1.4: A Hump Checks Out

Mahone: You do a little dance on those steps, you’re up to two-thirds with me. And maybe sue the city, get a little more. Can’t say we don’t deserve it.

When Bodie impulsively knocked Detective Mahone out during the raids, he did the hump a huge favor. “My ticket out of this rat-shit department,” he gloats from his hospital bed as he shares a celebratory retirement drink with his envious buddy Polk, and his disdainful commander, Daniels. When they drink a toast, Daniels hides his digust by politely lifting a glass (or, rather, a paper dixie cup) but he doesn’t drink.

Why would he celebrate an opportunist like Mahone? The man is a lazy detective to begin with, and now he gleefully embraces his injury. Mahone describes his wounds and his disability benefits like a man who has dreamed of this day during many, many long bored hours doing whatever it was that he did back in Property Crimes. On top of that, he has a plan, further exploiting the pension system by working with his brother-in-law in a video store (a store which rents more porn than “straight rentals”) This is all under the table so the income doesn’t come out of his pension.

As a public school teacher, I support public-sector unions, but here is an example of the worst case of union hack. Here is a man who knows nothing about the job itself, but seems to know everything there is to know about pensions, disabilities, and taxes. He is an opportunist who squeezes every buck out of the system, and encourages others to do the same. As he tells Polk (who enviously eyes Mahone’s x-rays) to join him, he even suggests a lawsuit for the faked injuries. Mahone’s final line on the show, “can’t say we don’t deserve it,” is a perfect summation of the entitled attitude of a man who feels that the world owes him for simply existing.

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