Detective Jimmy McNulty continues his efforts to create the illusion of a serial killer and draw attention and funding for the police department. He falsifies a connection between two old cases involving homeless victims and the decedent he strangled. The plan fails when both the media and his superiors are uninterested. Bunk Moreland remains outraged at McNultyâs plan and after several attempts to talk him out of it enlists the help of Lester Freamon. This strategy backfires when Freamon makes suggestions to improve McNultyâs plan by sensationalizing the killer.
Deputy Commissioner of Administration Stanislaus Valchek leaks department statistics to Mayor Tommy Carcetti that indicate a rising crime rate. When Commissioner Ervin Burrell delivers manipulated statistics to Carcetti, the Mayor finally has the political ammunition he needs to fire Burrell. He plans to replace Burrell with Cedric Daniels but is worried that he will not be accepted by Burrellâs supporters. Carcetti has ex-reporter Norman Wilson leak news of the plan to Sun editor Gus Haynes to test the waters.
Grand jury depositions are held in preparation for the Clay Davis trial while Davis tries desperately to convince his former allies to protect him.
Alma Gutierrez is disappointed when her story on the Junebug triple homicide doesnât make the front page.
The Baltimore Sun faces major budgetary cuts from its owners and copes by closing foreign bureaus and offering reporters "buy-outs" to leave their jobs. One reporter forced to accept a buy-out is crime beat veteran Roger Twigg. Twigg puts his institutional knowledge into play for a final time to deliver the commissioner story. Scott Templeton is disappointed when Twigg is given the story and responds by producing a strongly worded react quote which implicates Daniels in deposing Burrell. Daniels is mortified by the quote and confides in his ex-wife Marla Daniels about his fears that Burrell will use information about corruption in his past to end his career.
Michael Lee is withdrawn following his involvement in the killings and Duquan "Dukie" Weems convinces him that the two of them should take Bug on a day trip to Six Flags America in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. Michael hires a hack cab to transport them to and from Six Flags. The three boys enjoy the rides and games at the park, winning stuffed animal prizes at one of the carnival-style booths. The two older boys also meet and flirt with similarly-aged girls from Fairfax County, Virginia, an affluent Washington suburb. Upon their return, Michael is reprimanded by Monk for leaving his drug dealing corner untended.
Marlo Stanfield approaches Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos with a monetary gift which is rejected because the bundled bills are "dirty". Stanfield seeks help from Proposition Joe both in acquiring clean bills and laundering his money. Stanfield also offers a bounty on anyone connected to Omar Little. Joe accommodates Stanfield's financial requests but avoids helping him find Omar. Stanfield visits the Antilles to check on his laundered money and gives a second, clean gift to The Greeks. Joe tells his nephew, Cheese, that he fears provoking Omar into returning to Baltimore. Cheese ignores his wishes and gives Chris Partlow information on Omar's associate Butchie in secret.
Partlow and Snoop torture and kill Butchie, leaving a witness alive to ensure that word of their actions reaches Omar.
The message sent by Chris and Snoop finds Omar in idyllic retirement with Renaldo and shatters his peace.