Speculation, not spoilers.
In 58, while Sydnor is doing surveillance on Marlo and Monk, a train passes by on the el in the background. (Dunno if they call it an el in Bal’more. So shoot me. No, wait, don’t.)
We’ve talked a lot about trains foreshadowing death in The Wire. Was this Omar’s train? But Omar died a lot earlier in the episode. Monk? Who cares? Marlo? Maybe, but maybe not.
So I’m thinking about Sydnor, and the repercussions of McNulty’s hubris. We all know that fate will deal McNulty a big steaming cup of remorse by the end of the season, and it’s not just going to be some trivial shit like getting put back on harbor patrol.
What’s the worst thing that has ever happened to McNulty? Not losing touch with his kids. Not fucking up every relationship he’s ever had.
No, the worse thing that we’ve seen happen to McNulty was when Kima got shot and McNulty thought she was going to die and it was all his fault. Like Winston Smith and his fear of rats, the thing that scares McNulty most, the thing that would tear him right in half, is to be responsible for getting a police killed.
Which brings me back to Sydnor. Who has been out doing surveillance in unfamiliar neighborhoods, in plainclothes, stopping at intersections to peer into a map…in a rental car, courtesy of McNulty’s shadow department. They made a big deal about the police getting rental cars, but as anybody who lives in a carjacking kind of city knows, stopping at an intersection in a rental car in a sketchy neighborhood to focus on a map is like wearing a sign that says “Please shoot me and steal my car.”
The camera shot from the passenger seat, showing Sydnor with his nose in his map and the open driver’s side window next to him, I expected him to get popped right then.
And then there’s the train, which Sydnor got a good look at through the binoculars.
I wouldn’t put money on Sydnor catching a bullet, but at this point I am pretty much expecting it.