April 19, 2024

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The Wire “Duck And Cover”

Season Two, Episode Eight.

Episode eight of season two opens with McNulty drinking way too much even by his standards at a bar, driving while drunk, hitting the same concrete pylon while trying to make a high speed turn twice (!), and then somehow seducing a waitress half his age who must have been interested in wobbly drunks.

The episode more or less ends with McNulty having a more quiet night out with Beadie Russell where all participants have a responsible number of drinks and keep their pants on.  The second one is obviously a better encounter for McNulty.

One of the things The Wire excels at, and it excels at many things, is showing that most of the characters involved are not idiots.  Yeah, Herc and Carver are morons much of the time, what with their current scheme to get some CI money to replace the wrecked microphone Herc’s tennis ball scheme screwed up.  Getting Herc’s cousin to just give up some personal info and not expect a cut of his own?  Yeah, not smart.

But we do get to see Frank Sobotka realize something ain’t right.  He hasn’t paid his cell bill in three months, but when he calls the company he finds his cell is on hold for some reason and the company can’t disconnect him even after months of no payment.  Then he learns Russell wasn’t really transferred like he said.  The solution is to send out a clean truck, stash the drugs somewhere else, and then go see the Greek with Nick.  And they actually do see the Greek.  They even convince the Greek to keep paying them.  The Greek does suggest Frank should enjoy the money, but it wasn’t about the money for Frank.  It was about keeping his guys working.

Nick, on the other hand, is about the money since he’s trying to set up a home with his girlfriend.  Ziggy doesn’t want the money, and that slow burn of frustration is something else The Wire does very well.  Ziggy has been sidelined and he’s sure he can do what his dad or Nick can do.  Heck, the other guys convince him he can take an obviously much-bigger man in a fight, and that goes about as well as anyone with eyes can expect since Zig just ends up on top of some stacked shipping containers.  Zig’s next step is to buy a duck that drinks whiskey.

Yeah, that baffled me a bit too.

But based on what Bunk sees, Daniels is convinced to bring McNulty into the detail.  Daniels then somehow convinces Rawls to allow it.  And when does McNulty wander in?  Just as the detail is trying to figure out who will be the decoy to see the foreign prostitutes.  Herc is too obvious.  Carver wouldn’t need to.  Both Bunk and Kima would be in enough trouble.  But McNulty is the perfect fit.

And though Frank and the Greek figure out the phones are tapped, that doesn’t mean the preliminary work Lester and Prez did didn’t get some phone numbers before everything went bad.

Oh, and over a the low-rises, Poot and Bodie have to defend their corner from some of Proposition Joe’s people.  Man, the organization is way too short-handed these days to have to deal with that stuff too…