Directed by Rob Bailey
Story by David Simon & Ed Burns
Teleplay by Ed Burns
"It pays to go with the union card everytime." - Ziggy
At the Towers, the joint is jumping, with dealers and junkies crawling all over the courtyard for the first time in months. So Bodie is puzzled when Stringer stops by to tell him that henceforth, dealers from the east side of Baltimore will be working three buildings formerly controlled by the Barksdale crew. Bodie is instructed to be courteous to them and let them do their work. Puzzled, he questions Stringer, who explains that this is part of an agreement that's brought good-quality dope back to the neighborhood.
In the detail room, the crew waits for Vondas to get to work again with his cell phone, which is tapped. McNulty shows the detail a laptop into which the multiple GPS devices they've attached are feeding signals. With the tap of a button, the vehicles of any of the prime targets in the investigation can be tracked at that moment, as well as any of their travels for the previous seven days.
Major Valchek, still stinging from his meeting with Burrell and still obsessed with nailing Sobotka, calls in the FBI on the detail's case, because one of the agency's specialties is union racketeering. "That's exactly what I want to hear," says Valchek. "This case needs closure and in my heart of hearts I know you're the kind of bastards to put Sobotka where he needs to be." Valchek also asks them to pursue the surveillance van Sobotka stole from police property, and he gives them the fingerprints he lifted from the pictures and the photos of the van in its various ports of call. Later, the FBI agents show up at the Detail Office, where they tell a shocked Daniels, "Major Valchek said you'd be expecting us."
Ziggy, moving ahead with his plot to steal cars from the marine terminal and sell them to Glekas, works with Johnny Fifty, who cuts a huge hole in the storm fence surrounding the parking lot. When Johnny Fifty finishes, Ziggy tells him: "Nicely done. I always say it pays to go with the union card every time." But the holes are simply a diversion to draw suspicion away from the longshoremen. Instead of driving the cars out of the lot through the holes, Ziggy drives each one onto the docks and into a shipping container.
Folding laundry in her basement apartment, Aimee spots something sitting on the duct work and pulls it down. It's a wad of cash, nearly $4,000, and when she asks Nick where it came from, he tells her several unconvincing stories about its origins.
Back at the Towers, Brother Mouzone is confronted by Cheese. Mouzone tells Cheese that he's there to represent the interests of Mr. Barksdale, and asks Cheese to remove himself from the premises. Cheese, puzzled, begins to explain that he's got permission to be selling there when Mouzone pulls out a pistol and shoots him in the shoulder. Stunned, Cheese departs at once.
At the U.S. Attorney's office, Pearlman meets with FBI squad supervisor Amanda Reese and Assistant U.S. Attorney Nadiva Bryant to discuss the FBI's pursuit of the case Daniels' detail has developed against the union. Bryant sees it as a RICO case and Pearlman agrees. Driving the FBI's interest in the post 9/11 world is a desire to wipe out union corruption at the waterfront, where the U.S. is perhaps most vulnerable to terrorist intrusions. Daniels points out that the case is bigger than the union, and is reminded that nevertheless, the FBI is interested in the union's activities and that they can work together only if he can accept that fact.
Ziggy meanwhile, arrives at Glekas's store to collect the money owed him for the car heist. Ziggy tells Glekas that the cars sailed two hours ago on the Caspia and gives him the bill of lading. Glekas hands him his payment, but it's half what he had promised, and when Ziggy protests, Glekas laughs at him. Enraged, Ziggy takes the money and leaves, but once outside, he stews. Instead of leaving, he returns to the store with his Glock and first shoots the clerk who works for Glekas, then Glekas himself. Once he is down, Ziggy finishes Glekas off and turns to leave. Out front, he sits in his car trying to light a cigarette but is shaking too violently to do so. Instead he begins to cry as the police arrive.
Greggs returns home after a long day of work. Kima and her lover, Cheryl, now pregnant, spar good naturedly.
On the FBI front, Fitz reports that the agency has people in Le Havre, the origin of the container with the dead girls, and is also looking into 110 other containers that disappeared off of Talco ships. "We might be assholes," Fitz says, "but on the upside, there's an awful lot of us." Meanwhile, in Washington, FBI agent Koutris, who tipped The Greek earlier, learns that the investigation has expanded, and again calls The Greek to let him know the Feds are on him. Using text messaging, The Greeks tries to shut his entire operation down immediately.
Nick arrives at Sobotka's office and tells him Ziggy is in jail for murdering Double G the night before. Sobotka is shocked and appalled, and curses at Nick for not being with Ziggy. "You're his fuckin' cousin," says Sobotka, to which Nick responds: "You're his father."
In the detail office, Valchek shows up unexpectedly and berates the FBI for letting him down. When Daniels tries to intercede, Valchek shuts him up, too. "I gave you all this," says Valchek. "Good digs, people, anythin' you needed. And what did you give me? Right up the fuckin' ass, Lieutenant." Valchek orders Prez to get his things and leave with him, and when Prez hesitates, Valchek yells at him: "Move, shitbird!" Whereupon Prez decks his father-in-law with a right hook. Valchek leaves and Prez puts his gun on the table and walks into Daniels' office.
McNulty, in an unmarked boat off the coast, sees Vondas and Eton talking on shore, and then observes as each throws his cell phone into the water. He also observes Vondas sending a text message shutting down the operation. Vondas tells Eton to go to Glekas's store and to the warehouse and remove any evidence that's still there, everything the police didn't take.
McNulty pursues the phone companies to see if they can figure out what the text message says, since he knows the exact time and location from which it was sent. Sure enough, they track it down, but when they get it, it must be translated. Finally, the message comes back to them that the Greeks have shut down their operations.