Directed by: Elodie Keene
Story by: David Simon & Ed Burns
Teleplay by: David Simon
"What they need is a union." - Russell
Omar is stationed outside the apartment building where drug dealer Darnell lives, awaiting Darnell's little brother. Omar has established that Darnell's kid brother leaves the building twice a day with a laundry basket in which the day's drug earnings are stashed. Omar plans to take out the kid and steal the cash. "We don't have to blast our way to the top floor, we just wait," Omar explains to Dante, his lover. Astonishingly, before his eyes, two black women - Kimmy and Tosha - who've been lounging around the doorway, spring into action, drawing guns and making off with the cash. "That's something you don't see everyday," Omar says.
Omar follows Kimmy and Tosha and confronts them in an abandoned building where they've gone to count the money. Rather than steal it from them, however, he teams up with them. Later, they stake out another drug dealer and their plan to pull a heist goes off without a hitch.
Nick gets his hair cut by his girlfriend Aimee, who wants to move in together. Nick protests that he doesn't have the money to get a place, but says that as soon as he does, it can happen. Later, at the cargo pier, Nick and Ziggy are again without work, and none too happy about it. "I can't keep waking up in the morning not knowing if I'm gonna get paid," says Nick. "I got a kid. I got a girl who wants to get married." When Ziggy again tries to interest him in dealing some drugs to make some cash, however, Nick says no.
At the evidence control unit, McNulty, carrying the very weak bag of evidence against Bird in the Gant case, runs into Daniels. As they discuss their mutually regretful fates, Daniels tells McNulty that with his twenty-two years in the force and his law degree, he's resigning, putting in his papers immediately.
Valchek finally discovers that his van - stolen by Horseface - has gone missing. "Are you telling me that a fully equipped, $120,000 surveillance van assigned to this district cannot be located?" he asks. Shortly thereafter, he receives an anonymous photo in the mail of the van, taken by longshoremen at the port in Wilmington, Delaware.
McNulty returns his kids to his wife's house after a visit, hoping she'll invite him in, but she crushes him by telling him to expect a separation agreement from her lawyer in the mail. "It's to protect both of us," she tells him. Back at the office, the medical examiner tells McNulty that based on dental work, he's determined that at least some of the girls are Eastern European. And one of them had breast enhancements in Budapest, which he deduced from the serial numbers on the implants. McNulty is puzzled by the deaths of the women, considering their potential earning power in the U.S. In a meeting with the INS, he also learns that there are 50,000 undocumented girls working in the States. "They need a whole new agency just to police 'em," says Bunk. "What they need is a union," responds Russell.
At St. Casmir's Church, the union's lobbyist throws a party to put the touch on state legislators. Sobotka's lobbyist instructs him as to how his time and money are best spent. "The guys you need to be working are the guys who wouldn't have shown up if we hadn't been throwing money at them."
Prez and his wife attend a family dinner celebrating Valchek's wedding anniversary, but all Valchek is interested in discussing is the case against Sobotka. The Major is disappointed to learn that the investigation is moving very slowly. Prez explains that the unit is not doing wire taps, not pulling phone logs, DMV records, political campaign contributions, as they had in the Barksdale case. When he tells Valchek that the Barksdale investigation would have been a major case had Burrell not stopped it, Valchek seems to hear - and comprehend Burrell's role - for the first time. Meanwhile, pictures of the missing surveillance van continue to arrive periodically, mocking Valchek as it makes its way from port to port.
Stringer drops by Donette's apartment and tells her she needs to take her son to visit D'Angelo in jail. Sparks fly however, and the two are soon in bed together. Meanwhile, Avon visits D'Angelo in the prison library, trying to win his affection once again. When Dee remains hostile, Avon tells him if he's cool, D'Angelo won't be doing but a piece of his 20 years. "You need to trust. You need to get your head right." "My head is where I want it to be," D'Angelo responds coldly.
Nick and Ziggy conspire to steal a container from the docks, and take it to a secondhand appliance store run by George "Double G" Glekas, where they try to sell him 400 digital cameras they've stolen. Glekas later visits Spiros and asks if Nick is to be trusted. When Spiros says yes, Glekas seals the deal for the cameras.
Valchek visits the Detail Room to learn how the investigation is progressing, but finds his squad playing poker and wasting time. He leaves, angry, and shows up at City Hall, where Burrell is lobbying the city council members who will vote soon on a new police commissioner. "You gave me humps," he tells Burrell of his detail. "They couldn't catch the clap in a Mexican cathouse with a fistful of fifties." He threatens Burrell that if he doesn't give him a real detail, with real police and a real unit commander, he's going to "bust up the vote for you." Valchek tells Burrell he wants Daniels pulled out of the evidence room to run the unit.
Stringer and Avon, knowing that the prison guard Tilghman is dealing dope to prisoners, arrange for Tilghman's supplier to give him strychnine instead of heroin. Avon warns his nephew to stay away from drugs. Heading his uncle's previous warnings to lay off the dope, D'Angelo passes on a hit the same night the hot shots are passed out to the inmates. He hears unholy screams through the prison, and then seeing the bodies carried away, Dee is suddenly aware of the coincidence of the hot shots and his uncle's warning.