Stray Rounds
The Wire | Season 2 | Episode 9

Stray Rounds

TV-MA | 58 MIN

Directed by Tim Van Patten
Story by David Simon & Ed Burns
Teleplay by David Simon

"The world is a smaller place now." - The Greek

On the new drug corner they commandeered from their rivals, Bodie and crew sell their repackaged dope, newly named WMD. In an apartment overlooking the scene, a young mother readies her children for school, but soon hits the floor when the rival gang shows up and shooting begins. Both gangs fire wildly, dispersing only when police sirens are heard. Upstairs, the mother discovers that one of her kids has been killed getting ready for school.

In the detail office, Freamon, Bunk, McNulty and Russell are forlorn. The people they've been monitoring seem spooked. In a matter of two days, the warehouse thugs have gone from speaking in barely guarded language about drug sales to offering no information whatsoever. And surveillance of the warehouse has turned up no traffic entering or leaving it, either. Furthermore, Russell observes, Sobotka hasn't used his cell phone lately.

At the scene of the shootout, an army of cops collect gun casings and Col. Rawls exchanges theories with Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin, the Western District Commander, about who was involved. Stringer, meeting with Bodie, says he must now shut down the entire operation until the cops calm down. "They gonna knock heads behind this. They got to," says Bell, before instructing Bodie that any gun fired in the battle needs to disappear. "Not just storm drains, neither," he says, telling Bodie to throw the chrome in the harbor. Following orders, Bodie throws the guns off a bridge, but they land on a barge passing under at the moment, and are recovered by the police.

At the diner, Nick meets with Spiros and Eton, wanting to buy more dope from them. They tell him they are laying low temporarily, but give him the number of White Mike, another dealer whom it turns out Nick went to high school with. After Nick leaves, they ponder how much the police know and if they're still on the case. "If they were onto the truck," Spiros says, as if to convince himself that things are safe, "they would have searched it, no?"

As the police round up drug dealers across West Baltimore, Stringer meets with Proposition Joe and tells him that if they were in business together, this wouldn't be happening. "I'm out there sellin' the real, my boys ain't scuffling, and they ain't up on someone else's corner starting shit." They agree to go into business together, in spite of Avon's warning not to do so.

Meanwhile, traffic at the warehouse and on the warehouse phone is minimal. Spiros and Eton have another problem, too. The Columbians to whom they sold the chemicals Nick helped them land are claiming the quality was not good are reneging on the payment they'd promised. "These Columbians, Spiros," says Eton. "They are men without honor."

Ziggy, flush with the success of his camera heist, revisits Glekas at his appliance store and promises to deliver brand new luxury cars without his cousin Nick. Glekas is interested but concerned he'll have trouble unloading new cars without titles. In Baltimore, maybe," says Ziggy. "But where you come from? I'll be you got family in some place that don't give two fucks about whether an American car got title on it."

Daniels expresses concern that Serge has no police record that can be found, and asks McNulty if he'll visit his FBI pal Fitzhugh and see if he can help. Freamon asks to try to get a check on Glekas, too. When McNulty visits Fitz, nothing turns up on Serge but he finds that Glekas had a brush with the FBI's San Diego Field Office a while back. Calling Agent Koutris in that office, Fitz is told that the Glekas business was of little consequence and no charges were brought. However, when Koutris hangs up, he immediately calls The Greek to let him know the FBI is interested suddenly in Glekas.

When the cargo ship they've been waiting for comes in, Freamon and Russell are on it, and the container soon "disappears" from the tracking software. Herc and Carver, alerted that the container may be coming to the warehouse they're watching, see it arrive, with Serge at the wheel.

At police headquarters, Detectives Cole and Norris sweat Bodie. Bodie registers surprise when they bring the guns his crew supposedly tossed in the water into the interrogation room, but the cops screw up when they tell Bodie they even have his fingerprints on the gun. Bodie had carefully wiped them off before throwing the guns away. And when he asks them which gun is his, they answer incorrectly.

The Greek, Vondas, Eton, George and the Russian Madam meet for dinner in a restaurant, and The Greek tells George that the FBI was making inquiries about him. Vondas is upbeat, however, noting that they've been running clean containers from the dock and no one has stopped them, no one has followed them, nothing. "Then back to business," The Greek decrees. Later, when Eton conveys this news to Serge, Bunk and Russell are listening in the detail office. They also pick up the number of Eton's new phone and immediately ask Pearlman for an affidavit to tap it.

Later, The Greek meets with Koutris, who tipped him to the Glekas inquiry, to return the favor. He gives the agent the number of a container destined for the Columbians that sits on the dock in Baltimore and contains $50 million in cocaine.

Meanwhile, McNulty, dressed in a suit, armed with a fake British accent and wired for sound, arrives at the Russian brothel. It is assumed he is there for sex, so there is no discussion of the subject — or of money — just the presentation of girls. McNulty chooses two and repairs to a bedroom, where they begin to disrobe and remove his clothing. He is so undone by their aggressiveness that he can't remember the code he's supposed to utter to bring in his squad for the bust. Finally it comes to him, and arrests are made all around.

Sobotka at his union hall drinks champagne with Horseface and Nat Coxson, celebrating the new state budget, which has $4.5 million allocated for projects that will positively affect the longshoremen. In the midst of the party, though, FBI agents and others cops arrive to open the container with the cocaine. Koutris has a career-making bust on his hands.

Stringer Bell asks Brianna to weigh in with Avon about the decision Stringer has made to let Proposition Joe deal drugs in three of the Towers. "We got weak product and we holdin' prime real estate with no muscle. I ain't got Wee-Bey, or Stink, or Bird — and the wolves are at the door."

Burrell, now police commissioner, watches the press conference of the cocaine bust on TV with Valchek, Daniels, Rawls and Pearlman. Valchek tells Daniels that if something like that could be pinned on Sobotka, he would die happy. When he asks what they can charge Sobotka with, Daniels tells him, "We're not at that point." Daniels explains that they're working on a smuggling operation that involves both drugs and women. Rawls wants to know if they're any closer to solving the murders, and Daniels says that if the same people who are running the brothel are also importing the girls, then they are in fact much closer. Valchek is interested only in Sobotka, however, and when Pearlman tells him that the case is bigger than Sobotka, Valchek goes ballistic, turning on Burrell: "So now that the votes are in and you're moving all your damn golfing trophies upstairs to the commissioner's office, you're gonna freeze me out, huh?" he says and stomps out.

Brianna reports back to Stringer that Avon is still adamantly opposed to bringing in Proposition Joe. Avon assures her he's looking for better product and meanwhile is bringing in muscle from New York to keep out rival dealers, a man named Brother Mouzone. Amazed, Stringer takes this news to Proposition Joe, who is none too happy to hear it, either. Stringer reassures him that their deal is still on, and that they must deal with this problem together. Proposition Joe says, "You think I'm going to send any of my people up against Brother? Sheeeet."

At the projects, where for a change drug activity is at a standstill, a man dressed as a Black Muslim emerges from a car and surveys the scene. Brother Mouzone has arrived.