We open on a shot of dead William Gant on a slab at the morgue. McNulty's voice identifies him as the (non-lying) witness in the Barksdale case, and the coroner, Dr. Frazier -- hey, it's Erik Dellums; Luther Mahoney from Homicide! -- says that the bullet "pancaked" on the inner skull. Yeesh. As the body is wheeled away, Bunk tells McNulty "it ain't necessarily what it looks like." "No?" says McNulty skeptically. Bunk points out that walking down a street in West Baltimore could "catch you a bullet" for any number of reasons. You guys, let's never go to Baltimore. Frazier agrees with Bunk. McNulty asks if Gant had a sheet; nothing more than a couple of disorderlies. He works in maintenance at Poe Homes: "Lives alone, no wife, no kids." The only reason his name even came up on the courthouse computer was because of his testimony in D'Angelo's case. Their discussion is briefly suspended as a tech behind them fires up a bone saw to start going to town on some other dead dude, and then Bunk says it doesn't make sense for the Barksdale crew to kill Gant after he testified. Um, except that he did it where a bunch of people would see the body and learn a valuable lesson about not snitching on anyone named or affiliated with Barksdale. And McNulty agrees with me: if Gant is known as the one guy in the Projects who can't be bought, and "if your audience is the high-rise Projects, a move like this cuts right through the shit." He asks what Bunk's going to tell Rawls; Bunk says he's going to play it as a "stone fucking whodunit." McNulty urges him not to "soft-sell the witness angle." Bunk's like, "Quit breaking my balls, shit-stirrer." Bunk doesn't think they should get Rawls all het up before they know anything, but McNulty wants Bunk to "cover [him]self on this." Bunk tries to get McNulty to say he isn't going to do anything with Gant's murder either, but McNulty just repeats that Bunk should cover himself.
Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeedddiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitttttttttsssssssss. (They're long.)
Epigraph: "You cannot lose, if you do not play." -- Marla Daniels. But Marla, it's all in the game. Also, lose the comma.
Daniels walks up to an august-looking government building, trailed by Santangelo, Herc, Carver, and Kima. They pass a security checkpoint, and then make their way to a creaky, obviously seldom-used door that Daniels appears not to have opened before. Oh, this is going to be a sad reveal for everyone. Like, worse than a Frank room sad. There's a narrow, treacherous-looking, poorly lit flight of stairs, down which Daniels leads the way.