"Clarifications" is the eighth episode of the fifth season of The Wire . It is the fifty-eight episode of the series overall. It premiered on February 24, 2008. The episode was written by Dennis Lehane and directed by Anthony Hemingway.
The fifth season starring cast consists of: Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty; Reg E. Cathey as Norman Wilson; John Doman as William Rawls; Aidan Gillen as Tommy Carcetti; Clark Johnson as Augustus Haynes; Deirdre Lovejoy as Rhonda Pearlman; Tom McCarthy as Scott Templeton; Clarke Peters as Lester Freamon; Wendell Pierce as Bunk Moreland; Sonja Sohn as Kima Greggs; Lance Reddick as Cedric Daniels; Andre Royo as Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins; Seth Gilliam as Ellis Carver; Domenick Lombardozzi as Thomas "Herc" Hauk; Michael Kenneth Williams as Omar Little; Gbenga Akinnagbe as Chris Partlow; Jamie Hector as Marlo Stanfield; Neal Huff as Michael Steintorf; Jermaine Crawford as Duquan "Dukie" Weems; Corey Parker Robinson as Leander Sydnor; Tristan Wilds as Michael Lee; Michael Kostroff as Maurice Levy; Michelle Paress as Alma Gutierrez; Isiah Whitlock, Jr. as R. Clayton Davis.
Despite being credited, Deirdre Lovejoy, Andre Royo and Domenick Lombardozzi do not appear in this episode.
- Amy Ryan as Beadie Russell
- Tray Chaney as Poot Carr
- Felicia Pearson as Felicia "Snoop" Pearson
- Marlyne Afflack as Nerese Campbell
- Megan Anderson as Jen Carcetti
- Benay Berger as Amanda Reese
- Doug Olear as Terrence "Fitz" Fitzhugh
- Joseph Urla as Maryland District US Attorney
- David Costabile as Thomas Klebanow
- Todd Scofield as Jeff Price
- Brandon Young as Mike Fletcher
- Michael Stone Forrest as Frank Barlow
- Ed Norris as Ed Norris
- Gregory L. Williams as Michael Crutchfield
- Bobby Brown as Bobby Brown
- Rick Otto as Kenneth Dozerman
- Ryan Sands as Lloyd "Truck" Garrick
- Dave Ettlin as Dave Ettlin
- Donald Neal as Jay Spry
- Robert Poletick as Steven Luxenberg
- Jim Ancel as unknown
- David Goodman as Budget Advisor
- Robert G. McKay as unknown
- William F. Zorzi as Bill Zorzi
- Connor Aikin as Jack Russell
- Keenon Brice as Bug
- Aubrey Deeker as Terry Hanning
- Thuliso Dingwall as Kenard
- Reggie A. Green as Congressman Upshaw
- Leroy Graves Jr. as junk man
- Amy Lee as Store Clerk
- Russ Widdall as Ron Lowenthal
- Curt Boushell as slot man
- Joe Inscoe as Deputy Director Arthur Tolan
- William Johnson as FBI Profiler #1
- Paul Morella as FBI Profiler #2
- Dennis Hill as Detective Christeson
- Melody Williams as woman at crime scene #1
- Melvina Williams as woman at crime scene #2
- Mary Beth Wise as Karen
Michael Lee meets with Chris Partlow and Snoop Pearson to report his confrontation with Omar Little. Michael tells Chris that he was lucky not to have been recognised from Monk’s apartment and claims that he tried to keep looking away from Omar. Michael also reports Omar’s pronounced limp and use of a crutch. When asked what Omar said Michael relates Omar’s promise to kill Stanfield muscle and his claim to have killed Savino Bratton and asks if Savino is dead. When he gets no response he goes on to mention the rumours about Omar robbing a stash house. Snoop interrupts Michael and cautions him that rumours are dangerous. Michael presses on and wonders why Marlo ordered Junebug killed over rumour when Omar is getting away with much worse. Snoop gets angry and tells Michael that they will catch Omar. Michael asks if they will tell Marlo and Snoop refuses to answer while Chris tells Michael that Marlo has enough on his plate. Snoop tells Chris that Michael has a different opinion and Michael begins to say what he would want if he were Marlo. Snoop pushes him and reminds him that he is not. Chris and Snoop leave.
Officers Truck and Dozerman stop for a snack and they are approached by a limping Omar. He tells the police that two drug dealers on a nearby corner are carrying weapons. Truck and Dozerman arrest the offending dealers as Omar approaches the corner through a back alley. He passes Kenard and a group of other children torturing a stray cat and all the children but Kenard flee. Omar runs the remaining drug dealers off of the corner and throws their ground stash down a drain. He walks down the block to a vacant house and demands the rest of the stash – threatening to enter and open fire with his shotgun when there is no response. The stash is dropped out of the house and Omar throws it down the drain while shouting about Marlo Stanfield’s fear of facing him openly on the street.
Omar goes to a corner store to buy cigarettes. Another customer enters the store and Omar gives him a quick sidelong glance. He is then shot and killed. The murderer is revealed to be Kenard, who drops the gun and flees the scene.
Chris and Snoop cruise the streets still hunting Omar when they receive a coded message (a picture of a clock face) from Marlo to organize a meeting. Chris reports that there is no sign of Omar and Marlo is surprised to be relating the news to them. Snoop is annoyed and asks Marlo who killed Omar – Marlo reports that it was a young boy but doesn’t have any more details. Marlo reminds Chris that he is planning a trip to Atlantic City to celebrate and Chris nods.
At the close of the episode Omar’s corpse is at the morgue being processed by the medical examiners. One of the staff notices a tag, which lists Omar Little as an AAM (African American Male), on the bag for a caucasian decedent who lies adjacent to Omar’s body. The assistant medical examiner realizes the tags have been confused and puts the correct tag back on Omar’s corpse before sealing the body bags.
McNulty addresses the police commanders, Mayor Carcetti and Norman Wilson at a comstat meeting. McNulty reports that the killer is working in Southern Baltimore because of the concentration of homeless people in those areas and relates the varied timing of the killings. Carcetti asks McNulty for leads on the missing homeless man, Larry Butler, and McNulty reports no new information despite thorough checking. Rawls asks after the FBI profile and Daniels reports that he has arranged for a visit to Quantico to discuss the case. Rawls jokes about the killer's motivation and the sexual nature of the crimes. Daniels asks McNulty what else he needs to solve the case and McNulty requests surveillance teams ostensibly to follow known sex offenders and persons of interest identified at the harbour. McNulty has requested Carver and Daniels wonders why he was chosen over a man from the patrol districts where the murders occurred. McNulty claims that Carver’s past experience with prolonged investigations will be an asset. Carcetti asks Daniels what they are doing to prevent further murders and abductions amongst the homeless and Daniels reassures him that they have extra cars assigned to areas where the homeless congregate and ten undercover detectives posing as homeless people. McNulty claims that he requires good undercover cars for the surveillance but that the motor pool is depleted. Carcetti authorises car hire if necessary and leaves the meeting. Rawls jokes that they now must catch the killer but the Mayor is finally willing to pay for the police department.
McNulty meets with Carver to discuss his joining the homeless murder detail. Carver asks the same question as Daniels – why choose him over a Sergeant from the district where the murders occurred. McNulty admits there is “a hitch” and closes the door. Carver tells McNulty that he does not want him or any of his people to get burned. McNulty explains that he is using resources assigned to the homeless detail to assist Lester Freamon in following up a new lead on Stanfield. Carver guesses that Freamon is actually running a wiretap and McNulty denies any knowledge. Carver reveals that he gave Freamon the cell phone number Stanfield is using and McNulty continues to deny involvement. Carver guesses “the bosses stiff-armed” Freamon and is aghast that they are willing to allow the vacant murders to go unsolved. Carver asks about the paperwork and McNulty offers to handle that aspect and asks Carver to send him people willing to work. Carver nods his assent and McNulty goes to leave but Carver stops him to ask about cars and McNulty tells him the department has an account with a hire firm.
Carver chairs a meeting with his newly assembled surveillance teams. Officer Bobby Brown is pleased to learn that unlimited overtime is available and Dozerman quizzes Carver about the other cases they might be working on. Carver explains that the Major Crimes Unit is running a drug investigation that might need surveillance work. The officers are very pleased when Carver gives them the keys to their rented vehicles.
In the homicide unit McNulty discusses their new recruits with Freamon over the phone. Bunk approaches McNulty with a request to sign but cautions McNulty not to revel in the moment. Bunk takes the request to the crime lab and delivers it to the supervisor Rob Lowenthal, claiming that his investigation is now tied in with the homeless murders. Lowenthal agrees to prioritise the DNA matching on Bunk’s case.
Kima Greggs tells McNulty they need to get on the road to Quantico. As they leave the office she asks if he has used the profiling team before and McNulty remembers one instance but derides the usefulness of the process. Greggs wonders why they are going if it is not useful and McNulty says they are doing it so they can report that they have.
Greggs and McNulty discuss their relationships on the way to Quantico. McNulty asks Greggs if she misses her relationship with Cheryl and Greggs admits that she feels responsible for the end of the relationship because of her infidelity but states that she does not miss it. However, she does feel a connection to Elijah. McNulty says that kids are great and Greggs agrees before asking him about his relationship with Beadie. McNulty recalls Bunk telling him that he was no good for people (from the series 1 episode “Lessons”) and Greggs tries to soften the comment by asking if Bunk was drinking at the time – McNulty confirms that he was but that it doesn't make him feel any better.
The FBI profilers begin to describe their assessment by noting the inconsistencies in the killer's behaviour in terms of the timing of his crimes. They also recognize that the killer is unusual as previous serial killers targeting the homeless have been homeless themselves but the Baltimore killer is using a cell phone so is not likely to be homeless. The unit’s deputy director Arthur Tolan interrupts the meeting and brags about his work on high profile cases and television series like CSI. The homicide detectives are unimpressed and the Tolan leaves deflated. His subordinates tell McNulty and Greggs that Tolan was the lead investigator on the Unabomber but the detectives remain unimpressed as the investigation stretched over sixteen years and was broken by the perpetrator's brother coming forward as an informant.
The FBI agents continue the profile – the suspect is most likely a white male in his late 20s to late 30s who is not a college graduate but feels superior to those with advanced education and is likely employed in a bureaucratic entity, possibly civil or public service. They continue that he has a problem with authority and a deep seated resentment for those that have impeded his progress professionally. The sexual nature of the killings is thought to be a secondary motivation and the lack of DNA or saliva in the bite marks suggests possible post mortem staging. The suspect is described as struggling with lasting relationships and potentially a high functioning alcoholic with alcohol being used as a trigger in the crimes. The camera dwells on McNulty’s face as the description continues to reflect his own characteristics. Finally, they speculate that the suspect’s apparent resentment of the homeless may indicate a previous personal relationship with a homeless person or the targeting may simply be an opportunity for the killer to assert his superiority and intellectual prowess. As they leave Greggs asks for McNulty’s opinion and he tells her the profile is in the ball-park.
Back in Baltimore, Bunk is called to the Omar Little shooting scene by Ed Norris. Women in the crowd outside are speculating that Omar was shot trying to rob the Korean owned grocery store. Crutchfield is also at the scene and tells Bunk that he should have let him give Omar the years in prison as he would have been better off. Bunk glares at Crutchfield before assessing the body. Bunk thanks Norris for the call and speculates that Omar was killed professionally. Crutchfield admits that he thought the same but that the store owner witnessed the shooting and described the perpetrator as a short adolescent with a big gun. Bunk notices that Omar’s weapons are gone and asks if the perpetrator robbed Omar. Norris explains that the young hoppers took souvenirs from the body including the weapons. Bunk notices a piece of paper and picks it up with Crutchfield’s permission. It is a list of personnel in Stanfield’s organization and their corners. It includes Marlo, Chris, Monk, Cheese, Snoop, O-Dog, Savino, Cherry and Vincent. Savino’s name is crossed out. Bunk looks at the body and speculates that Omar was back on the hunt.
McNulty returns from Quantico to an empty house. He finds a note from Beadie that reads “Jimmy, one possible future. Be back tomorrow or the next day. Or not. Think about it B.” McNulty is horrified as intended.
Lowenthal calls Bunk back to the crime lab the next day and reports a match to Chris Partlow from DNA found on Devar Manigault’s body. Lowenthal tells Bunk that he recognises the name from the vacant murders but is aware there is no real link to the homeless killings and warns Bunk not to play him again. Bunk delivers Omar’s list to McNulty and tells him about Omar’s death. Bunk tells McNulty that Omar was hunting the Stanfield organization and offers the list as payback for McNulty’s assistance with the lab. McNulty asks Bunk to hold back on the Partlow murder warrant to allow Freamon to make a break in the Stanfield investigation and Bunk reluctantly agrees. Bunk tells McNulty that he made his case the honest way and McNulty claims that without the fake serial killer Bunk would still be awaiting the lab work. Ray Barlow approaches McNulty to ask for money to pursue an out of town lead over the weekend based on a case similar to a murdered transvestite. McNulty notices differences in the evidence and refuses. Barlow admits that he really wants to travel for a golf game on a hard to book course and threatens to expose McNulty if he does not grant the funding request, so McNulty hesitantly agrees.
McNulty readies to leave the office when Greggs comes in carrying a pile of paperwork. She is planning to spend the evening working on the serial killer case and review the files on known sex offenders and the background information on persons of interest present at the harbour when the call was traced to compare them to the FBI profile. McNulty pulls Greggs into an interview room and comes clean about making up the serial killer. Greggs tries to tell McNulty he cannot carry on with his plan but McNulty tries to reassure her that it will all be over soon. McNulty offers Greggs a share of his resources to work her own cases and then leaves.
McNulty finds himself alone at Russell’s house again that evening and gets a call from Detective Christeson to thank him for the manpower he provided. Christeson has made an arrest on his case. Russell eventually returns with her children late in the evening. She refuses to tell McNulty where she has been and warns him that next time he will be the one to leave as she owns the house.
Russell warns McNulty that his family and closest friends are the only ones who will remember him when he is gone and that his colleagues and associates will not be at his wake. She urges him to reconsider his priorities. McNulty admits that he fabricated the serial killer. He tells her that he felt frustrated with his position when the Stanfield case was shut down and admits that he is unsure where his anger comes from or how he can make it stop. He explains that he has channelled funding to Freamon to continue the Stanfield investigation and admits that he cannot stand his actions. Russell is scared of the possibility of McNulty being imprisoned for his actions and angry that he took such a risk without including her. As McNulty begins to tell Russell that he initially thought of himself as the hero of the story but then realised he was wrong, she goes back inside the house as he is talking.
Major Crimes UnitEdit
Freamon intercepts the coded message from Marlo to organize a meeting with Chris. He calls Sydnor to see where the surveillance teams are and Sydnor reports that they are still setting up. Sydnor continues the briefing and assigns Dozerman and Truck to follow Monk Metcalf, Bobby and Brian to follow Chris and Snoop with Karen and Tony to pick up Snoop if they split up. Marcus and Angela will serve as back-up while Sydnor tails Marlo himself. Sydnor describes the organization's typical pattern and tells his people where they can usually find their targets at the beginning of each day. Sydnor reminds his people that they are being covered by McNulty for paperwork and that the evidence they gather will not be needed at trial – it is just to uncover the pattern in the meetings.
Freamon meets with the Maryland District US Attorney with the evidence from the Davis investigation – hoping to take the case federal now that local prosecution has failed. FBI supervisor Amanda Reese and Agent Terrence “Fitz” Fitzhugh are also present. The prosecutor refuses to take on the case because the local prosecution complete failure has re-cast Davis as a people’s hero and made much of the federal casework inadmissible as Davis has been found not guilty.
Freamon returns to manning the picture intercepts and finds a coded message from Stanfield with a clock face showing 10:55:34. He calls Sydnor to see which of their targets is moving and Sydnor reports that Marlo is driving Eastbound on Baltimore Street. Freamon asks about Monk and Sydnor learns from Dozerman that Monk is Southbound on Martin Luther King Boulevard. Freamon records the timing and targets involved in the meeting. Sydnor observes the meeting, which is at the corner of Argyle and Dolphin. Freamon records a new incoming message to Marlo reading 4:40:35. The other targets are all stationary and not using phones so Freamon speculates that there is someone on the network they have yet to uncover.
Later Freamon intercepts another message reading 5:15:35. Sydnor has lost Stanfield following a traffic incident. McNulty arrives at the office and tells Freamon about Bunk getting the murder warrant on Partlow. Freamon is concerned that an arrest could drive the Stanfield Organization to change their pattern but McNulty reassures him that Bunk agreed to hold the warrant for them. McNulty also reports Omar’s death and delivers his list to Freamon. Freamon recognizes Cheese Wagstaff’s name. Freamon had realized Stanfield was wholesaling to other dealers but McNulty theorizes that the note shows him as being part of Stanfield’s organization. McNulty prepares to leave and admits that he has told Greggs about the plan. Freamon is shocked that McNulty has told another person and asks how she took it. McNulty shakes his head and leaves.
Sydnor tries to pick up Stanfield by checking the location of the other surveillance cars. Karen reports that they have tailed Snoop to Edgecombe Circle in the Northwestern District but Sydnor does not recognize the location. He pulls out an atlas to find it and realizes that the page number corresponds to the code the dealers are using.
After work Freamon tracks Clay Davis to a bar. Freamon asks the Senator’s companion to give them privacy while Davis buys drinks and Freamon then surprises Davis on his return. Davis is initially jocular about his recent victory in the court case until Freamon threatens him with the prospect of renewing the charges at the federal level and adding the false information on the Davis’ mortgage application. Davis assumes Freamon is trying to blackmail him for money and Freamon tells him that he will instead have to give answers in a few nights’ time.
Freamon returns to the office to find that Sydnor has cracked the clock code. The time gives a location to meet only with the second hand indicating the atlas page, the hour hand the longitude (1 to 11 corresponding to gird squares A to K) and the minute hand intervals the latitude (with five minute intervals indicating the grid square). Each grid square has a prearranged meeting location. Sydnor is perplexed that the code gives only a location and not a time to meet and Freamon postulates that the meetings are to happen within an hour of the message being sent because the locations are tightly grouped within a half hour of driving of one another. Freamon makes a connection between the messages where none of the surveillance teams saw a subject moving. He recognizes that while the second hand is usually on 34, the latest message had it on 35, indicating the page for East Baltimore in the atlas, and guesses that Cheese is involved in the East side meetings. Sydnor is surprised to hear Cheese’s name in connection to Marlo. Before Freamon can explain, Greggs arrives. She chastises Freamon for his involvement and refuses to listen to any explanation – telling her colleagues she is not good with the plan before exiting.
Dukie walks down the street kicking a can. He passes a sporting goods store and goes in. He asks the salesman, Malik “Poot” Carr, if there is any work available. Poot asks his age and Dukie claims he is 18 – Poot laughs at him and Dukie admits that he is only 15. Poot explains that the manager will not hire anyone under 17. Dukie goes to leave and Poot stops him having recognised him as a friend of Namond Brice. Poot tells Dukie that he used to run the Fayette corners and Dukie remembers him. Poot explains that he eventually got tired and then recommends that Dukie return to the street for a while and return when he is older. Dukie leaves the store and continues on down the street. Dukie has similar results at other stores and restaurants but finds a junk man struggling to lift an old refrigerator. When Dukie injures his hand helping the man offers to pay him ten dollars to work for the rest of the day. Dukie is dropped off at Bug’s school at the end of the day and Bug is surprised by his new career as an “arabber”. The junk man offers Dukie more work the next day.
Mayor Tommy Carcetti and his chief of staff Michael Steintorf meet with their budget advisor to discuss freeing up funding for the police department now that the homeless murders are their priority. The budget advisor suggests cutting funding for public works and snow removal in order to avoid cutting school funding. Carcetti checks that police operations will be fully funded and the advisor confirms that the department funding will be back at the level before the cuts. Steintorf comments that it is time to focus on crime to avoid leaving them vulnerable to criticism. The budget advisor reassures Carcetti that the homelessness issue is gaining him traction and recalls the governor being criticised for cutting funding to programs aimed at preventing homelessness. Carcetti tells his advisors that he is going to be giving a speech at a candlelight vigil for the homeless later that week.
Norman Wilson arrives at the meeting bearing bad news. He has been called by a Washington Post reporter seeking comment on a story about a Prince George’s (PG) County politician named Dobey opposing Carcetti’s party nomination as the Democratic candidate for governor. Wilson has also learned that Congressman Upshaw may support Dobey creating a greater threat to Carcetti. Steintorf doubts that Dobey could take the state house but worries that a battle in the Democratic primary would cost them much needed resources for their own campaign against the Republican incumbent. Wilson asks Carcetti who he met with when he visited PG County last month to drum up support. Carcetti’s contacts are all white and Wilson suggests that Carcetti will have to quell the potential insurrection.
Carcetti and Wilson travel to PG County and meet with Congressman Upshaw. Carcetti promises to do whatever it takes to make their relationship right and asks why Upshaw would back Dobey when it hurts everyone. Upshaw clarifies that he thinks it would only really hurt Carcetti. The two elected politicians share an animosity for the governor. Carcetti gives the congressman his word that their frustration will end when he is elected but the Upshaw tells Carcetti it will cost a lot more than his word to keep PG County in his camp.
Back in Baltimore, Carcetti meets with Nerese Campbell and Clay Davis to discuss the threat from Dobey. Campbell and Davis appear friendly but use the opportunity to secure promises from Carcetti in exchange for their support against Dobey. Campbell asks for Carcetti’s endorsement to replace him as Mayor while Davis asks for three seats on the liquor board and Carcetti offers him one. Davis offers to raise funds for Carcetti’s campaign in exchange for a second seat and Carcetti remarks that he is afraid of the damage that Davis can do with two seats on the liquor board and Davis pretends Carcetti is joking.
At the vigil, Carcetti gives a rousing speech about the issue of homelessness and the serial killer plaguing the homeless population. Campbell, Wilson and Steintorf look on approvingly and Scott Templeton is also taking notes from the audience.
Carcetti returns home and quickly reviews his performance on the television news. His wife Jen congratulates him on the performance. Carcetti tells her about the negative aspects of his day with the compromises he has been forced to make to fend off opposition from Dobey. Jen is disappointed as Carcetti told her he would prefer to endorse Bond over Campbell. Carcetti reveals that Upshaw has asked for a pledge to send half of any federal funding for Baltimore for schools or crime. Jen is horrified at the prospect of giving up so much of Baltimore City’s needed funding, but Carcetti rationalises that if he does not get elected then Baltimore will receive nothing.
The Baltimore SunEdit
City Desk Editor Gus Haynes smokes on the loading dock with Jeff Price and Bill Zorzi. They discuss Templeton’s recent phone call from the homeless serial killer and Price jokes that he once interviewed a psychopath – Dick Cheney. Zorzi asks Haynes if Templeton is telling the story straight and Haynes cites the police involvement as supportive of Templeton’s story. Price brings up the photographs Templeton was sent. Zorzi remarks that they will be writing about the homeless until December. Price is confused and Haynes explains that the Pulitzer prize submissions follow the calendar year and that the paper will remain focused on one issue until the submission deadline passes.
As Haynes returns to the office, Jay Spry stops him to pass on a message from the reception desk – a visitor wants to discuss Templeton’s story about a homeless Iraq veteran. Haynes suggests that Templeton should take the meeting, but Spry explains that the man claims Templeton has been avoiding his calls. Haynes reluctantly heads downstairs and greets the visitor. It is Terry Hanning, the subject of Templeton’s story. Haynes tells Hanning it is an honour to meet him but Hanning does not shake his hand and asks who he is. When Hanning learns that Haynes edited the piece he calls him a liar.
Haynes arranges a face to face meeting between Hanning and Templeton and sits in on the discussion. Hanning angrily confronts Templeton about a fabricated element in the story – Templeton has written that Hanning’s unit was in a firefight when Hanning clearly told him in episode 57 “Took” that his vehicle was hit by an elevated IED (Improvised Explosive Device) injuring his comrades and that there was no further action. Hanning is aggressively confrontational when Templeton claims that his notes show otherwise. Templeton repeatedly asks to be allowed to finish and then threatens to end the discussion if he is not allowed to tell his side of the story. This prompts Hanning to deliver the epigraph “A lie ain’t a side of a story. Its just a lie.”
Haynes asks both men to calm down and asks Hanning about his alcohol consumption – Hanning angrily asserts that he would not sleep under a bridge sober. Haynes sympathetically explains that when he is drinking he has a tendency to embellish a story. Hanning agrees that is often the case when telling a story but claims that there are certain things that have happened that you do not ever alter when retelling them. Templeton again tries to convince Hanning that their conversation was different to what Hanning remembers. Hanning responds by asking Templeton what would happen if one of the marines he served with read the story and notices the fabrication. Templeton has no response and Hanning asks for him to leave.
Outside Haynes tells Templeton that they will investigate the complaint by checking Hanning’s service record and verifying the story with the men he served alongside. Haynes insists that they will attribute the complaint to a misunderstanding but that if any of the details of Templeton’s story prove to be incorrect then they will print a correction. Templeton is annoyed with the outcome while Hanning remains distraught. Haynes re-enters and Hanning tells Haynes that Templeton also lied during the meeting – they were drinking chocolate milk when he told the story and not coffee as Templeton claimed.
Haynes edits a story from Mike Fletcher about homelessness in the city and compliments the work. Fletcher remains modest and reveals that he was helped by a source – Reginald “Bubbles” Cousins – and says that he felt that he would make a good story. Haynes is intrigued by the details Fletcher has so far and asks his reporter to spend some time with Bubbles and see what comes of it. Fletcher worries about the rest of his beat and Haynes reassures him that he will be covered for a couple of weeks. Gutierrez arrives with some late breaking police stories – the murder of 34-year-old Omar Little in a grocery store and a row house fire that killed two. Haynes checks what space remains in the paper and then tells Gutierrez to write a short story on the fire only.
At the end of the day, Haynes edits Templeton’s story from the homeless vigil and is disappointed to see that the anecdote in his lede has been attributed to an unnamed source despite the vigil being a public assembly that was well attended. Haynes approaches his line manager, Metro Desk Editor Steven Luxenberg, tells him that he plans to remove the lede because it violates the paper’s sourcing policy, and asks Luxenberg to back him up when he the inevitable confrontation occurs. Luxenberg agrees with Haynes’ decision. Haynes calls Templeton over and gives him the news. Templeton asks Haynes to consider the quality of the quote in the lede, and Haynes tells Templeton that the outstanding quality is part of his concern. Templeton says “to hell with you if you think I made it up” and Haynes explains that the lede violates the sourcing policy. Templeton angrily returns to his desk and makes a display of his anger. Templeton’s posturing attracts Thomas Klebanow’s attention. After a discussion with Templeton, Klebanow approaches Haynes. Haynes is quick to state his case and when Klebanow asks for further discussion Haynes explains that he has already had the discussion with Luxenberg. Haynes tells Klebanow that he feels that he has done his job and followed the paper’s sourcing policy but that as Managing Editor Klebanow can overturn the decision. Haynes then leaves the newsroom.