The Wire
Sentencing

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Wing Chun: A | 4 USERS: A+
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"All In The Game..."

The shot segues us to a couple of high-rises downtown, and then we're in Rawls's office, where he's blowhardily telling an unseen someone that he knows his auditor did a stint in Homicide a while back, but Rawls wants to talk about how he runs the unit: "Because how I run it is how it runs." The camera pulls back so that we can see the cop getting jumped in is Lester, who's sitting in front of Rawls's desk, Jay next to him. Rawls blathers about the rotation system, and the order in which cops take calls, and finally leans in to tell Lester, "You do not play the game for yourself. You play it for us." Lester nods, seeming perhaps a tad grossed-out to be lining up behind the likes of Rawls, but happy nonetheless not to be returning to Pawn Shop.

Pit. Drugs are slung all around as Poot sits on the couch, enjoying some chicken. After a moment, he calls over a "Dink," who comes running over. The camera pulls back so that we can see there is a new couch. It's black. THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT HAS IRREVOCABLY CHANGED. Anyway, Poot gives Dink shit for not being sufficiently cagey, explaining that you take a customer's money, then get some other dude to hand over the product: "The way you do it, someone snapping pictures got the whole deal." Dink gets it, and Poot waves him off, yelling at everyone in the Pit, "We got to tighten up around here, yo!" D'Angelo's legacy lives on. In Poot form.

Courthouse. McNulty is napping with his face in his hand when Phelan happens by and wakes him up: "Hell of a case. Read all about it in the papers. You done good, kiddo." He puts out his hand to shake, but he really should know better than to think that McNulty can forget about any transgression, big or small, and sure enough, McNulty just glares back, leaving him hanging. Phelan doesn't make a big deal about it and scurries off, shaking his head. McNulty holds his position, looking like he's wondering which other Ghosts of Christmas Past are going to pop by next.

In the courtroom, Ronnie's up to D'Angelo, which is apparently McNulty's cue to come back in. We see that Brianna has returned for this, and that Avon is still sitting nearby, in cuffs, looking pained as his nephew's crimes are listed. The judge asks what Ronnie's looking for, and Ronnie exposits that because of D'Angelo's prior convictions and (in case we weren't sure) because of his refusal to implicate anyone else in his purchase of the heroin he was stopped with in New Jersey, the state is seeking "the maximum allowable twenty years." D'Angelo takes this with just the slightest of brow furrows; in the gallery next to Stringer, Brianna covers her mouth. The judge confirms that Levy has agreed to the terms of D'Angelo's plea, and as he starts to drone on with D'Angelo's sentence, Bunk steals into the courtroom and sits down behind McNulty, who asks how it went with Wee-Bey. Bunk tells us what we already know, adding that they did find Little Man's body, right where Wee-Bey said it would be. "He gave us that one just for fun, I think," says Bunk, adding that Wee-Bey also took credit for Gant. McNulty gives a curious head-jerk at this, and Bunk replies, "I know, it's bullshit." McNulty asks how Wee-Bey claims that Gant's murder went down, and Bunk sighs, and mimes shooting Jimmy in the temple with his finger-gun. "He said a contact wound?" asks McNulty. "It doesn't play. Gant had no compression, no stippling. Wound was to the front. Bey's talking out of his ass." Bunk knows: "This motherfucker's just taking murders just to take them." McNulty paraphrases Wee-Bey's thinking: "He's taking life, no parole, for shooting a cop -- what the fuck? Might as well try to spring Bird for killing Gant." Bunk nods, and then there's a gavel-crack and an "all rise." Bunk and McNulty duly stand, along with everyone else in the room, and watch as Avon and the Barksdalies are led away. When he passes, Avon gives McNulty a nod and a wry smile, which brings McNulty to the latest utterance of his favourite phrase -- "Jesus, what the fuck did I do?" -- this time to indicate that he realizes how big and bright the target on his back actually is, and not just to Rawls's eye, but to those of the remaining free members of the Barksdale organization as well. Bunk takes the cigar out of his mouth and pats McNulty on the back as he delivers his beloved catchphrase: "You happy now, bitch?" He sure doesn't look happy. D'Angelo is the last one led off, and as he goes, Ronnie stops in front of McNulty and pats him gently on the chest. McNulty lingers just a moment before leaving the courtroom himself.

We wrap up the season with Jesse Winchester's "Step By Step," catching up with the answer to McNulty's "What the fuck did I do?" as it applies to each major character. First, a rough-looking Bubbs -- reunited with Johnny -- get ready to jack some copper pipe from an unattended van, only to abandon the plan when a uniformed Santangelo comes around the corner at just the right moment, twirling his baton.

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