So...how's that fake serial killer thing working out for everybody?
On the plus side for Templeton, it's getting him the stature and attention he believes is due a reporter of his skills. The top brass at the paper now coo his name -- they're even scrapping the series on our failing public schools so as to concentrate on covering our quite successful homeless epidemic, with Templeton presumably riding point. He gets to go on TV to talk about what it's like to confront a serial killer. (Sadly his answer is not, "Beats me.") And on a follow-up piece on the homeless, he even uses actual reportorial skills to interview an actual guy about his actual problems, actually impressing Gus. On the downside, someone raises a red flag about the veracity of one of Templeton's older stories. And he has to spend time looking at Nancy Grace. So, into every life a little rain must fall, I guess.
As for McNutly, the city and police both vow that no expense will be spared in catching his serial killer. You will note that vowing and actually sparing no expense are two different things entirely. McNulty finds himself with as few resources as ever, which is a shame, because Freamon and Sydnor -- yes, he's involved, too, now -- have figured out that Marlo is using pictures to run his vast criminal enterprise. And it would be nice if they had some surveillance teams and decoders to step up their investigative efforts. Unfortunately, everyone's so on edge about the killer that they keep showing up at the sight of any body before McNulty has time to doctor up a crime scene. So what do you do if you're McNulty and you've lost all sense of perspective? Why, you grab an out-of-his-mind homeless guy and stash him in Washington, D.C. so that you can use him to convince everyone that the killer is now photographing victims, in order to get your hands on that fancy-pants photo decoder. At least Freamon has the decency to look disgusted by all this.
The investigation turns out to be an unexpected boon to Carcetti, who delivers an impassioned and apparently genuine speech on the shitty lot of the poor in this country and has apparently latched onto that as his ticket out of Baltimore and into the statehouse.
In other news, the New Day Co-Op figures out who killed Proposition Joe and decides that it's sure not Omar, as Marlo is claiming. The police go through Joe's personal effects and find sealed transcripts of grand jury investigations, leading Pearlman to conclude that there's a leak in the State's Attorney's office. And Bunk rolls the dice on kick-starting his moribund bodies-in-vacants investigation by probing the death of Michael's stepfather. He's getting warmer, as they say, or he would be, if McNulty's fake investigation weren't tying up all the lab resources.
You will be disappointed to learn that, despite the ending of last week's episode, Omar cannot, in fact, fly. He can, however, set his own bones and, even hobbled, can get the drop on one of Marlo's corner crews. He can also make an SUV explode.
Also, The Wire reunion tour continues, with some familiar faces getting camera time. The intervening years have not been kind to Nick Sobotka, but they've been even worse -- oh God, much worse -- for Randy Wagstaff. Judge Phelan is the same loveable fellow he's always been, however, which is to say, not very.
It's the morning after the Tussle In The Townhouse (also known as Omar's Flight to Freedom), and the coroner's office is wheeling out a body -- let's assume that it's Donnie's. A uniformed officer is taking down the crime-scene tape, and Detective Norris is giving one last glance at the scene of the crime -- from the looks of things, Omar took a four-story tumble, unless he sprouted wings or was packing a parachute underneath that Kevlar vest. And with that, Norris takes off to continue what is sure to be a cursory and uninspired investigation, while a young man on a moped watches the police disperse. Say...members of Marlo's crew use mopeds...
Yes, they do. And they have now descended upon their scene of the crime to look furiously for Omar -- Look to the skies! KEEP WATCHING THE SKIES! -- with no one looking more furiously than Chris. Guess some people don't like the idea of a wounded criminal mastermind on the loose who's likely perturbed about their roles in last night's ambush. Anyhow, Chris is searching through vacant buildings. Monk has gone and gotten himself a suit and a tin-foil badge and is pretending to be a police detective so he can ask would-be witnesses if they've seen anyone matching Omar's description: "We're looking for a man went after a woman last night at Esplanda Apartments, the ones right behind you," Detective Monk wants to know. "Heard anything unusual?" The lady he's asking did not, but she does ask about the well-being of the made-up victim. "Huh?" a distracted and disinterested Monk responds, before hastily adding, "Yeah, yeah, she good." Impressive work, Detective Monk -- now add some obsessive-compulsive quirks and a Randy Newman soundtrack, and your disguise will be complete. On second thought, just stick to the obsessive-compulsive quirks.
Snoop is pursuing another line of inquiry, walking into an emergency room and asking if she can visit her "brother" Omar, who is likely recuperating in this very hospital. "He fell out the damn window," Snoop says, shaking her head sadly. Nobody named Omar Little here, ma'am. "He was kinda, you know, high," Snoop says. "Probably messed up his name. Real dark, got himself a scar." No one answering to that description at the hospital, either. Snoop saunters way from the receptionist's desk and pulls out a pad of paper, where she crosses another name off the list -- judging by the length of the list and the number of crosses, she's pulled this stunt at seven other hospitals today.