In The Departed (2006), Frank completes his phone call with Sullivan about the existence of an undercover cop in his crew while standing under a bridge. As he walks away, Captain Queenan and Dignam suddenly greet him from the side of the structure:

Queenan: What did you do with the real microprocessors, Frank?

Frank: Microprocessors. Oh, yeah. I heard the story. You arrested some Chinese government guys... at the border carrying some light sockets (Captain Queenan and Dignam laughs) or something.

Why did they laugh in this scene ?

  • 1
    Because they think it's funny that he wasted his time chasing a guy who didn't have the (illegal) microprocessors, but instead arrested a random chinese businessman with a big box of (perfectly legal) light sockets?
    – Valorum
    Sep 27 at 11:23
  • @Valorum That makes no sense. Who would "he" be? Frank wasn't chasing anybody. He just sold the goods.
    – nobody
    15 hours ago

1 Answer 1


It is implied that Frank double-crossed the Chinese agents: they thought they were buying something they weren't allowed to have (high-tech "microprocessors"), but instead Frank delivered something else ("light sockets", i.e. some cheap junk, not high-tech) while still pocketing the full price that the "microprocessors" were worth.

As law enforcement officers and presumably patriotic Americans, Queenan and Dignam appreciate that the foreign spies were thwarted. There's some irony in the fact that they were dealing with a known criminal (Frank) and probably should not have trusted him.

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