The next (I guess) day, McNulty's met up with Fitz in a parking lot, talking up the Barksdale case. Fitz says that it does sound like a great case, but that the feds aren't looking for drug cases anymore: "Try DEA." McNulty says that the DEA field office is too close to Baltimore CID: "We go there, our bosses know it before a meeting is scheduled." "Your bosses don't know you're doing this?" asks Fitz, amused at the insubordination. McNulty smirks devilishly, shaking his head. The under-the-radar element apparently hooks Fitz, who hesitates a beat and then asks, "Who'll be coming?" McNulty says it'll be himself, Lester, and Daniels. At the last name, Fitz shoots him a look, but McNulty sticks up for him: "He's played this thing out with real heart." Fitz hesitates some more, and McNulty goads him to set something up. Fitz nods: "All right." I know a lot of good stuff seems to be happening here, folks, but let me just remind you...the episode's not even half over yet.
Copy Cat. Stringer's working at a desk when a dude comes in with a piece of paper, asking for ten copies. Stringer takes it to the Xerox, confirming the "ten copies" code, and then returns: "No problems?" "No," says the dude. Stringer: "No?" The guy shakes his head. The guy's ten copies are produced, and Stringer hands them off: "All right, man, I'll get at you." The guy takes off. Hey, Mister, you left your gym bag on the counter! You-- Oh. Carry on.
In the back room, Stringer unzips the bag. A henchman joins him, and once Stringer has confirmed that he locked the front door of the store, he gives him the lowdown: "It's not street-ready, all right? So everybody got to work on their own cut and vial up. Now, listen to me. Tell them to get this straight." He sits next to a box and pulls out a jar of what I'm going to assume is not Vitamin C: "Three parts of this, all right? To one of raw. All right? And that's how we gonna do until we get the new stash." The henchman nods. "And I want you to put the word out there that we're back up. Understand me?" The guy nods some more. Buddy, that's no way to earn your SAG card.
FBI conference room. A severe-looking agentess flips through some papers, appreciatively telling the cops they have "a pretty good case." "Look at the violence alone," prods McNulty. "There's at least a dozen murders, including state's witnesses." He adds that if the feds can get D'Angelo into Witness Protection, the cops "can run wild with this thing." The agentess sighs: "No suppliers, though." Daniels says that they're still working on that angle: "There was nothing on the wire that took us toward New York." Leaning back, Fitz explains that the feds have a new mandate since the September 11 attacks: "We can't pick up any new narcotics work unless it goes to priority organized-crime targets." "Meaning Cosa Nostra or Colombians," adds Agentess. "Or Russians, maybe." Daniels is like, "Oh, so the Barksdales aren't important enough for you? Would that be because they're BLACK?!" Not really; he just dips his head, sadly, as McNulty says that they don't have any Colombians in Baltimore. "We don't have any wiseguys," Lester agrees, spreading his hands. "All we got is a whole lot of locals a little busy tearing the Westside apart." Agentess doesn't argue, but says that the Bureau-wide protocol applies, regardless: "To run with you on this, we need a recognized OC target -- or, even better, a connect to counterterrorism or corruption." "What kind of corruption?" asks Daniels pointedly. Sheeeeeeeit, it's like he read my mind. "What kind you got?" asks Agentess. Daniels shoots a look at Lester. I would almost feel bad for Burrell if I thought this had any shot in hell of going where it should.