The Wire
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Mr. Sobell: B | 2 USERS: A
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"Just 'Cause They're In The Street Doesn't Mean That They Lack Opinions."

Clay Davis has taken his one-man campaign for justice to the airwaves of a local talk radio show. "I'm not saying it's a black-white thing," notes Clay, who just got done saying exactly that. For the record, here's Clay's explanation to the overly sympathetic interviewer as to why he's facing indictment: 1) It's just the system trying to take down another powerful black politician. 2) The state's attorney is trying to make a name for himself and is a puppet of The Man. 3) Everyone's trying to assassinate poor Clay's character. Left out of the reasoning: that he's actually corrupt as hell. Anyhow, there's going to be a Free Clay! rally down at the courthouse the next day. Won't all of you come? I know that I wouldn't miss it for the world.

In Daniels's office, Freamon is pleading for three detectives to run a round-the-clock wiretap on the now-talkative Marlo, four officers to work on surveillance, and a pair of unmarked cars. He has found an unreceptive audience. "If I had it, you'd have it," Daniels says. "That's the cell number of the motherfucker who put 22 bodies on us," Freamon explodes. "Go to the fucking mayor!" Daniels fires back that he's been to the mayor -- once to try and save the Major Case unit and just the other day to get an extra detective for the serial killer case. "If a fucking serial killer can't bring back more than a couple detectives, what does it matter that you have a fresh phone number?" Daniels fumes. Man, I bet Freamon might have had a better shot at getting more resources for the Stanfield case if they weren't diverted to a made-up serial killer. Bet the guys who came up with that scheme would really be kicking themselves if they saw the unintended consequences of their actions.

Back at the Sun, Alma is filling in Gus on the details of her story on the ongoing investigation. Fletch struck gold too, with interviews of some of the victims' relatives. That's Templeton's cue to stroll in -- Gus asks him if he can deliver the goods. Even if he couldn't, what do you think Templeton's answer is going to be? "Half these guys on the streets are whack jobs. The other half just want to borrow a fin," Templeton grouses. At least until Gus glares at him: "But yeah, I got good stuff." Good stuff? Or too-good-to-be-true stuff? "Got a family of four under the Hanover Street Bridge," Templeton says. "Father broke down and cried when I talked to him. Talking about how he couldn't protect himself, couldn't protect his kids. Mother just kept stroking the youngest one's blonde hair." Ah. That'd be too-good-to-be-true, then. Know how I know this story is bullshit? Because when pressed for a name on the patriarch of this exceptionally quotable homeless family, Templeton says it's Nathan Levi Boston. Unless after sobbing about how he couldn't protect his family, the father than talked at length about how Satan can assume a fleshly form, I'm going to assume Templeton is fibbing again. "This serial killer is making one Baltimorean very, very happy," Phelps murmurs. "Clay Davis -- one news cycle, and his indictment's gonna be off the front page." More unintended consequences.

And the two jackasses responsible for it are meeting to see what further mayhem they can cause. Well, actually, McNulty is just ranting about the piddling amount of resources he managed to squeeze out of the department. "I give them a sex-crazed madman who's enough of a freak show to get the whole city hot and bothered, and what comes back? One fucking detective. And who is it? Kima Greggs, who should be working her triple. So now I can't give you her hours without fucking up honest casework." Yeah, it's such a thankless task perpetrating fraud nowadays -- people are always being inconsiderate toward all the effort you've gone through to make things up. Freamon is sanguine about this latest turn of events -- all they need is a wiretap, and since anything they get up would be illegal anyway, they wouldn't want anyone other than Freamon monitoring the wire. As for the surveillance they'll need once they start getting information off of Marlo's phone, Freamon will worry about that challenge once it arises. For now, there's the matter of getting a wiretap under the pretense of monitoring Jack The Not-Real Ripper. McNulty and Freamon puzzle over that for a bit before McNulty comes up with the solution. "He's got to call someone," McNulty says. "The mayor. Cardinal Keeler. Cal fuckin' Ripken. Who gives a fuck?" I suspect Billy Ripken might -- overshadowed once again by his big brother. Freamon catches on to McNulty's scheme -- they'll request a wiretap for a pay phone somewhere, but actually tap Marlo's phone. This plotting is interrupted by a ring from McNulty's cell phone -- it's the ex-wife, and she's called multiple times this evening, which means it's probably important, so McNulty ignores it and goes back to conspiring. "The thing is," Freamon says, "they've got to believe it's your killer calling before they'll pay for a wiretap." McNulty's solution is to come up with another body, "and this time, the sick motherfucker is going to call Mr. Ripken with something only the killer would know." (Cal...I murdered that man with your 1982 rookie card! Bwah ha ha ha ha!) Freamon and McNulty laugh and high-five each other over their obvious cleverness.

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The Wire

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