In this appropriately titled episode, transitions aplenty are happening- and as we all know, transitions can be bumpy affairs...
Burrell is cermoniously ousted as Commissioner, only promising to go quietly after eliciting the promise of a golden parachute from Narese in exchange for his silence about Daniels' shady past. Rawls advances to the seat, although all concerned know that this is only temporary. McNulty and Freamon, still frustrated about the lack of police and media interest in their "serial Killer", decide to up the ante on their doctored "crime scenes", enlisting the help of one of Lester's old friends and giving the "killer" a shocking new quirk. And McNulty's extracurricular activities lead to a confrontation with the frustrated Beadie, who is ready to kick him out.
Freamon and Pearlman find enough evidence of Clay Davis' shady dealings to pull him before a grand jury. Davis walks out in a huff, smack into the middle of a media swarm organized by Attorney General Bond to up his own profile. Marlo continues to cause disruptions and foment dissension during the co-op meetings, but is unchecked by Proposition Joe,or anyone else. His continued overtures to the Greeks finally appear to bear fruit, as the old Greek agrees to deal with him as an "insurance policy" should anything happen to Prop Joe. Joe, meanwhile, cluelessly continues to mentor Marlo in the ways of money laundering...and remains loyal to his nephew Cheese, even in the face of growing suspicions that Cheese is the one who fingered Butchie for execution by Marlo's minions. Omar shows up, ambushing 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 decides to go after Marlo's troops, starting with Monk.
And in a final scene that was strangely touching, Prop Joe prepares to flee Omar's wrath only to find himself betrayed by Cheese, who has fully given his allegiance to Marlo in exchange for moving up in the business. As Marlo gives Chris the order to execute Joe, he soothes him almost tenderly, telling him to "breathe easy, it won't hurt none". An incredible, indelible scene in an amazing episode of an unparalleled series.