Took (The Wire)
|The Wire episode|
|Episode no.||Season 5
|Directed by||Dominic West|
|Teleplay by||Richard Price|
|Story by||David Simon
|Original air date||February 17, 2008|
|Running time||58 minutes|
"Took" is the seventh episode of the fifth season of the HBO original series, The Wire. The episode was written by Richard Price from a story by David Simon & Richard Price and was directed by cast member Dominic West. It aired on February 17, 2008.
The title refers to the homeless man Jimmy McNulty took off the street in the previous episode. It also refers to the fact that the politicians, police, and newspaper have been tricked into using resources on the catching the faux serial killer.
|“||They don't teach it in law school.||”|
Pearlman says this referring to the pseudo-populist tactics Sen. Clay Davis used to escape conviction.
- Peter Gerety as Judge Daniel Phelan
- David Costabile as Thomas Klebanow
- Sam Freed as James Whiting
- Delaney Williams as Jay Landsman
- Ed Norris as Ed Norris
- Gregory L. Williams as Michael Crutchfield
- Brian Anthony Wilson as Vernon Holley
- Kara Quick as Rebecca Corbett
- Brandon Young as Mike Fletcher
- William F. Zorzi as Bill Zorzi
- Dion Graham as Rupert Bond
- Billy Murphy as Defense Attorney Billy Murphy
- Donnell Rawlings as Damien "Day-Day" Price
- Richard Belzer as John Munch
- Thomas J. McCarthy as Tim Phelps
- Crissandra Spencer as Reporter
- Stanley Boyd as Cherry
- Christopher J. Clanton as Savino Bratton
- Edward Green as Spider
- Kwame Patterson as Monk Metcalf
- Thuliso Dingwall as Kenard
- James Jorsling as Vincent
- Jay Landsman as Dennis Mello
- Michael Salconi as Michael Santangelo
- Curt Boushell as Andy
- David Goodman as Budget Advisor
- Dennis Hill as Detective Christeson
- Elijah Grant Johnson as Elijah
- Kim Tuvin as Judge Emily Johnson
- Stu Evered as Detective
- Seymour Horowitz as Father
- Rosemary Knower as Mother
- Ken Ulman as Reporter Ken Ullman
- Vickie Warehime as Patrol Sergeant
Stanley Boyd's name is misspelled in the credits as Stanely Boyd.
McNulty's Serial Killer
Jimmy McNulty, Lester Freamon, and Leander Sydnor devise a plan to get Baltimore Sun reporter Scott Templeton to take a phone call from the faux homeless serial killer. McNulty, as the killer, acts upset about the articles painting him in a sexual light and declares that no more bodies will be found in the city; instead, he will simply send pictures of his victims (via cell phone). In both the newspaper and police offices the bosses tell their troops that they have been assured that they will have the resources to follow the case/story to its end and that it is a top priority.
Freamon, given technology to intercept the cell phone images via his illegal Marlo tap, runs up against a tougher code than he expected – nothing but a clock face showing a different time in each picture – and he needs more manpower for surveillance to see what Marlo's people are doing and where they're going after they receive these messages from The Greek.
McNulty, knowing the case is one big facade, sends the surveillance teams to Freamon while allocating the extra manpower assigned to (and forced on) him to allow other detectives to get "real police work" done: giving the detectives the overtime they have sorely needed. Unfortunately, the added attention begins to be too much for McNulty as the bosses offer him more and more men and, eventually, the fact that he's giving away time gets out and people come looking for it.
Detective "Bunk" Moreland refuses to attend a mandatory meeting about the homeless murders, knowing their true nature, opting instead to work on his 22 open murders going back to the previous year. Sergeant Ellis Carver takes Michael Lee off of his corner, bringing him to Bunk so he can ask about Michael's dead stepfather. Michael provides Bunk with nothing new, which only adds to Bunk's unhappiness with everything going on with McNulty – including his inability to get lab results back due to the homeless murders taking precedence.
Off-screen, Omar Little robs a Stanfield stash house, killing a soldier and flushing several kilos of heroin down the drain. He leaves Vincent alive and tied up to make sure the message reaches Marlo. Omar later traps former Barksdale and current Stanfield soldier Savino Bratton, who states that he wasn't there when Chris Partlow and Snoop tortured and killed Butchie. Omar suggests that he wouldn't have tried to help the situation anyway. Bratton remains silent, so after a moment of consideration, Omar kills him.
Later, in broad daylight, Omar limps on a crutch to confront Michael's corner, visibly scaring them. He tells Michael to tell Marlo that he killed Savino, and that he'll take out all his muscle until Marlo comes at him himself. After he walks off Kenard is the only one not left in awe of Omar.
Gus Haynes consults Major Dennis Mello, an old friend, in a cop bar about someone — hypothetically — going through the court system with a false name. Mello points out that arrest sheets carry fingerprints and photos making such a thing nearly impossible, casting doubt on Scott Templeton's story that his original "crab lady" story was correct. Rebecca Corbett and Gus both show disgust later at Templeton's maudlin story about his night living with the homeless.
Gus sends Mike Fletcher off to research the homeless as well, not specifically for a story, and he winds up at the same kitchen Templeton was at and Bubbles is working at. Bubbles informs him it's not really a place for homeless persons, which surprises Fletcher, but offers to take him around later. They meet under the same expressway overpass Templeton previously visited, and Fletcher spends some time talking to the homeless in the area. When he offers to pay Bubbles, Bubbles turns him down, telling him to "write it how it feels."
Clay Davis's Trial
State Senator Clay Davis hires high-powered attorney Billy Murphy (played by the real life Baltimore attorney of the same name) to represent him in his case, attempting to sway him to his side by "offering" to be indicted federally to make it a bigger case. Davis arrives at the courthouse with a copy of Prometheus Bound, comparing himself to the titular character (and mispronouncing both the name of the main character and author). During the trial the state presents its evidence and testimony from former Davis driver Damien Lavelle "Day Day" Price, who states that he returned his charity salaries to Davis in cash. Taking the stand himself, Davis charms the jury, saying he withdrew cash simply so that it would be on hand for him to dispense to needy constituents. To the shock of Bond and Pearlman, Davis is found not guilty.
Detective Kima Greggs, assigned to the homeless killings full-time, spends an entire day getting background information on the confirmed victims which "ruins her whole week." After work she has plans to keep her ex-partner's son Elijah for the night and asks McNulty where to get children's furniture. He tells her Ikea, but fails to inform her that their furniture must be assembled. Having apparently failed to assemble the bed, she sleeps on a chair in the living room; it's suggested that Elijah has been put to sleep in her own bed. However, when Elijah wakes her saying that he can't sleep, Greggs sits with him in the apartment window (an homage to a scene in the film Clockers, which was based on the Richard Price novel of the same name) saying good night to the denizens of the inner city à la Goodnight Moon.
Richard Belzer makes a cameo appearance as former Baltimore police detective John Munch, the character he portrayed on the Baltimore-based police drama Homicide: Life on the Street (1993–1999), and subsequently on the New York-based Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (1999–2014). Clark Johnson's character, Augustus Haynes, walks into a bar to speak with Major Dennis Mello, played by Jay Landsman (The John Munch character was based upon Landsman from David Simon's non-fiction book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets ). On Homicide, Johnson's character Meldrick Lewis owned a Baltimore bar with Munch. As Haynes walks past him, Munch can be heard telling the bartender that he once owned a bar.