Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Wire Season 4 Episode 6 & 7- "Margin of Error" and "Unto Others" review

Don't try this shit at home." - Norman Wilson

On the Sunday before the primary, the mayoral candidates attend their church of choice with their families and entourages. Mayor Clarence Royce heads to a black Baptist Church in East Baltimore, Councilman Tony Gray to St. Bernadine's Catholic Church in Edmondson Village, while Councilman Thomas "Tommy" Carcetti use the opportunity to travel to the church of a politically influential minister in West Baltimore, where an A.W.E. gospel choir is tearing it up. Randy Wagstaff and his foster mother, Miss Anna, head into a storefront Pentecostal church, while Bodie's boys, including Kevin, sling on the corner across the way. The Reverend Reid Franklin holds forth with an election day homily, preaching to his flock and Carcetti in particular about Moses as law-giver, and "men of truth who fear God and hate covetousness." He asks the congregation to keep those standards in mind when they choose their city's leaders.

After services, Carcetti tells Reverend Franklin he hopes state Delegate Odell Watkins - now firmly in the Carcetti camp -- won't be the only one to break with the incumbent mayor. "You're holding me to a high standard," he chides. "Moses? I mean, Jesus, Reverend..." Jennifer Carcetti winces at the small blasphemy. Unperturbed, the Reverend promises to keep an open mind - a sign that Carcetti is indeed making inroads among black voters - and shoots back: "Moses will do for now. We'll save Jesus for your second term."

Across town in a surveillance van, Sgt. Thomas "Herc" Hauk watches for Marlo Stanfield and his lieutenants, spying through the camera hidden by the Major Crimes Unit in Marlo's outdoor lair. No signs of life. Hauk tells Detective Leandor Sydnor to call him when someone shows up, and departs.

Carcetti and aide-de-camp Norman Wilson work the crowd outside Baltimore's new African-American History Museum when Watkins, pressing the flesh for Carcetti, arrives with an attack flyer he has just been handed by a voter. The flyer screams: "Carcetti Defended Notorious Slumlord." A last-minute smear campaign depicts the candidate getting a loathed local landlord off the hook during his days as a private sector lawyer. Tommy claims he never met the guy, much less represented him. "They photo-shopped me." He isn't appeased by Bennett and Wilson's assurances that they have time to knock the false allegation down.

At their lair, Marlo and Chris arrive and stage a phone call for the hidden cameras, of which they are well aware. Monk takes a call and hands it to Marlo, who asks what time he can pick up "the skinny girl from New York," insisting he's gonna take care of it himself. As Herc and Sydnor watch from the van, a lip reader translates. Herc decodes: The skinny girl is cocaine. Sydnor can't believe Marlo would go near a package himself, but Herc feels vindicated in his view of Marlo as a mope.

Back in the Carcetti war room, the team reviews the fake flyer and how to debunk it. Tommy is beside himself, convinced this will destroy his chances. His campaign staff assure him they'll take care of it.

Namond and De'Londa, dressed in their Sunday best, meet with Brianna Barksdale, who breaks the news there will be no more money coming their way on Wee-Bey's behalf. Outraged, De'Londa threatens Brianna, noting that Bey could get to speaking about her brother Avon - exposing Avon to even more prison time. "I don't give a shit what happens to Avon," Brianna fires back, before telling Namond that she invited him to the meet for a specific purpose - to make it clear that his mother's been paid enough that he should have enough money going forward. Namond doesn't know what to believe.

Working the weekend shift two days before the primary election, Norris fills Greggs in on a message from a jailhouse snitch who wants to make a deal for the information they need to make the dead witness case. Norris wants to push it through before the election to shake things up - not knowing or caring whether it hurts the Mayor or Carcetti. "I don't even vote. But it'll be fun to f**k with all them downtown suits." Not to mention the fact that an arrest in the controversial case could land Greggs on the 11 o'clock news, payback for what the politicians put her through.

At home, the Carcettis watch the late night news, exhausted by the campaign and wishing it was over. Even though they found the original photo in the local newspaper's morgue files and were able to prove that it was doctored, some damage has been done. And officially, the Royce campaign claims to know nothing about claiming the smear tactic or the origin of the slanderous fliers. Tommy Carcetti confides to his wife that he'd have been okay losing by fifteen points, but now that he has a shot, he can't take the idea of losing by two.

Back at home, De'Londa Brice tells Namond Brice he's now going to have to step up. He can't quit school, but he has to go ask Bodie for his own package. Namond asks his mother what Brianna meant about her being paid enough money. "She's a lying bitch," De'Londa claims, as she calls Wee-Bey to break the news. Wee-Bey seems decidedly non-commital as De'Londa rails her outrage, indicating he has no plans to snitch on the Barksdales.

At roll call in the Western District, Lt. Dennis Mello announces the new arrests warrant for murder and a weapons charge for Omar Little. The cops know him well; they're glad someone finally got paper on him. But Off. Jimmy McNulty finds something strange. "You ever know Omar to do a citizen?" he asks Officer Tony Colicchio.

Early that same morning, Wilson finds Carcetti at campaign headquarters, where he's been poring over data trying to figure where he should go door-to-door in the waning hours of the campaign to pick up more votes. Wilson drags him off to do his radio shows, insisting he leave the campaign planning to the experts.

As the Tilghman Middle School students arrive for the day, Roland "Prez" Pryzkylewski intercepts Duquan "Dukie" Weems and takes him to the gym locker room, where he presents him with a locker, clean clothes, soap and a laundry bag. If Duquan gets to school early, he can shower and change and Prez will take the dirty clothes and wash them.

Deputy Commissioner for Operations William A. Rawls pays a visit to Homicide, surprising Sgt. Jay Landsman. He's heard about Norris making a move on the Braddock case to writ out a jail witness for an interview, and he's not happy with the "let the chips fall where they may" approach, given that a determination over whether the murder resulted from Braddock's witness status could risk either Royce or Carcetti holding a grudge if they win. And it turns out that city polling places still need to be covered by more uniformed officers. He tells Landsman to order Greggs and Norris to report for poll duty. "They can pick up their writ and talk to their snitch on Wednesday," Rawls says.

As Grace Sampson hands out the list of the ten students being pulled for the University of Maryland study, the teachers are genuinely relieved to lose a few of their knuckleheads. Prez is trying to explain fractions to his math class when he's interrupted by Assistant Principal Marcia Donnelly, who pulls Namond, Darnell and Zenobia from class with no explanation, leading to lots of speculation about what kind of trouble they're in. Donnelly and Sampson round up the remaining students from other classes. As they are walked to their new classroom, Tiffany - now subjected to teasing over her bathroom trysts with the boys - is talking animatedly in the front office.

With Carcetti still wound up about the flyer, Wilson reports that state Senator Clay Davis wants to meet, likely to throw in with Carcetti. But of course, Davis won't come cheap. Tommy is dubious about Davis squeezing him and not coming through, but Wilson and Theresa D'Agostino convince him the money is worth the gamble.

Settling into seats at a nice restaurant, Davis explains to Wilson and Carcetti that he can't offer a public endorsement so late in the game, but he can see to a push in a few of his organization's key precincts, and split some of his tickets and walk-around money between the Royce and Carcetti camps. He slips Carcetti a piece of paper with a figure on it and Tommy nods. Carcetti and Wilson beg off the sit down lunch - they're due on the campaign trail -- and Davis jokes they should just leave enough for his tab.

When RandyWagstaff is called to Donnelly's office, he at first denies he knows anything about Tiffany being in the bathroom with two boys, Monnel and Paul. But when he hears she claimed they raped her, he quickly and truthfully insists he was just a lookout -- and she went willingly. Donnelly warns him there will be an investigation and likely suspension, if not explusion. Maybe even criminal charges. As she dials Randy's foster mother, Randy begs her, offering all of the valuable information he has about other activities at Tilghman Middle - tagging, thieving, slashed tires. As nothing stops her, he makes a last ditch effort. "I know about a murder," he says softly, recluctantly, finally getting her attention.

Grace Sampson and Howard "Bunny" Colvin explain the mandatory program to the ten chosen students, who are none too pleased to hear about it - Namond, well versed in the terminology of incarceration by his father, immediately declares the new class to be solitary. They've been removed from gen-pop and sent to the hole. Colvin agrees with the assessment. From Donnelly, Prez learns about Randy's situation, and pleads with the assistant principal to let him call someone he trusts at the police department. "I don't want to see him get chewed up by the system." He pays a visit to Major Cedric Daniels, who suggests passing it to Sgt. Ellis Carver. Prez is dubious, but Daniels assures him Carver's come a long way.

At the Amtrak station, Herc stakes out the arriving New York train. When he spots Marlo approach a woman arriving on a southbound Metroliner - who Marlo clearly does not know and who is clearly confused - Herc sends the Amtrak police supervisor to make the collar so he can surprise him at the interview. He grabs both her and Marlo, confiscating her bag in the process. Marlo smiles to himself as he's dragged away. Herc looks on, proud. But minutes later, when the supervisor reports they'e both clean, Herc has no choice but to cut Marlo and the woman loose.

Brought into the school case, Carver pays a visit to Randy'shome to talk to Miss Anna, and as Randy listens from the other room, he explains to the foster mom that the boy was just an unwitting go-between on the possible homicide case. If he keeps his mouth shut and cooperates, they can keep him out of it. Miss Anna is distraught at the danger he could be in, not to mention his bad judgment in that matter, as well as the incident at school. Carver agrees, but assures her that "rom what I can tell, he's not a bad kid."

When Election Day finally arrives, Dennis "Cutty" Wise gets up early and heads out for a jog, evading his latest conquest's questions about when he's coming back. As he runs through the poster-festooned streets, campaign workers herd people to the polls, and candidates cast their votes for the cameras. At Tilghman Middle, now a polling precinct, Miss Anna heads in to vote while Randy waits outside. Spider, handing out Carcetti ballots for pay, quickly bolts when he sees Cutty - who has been searching for him for weeks. The Precinct Captain then hires Randy to take Spider's place, giving him a crate of flyers and $50 to put one in every doorway in a Westside neighborhood. Miss Anna okays it, but orders him to come straight home after. So Randy sets out with the flyers, rounding up Dukie, Donut and Kenard to help, while Michael begs off to head to the gym.

Meanwhile, Greggs gives Norris hell for getting her stuck on polling detail, thanks to his plan to jerk around the politicians and get them both on the 11 o'clock news. Carcetti is meeting and greeting his public in his home district when he's accosted by an older supporter who says he knew his father, then starts in on what's happened to the city starting in on what's happened to the city since "the moolies" took over city government. In the wake of the racial epithet, Norman Wilson offers Carcetti a bitter smile. Carcetti is speechless as the man walks off.

De'Londa drags Namond to see Bodie Broadus, humiliating her son as she demands he be given his own package. Bodie can't say no. Meanwhile, Namond's friends are not far away, growing tired of their own new gig papering row houses with campaign literature, but Randy threatens not to pay them if they quit. When they realize he's already been paid and is holding their money, they demand instant gratification. Randy pays out the cash, but continues to finish the job on his own.

At the gym, Michael Lee works a bag as Cutty works yet another lady, showing her some moves. Namond comes in looking for the gang. He tells Michael he's got his own package from Bodie, and asks if Michael wants to go in on it. Michael refuses. He goes back to shadow boxing, as Cutty tries to engage him in conversation, asking why Spider hasn't been around. "Why don't you ask his moms," he says, nodding towards the lady Cutty's been putting moves on. Clearly, Cutty also made time with Spider's mother. "Ahh, I ain't no angel," Cutty says, smiling at his latest. "No you ain't that," Michael responds, his distrust of Cutty on full display.

At Carcetti headquarters, they watch the TV as Clay Davis stands at a podium with Royce, fully endorsing the incumbent. They surmise that he probably shook the Mayor down for even more than the $20,000 they paid him. Wilson insists it was worth a shot, but Carcetti - wondering if Davis knows who the winner is likely to be and has backed Royce accordingly - shows that nerves are getting the better of him.

In a grocery, Omar Little spots a radio car outside. Cautious, he goes back to the beer refrigerator and slips his gun behind the forties. As soon as he exits, Officer Walker orders him against the wall and spotting his ring, pockets it. When Omar accuses him of not playing by the rules, Walker throws him to the pavement, just as McNulty, Colicchio and other cars pull up. The charge is robbery murder, McNulty tells him. Omar shows his surprise then tells McNulty he needs to make a quick call. McNulty looks to Walker - who has the collar - and Walker shrugs indifferently. McNulty dials the number that Omar offers then holds the phone for Omar to tell the voice on the other end that he's been arrested and is on the way to Central Booking. "I'm on it," Butchie responds. Omar nods a quick thanks as he's tossed in the wagon. Something doesn't add up for McNulty.

As the early returns come in, the candidates watch from their respective hotel suites. Namond heads home with Bodie's package, telling his mother it's a piece of cake. In the privacy of his bedroom, he stares at the vialed coke package as if it's a bomb.

Omar's brought into the bullpen at Central Booking on Eager Street downtown, to the jeers of inmates - many having been robbed by him. For the first time in a long while, he looks genuinely fearful.

Tense with anticipation, Tommy and Jennifer Carcetti take a break and walk along the harbor boardwalk. He speaks about what could happen if Baltimore found the strength to turn itself around, to solve its problems. When his cell phone rings, Jennifer urges him to answer. He hangs up before giving her the news: "Royce is conceding...we won." "Are we happy about that," she asks wryly. Carcetti allows that he thinks so.

An hour later, still incredulous, Carcetti takes the podium at his campaign's hotel ballroom, thanking his team as he points out they still have a general election to win. "Is there a Republican candidate for mayor in Baltimore?" he asks to laughter, Baltimore being almost exclusively Democratic in voter registration. As Jennifer begs off the celebration to go home, Wilson approaches with an unrepentant, shameless Davis. "Shouldn't you be dead to me?" Carcetti asks Davis. "You got off cheap," the senator laughs.

In his holding cell, Omar readies for a fight as the guard lets in two hulking new inmates. One of them pulls out a shank, as if ready to fight, before muttering, with a half-smile, "Butchie sent us." Omar sighs relief, taking the weapon.

As the celebration winds down at the Carcetti suite, Theresa D'Agostino and the victorious candidate are the last ones left. Pouring one more for the road, D'Agostino - an old flame from their law school days -- goes in for her "win bonus," kissing Carcetti deeply. He starts to respond, then pulls back. "You suddenly feeling mayoral?" she needles him. She's not convinced he's changed, she says, telling Carcetti that Wilson routinely saw him ogling women on the campaign trail. She tries again and he gives in, momentarily, then he stops them. "Maybe you have learned something," D'Agostino says on her way out. "Write me a check." The episode closes on Carcetti, with his future suddenly unwritten.

"Aw Yeah. That Golden Rule." - The Bunk

In his cell, Omar Little gets help from his allies, who create a makeshift suit of armor by wrapping reference books around his midsection with an ace bandage and duct tape. All padded up, the three head to the morning chow line. A fight breaks out between two men in front of them, and as one drops, Omar takes a shank to the chest. When the weapon slides off his armor, Omar grabs the shocked attacker's arm and twists him into a lock, then slams his face against the wall. "We could'a made a baby," he says demonically, licking the guy"s ear before ramming the weapon into the man's rectum. The rest of the inmates flinch as the man collapses, screaming in pain. One of Butchie's allies warns the bystanders against having witnessed anything.

"How that for a message?" Omar asks his allies as they slip away from responding correctional officers. Not bad, they tell him, except the price on his head is now up to five figures. And the man paying the bounty? Some high-end westside dealer named Marlo. Omar claims he's never heard of the man, then asks for a phone to call a police. When his allies look at him with disdain, Omar shrugs them off. The man owes him a favor, he explains, indifferent to their looks.

Still on a rush from his Democratic primary win, Thomas "Tommy" Carcetti meets with the ex-mayor for advice. "National party has to take notice, young and pretty as you are," the long-ago mayor tells the councilman. Though he shrugs off the flattery, Tommy can't hide his excitement at the thought, but he has a burning question - he wants to know why the old guy didn't run for a second term when it was his for the taking. The ex-mayor tells a tall tale about his first day on the job, about how all the pomp and circumstance of the job quickly gave way to eating silver bowls full of shit from the unions, the blacks, and the Polacks. "You sit there eating shit, all day long, day after day, year after year." When he realized this, he decided being a downtown lawyer and getting to see his family every night made for a fine life. Carcetti smiles politely, though he seems unimpressed with the old man's wit.

Missing from his training sessions at the gym for weeks, Spider is working one of Marlo Stanfield's corners, taking money from two addicts, when Dennis "Cutty" Wise approaches, pressing him on where he's been. "You ain't my f**kin' father," Spider snaps, turning away. Now certain as to where the problem lies, Cutty tries to assure him that what happened between Cutty and Spider's mother ("I can throw down in the kitchen - among other places") should have nothing to do with him taking advantage of the gym. Apparently, Cutty took more than a carryout plate from the woman. "You one of my best, boy. If I thought I was gonna hurt you..." "Man, f@%k you," Spider fires back, "ain't nobody gonna hurt me." Spider returns to work, leaving Cutty defeated.

Meanwhile, the Fayette Street boys have taken to spending their lunch break in Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski's classroom, playing poker. Prez reminds them he said no gambling, but they try and assure him it's all for peanuts. He decides to use their card game as a math exercise, and gives them tips on figuring out their odds. They ask if he can do the same with dice and he agrees.

Now that the election is over, Dets. Shakima "Kima" Greggs and Edward Norris have permission to solve the Braddock case, and they bring in their jailhouse snitch for questioning.

After having kicked Sherrod out for failing to attend school, Bubbles now goes looking for the boy, worried about his whereabouts. Assistant Principal Marcia Donnelly tells him Sherrod hasn't been in class since he last brought him in. "If you see him, tell him he can come home if he wants," Bubbles tells her haplessly. Meanwhile, Prez gets the idea to ask if the school has any old board games in its possession. Alarmed that he's veering from the curriculum, Donnelly nonetheless tells him to check the equipment room in the basement. Prez does so and is stunned to find a treasure trove of newer edition books, videotapes, VCRs, even a brand new computer - still unopened in its crate.

Det. William "Bunk" Moreland meets with Omar in jail, who reminds him he's still holding prosecutor Ilene Nathan's card, an IOU for his testimony against Bird, a Barksdale organization enforcer, for the killing of William Gant, a state's witness. Bunk is at first indifferent. Omar's get-out-of-jail free card was for a small felony or two - not a "taxpayer murder with an eyeball witness" for which Omar has been charged. Omar insists he's been set up, that Bunk knows he's never put a gun to anyone who wasn't in the game. He tells the detective that the witness against him - Old Face Andre - runs a package out of his stores, and therefore would tend to resent "folk like me." Bunk reminds him about the other murders he likely did, Stringer Bell among them. "This one gets to court, you can tell a jury how wrong it is," he tells Omar. Omar reminds him he's not likely to survive that long in jail. "If I knew I'd be sharin' quarters with all these boys, I might not robbed so many of 'em," he confides. "Aw yeah," Bunk says, amused at the man's predicament, "that golden rule." Somebody else took down that delivery woman at Andre's store, Omar insists, and now Bunk's letting him walk. This argument hits home with the detective "A man must have a code." Omar offers, throwing back words that Bunk once offered to him years ago.

As Namond Brice works his corner, a rival gang hovers on a corner down the block, staring him down and contemplating a handgun atop the tire of a nearby parked car. They debate the matter briefly before deciding that it is only necessary to wait until Namond leaves the strip - they don't want to bring police to their corner with nearby violence - and then throw some hard punches and let him know he is encroaching on their territory.

On a bench in an abandoned park, Marlo tells Proposition Joe Stewart about the train station raid. He was hoping to flush out who was really after him, but no such luck - all he drew was the Amtrak police. Joe tells him to steal the camera. If someone makes a stink about it - it's local. If not, it's the Feds; they can afford to lose a camera without crying the blues.

Still searching the streets for Sherrod, Bubbles gets shaken down by the same violent dope fiend yet again. "Money or pills, I don't care which," the kid says, roughing him up. A cop pulls up, but instead of going after the violent offender, Officer Walker warns Bubbles that he can't sell on the street without a license, then takes some of his DVDs, citing copyright infringement. "You gonna rob me too?" Bubbles says helplessly as the Walker drives off.

At the gym, Cutty calls a timeout to talk to the boys, apologizes for "welcoming the attentions" of some of their female relatives. He was in jail for a long time, he explains, but "I didn't mean no disrespect." He doesn't want to get in the way of them learning the sport and bettering themselves. Some of the boys seem impressed; some smirk knowingly. Michael Lee sees non-committal. It is the best that Cutty can do to limit the damage done.

Bunk takes Omar's case to fellow homicide detectives Vernon Holley and Michael Crutchfield, and asks them what they ran on their key witness, Old Face Andre. Pissed he's getting up in their business, Crutchfield tells off. Bunk prevails on Holley to review the case with him.

Outside Cutty's gym, the rival corner boys pull up to wait, snorting a vial as one pulls a gun - hands it to Sherrod, just in case. When Namond exits the gym, Sherrod - high and wild-eyed - sets him straight: "You need to back off that spot," Sherrod says before shoving him. Namond drops his backpack and shoves back. "The f**k you thinkin'?" he says, loud enough for the gym to hear. The two go at it until Sherrod pins Namond against a dumpster. Cutty steps out and intervenes, sending the rivals away and Namond back to the gym, where he gives him a warning about messing with someone who's high. Namond plays tough, claiming to be pissed at Cutty for having to come to his defense. Cutty asks Michael what Namond is wrapped up in. Michael tells him it's not his business.

In Mayor Clarence Royce's office, Carcetti and his team meet with the defeated mayor to talk about the transition, and the two share a few laughs about their worst campaign moments, including the witness story and doctored slumlord photo. It's clear that both men are professionals; no grudges are held. Royce urges Carcetti to make short work of the Republican candidate in the general election, acknowledging that in heavily Democratic Baltimore this should not be a problem. "I'm halfway glad to get out," Royce says about his mayoral run, offering up Parker to help Carcetti with whatever he needs in the transition. Pending the hiring of a full-time chief of staff, Norman Wilson is taking over transitional duties for Theresa D'Agostino, who's off to help the DCCC win back some red states seats. Carcetti assures them she got her win bonus. "Mine too," Wilson says dryly.

In the surveillance van, Dets. Thomas "Herc" Hauk and Leandor Sydnor notice something's awry on the monitors - close ups of pigeon wings. They check to see if their camera's been moved and, yes indeed, it's gone.

At a downtown law office, a nervous Assistant State's Attorney Rhonda Pearlman meets with her new boss, newly-elected State Attorney Rupert Bond, and congratulates him on his win over Demper. When Bond brings up the pre-election subpoenas, she begins to explain, apologetically. He interrupts: he wants to put her in charge of the violent crimes division - which means all homicide prosecutions. Ilene Nathan is moving up to second deputy. "I admire your courage, if not your loyalty," he tells her. Pearlman can hardly believe it.

Donnelly visits Prez's classroom to let him know Randy Wagstaff is off the hook with the rape charge - the girl now says it was consensual, and that Randy wasn't involved. As for the police interest in the murder he allegedly witnessed, it's out of her hands. The kids in the class are more settled, but only Michael has diligently completed his homework. In another classroom, Colvin's pilot program kids are acting out again - Namond tells the teacher off, then makes fun of another kid, Darnell, for his drinking problem. The pilot project kids are testing the new system.

Having struck out with their jailhouse snitch, and been advised by Det. Lester Freamon to take a shot and go straight at their presumptive suspect, Greggs and Norris do exactly that. In a courthouse office, Greggs, Norris and Assistant State's Attorney Ilene Nathan watch as a polygraph examiner wires up Anthony Wardell, the young dealer against whom the murdered Braddock was going to testify. When the examination is over, the examiner tells Greggs, Norris and Nathan he can "call it like you want it." "F**k kinda science is that?" snaps Greggs. "I'm here for you, detective," the examiner explains. Norris tells her the polygraph is used as leverage - to bring suspects in and mess with them. The kid's lawyer - the redoubtable Maury Levy - knows the game. He lets Wardell explain that Braddock's mom and his mom are like cousins, and he wouldn't have killed Braddock for flipping - he was only looking at three and a half years in any evevnt. Greggs looks almost convinced.

Meanwhile, Bunk tells Ilene Nathan about Omar's situation, showing her the card she gave him two years earlier. Omar claims he's being set up on this one, and is worried he'll be killed in prison. Nathan agrees to move him to a county detention center a good distance from Baltimore, then tells Bunk her debt to Mr. Little is paid.

At Police Headquarters, Major Cedric Daniels presents crime statistics to the department's top brass at Comstat, pointing out that while murders are down, all other violent crime is up. When Carcetti shows up to observe, they all stand at attention, then let Daniels continue. He makes no effort to hide the higher crime rate in the Western District and bluntly tells his superiors - in Carcetti's prescence - that too many of his officers have spent too many years chasing stats, and not enough of them are sufficiently trained to investigate violent crimes properly. Commissioner Ervin Burrell takes offense, but Daniels presses on as Carcetti takes it in.

Herc pleads with Carver to help him recover his camera - he's worried that his new superivisor in Major Crimes, Lt. Charles Marimow, is gonna burn him for losing something worth more than four grand. He's certain Marlo has the device, but they combed the Westside looking for every pigeon coop. At the mention of Marlo's name, Carver suddenly remembers debriefing a kid who knew about a murder Marlo's people did. He meant to call Bunk on it - Bunk had a warrant on the guy who supposedly got killed. If Herc brings his boss a solved murder, Marimow might forgive the camera. Carver calls Bunk to let him know about the young witness, but gets Crutchfield, who crumples the message, muttering his anger at the Bunk for interposing in the case involving Omar.

When Herc finally questions Randy, the boy tells him about passing along the message from Little Kevin to Lex, and later being told by Kevin that Chris and Snoop killed Lex. He heard they turn people into zombies for Marlo, though he doubts that, of course. "This is bulls**t," Herc says, trying to get Randy to say he directly witnessed the murder. Randy insists he didn't. They drop the boy off a block from his house, as he requests, so no one sees him with police, and Herc, regarding the whole misadventure with Randy as a waste of time, decides they need to go right at Marlo to get the camera back.

Continuing to examine the problems first-hand, Carcetti decides to do a ride along in a radio car car, just in time to witness a fresh crime scene - two men shot by police in a clean shooting, with one body to the hospital, the other on the street. Carcetti watches as Daniels - working that night as the duty officer - arrives and takes over. Carcetti, encountering Daniels for the second time in as many days, asks about him and the uniformed officers who are escorting him express mild approval of Daniels ("He's not as bad as some.") Carcetti, for his part, seems impressed.

Still troubled by the fact no one even heard a shot fired in the Braddock murder, Greggs heads to the scene by herself, and using crime photos, she reenacts possible bullet trajectories. Tracing their origins, she winds up deep in an alley on the other side of the street, where she discovers Chlorox bottles set up for target practice near a row house, and a dresser riddled with bullet holes. From one hole, she plucks a .38 caliber slug. Then she finds hollowed potatoes - homemade silencers. Hearing voices inside the nearest row house, she knocks on the back door, gun drawn: "Baltimore Police."

When Assistant. Principal Donnelly tells Cutty and his truancy round-up partner she needs kids for their October day, Cutty tells her the work is not for him. He'd be open to something where he'd be working with the kids, he tells her, but this elicits nothing but an exasperated look. As Cutty leaves, he encounters his old flame - Grace Sampson. They exchange pleasantries, and it is clear that Cutty is in a better place.

Having tried repeatedly to force the school into suspending him, Namond Brice is non-plussed. In a time-out room, he sits, arms folded, as a social worker takes notes. Colvin tries to talk to him, but the boy lashes out, repeating "f**k you" as fiercely as he can. Colvin lets him know he's not going back with the others until he learns to behave, and he's not going home either - there's no more suspension for him. The old games won't work in the new project class. Colvin leaves to pay a visit to UM Professor of Social Work David Parenti in the pilot program classroom, and as another student lashes out, he whispers, "This might be harder than we thought." "Fascinating, though," Parenti responds. "Clinically speaking, I mean."

Prez's kids are tame by comparison, playing dice with monopoly money. Duquan "Dukie" Weems is working at the new computer, smiling even, as Randy, returning to class from suspension, catches up on what he missed. When Grace Sampson appears in the doorway to observe the games, Prez explains: "You trick 'em into thinking they aren't learning, and they do."

Bubbles finally finds Sherrod on his corner, scratching his skin and wiping his nose, eyelids heavy. "Been lookin' all over for you," Bubbles tells him, before trying to apologize. He warns him that the corner is going to run him down fast, and urges Sherrod to come home as soon as he gets paid. Sherrod seems to agree, and Bubbles leaves, clearly disturbed that the boy is getting high. "I'll see you in a few," says Bubbles, hopeful.

Greggs brings her find back to Norris: the slug matches the one found in the autopsy. "You veteran crime fighters got a name for this here, right? Murder weapon or some s**t like that?" she says, holding up the gun. She tells him where she found it, how Braddock was killed not because he was a witness but because he had the dumb luck to catch a stray from someone target shooting in a rear alley. "Our guy's dead from a stray?" Norris says, incredulous. "And this f**k Carcetti gets to be the mayor behind the stupidity. I f**king love this town." And then, as an afterthought: "Nice pull, Greggs." As a homicide investigator, she is no longer a mere rookie, and her hazing is over.

Opening the door to his squatter's lair, Bubbles calls out hopefully for Sherrod. He looks around at the emptiness, then collapses on his own bedroll, realizing his surrogate son has not yet come home.

Carcetti's ascension to power was outstanding to watch and the look on Carcetti's face when he discovered that he beat Royce was very realistic. Most of your standard fiction would show Carcetti leaping for joy and smiling- but Carcetti's look when he realized that he won- painted a very interesting picture. Now, he has what he yearned for- does he still want it? It's one of those you have what you want, but now comes the responsibility that comes with the position. And Carcetti truly does want to improve his city but the scene with the ex-mayor is a nice set-up to what is most likely to come.

Royce couldn't seem more relieved to get away from his duties as mayor. I believe some of his discussion with Carcetti (post-election) was partially to save face (once again the show's continuing theme of everything being done for the sake of work only) and also was genuine. Royce basically became more interested in being mayor than actually creating real reform. And the sad fact is that Royce seemed to realize towards the end of his tenure. But, now, Carcetti is poised to cause serious change (and it seems that he is indeed quite sincere about making these changes)- but how long can this reform last before various institutions bastardize his political ideas?

I remember in the first season, we got a glimpse into Omar's mindset about prison when he told McNulty when he was pulled over for a parley, "I ain't going back inside no cage". However, Omar is definitely a survivor (also from the first season it was referenced that Omar had a stable of boys when he served time in The Cut in Jessup) and he learns to adapt. He is surrounded by enemies though now and he doesn't have the luxury to lurk in the shadows. There are no confines and even with Butchie's protection- Omar is aware enough to know that his chances to survive (especially with Marlo's bounty on his head) is very slim. Thus, Omar makes the call to Bunk for a chance to get out of his current predicament.

In many ways, Omar and Bunk adhere to the same sense of a code but have just followed different paths in their lives. Omar's plea that a man must have a code harkens back to the first season when it was revealed the two went to the same school and lived in the same neighborhood when growing up. The nature of the code that Omar follows is irrelevant, Omar's point is the code is in place and it is something that he does not take lightly. Bunk realized that there is some validity in the statement and realizes that Omar may be set up.

I also appreciated the fact that Bunk referenced the murder of Tasha from season 3 ("Hot Shots") and the death of Stringer Bell- and his suspicion that Omar was involved in both cases (which are indeed very astute assumptions). Thus, this is another reason why characters with merit and with integrity respect someone like Omar- as he respects them as well. Omar is the anomaly to the game- the lone wolf who is not tied down to any institutions- but decides on his own, to follow a strict code that he follows. Thus, this is why the murder of the citizen doesn't set well with Bunk. And this is going to cause conflict with Crutchfield who could give a rat's ass whether or not Omar is truly guilty. It looks good on paper- and the point to him is the stats. But, Bunk, circumvents him and is now trying to figure out what really happened and is successful in getting Ilene Nathan to move Omar to a safer lock-up.

Beautiful how the show ties up everything from previous seasons- Omar never lost that get out of jail free card that Ilene gave him after Bird was convicted in season 2 ("All Prologue") when Omar testified. I almost feel spoiled watching a show this well-weaved.

Bubs really was the star of "Unto Others" because it opens on him (following the teaser) in silence- realizing how much he cares for Sherrod and how much potential lies in the boy. His searching for Sherrod on the streets and his subsequent assault by the violent dope fiend who is treating Bubs like his personal ATM is painful to watch- because Bubs is truly one of the few good souls left in a truly insane world. Then to watch Walker (the piece of shit cop who robbed Randy and Omar) also steal from Bubs- really sealed the hopelessness this guy is going through.

Sherrod, meanwhile, is trying to find his way on the corner but there is no future in that for him. He doesn't have it for the streets and the scene where he attacks Namond after snorting his courage to do it- is very telling. Bubs' discussion with Sherrod was almost so agonizing, even I couldn't watch it. It's very honest as well. These two are desperately trying to communicate to one another but the words are not there at the time. But Bubs does admit he cares for the boy and he would like him home. The look on Bubs face when he sees that Sherrod is not back at the end is painful. Not a word was needed. The silence and look on Bubs' face explained enough.

It's great to see Kima coming into her own in homicide. I loved how she pieced together exactly what happened in a well-drawn out dialogue-free scene. The beauty of this show is how accurate these scenes are. Anyone notice that Kima picked up the potato before entering the house? Nice way of tying in the "Tater Killed Me" joke from episode 4 of this year into Kima's vindication.

The look on Dukie's face when he finally seemed happy was truly jarring and tear-inducing. The poor kid usually is so ravaged with poverty and pain that any moment to see his happiness is just moving.

I wonder if Prez will be punished for going outside the curriculum in order to teach his students. Unorthodox methods in institutions is usually frowned upon on this series- because it will only lead to punishment or being demoted.

The scene with Brianna meeting with Namond and De'Londa was beautifully done. Any chance I get to see Michael Hyatt is great and in many ways- her and De'Londa are the same woman. They both have used their children and exploited them in the drug trade. And they both have made great profit in the game. However, Brianna is far more shrewd and intelligent- and has finally cut all ties to Avon (probably because she knows that Avon knows what happened to D'Angelo). She has cut the money faucet to De'Londa- after all, the Barksdale empire is dead so the money has to eventually stop. And De'Londa forcing her child into the life now that no money will be coming is deplorable.

Loved Bodie's assessment of De'Londa as a "dragon lady" and his assessment of her character being the reason why Namond has become the person he is today. Bodie's a gem.

Cutty seems to have realized that he needs to step away from his frolicking with the mothers of the boys at his gym. However, it seems too little too late in Spider's case. He has clearly given up on Cutty. And Michael still is keeping Cutty at arm's length.

Poor idiotic Herc. He never has been good police. And he sadly will never be good police. He can't think outside the box and think PERIOD. The incident with Marlo at the train station and his incorrect assumption of Marlo as a mope was enough to cause Marlo to steal the camera per Prop Joe's suggestion. And now, Herc is cornered- and is so desperate he turns to Carver for help. Notice Sydnor's annoyance with Herc when they were talking to Randy. When it comes to institutional ineptitude- Herc is in a league of his own.

It looks Daniels previous punishments from being loyal and being about the case will be corrected because Carcetti sees potential in him. And Pearlman's fear of the subpoenas from earlier on, is partially the reason for her career advancement. Got to love the curveballs on this show.

Great two episodes and I can't wait to see the next episode.

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