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Recap / The Wire S 05 E 07 Took

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As he said he would, McNulty calls up Scott (with the help of Lester and a voice modulator), pretends to be the serial killer, threatens Scott, and sends him the picture of the homeless man he had kidnapped. The police - Holley in particular - also hear this, and as a result, McNulty not only gets the camera wiretap, he also gets more manpower and surveillance teams. However, it's not all good news. For one, the image Marlo's crew is sending to each other is a picture of a clock, and as Sydnor manages to point out, it's not a code for what time to meet. For another, McNulty doesn't actually need all the manpower being promised to him, at least not yet. To assuage his guilt on this, McNulty pretends he does need other detectives - Christeson, Crutchfield, and Norris in particular - for his case, but diverts the resources over to their own murder cases and promises he'll cover them.


Scott, meanwhile, is shaken up by having heard from the killer for real this time, but writes a story about it anyway. Gus objects to the fact the story is overwritten, making Scott more inside the story than he really is, but Klebanow and Whiting okay it. Gus decides to start checking around on the story Scott was accused of fabricating, and sure enough, learns from Mello Scott's denial doesn't ring true. Meanwhile, Gus sends Fletcher out to hang with the homeless, and he ends up going to the same soup kitchen Scott went to earlier, where he ends up striking up a friendship with Bubbles.

Clay's case finally goes to trial, and while Lester does his usual thorough job on the stand, Clay's defense attorney blows holes through the testimony of Day-Day. Not only that, but when Clay takes the stand, he justifies taking the money for his own personal account by saying he gave it back to all of his constituents when they needed money for their own problems. He does such a good job convincing the jury that, to the astonishment of Bond and Rhonda, they find Clay not guilty.


Elsewhere, Bunk presses Michael on the murder of his stepfather, Omar continues his guerrilla war on Marlo's crew, and Kima buys a bed so she can have Elijah stay over.

This episode contains examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: When Phelan summarizes the serial killer case so far (as well as how it comes at an inopportune time for Carcetti), he adds, "You may want to check the governor's alibi," which McNulty and Rhonda both crack up at.
  • As Himself: Lawyer Billy Murphy as the lawyer defending Clay.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Clay gets acquitted of all charges.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Carcetti enters his reception area after making fundraising calls, he looks worried, and Steintorf assumes he didn't make his goal of $30,000. Turns out Carcetti tripled that amount, meaning he's come a long way in that department.
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  • Belly Dancer: Dukie thinks maybe he could be the male equivalent of this.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: McNulty puts on a heavy Baltimore accent when he prank-calls Scott.
  • Call-Back: Kima buys a bed for Elijah from IKEA, and assembling it goes about as well for her as assembling a bed from there did for McNulty.
    Kima: (yelling at McNulty on the phone) I don't know how the fuck did you of all people do this shit, huh?
  • Catchphrase: Once again, Clay unleashes a "Sheeeit!", this time to Murphy.
  • Chewbacca Defense: Clay's entire defense. Gus sums it up later by calling it Clay "playing not just the race card but the whole deck."
  • Continuity Nod: McNulty still has to borrow computers in order to get his wiretap working, as the Baltimore police department is still in the 20th century.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    McNulty: Trouble with making this thing into a red ball? People started treating it like a fucking red ball.
  • Didn't Think This Through: McNulty admits he didn't consider what would happen when he started the fake serial killer scheme. Now he's stuck in a juggling act that's going to fall apart any minute and take him, Lester, and possibly the whole police department down.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: While Murphy is cross-examining him on the stand, Day-Day answers, "Goddamn right" to one of his questions; when the judge admonishes him, Day-Day's attempts to apologize include, "Shit, I'm sorry."
  • Epigraph: "(Whatever it was,) They don't teach it in law school," said by Rhonda in response to Bond after he loses the trial and asks, "What the fuck just happened?"
  • Good News, Bad News:
    McNulty: Well, good news is they're giving me more manpower than I can waste.
    Lester: Bad news?
    McNulty: It's all around the office that I'm giving out hours and money to people to work other cases. (Lester gives McNulty a Death Glare)
  • Hollywood Law: Clay's testimony. On the DVD commentary, David Simon admitted in real life, a prosecutor would have objected more times than Bond did.
  • John Munch: Munch appears at the cop bar where Gus visits Mello (and Munch even mentions how he used to own a bar).
  • Malaproper: Clay Davis butchers the names of both Aeschylus and Prometheus when talking to reporters outside the courthouse.
  • Mission Briefing: We get a Montage of two of them; Daniels briefing the cops about how the troops will be deployed to catch the serial killer, and Gus briefing the reporters on how to cover the story; also, both Daniels and Gus assure those under their charge that they finally have the resources needed.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Daniels at home, wearing a tank top.
  • Refuge in Audacity: When Clay says he's short on the money Murphy wants up front, he adds Murphy should actually be paying him, given how much his profile will increase after the case is over. Murphy isn't fooled, and tells him to save it for the witness stand.
  • Self-Plagiarism: Richard Price co-wrote the episode, and the ending scene of Kima and Elijah paraphrasing Goodnight Moon ("Goodnight, hoppers." "Goodnight, hustlers") came from his novel Clockers.
  • Shout-Out: Gus says Scott's writing isn't exactly Studs Terkel.
    • Clay tells reporters before the trial he's been reading Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound for comfort.
    • Omar says "Riddle me that" to Savino.
    • During his testimony, Clay claims if the producers of Survivor came to Baltimore, they would find some choice contestants (he also brings up Fear Factor).
  • Title Drop: Gus says, "I don't give a fuck he (Scott) gets took."

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