Collateral Damage (The Wire)
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|The Wire episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Ed Bianchi|
|Story by||David Simon
|Teleplay by||David Simon|
|Original air date||June 8, 2003|
|Running time||58 minutes|
"Collateral Damage" is the second episode of the second season of the HBO original series, The Wire. The episode was written by David Simon from a story by Simon and Ed Burns and was directed by Ed Bianchi. It originally aired on June 8, 2003.
Title and epigraph
The title is a quote from McNulty in reference to hapless detective Ray Cole being assigned the murder that he worked to have handed to Rawls division. It can also be considered to refer to the girls killed as part of the Greek's smuggling operation and the problems created for the dock workers as part of Sobotka and Valchek's rivalry. Furthermore, in the next episode Bunk and Lester tell McNulty that they are collateral damage from his revenge. The episode is preceded by the epigraph:
|“||They can chew you up, but they gotta spit you out.||”|
McNulty uses this common phrase in conversation with Bunk and Freamon in reference to his punishment of being sent to the docks, meaning that eventually it has to come to an end.
- "The House That Jack Built" by Aretha Franklin is heard as the stevedores are being stopped at the D.U.I. checkpoint.
- "The Flute Tune" by Push is heard when Wee-Bey is complaining to Avon about Tilghman.
- The song playing when McNulty, Bunk and Freamon are drinking in the bar is "Gimme A Penny" by Big Mama Thornton.
- When McNulty wakes up in Rhonda's bed, "Good-Bye To Carolina" by Lyle Lovett can be heard playing.
Beadie deals with various agencies trying to decide which will investigate the bodies she found in the shipping container. The coroner determines the women suffocated because of a crushed air pipe on the top of the container. The damage to the pipe is deemed accidental and the case is handed back to Beadie. Meanwhile, Bunk learns that McNulty spent three hours working out where his floater was dumped in order to establish that it fell under Rawls' jurisdiction. McNulty is called to examine the container and meets Beadie. They establish that the floater that he found in the harbor is related, as there is an extra bedroll in the container. McNulty finds that the air pipe has been crushed deliberately. Beadie and McNulty meet with the coroner, who agrees that this is grounds to consider the deaths as homicides.
Rawls meets with Ronnie, the commander of the Port Authority, and resists an attempt to hand off the Jane Does. Meanwhile, McNulty convinces the coroner to estimate time of death to see if it matches when the other girl was dumped. Rawls meets with the commanders of the other jurisdictions involved with the Jane Does, who all insist that the murders occurred in his jurisdiction. The cases are subsequently assigned to Homicide. Freamon and Bunk travel to the Port Authority and meet with Beadie, after which they begin to interrogate the crew of the ship carrying the container. McNulty awakens naked and hungover in Rhonda Pearlman's bed while Daniels talks with his wife Marla about his career. Daniels says he will hand in his resignation papers.
Frank has a meeting with his smuggling contact Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos regarding the dead girls, angry over the dead girls. Vondas reassures him that the deaths were accidental and explains that Serge was waiting for a contact to come off the ship and signal to him that it was safe to take the container. Frank insists on being informed next time human cargo moves through the docks. Afterwards, Vondas speaks to another man in the cafe, who happens to be The Greek. Back at the union house, Horseface and Ott complain about frivolous actions taken against them by the police. Frank approaches Sergeant Ellis Carver, who explains that he is acting under orders from Valchek.
The next day, Valchek comes to the union hall and accuses Frank of illegally funding the stained glass window he donated to their church. After Frank threatens him, Valchek visits a property developer, Andy Krawczyk, to discuss trying to reclaim his donation from the church. He learns that Frank's union has been making political contributions, hired a lobbyist, and generally shows a lot of cash for a failing industrial organization. Krawczyk also mentions that Ervin Burrell is in line to be appointed Commissioner. Valchek meets with Burrell and promises to rally support for him on the City Council in return for a detail investigating of the union. Burrell agrees to give Valchek a squad of six men for six weeks.
At the bar, Ziggy asks Nick to partner with him in selling drugs through a connection named "White Mike." Nick refuses his offer. On the way to a job, the stevedores are stopped at a DUI checkpoint by patrol officers led by Carver. Ziggy meets White Mike and asks him to give him the package with payment to follow, but Mike refuses since Ziggy has messed up his last two attempts. After their release, the stevedores complain to Frank about the police activity. Horseface later infiltrates Valchek's district station and steals a surveillance van filled with equipment. He drives it to the docks and La La, Frank, and Nick help him load it into a container. Valchek assembles and briefs his new detail, including Prez, in their port side offices.
Brianna Barksdale visits her brother Avon in prison and pleads with him to look out for her son D'Angelo, as he took a 20-year sentence for their family. When Brianna informs him that the New York Dominicans are no longer doing business with the Barksdales, Avon recommends an Atlanta contact named Vargas. Brianna and Avon also notice that D'Angelo's girlfriend Donette has kept out of touch with him. Wee-Bey Brice is harassed by a corrections officer named Dwight Tilghman, who is the cousin of one of his victims. Avon tells Stringer that he needs to help with Tilghman and asks that he find Donette. Stringer questions D'Angelo's loyalty, but Avon insists he can be trusted. Avon finds D'Angelo using with another inmate and tells him that they need to talk.
Using fake Coast Guard identification, Serge and an associate go to Philadelphia and orders the ship held in port. When one of the crewmen comes ashore, they chase him down, beat him, and throw him into the back seat. Serge and the associate violently interrogate the crewman, Sam. After Vondas and The Greek arrive, Sam admits that he allowed his crew to rape the Jane Does in exchange for money and that one of them was killed when she tried to fight back. Her body was dumped overboard while the crew killed the other women to silence them. Once Sam's tale is finished, Vondas slowly cuts his throat. The Greek orders Serge to leave the corpse without fingerprints or a face.
- "White" Mike McArdle: East side drug dealer who has supplied Ziggy Sobotka with packages in the past.
- CO Dwight Tilghman: Embittered correctional officer whose cousin was killed by Wee-Bey Brice.
- Andy Krawczyk: Property developer and political fundraiser.
- This is the first episode that deals with Ervin Burrell being promoted to Acting Commissioner.
- Sam: The crewman from the Atlantic Light responsible for the murder of the 14 girls found in the Baltimore Port. Killed by Vondas after his capture by Sergei and interrogation by "The Greek" himself.
The episode had an average of 3.5 million viewers when it was first broadcast on HBO on June 8, 2003. This was a reduction of 21% from the previous week's season premiere.
- "Episode guide - episode 15 collateral damage". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-06-22.
- David Simon, Ed Burns (2003-06-08). "Collateral Damage". The Wire. Season 2. Episode 02. HBO.
- Alvarez, Rafael (2004). The Wire: Truth Be Told. New York: Pocket Books.
- Gary Levin (2003-06-10). "Hillary and Miss Universe are ratings winners". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-10-04.