We open in a verdant park -- just beyond the trees you can see the dome of Baltimore's City Hall. Chris is standing on one end of the screen, and someone I can only assume to be Spiros's Eastern European equivalent of Chris is standing on the other. I make this assumption because Spiros is talking right now, mouthing half-hearted regrets about Proposition Joe's untimely demise: "Joe will be missed. Very missed. We liked Joe. A hard man not to like." He's telling this to Marlo, who doesn't seem particularly moved by the eulogy -- blah blah condolences blah, let's move on. But Spiros is not yet ready to move on: "In business, in life, what you learn to appreciate the most is a dependable man," he says, looking pointedly at Marlo. "One day, the same as the next." Well, sociopathic violence is a form of consistency. After Marlo assures Spiros that he learned plenty from Joe -- including how to put a bullet in him, it bears repeating -- Spiros lays down the ground rules of their future association: he and his associates will deal with Marlo and, occasionally, Chris, but nobody else. Pity that Spiros will never know the singular pleasure of Snoop's acquaintance. And when it is time to contact Spiros, Marlo will do so on the cell phone that Spiros whips out of his pocket. Marlo protests that he doesn't talk on cell phones. Spiros is like, Fucker -- this is an iPhone. It set me back nearly 500 bones, so you bet your ass you will be talking on it. Actually, that's what I would say -- instead, Spiros suggests that talking functions of the phone be limited to boring, ordinary, run-of-the-mill stuff like ordering lunch and chatting up girls and having legally-protected conversations with his legal representation. "All of that is good because all of that tells them there is nothing good to hear," Spiros explains. So when it's time to contact Spiros, what does Marlo do? Use the cell phone to send up signal flares? Attach it to the leg of a carrier pigeon? Throw it at the head of some go-between? No -- Spiros demonstrates by pressing a few buttons until there's a beep; Marlo reacts as if he's just seen the damnedest thing. So what do you think -- text messaging? Cryptography? Virtual carrier pigeons? A funny YouTube video where some guy gets punched in the crotch? Your humble correspondent is stumped.
The meeting breaks up, and Chris asks how things went. "The man overcame his grief," Marlo says. Ouch -- tough crowd. Anyhow, Marlo is feeling like the cock of the walk -- I think most of us would agree that one word in that phrase is an apt description of him. Marlo suggests a trip down to Atlantic City; Chris counters that they maybe postpone any pleasure jaunts until after they deal with Omar's Day of Vengeance, which should be unleashed at any moment now. Speaking of which, Chris asks if they can stop by his house on their way back from the meeting, so that he can let the folks at home know he's going to be busy for a time staying one step ahead of a rage-fueled criminal mastermind. "You stepped up and made your play," Chris says. "Now I gotta make mine." Perhaps I'm reading into this -- easy to do when you're talking about someone as emotionally muted as Chris -- but he doesn't sound entirely pleased about this turn of events.