McNulty and Sydnor return from a hard day's surveiling just as Freamon and Kima are heading out. "You look like shit," Kima observes, a bit too brightly for McNulty's taste. "We've been stuck in that vacant since before dawn," McNulty gripes. "How should we look?" "Proud to know you, Detective," Freamon manages to say, before the giggles get the best of him. It is in moments like this that the harbor patrol assignment probably looks like a plum gig to McNulty. There's more derisive fun at McNulty's expense from Daniels and Assistant State's Attorney Pearlman inside the Major Case offices, but McNulty's too irritated to laugh: he just spent an entire day watching Cheese, and not once did Cheese get anywhere near a phone line. Pearlman exposits that after six months of surveillance, the only drug talk they have is from "street-level small fries." Both Pearlman and Daniels think that maybe they don't get an extension on the wiretaps -- maybe they just charge the people can, and hope someone rats out Cheese or Proposition Joe. McNulty takes this proposal about as well as you would imagine he might, which is to say, he throws a hissyfit: "I guarantee if we can push this thing a level or two above the street, we're gonna start seeing Prop Joe himself. We start seeing Joe, we're gonna see Stringer." Yes, Captain Ahab, Daniels says -- we know all about the white whale. But the investigation's going nowhere. "Either we figure a way to punch through the wall or we let it go," says Daniels. The scene ends before we can watch McNulty scream, "You shut up! You shut up forever!"
At Western District HQ, Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin -- who we met ever so briefly in Season 2 -- is giving two raw recruits their initiation speech. "Do you know where you are?" Colvin asks the two officers; the blank expression on their faces suggests that they do not. "The Western, Major," one offers. "Right this very goddamn second, you getting your hind parts kicked," Colvin explains. "And you on the horn screaming for help. And you got your backup looking all over the place 'cause he don't know where the fuck you are. And that means I gotta explain to your next of kin how you went and got yourselves killed on my watch." Oh, if that's what you're looking for -- "We're at 1034 North Mount, first floor rear," one of the two greenhorns answers. Good, Colvin says -- now which way is north? More blank stares. "Point," Colvin orders. That one of the officers points up toward the sky should tell you how well they fared on this part of the quiz. Colvin sighs. He'll be doing that a lot this season. He tells the officers that even numbers tell them they're going north and west, odd numbers south and east; in the meantime, he tosses them some compasses to carry until they manage margin competence with directions. Or at least figure out that "north" doesn't mean "twenty feet above you."