So the post-Proposition Joe crime scene dawns -- and yes, I'm still in mourning -- with Marlo meeting Spiros, who hands him a...cell phone? But Marlo doesn't talk on cell phones. Well, on this cell phone, you're gonna talk, mister -- for personal calls and the like, so the police think it's your boring old personal phone. And when it's time to contact Spiros, Marlo's to do it by pushing some buttons. My uninformed guess is that he's using some form of text messaging, but for all I know, Spiros gave him a hacked iPhone with special drug-connection contact features. Anyhoo, in a subsequent meeting with his new attorney, Marlo lets Levy know he's got a cell phone now. This delights Levy to no end, because it means a future of highly-billable wiretap cases. Levy crows about this to Herc, who surreptitiously swipes the cell-phone number, and hands it off to Carver, who, in turn, passes it on to Freamon. It's like a game of telephone, only with warrants and firearms involved.
Meanwhile, the lyingest sack of shit in Baltimore (Templeton) meets the second lyingest sack of shit (McNulty), and the two of them team up to create a new story about the made-up serial killer that gets the attention of both the higher-ups at the Sun and at the police department. The Sun responds by ordering more follow-up stories, with the plum assignments going to Alma and Fletch. Templeton gets stuck getting reaction quotes from the homeless people supposedly being menaced -- a fairly fruitless task to which he responds by making stuff up. And that leads to this ethical dilemma: is it wrong to fabricate quotes about a fabricated serial killer, or does all that fabrication coalesce into a perfect ball of pure truth? I'm going to go with unethical.
As for the police department, McNulty's plan to use the fake serial killer to free up more manpower pays off when Daniels gets the mayor to sign off on a round-the-clock effort by...two detectives? Excuse me -- I was expecting a much larger number. So McNulty is left to figure out how to get more resources, and he and Freamon decide that the key will be to have the serial killer phone in to the police, and McNulty is puzzling over how to make it work when...
...Templeton decides that it's not enough to fake quotes from homeless people, so he fakes phone calls from the killer as well. McNulty takes this bullcrap and runs with it, so he's all, "Yeah, I got a phone call, too from a guy who sounded exactly like the guy you made up." So McNulty and Freamon get their precious wiretap, which they use to not tap the made-up phone calls of the made-up serial killer, but rather, to tap Marlo's cell phone. And they hit paydirt quickly, when Marlo gets a call that Freamon records only to discover the sounds of...data transmission from a circa 1995 AOL session. The hell?
That phone call to Marlo likely had something to do with the ambush of Omar, who bursts into Monk's townhouse ready to do some avenging, only to find Chris, Michael, Snoop, and O-Dog waiting for him. So, just when things are looking bleak for Omar, he jumps out the window of this multi-story townhouse, and Marlo's hoods rush to the balcony, expecting to see Omar's corpse twitching on the ground. Only they don't see anything. So apparently Omar can fly. That would have been good knowledge to have earlier.
Other happenings: Dukie gets punked by Kenard -- Kenard! -- and decides that he either needs to learn how to use his fists (from Cutty) or a firearm (from Michael) if he's going to make it in this oft-cruel world. Clay Davis ratchets up his defense, while Campbell and ex-Mayor Royce remind him that if he's going to down, they would prefer he not drag them with him. And Bubbles continues to struggle with the straight and narrow. But I think the most significant thing here is that Omar can fly. I mean, really -- who knew?
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.