Michael Lee flees from Stanfield enforcers Chris Partlow and Snoop. He hides in an abandoned warehouse and surprises them. He tags both of them with paintballs and they are impressed at his progress. Chris asks him to explain the rationale behind his targeting and Michael explains that at a distance you aim low because of the possibility of a vest and at close range you aim for the head. Snoop is impressed, commenting that Michael is 'learning'.
Howard "Bunny" Colvin meets with his friend the Deacon to discuss the soon-to-be-axed special class program. They first talk about the Deacon's decision to give up pork. Colvin explains that the school board is afraid to try anything with the current budget concerns. The Deacon offers to put him in touch with State Delegate Odell Watkins.
The Deacon meets with Watkins as promised. Watkins recognizes Colvin's name from the Hamsterdam debacle and then the Deacon ushers him in.
Mr. Pryzbylewski visits Randy Wagstaff at home with his foster mother, Miss Anna. Randy is still being kept at home because he is believed to be in danger as word has been spreading that he was working with the police. Prez delivers Randy's schoolwork and tells Miss Anna that he hopes the problem will not continue for much longer. She confides that they are thinking of moving schools to escape further difficulties. As he leaves, Prez notices a car waiting further down the block.
In the morning, Prez meets with Assistant Principal Marcia Donnelly and tries to convince her that Duquan "Dukie" Weems is not ready for high school. She tells him that she has noticed the effort he has put into helping Dukie, but that he must not get too close to his students since they have to move on, and there are plenty more students coming into the system.
With the state-wide exam closing in, both the special class and the normal classes are practicing test questions. Prez's class remain disruptive but he is able to focus them on the material eventually. The special class are more resistant. Zenobia Dawson points out that she does not like answering questions about getting allowance from a father when she has neither. Namond Brice tells the teacher that he feels cheated because his class is now the same as the other classes. Colvin tells Dr. David Parenti that he agrees with Namond. Colvin and Parenti share a concern that the test material does not speak to the students at all.
After class Dukie confesses his own misgivings about moving schools to Prez. Prez tries to reassure him that he is ready and that he is welcome if he needs to come back at any time. Dukie walks home with Michael and continues to worry about going to high school. They find that Dukie and his family have been evicted, again. Michael offers Dukie a place to stay with him and his brother. Dukie returns for his last day at Edward Tilghman Middle School, where he wraps up work on a special assignment. As the final bell rings he looks dejected.
Lester Freamon continues to search the vicinity of the area where he found the body of Curtis "Lex" Anderson in a vacant house. He has identified the nail used to seal the house as being indicative of further houses where bodies will be found as H.C.D. uses screws to seal the vacant houses. Sergeant Jay Landsman arrives and orders Freamon to stop opening vacant houses because finding John Does at this stage in the year will destroy the homicide unit's clearance rate. Freamon is enraged and his partner Bunk Moreland tries to calm him.
Freamon's mood is lifted slightly when he returns to the detail office to watch Lieutenant Charles Marimow's departure. Thomas "Herc" Hauk is overjoyed to see the back of the lieutenant, telling the other detectives that Marimow had planned to ruin his career, but instead Marimow was the one forced out of the unit. Freamon quickly turns to the Stanfield investigation. Freamon asks Detective Sydnor to restart surveillance of Stanfield's people, sends Detective Dozerman to city hall to look at high value property sales and to check for luxury car purchases. He asks Herc to begin work on requisitioning back their wiretap equipment and then tells them that he himself will be at the missing persons department. Herc pulls Freamon to one side and asks if he can give the direction as he is the sergeant; Freamon nods but does not respond.
Later, Lieutenant Asher returns to the unit and asks what the brass is thinking having transferred him out just a few months ago. Freamon does not answer the question and instead inquires about Asher's beach house. When Asher enters his office, Herc asks Freamon who he is and Freamon tells him that, ironically, he is one of the most effective commanders in the Department.
Freamon meets with CID commander Cedric Daniels and Assistant State's Attorney Pearlman. He makes a case that they should be searching other vacant houses for further bodies. Like Landsman, Daniels is concerned about the murder rate. Pearlman asks what other work they are doing on Stanfield and whether there are links between Stanfield and the missing persons that Freamon has selected. He explains that there are links in some cases and presents his strategy for following the money and resurrecting the wiretaps. He asks if Landsman has run the information about the bodies up the chain of command to Daniels and learns that he has not. Pearlman leaves the decision to Daniels who tells Freamon that he will take it to the command staff.
Daniels meets with Deputy Commissioner Rawls to explain Freamon's theory, believing Freamon is right. Daniels suggests that pulling the bodies before the end of the year makes the poor statistics attributable to Royce's administration. Rawls is impressed with the idea and further realizes that Daniels is a threat to his hopes of becoming commissioner. He orders Daniels to keep the suggestion to himself, knowing that if the direction were to come directly from Daniels, Daniels would be even more likely to become the next commissioner. Rawls meets with Mayor Carcetti and tells him about Freamon's discovery. Rawls offers Daniels's suggestion as his own and Carcetti chastises him for thinking of stats, but still encourages him to uncover the bodies before the new year.
Freamon discusses the problem in a bar with Bunk and Jimmy McNulty. Bunk tries to steer the conversation away from the bodies but Freamon will not be diverted. He bets that he can open any row house with matching nails and find a body and Bunk accepts the wager. As McNulty goes to leave, Bunk tries to convince him to get drunk with them, but McNulty resists. The trio do not take long to find another one of Marlo's bodies. McNulty suggests calling the crime lab. Freamon tells McNulty that he is not allowed to discover any bodies without the go-ahead from his superiors and, when that happens, McNulty will miss out on the investigation. McNulty questions if command will ever give the go-ahead and Freamon tells him that "it's a new day" with Daniels in command of CID. Freamon and Bunk both note the strangeness of McNulty being the most suitable for driving as they depart.
Freamon meets with Herc and Sydnor the next morning. He is dismayed to learn that none of Stanfield's people are using phones and comments that if the wiretaps had been left running two months ago they would not be facing these problems now. Two detectives arrive from the Internal Investigations Division. They ask Herc if he remembers borrowing the camera from ISD and that they need a statement regarding the camera and some of his confidential informant paperwork. They request Sydnor and Dozerman as well, but Herc tells the detectives that he is solely responsible.
Freamon receives the go-ahead from Daniels along with an offer for further manpower: two CID officers of his choosing. Freamon first approaches Kima Greggs, but then decides not to ask her when she tells him she loves homicide.
Mayor Carcetti holds a meeting to discuss the massive school budget deficit. Both Naresse Campbell and Andy Krawczyk (who happens to be the school board president) refuse to take responsibility. Carcetti's new chief of staff, Michael Steintorf, suggests that the only solution is to scale back their budget in all other areas. Carcetti refuses to break the promises he had campaigned on and Campbell tells him that the only alternative is to beg the Republican governor for financial support.
Carcetti and Norman Wilson find themselves waiting in the middle of a staircase for the governor. Carcetti gripes that they have been waiting for over an hour. Wilson shows Carcetti an article, written by Mike Fletcher, quoting the governor about the school's financial problems, saying that the blame falls on a lack of local oversight. Eventually Carcetti decides to leave, and just as they get to the door, the security guard (played by real-life Maryland Governor Robert Ehrlich) tells them the governor is now ready for them.
Next, Carcetti meets with his staff to discuss the governor's offer: more money in exchange for greater state control in schools. Campbell tells Carcetti that the governor is protecting himself for the 2008 state election by making Carcetti look bad for accepting the money. The budget advisor encourages Carcetti to take the money regardless. Wilson agrees and Steintorf disagrees. Campbell refuses to offer an opinion and tells Carcetti she is glad she is not in his position.
Kenard arrives at Namond's corner late for work and finds Namond getting his hair braided. Namond rebukes Kenard's tardiness and Kenard says they are going to have the day off. He asks Namond for a private word and tells him that their stash has been stolen from his basement. He claims that the door was kicked in and that someone must have given away the location. Namond accepts his excuse and the assurance that Kenard will try to find the informant.
Namond discusses his problem with Michael. Michael insists that Kenard must have stolen the stash for himself and tells Namond that he should check the door to prove Kenard's story false and then must confront him with more than words. On the way home from school Namond asks Michael to accompany him when he confronts Kenard. Namond tells his mother that he suspects Kenard took the stash. She insists that Kenard needs to feel "some pain" for his actions. Namond tries to argue with her but she is violently disappointed that he has not acted already.
Namond confronts Kenard and tells him that he knows he stole the package. Kenard remains unafraid of Namond and taunts him. Michael eventually steps in and severely beats Kenard. Namond is too shocked to recover his package and then runs away from the scene.
Sergeant Carver visits Randy at home and tries to reassure Miss Jeffreys that the danger will soon pass. He tells her that they still have plainclothes officers watching the house.
Namond arrives at Cutty's gym and gets the cold shoulder from Michael. He provokes Michael into attacking him by picking on Dukie. Cutty intervenes, telling Michael to leave. Namond breaks down in tears.
Cutty calls Carver for help and they ask Namond what has happened between him and Michael. Namond also mentions the fact that he is forced to live up to his father's reputation, but he doesn't have the game in him (a similar admission made by Cutty in Season 3). Cutty confesses to Carver that he is angry with himself for sending Michael away. He tells Carver that Namond has been dealing drugs but Carver asserts that he is not dealing at the moment. Cutty visits Michael's mother and learns that he has moved out. Carver calls Colvin for help after Namond's mother refuses to pick him up.
Meanwhile, a false shooting is called in from Randy's street to lure the police unit guarding his house away. Two men approach Miss Anna's house and throw Molotov cocktails through the window.
Cutty tracks Michael down to a corner with "Monk" Metcalf. Monk orders Cutty away but he tells Monk that he is not talking to him. Monk shoots Cutty twice in the leg but Michael prevents him from killing him. Michael offers to stay with Cutty until the ambulance comes but Cutty tells him to go.
Carver visits the hospital and learns that Miss Anna is in a critical but stable condition with third degree burns. He tries to console Randy but the boy rejects him. Carver attempts to assure Randy that he will be protected, but as Carver leaves, Randy taunts him, bitterly.
Bubbles visits the horses' yard to talk to the arabbers he sometimes works for. He asks for advice about how to deal with his tormentor. They have various suggestions for him but settle on replacing drugs with sodium cyanide to poison the man. They tell him that a scrap yard is an easy place to buy the chemical and that the only issue will be living with himself as the police will not question the death of an addict.
Having bought the necessary chemical, Bubbles prepares several vials of the stuff and then goes out to work. Sherrod arrives and Bubbles tells him that he is giving him his own stock and route. Bubbles warns him not to stand up to their tormentor. When Bubbles returns to the garage after a long day at work without incident he finds Sherrod's takings on the table.
Bubbles awakes the next day full of plans to make money. He is horrified to find that Sherrod has taken some of the vials he prepared and then cannot rouse the boy. Sherrod is dead.
Omar Little and Renaldo continue to follow Cheese, tracking him to a meeting with Stanfield's people. Cheese's jocular manner is met with stone silence by Marlo, Chris, Snoop, O-Dog and Monk. Marlo pays Cheese more than expected and requests a bigger shipment of narcotics. Cheese is reluctant to promise anything and tells Marlo that he will discuss it with Proposition Joe. He gives Monk a burner and tells him that they will call when they have the drugs. Stanfield's people are newly dubious about using phones and Cheese reassures them that they do not have to answer - just take the call as a signal that the meeting is ready.
Omar organizes a meeting at Butchie's bar to put a team together. Butchie offers him the men who helped Omar while in jail as muscle, but Omar declines, telling Butchie that he hopes to be more subtle. His old associate Kimmy arrives and receives a warm welcome.
Omar continues to follow Cheese as he prepares to deliver the new shipment to Marlo. Proposition Joe calls to tell Omar where he can steal from Marlo as promised, Omar does not take the call, knowing that he is on to a greater payload now. He, Renaldo and Kimmy tail Cheese's van to a meeting place. Kimmy is dressed as a prostitute.
Cheese and his associates prepare to load the shipment into the van. Kimmy approaches one of the guards. Renaldo's people arrive posing as painters and block Cheese's van in. The trap is sprung and Omar demands that they open the truck.
Cheese reports the theft to Proposition Joe. Joe worries that the Co-Op will think that he is withholding the shipment for himself.