This week, we start out at an NA meeting, where Bubbles gives everyone a couple chuckles, but doesn’t really share anything meaningful. After the meeting, Waylon (Steve Earle, who also has the honor of having performed the theme song for this last season) tells him he needs to open up about Sherrod’s death, so he can finally get out of his head a little bit. Probably a good call.
Marlo has figured out that the cops have eased off quite a bit, and he instructs Chris and Snoop to find and kill Junebug and Omar. They both agree that that shouldn’t be a problem, and Chris hands Marlo the picture of Serge that he snagged last week. Later, Chris and Snoop bring Michael with them to hit Junebug, but Michael chickens out when he sees a little boy running from the house, scared by the gunfire.
Marlow goes to prison to meet with Serge, but is greeted instead by Avon Barksdale, in the flesh! Avon’s one step ahead of Marlo, and tells him he knows that he’s just trying to eliminate Prop Joe as a middle man by getting his package right from the Greeks at the port. Marlo asks what he has to do to get access to Malatov, and Barksdale tells him that a gift of $100,000 to his sister should just about do it.
Carcetti is unimpressed with the results of his education spending. Some third graders are testing slightly better, but he doesn’t care. The whole real estate debacle with Nerese Campbell is going to cost Carcetti, and he’s extra big-ass not psyched about it.
Clay Davis bitches at Burrell for not having his back. Burrell essentially tells him his hands are tied, and to fuck off. Kind of awesome. I don’t love Burrell, but I don’t love Davis more.
Things for Augustus aren’t great. He’s stressing out, waking up at odd hours of the evening to call Rewrite Man Jay Spry and make sure all his facts are right. He’s also having a tough time with the management types at the paper, who would rather paint in broad strokes and aim for prizes instead of giving any of their articles context. Klebanow gives Scott the color piece for opening day with the Orioles, and tells him to give it his "special touch," whatever that means. We see him working the crowd, and getting nothing good, but he comes back to the office with something about at thirteen-year-old in a wheelchair. Gus gives him shit for not getting photos of the kid, and implies that he may as well have made him up. Whitting, of course, finds the article "Dickensian" enough, and green-lights it for the front page before Gus can even finish explaining what sucks about it.
At the morgue, McNulty runs into a former colleague whose partner is in a huff because a newbie coroner has mistakenly called an OD a homicide. McNulty asks how she could get that wrong, and Porter (the old colleague) explains that the guy overdosed, then fell between a toilet and a wall, forcing the EMTs to yank him out violently, causing bruising.
Apparently, bruising can occur post-mortem. Later, McNulty, frustrated by a lack of funding to investigate Chris and Snoop’s bodies, uses this knowledge to fabricate a white John Doe’s crime scene on the premise that City Hall will perk up about the "serial killer" on the loose when they find out a white guy has been victimized. Bunk doesn’t want anything to do with it, but I think this will lead to something interesting.