The Wire
Undertow

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

Pit. A junkie stalks through the Pit, and is soon set upon by a couple of slingers yammering about a particular package called Death Grip. The junkie tries to wave them off, and then the guy on his right claims that the junkie said that "Death Grip ain't shit," and then the guy on his left smashes a bottle on his head. Poot gets up off the couch to intervene, and the guys eventually let the junkie go. The junkie takes a couple of staggering steps backward and then ill-advisedly yelps, "Fuck y'all!," which just gets the slingers all over him again. Poot sighs and shakes his head, like, "Why do I bother?"

Puddin comes tearing around the corner to find Bodie, who's chatting up a girl by a bus stop or something. Puddin screams, "Shit jumping off in the Pit, yo!" Behind him, the two guys have pulled the junkie out to the sidewalk. Bodie pulls his hood up and heads off to investigate, because a manager can never take his eye off the ball. The junkie gets up to his feet, eventually, and staggers away, his shirt and coat and boots spattered with blood. By which I of course mean potential biohazard.

Bodie stalks into the Pit, spitting at Poot, "What the fuck is that?" Poot explains about the junkie's alleged charge as to the poor quality of Death Grip. Bodie, quietly: "Now we're beating niggas' ass over speaking the truth?" Poot explains that he wasn't the one dishing out the beating, and Bodie sighs, "We're stomping niggas over bullshit, man. Somebody gotta pull Stringer up on this." I think Bodie looks forward to a day when he can stomp a nigga for legitimate cause.

Clement Street Café. Ziggy is sitting at the bar, painfully drinking out of half his mouth, when La La and Nick come in. Seeing the shape Ziggy's in, Nick asks what happened, and Ziggy says that "fucking niggers" got him: "Took my money, and they got Princess, too...If I'd had a gun, I swear to God, I would've capped every one of those motherfuckers." Nick, already knowing the answer, asks whether Ziggy called the cops. "Can't," says Ziggy. "It was over some dope." Nick leans forward, sneering, "You bought a fucking package, didn't you?" Dude, what did he just say? Ziggy stares at the bar, and Nick mutters, "Serves you right, you stupid fuck." That can be the second subtitle for the season. Dolores sets a shot in front of Nick, which he quickly slams down before asking Ziggy whether he bought the package from White Mike. Ziggy tells Nick that it was actually Cheese. "Why not White Mike?" asks Nick. Because the white man already gets enough advantages in this world? "Fuck Mike, you know how he be," says Ziggy evasively. "Why the fuck would I know 'how he be'?" snarls Nick. Ziggy, effortfully, tells Nick, "It ain't my fault, all right? It ain't." And insofar as his subcontractors are shorting him, he's right. But in a larger sense, he's...less right. Looking from side to side, Ziggy complains that business has been slow: "Package ain't turned around yet. But the fucking hoodleheads ain't hearing it, so I get jumped." "Hoodleheads"? That's a new offensive euphemism. It might be my favourite totally weird offensive euphemism since I learned last week that, in the olden days, closeted homosexuals were formerly known as "cedarchest sissies." Ziggy winds up his tale of woe: Cheese & Co. are holding "Princess" for ransom, and if Ziggy doesn't get them the money before Friday, they're going to kill him. Nick turns to glare at Nick, who knows what's coming next, and sure enough, Ziggy blurts, "I need twenty-seven hundred dollars," and takes a pull off his beer. "So?" challenges Nick. "You're a drug dealer. Go sell some fucking drugs." When Ziggy doesn't answer, Nick sadly asks, "You fucked up the package, didn't you, Zig?" Staring at the bar again, Ziggy's eyes crumple in distress. Nick lights a cigarette. Ziggy rubs his face. Finally, Nick says, "I ain't giving you the money." "They're gonna kill me," says Ziggy, without any of his usual melodrama. Nick says that he gave Aimee his money for an apartment: "Security deposit and some furniture over at Littlepages." Ziggy nods. Nick says that he doesn't have the money to give Ziggy. He doesn't sound like he thinks that using it for an apartment is a very good bargain, either.

Postmark: San Diego. By now, Valchek has gotten wise enough to open the envelope wearing latex gloves, and pull out the Polaroid within. "You cocksuckers," he grumbles. He picks up a magnifying glass to make out a smudge on a sign for the San Diego Port Authority in the corner of the photo. He then covers the print with dust and lifts it onto a strip of tape. As he's proudly regarding his handiwork (no pun intended), Kima knocks and enters to tell Valchek that they're about to start doing some hand-to-hands around the port: "Lieutenant Daniels said I should see you about a surveillance van." Valchek squints at her, and then quickly lies that the van is on loan to the Southwest district. Yeah, the Southwest district where Southwestern cuisine comes from. Kima nods and takes off. Valchek puts his glasses on again and studies the photo, trying to remember which Poles he can leverage in California.

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