It's another committee meeting at City Hall, and Burrell and Rawls walk in to find a phalanx of photographers, reporters, and cameramen waiting for them. "Jesus," Rawls mutters. "Who called the media?" I believe the cold stare emanating from Councilman Carcetti in Burrell's direction effectively answers that question. Should have been nicer at lunch, Ervin.
The Major Case team is gathered around, listening to the wire, and the audio is not providing them much encouragement. It's a recording of Drac, expressing his dismay that he's been passed over for promotion in favor of the much-more-circumspect Cheese. "That idiot works for us, he'd be a deputy commissioner by now," Prez fumes. Who knew that complex drug-trafficking operations were run as a meritocracy?
We head back to City Hall to catch Carcetti mid-grandstand about the police department's wasteful spending. Burrell tries -- and fails -- to get a word in edgewise, but Carcetti won't be sidetracked from his relentless dressing-down of the police top brass, not even by all the camera clicks recording this new-hole-tearing for posterity.
The last of the politicos has left the Daniels home, so there's no need for Cedric to keep up appearances anymore. He comes downstairs, still in his suit and tie, to head back to wherever it is he flops at night. "It's not easy, I know," the missus says apologetically. "But they seem to think it matters that I present myself as--" Cedric cuts her off before she can say "a wife who relentlessly nagged her husband to advance up the ladder and whose ambitions now are blocking him from getting the promotion to Major she always wanted for him because life's full of sick, sad ironies." That is what she was going to say, right? Anyhow, Cedric claims to be cool with all this; I'll bet he also thinks Burrell is doing a bang-up job as a commissioner and that he loves spending time around Rawls.
City Hall. Mayor Royce, Burrell, and a character I plan on calling Flunky-in-Chief from now until the end of all time no matter how many letters I get are discussing Carcetti's antics at last night's subcommittee hearing. They can't seem to figure out what his angle is: his district's not getting shortchanged on things like repaving foot patrols and streetlights. Perhaps he's an elected official who's genuinely concerned about the state of his city? Bwah hah ha ha ha -- some of these jokes are just for me, people. Flunky-in-Chief wonders if maybe Carcetti harbors ambitions beyond his district. "Not my chair," Royce says dismissively. "Not in this town. Oh, no. If that guy came off any whiter, he'd be see-through." Everyone enjoys a good chuckle -- even Martin O'Malley scoffs at such a ludicrous notion. That's all well and good, Burrell says, but maybe the mayor can do something to keep Carcetti off the department's case? "Not a lot of favors we can call in on that side of town," frets Flunky-in-Chief. So they decide to buy off Carcetti with statistics -- a 4 to 5% drop in felonies, and keep the murder rate to under 250 a year. Burrell points out that they've already had 232 murders so far in Charm City; best-case scenario he can offer is capping it at 275. That 275 dead bodies is considered enough progress to neuter Carcetti on the crime issue speaks volumes about the age of diminished expectations we currently find ourselves in.