Friday, June 13, 2008

The Wire, Season 1, Episode 3, "The Buys" (Veterans edition)

Once again, we're going to talk about season one of "The Wire" in two different versions: one safe for people who are brand-new to the show (or who haven't watched all the way through to the end), one where we can talk about anything from first episode to last. This is the latter; scroll down for the newbies edition if you want to be protected from discussion of things that are still to come, both this season and in later seasons.

Spoilers for episode three, "The Buys," coming up just as soon as I walk on broken glass...

As I've written many times before, I'm grateful that HBO sent out the first four episodes of "The Wire" for review instead of just one or two. Because the show proceeds at such a measured pace, because it has so many characters and stories going, and because it so often refuses to play by the normal rules of TV storytelling, it took a while to really appreciate how great the show was. For some, that revelation didn't (or won't) come for another episode or two. For me, it was the chess scene contained right here in "The Buys."

If the first two episodes established D'Angelo as more thoughtful than your average TV drug dealer -- and "The Wire" as more thoughtful than your average cop show -- then the chess scene, where he schools Bodie and Wallace on both the game (chess) and The Game (drugs) is the moment when I realized that I was looking at someone -- and something -- very special here. Not only does the chess/drug metaphor work, but it shows how well D'Angelo understands the rigged, unchangeable nature of The Game, and how deep this series intends to go.

Bodie and Wallace using the chess board to play checkers -- a fine game, but a simpler one where it's easy to play in a relaxed, reactive fashion -- are standing in for every TV crime drama that preceded "The Wire." They had the same pieces at their disposal, but they chose to play an easier game with more instant gratification, where David Simon and company are in this for the long haul, setting up pieces for moves that we won't get to see for weeks or months or, in some cases, years. The pieces are not interchangeable; each one has its own unique role to play on the board, and each one's actions affect what happens to every other piece. And if you stick around for all those moves, it'll be clear that, as D'Angelo says, chess is the better game, yo.

The show is absolutely in opening gambit mode at this point. We're three episodes in and the Barksdale detail has accomplished next to nothing. They don't even have a photo of their target until late in the episode, thanks to "cuddly housecat" Lester Freamon demonstrating more game than anybody expected of him, and the raid on the low-rises turns out to be as useless as both McNulty and Daniels knew it would be. But pieces are being moved all across the board, defenses are being probed, and all of this will turn out to be brilliant storytelling strategy by the end.

Simon's fondness for parallel dialogue and behavior continues here. In the opening scene, D'Angelo echoes McNulty's thoughts about how stupid it is for the drug business to be conducted in such an agressive, violent manner compared to every other (legitimate) American industry, and though McNulty planted a seed, we know that D has already been questioning how things get done. Meanwhile, we see that both a low man on the drug side like Bodie and a high man on the cop side like Burrell can be equally clueless about how things really work. Bodie is positive that he has the ability to advance in The Game, to get all the way to the other side of the board and win, no matter how many times D tries to tell him that he'll likely always be a pawn. Burrell, meanwhile, is so complacent and far removed from the street in his position as Deputy Ops that he believes Daniels' detail can get to Barksdale with nothing but quick and dirty street-level arrests, when Avon is so far removed from that sort of action that he doesn't even appear in this episode.

Avon's number two man, Stringer Bell, starts to come into focus here after being an equally shadowy presence in the first two episodes. Like D'Angelo -- better than D'Angelo, really -- he has an intuitive grasp of how The Game is played. Where D is shocked by the idea that the "new package" will be the same as the current, stepped-on, impotent brand of dope they're slinging down at The Pit, String understands the power of rebranding, particularly to an ignorant, desperate client base like dope fiends. His take on the drug war is as chilling as it is accurate: "We do worse and we get paid more. The government do better, and it don't mean no nevermind. This s--t here, D, it's forever."

"The Buys" keeps playing with our expectations of these characters based on what we've seen of them so far and what we know from other police show archetypes.(*)

(*) And by now I should probably throw in the obligatory disclaimer about "The Wire" not really being a cop show, but in this embryonic stage of the series, it's using a familiar cops-vs-crooks paradigm to get its points across.

McNulty and Daniels continue to go at it, as McNulty refuses to go along with the pointless raid on the low-rises, which might be an admirable moral stand if he didn't insist on taking it in the most public, petulant manner possible. Daniels, loyal servant of Burrell though he may be, understands just as well as Jimmy how stupid this raid is, and he gives Jimmy opportunity after opportunity to bag on it without being so obviously insubordinate to Daniels, and Jimmy refuses. And just when we're starting to take Daniels' side in all of this, we find out from Jimmy's FBI buddy Fitz that Daniels might be dirty.

And during the raid, there's that wonderful, hilarious moment when Bodie takes a swing at boozing old Pat Mahone, Carver starts wailing on Bodie in retaliation, and we see Kima -- upstanding, forthright Kima, in some ways even more the hero of the piece than Jimmy to this point -- sprinting over. And just as we assume she's going to break up the fight, she instead starts beating on young Mr. Bodie herself, even harder than Carver and the others were doing. Kima just wanted to make sure she got her licks in on a punk who'd hit a cop (useless though Mahone may be), and the ferocity and joy Kima takes in the moment isn't the sort of thing you would ever expect to see from a "good" cop on a different show.

(Punctuating the comic genius of the scene is the quick cut to the equally useless Augie Polk lighting up a cigarette for his prone partner to enjoy during the fracass.)

And then there's the scene at state's attorney Rhonda Pearlman's house, which bounces back so often between the cop show cliche of the secret cop/lawyer romance (going back at least to "Hill Street Blues") and the notion that Jimmy's just there for work reasons that it becomes not a chess game, but a ping pong match. Ronnie's pained reaction to seeing Jimmy at her door makes it clear that this isn't the first time his charming Irish ass has appeared here at a late hour, and as she tries to decide whether she wants to answer his booty call, he instead starts asking her about warrants for cloning pagers... which actually pisses her off more than if he was just there for sex... and so of course Jimmy admits that he's there for that, too, and flashes her that devil grin that he knows she can't resist... and then Ronnie tells him to go... and then we cut to them making the beast with two backs. The constant reversals take what could have been a stock situation and make it into something more interesting and much funnier.

We're not even close to having a sense of the endgame, but things are (very) slowly starting to happen, and a fuller picture will be visible very soon.

Some other thoughts on "The Buys":
  • If Avon's the king, Stringer the queen, muscle like Wee-Bey and Stinkum the rooks and slingers like Bodie and Wallace the pawns, what does that make the newest piece on the board, shotgun-toting stick-up boy Omar?
  • Bubbs' "What Not to Wear" dope fiend fashion intervention for the undercover Sydnor was another darkly hilarious scene in an episode full of them. Bubbs is yet another character on the show who's never quite what you expect him to be. He's so at ease with himself, and so perceptive about those around him, and yet, as Jimmy notes, if he has the answers, why the hell is he a dope fiend?
  • Continuing last week's discussion of the show's rules for background music, the titular buys by Sydnor and Bubbs are accompanied by a low-rise boom box blaring out Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock's "It Takes Two," which was also prominently featured in Simon and Ed Burns' non-fiction book "The Corner" as the signature song during the summer that Simon and Burns were hanging around on the Fayette St. drug corner. (NOTE: Whoops. Several people pointed out to me that "It Takes Two" was the signature summer song in Simon's "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets." That'll learn me to act like I read books and whatnot.)
  • More music: while the rest of the detail is at the low-rises and Prez is stuck doing a crossword puzzle, Jimmy is going over his notes while listening to The Pogues' "Dirty Old Town." Get ready to hear a lot from Jimmy's favorite band over the course of the series.
  • Though D'Angelo last week talked about getting an apartment to live with his son and baby mama Donette, it would appear that's more about being there for his kid than any major loyalty to Donette, seeing that he decides to spend the bonus from Stringer on buying a "drink" from Shardene the near-sighted stripper.
  • Early in the episode, we're introduced to Prez's odious father-in-law, Southeastern District commander Stan Valchek (wonderfully played by Al Brown). I love Burrell and Daniels' post-mortem discussion of the meeting, where Burrell calls Valchek "a necessary evil" and Daniels asks what's so necessary about him.
And now it's time to talk about how this episode relates to what we know is coming later:
  • As with Stringer's presence in these earlier episodes, there's much less to Omar's introduction than I remembered, though Michael K. Williams' delivery of "Well now..." while watching the cops roll out of The Pit foreshadowed all the "Indeed"s and other bon mots that would emerge from Omar in future episodes. It's interesting to see an Omar who isn't such a local legend yet -- Wee-Bey seems puzzled when Bodie first tells him the name -- but of course it makes sense, as much of his legend will be created over the course of the war he conducts with the Barksdales this season.
  • Also, note that in our first glimpse of Omar in action, he shoots someone in the knee, a move that Michael will copy during our final glimpse of him at the end of season five.
  • During the bogus press conference about the Gant killing, you'll note Bill Zorzi (former Baltimore Sun reporter and future "Wire" writer and castmember) as one of the reporters asking a question, and there's another voice that sounds a lot like David Simon himself.
  • During our post-finale interview, Simon and I talked about how all three characters in the chess scene eventually wound up dead -- and at the hands of their employers, at that: "We knew that if we got a long enough run, all three of the chess players would be out of the game, so to speak. Prison or dead. We did not chart all of their fates to a specific outcome, but we knew that the Pit crew would be subject to an exacting attrition."
  • With the Gold Gloves photo pull, not only does Lester demonstrate that he's more useful than Polk and Mahone will ever hope to be, but he gets the first chance to show off his flair for the grand gesture with the way he silently drops the poster in front of Kima and Jimmy, then retreats to his desk without comment. One of the reasons Lester is my favorite "Wire" character was his knack for -- need for, really, as intellectual vanity was the Achilles heel that led to him participating in Jimmy's season five shenanigans -- demonstrating his superior brainpower in the most dramatic way possible.
Coming up next Friday: "Old Cases," in which Jimmy and Bunk demonstrate the single most useful word in the English language.

What did everybody else think?


Mal said...

As always, great to recap.

The chess game is probably the longest running theme in the series - looking back, it always makes me sad how set the pit crews stories were. The point in s4 where Bodie is discussing the game with McNulty...

"...them little bitches on the chess board..."

That was the exact moment where you knew Bodie was a gonner.

I feel like i'm looking through photos of a dead relative still. It's all too fresh.

Gourmet Spud said...

Agree with Malcolm. For all the characters you grew to love on the show who ended up dead, I still found Bodie's death resonanted the strongest.

Which is amazing given that he was so willing to kill Wallace in Season 1. But it is a testament to not only how great an actor JD Williams is, but how well he was written and how organically his character grew.

Anonymous said...

Is "It Takes Two" in both the Corner and Homicide? I've not read The Corner, but am currently reading Homicide and I know that "It Takes Two" plays a prominent role in one chapter of that book, so I'm wondering if Simon had it in both or Alan is, understandably, momentarily misremembering which book it appears in.

Anonymous said...

What does that make Omar? The kid who beats up the nerds playing chess and steals their lunch money?

And yeah, "It Takes Two" features prominently in 'A Year On The Killing Streets', as the fitting soundtrack to a particularly violent B'More summer, the proverbial 'two' it takes to make a homicide. He's a talented man, I've got to get my copy back from my sister.

Anonymous said...

This was the episode that got me hooked to the series and it's interesting that it featured the chess game, Omar and the first sign of Lester's brilliance. These proved to be very meaningful scenes. We just didn't know it at the time that Omar would become legend and Lester would become Cool Lester Smooth.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Is "It Takes Two" in both the Corner and Homicide?

Gah, you guys are right. It's from Homicide. Correction already noted up top.

Anonymous said...

The thing that I notice the most is not necessarily the characters transformation over the series but the transformation of my expectations as a viewer. Everything that we've seen from Bodie makes him seem like an arrogant punk who spits too much, then the Wallace incident happened and I thought I was right. But by the end I wanted him to run off that corner with Poot instead of standing strong. The slow moving pace and patience that the series requires creates a better understanding of characters and motivations. By the end, I knew Bodie as a person. He was no longer just an archetype but a friend, just maybe not a good firend. He was a friend that would definately let you down from time to time and make your life harder. But it is this emotional investment in the characters that I think, for me at least, makes the series so unique.

Mal said...

Oddly, I never really got the emotional connection with Bodie. A great character, and one I was always glad to see on screen, but not one I felt deserved a better outcome.

Compared to Poot, who eventually saw that there was no way he could win, and managed to get out, or Dukie, who had a genuine affection for others, or Randy, who tried to make his own business without relying on drugs, or countless others, Bodie always struck me as a selfish individual, only out to profit for himself.

One could argue that many characters did not get what they deserved, but Bodie always knew he was a soldier, and if a soldier loses his life while fighting...well, sorry, but that's what they signed up to do.

Honestly, it's s1e3 and already i'm focussing on s4 deaths. Slow down Mal.

Anonymous said...

I thought the emotional connection with Bodie stems from an understanding that he got caught up in The Game, deeper than most of his generation, at a young age. When the Barksdale crew was overrun by Marlo, and subsequently when Little Kevin was murdered for next to nothing, he seemed to come full circle and realize what a sham The Game is for someone in his position. But alas, it was too late.

Still, it is hard to forgive him for Wallace.

Anonymous said...

Seeing McNultys refusal to participate in the raid and complete disrespect for Daniels makes his season 5 antics seem so much more plausible.

Anonymous said...

Although Bodie seems to be a cold, unlikeable wannabe kingpin for most of the first series, there are definitely moments where he comes off as very human and somewhat sympathetic.

For instance, it is interesting and funny to see the interaction between Bodie and the Carver/Herc duo, as they clearly start to bond a little.

Also, when Bodie kills Wallace, he plays cold and hard all the way up to the point when he has to actually pull the trigger. JD Williams does a great job portraying Bodie's inner conflict, which it seems is appearing for the first time at that moment. As if he never really thought about what was happening until he was physically face to face with his childhood friend. In fact, it's Poot that ends up being the cold one in this situation, contrary to what we would think leading up to this scene.

Because of these scenes and a bunch of other ones scattered throughout 2,3 and 4, we really got to know Bodie as a person, and I was really sad to see him get shot in the head.

Victor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Victor said...

Great analysis.

Have you seen "Fresh", a fantastic film that came out about 1994 or so? Samuel L. Jackson plays a supporting role. Anyway, in this film, the "drug world as chess game" theme is played up in a brilliant way. Lots of great metaphors.

This film is very similar to "The Wire" in tone and style. I wouldn't be surprised if it was an influence. Check it out.

Anonymous said...

Is it that special that, by the end of season 4, all of the people in the chess scene are dead, considering that, with the exception of Poot, no one from the Barksdale/Bell crew makes it to season 5 for anything more than a cameo? What makes those three worth noting as anything special in that regard?

With the possible exception of Prop Joe, who stayed in the game far longer than any player has any expectation to, the Wire shows us that a life in drugs will tend to be on the short side...

Alan Sepinwall said...

It's special in that all three were killed by their employers/co-workers, rather than a rival drug organization or the cops.

Anonymous said...

Sean Nelson, the kid in Fresh, went on to appear in an episode of "Homicide" as well as starring as Deandre in The Corner. If Simon wasn't aware of Fresh, his casting director was.

Anonymous said...

The Stinger - Deangelo scene is one of my favorites of the series. The quiet calm in the room, D's almost wide eyed questioning of the money, Stringer's anecdotes on the game and his faint smirk not answering D...

You see that even though D is the man in the pit, hes just middle management in the big scheme of things. Theres still a lot he doesn't know that String has to school him on.

Also, a great little moment when Stringer gives D the bonus, terrific acting on both characters' part.

Anonymous said...

As anon 4:36 mentions, Poot never really gets the "credit" he deserves for killing Wallace. Another thing that Poot got shafted on was the reward money for spotting Brandon. Poot was the one who first saw him. If it wasn't for Poot, Brandon may have never gotten caught and Omar may have never started his war with the Barksdale, and I guess Wallace would have never gotten so messed up or eventually gotten himself killed.

Anonymous said...

Also, note that in our first glimpse of Omar in action, he shoots someone in the knee, a move that Michael will copy during our final glimpse of him at the end of season five.

That final glimpse of Michael also has a shotgun, a cute boy accomplice with a handgun following Michael's direction, and a whole bunch of circles to symbolize that a cycle is being completed.

Anonymous said...

Many people have discussed the song "It Takes Two" in this episode, but I have a correction to make about "Dirty Old Town". The version Prez is listening to on the radio is from Irish Folk/Rock singer Pierce Turner, not the Pogues. Pierce has a small but loyal following in the U.S., and "Dirty Old Town" is always a fan favorite.

Anonymous said...

I won't comment on the chess game, since everyone's beaten me to it. But besides that, my favorite scene was the one with Jimmy and Kima. You really start seeing the respect come through for both, despite that even after finding out Kima's a lesbian (how funny was Bubbs in that scene?), McNulty is still flirtatious (with a slight accent slip when he calls her "the one female cop who's worth a damn").

There's also the moment after Daniels tells them when Herc and Carver will be back, and McNulty says to Kima, "I wonder what you have to do to get fired in this department." Knowing what's coming in Season 5 makes Kima's reply about him finding out if he keeps it up eerily prophetic.

kruse said...

These recaps are so well written, and a pleasure to read. I also find it refreshing to read civil comments without all the hostility that exists on other places (*cough* *youtube*).

Keep up the good work, Alan.

Unknown said...

Great recap. This is the episode that first grabbed me into the series. 'The King stay the King' is one of the truly great lines in TV history and is such a great encapsulation of not only the drug culture, but Simon's entire ethos of institutional inertia.

Following up on the "Wire actors seen elsewhere" comments you have made previously, Michael K. Williams appears in The Incredible Hulk opening this weekend in a non-speaking, two second, reaction shot. Either it is a cool cameo or a sad testament to how little attention is paid to such great actors by Hollywood. Not sure which.

Plus, Prez pops up in a recent wide-distro commercial although I'm blanking on exactly what it is for at the moment.

Unknown said...

Just saw it. It is a Burger King ad with Prez and P Diddy (!).

Anonymous said...

The Incredible Hulk opening this weekend in a non-speaking, two second, reaction shot. Either it is a cool cameo or a sad testament to how little attention is paid to such great actors by Hollywood. Not sure which.

I'm betting it's intended to be more of a cool cameo. Williams may not be a huge star (yet), but he's certainly a high profile enough actor these days that he doesn't have to be scrounging for roles like "Harlem Bystander." Plus, Edward Norton's from the Baltimore area. No way it's random.

Anonymous said...

Arguably the most series-defining moment of the episode is where D ask Stringer "Where does it all go, the money?" Knowing how much it played a role in season 3 (the best season of the television ever, in my opinion), its a small nod to what is too come.

Like someone else said, didn't even put it together that when Kima ask "What do you have to do to get yourself thrown out" or something like that, she would be the direct results of two (probably 3 if you consider Daniels) getting kicked off the force.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to see how much Bodie changes throughout the series. In the early seasons, he mirrors Kenard - a vicious mean-spirited foul-mouthed hopper with a chip on his shoulder. I don't think Bodie fully grasped the wisdom of D'Angelo's "chess board" analogy until Season 4. He foolishly believed that a "smartass pawn" could be a Kingpin despite D'Angelo's warning that pawns get capped quick in the game.

Strangely, by the end, Bodie most resembles D'Angelo. He realizes his former boss was right all along, the game is rigged. However, Bodie isn't as smart as D'Angelo (or Poot for that matter) and he fails to recognize that it isn't the game that has changed - it's him. Bodie has matured and softened over the years.

In that sense, it's odd to see Bodie so distraught over Little Kevin's death when Wallace was killed for next to nothing. Stringer ordered Wallace's death solely because he disappeared into the country and he didn't want to take any chances. Marlo ordered Little Kevin's death because he failed to follow Chris's orders concerning Lex's hit and lied to his face about involving Randy Wagstaff. Marlo ordered Bodie's death because he was seen talking to the police after his public outburst against Marlo. In retrospect, it's Bodie's "hero", Stringer Bell, who was the colder and crueler boss. It's something that Poot - who was absent during D'Angelo's chess lesson - understood and tried to explain to Bodie.

Looking back on these old episodes, it's actually Poot - not Bodie - who draws my attention and respect. He's the kid who grew the most and saved himself. He got out of the game and became a citizen. A small triumph that I'm sure would have made D'Angelo happy.

Anonymous said...

Omar's robbery of the Pit Crew stash House really set in motion a grisly chain reaction: Bailey's murder, Brandon's torture & mutilation, Wallace's trauma upon seeing his body, Omar's life consumed by revenge for the next 3 seasons. It's depressing to watch again knowing the repercussions. As Bunk warned him in Season 3, all that violence bleeds out.

A few things I noticed on second viewing:

1. Brandon is very talkative during the robbery. He uses Omar's name, which allows Stringer's crew to identify them. He also hit Stinkum on the head, called him a "bitch" and threw him on the floor. I'm sure Stinkum wanted some personal "payback" for that.

2. Bailey throws Poot into the room and causes him to throw up afterwards.

3. The presence of so many children. Omar shoots a kid named Sterling in the leg. He then points his gun at an even younger child who was seen reading a comic book prior to Omar's entrance. I believe Bodie & Poot are only 16 in the first season.

It's interesting that Omar's arc comes full circle: he is first seen terrorizing children and his last scene is his murder at the hands of a child.

Bryant said...

Speaking of the Pogues, their song "If I Should Fall from Grace with God" was used in an episode of "Homicide: Life on the Street." Can't remember the episode, but I remember that Kellerman was singing it to himself.

Anonymous said...

I'm posting a month (to the day) after the last comment in the hopes that someone else did as I did and waited till season 5 was released to try to get a deal on purchasing the other seasons. So if anyone else is watching then reading these old discussions, please comment! At least I will read them!!!!

Sadly my comment isn't revolutionary, just echoing a lot of people who said that this episode was the one that cemented their Wire obsession.
I distinctly remember the first time through, I was shocked at how VISCERALLY frustrated I was that they were doing this stupid fruitless raid that would possibly harm the case.
When the BPD rolled up, it was that moment I knew I was hooked. THEN when Kima sprinted over to beat the mess out of Bodie, I knew that this show was REALLY special. To allow the audience to see this honorable, competent character do such a dishonorable act based on not her hubris or self-interest but rather as part of her moral code we thought we had understood... awesome.

Anonymous said...

(two months) whoops.

Unknown said...

That's the beauty of the internet, though. No matter how late you are to the party, if you leave a comment, anyone who comes after you will benefit. I'm terrible about reading things at the time they are posted but if I've got something to say, I'll throw it into the ring. I don't expect my comments to be part of a dialogue though, but more of a contribution to a running commentary.

I do hope that Alan revists the rest of the series. I was amazed at how much more I got out of the show on a rewatch (and I was head over heels in love after the first run). My initial impression of season 2 was actually one of slight disappointment as it doesn't have quite the flair that Season 1 had, but on re-watching its subtle power made it my favorite. Same goes for Season 5 in a way. I was kind of dissatisfied at the time and much of it felt rushed compared to the other seasons, but rewatching it helped me see that it was more coherent than I'd realized.

I suppose that me coming to the series during S04 and thus being able to watch most of it in marathons instead of waiting may have contributed to the impressions of Season 5 as well.

Great stuff here, Alan. Thanks for doing it. I wish I hadn't found these right now though because I can tell I'm not going to get any work done today.

Anonymous said...

In the scene where Lester goes into the Gym, right after Lester gets out of his car, did I see Michael standing on the street and Marlo ask Lester if he "was looking for blues"?

Also loved the symbolism of Lester out of breath at the top of the stairs, as he was out of shape at actually being "Po-lice" and is now being re-awkened from his slumber.

Anonymous said...

I believe that, whoever that extra was, it has been confirmed that it was neither the actor nor the character Michael.

However, there is (in the third season) an early appearance by Kenard.

justjoan123 said...

Alan, I can respect your preference for Lester, but I must protest about your contention that he was "drawn into" McNulty's endgame. I think he leapt at it like a trout at the lure. Plus Lester never acknowledged how wrong he was, not as Jimmy did, in his zeal to hang the whole money trail around Marlo's neck. Even at the last he blamed others for preventing him from making that perfect collar out of the very imperfect material he spun. And with his 30 years and more under his belt, Lester had his pension to cushion the blow.

Anonymous said...

While watching the episode for a 4th or 5th time I noticed what I believe to be Michael.

When Lester goes to the gym to find the pic of Avon they flash to a young kid for half of a second.

Looks like Michael to me.

Anonymous said...

The 2 young street dealers outside the gym, one of whom offers Lester "bluetop", are neither Michael nor Omar. From repeat viewings they're clearly extras.

Anonymous said...

There's also the moment after Daniels tells them when Herc and Carver will be back, and McNulty says to Kima, "I wonder what you have to do to get fired in this department." Knowing what's coming in Season 5 makes Kima's reply about him finding out if he keeps it up eerily prophetic.

Yeah, I showed up 2 1/2 years later just to mention this.

Brad said...

The kid that offers Lester "blues" is Fruit from Season 3.