City Hall, trying in vain to shore up the failing schools, is throwing money at them. This requires cutting police funds deeply, and results in the disruption of a major investigation, a case involving more than twenty homicides. The case made national news -- but that was a year ago, so nobody gives a crap. So McNulty decides to invent a serial killer using unsolved deaths of homeless people. That's sexy, right? It'll get the brass's attention, right?
Well, no. Because McNulty forgets: they're homeless. They don't have an active constituency, either. He's thinking that more bodies will help, even enlisting Lester for the plan: "We have to kill again." Except I don't think that's going to work, either. More homeless are just more homeless. Hell, the show's already seen a family homicide this season; a little kid saw the whole thing. And Griggs is the only detective working that case. If that didn't jar the brass out of complacency, dead homeless sure won't. They need something else, something that's already been mentioned in the earlier allusion to Aruba. They need a missing white chick.
And I think the show has one. When Michael and Dukie took Michael's brother to Six Flags, they met up with two girls and spent the afternoon flirting; the girls were intrigued to find out that Michael and Dukie lived by themselves. I get the impression the boys got numbers at the end of it. The kicker: one of the girls was white.
To me, that's laying pipe. My bet is that McNulty's efforts will go precisely nowhere. But those girls will be back, and they'll visit Michael and Dukie... and when they're in the hood, something bad is going to go down. And the white girl will wind up dead.
And that's what will get the city off its ass.
David Simon mentioned in an interview that they belatedly realized they could have gotten another season out of the Hispanic community in Baltimore, but nobody on the show knew Spanish and he himself didn't know the Hispanic community well enough. I think that's kind of a cop-out (I really like the character of Cuddy, and his work in landscaping would have been a great in for the immigrant angle), but hey, I think Simon's earned a freebie. It could have given them another way to play this angle, though: Jack Dunphy, an LA police officer who has written pseudonymously for a variety of publications including THE LA TIMES and NATIONAL REVIEW, has an interesting take on what the media reports in terms of homicides. He notes that rich white victims get massive ink, but adds another factor he's noticing lately: interracial strife. Black crooks shoot black crooks? Nobody cares. Black crooks shoot at black crooks, accidentally injure or kill a black kid or old person? Couple inches on page B-4. Black crooks shoot at *Hispanic* crooks, or vice versa? News coverage wall-to-wall. I could see THE WIRE doing something with that.