The Wire

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: B- | 1 USERS: A
"They Used To Make Steel There, No?"

In an alleyway in a so-so part of town, drugs are sold by...white guys? What? I'm so confused! The cash-taker hands off a giant wad to Frog, a kid hanging out on the corner, and then takes off again. Frog then looks up to see Ziggy rolling up in his goddamn leather coat; Frog reaches into his opposite pocket and produces another, smaller wad. Ziggy flicks through it, not liking what he sees; it's only $290, he says: "When you work a G-pack for a guy, a kickback's supposed to be five hundred!" Frog claims that the stash got hit, but Ziggy spits, "I ain't hearing that shit! I want my fucking money!" Frog, totally not even the tiniest bit scared of Ziggy, looks up the street. "You'd best know I ain't playing, motherfucker," tries Ziggy. Frog doesn't bother to respond. Ziggy: "Okay, that's how you want it? Fine! But when I roll back past here tomorrow, money gonna be right, or you're gonna see. You're gonna see who you're fucking with!" Frog is not impressed with this display. I frankly don't think Nick's daughter Ashley would be impressed with this display.

Ziggy's just started to drive off, all angry and shit, when an SUV darts out of nowhere and stops dead in front of him. Three huge (black) guys get out of the truck -- each with some blunt instrument of intimidation -- and Ziggy quickly realizes that "this is some bad shit." He turns around and tries to reverse the hell out of there, but he gets boxed in by another truck, full of dudes with similarly violent intentions. "Fuck, fuck, this is really bad!" yelps Ziggy to himself. Ziggy's main antagonist, Melvin "Cheese" Wagstaff (Method Man), crawls up the hood of Ziggy's car and taps on the windshield, while another guy, with baseball bat, rips open Ziggy's door and yanks him out by his precious coat, proceeding from there to bounce him, by his face, off the driver's-side door. Cheese's henchman (I'll call him Mac) starts pawing over Ziggy, trying to find his cash. They're unsuccessful until Cheese gets his hands on Ziggy and rips out his inside breast pocket: "Jesus, jackpot." His joy is short-lived, however, as he regards the wad and deems that there's barely enough there to call it money. Heh. Cheese starts to get up in Ziggy's face, Ziggy protesting all the while that his people are working on it. "What the fuck you think this is, man?" barks Cheese. "Kick his ass, Cheese!" calls some wag from offscreen, and Cheese soon takes his advice, plowing Ziggy in the face and sending him flying onto the hood of his car. "Son of a bitch, that hurt!" squeaks Ziggy, like he's expecting Cheese to apologize or something. Cheese unsympathetically says he knows it hurt. Heh. Ziggy desperately suggests that Cheese take his coat. As Mac and Cheese aggressively pull it off him, Ziggy babbles, "I paid two large for it! So that, plus the cash I gave you, and then I can get seven hundred more by the end of the week. You know I will!" The camera cuts over to Mac and Cheese inspecting the coat, unimpressed. "Two thou?" asks Cheese, incredulous. "For this?" He chucks it back into Ziggy's face (literally and figuratively), telling Mac, "Not even a black man could style that shit!" Mac, Cheese, and the various, let's say, wines standing about (well, I can't very well call them "crackers," now, can I?) laugh at Ziggy -- who laughs, too, at his own ignorance of value, I guess. Noticing him, Cheese advances upon him: "Yo, what you laughing at, man?!" Ziggy -- still bleeding from the mouth, by the way -- cowers against the hood, promising to get Cheese his money by Friday. Cheese pulls Ziggy up by his shirt and holds him up to Cheese's face, close enough to kiss: "Look, man, if I ain't paid by Friday, you dead by Saturday, man." Shoving Ziggy backward onto the ground -- and I mean shoving him; I have the DVD paused right now and Ziggy's legs are up so high and spread so wide, it looks like he's prepping for a pap smear -- Cheese tells Mac to take Ziggy's car. He throws Ziggy's coat at him (again) as Ziggy bellows impotently, "Fuck, I need that! I fucking need that!" The argument falls on deaf ears as all three vehicles peel out with maximum peel. Once they're looooooong gone, Ziggy angrily flips them off and screams "Fuck you!" and finally grabs his sad old coat off the ground and staggers off in the opposite direction. On the corner, Frog (and his wee underling) watch this display and make a mental note to keep fucking Ziggy over, since absolutely not one person in Baltimore takes him seriously.

"They used to make steel there, no?" -- Spiros Vondas. Sure. They work hard, and they play hard. [Cue "Everybody Dance Now."]

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The Wire




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