City Hall. Herc comes out the front door with a couple of cups of coffee, giving one to Officer Unnamed and expositing that Royce was supposed to have had a breakfast meeting at the harbour that day, but that he's nowhere in sight. Officer Unnamed bitches that he hates the detail, because all they do is sit around and wait; the pro of the assignment, though, is that driving the mayor is the fastest way to move up the ranks in the police department -- and we all know how much Herc loves his GODDAMN STRIPES already. Herc finally gets sick of waiting and tells Officer Unnamed that he's going upstairs to look for the mayor.
Herc goes upstairs to the apparently empty mayor's office, catching Parker on his way out; Herc asks about the fabled breakfast meeting, and Parker says it wasn't definite. Herc tries to call after him to ask where Hoskins (his lieutenant) is, but Parker's already gone, so Herc is left to go back out to the hall and start randomly checking doors. And soon enough, he finds his quarry...in an office, getting a beej from his assistant. Herc is too shocked to move for a second -- long enough for Royce to get an eyeful of him, certainly, and probably to lose focus on the task at...er, "hand." Anyway, Herc stammers something and closes the door, walking briskly away, past portraits of former Baltimore mayors, and probably wondering which of them enjoyed the same between-meetings pastimes during their terms in office. (In case any of those dudes' descendants is reading this: my guess is ABSOLUTELY NONE OF THEM!)
"I still wake up white in a city that ain't." -- Carcetti. Oh, poor you. Talk to a black person living practically anywhere in the U.S. and see how sympathetic they are to your heartbreaking plight.
Detail office. Lester is sifting through papers while Rhonda paces nervously and Sydnor mopes. Lester heartily urges him to cheer up, since they're "about to raise some hell," but Sydnor is still young enough to worry about the consequences of his actions, as he comments that their targets include several politicians and developers. "Princes of the city," Lester agrees. Sydnor says it must have occurred to Lester that some of this shit could blow back on them, but Lester responds with a quote from Teddy Roosevelt, on hunting grizzly bears: "The thrill is in overcoming your own fear." Rhonda crabbily asks what the thrill was for the bear, plopping down at the head fo the table as she mutters that she should have run all the subpoenas past her front office. "That's not procedure," says Lester serenely. "Fuck procedure, Lester!" yips Rhonda. She exposits that Demper, her boss, is running two points behind his opponent, and that's with Royce's support; if he pisses off Royce and drops off the ticket, his numbers will get even worse. "Why do you care?" says Lester ingenuously. Rhonda says that if Demper thinks she fucked him and then wins, she'll get busted down to Central Booking to cover bail reviews. And if the other guy wins, he might bounce "the white girl" to a trial team and hand Narcotics "to one of their own -- it's Baltimore, Lester!" Ignoring her, Lester says that they're missing subpoenas for Krawczyk and Clay Davis. Rhonda quietly says she's holding those until October. "Aw, the hell you are!" blurts Lester. Rhonda slowly explains that if they drop subpoenas on either of those guys before the primary, "all hell breaks loose." Sydnor excitedly agrees, and Rhonda goes on with the exposition, informing us that Davis is Royce's deputy campaign chairman, and Krawczyk his #1 fundraiser. Lester doesn't give a shit, as usual: "I'm just following the money." Rhonda promises that they'll follow it after the polls close; they don't need to risk the blowback now. "A year ago, if we had gone after these records, City Hall would've stomped on this unit and the subpoenas," says Lester. "And a month from now, after Royce is re-elected, they'll do us the same way. But right now, with the primary coming, they gotta worry about how they look -- how they behave! Right now, they gotta worry about scandal." Rhonda narrows her eyes, and reminds Lester that he'd told her the reason he held off on these subpoenas was that other cases got in the way. Lester mostly avoids her eye, but finally gives her a quick glance that's as close as he gets to confirmation. "Very clever, Lester," drawls Rhonda. "You got it all figured, huh?" "Me?" shrugs Lester. "I'm just a police." Rhonda manages to resist the urge to feed him his badge.