Omar Little reads in his cell. The two men that Butchie assigned to protect him arrive and strap thick books around his torso. In the cafeteria line an inmate attempts to stab Omar. Omar disarms him and stabs him with his own blade as a warning to the others who might try to kill him. Omar leaves the scene of the incident before the guards arrive. Butchieâs men tell Omar that the bounty on his head was placed by Marlo Stanfield. Omar gets a cell phone when he asks if they can help him make a call. He tells his bodyguards that he is phoning the police because he is owed a favor.
Detectives Ed Norris and Kima Greggs bring in a jailhouse informant who has offered them information on the Braddock murder case. Sergeant Jay Landsman observes the informant's arrival and when he remarks on their progress Greggs angrily reminds him that their investigation has been slowed by political interference. Lester Freamon makes miniature furniture at his desk and Landsman is impressed with the money he makes from his hobby.
Later Freamon discusses the case with Greggs and convinces her to interview their main suspect Wardell â the man that Braddock was set to witness against.
Back at headquarters Bunk tries to convince Detectives Crutchfield and Vernon Holley to reopen Omarâs case based on his claims of innocence. Crutchfield refuses to entertain the possibility that Omar is innocent and is angry that Bunk is interfering.
Maurice Levy is Anthony Wardellâs attorney. He allows his client to undergo the polygraph knowing that it is a sign of desperation from the investigators. When the polygraph technician tells Greggs outside the room that he could make it go either way she is disgusted. On returning to the room Levy explains his rationale behind subjecting his client to the polygraph: Wardell is innocent. Wardell tells Greggs that he would not have killed Braddock because he is a relation.
After the polygraph test Bunk approaches Ilene Nathan with Omarâs card. She is uninterested, saying that she offered help on a light felony at most. Bunk asks her to move him to a safer facility and convinces her she owes Omar a debt. She agrees and tells Bunk she now considers the debt paid.
Greggs reviews the Braddock case and picks out a detail: no-one in the canvas noticed the gunshot. This prompts her to revisit the scene of the shooting leaving a bemused Norris in the office. At the scene she identifies a ricochet that she traces back down the alley to other signs of gunfire, eventually finding broken bottles outside of a backyard. She finds a bullet lodged in a discarded chest of drawers and finally some potatoes that have been shot through in the back yard. Greggs draws her weapon and enters the house. Greggs later tells Norris she has solved the case and shows him the murder weapon pulled out of the house. Apparently, Braddock was killed by a stray bullet while someone was attempting target practice, using the potatoes as silencers. Greggs tells Norris she has developed the "soft eyes" needed to appreciate a crime scene.
Tommy Carcetti meets with a former mayor named Tony for advice on beginning his term. Tony tells him a story of being forced to "eat shit" from the various constituent interests of the city, a pattern that continued throughout his term and eventually led him to try another career as an attorney. Tony appears to be based on the one-term Mayor of Baltimore Thomas L. J. D'Alesandro III, the brother of Nancy Pelosi.
Carcetti and Norman Wilson have an amicable meeting with their recently defeated opponent, incumbent Mayor Clarence Royce and his Chief of Staff Coleman Parker. They discuss the ins and outs of their campaigns. Carcetti mentions that Theresa D'Agostino has a new role with the DCCC. In their meeting, Carcetti claims the last second move with the slumlord pamphlets were ingenious; however, Royce and Parker laughingly point out that the pamphlets were not officially endorsed by anyone on Royce's campaign team. When Carcetti mentions that he still has to win the general election, Royce claims that it would be disgraceful for him to think about losing in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 9 to 1.
Rhonda Pearlman meets with the new stateâs attorney, Rupert Bond. Thinking she will likely be replaced by an African American attorney she is surprised when he offers her the Violent Crimes Unit post. Bond states that he is impressed with her record and courage and wants the right prosecutors such as her to help run the States' Attorney for Baltimore office. The post has opened as he is promoting Ilene Nathan to second deputy stateâs attorney. From the looks of it, Bond appears more interested in criminal prosecutions than his predecessor, Steven Demper, who was most interested in his elected position â often dismissing cases to maintain a favorable conviction rate.
Western District commander Cedric Daniels attends a COMSTAT meeting chaired by commissioner Ervin Burrell and his deputy William Rawls. He tells his commanders that the homicide rate has dropped while other felony rates have risen. When Rawls asks him if he is taking credit for this decrease, Daniels refuses. Carcetti arrives to observe the meeting. He opts to sit next to Rawls rather than Burrell, to the latter's dismay. Daniels tells them of his strategy of putting two-man cars on the worst drug corners while devoting his resources as much as possible to pursuing good felony cases. Burrell becomes angered when Daniels claims that he refuses to force street level arrests. He is further affronted when Daniels tells them that many of his officers are insufficiently trained to pursue quality cases.
Carcetti meets with Wilson, State Delegate Odell Watkins and Gerry to discuss their first move in office. Carcetti believes that a replacement to Ervin Burrell as Commissioner should occur. Watkins agrees stating that he told Royce to fire Burrell more than a year ago but that due to the support of the ministers, Royce will not fire Burrell as he is now running for the 7th district Congressional seat after losing the Mayoral election. Carcetti then proposes to fire Burrell himself and Watkins then claims it is fine for Royce to fire an African American Police Commissioner but not for Carcetti. Norman Wilson agrees with Watkins claiming he would face voter backlash. Carcetti decides he will replace Burrell with an African American but it is pointed out that replacing Burrell is even harder for Carcetti within the Baltimore Police Department. It is indicated that there are few ranking African American officers in the department besides Burrell. Wilson suggests a nationwide search, but Carcetti points out that the pay isn't attractive enough and adding "If you're talented and black, why would you be in Baltimore?". He comes to the conclusion that he is stuck with Burrell.
Carcetti takes a ridealong with Southern District officers. Major Cantrell is surprised when he declines to travel with shift lieutenant Grayson but is impressed that Carcetti is interested in understanding the day-to-day of the district. Grayson assigns him to officers Macfarlane and Ginter. They are called to a shooting where they view Cedric Daniels as the duty officer. Carcetti is impressed and learns that Daniels is not as bad as some other commanding officers.
Marlo Stanfield meets with Proposition Joe on a park bench. He tells Joe of his failed efforts to flush out whoever has been investigating him. Joe recommends that Marlo steal the surveillance camera that he knows who has been set up on him. Joe tells him the federal agents have enough funding to let the camera go but that any local police will come looking for it. Snoop and Slim Charles stand guard throughout the meeting.
Major Case Unit
Sergeant Thomas "Herc" Hauk and Detective Leander Sydnor watch footage from their surveillance camera. Sydnor identifies the shapes they see moving as birds. Herc checks the camera's location and realizes it has been stolen.
Herc meets with Ellis Carver to discuss the lost camera. Carver tells him that Marlo has a pigeon coop. Herc believes his new commander Lieutenant Charlie Marimow will use the loss of the camera to end his career. Carver remembers Randy and his plan to phone Bunk about it. He offers Herc a chance to talk to Randy before he passes him on. Carver phones Bunk and leaves a message with Crutchfield who, angry at Bunk for interfering in Omar's murder case, promptly throws it away.
Carver later presents Randy to Herc and Sydnor and urges them to look after him. Herc takes Randy to an interview room and buys him food. Despite Carver telling him that Randy knows about a murder Herc's first question is about the security camera. Randy explains the events leading up to Lex's murder. He gives them Little Kevin's name and tells them that Chris and Snoop killed Lex. Herc gets frustrated that Randyâs information is second-hand and tries to intimidate him into saying he was there when Lex was killed. Sydnor is dismayed at Herc's aggressive approach. Herc gives up and returns Randy to his home. Randy asks them to drop him off down the block so he isn't seen with the police. Afterward Herc complains to Sydnor that Carver was mistaken when he said Randy could give them a murder. He decides to attack Marlo head-on to retrieve the camera.
Dennis "Cutty" Wise finally tracks his absentee welterweight Spider down and finds him selling drugs on a corner with Jamal. Spider initially tries to walk away but becomes confrontational when Cutty tries to apologize for a tryst he had with Spiderâs mother. Later, at the gym Cutty apologizes to his budding boxers for his recent irresponsible behavior in his love life; he has realized that his actions may upset them, particularly those whose mothers he has been involved with.
Duquan "Dukie" Weems watches as Michael Lee and Karim Williams play poker in their lunch break. Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski notices Karim playing with money and tells the boys that he doesnât mind them eating in his classroom as long as they donât gamble. Michael wins the hand and Prez tells Karim about betting based on the odds. Michael is intrigued and asks for more information. Realizing that the children are interested, Prez visits Donnelly to ask if the school has any board games. She directs him to their book storage room and gives him the key along with a firm reminder to stay on curriculum.
Prez takes Dukie with him to the store room and raids the board game boxes for dice. Prez makes several other discoveries including brand new math text books and unopened computers.
After school Michael visits Namond Brice, who has set himself up as a crew chief selling drugs at his motherâs urging. Namondâs workers include Donut and Kenard. Michael notices a rival drug crew who are unhappy with Namond moving in on their territory but Namond does not believe they will be a problem. Namond asks Michael if he is going to Cuttyâs gym.
The rival crew chief tells his dealers, who include Sherrod and Shaun Williams, to follow Namond when he leaves and give him a beating. He does not want anyone to shoot him because it will bring the attention of the police. They follow Namond to Cuttyâs gym, taking cocaine to get them ready for the task. Sherrod approaches Namond as he leaves the gym and warns him to stay away from their spot. They begin to fight and Cutty comes out and breaks them up. Cutty sends Namond back into the gym. Justin notices his injuries and Michael asks him what happened. Namond claims that he came off better than his opponent. Cutty angrily questions Namond about what happened and then sends him home. He asks Michael what Namond has gotten into but Michael tells him it is not their business.
Assistant Principal Marcia Donnelly visits Prezâs math class to update him about a rape allegation made by a female student, Tiff. She has admitted that she had consensual sex with two boys clearing them of any law breaking and allowing Randy Wagstaff to return to school after being suspended for acting as a lookout for the others. Donnelly tells one of Prezâs class, Kwanese, to stop chewing gum. When Donnelly leaves Prez begins to teach; he has set up a computer for a special class project and has the new text books for his students. He checks over their homework and finds that Charlene has not attempted hers. Michael has finished the whole exercise. Calvin has copied Kwaneseâs work.
Namond attends his separate class, part of a University-of-Maryland-funded investigation targeting prevention of repeat violent offender behavior at the school level. Howard "Bunny" Colvin oversees the class with Dr. David Parenti. Two specialist teachers try to control the children. One girl, Chandra , will not stop brushing her hair, so she is removed from the class. When she returns Namond is continually acting out and tries to get himself suspended. The class has a no suspension policy and he is simply removed from the class temporarily instead.
Later he convenes with Donut, Byron and Kenard on a new corner. He tells them they are starting late because his plan to get out of school early failed. Namond puts Byron in charge of the stash. Kenard complains about their change in location.
Cutty visits the school to meet with Donnelly about her program to secure funding by having him round up truanting children for a day in September and October. He hoped to be doing something more meaningful and decides to let the job go. He meets with his old flame Grace Sampson on his way out and learns that she moved to Edward Tilghman. He wishes her well before leaving.
Namond is removed from class again and refuses to talk to Colvin or the specialist teacher, instead repeating a profanity every time he is spoken to. Back in the class Albert is acting out having been asked to read a book. Colvin is dismayed at the difficulty of the task they have taken on while Parenti is fascinated by the clinical aspects of the behavior exhibited.
A different picture unfolds in Prezâs math class. The children are enjoying his lesson plan of playing dice games to learn probability. Randy has missed earlier lessons so his bets are less informed than Michaelâs but he learns quickly when he loses a hand. Sampson observes the lesson and Prez explains his thinking: trick them into thinking they arenât learning and they do.
Bubbles finds himself missing his young companion Sherrod while sitting alone in the vacant house they use as a home. Bubbles later visits the Edward Tilghman middle school hoping to find Sherrod. He talks to Assistant Principal Marcia Donnelly, still posing as Sherrodâs uncle. Donnelly tells him that Sherrod is on the truant list. Bubbles bumps into Prez on his way out and jokes that he will keep his undercover identity secret. Bubbles continues his search for Sherrod as he plies his mobile depot trade. He has added pirate DVDs to his stock. He is accosted by the same drug addict that robbed him before; the man takes his money and his drugs as well as stealing from his cart. Bubbles waves down a passing squad car for assistance. The officer, Eddie Walker, notices Bubbles pirate DVDs and tells him that he has to pay a fine, stealing from him also.
Bubbles is robbed by the same man a third time shortly afterwards and takes another beating. Bubbles finally tracks Sherrod down to the corner where he is working and asks him to come home. He notices that Sherrod has begun using drugs. When Bubbles gets home, Sherrod has not come back.