The Wire
The Cost

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: A | 4 USERS: A+
"And Then He Dropped The Bracelets..."

As a green pimp car awkwardly maneuvers its way around a corner -- and, I mean, it's like watching a semi trying to pull a U-turn on a one-way street -- and as the driver comes into view, it's perfectly appropriate that it's Orlando. Of all the people on the show to drive a pimp car, at least he's the most qualified. He parks and gets out; a guy in a plaid shirt pats him down, and then he gets into a waiting parked car; at the wheel is a character played by Neko Parham, last seen (by me) in Death Of A President, in a red bandanna that he's folded to the width of, like, a maxi-pad. Interesting look. There's an awkward pause, and then Orlando gets down to business: "This first time, I can go four ounces of rock, but hey, if the shit is right, then next time I can step that up." Maxi-Pad warningly replies, "Almost ain't worth it for four." "Just this first go-round!" promises Orlando nervously. "You do right by me, I'll turn around and come back on it." Maxi-Pad sighs impatiently and asks where Orlando's money is. He reaches into his pocket and produces a wad, and then all we can sense of the guy in the back seat is a hand reaching out to snatch it, and his voice telling Maxi-Pad, "We're good." Orlando asks where "the shit" is, and Maxi-Pad pulls out a package in a paper bag. As Orlando starts rifling through the contents, Maxi-Pad starts laughing; Backseat Bob joins in. Wow, that is about the last thing you want to have happen during your first-ever drug deal, right? That, or the sound of a bazooka, I guess.

McNulty has somehow found Wallace's squat and is wandering through it; the camera makes sure we notice the Godzilla toy, the small pile of clean laundry, and the juice boxes in the fridge.

McNulty then heads out to the back yard, where he sees an abandoned toy, and the extension cord stretching up into the window. He gets into the car -- thinking, I hope, about his own kids, and that he needs to hang out with them soon.

Bubbs's park. He's still on his bench, drinking coffee, but now he has company: Waylon's joined him, and is asking what Bubbs has got going for him, like family. Bubbs says his mother's dead: "Father, who the fuck know." Waylon asks after brothers or sisters, and Bubbs says that his sister is letting him stay in the basement, and locks the door so he can't come upstairs: "About the best she can do for me." Bubbs also reveals the heretofore unknown tidbit that he has a son, Keyshawn, whose mother moved him to New Jersey -- a choice Bubbs couldn't really dispute. Lighting a cigarette, Waylon ruefully adds, "At least you've got your health." Bubbs chuckles and raises his coffee cup to that. "I got the bug," says Waylon frankly. "Had it since '94. Gave that shit to my old lady. Worried about passing it on to my baby girl." Off Bubbs's curious look, Waylon says, "No, I was spared that, at least." Shaking his head, Bubbs hoarsely asks, "How do you carry it?" Waylon shrugs. Bubbs: "You ask her forgiveness?" "Of course," says Waylon. "What she say?" asks Bubbs. "What she needed to say," says Waylon quietly. "Look, forgiveness from other folks is good, but ain't nothing but words coming at you from outside. You wanna kick this shit? You got to forgive your own self." Bubbs takes a deep breath at this, possibly thinking that Waylon's advice is almost the same as Dr. Phil's on the subject. Waylon gets up and stretches, and offers some parting words: "Love yourself some, brother. And then drag your sorry ass to some meetings." Bubbs laughs mirthlessly: "Meetings?" "What the fuck you wanna hear?" says Waylon, not unkindly. "That you're strong enough to do this by yourself? Getting clean's the easy part. Now comes life." He pats Bubbs on the shoulder and goes on his way to spread his junkie wisdom elsewhere.

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The Wire




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