to me when my daughter died. He was four years old. But even then, I knew he was angry. His mother lived out there, caught up in it. After a while, you couldn't make her see nothing else." Herc looks uncomfortable at the realization that Bodie is a human being, with his own backstory and everything.

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The Wire




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