Post-meeting, McNulty's getting a little jittery about admitting another participant in their little conspiracy. But Lester reassures him with Oscar's backstory: he was a homicide detective who had a higher-up nosing around his crime scene. So Oscar correctly cites police procedure to get the higher-up to back off, and, for his troubles, he's bounced off Homicide and back into patrol. And that area chief who took such umbrage at Oscar's impertinence? "Name of Rawls, as I recall," Freamon says dryly. So Oscar's not likely to feel any pangs of remorse, helping McNulty and Freamon to commit fraud, is the point here.
Every episode should feature a shot of Omar strutting menacingly down an alleyway. You might think it would get old after a while, but that's a risk I'm willing to take. Anyhow, Omar's back in town, and he's visiting the heavily guarded house where one of the poor unfortunates who was there when Butchie got clipped is recovering from his wounds. "How are you still alive, yo?" Omar asks. What, no "get well soon, partner"? Anyhow, the guy's still alive, because the perpetrators wanted someone to recount Butchie's murder directly to Omar himself: "They said, 'Tell Omar he put his hand in the wrong pocket.'" Also, it is related just how unpleasant Butchie's demise actually was. "I'm gonna work them," Omar says icily. "Sweet Jesus, I'm gonna work them." I would guess that under no circumstances would you want Omar to work you -- particularly now that someone's tossed him that pump shotgun he uses so effectively.
At Police HQ, Landsman is reading the Sun (motto: "Published in spite of, not because of, upper management"), specifically the Twigg-fueled story on Burrell's ouster. "Did they not know I had made myself a candidate?" a pained Landsman demands of Norris. "I feel dissed." As well you should, my man. I, for one, welcome the profane, pragmatic leadership of Jay Landsman -- murder rates down, sexual harassment claims against the department dramatically up. "So the Great White Rawls finally has his day, huh?" Norris notes snottily. "Not much more than a day, it shall be," says Landsman, apparently adopting the role of a one-man Greek chorus. "Daniels by year's end." Bunk interrupts this light-hearted banner by strolling in and dropping a report on Landsman's desk, which Landsman promptly files in a desk drawer, unread. "You're not even going to read it?" Bunk asks. "All you do is change the date," Landsman points out. This is a report on all the bodies found in the vacants, and Bunk, as the primary detective on the case, is a wee bit perturbed that he hasn't gotten trace analyses on fourteen of the crime scenes. "The lab can't keep up with this year's cases," Landsman says wearily. "You want action, show me some traction. Or buy yourself a chemistry set." Landsman for Police Commissioner: You can have an efficient department or you can have a competent one, but you can't have both.