This ep had me asking myself ... Who’s worse? McNulty or Templeton? The two biggest bullshit artists on The Wire formed an unofficial alliance that finally got McNulty's bogus serial killer a front page headline and Templeton a so-called story with legs. What's the reaction? Mayor Carcetti unwillingly freed up a little cash for McNulty and only one other detective to work the serial killer case full time. The Sun editors followed the story, but they stuck Templeton with the shit job of getting react quotes from the homeless. Not good enough.
McNulty was expecting a windfall of manpower and resources, and Templeton wanted his byline on a nationally syndicated news series. So, McNulty and Freamon, in an effort to drum up more interest in their nonexistent serial killer, decide to fake a phone call from the killer to ... anybody. They're beaten to the punch by Templeton, who lies to his higher ups about getting a call from the killer. Templeton and the Sun editors, including Gus, have a sit-down with McNulty about the bogus call. McNulty, seeing an opportunity thanks to Templeton's extinct ethics, lies and says the department received a similar call from the killer. Templeton can't believe his ears and McNulty walks out expecting his windfall.
By the end of this ep it was clear that Templeton, who probably has every honest newspaperman in the country wanting to beat him dead with a pica ruler, is probably the bigger offender. McNulty’s a lying, crime scene-compromising schemer, but at least his scheming might benefit the department, and possibly the city, in the end. Templeton is just out for personal gain he doesn’t deserve. Plus he’s pretty damn weasley. McNulty’s a schemer, but he’s no wease.
Without trying to help anyone but himself, Templeton’s b.s. gets McNulty clearance for a wiretap on the pay phone the serial killer supposedly used to make his calls. Freamon reroutes the tap to monitor Marlo’s cell phone.
Marlo’s got a cell phone? Yup, Spiros the Greek gives it to him after opening the ep with a few short words about Prop. Joe, who was gunned down by Chris last ep. Herc steals the number from Marlo’s dirty attorney and hands it to Carver who hands it to Freamon, who's surprised when the first monitored call turns out to be nothing more than modem noise. Modem noise? Apparently this is how Marlo is supposed to communicate with the Greeks. Weird.
The call comes shortly after Omar bursts into Marlo’s condo Shoot ‘Em Up style. Chris, Snoop, and Michael come out of nowhere. Bullets fly and Omar’s partner Donnie is gunned down. Omar turns into Batman and flies out of Marlo’s balcony, which is at least four or five stories high, if not higher. Still, he disappears. You know, like Batman.
On the other corners … Clay Davis, unable to eat the sheeeeeeit he’s sown, makes the rounds on the local talk shows and rallies support from the uniformed public. Campbell warns him not to implicate anyone else …
… Michael teaches Dukie how to shoot and Cutty gives him a boxing lesson after he gets nailed on the street. It was nice to hear Michael tell the browbeaten Dukie that he’s still worth a damn, even if he’s not tough …
… Bubbs gets an HIV/AIDS test and it comes out negative. Unsurprisingly, he’s not relieved. It’s clear that Bubbs just wants to end it all. Let’s hope Walon can convince him to stay straight.