"Backwash" (Sepinwall, Ariano) generally feels like more of the same: everyone's stuck in the game they're playing, with little** way out. Frank Sobotka increasingly desperate in trying to preserve a dangerous way of life that he knows is already gone; Stringer Bell making business decisions devoid of emotion (and without or despite Avon's advice); the police doing their best to figure out what's going on in the port, but they're not going to be able to clear the big case in this modern urban crime environment. Oh, and Prop Joe has a proposition for you. (What's new? Almost no McNulty.)
But yet again, it's Desperate Frank Sobotka with the best moment:
SOBOTKA: All summer long, that shit was all the Hare kids drank, Tang with breakfast, Tang with lunch, Tang when they woke up scared in the middle of the night. What do you think they grew up to be? Stevedores. What the fuck you think? Something tells me Jason DiBiagio will grow up and squeeze a buck the way his old man did.
DIBIAGIO: You're outta line, Frank. My great-grandfather was a knife sharpener. Yeah. Pushed a grinding stone up Preston Street to Alice-Ann, one leg shorter than the other from pumping the wheel. And since he didn't want his sons to push the goddamn thing, he made sure my grandfather finished high school and my old man went to any college that would take him.
SOBOTKA: You're talking history, right? I'm talking now. Because down here, it's still "Who's your old man?" 'Til you got kids of your own and then it's, "Who's your son?" But after the horror movie I seen today... Robots! Piers full of robots! My kid'll be lucky if he's even punchin' numbers five years from now. And while it don't mean shit to me that I can't take my steak knives to DiBiagio and Sons, it breaks my fucking heart that there's no future for the Sobotkas on the waterfront! Here, Brucie. [Pulls out the shoebox filled with cash.] I think they're your size.
I'm operating under the assumption that because of your relentless diligence, the funding for the grain pier is gonna pass the Assembly. But I'm also talking about the canal, so you're gonna talk about the canal, so the Muldoons who run the Old Line State, they're gonna talk about he canal 'til someday, someway, that motherfucker gets dredged and we get some ships in here.Those ships, of course, will never come.
** Not none. That's what makes Shardene stand out.