The Wire

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

At Homicide, Holley is telling Kima, Norris, and another detective I don't recognize that he and two other detectives have been "sitting here like the fucking Maytag repairman, growing piles." As the owner of two Maytag appliances that have needed repairs within the last few years, I would like to do all that I can to expose as a lie this idea that the Maytag repairman just sits around with nothing but time on his or her hands -- 'round these parts, the Maytag repairman is a busy and well-compensated service professional, and, in my darker moments, I dream of crushing him under his own washer-dryer. But perhaps I've said too much. Before I can further expose any homicidal impulses, Landsman waddles into the room to inform everybody that their efforts to track the serial killer's phone have proven fruitless; Sydnor will be relieved to hear that. Also, Landsman lets us know that McNulty is over at the newspaper, preparing to take statements from Templeton and the other know-nothings. "Let's hear that mother-fucker again," Landsman tells Holley, who obligingly plays the tape. "Sounds like some gearhead from Dundalk," Landsman snorts. Or a detective in your own squadron -- either answer would prove accurate.

Over to the Sun, where McNulty is debriefing Templeton under the watchful eye of Gus, Klebanow, Whiting, and Whitey McSuspenders, attorney-at-law, who has gone suspender-free to reflect the gravity of the situation. McNulty inquires as to the killer's state of mind. Well, pissed obviously, Templeton says -- did you know the killer threatened to bite him? Oh, McNulty knows, believe me. "Did he sound like the same guy?" McNulty asks, because he apparently enjoys watching Templeton squirm as much as I do. Templeton does not disappoint, hemming and hawing before agreeing that yes, indeedy do, it sounded like the same caller as in the first one that he totally didn't make up, although this time he noticed a Bawlmer accent. "You didn't notice that the first time, huh?" McNulty teases. "I guess I did, but I forgot," Templeton says quickly, before anyone can figure out how full of shit he is. Klebanow intercedes at this point to ask if running photos of the poor unfortunate homeless man spirited off by McNulty would compromise the police's investigation any. Go right ahead, says McNulty, who probably should have asked if they have any editions that find their way down to the Richmond area. "You don't know where this guy is, huh?" Templeton asks. "He could be..." "He could already be a victim, sure," McNulty says. Only if the crime in question is kidnapping. Looking at the assorted photos of the homeless guy, Templeton notes that he's begging at the corner of Charles and Conway and wonders if the guy might be a regular there. Uh, just make sure not to print anything about where the killer might be calling from, McNulty says, a bit too hastily, since all he needs is to be undone by the Sun printing Marlo's cellphone number on Page 1. Templeton asks what he should do if the killer calls again. "Oh, I'm not planning on calling you again," McNulty says. Er, that is to say, he tells Templeton to try and keep the killer on the line and to not spook him. Also, try not to sound like such a quivering little sissy the next time -- it's harder for McNulty and Freamon to keep a straight face during the call. "Don't worry," McNulty reassures Templeton. "He's just using you. He needs you." That's perhaps the only accurate sentence that anyone's spoken in this entire scene. "It's working out pretty well for both of you, right?" McNulty adds on his way out the door. Well, that sentence is pretty accurate too, come to think of it.

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The Wire




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