The Wire

Episode Report Card
Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
"They Don't Teach It In Law School"

Over at the Detail Office, McNulty stares expectantly at Freamon. "How much longer, Lester?" he asks, in a voice that sounds more like a plea than a question. Oh? Is someone getting tired of faking crime scenes and sending his colleagues on resource-sapping wild goose chases and just generally being a tool? Based on McNulty's question and his tired expression, I'd say that somebody is. Freamon assures him that they'll be able to break Marlo's code once they intercept it. As for how long it will actually take them to crack that code? "Depends on the code, doesn't it?" Freamon says, not-at-all helpfully. "The quicker we bring this in and shut it down, the safer we'll all be," McNulty says. Yes, because now that every last corner of city government has now trained its attention, laser-like, on your fake serial killer, it will just stop doing that upon your say-so. I know this a scurrilous accusation to make, but I'm starting to get the impression that McNulty might not have thought this thing through. For the moment, McNulty is fretting about Landsman's order that he bring in the FBI to do a behavioral profile of the killer. "Might learn something about yourself," Freamon chuckles. And you know, if that scene with the FBI begins with a profiler saying something along the lines of, "The killer sounds like a total douchebag," it will all have been worth it -- for me, anyhow. As if to underscore the point that uneasy lies the head that wears the completely fabricated crown, McNulty's cell phone rings, with more questions and demands from Landsman. Need the police academy class to help you canvass the area for information on that missing homeless guy? McNulty does not, because he's already figured out the guy's name, thank you very much. "Lawrence Butler," says McNulty. "3-10-1951. 400 West Street, South Baltimore Men's Shelter." Landsman clearly wants to know how McNulty got his hands on that level of detail. "Police work," an exasperated McNulty says. Certainly sounds better than "I read it off the card I lifted from the guy when I kidnapped him." McNulty concludes his phone call by telling Landsman to back off, and then bitches once more to Freamon: "The trouble with making this thing into a red ball? People started treating this like a fucking red ball. Jesus!" Freamon ignores him; would that the rest of us had that luxury. "Get me out of this, Lester," McNulty pleads in a voice that almost makes me feel sorry for him. "As fast as you can."

The next morning, Clay Davis arrives at the city courthouse to a waiting phalanx of news reporters asking about a last minute plea offer. "How can I plead to what I didn't do?" Clay says coolly. Funny, I wouldn't think you would have that problem since you're obviously guil... Oh, you're maintaining your innocence for the benefit of the press. Got it. The reporters can't help but notice that Clay is carrying reading material with him into the courthouse. Clay says that it's Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus, butchering the pronunciation of both the play's title and author. "An ancient play, one of the oldest we have, about a simple man who was horrifically punished by the powers-that-be for the terrible crime of trying to bring light to the common people." Fun fact: That's also the plot of Juiced by Jose Canseco.

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The Wire




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