I had to go back and watch this one twice, as I often do. The Wire is really a prism, and you could spend one post giving a view into any facet. As I've stated before, The Wire makes good use of symbolism. One of my favorite characters, Proposition Joe, has donned some gold-rimmed "half" reading glasses, as he's taken over leadership of the drug "co-op" from the dearly departed Stringer Bell. String used to wear the exact same glasses last season, before he met the business ends of Omar and Brother Mouzone's shotguns.

Sgt. "Herc" has to be the dumbest detective in TV history; Barney Fife in Phat Farm sweaters and Timberlands. He lets a key witness to a murder right on the corner where he found him when he assumes the nickname "Little Kevin" must apply to a kid who is small in stature, rather than a pun nickname for the heaviest kid.

The four middle school boys are growing in different areas. It is comedy and tragedy to see a boy who is probably in no more than first grade being used as a lieutenant on the drug corners, cursing the police out with the expertise of someone 3 times his age. He is so small they can't take him in because they don't have cuffs that small. Randy the budding entrepreneur, discovers he can buy candy to resell on the internet cheaper than his Korean suppliers are selling it for, but not without a credit card. He hustles his teacher, Mr. Prez, into buying it for him with cash up front. In the back of your mind you hope his well-meaining teacher Mr. Prez doesn't get fired by some overzealous administrator for it. Randy 'raised' the money using the probability skills he learned in class to advise someone in a corner dice game.

Michael ends up having to go to kingpin Marlowe Stanfield for "help" in solving the problem of his stepfather returning to the home. I'm convinced now that Michael was abused by him in the past. As has been said on other message boards, it is hearbreaking that this is his only option, that he has no other responsible adult protector in his life to go to. More than sad, it is again real life.