The Wire

Season 5 Episode 4

Transitions

5
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 27, 2008 on HBO

Episode Recap

Officer's Colicchio and "Truck" Garrick are observing Michael and his corner crew who, aware they are being watched, have temporarily refrained from their usual drug-dealing activities. Kenard appears, and brazenly drops what looks like a ground stash into a hiding place under a stoop. Enraged, the officers roll up on the scene intent on arresting the crew. When Colicchio retrieves the bag and reaches into it, he is infuriated to discover that it is filled with dog excrement. Arriving at the scene, which has now turned into a traffic-stopping melee, Sgt. Carver tries to get the arriving officers to move their vehicles so traffic can flow again. An African American motorist politely implores Colicchio to move the police vehicle so he can get to work, and Colicchio explodes, pulling the man out of his car until restrained by his fellow officers. Carver later upbraids Colicchio on his actions, advising him the write a report that will cast his actions in a more sympathetic light. When the unrepentant Collichio gets belligerent with him, Carver makes the difficult decision to write him up for use of excessive force and conduct unbecoming to an officer, causing himself to be looked down on by the rest of the officers as a rat.

Sydnor complains to Lester that his careful trace of an $80,000 withdrawal from Clay Davis' bank account has only turned out to be what he regards as an innocent loan repayment to Davis' mother-in-law. When Lester discovers that the loan had been used by Davis to buy a property, he exclaims, "Got him! The head shot." He leaves the office and a confused Sydnor behind. Little did Sydnor realize that the loan application we just the kind of smoking gun Lester had been looking for to make the case against Davis.

Daniels, worried that Burrell will go public with the dirt he has on him, pleads his innocence in the Mayor's plans to remove him as Commissioner. Burrell refuses to answer him or even acknowledge his presence.

At The Sun, Gus assigns Alma to cover the rumour that Burrell is about to get the axe, a job that would have usually gone to Twigg, except that it's his last day due to the downsizing. When she fails to dig up any sources willing to divulge information. Twigg shows his mettle one last time, milking a source for in-depth information on Burrells' firing, and background information on heir-apparent Daniels.

McNulty discovers a pattern in the locations of dead homeless men, they're "dropping like flies" in South Baltimore on the 12 to 8 shift, and he and Lester cook up a plan to stoke media interest in their case: Lester enlists a trusted old police buddy, Oscar Requer, who agrees to notify them whenever a fresh body is discovered and give them first access to it- no questions asked. That way they can increase the body count for their "serial killer" and more easily doctor the crime scenes. When the officer delivers them a body as requested, the two use a set of dentures to give their "killer" a kinky new quirk: biting victims. McNulty's increasing extracurricular activities lead to a confrontation with the frustrated Beadie, who is ready to kick him out, especially after Jimmy tries to blame his actions on the investigation.

Proposition Joe, accompanied by Slim Charles, selects memorial flowers for Butchie from the same florist who provided the flowers for D'Angelo Barksdale's funeral. He instructs the florist to add this note: "Butchie- woe to them that call evil good, and good evil- your true and loyal friend, Proposition Joe." Slim asks if Joe really thinks that the note will appease Omar's wrath. Joe responds that he does not, but that he meant the sentiment anyway. He also reveals that he has surmised that Cheese is the one who fingered Butchie for Marlo, but Joe refuses to make a move against him because Cheese is his nephew. He tells Slim that he is going to make himself scarce after the next co-op meeting, and gives him this instruction: "Cheese gonna watch the shop. And you gonna watch Cheese."

Marlo continues his overtures to Vondas, this time bringing him neatly stacked, fresh bills in a briefcase. Vondas states that he appreciates the gesture, but is about to again refuse Marlo's money when the old Greek, who has been listening in, intervenes. He agrees to deal with Marlo- as an insurance policy, should anything happen to Joe, or should another shipment get robbed. After Marlo leaves, Vondas and the old Greek agree, with some sadness that "he is not Joe."

Freamon and Pearlman take their evidence on Clay Davis to Attorney General Bond, who is clearly leaning toward making the case at the city level himself, even though federal charges are warranted. Pearlman later pulls Davis before a grand jury. After answering a few preliminary questions and realizing the extent of the evidence against him, Davis walks out in a huff, smack into the middle of a media swarm organized by Attorney General Bond to enhance his own profile. Ever the politician, Clay does his best to spin the situation in a positive light.

Templeton lands a plum interview with The Washington Post, only to be humiliated when his credentials and portfolio fail to pass muster and he is not offered his dream job there. He is disheartened when he is told to re-apply after he adds "a few more clips, a little more seasoning" to his resume.

Carcetti curries enough favour with the Black community to finally oust Burrell as Commissioner. Burrell throws a fit, only promising to go quietly after eliciting the promise of a cushy six-figure job in Washington from Narese in exchange for his silence about Daniels' shady past. Narese discovers the specifics of Daniels' past: he was part of a unit that was skimming money from drug busts.

Michael's crack-addict mother shows up and bails him out of detention. When she asks him to give her some money, he disgustedly refuses.

Omar reappears in Baltimore, asking Butchie's associate, Big Guy, why Chris and Snoop left him alive. He is informed that Marlo wanted him alive to give Omar the message that he "put his hand into the wrong pocket." Omar vows to take his revenge and Donnie, the con who helped Omar avoid getting killed in jail, volunteers to help him. Omar reluctantly takes him on.

Kima tries to interview the only surviving witness in her home invasion case, a child who is far too traumatized to provide any clues. This apparently reminds her of Elijah, the child she and Cheryl had, so she arranges to spend some time with him, which is convenient for a busy Cheryl. Greggs does a surprisingly good job playing the role of "Aunt Kima."

The Co-Op members are discussing mundane matters of property acquisition when Marlo rudely interrupts and demands they get on with business, or he and his crew will leave. The members, ever wary of the dangerous youngster, fall silent and begin the meeting. Hungry Man complains that Cheese has been conducting business in his territory and Joe assures Hungry that his nephew will respect his boundaries in the future, an action that earns Cheese's obvious ire- a fact that is noted with interest by Marlo. After the meeting, Joe cluelessly continues to mentor Marlo in the ways of money laundering, taking him to Levy. Waiting in the outer office with Herc, Prop Joe discusses the Burrell situation with him and reveals that Burrell and he went to private school Dubar together, and that Burrell was in the Glee Club and was "stone stupid."

At the press conference announcing Burrell's retirement, Carcetti ceremoniously lionizes his achievements while Gus, watching at The Sun, hilariously provides his own ribald colour commentary on the scene, drawing a rebuke for his strong language from the Managing Editor.

Omar ambushes Slim Charles, who convinces him that Prop Joe had nothing to do with Butchie's demise. Omar spares Slim, and seems to reconsider his vendetta against Joe also. Omar later tells his partner, Donnie, that he has decided to go after Marlo's troops instead of attacking him directly- starting with Monk.

Cheese and Chris are walking down an alley. Cheese is worried because he doesn't know where Chris is taking him, and asks if he is in trouble. Chris opens a garage to reveal Cheese's nemesis, Hungry Man, who is tied up and being guarded by Snoop, who comments that Hungry is so scared that he has already soiled himself. Chris explains that he is a gift from Marlo- "Give a gift, get a gift." Cheese enters the room with the obvious intent of killing Hungry Man.

Daniels advances to the position of Deputy Ops and Rawls advances to Commissioner- although everyone concerned knows this is temporary- only until Daniels is seasoned enough to advance to Commissioner.

Proposition Joe, preparing to flee Omar's wrath, gives final instructions to Cheese to be on the lookout for Omar. When Marlo suddenly shows up, Joe realizes that he had been betrayed by Cheese, who has left the room. True to his nature, Proposition Joe tries to make one last deal for his life, offering to disappear if Marlo lets him live. Marlo is adamant that Joe needs to die. As Marlo gives Chris the order to execute Joe, he soothes Joe almost tenderly, telling him to "close your eyes, it won't hurt none."

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