At Cutty's gym, Dukie is doing an admirable job absorbing punches thrown by his sparring partner. Landing them? Not so much success there. "What now?" Dukie asks. Cutty's expression seems to suggest that maybe it's time to consider other, less physically demanding ways to resolve conflicts. Like challenging them to a game of Risk or something.
At the Sun, Gus and another editor whose name I don't know and don't care to learn are hovering over Sorzi's shoulder while he tries to write up Clay Davis story. To help pass the time, they're quibbling over grammatical details as he writes. To his eternal credit, Sorzi only curses at them, to everyone's amusement, instead of grabbing his computer monitor and using it to pound both editors into goo, which would have amused only me. A few desks over, Alma is griping about her predicament -- adding more detail to the serial killer story when no details are forthcoming. Did someone say, "Create a story out of whole cloth"? Because that's where Scott Templeton shines, baby! My Spidey sense tells me that someone is about to hone in on somebody else's story.
Elsewhere, Omar is parked in a car outside a condo with an associate named Donnie. "Didn't know if you'd come back," Donnie says to Omar. Wait a minute -- Butchie gets brutally murdered, and there was doubt in Donnie's mind as to whether Omar would return to do something about it? Dude -- familiarize yourself with your fellow characters, please. Anyhow, they're doing recon outside Monk's place. "Old Monk prefer the condo life, I see," Omar observes. "Too good for a rowhouse." And when Monk arrives, he does so flanked by a couple of goons. "Most likely, they expecting you to make a move," Donnie observes. "And here I am," Omar says. "How 'bout that?" Ah, Omar -- if loving you is wrong, I don't want to wind up brutally murdered by your command.
McNulty's sitting in his natural environment, a bar, and waiting for Alma. He seems happy when she shows up; he's less happy to see Templeton. "He'll be working the story with me," Alma says of Templeton's presence. "Yeah, but I don't want to bone him," McNulty says. Actually, his stated gripe is that he doesn't want everyone at the Sun to know his identity, though I think my made-up quote is closer to the truth. Speaking of people with a gift for making up things, Templeton speaks up, stating the case for his involvement: if McNulty wants more prominent coverage of the case in the paper, he's going to need to sex it up a little. "We can't do much with this story unless we give it enough juice," Templeton says. And by juice, he means the motive for the killings -- every last, salacious detail. McNulty spills the detail about the red-ribbon that he...er, the killer ties around the victims' wrists: "He gift-wraps the motherfuckers. That enough juice for you?" Not especially -- Alma presses McNulty on whether they can write that the victims were molested. In this case, silence means assent. "What else?" Templeton demands. "If you want this story to fly, you got to give us something different." Or what? You'll just make up your own version? Wait. Scratch that.
McNulty is still trying to wrap his brain around the fact that a sexual serial killer is not enough to get the interest of a major metropolitan daily. "Cold world, I know," Templeton says, not very empathetically. McNulty takes another swig of whiskey and lets slip that the killer has started biting his victims. "That twisted enough for you?" McNulty says. Because if not, let McNulty know, and he and Freamon can cook up something else. Templeton asks if he's talking cannibalism. "Just biting for now," McNulty says, before impishly adding, "We'll see where it goes." I bet you will. McNulty also adds that only the most recent victims have been bitten. "He's maturing," says McNulty, parroting the explanation Freamon gave him at the last faked crime scene. "It's a technical term. It's when a serial killer's becoming more obsessive. He starts to develop an intricate pattern in what he does with the bodies. It's weird stuff." Yes, yes -- it would take a scientist to explain. "A biter," Templeton enthuses. "That's great." Yeah, not so much for the bite-ees, but you find your happiness where you can. McNulty insists that his name not appear anywhere in the story, Templeton leaves some money for McNulty's tab, and McNulty is left alone in the bar to enjoy the satisfying cocktail of whiskey and fraud.