On the phone, McNulty's not giving away much with his side of the conversation, but you can tell from his exasperation that he's getting some bad news about something Elena's doing. He hangs up and spits, "I fucking need a fucking lawyer." Jay frowns for a moment, but only a moment, because then he looks down the hall and sees the trim, lovely figure of Ms. Rhonda Pearlman. She notices Jay and McNulty and immediately calls out a defensive "What?" Hee.
Detail office. Lester has some photos of the stash house spread out, and Carver points out the bars on the windows and the cameras pointed at the street. Sydnor adds that he checked with Verizon, and that there's no phone service at the address. "That's a tell-tale right there," says Lester, possibly striking fear into the hearts of all my friends who exclusively use cell phones and aren't drug dealers, as far as I know. Carver and Sydnor both think they need to try to write a warrant for the house, but Lester just claps the file closed, looking over his glasses at them in weary disappointment. Lester takes off, Carver and Sydnor rolling their eyes in frustration, to meet up with Prez at a bulletin board. He's apparently tidied it up, putting a map in the middle, with pins marking various locations, and then strings from the pins to snapshots, all around the edges of the map, showing the locations' front doors. Lester asks Prez whether he's noticed a pattern, but he hasn't: "Except this cluster of old storefronts and warehouses on the west side of downtown." They're mostly vacants, owned by three different holding companies. Lester very gravely announces to Prez, "You have a gift for the paper trail." Prez slowly looks to Lester, and then giggles a little with pride. Lester adds that the next day will require some street work: "Are you street-ready?" Prez uncomfortably reminds Lester that he's in-office, and won't have his gun until the grand jury, but Lester says he won't need a gun. He hands Prez a file, while Prez looks like he wants to ask whether he can at least pack a pointed stick or something.
In a hearing room, Elena's lawyer, a Mr. Palmer, is telling the judge how McNulty lost the kids playing "the spy game." The judge doesn't disagree, but says that Elena's request for an emergency ex parte order is "extraordinary," and exposits that Elena's trying to limit McNulty to afternoon visitations, and require that she be present every time: "Come on." Heh. Ronnie, sitting next to McNulty, looks like she's relieved she never had any of his babies; McNulty himself just looks glum as Palmer says that the incident at the market wasn't isolated: "Mr. McNulty has time and again failed to properly care for the children when they're in his custody." Elena, looking a little ashamed, glances across the aisle at her ex-husband while Palmer claims to have "a list of recent events" documenting what a shitty parent McNulty is. The judge, sounding exhausted, asks whether Ronnie has anything to offer up in McNulty's defense. "Nope," says Ronnie cheerfully. The judge is like, "No, seriously," and Ronnie gets up as she explains, "If this were possession with intent, I'd be a prosecutor with a plan. But a domestic order hearing? Your Honour, I'm officially clueless." Elena glances at Ronnie with silent rage, and Ronnie adds that as an employee of the state, she shouldn't be there. The judge tells them all to take a breath, and says that before she rules on the emergency order, she needs to know if the McNulties are capable of conversing civilly. Both parents say that they are, and the judge says that, in that case, she's going to lunch: "Let's see when I return if we can't busy this court with something just a little more engaging than the problems of the McNultys." This isn't enough drama for her? Is she waiting for the dad who put his kids front and follow on Dracula?