The Wire
Undertow

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

La La drives the El Camino up to what I assume is Frank's house; Ziggy's smoking glumly on the stoop. Nick stomps up and takes a seat next to him. "Well?" asks Ziggy, not especially hopefully. Nick sighs: "Good news and bad, Zig." "Those fucking niggers," hisses Ziggy. "Gimme the bad." Nick says that they're still going to kill Ziggy, but that they're going to wait a week. Ziggy: "What the fuck can be good?" Nick: "You can cancel your car insurance." HA! Oh, dude, did you take the entire car ride to think up that line? It was kind of worth it.

Surveillance squat. Carver and Kima watch a car, and snap photos as Herc pulls up and asks Frog for two Red Tops. Kima also gets Frog's gesture to a runner, the runner taking off to bring back the merchandise, and then handing it off to Herc. "I hope you guys are taking notes," says Herc, so that Kima and Carver can hear him on his body mic.

We then get a montage of Herc's many hand-to-hands, and their concurrent captures on film (as well as Carver's bitter discovery that the knees of his pants are caked with roof tar, and subsequent use of a protective beach towel to lie on). Before long, it looks like Herc's been absorbed into the dealing infrastructure. He looks up at Carver and Kima's window and winks as he tucks a new toothpick into his mouth. Carver: "One more time with that toothpick, I'm gonna stab him in the fucking eye with it." Hee.

Little Johnny's. The counterman sets a sandwich and a bag of chips in front of The Greek, who calls him back with some instructions in...I'm going to go out on a limb here and say Greek. There's a dispute, and then the counterman takes the sandwich back, as The Greek mutters, "Ashamed he should be to be Greek and call this a diner." Spiros replaces his cup on his saucer and murmurs, "A talk would ease his mind." I don't think they're talking about the counterman anymore, you guys. "Ease my mind first," says The Greek. "This business with the Grand Jury." Spiros says that they checked the courthouse: "There is nothing special. Just the regular panels. They're trying to scare the men on the docks." "And?" asks The Greek. "Nobody talks," Spiros assures him. "But Sobotka, as I said -- he's upset. It is more attention than he expected." The Greek comments that Frank will need money for his lawyers: "Double his fee. But I don't need to meet with him. Let the money talk." Spiros regards him, but doesn't argue. Even criminal enterprises need their yes-men.

Prison. Stringer tells Avon how crappy the supply from Atlanta has been, and how inaccessible Roberto is to them: "It's getting hard to hold on to the Towers without our name all over the product, is what I'm saying." Avon asks who's got the good supply. "Eastside," says Stringer. "This nigga Milton got a small cut. Prop Joe. This Jamaican cat who got the strip on Gay Street." Avon recognizes the last as a Petey Dixon. Stringer sadly says that if you go to the expressway at lunch, "you can watch the fiends travelling from west to east." "Damn!" whispers Avon. Stringer says that he's "cutting shit with shit right now, trying to cheat," but that he can't do it forever. Avon rubs his eyes, and says that he's on it. Stringer then asks whether Avon's working things out with D'Angelo. Avon stares at him a moment, and then looks down: "Boy got to find his own way." Stringer says he thinks they should keep reaching out to D'Angelo, show him that the Barksdalies have a plan. Avon nods. "Take some real estate, put it in Dee's name," Stringer suggests. He shrugs: "He has something to come home to." "Do it," says Avon. He adds, though, that he can't undo what happened: "Push come to shove, I mean, I've been fair to him, ain't I?" Stringer takes a moment before he nods and agrees that Avon has been fair: "Too fair." Avon looks down. If he has a fault, it's that he cares too much.

Non-port waterfront. Spiros skips down a bit of a hill and meets up with Frank, who looks around: "Where's The Greek?" Spiros says that The Greek sent him. Frank: "Fuck you and fuck him." Frank starts to walk away, Spiros wearily calling after him that The Greek sent Spiros to tell Frank that they're doubling his fee, "to help with any legal troubles." This gets Frank's attention, and he turns back as Spiros says that The Greek regrets that he's caused Frank continuing problems. Frank aggressively steps forward, yelling at Spiros that the cops are rounding up Frank's people, and The Greek won't even talk to Frank face to face. Spiros spreads his hands in a gesture of ambiguous apology. "I'm done," spits Frank. "I'm out! I don't need nothing more to do with you people! I don't need the trouble or the money -- I got a union to run." He sticks his hands in his pockets and sort of lingers there, staring out at Beth Steel across the water, in a way that makes it seem to me he's waiting for Spiros to talk him into something. After a long beat, Spiros notes, "They used to make steel there, no?" He steps closer to Frank as both stare off. Spiros: "Smoke from the stacks. But inside..." He shrugs. Frank glares at Beth Steel like it just killed his mom. Spiros finally slips away, leaving Frank alone to contemplate whether NAFTA was really such a great idea.

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