The Wire (2002–2008): Season 1, Episode 6 - The Wire - full transcript

Avon takes care of Omar's man Brandon but Wallace, who saw Brandon in the arcade, isn't too comfortable when he sees what they've done to him. Avon gives D'Angelo and Wallace a bonus for their good work. The police meanwhile get authorization to place taps for the pay phones used by D'Angelo and his crew but can only listen in when one of their suspects is using it meaning they'll have to keep the phones under constant observation. McNulty is in a tight spot when Major Rawls gives him a week to report back to his old job. When he realizes the connections McNulty's made in the various shootings, he announces he's going to arrest the Barksdales for murder and threatens to mess up the drug investigation.

(Dog barking)

(People arguing, distant)

(Radio playing, indistinct)

(Radio alarm starts)

Rise and shine! Come on, man, get up!

Come on, get up!
School day. Y'all gonna be late!

Let's go. Get up for school.

Go! Get up. Come on, man.

- Damn, Wallace.
- Damn, nothing!

Y'all know what happens
if you don't go to school?

They're gonna be callin'
and all y'all gonna end up in foster care.

If y'all want foster care,
climb your asses back into bed.

Get outta my way, man.
Damn, it's too early for this shit.

(Sirens, distant)

(Siren nearby)

- Narcos?
- No, rollers.

Yo, where's breakfast at?

Here, man. You get two.

- I want two bags.
- You don't get two.

Come on, getting greedy.
Take the chips!

Come on. Take your juice.

Come on, man.

Where mine?

Go show your teacher. Come on, man.

- Where's your book bag?
- Teacher ain't give no homework.

That's the worst case of suicide
I've ever seen.

That's him.

You see?

That's him, right there.

That's Omar's boy.

If you walk through the garden

You better watch your back

Well I beg your pardon

Walk the straight and narrow track

If you walk with Jesus

He'll save your soul

You gotta keep the devil

Down in the hole

All the angels sing

About Jesus' mighty sword

And they shield you with their wings

Keep you close to the Lord

Don't pay heed to temptation

For his hands are so cold

You gotta keep the devil

Way down in the hole

Way down in the hole

Way down in the hole

Way down in the hole

Way down in the hole

- What the fuck can I tell him?
- Whatever the man wants to hear, Jimmy.

Prodigal son.

Major, we got a good shot
at clearing a couple of cases here.

We're not here to talk cases.
I don't care about your cases. Sit.


I'm a reasonable guy.

In fact, everywhere I go,
people say to me,

"Bill Rawls, you are
a reasonable fucking guy."

- Am I right, Jay?
- You are reasonable, sir.

Yes. Yes, I am.

Because he knows me to be reasonable,

he came in a few weeks ago
and reasoned with me. Right, Jay?

We reasoned. We did.

We reasoned that
despite his negligible Irish ancestry,

and a propensity to talk out of turn,
Jimmy McNulty is a good worker.

Probably worth saving.

- Major, I'm not...
- He's a good-looking kid.


Do you know what we do here, McNulty?

What we do here?

That was one of them... What is it?
A question you don't have to...

A rhetorical question. You were being
rhetorical. Rhetorical and reasonable, sir.

We work murder cases here, as they come in,
one at a fucking time. It's a rotation.

You're up till you catch one,
then you step down, work it,

someone else steps up.

It's a simple but effective way to do business
in a town that has 250 to 300 cases a year.

Yes, sir.

But if someone gets it into his head
to leave the rotation,

it puts an unfair burden on the detectives
who have to pick up their casework.

Overworked cops make mistakes.
Mistakes lower the unit-wide clearance rate.

And that can make someone
who is otherwise as reasonable as me...


Detective McNulty, I expect to see
your ass back here next week

when your shift rotates to night work.

( Hip-hop)

Night shows up and the beat goes on
like one of those nights that goes on too long

Maybe one of those songs that
could have cut the fuck off a long time ago

My friend says at his stop
Should have just followed

I read the laws, the hip-hop laws

You know those laws
There's laws to the hip-hop game

Should have read that book
that I recommended

- 'Cause if you did, you would see...
- (Pager)

If you don't have a hip-hop license...

- He's up early today.
- A lot of pager activity last night, too.

La Ia Ia Ia...

Tell me one thing about respect

Can you mock respect?

Bad man, I respecting

La Ia Ia Ia...


No woman takes that long.

Yeah. But I look good, right?

Wow. You did all this?

- Burned an egg or two. Ain't no thing.
- Yeah?

My mama always said,
"Don't let them get to cooking.

"Once they're in the kitchen,
you have to give 'em a key to your house."

I don't want no key.
I don't want no house.

And your mama
don't know shit about me.

Looks just like you.

Yeah, he do.

- Where's his mother?
- Around the way.

You friends?

You know, she want a key.

She want a house, she want a car,
she want some new clothes, a necklace,

some pocket change, a trip to the shore,
she want a credit card with her name on it.

Ain't no such thing as free, right?

When it come to pussy,
there ain't no free.

L gotta go.

...sometimes I wander
under the sun I used to wonder

Were you the...

Been working on this one. You'll get the lines
on the other two pay phones tomorrow.

- So we up?
- On the low-rise pay phones.

Let's hear it.

(Woman) 'What I'm talking about is he ain't
paid no one, he just think it's right to do it.

'See how it goes?
So I ain't got shit. I ain't got it.'

(Man) 'Damn. For real?'

'Thinking he all that
because he got his family back.'

- lt was getting good.
- It's unmonitored.

It's what?

We can't listen to a conversation
on an unmonitored pay phone.

- What's that mean?
- We got a tap on the courtyard pay phone.

By tomorrow,
we'll be on two near the high-rises.

We can't listen to anything unless we know
one of our targets is using the phone.

We gotta be on those rooftops for hours
watching these assholes talk on the phone?


It's more bullshit.


this right here, this is the job.

Now, when you came downtown to CID,
what other kind of work were you expecting?

So what are you gonna do?

I can't get back here in a week,
this case is taking off.

You tell Rawls that?

- No.
- McNulty, line three.


Where at?

800 block, in the rear. I got it.

Thanks. Yeah.


- Come in 22.
- '22.'

We're still waiting on a lab unit.
Do you have an ETA?

'Negative. They're all out.'

- Damn dog got Norris, too.
- You didn't think to warn me?

Too much fun not to.

- Damn.
- Yeah. ls he one of yours?

We found him with Kevlar,
like the one Worden caught.

- We thought it was a connection.
- It connects.

How so?

Don't have a name,
but he's part of a stick-up crew.

Took off a stash house last month.
My guy, Barksdale, is coming back on them.

- In a big way.
- They must've killed him four or five times.

Cut him in a dozen places, burned him
with cigarettes. Torture is what it was.

- Doesn't look like your scene.
- Fuck him up, dump him here for all to see.

- Anything we can use?
- Not yet.

We're up on some phones.
lf I hear anything, I'll let you know.

Bring 22.

Anything yet? Or are we just gonna let
this guy go ripe on us?

- You been waiting for crime lab?
- Over an hour.

Two units on the street. Both are
at the City Council President's house.

- What happened there?
- Someone stole his lawn furniture.

They're taking pictures of an empty patio,
dusting the backyard gate for latents.

I kid you not.

You show me the son of a bitch
who can fix this police department,

I'd give back half my overtime.

He was all cut up and shit.
His insides was hanging out.

Fucked up, yo. I mean, damn.

Sometimes you gotta send a message.

I mean, when you picked up that phone,
what did you think they were gonna do?

All that shit is in the game. You know that.

Yeah. Like you and that girl?

- What girl?
- The one in the apartment.

The one you told us about, remember?

I mean, I like what you said
about all that killing, you know?

Especially that part
about how it ain't gotta be like that.

Just sell the shit and move on.

Get me a ginger ale
and get something for yourself.

I remember that.
But it ain't like that, is it?

- Yeah, I know it ain't.
- (Pager beeping)

Thing about it was his eye.
His eye was blown out.

And the other one was open.
And yo, Dee, it fucks me up.

It's like he's looking out,
like he sees everything, you know?

Don't think about it.

I c...

- Fuck!
- Yo.

Let that shit go.

Just...let it go.

Barksdale kid on the line.

He's beeping someone.

Go deep.


- 'Yo.'
- 'What up?'

'Hold on.'

'Yo, Strings! This is Dee.'

'Yeah. You hit me?'

'I wanted to know if you know a young
hopper, the one they got down there.'

- 'Which one?'
- 'The fool, drop in there with a punch.'

- 'What about him?'
- 'He got some problems, right?'

- 'What you mean?'
- 'Enough to bring home, right?'

'You know, man, whatever.

'All right.'

They're bringing Bodie home.

The young, light-skinned kid
from the cemetery.


In the alley behind Argyle,
across from the low-rises.


- Stabbed, beaten, burned.
- 'Jesus.'

- We gotta get with Omar.
- 'Yeah.'


I don't often see a respondent come so
prepared for a juvenile commitment meeting.

In addition to the statements
from Preston's sponsors

at the Police Athletic League,

I also have a Photostatted copy
of a cashed check

which indicates he is enrolled
in the GED program

at the Baltimore City Community College.

Can I ask how this young man is able to afford
not one but two attorneys from your firm?

This is pro bono, Your Honor.

My firm is making it a priority
to identify a number of youths

who are in crisis, and to undertake efforts
to reorder their lives.

I can't help but notice that
your client is under a delinquent petition

for the sale of narcotics
and for assault on a police officer.

Beyond that,
he walked away from a JSA facility.

My client stands ready to acknowledge

that he was involved for a time
in the sale of a small amount of drugs,

for which he received no remuneration,

having been manipulated
by older traffickers in his neighborhood.

- That was a mistake, Your Honor.
- So noted.

We will contend that it was Preston
who was the victim of a brutal police beating,

indications of which
are still evident on him.

He struck back,
wildly and in self-defense, Your Honor.

And the walk-away?

Preston was heavily medicated
when he left the Cheltenham facility.

In that state, Your Honor, he was simply
trying to get back to see his grandmother.

Did you know what you were doing
when you left the Boys' Village, son?

- No, I was messed up.
- Anything else you'd like to add?



I don't know...

I'm ready to be good.

Pending a hearing on these charges
to be scheduled within six months,

I'm putting the respondent
on home monitoring with his grandmother.

I'm afraid Mrs. Brodus doesn't have
a telephone for any monitoring calls.

She's on a fixed income, Your Honor.

How about he calls his probation officer
twice a week?

Cool. Whatever.

Your Honor.

- Yo, Bubbles, what's the game?
- Hey, Johnny.

- Rubbing them down?
- Yeah.


- What is the scam out here?
- Ain't no scam.

Thank you, ma'am.

What you got here is an honest day's work
for an honest day's pay. Right?

Mr. Straight Time, Bubbles.

Gotta give something back
when they least expect it.

Me and Uck, we got something on, too.
We got a plan.

- No shit.
- For real.

We're gonna take off
on the copper house.

Your first two days out
and you get dramatic on me.

- Copper house.
- Got to be got, homes.

- What about the fence?
- Fuck the fence.

- What about the dog?
- Fuck the dog.

All that time I was resting,
it got me thinking. lt got good to me, too.

Copper house. Gracious.

I gotta go, can you cash me out?

If you ain't got dreams, Bubbs,
what the fuck you got?

Thank you. Come on, dreamer.



- One of ours on the line.
- 'Got him.'

- ls Carv still there?
- Hold a second.

Carv, call for you!

- 'Hello?'
- You ain't gonna believe who I'm looking at.

Again he walks off?

Ding! Round three.


- 'Yo.'
- 'What up, man?'

- 'Yo, Stink, what up?'
- 'Where are your manners, fool?'

- 'My bad.'
- 'You need to keep your fucking head, boy.'

'Forgot. Erm...

- 'What's up? Where you at?'
- 'Where you at?'

'I'm down in the Pit. I just came home...

'I don't see nobody around,
I just wanted to know what was up.'

'Ain't nothing going late, man.

'Just catch us tomorrow, man.'

'All right?

'All right. Later.'


How do you log that non-pertinent?

No drug talk.

They use codes
that hide their pager and phone numbers.

And when someone does use a phone,
they don't use names.

And if someone does use a name,
he's reminded not to.

All of that is valuable evidence.

- Of what?
- Conspiracy.


We're building something here, Detective.
We're building it from scratch.

All the pieces matter.

All right?


- Are you fucking serious?
- Fuck, man.

You keep walking away from JSA,
we keep kicking your ass.

- I'm all right with that if you are.
- I ain't walking away from nowhere.

Check my back pocket.

- "Home monitoring"?
- Yeah, man.

If you ask questions before you start wildin'
on niggers, you might save trouble.

- How the fuck are you home?
- You ain't bright, man.

Juvenile judge, man.

He saw my potential.
He expects big things from me.

Like what?

I don't know, college, law school,
medical school, all that good shit.

- Seriously, how are you out?
- Look, I'm gonna tell you something.

This is just my opinion, but the juvenile
system in this city is fucked up.

It's a big-ass fucking joke. No offence.

Fucking fuck!

Hey, you could give me a ride down
to my grandma's, we'll call it even.

In back, fucknuts.


- (Tires screech, horn honks)
- (Man) Get outta the street!


- Hey-
- Hey-

What's up? What you need?

- Little late in the month for this shit, isn't it?
- What you mean?

- For my aunt, she hit the Match Four.
- You stealing from me, Cass?


You look fresh today.

- Got laid last night, that's why.
- Your asshole still hurting?

- Call Jimmy.
- What's up, boss?

Rawls finally got around to reading the office
reports that McNulty tried to give him.

He wants arrest warrants
for Diedre Kresson

and the two project murders
that match up to that gun.

I know.

- Come on, Jay. Be right on this.
- I can't. It's Rawls, he wants warrants today.

All right. Who the fuck
are we supposed to charge?

A witness that puts D'Angelo Barksdale at the
scene of the murder, the night of the murder.

You got a ballistics match
between the Kresson girl

and the two dead mopes in the project
where Barksdale hangs. Run with it.

This weak-ass shit
is not gonna get past a Grand Jury.

Charge the mope,
and work it more afterward.

Call Jimmy, let him know.


All right, listen up. New deal.

Wallace, you're gonna be on the stash now
with Latroy and Peaches.

What about Sterling?

He's gonna be down on Crescent,
looking out for a while.

- What happened?
- Nothing.

- Then why you wanna change everything?
- Nigger, I gotta explain shit to you now?

Stringer Bell's pager number?

- Stinkum's too, I'm pretty sure.
- Very sweet.

If they moved around,
we would have problems.

They're a little lazy, you know.

Tend to go to that one pay phone
in the courtyard a little too much.


He's lit at 9:00 in the morning?

Or from the night before.


Detective Polk.

It's McNulty. Bunk paged me.

All right.

Why did you even come in today?

- I had some...
- To pretend that you were here?

To fill out a run sheet?

I know I missed a couple of days
last week, but...

I got a run sheet from you every day
for the last two weeks.

Twice in Carv's handwriting,
twice it was Prez, once it was McNulty.

They covered for you.

But I won't.

Well, Lieutenant, I...

I don't know. I'm not really up
for this drug thing, you know?

Maybe if Mahone was here, I could get into
it more, learn some new tricks.

Why don't you send me back to Property
and keep everyone happy?

Send you back
so you can binge for two more weeks?

I'm not doing that.

- Lieutenant, please...
- You were dumped on me, Augie.

But it ends there. I don't dump people.

You either go out on those rooftops today
to watch pay phones with the others

or you go over to the medical office
and check yourself in.

- Medical?
- For alcohol abuse.

Either dry yourself out
or go up on those rooftops wet.

Take a few minutes and think about it.

- Where'd they go?
- Who?

Lieutenant, we need a file cabinet or two.
The paperwork from this, I mean...

There's a lot of it.



I'm going to...

Good luck with the case.

Fucking Rawls,
he's fucking up the case to get to me.

He's fucking it up for three paper
clearances on prior cases. It ain't personal.

All he's got is D'Angelo at the scene

and a ballistics match to unrelated
drug murders. How can he charge that?

He can charge anything he wants
to get credit.

Grand jury doesn't indict,
he drops the case.

- I'll go tell him what he can do.
- You don't.

I'm trying to build something.
Rawls sticks a finger in my eye.

- You talk to Landsman?
- Jay can't fix this.

Rawls told him
to have the warrants by morning.

He's gonna charge murders he can't prove
just to get the stats?

And fuck up our case.

We give up the motive for the Kresson killing
in the documents,

and Avon Barksdale is gonna change up.

What he don't change he'll clean up.
Somebody should tell Rawls.

Rawls couldn't care less.
He wants the stats, that's all.

Then we take it to Daniels.

- He'll fight for it.
- He won't do shit.

He plays stiff now and then,
but he's a good man.

Are you kidding me? He's been trying to put
the brakes on this for weeks now.

This'll be his new excuse to close shop.

You guys gotta make your move soon,
I'm sorry to say.

- Freamon.
- All right, Bunk, take care.

- We tell Daniels.
- Fuck Daniels and his ass-kissing ambition.

What other choice you got?

We go to Daniels. If he fights, he fights.

If he gives it up to Rawls, then fuck it,
we were never gonna do the case anyway.

All right, come on.

Fucking idiot!

- Come on, get up, stupid.
- I'm hurt, man.

What are you doing? Leave me alone!

- What are you on, dope?
- Mostly.

Come on, get up.

You trying to rip out my guts?

What, are you trying to kill me, man?

- Wait! Where are you going?
- Listen, I gotta get help.

You can't leave me here.
Stay with me.

Let's go over to the curb.

Just go get help, man!
What are you doing?

Stay there!

- Damn, boy! What the hell come out of you?
- Onion soup. Campbell's.

- My plan!
- Run, Forrest, run!

You could go to Forester,
or the Deputy Ops.

Why come crying to me?
Why not go to your friend, the judge?

I don't see a judge being able to argue the city
homicide commander out of three murders,

even if the cases are all weak sisters.
It's put-up or shut-up time, Lieutenant.

- Either you step up or you send us all home.
- So this is on me?

I don't see anyone else
in charge of this detail.

- Rawls is a major.
- Rawls is an asshole.

My point is, he ranks me on this.

Chain of command might mean
nothing to you, McNulty.

What'd I tell you?

- Yo, how we doing?
- We doing good.

We doing good.

You know, if you say we doing good...

So what's up?

So the word is out
about these stick-up boys, right?

- Yeah, yeah. Y'all being heard.
- All right.

There goes shorty, right there.

What's up, man? You know...

I'm a man of my word.
I said it would be $4,000 on Omar,

$2,000 on each of the young ones,
this being a team effort.

$500 in the boy hand
who doing the scope,

$500 in your hand for doing the relay,

$500 in Wee-Bey hand, Bird hand
for doing the muscling up.

- All right.
- How you doing with that other thing?


Everybody a little depressed, right?

You know, ain't no surprises yet.

Cut everybody loose on Friday and they all
just a bunch of begging-ass bitches.

Ain't nobody showed no money since.

- You gonna keep it humming?
- You know.

You got your hands up.

Keep on doing like how you're doing
we'll talk about points on the package.

All right?

- Keep it humming.
- Most def.

- All right, then.
- Take it light, but take it.

(Pusher) Hotter than the Wu-Tang,
killer bees, killer bees.

- 40 cents.
- Not 40 cents a foot, no sir.

Look, respectfully, I gotta tell you,

for 40 cents a foot, you might as well
go to Home Depot, pay them.

They're gonna charge you
45 or 50 cents a foot.

For copper that isn't stolen.

Look. All right. 35 cents a foot.

And that's in respect I have for
what you're doing in our community

with these quality domiciles here.

30 cents a foot, take it or leave it.

I understand the interest
in clearing these cases, I do.

But charging those murders now and putting
information we have into the documents...

I just call them like I see them, Lieutenant.

Three murders, same gun, we got this
Barksdale kid right at the scene on the one.

We're up on the wire.
We're starting to pull good information.

You charge these prematurely
and Barksdale will change up on us.

- The work we've done...
- Look.

I can't tell you how to run your case,
I can only run my own.


I'm asking as a favor.

- As a favor.
- Yes, sir. A favor.

In that case...

No. Sorry.

- You got home from work early today.
- Yep. Work sucks.

- Are we eating dinner with you?
- Why not?

- You promised we'd eat lasagna.
- So we'll go to Little Italy.

Get some lasagna at Sab's.

- You never cook.
- Cooking sucks, too.

(Pager bleeping)

- Who's this?
- 'Yo, I wanna see him.'

- Who?
- 'Brandon, my boy.'

- Copper house, yo.
- Was the shit.

My plan, Bubbs.

Johnny had a plan.


Get out the way, motherfuckers.

This here is White Boy Day.

- I got a plan, too.
- What?

We're gonna wait for that cheap-ass,
speculating motherfucker

to put that good copper line
back into them row houses he fixing up.

Then, before the drywall get up...

we creep back in there
and steal that shit right back.

30 cents a foot.

Gotta come back at a motherfucker
for that, you know?


You good?

I could top off with one more.

Just one more.

Johnny got it.

I'll be back.

(Video game bleeping)

It's my night with the kids.

(Johnny) You ain't gonna find nothing
because I didn't do nothing!

Why don't you just leave me alone, man?

A white man can't walk down the street?
What's that about? Come on!

It's messed up, all right?

Profiling! What? It's 'cause I'm white, right?
Why don't you let me...

Man, What the fuck's that? What's that?

That boy ain't got no luck.

(Man) All right. Hold up!

- Hey-
- Hey-

So, what are you going to do
with your money?

You know what you should do? Take the
roll and do something nice for your girl.

You do have a girl, right?

Anyway, you've got enough money
to go get yourself one now.

Why'd you punk Sterling like you did?

I mean, he did get shot behind this shit.

- I didn't punk him.
- So why are you dropping the lookout?

Cass, too.

'Cause they was thieving. Both of them.

They got pissed
'cause I wasn't paying them.

So Sterling started shaking up the vials,
handing off to Cass.

She was selling on the side.

You didn't tell anybody?
Stinkum, Bodie? They don't know?

What you think they gonna do?

They gonna take a baseball bat
to Sterling, probably Cassandra, too.

It's too much drama, right?
So, I just took them both off the stash.

SO why didn't you pay us?

That wasn't right.

Listen, man.

Stringer thought we had a snitch down here.

You know, with the jump-out,
Omar, all that shit.

So he told me to punk you all,

see who was holding money
at the end of the week.

Was they snitching?

Sterling and Cass?

No, man, just thieving.

All right, I'm with Homicide.

OK, you two, you sit right here, OK?
Don't wander off.

- Erm...Dad?
- What?

It's a school night.
Mom said we had to...

I know, I know. We will.
Just stay there.

(Game beeping)

(Anguished screaming)

(Radio) '64-Charlie to Central K.'

You up to this?

Pay it back, Omar. Pay it back.

Why ain't we in a real police office?

We're a little like you. Out here on our own,
playing the game for ourselves.

Hard way to go sometimes.

Sorry about your friend.

Avon is one sick bastard.

Of course, he had his reasons.

- For one thing, you did take his stash.
- For another, he's looking for you, Omar.

That's what all the burns were about.

Broken fingers, cracked forearms.

He wanted your boy to give you up.

An address, a street.

Kid had heart.


I know you want to go to
wherever it is you lay your head

and pick up that sawed-off you like so much
and go on the hunt.

That's how a man like you wants to carry it.

- You wouldn't be wrong.
- No, you wouldn't.

But one man with two barrels
ain't enough, Omar.

You're gonna do what you're gonna do.

But whatever else you can give us
on Barksdale and his people,

that can go to hurting him, too.

Just throw us what you can.

Let me tell you all something, all right?

What I do, I do, straight like that.

Ain't no sense in you all troubling yourselves
'cause the way I feel right now, today...

What do you all need from me?

When did you last see Brandon?

Tuesday around 7:00. Maybe later.

He was on his way down to Mindamin
and the Greek's after that.

He got snatched up from there.

On Baltimore Street?

He liked to play them pinball games to death.

He go alone?

And I didn't like it none, neither.

But you can only treat a young man
like a boy for so long before they buck.

When Bailey got killed, you must have figured
Barksdale was coming back on you?

Bailey? Please.

That nigger's enemies got enemies.

L just figured he tried his hand
on the wrong corner and got dropped.

But you were worried about Brandon, right?

Look, in my game, you take some kid,
you play it the safest way you can.

But it ain't about no hiding forever.

You heard?

Frankly, you been in it as long as me,
you do the thing on your name.

Anyone going to come after Omar,
they know Omar's coming after him.

Oh, indeed.

So, who came after Brandon?

I heard it might have been Wee-Bey,

boy Stinkum,

and Bird.

He was down with the snatch, too.

So, what can you give us on the job?

7:56 Tuesday night,
you had an incoming call to Barksdale's,

giving him the number of a pay phone.

Westside exchange.
Number's encoded, right?

Three minutes later, we get another call
from the low-rises to that number.

A half-minute later,
another call from the low-rises

to a pager we know is Stringer Bell's.

- I'll be damned.
- Finally, we get another call.

Probably from a pay phone.
Probably Stringer Bell calling back.

Coming on into the low-rise courts.

45 minutes later, another call.

This one from the same pay phone
that went to D'Angelo's pager

to start the whole thing off.

This is the murder here.

This first number,
the one they sent to D'Angelo.

I'm thinking this comes from a pay phone
over by the Greek's.

He's on you. We're up on those pay phones,
we catch that murder.

We get there before the murder.

It's all here on the pen register. This one
calling that one, that one calling back.

We're up on those pay phones,
and we have him cold.

But we're not up in time, are we? In this case,
we're never where we need to be.

Bad time for you all?

- He fight, but you arrest.
- You saw him get arrested?

- On Tuesday?
- Tuesday, yes. Tuesday.

By the police? The police arrested him?

Cops, they handcuffed him?

What about these guys?
Were they there with him?


- He fight, you arrest.
- Right.

Okay, thank you, sir. Thank you.

It's a match.


I need help. Rawls ranks me.

Lieutenant, think what you're doing here.

You're gonna cross Bill Rawls, as ruthless
a fuck as we have in this department?

And to do what?

To fight for a case the Deputy of Operations
doesn't even want.


I like my career, thank you very much.

In the cemetery, you were telling us
a guy named Bird killed the working man.

The man who testified.

William Gant. Right.

Bird did that one, for sure.

- How do you know?
- Everybody know, man.

Nigger walked up and shot him in the head.
The whole project saw that much.

And Bird worked for Avon?

As one of his shooters.

Liked to use this real sweet gun. A .380 from
Austria or Australia. Something like that.

But I know he loved that gun.

A .380.

A .380. You get him, you get the gun.

'Cause Bird's too dumb
to throw a gun like that off.

- A gun alone ain't enough.
- Oh, no?

He bought the gun on the street
after Gant was killed.

- What would be enough, then?
- Eyeball witness.

Some kind of corroboration
for what you're telling me here.

- Okay.
- Okay, what?

- I'm your man.
- You saw the murder?


You can ID this man Bird
as the shooter of William Gant?

And you ain't afraid to go into court and
testify against one of Barksdale's people?

Omar don't scare.

While Daniels
and his merry band are lost in the swamps

playing with beepers and pay phones
and body mics,

my people have developed information
that ties Barksdale to three killings.

- D'Angelo Barksdale, not Avon.
- On behalf of Avon.

The victim is identified by our witnesses
as being involved with Avon Barksdale.

- Sir, we're developing...
- You're dancing around this thing.

- I'm charging three murders.
- You charge them, my investigation folds.

Not one of those cases
is strong enough for court.

We bring the kid in, throw a mindfuck at him
and the case becomes stronger.

You've had him twice before.
He's gonna go for less the third time.

So we re-canvass, develop fresh witnesses.

The case I charge on today
can be twice as strong by the trial date.

We get a conviction. We roll
Little Boy Barksdale into Big Boy Barksdale,

then we go home like good old-fashioned
cops and pound some Budweiser.

This is bullshit!

McNulty made the ballistics match on
these murders and he's telling me fight this.

He knows you don't have
a viable prosecution, so do you, so do I.


Look, I've got no love
for your wiretap, Lieutenant.

I'm spending $2,000 a day over
the unit operating budget to staff the case.

Major Rawls is offering a chance to leverage
Barksdale through a murder prosecution.

Why not jump on this?

Because if Major Rawls is right
then he will be right a month from now.

If the wire doesn't give us a case,
he can charge all the murders he has.

We lose nothing.

But if he's wrong,

if he can't convict,
or if the Barksdale kid doesn't flip,

then it's too late to do anything else.

Avon Barksdale changes up his pattern,
and the wiretap dies.

At that point, there isn't gonna be a thing
that you, or me, or Rawls here

is gonna be able to say
to that goddamn judge.

You wanted to see me, Major?

McNulty does personal business
on the clock, I wanna know.

He cheats on a run sheet, I wanna know.

He runs any kind of game at all,
I wanna know.

Major, the man's an asshole,

but he doesn't do much other than work.
He's got this case in his gut like it's cancer.

He does no wrong?
Doesn't drink any more?

Doesn't drink on duty?
Doesn't drink and drive, Detective?

- Major...
- You've got to help me on this, Michael.

(Tape playing jazz piano)

The murder warrant's on hold.

The Deputy gave us another month.

Also, whoever that was
you brought in today

gave himself up
as an eyewitness to the Gant murder.

Who? Omar?

Greggs said to tell you
she'd write it up in the morning.



It cost you?

( Jazz continues)

(Tape clicks off)

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