Morning dawns on Baltimore, as an honest citizen makes the mistake of buying a newspaper from a rack where McNulty is within shouting distance. McNulty runs up and catches the rack before it can shut, helping himself to another free paper. There's a serial criminal in Baltimore all right, but he isn't murdering homeless men -- he's swiping newspapers. You'll be pleased to know the former story made the front page this time around. Also, Templeton's full name is "M. Scott Templeton" -- let's assume the "M." stands for "Muttonhead." A look of satisfaction flashes across McNulty's face as he regards his handiwork; that face has never looked more punchable to me.
At the Sun office, Gus scurries to and fro, barking out orders. Alma is to keep tabs on the investigation into the serial killer and report on any new developments. Templeton proposes that maybe he can do profiles of the victims. "That's a nice idea," Gus agrees, "but I already sent Fletch out on that about an hour ago." Burn. Templeton wonders what that leaves for him. The answer: go out and get reaction quotes from homeless people. And I can tell you, from writing enough reaction pieces in my day to paper the walls of my living room, that assignment is every bit as miserable as it sounds. "Just because they're in the streets doesn't mean they lack opinions," Gus says, when Templeton whines about the assignment. "Where am I going to find homeless people?" Templeton complains. Clearly the "M." doesn't stand for "Mensa." "Not at home, I would imagine," Gus says, turning away. Double-burn. So question to the masses out there: Does Gus continuously bypass Templeton on plum assignments and give him the shit jobs because he's figured out there's a little something off about Templeton's work, and he's trying to minimize the damage? Or is it totally coincidental? I would spend more time musing on it myself, if the scenes involving the newspaper didn't bore me.
McNulty, still smugly satisfied, still so punchable, strides into Landsman's office, where the sergeant is reclining in his chair. McNulty tosses the newspaper at him: "Read it and weep." Landsman yawns: "I already did. So did the Major. So did the Colonel. So did our newly christened Deputy of Ops." In fact, Daniels is over at City Hall right now talking things over with the mayor. But just in case McNulty is feeling pleased with himself, Landsman offers this bring-down: "Just 'cause you got some fucking reporter to buy your weak shit doesn't mean everyone else buys it." And with that, Landsman tosses the paper in a nearby wastepaper basket and continues to recline in his chair, while Salacious Crumb cackles at his feet. "Five gets you ten the deputy's over there right now talking them back down to earth," Landsman says.