The Wire
Stray Rounds

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: A | 2 USERS: A+
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"The World Is A Smaller Place Now"

Clement Street Café. Ziggy's taken the duck to the bar, apparently intending to finish him off. We join Ziggy mid-conversation with Johnny Fifty, who says he thought Ziggy was "in" with Nick. "Fuck Nicky," spits Ziggy. "He said you was his other half," says Johnny Fifty. "I don't want his fucking money," whines Ziggy. "I mean, that's drug money. And fucking drugs are bad, right? I mean, you gotta consider what that shit does to the community." Geez, he's a one-man United Way all of a sudden. Johnny Fifty reminds him, "You spent all last year with White Mike." Thank you, Johnny. Fifty-one is on me. "A man can grow," says Ziggy peevishly, adding, "I got a caper in mind that is gonna put that horseshit to shame." I assume that he'll be involving all his Muppets on this one. Ziggy asks Johnny Fifty, "You want in?" He asks what he'd have to do, and Ziggy smirks, "What a longshoreman does best, Johnny," and claps him on the back. Drink? Speaking of, La La observes that Ziggy's duck won't drink the Pikesville rye. Ziggy: "He drinks mid-shelf. He don't like that rail shit." Heh. The guys crack up about Ziggy's snobby waterfowl...

...and then in crutches New Charles, exclaiming, "Fuck if I wouldn't give my right leg for a shot and a beer." The guys all celebrate his return to the ranks of the drinking -- even Ziggy, who looks only mildly put out that New Charles the amputee is stealing his ducky thunder. New Charles lurches over to a stool, saying he's waiting for a prosthetic. Someone asks whether he has a good lawyer, and New Charles says that Nat hooked him up through the union. New Charles asks what's up with the duck, but doesn't get a decent answer, because there isn't one. Another guy at the end of the bar tells New Charles, "You know you gotta let go of your name." New Charles doesn't get it, and La La explains, "'New Charles' doesn't work for a one-legged fuck." New Charles shakes his head, chuckling, as one guy suggests "Stump" instead, and Johnny Fifty offers "Peg." "'New Peggy,'" says the first guy excitedly. New Charles cracks up. Ziggy pipes up: "How about 'Tilt'?" Dolores slips some bills into New Charles's breast pocket, and he beams, "'Tilt.' I like that." Everyone drinks to Tilt. If you can't have all the limbs you were born with, then it's nice, at least, to have friends.

Detail office. McNulty's calling the whorehouse back. I think it's because of assignments like these that he's never going to miss the boat. He says he'd called a few nights before, but that this will be his first visit. The Russian-accented operator asks what McNulty does: "Are you the police? Do you work with the police?" McNulty chuckles that of course he doesn't (remember: the police can always lie to you!), and lies, "I'm a travelling salesman! I travel and, you know, uh..." Before he can add "sell things," presumably, the operator asks where he lives, and McNulty says he isn't going to tell her that. The camera has now turned a half-circle so that we can see Rhonda and Kima sitting nearby, wearily monitoring McNulty's exchange because it's not like they haven't already seen what kind of game he has. Anyway, McNulty tentatively tells the operator, "I live out of town?" She sadly tells him, "I don't think we can help you tonight." Dude, you couldn't just say Milwaukee? Weak. The operator hangs up, and as Rhonda flops back against the wall, Kima spits, "You sucked. I mean, really." Ha! One gets the impression that she would have no problem negotiating with a madam for just about any service. McNulty whines that he didn't expect to get interrogated: "I mean, Christ, I'm just a guy looking to get laid, right?" Sure, and don't you work a little bit harder than that when you're using your own money and not the Department's?

Clement Street Café. On the sidewalk out front, Ziggy paces back and forth, apparently distressed enough over whatever's in his hands that he's crying around gritted teeth. Shortly, Nick rolls up and can tell he's in a bad way, asking, "What the fuck is wrong with him?" It's only on the nearer shot that I can tell he's holding the duck's collar and leash...which is why he lamely tries to throw a punch at Nick. Ziggy's evidently had a few, though, and falls over without landing a good shot, but quickly gets back to his feet and starts shoving Nick, enraged. Nick easily holds him off, finally just holding him really tight and pinning his arms; it's practically as though Nick is swaddling Ziggy to soothe him. Nick eventually lets Ziggy go, and Ziggy starts stomping impotently up the street, ignoring Nick's repeated questions as to what's up his ass.

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