The Wire

HBO (ended 2008)
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3,651 votes
  • show Description
  • In chronicling a multi-generational family business dealing illegal drugs and the efforts of the Baltimore police to curb their trade, this series draws parallels between these organizations and the men and women on either side of the battle.The words of Gary W. Potter, Professor of Criminal Justice and Police Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, in writing about the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s, can also be used to illuminate some of the central premises of the show:"There is precious little difference between those people who society designates as respectable and law abiding and those people society castigates as hoodlums and thugs. The world of corporate finance and corporate capital is as criminogenic and probably more criminogenic than any poverty-wracked slum neighborhood. The distinctions drawn between business, politics, and organized crime are at best artificial and in reality irrelevant. Rather than being dysfunctions, corporate crime, white-collar crime, organized crime, and political corruption are mainstays of American political-economic life."Tim Goodman, the television critic for The San Francisco Chronicle, summed the show up perfectly when he wrote: "This show is precisely the reason you pay for HBO."In New York's Newsday, Diane Werts says: "Most TV crime series aspire to John Grisham's level. 'The Wire' aspires to Dostoevsky's."Season ThemesSeason One centers around a family of drug dealers and the innerworkings of their empire. It also follows the detectives who are trying to catch the high members of the empire. Season Two steps away from the drug trade (while still mentioning characters from the previous season) to a case of dead prostitutes which turns into a look at the corruption surrounding the Port. Season Three investigates politics and finishes the main stories that were left open in season one. Season Four focuses on four middle school students and their journeys through the public school system and continues to address the politics of an inner-city and the issues of an election. Season Five is rumored to be about the media's role in Baltimore. Season Five will be the show's final season.Theme MusicIn the Season One opening credits, the Blind Boys of Alabama did Tom Waits's "Way Down in the Hole". The Season Two opening credits feature Waits's version of the song. According to creator David Simon, "It was our way of saying: This is the same show (song) but this year, the tale itself (singer, tonality) will be different." The Neville Brothers's version of the song opens Season Three. The theme which plays over the end credits was composed by the show's music supervisor, Blake Leyh. International AiringsAustralia -- Monday at 12:00 p.m. on Ch.9. Currently airing Season 3. New Zealand -- Wednesday at 11:40 p.m. on TV2, beginning December 15, 2004.moreless

  • Latest News
  • Episode Guide
  • S 5 : Ep 10


    Aired 3/9/08

  • S 5 : Ep 9

    Late Editions

    Aired 3/2/08

  • S 5 : Ep 8


    Aired 2/24/08

  • S 5 : Ep 7


    Aired 2/17/08

  • S 5 : Ep 6

    The Dickensian Aspect

    Aired 2/10/08

  • Cast & Crew
  • Glynn Turman

    Mayor Clarence V. Royce

  • Idris Elba

    Russell "Stringer" Bell

  • Clark Johnson

    City Editor Augustus "Gus" Haynes

  • Wendell Pierce

    Det. William "Bunk" Moreland

  • Frankie Faison

    Police Comm. Ervin H. Burrell

  • Photos (2)
  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (260)

    • McNulty: All I did was answer the guy's questions, he's a fucking Judge. Landsman: And the Deputy's the fucking Deputy, and he, not the Judge, has what's left of your be-shitted career in his hot little hands.

    • McNulty: (To Bunk) That will teach you to give a fuck when it ain't your turn to give a fuck.

    • Bunk: (To a dead body) You moldering motherfucker, don't even think about coming back a murder. Don't even think of that shit.

    • McNulty: It's got dots; Deputy loves dots. Landsman: Fuck you and your fucking dots.

    • McNulty: I got to ask you, if every time Snot Boogie would grab the money and run away, why did you even let him in the game? Snot Boogie's Pal: What? McNulty: If Snot Boogie always stole the money, why did you let him play? Snot Boogie's Pal: Got to, this America man.

    • Greggs: Fighting the war on drugs... one brutality case at a time. Carver: Girl, you can't even call this shit a war.Herc: Why not? Carver: Wars end.

    • D'Angelo Barksdale: Now you think Ronald McDonald gonna go down to the basement and say, "Hey Mr. Nugget - you the bomb. We sellin' chicken faster than you can tear the bone out. So I'm gonna write my clowney ass name on this fat-ass check for you." Shit. Man, the nigga who invented them things? Still working in the basement for regular wage, thinking of some shit to make the fries taste better or some shit like that. Believe.

    • Marla Daniels: You can not lose if you do not play.

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    Notes (132)

    • The cold-opening sequence, the Snot-Boogie crime scene, was filmed at the corner of Faltington and Lexington in West Baltimore.

    • The scenes at the gentleman's club Orlando's, beginning in this episode, and continuing throughout the season, were actually filmed at the Ritz in Fells Point.

    • Both the Snot Boogie murder story and Bunk's tale of shooting a mouse in his kitchen are true stories from David Simon's time researching his book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets.

    • Each season uses a different recording of the opening theme "Way Down in the Hole," against a different opening sequence. This season, the theme is performed by The Blind Boys of Alabama.

    • The Western District officer at the William Gant murder scene, Bobby, is played by real-life Batimore police officer Bobby Brown. Brown also appeared as a police officer in David Simon's The Corner.

    • Although credited, Wood Harris does not appear in this episode.

    • Music: "It Takes Two" by Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock; "2-Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten" by Lucinda Williams

    • This episode marks the first appearance of Omar Little.

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    Trivia (55)

    • When Dee tells Wallace, (as they look at the photocopied bills) "Nobody on money but dead white presidents" Wallace looks at the $10 and says, "He ain't no president", what's goin on here? ¬†Wallace knows that the picture on a $10 is Alexander Hamilton, first Secretary of the Treasury.

    • The title of the episode refers to Detective Jimmy McNulty setting his sights on Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale's drug dealing organization as the target of an investigation.

    • When Lt. Daniels quotes from the letter D'Angelo wrote to the murdered witness's family, he claims it says, "I'm very sorry for your father," but in the actual letter the word 'father' is missing.

    • The stain on Judge Phelan's tie moves about between shots.

    • The burnt-out police car after the riot is different than the one Herc, Carver, and Prez arrived in. They were driving a new model Crown Victoria, while the burnt-out car was an older model.

    • The title of this episode refers to the deals struck in the various institutions featured. Valchek buys Daniels support of his son in law with resources. Drug addicts buy narcotics from the Barksdale organization, and Sydnor makes undercover purchases from Bodie.

    • During the investigation of a 6 month old murder in a vacant apartment, the only things spoken are variations on the word "fuck." The word, and its variations, being said a total of about 37 times.

    • When you see Brandon's corpse on the hood of the car during the beginning of the episode, it can clearly be seen that he is breathing.

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    Allusions (31)

    • When McNulty and Bubbles are driving to his sons' Soccer game, Bubbles asks "Where in Leave It To Beaver land are you taking me?" This is referring to the old 60's television show set in the middle-class suburbs, and how life was projected as oddly perfect.

    • When Bunk asks for Omar's help in clearing old murders, he comments that 'Murder stay murder', alluding to the fact that there is no statute of limitations on murder charges.

    • After the mass sentencing of all the people arrested as a result of the wire, including Avon and D'Angelo Barksdale, Stringer Bell approaches McNulty and says "Nicely done." This alludes to the first episode where McNulty said the same words to Stringer Bell after the female eyewitness refused to identify D'Angelo Barksdale in court, resulting in a not guilty verdict on his murder charge.

    • The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show Ziggy calls Sergei "Serge" Malatov, the Greek driver, Boris, and then goes on to explain that it was a character from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Boris and Natasha were two Russian criminals featured on the 60's children cartoon series.

    • When McNulty and his two sons get out of the car, the kids are arguing about elves and hobbits. They may have just come from the cinema, having watched one of the films in The Lord of the Rings trilogy based on the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien and directed by Peter Jackson. The conversation also references another novel by Tokien called The Hobbit, the predecessor to the The Lord of the Rings.

    • When McNulty comes into the Homicide unit, Sgt. Jay Landsman refers to him as "Gilligan, little buddy." Because he is now in the Marine unit, calling him "Gilligan" is a reference to the title character of Gilligan's Island, a television series about a shipwrecked crew.

    • When Carver and Herc are parked outside the front of Nick Sobotka's home, Carver calls Herc "Beavis" when he doesn't recognise the name Sobotka. This is a reference to the pioneering cartoon series Beavis and Butt-head from the early 90's that aired on MTV. The title characters were dim-witted stoners in high school who loved to watch music video's.

    • During the cold opening, a member of the Stevedores port crew is wearing a South Park t-shirt. The graphic is of a dead Kenny with the characters Stan and Kyle beside him saying the catchphrase "Oh my God, you killed Kenny!" and "You Bastards!" The graphic depicted on the t-shirt mirrors the murder of Frank Sobotka.

    Show More Allusions
  • Fan Reviews (116)
  • Edward and Mrs. Simpson Episode 3 and beyond

    By rmaraist, Aug 12, 2015


    By bricktopchic, Jun 09, 2015

  • Unique show. great acting. It's The Wire

    By Kaveen_dusty, Jan 26, 2015

  • A typical cop show on a soapbox

    By jacquesshellac5, Oct 05, 2014

  • Sistine Chapel of Television

    By parantap31, Sep 25, 2014