Unto Others

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"Unto Others"
The Wire episode
TheWire44alt.jpg
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 7
Directed by Anthony Hemingway
Story by Ed Burns
William F. Zorzi
Teleplay by William F. Zorzi
Original air date October 29, 2006 (2006-10-29)
Running time 58 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Margin of Error"
Next →
"Corner Boys"
List of The Wire episodes

"Unto Others" is the seventh episode of the fourth season of the HBO original series The Wire. Written by William F. Zorzi from a story by Ed Burns & William F. Zorzi, and directed by Anthony Hemingway, it originally aired on October 29, 2006.

Production[edit]

This is the first episode in which Bubbles is referred to by a name when Marcia Donnelly calls him "Mr. Cousins".

This is the second time the Italian film L'ultimo bacio appears on the show, when a bootleg DVD is taken by Officer Walker it appears to be a copy of this film. The first appearance was in the third season, in the episode "All Due Respect".

In the episode's opening scene, Omar is shown reading Ghettoheat by Hickson.

In the second scene, over the radio at Bubbles', a columnist can be heard describing his job as reminiscent to the one of David Simon.

Title reference[edit]

The reference is from the proverb "Do unto others as you would have done to yourself". This ties into the golden rule Bunk mentions to Omar, who is facing retribution from many of his former victims in prison. It also references Bunk's interference in Holley's and Crutchfield's homicide case, after which Crutchfield threatens to interfere with the next case Bunk catches.

Epigraph[edit]

Bunk says this to Omar during their interrogation.

Credits[edit]

Starring cast[edit]

Although credited Dominic West does not appear in this episode.

Guest stars[edit]

Uncredited appearances[edit]

Plot[edit]

Summary[edit]

Omar[edit]

Omar Little reads in his cell. The two men that Butchie assigned to protect him arrive and strap thick books around his torso, under his shirt. In the cafeteria line an inmate attempts to stab Omar. Omar disarms him and stabs him with his own blade up his rectum as a warning to the others who might try to kill him. Omar leaves the scene of the incident before the guards arrive. Butchie’s men tell Omar that the bounty on his head was placed by Marlo Stanfield. Omar gets a cell phone when he asks if they can help him make a call. He tells his bodyguards that he is phoning the police because he is owed a favor.

Homicide[edit]

Detectives Ed Norris and Kima Greggs bring in a jailhouse informant who has offered them information on the Braddock murder case. Sergeant Jay Landsman observes the informant's arrival and when he remarks on their progress Greggs angrily reminds him that their investigation has been slowed by political interference. Lester Freamon makes miniature furniture at his desk and Landsman is impressed with the money he makes from his hobby.

Later Freamon discusses the case with Greggs and convinces her to interview their main suspect Wardell — the man that Braddock was set to witness against.

Back at headquarters Bunk tries to convince Detectives Crutchfield and Vernon Holley to reopen Omar’s case based on his claims of innocence. Crutchfield refuses to entertain the possibility that Omar is innocent and is angry that Bunk is interfering.

Maurice Levy is Anthony Wardell’s attorney. He allows his client to undergo the polygraph knowing that it is a sign of desperation from the investigators. When the polygraph technician tells Greggs outside the room that he could make it go either way she is disgusted. Her partner explains that it is an open secret that the polygraph is unreliable and is used as an interrogation and coercion tool by the police. On returning to the room, Levy explains his rationale behind subjecting Wardell to the polygraph: his client is innocent. Wardell tells Greggs that he would not have killed Braddock because he is a relative.

After the polygraph test Bunk approaches Ilene Nathan with Omar’s card. She is uninterested, saying that she offered help on a light felony at most. Bunk asks her to move him to a safer facility and convinces her that she owes Omar a debt. She agrees and tells Bunk she now considers the debt paid.

Greggs reviews the Braddock case and picks out a detail: no one in the canvas noticed the gunshot. This prompts her to revisit the scene of the shooting, leaving a bemused Norris in the office. At the scene she identifies a ricochet that she traces back down the alley to other signs of gunfire, eventually finding broken bottles outside a backyard. She finds a bullet lodged in a discarded chest of drawers and finally some potatoes that have been shot through in the back yard. Greggs draws her weapon and enters the house. Greggs later tells Norris she has solved the case and shows him the murder weapon pulled out of the house. Apparently, Braddock was killed by a stray bullet while someone was attempting target practice, using the potatoes as suppressors.

Politics[edit]

Tommy Carcetti meets with a former mayor named Tony for advice on beginning his term. Tony tells him a story of being forced to "eat shit" from the various constituent interests of the city, a pattern that continued throughout his term and eventually led him to forgo standing for reelection.

Carcetti and Norman Wilson have an amicable meeting with their recently defeated opponent, incumbent Mayor Clarence Royce and his Chief of Staff Coleman Parker. They discuss the ins and outs of their campaigns. Carcetti mentions that Theresa D'Agostino has a new role with the DCCC. In their meeting, Carcetti claims the last-second move with the slumlord pamphlets was ingenious; however, Royce and Parker laughingly point out that the pamphlets were not officially endorsed by anyone on Royce's campaign team. When Carcetti mentions that he still has to win the general election, Royce claims that it would be disgraceful for him to think about losing in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans 9 to 1.

Rhonda Pearlman meets with the new state’s attorney, Rupert Bond. Thinking she will likely be replaced by an African American attorney she is surprised when he offers her the Violent Crimes Unit post. Bond states that he is impressed with her record and courage and wants the right prosecutors such as her to help run the States' Attorney for Baltimore office. The post has opened as he is promoting Ilene Nathan to second deputy state’s attorney. From the looks of it, Bond appears more interested in criminal prosecutions than his predecessor, Steven Demper, who was most interested in his elected position — often dismissing cases to maintain a favorable conviction rate.

Western District commander Cedric Daniels attends a COMSTAT meeting chaired by commissioner Ervin Burrell and his deputy William Rawls. He tells his commanders that the homicide rate has dropped while other felony rates have risen. When Rawls asks him if he is taking credit for this decrease, Daniels refuses. Carcetti arrives to observe the meeting. He opts to sit next to Rawls rather than Burrell, to the latter's dismay. Daniels tells them of his strategy of putting two-man cars on the worst drug corners while devoting his resources as much as possible to pursuing good felony cases. Burrell becomes angered when Daniels claims that he refuses to force street level arrests. He is further affronted when Daniels tells them that many of his officers are insufficiently trained to pursue quality cases.

Carcetti meets with Wilson, State Delegate Odell Watkins and Gerry to discuss their first move in office. Carcetti believes that a replacement to Ervin Burrell as Commissioner should occur. Watkins agrees, stating that he told Royce to fire Burrell more than a year ago but that due to the support of the ministers, Royce will not fire Burrell because he is now running for a Congressional seat after losing the mayoral election. Carcetti then proposes to fire Burrell himself, but Watkins warns that while it would be uncontroversial for Royce to fire an African American Police Commissioner, the same would not be true for a white mayor such as Carcetti. Norman Wilson agrees with Watkins, claiming he would face voter backlash. Carcetti decides he will replace Burrell with an African American, but it is pointed out that replacing Burrell with an existing Baltimore officer would also be difficult because there are few ranking African American officers in the department besides Burrell. Wilson suggests a nationwide search, but Carcetti points out that the pay isn't attractive enough and adds "If you're talented and black, why would you be in Baltimore?" He comes to the conclusion that he is stuck with Burrell.

Carcetti takes a ride along with Southern District officers. Major Cantrell is surprised when he declines to travel with shift lieutenant Grayson but is impressed that Carcetti is interested in understanding the day-to-day of the district. Grayson assigns him to officers Macfarlane and Ginter. They are called to a shooting where they view Cedric Daniels as the duty officer. Carcetti is impressed with Daniels' professionalism and is told that Daniels is "not as bad as some" by the Southern District officers.

Marlo[edit]

Marlo Stanfield meets with Proposition Joe on a park bench. He tells Joe of his failed efforts to flush out whoever has been investigating him. Joe recommends that Marlo steal the surveillance camera that he knows has been set up on him. Joe tells him the federal agents have enough funding to let the camera go but that any local police will come looking for it. Snoop and Slim Charles stand guard throughout the meeting.

Major Case Unit[edit]

Sergeant Thomas "Herc" Hauk and Detective Leander Sydnor watch footage from their surveillance camera. Sydnor identifies the shapes they see moving as birds. Herc checks the camera's location and realizes it has been stolen.

Herc meets with Ellis Carver to discuss the lost camera. Carver tells him that Marlo has a pigeon coop. Herc believes his new commander Lieutenant Charlie Marimow will use the loss of the camera to end his career. Carver remembers Randy and his plan to phone Bunk about it. He offers Herc a chance to talk to Randy before he passes him on. Carver phones Bunk and leaves a message with Crutchfield who, angry at Bunk for interfering in Omar's murder case, promptly throws it away.

Carver later presents Randy to Herc and Sydnor and urges them to look after him. Herc takes Randy to an interview room and buys him food. Despite Carver telling him that Randy knows about a murder, Herc's first question is about the security camera. Randy recounts the events leading up to Lex's murder. He gives them Little Kevin's name and tells them that Chris and Snoop killed Lex. Herc becomes frustrated as he realizes that Randy’s information is second-hand and tries to intimidate him into saying he was present when Lex was killed. Sydnor is dismayed at Herc's aggressive approach. Herc gives up and returns Randy to his home. Randy asks them to drop him off down the block so he isn't seen with the police. Afterward Herc complains to Sydnor that Carver was mistaken when he said Randy could give them a murder. He decides to attack Marlo head-on to retrieve the camera.

Cutty[edit]

Dennis "Cutty" Wise finally tracks his absentee welterweight Spider down and finds him selling drugs on a corner with Jamal. Spider initially tries to walk away but becomes confrontational when Cutty tries to apologize for sleeping with Spider’s mother. Later, at the gym Cutty apologizes to his budding boxers for his recent womanizing; he has realized that his actions may upset them, particularly those whose mothers he may have been involved with.

School[edit]

Duquan "Dukie" Weems watches as Michael Lee and Karim Williams play poker during their lunch break. Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski notices Karim playing with money and tells the boys that he doesn’t mind them eating in his classroom as long as they don’t gamble. Michael wins the hand and Prez tells Karim about betting based on the odds. Michael is intrigued and asks for more information. Realizing that the children are interested, Prez visits Donnelly to ask if the school has any board games. She directs him to their book storage room and gives him the key along with a firm reminder to stay on curriculum.

Prez takes Dukie with him to the store room and raids the board game boxes for dice. Prez makes several other discoveries including brand new math text books and unopened computers.

After school Michael visits Namond Brice, who has set himself up as a crew chief selling drugs at his mother’s urging. Namond’s workers include Donut and Kenard. Michael notices members of a rival drug crew who are unhappy with Namond moving in on their territory, but Namond does not believe they will be a problem. Namond asks Michael if he is going to Cutty’s gym.

The rival crew chief tells his dealers, who include Sherrod and Shaun Williams, to follow Namond when he leaves and give him a beating. He does not want anyone to shoot the boy because that would bring the attention of the police. They follow Namond to Cutty’s gym, taking cocaine to get them ready for the task. Sherrod approaches Namond as he leaves the gym and warns him to stay away from their spot. They begin to fight and Cutty comes out and breaks them up. Cutty sends Namond back into the gym. Justin notices his injuries and Michael asks him what happened. Namond claims that he came off better than his opponent. Cutty angrily questions Namond about what happened and then sends him home. He asks Michael what Namond has gotten into but Michael tells him it is not either of their business.

Assistant Principal Marcia Donnelly visits Prez’s math class to update him about a rape allegation made by a female student, Tiff. She has admitted that she had consensual sex with two boys, thus clearing them of any law-breaking and allowing Randy Wagstaff to return to school after being suspended for acting as a lookout for the others. Donnelly tells one of Prez’s class, Kwanese, to stop chewing gum. When Donnelly leaves Prez begins to teach; he has set up a computer for a special class project and has the new textbooks for his students. He checks over their homework and finds that Charlene has not attempted hers. Michael has finished the whole exercise. Calvin has copied Kwanese’s work.

Namond attends his separate class, part of a University of Maryland-funded investigation targeting prevention of repeat violent offender behavior at the school level. Howard "Bunny" Colvin oversees the class with Dr. David Parenti. Two specialist teachers try to control the children. One girl, Chandra, will not stop brushing her hair, so she is removed from the class. When she returns, Namond repeatedly acts out and tries to get himself suspended. The class has a no-suspension policy and he is simply removed from the class temporarily instead.

Later he convenes with Donut, Byron and Kenard on a new corner. He tells them they are starting late because his plan to get out of school early failed. Namond puts Byron in charge of the stash. Kenard complains about their change in location.

Cutty visits the school to meet with Donnelly about her program to secure funding by having him round up truant children for a day in September and October. He hoped to be doing something more meaningful and decides to let the job go. He meets with his old flame Grace Sampson on his way out and learns that she moved to Edward Tilghman. He wishes her well before leaving.

Namond is removed from class again and refuses to talk to Colvin or the specialist teacher, instead repeating a profanity every time he is spoken to. Back in the class, Albert acts out after being asked to read a book. Colvin is dismayed at the difficulty of the task they have taken on, while Parenti is fascinated by the clinical aspects of the behavior exhibited.

A different picture unfolds in Prez’s math class. The children are enjoying his lesson plan of playing dice games to learn probability. Randy has missed earlier lessons so his bets are less informed than Michael’s but he learns quickly when he loses a round. Sampson observes the lesson and Prez explains his thinking: trick them into thinking they aren’t learning and they do.

Bubbles[edit]

Bubbles finds himself missing his young companion Sherrod while sitting alone in the vacant house they use as a home. Bubbles later visits the Edward Tilghman middle school hoping to find Sherrod. He talks to Assistant Principal Marcia Donnelly, still posing as Sherrod’s uncle. Donnelly tells him that Sherrod is on the truant list. Bubbles bumps into Prez on his way out and jokes that he will keep his undercover identity secret. Bubbles continues his search for Sherrod as he plies his mobile depot trade. He has added unlicensed DVDs to his stock. He is accosted by the same drug addict that robbed him before; the man takes his money and his drugs as well as stealing from his cart. Bubbles waves down a passing squad car for assistance. The officer, Eddie Walker, notices Bubbles' DVDs and threatens him with fines for copyright infringement as well as selling on the street without a license, but instead takes some of the DVDs and Bubbles' merchandise and drives off as Bubbles accuses him of stealing.

Bubbles is robbed by the same man a third time shortly afterwards and takes another beating. Bubbles finally tracks Sherrod down to the corner where he is working and asks him to come home. He notices that Sherrod has begun using drugs. When Bubbles gets home, Sherrod has not come back.[1][2]

First appearances[edit]

  • Rupert Bond: newly elected Maryland State's Attorney for Baltimore City who promotes Ilene Nathan to 2nd Deputy SA and Rhonda Pearlman to lead VCU prosecutions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Episode guide - episode 44 Unto Others". HBO. 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-01. 
  2. ^ Anthony Hemingway (director); Ed Burns & William F. Zorzi (story), William F. Zorzi (teleplay) (2004-10-29). "Unto Others". The Wire. Season 4. Episode 7. HBO. 

External links[edit]