The episode is written by crime fiction writer Richard Price, and his commentary on this episode is excellent. It provide a look into the challenges of writing as part of a much longer series that has been created by various voices and visions. He notes that he felt like “Helen Keller on a snowboard in the Alps” when writing the back room dealings between politicians. He relied so heavily on the political beat reporter at the Baltimore-Sun he said he felt those scenes were written by someone else. He also noted that he “plagiarized” his own work 1992 novel Clockers for a couple of the scenes in this episode, namely the brilliant moment when Bodie and Poot run into Herc and Carver at the movies when they’re “off the clock.”
If you have the time, check out the DVD commentary on this episode with price, he talks about the brain trust of urban crime writers such as David Simon, George Pelecanos, and Dennis Lahane, amongst others, that came together to help make the writing of The Wire what it is.