Back at Levy's office, the lights are out, and not a creature is stirring except for a...Herc? Yes, everyone's favorite bald, aggressively incompetent cop is about to teach us all a lesson about judging people just because of one or two or 36 mistakes and blunders. Herc walks into Levy's darkened office, flicks on a desk lamp, flips through the Rolodex, and scribbles down a number, before returning the Rolodex to its previously unrifled-through state. We are to presume he's writing down Marlo's number, though, this being Herc, it could just as easily be the number for a rib joint he's particularly fond of.
And now a touching scene from Cutty's gym, that we will attempt to recap without too much of our usual bullshit: "So you thinking if you learn to fight some," Cutty says to Dukie, who's sitting forlornly on a bench, "people 'round the way are gonna leave you be." Cutty has some bad news about that plan: "It ain't like the movies where you beat up one bully, and the rest just back the hell up." Cutty asks Dukie if he's ever thought about why the folks on the corner feel the need to give him such trouble; Dukie shrugs. "All I know," Cutty says, pointing to the boxing ring, "is that right there...I could fight. For a time there, I could run them corners. Not much life outside that, really." Dukie notes that he was on the corner for a while, and it didn't work out too well for him. "I guess what I'm trying to say is," Cutty begins, struggling for the words, "not everything comes down to how you carry it in the street. I mean, it do come down to that if you gonna be in the street, but that ain't the only way to be." Just one problem with that otherwise sound observation, and it's Dukie who points it out: "'Round here, it is." Cutty agrees, sadly, before adding, "The world is bigger than that. At least, that's what they tell me." Dukie thinks about that for a while before posing this question: "How do you get from here to the rest of the world?" Dukie -- stop asking difficult questions. Because Cutty doesn't have an answer for that one: "I wish I knew," he says quietly. They're leaving the gym now, and the talk turns to Michael -- how fast he grew up, how he's cut out for a life on the street. "But a kid come to me with other skills," Cutty continues, "other way of being, all I got is hopes and wishes." "That's something I guess," Dukie says. Yeah -- just not very much. So to sum up: There's a life beyond the street, unless that's the only thing you know. You could always seek out other opportunities, unless you live the kind of life where those other opportunities never present themselves to you. Still, best of luck, and if you come up with a way out, be sure and let me know. Contemplate that world view tonight, just before you lay down for bed. Be sure to save a spot for the inevitable night terrors.
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.