The Wire
Port In A Storm

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: A | 3 USERS: A
"Business. Always Business."

As morning dawns, we can faintly hear a mellow radio DJ as we watch various equally mellow shots of Baltimore -- calm water; blowing grasses; cranes in the port; stacks of containers. Ott emerges from the trailer and runs into a couple of dockworkers, who make small talk with him over a ship that's late arriving into port. There's something odd about this scene...something missing....can't quite put my finger on it.....

Oh, right -- it's the port, and yet there's a complete dearth of Sobotkas! What's up with them? Let's see! Nick jogs up to Frank's house and knocks on the front door; no one lets him in.

At the port, Ott walks up to a fence and gazes curiously out at a small craft in the water. Presently, Johnny Fifty rolls up with La La, and Horseface shows up with a couple of other dudes, and all join Ott at the fence. As the camera cuts to a closer view, we can see that it's a police boat, and that there's an officer in the stern, skimming the water with a tool on the end of a long pole. The stevedores walk along the fence, wondering who's dead today.

Aaaand, Nick looks like he's about to find out, as we see his truck speeding toward the meet location from the end of the last episode. He parks alongside Frank's truck and climbs out, walking up to peer into the driver's-side window. It's not clear from his face whether he's figured out the situation.

Port. The police boat pulls up beside a wooden pier, and we see all the stevedores running out to meet it and see what the deal is.

Meanwhile, Nick speeds to Frank's trailer and pokes his head in the door; finding it empty, he walks out again, and then he also joins the crowd hurrying out to meet the police boat. By the time he gets there, at least twenty guys have beaten him, and are leaning over the railing to watch as the officer hooks a stretcher to a crane, and we see there's a body on it, covered with a tarp; all you can see from here is that the deceased has work boots on. The guys step out of the way as the cops on the pier guide the stretcher down, and peel back the edges of the tarp to reveal what we already guessed: it contains the late Frank, who looks to have had his throat slashed. The guys in the immediate vicinity -- Johnny Fifty, Horseface, Maui, and others -- shake their heads sadly. Unfortunately for Nick, he's at the back of the pack, and one of the last to see the colleague they've lost. Diggins radios in "a floater at Patapsco terminal," and then the camera slowly pans out to show Frank's body, and the half-circle of stevedores -- whose livelihoods he was trying to improve when he undertook the actions that led to his death. Okay, it's a circuitous route to get from a campaign to dredge the canal to death by an international cabal of human traffickers, but still. Poor Frank.

"Business. Always business." -- The Greek. Yeah, but when you kill an associate by cutting his throat, that's at least a little bit personal.

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The Wire




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