The Wire
The Pager

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Wing Chun: A | 1 USERS: A+
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"...A Little Slow, A Little Late"

A C.S.I. in a lab coat (I'll call him Quincy) shows up at Bunk's cube and tosses him a file, telling him it's a winner. The shell casing Bunk found at Diedre's crime scene matched up with two other cases from the previous year; Quincy bungles the names, but Bunk knows them: "Toreen Boyd, Roland Leggatt." He adds, "That fucker Landsman. How does he do it?" "You like Landsman for these three?" cracks Quincy. Hey, when you work around death all the damn time, you make your own fun. He takes off, and Bunk calls McNulty to give him the good(-ish) news.

Bubbs shows up at a very depressing, certainly publicly owned hospice facility; he asks after Johnny, and is directed to the game room, where the man himself is sitting at a table, his arms splayed out and his head resting on them, not quite watching a Ron Popeil infomercial. Bubbs sets a takeout bag in front of Johnny, who looks thrilled to see Bubbs. Johnny pretends to believe it when Bubbs says that he had a milkshake, but dropped it on the bus. He ruefully tells Bubbs, "Comes in a bag, goes out in a bag." Bubbs doesn't get it, so Johnny shows off his half-full colostomy bag. LOVEly. Bubbs is just as reluctant to take a long look at it, and Johnny tells him, "I fucked up, man." Bubbs says he saw: "There was nothing I could do, you know?" Johnny nods, and says that first he got beaten up, and then he got "this," showing Bubbs a couple of pill bottles. Bubbs takes them and shakes them like a pair of maracas, probably thinking they're some kind of enjoyable painkillers, but Johnny quietly tells him he's got "the bug." Bubbs is like, "Awkward," and sets the bottles gingerly back down on the table: "The bug, huh?" Johnny says that they checked him when he was in the hospital, and Bubbs loudly and angrily asks, "Are they sure?" Johnny doesn't really answer, though the fact that he's in hospice care kind of speaks for itself.

As the uncomfortable moment lengthens, Johnny asks what Bubbs has been up to. Bubbs is vague, saying that he would have come to visit sooner, but that he's been on "kind of a mission." Johnny brightens at this: "A mission?" Bubbs explains that he put the cops on the Barksdalies who beat Johnny up, which shocks Johnny, who asks if Bubbs got locked up or something. Bubbs says he's not working for the cops, he's working with them, proudly adding, "They don't give me the badge soon enough, I keep doing like I do." Johnny, dismayed, asks, "Why?" Bubbs can't believe Johnny would ask him that: "Why the fuck are you in here, man, with all these falling-down motherfuckers? Why you passing shit through a bag? Why they beat you down? Why I couldn't do nothing about it?" Johnny cockily says, "It's all part of the game, right? I mean, you taught me that." Gee, John, I don't know. Is having teeth the colour of urine part of the game, too? Because if it is, you might consider forfeiting. Bubbs, distressed, paces over to the window, asking Johnny what he gets up to at the home. Johnny slouches in his chair, pouting that he's going to NA meetings twice a day. Bubbs thinks it's good for Johnny to take better care of himself. Johnny sort of snickers, and Bubbs seriously tells him, "No, you needed a change." Johnny half-heartedly says he guesses so, adding more happily that he'll be getting out in a month. Bubbs, still looking out the window, says that's okay: "They got meetings everywhere." Johnny bites his lip, and then asks Bubbs who's got the best package now. Bubbs shrugs him off, but Johnny presses, "I'm coming home, right?" Bubbs gives up, and returns to the table to gossip about drug news, saying that everyone's package is weak, and so on. Regarding Johnny, he chuckles, "Ain't you a trip? Beat down, bagged up, still ready to rip and run, huh?" Johnny nods, encouraged: "I'm a Viking, holmes!" Please get a toothbrush, Leif.

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The Wire

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