The Wire

Season 5 Episode 1

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5
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jan 06, 2008 on HBO
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
155 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

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"The bigger the lie, the more they believe." - Bunk Moreland
As McNulty and the detail continue to stake out Marlo's crew, recently promoted Sgt. Carver is welcomed by a cauldron of discontent from officers coping with unpaid overtime; Though he wants to keep his campaign promise to lower crime, Mayor Carcetti is strapped by his commitment to schools, and faces some tough choices; Col. Daniels is forced to reallocate his resources, retaining Freamon and Sydnor for the Clay Davis probe; Meanwhile, city editor Augustus "Gus" Haynes and the staff of The Baltimore Sun are reeling from corporate cutbacks, losing key personnel from both the metro and international divisions; Still, with the help of reporters Alma Gutierrez, Jeff Price and Scott Templeton, Haynes is able to break a front-page story that links a politician to a co-op drug dealer; Proposition Joe, Marlo, Fatface Rick and other New Day Co-Op members meet in a hotel conference room to discuss divvying up drug frontiers across East Baltimore's county line.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The dreaded countdown to the final ep of this incredible series has begun...but what a way to go out! The Wire, true to form, kicks off the season with a doozy of an installment, mixing the familiar and exciting new elements together in a heady stew.moreless

    9.6
    Disillusionment is the order of the day:



    The luster has faded from the dream reign of Carcetti as Mayor. As he deals with the reality of the city's budget deficit, Carcetti burns important bridges with the power elite- and with Norman. His failure to deliver on the promised pay raise to the police has made him unpopular with them, and he loses the faith of Daniels when he folds to pressure from Burrell and Rawls and guts the Major Crimes Unit investigation into the bodies found in the row-house vacants. Dukie, now no longer going to school, has settled into a life on the corner- at least until Micheal, now a rising enforcer in Marlo's crew, deems him unsuitable for the drug trade and assigns him to babysit for Bug.



    The cops are drowning in overtime hours, but no actual OT pay is in sight, causing unrest and division within the ranks. Newly-promoted Sgt. Carver tries to deal with the low morale. McNulty, disappointed that he moved back to the Unit believing in the promise of a new day at City Hall, has returned to drinking and womanizing.



    Herc, fired from the Department, has taken a job as a P.I. for sleazebag attorney Maurice Levy.



    Marlo has tightened his grip on the drug trade and is emboldened to stir dissension in the ranks of the co-op. As it has done so adeptly in past seasons, The Wire takes an in-depth look at a new milieau: the pressure-laden newsroom at the Baltimore Sun. The writers ingeniously place this new cast of characters right in the thick of the plot, as the reporters run afoul of the City Council President for running a story that places her in a bad light- and investigates the shady sources of some of her campaign contributions.



    And, finally, we get an update on Bubbles, who is clean, living once again in his sister's basement, and selling newspapers. Now it's my turn to be disillusioned- the guy's real name is Reginald? REGINALD?moreless
  • Who expected a change?

    9.2
    A really depressing episode of The Wire starts the fifth and final season of this groundbreaking programme. SPOILER beginning:

    On a personal level McNulty seems to be the same bad ass as before. He is drinking again, cheating on his girlfriend and insults who he wants to.

    On the bigger scale you can see Baltimore's money problems and how Carcetti and his crew don't seem to be able to cope with it. As a result the people trying to solve the Marlo Stanfield murders are ordered back to their old jobs.

    On the other side there's the new storyline about one of the Baltimore newspapers which promises to further develop the storyline on politics established in the last season.

    SPOILER end.

    All in all a silent but great start for the fifth season.moreless
  • Charm City's Finest is a shambles and the Baltimore Sun looks on.

    10
    One reason this is one of my favorite show's is that it shows life as a detective how it really is. No B.S. The mundane with the sensational. "The Wire" is also a visual treatise on what ails our cities today. This episode picks up where last season drops off. 22 bodies have been found dead, who did it...Carcetti is now mayor...Davis will be indicted...and the city's finances are in the toilet. Corruption is still running rampant. I was a teenager when the NY Daily News ran the headline Ford to City "Drop Dead". Some of this fiscal crisis for me is NY revisited but I digress. We are also introduced to our new characters and a new theme, "The Baltimore Sun". Or more specifically the state of journalism today and how it's at the mercy of the corporation.



    McNulty and Company are watching the dealers and they know they're being watched. As this episode progresses we see how morale in the PD is low due to the city's fiscal crisis. The group will be broken up, detectives moved around. Clark Johnson of "Homicide: Life on the Street" fame is intorduced as a city editor with the Baltimore Sun. His big find is that the political corruption extends to an owner of a nudie bar. That is the first pivitol moment in this season. Political corruption is deep in Baltimore. I'm sure it will continue to be this year's theme.



    This episode is typical of everything we've seen in 4 seasons. Crisp writing, subtle humor and realism that approaches documentary level. I'm sure this will continue until the last episode of the series is shown..and that will be my disappointment. That the show will end.moreless
Dominic West

Dominic West

Det. James "Jimmy" McNulty

Wendell Pierce

Wendell Pierce

Det. William "Bunk" Moreland

Aidan Gillen

Aidan Gillen

Mayor Thomas "Tommy" Carcetti

Domenick Lombardozzi

Domenick Lombardozzi

Thomas R. "Herc" Hauk

Andre Royo

Andre Royo

Bubbles

John Doman

John Doman

Dep. Comm. William A. Rawls

Donald Neal

Donald Neal

Jay Spry

Guest Star

Todd Scofield

Todd Scofield

Jeff Price

Guest Star

Duane Chandler Rawlings

Duane Chandler Rawlings

Hungry Man

Guest Star

Benjamin Busch

Benjamin Busch

Off. Anthony Colicchio

Recurring Role

Robert F. Chew

Robert F. Chew

Joe "Proposition Joe" Stewart

Recurring Role

Felicia Pearson

Felicia Pearson

Felicia "Snoop" Pearson

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

  • QUOTES (0)

  • NOTES (6)

    • Music: "Eric B Is President" by Eric B. & Rakim; "Not A Criminal" by Chamillionaire; "Blind Love" by The Nighthawks; "Because Of You" by Ne-Yo; "I'm a King Bee" by Slim Harpo; "The Tide Is High" by Blondie; "Mother-In-Law" by Ernie K-Doe; "Do Me That Way" by Davis

    • Gbenga Akinnagbe, Jermaine Crawford, Neal Huff, Clark Johnson, Michael Kostroff, Tom McCarthy, Michelle Paress, Isiah Whitlock, Jr. and Tristan Wilds are now billed in the opening credits.

    • Although credited, Michael Kenneth Williams does not appear in this episode.

    • This episode was first aired on December 31st, a week before its scheduled cable air-date on HBO-On-Demand.

    • Each season uses a different recording of the opening theme "Way Down In The Hole," against a different opening sequence. This season, the fifth, the theme is performed by Steve Earle, who has a recurring role on the series as recovering addict Walon.

    • Tom McCarthy is credited during both the opening sequence as well as the closing credits. This is due to two actors sharing the same name. One playing the starring role of Scott Templeton, whilst the other has a minor role Tim Phelps.

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • The cold open sequence where Bunk, Norris and Landsman trick a young man into thinking a copy machine is a lie detector mirrors a scene in Homicide: Life on the Street, a show also written/produced by David Simon. Munch and Bolander do the exact same thing. Both scenes are lifted from David Simon's book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets.

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