The WireThe Wire


Directed by Alex Zakrzewski
Story by David Simon & George Pelecanos
Teleplay by David Simon

"...while you're waiting for moments that never come." - Freamon

McNulty is awaked from a dead sleep sometime before dawn by Theresa D'Agostino, who has checked into a Baltimore hotel and wants the detective's company. He awakens Sean, his oldest boy, and tells him his cell number is on the table, and that he'll be back later, and heads into the night for a tryst with his lover. Returning home, he tries to interest himself in the talking heads on TV, ruminating about politics, but it's just too boring, and watches an old movie instead.

The Deacon visits "Cutty" Wise, now known as Dennis since he's renounced the street life. Wise is clearing out the space where he hopes to launch a gym to work with kids. Deacon points out that once it's clean, "all you gonna need is the permits." Wise doesn't have a clue what he means.

Two Barksdale soldiers — Gerard and Sapper — observe Omar get out of a cab outside his grandma's house and disappear inside. Frantically, they phone their lieutenant, Slim Charles, to see if they should defy the ghetto's traditional Sunday morning truce and make a hit on Omar. With Slim Charles unavailable, they call Shamrock. He's with Stringer Bell, in the midst of a tense meeting with syndicate members, who are unhappy about Barksdale's ongoing war with the Marlo. When Bell gives them the go-ahead, they fire at Omar and his grandma as they emerge from her house on their way to church. Spotting them coming, however, Omar shoves his grandma in a cab and they speed off as the window glass shatters.

At the syndicate meeting, the members press Bell over Avon's refusal to give up his old territorial ways and live with the new reality: cooperation. "Your man needs to reconcile himself to this new way of thinking," Proposition Joe says to Bell.

Bunny Colvin brags to the Deacon that the West Side of Baltimore has experienced a 14 percent decrease in felonies since Hamsterdam was born. "But God knows," the Deacon observes, "what happens when you let go of your secret." Colvin's response: "Whatever happens, happens. They can keep my little experiment going, or they can go back to business as usual. That's on them. Me? I'm gone, either way."

Omar is enraged at the Sunday morning attempt on his life, even more so by the fact that he was with his grandma, who was cut by flying glass. "Barksdale gotta be got," Omar says. "Stringer, too. This thing gotta end." Kimmy tells him to count her out if that's what he intends to do, but Dante says he's with Omar all the way. Omar refuses hs offer, telling them both, "This one about me. Ain't about no one else."

At the Detail Office, Daniels tells his troops they're nearly ready to run some new wires on the throwaway phones the Barksdale gang is using. But when State's Attorney Pearlman calls on a VP of the wireless company, he resists cooperating with the police. Only when Pearlman resorts to threats does he begin to get the picture. "How about this," Pearlman says to him. "How about the State's Attorney for Baltimore City calls a press conference on the courthouse steps to declare that Bay Wireless is in league with the most violent drug traffickers in the city, preventing their arrest and apprehension by law enforcement."

At the Baltimore municipal offices, a bewildered Dennis Wise encounters City Hall red tape at its stickiest, and learns that he needs a slew of permits from a variety of city agencies before he can even contemplate opening a gym. Later, when he shares his frustration with Reverend Reid, a friend of the Deacon, Reid asks Cutty if he happened to "use my name." Hearing no for an answer, Reid has his assistant phone State Delegate Odell Watkins.

Barksdale soldier Bernard, with his girlfriend Squeak, rents a car to make the next I-70 run to purchase a bag full of disposable phones — burners — but this time he's followed by Detective Sydnor, who tracks each purchase. Greggs and McNulty meanwhile press Bubbles back into service, wiring him to record his drug purchase in Hamsterdam from Barksdale dealer Bodie. He's instructed to wait until Bodie is low on product and then make a large enough purchase that Bodie has to phone for a replenished supply. Bubbles follows orders, and sure enough, Bodie cranks up his burner to order up a new supply of heroin.

At the Detail Office, McNulty is busy typing up a transcript of Bubble's conversation with Bodie when the cops decide to order Chinese food. Sitting in their car after picking up the food, McNulty and Prez hear a radio call alerting them to an officer in need of assistance a few blocks from where they sit. They screech off, McNulty jumping out of the car when they arrive, and Prez Prez driving on to look for the source of the gunshots they hear. More shots are fired and a short while later, McNulty comes upon Prez, kneeling over the body of a dead cop, Patrolman Derrick Waggoner, whom Prez has mistaken for a criminal and killed.

Barksdale, still mired in the old days, reassures Bell that things are going to be okay. "We gonna be back where we was, String. I can smell it, man. Just gotta get this boy Marlo and then spread out like we do." Bell tells Barksdale that the co-op is not happy about the ongoing violence over Marlo, to which Barksdale responds, "Fuck them niggers." Bell realizes that trying to convince Barksdale that he's wrong, and that the rules have changed, is hopeless. Barksdale quizzes Bell about whether Bell in fact gave the go-ahead to shoot Omar on a Sunday morning. "Sunday truce been there as long as the game itself," Barksdale says. "I mean, you can do some shit and say what the fuck, but hey, never on no Sunday." Changing the subject, Bell suggests that they add a few more crews in Hamsterdam. "Take what profit we can," Bell says. "You trust that shit?" Barksdale wants to know. "So far," Bell responds. "An' if they runnin' a game, ain't be no one above a crew chief who take a charge, right?"

Pearlman and Daniels pay a call on FBI Special Agent Fitzhugh, to try and convince him to lean on the cellular company that makes the disposable cell phones, and see if he can't convince them to be even more cooperative with the police. "They're only half scared of us," Pearlman says, "but a visit from the feds? You all have a profile enough to push them." Fitzhugh however tells them that "the bureau's a little busy with counterterrorism, and our U.S. Attorney here only touches himself at the mention of political corruption."

Proposition Joe goes to see Marlo's ally Vinson, offering to mediate the peace between Marlo and Barksdale. "Tell the boy he can come in with the co-op," Prop Joe says. "If he takes our package, which by the way is better than the best he putting out there now, he'll keep his corners. Guaranteed." Vinson replies that Marlo might listen, except that he thinks Avon is weak right now. Prop Joe reminds him: "You ever know Avon Barksdale to back down from anything?"

Daniels visits Prez at Police Headquarters. Prez is in shock over what he's done, and Daniels gently coaches him about what he needs to say to take care of himself. Among other things, he urges Prez to get a lawyer but Prez refuses. "No, sir. I'm done." Departing, Daniels tells Sgt. Landsman that he wants someone to go home with Prez. "For tonight at least, he's a suicide watch."

In the wiretap room at the Detail Office, Freamon says that he's now got taps on eight of the burners. What they're looking for, Freamon explains, "is for one of these phones to show a signature for our man Bodie. Calls to his girlfriend, his grandmother — the numbers we pulled off his burner. We see that, we know it's his phone. We know it's his phone, we know that he uses it to sell drugs. We know all that — we get a tap and pray like hell he doesn't throw it away anytime soon."

Dennis Wise meets with State Delegate Odell Watkins, who offers his help in cutting through the bureaucratic red tape that's entangled Wise. An unhappy Bell meanwhile meets with State Senator Clay Davis, showing him a letter he just received from HUD saying that Bell is not yet certified as a developer. "I give you a quarter million dollars to have them tell me my paperwork is insufficient to certify me as a developer in the empowerment zone?" Davis says he'll straighten things out, but that Bell needs to understand that real estate is a different line of work: "It ain't like no drug deal, String. You don't put your money on the street and have it come right back. It don't work like that. Patience, my man. Patience."

At Carcetti's office, Councilman Anthony Gray surprises Carcetti by showing him a new "Gray for Mayor" bumper sticker he's had made up. "Nice colors," Carcetti says. "You got a platform?" Unaware somehow of Carcetti's own ambitions, Gray invites Carcetti to run with him on his ticket, for Council President. "Me at the top of the ticket," says Gray. "an emerging black leader, handsome, well-spoken — you the Great White Hope, the new voice of civic reform. We'd give Royce a run, boy." Carcetti's response: "What makes you think I'm interested in council president?" "What the hell else you got going," Gray wants to know, underestimating his friend.

In Hamsterdam, a young black teenager turns up dead, and Colvin's creation is suddenly threatened. Carver tries to convince Herc to help him move the body a few blocks, out of Hamsterdam, so the detectives assigned to the case won't start asking around Hamsterdam. Herc is outraged and refuses to help. In fact, he's so upset with the way things are going that he phones the Baltimore Sun, presumably with the idea that he'll blow the whistle on Colvin and Hamsterdam. When Colvin arrives on the scene and realizes that Carver moved the body, he insists to Carver that he'll take the rap for tampering with the scene of the crime. And he also pulls together a group of dealers from Hamsterdam and reads them the riot act: "What I'm sayin' is, come tomorrow, if I don't have a shooter in bracelets, the Hamsterdam thing is over, finished. It's back to the corners for all of us and fuck y'all any way we can. You hear me? It was good while it lasted. For y'all it was cash on the barrel and no one needs no bail money. For me, I had clean corners damn near everywhere I looked. But that's all gone tomorrow unless y'all bring me my shooter."

At the Funeral Home, Brianna Barksdale finally gets her sit-down with her brother Avon and Stringer. The two of them stonewall her on the subject of her son, pointing out that McNulty is a liar and that there's no evidence that D'Angelo was murdered. "Dee did not roll on us," Brianna says. "He came to the edge, but he turned around and walked away." Feeling cornered by her accusations and her pleas to understand what really happened with D'Angelo, Barksdale grows angry: "The fuck you even thinking? That I had something to do with it? That I could do that to my own kin? Is that what you think? The fuck is in your head Brie? I ain't do nothing to Dee. I ain't have shit to do with it." "To do with what?" Brianna wants to know.

McNulty, slightly intimidated, has dinner with Theresa D'Agostino in a fancy D.C. restaurant. The more she learns about him — that he only has a year of college under his belt, that he is essentially an apolitical being who doesn't know the difference between a red state and a blue state and who didn't even bother to vote in the presidential election — the less interested she is in him. When McNulty takes her home, she doesn't invite him in.

When Bell learns about Colvin's edict that Hamsterdam will be shut down if no one turns himself in, he asks one of his soldiers who the shooter was. "Some young boy in Tuckie's crew," he learns. When Bell asks why he used the gun, his soldier tells him: "Some nigger in one-a Ghost Kane's crews laughed at his shoes." "Do it," Bell replies, and sure enough, a bit later, a young black man turns himself in at the Western District headquarters.