The Wire
Took

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Mr. Sobell: B- | Grade It Now!
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"They Don't Teach It In Law School"
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

We open with McNulty and Freamon huddling in a closet. Re-enacting the greatest music video ever captured on film perhaps? No such luck. Instead, they are instigating the stupidest plan ever formulated. (Runner Up: "Let's green-light 'Trapped in the Closet!'") I'll let Freamon explain what the hell is going on, since it's beyond my primitive understanding: They've taken an ordinary cell phone and masked it as Marlo's. "Spoof to imitate a call stream like it's a phone company's switch. We can put any digits in we want. Meanwhile, phone company paperwork on the case has the cell we gave to Sydnor. It's fairly basic shit." Of course it is. I feel silly for even asking.

After pushing some buttons and making the machine he's holding go ping, Freamon cautions McNulty to stick to the script -- that's the sheet of paper McNulty's holding in his hand and reading with the help of one of those headlamps the good people at L.L. Bean are selling to people who like to do a little night hiking, camping, or strip-mining in their backyard. McNulty will also be using a voice modulator in tonight's performance, just in case anyone recognizes that silky baritone on the other end of the line. Sydnor takes his place in the Inner Harbor with the dummy phone, and we're ready to begin. McNulty dials 1-800-DICKWEED...

... and so Templeton's cell phone rings. He manages to juggle coffee, a bagel, and a stack of papers in order to answer the phone call -- which also rouses Detective Holley from his slumbers back at Homicide when the wiretap springs to life -- only to hear an unfamiliar voice on the other end of the line. "Hey you," a newly accented McNulty sneers into the line. "Where do you get off, you sick little twist? Sexual? I'm not sexual with them. I'm not abusive with them. How dare you write that in your paper without knowing nothin' about me?" "What?" a rattled Templeton wittily retorts. "Biting's not sex, it's biting," McNulty continues. "I'm not sick like that." Oh my God, Templeton realizes -- it's the serial killer I've never actually spoken with before! He excitedly bolts toward his desk, plowing over another reporter in a Stooges-esque collision -- coffee and bagels go flying. Meanwhile, McNulty does an excellent job sticking to the script, offering to bite Templeton. "Would you like that, Scotty?" McNulty demands. If there's a front-page story with his byline in it, I'm guessing he could learn to like it. Meanwhile, a panning shot back at Homicide shows that the utility closet where McNulty is delivering this ginned-up message of terror is about five feet from where a frantic Holley is phoning in for a trap-and-trace for the killer's phone number. Oh, for a frantic message back along the lines of, "The call is coming from inside the house!"

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The Wire

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