The Wire
Undertow

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

Open house. As Ashley comes trotting down the stairs and into Aimee's arms, Elena -- in what I hope is an ugly uniform blazer from her real estate agency, as opposed to an ugly blazer she chose for herself -- drones on about a parking pad in the rear, which is "invaluable for Federal Hill." Nick looks on as some other, non-Sobotka guy asks about a deck with a harbour view, and Elena assures him that it's a view in two directions. From this shot, we can see a bit more of the house Elena's showing; it's clearly a pretty small row house -- if the room they're standing in is ten feet wide, I would be shocked -- but someone's done a gut renovation, modernizing the kitchen and putting in brightly polished hardwood floors. Mr. and Mrs. Non-Sobotka head up the stairs, Elena grinning at them ingratiatingly. It doesn't last, though, as Nick comes stalking up behind her, spitting, "This ain't Federal Hill." "Excuse me?" says Elena brightly. Nick says that they're in Locust Point. Elena says that anything below Montgomery Street and above the water is called Federal Hill now. Ah, realtor gerrymandering. Tricky! Nick, Aimee, and Ashley have now come, with Elena, into the living room, Nick loitering uncomfortably by the front door. Elena warmly asks whether they're house-hunting, and Aimee says that they just started. Elena says that if they're interested in the neighbourhood, she could run some listings: "This particular house--" "Is my Aunt Treesey's," says Nick glumly, crouching to inspect the now apparently ornamental fireplace. Elena checks her portfolio, asking whether Nick's aunt is related to "the McDonalds." Nick bitchily says, "She's a relation to me." Aimee steps forward to explain that Nick's aunt died a few years ago, after which the family sold her house (apparently to real estate developers, if the current look of the place is any indication). Looking at the papers in Elena's hand, Aimee hesitantly asks, "Is that the price?" Elena confirms that it is the listing price. Elena hands Aimee the flyer, and Nick stomps over to grab it out of her hand, inspect it, and fold it, asking Elena, "They ain't gonna get that much, right?" Elena smoothly replies that she can't say, but that a house just like it on a nearby block sold the previous week for $340,000. Nick repeats the price, gives Elena a brief, rude smile, and turns to leave. Aimee quickly thanks Elena and hurries after him. Nick didn't have any idea what the place might go for? You can avoid sticker shock like that with a secret weapon I like to call THE HOMES SECTION OF YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER. I mean, honestly.

Nick stumbles out the front door, all pissed off, Aimee trailing sadly after him: "Maybe we should rent." Nick can't even muster the energy to start a fight with her as another yuppie couple sets the alarm on their Beamer and heads for Aunt Treesey's door, making Nick feel small and weak and poor.

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The Wire

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