The Wire

Season 1 Episode 3

The Buys

5
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 16, 2002 on HBO
9.1
out of 10
User Rating
250 votes
8

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

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"The king stay the king." - D'Angelo
After early morning "field interviews" conducted by Herc, Carver and Prez lead to a minor riot and bad publicity for the police, Daniels gets called in by the Deputy Commissioner. McNulty sends Mahone and Polk to the terrace to get a photo of Avon Barksdale. They come up short, but soft-spoken Freamon comes through with an old photo from Barksdale's boxing days. McNulty and Greggs visit FBI agent Fitzhugh to try and obtain some surveillance equipment. D'Angelo delivers the daily count to Stringer Bell, who in turn gives D'Angelo a bonus. Later, while Bodie and D'Angelo wait for the new supply to arrive, D'Angelo offers to get food. While he's gone, Bodie, Stinkum and the crew go to retrieve the new supply; only, renegade dealer Omar and his crew get there and steal the drugs for themselves. The next day, D'Angelo gets chewed out by Wee Bey - a Barksdale enforcer -for not being around when the incident happened. After getting chided by his superiors, Lieutenant Daniels mobilizes the team to raid "The Pit." Bodie hits one of the detectives while getting arrested and the rest of the officers proceed to beat Bodie. McNulty secretly meets with agent Fitzhugh, who tells him to watch out for Lieutenant Daniels - who might be on the take.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Running out of superlatives

    9.5
    This is the kind of show which gives you more, the more brainpower you put in to it. I can already see why the front cover of the DVD says simply 'Listen Layers upon layers, details laid in for a pay off later. Who to trust, who has hidden agendas. The chess game being contrasted to the drugs operation, leaving you to work out the corresponding 'pieces' on the other side. That's clever writing.moreless
  • The king stays the king well said, well sorta

    9.5
    This episode started out with a good bang and took off running. The story develops more and more and as we get to follow along we get to see some of the inner politics and workings of the Police department and the Drug dealers.



    We even get a chess demonstration/learning lesson while in the projects. The lesson was not bad although while covering all the piece the Knight was left out. Other than that I was entertained and tickled by the descriptions for the pieces on how they move.



    The episode starts with the backlash from last weeks incident in the projects with three officers acting like fools and then leads into a raid on the "pit" which ends up fruitless as expected. It almost seems like maybe just maybe the brass wanted this raid knowing it would be a dud. Dunno just my opinion.



    Without spoiling the episode, the final season delivers a "bombshell" allegations and whether you believe it or not it is a dramatic piece of information.



    The acting was top notch, the story is great as well. I like shows that force you to think and face difficult moral situations. No holds bar!



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  • More story development with important character introduction. A key episode.

    9.5
    Unlike certain tv shows The Wire doesn't waste time with filler episodes. In fact even filler scenes are extremely rare. The beauty of the show is that all scenes hold a certain amount of importance and there is not a single plot hole left to fill. This episode is no exception.



    The episode begins with D'Angelo, Wallace and Bodie in the pit. Kima, Jimmy watching from the roof as their CI Bubbles uses the hat routine.



    After the incident at the high rises Daniels has some explaining to do to Deputy Burrell. Daniels takes the hit rather than bring down Prez and his men. Major Valcheck who is the father of Prez's wife promises Daniels favours in return. Deputy Burrell makes it clear to Daniels that he wants a quick fix to the case and in his words 'dope on the table.' This is typical of the character Burrell as we will see in future episodes. He expects quick results without a true appreciation of what goes on behind the scenes.



    As the case goes on Jimmy and Kima realise that they still don't have a photo of Avon. Jimmy asks Polk and Mahone to get Avon's photo from records. They come back with a white guy, clearly not Avon. Polk and Mahone are 2 minor characters who thankfully don't have much of a part in The Wire. Their purpose is to demonstrate a common attitude of many workers. They don't care about the case, have no passion for the job. All they are bothered about is their over-time and getting through the day.



    One of the most memorable scenes of The Wire follows and one which makes D'Angelo's character grow on me even more. As he observes Bodie and Wallace playing Checkers using a Chess set he begins to explain the rules of Chess – liking it to the game that they play every day. For instance the castle is the dope stash, the King is Avon and the guys on the ground are the pawns - capped quick unless they are some 'smart a** pawns.' Also 'the Queen aint no b***h – she got all the moves.' Wallace likens the queen to Stringer Bell which later on in the season becomes a fairly accurate observation. Back at the unit Lester overhears Kima and Jimmy talking about the fact that they still don't have a picture of Avon. He goes to the Boxing Gym and manages to get a picture of the elusive Avon albeit an old one. He coolly brings it into the office and places it on Kima's desk without saying a word. At this stage it is clear that there's something intriguing about the unassuming character that is Lester Freemon. Kima's face says it all. We are also introduced to another key character in the show Omar Little. He watches patiently observing the pit crew's stash. As Sydnor goes undercover for a score with Bubbles, Omar is there too knowing exactly what is going on. During a re-up with Stinkum, Omar and his crew rob the Pit stash house. Watching this scene you would be forgiven for thinking that Omar is the 'bad guy' as he demonstrates cold ruthlessness in obtaining the stash. He thinks nothing of putting a shell in the leg of one of the protectors. Thankfully this is not the last you have seen of Omar and his character is one of the many gems of this show. Michael K Williams plays this part to perfection and if you are new to the Wire then you have many of his great scenes to look forward to.



    The next day as Wee-Bey is quizzing D'Angelo about the incident the police raid the pit looking for a seizure that will bring an end to the case. Daniels carries out the raid on instructions from Deputy Burrell however Jimmy shows his stubbornness by refusing to become a part of it. "I have real police work to do" he tells Daniels. Brilliant! As everyone expected nothing is found in the low rises so the seizure was a waste of time. The episode ends with FBI agent Fitz telling Jimmy that Daniels is 'dirty' And so the story continues…moreless
  • 103

    7.0
    Not as good as the last episode but still significantly better than the premiere. The best thing about this episode was definitely the chess analogy although I still feel as though this show isn't going anywhere at times. Right now, I think we're just getting the realistic feel of being a cop in Baltimore, but the only development we got here was that Daniels may be a "dirty" man. Although we did get some clever lines, this episode wasn't as near as interesting as the last episode with the kid going blind which I thought they should have touched more upon in this episode. McNulty and his affairs weren't very interesting, and I'm still trying to figure out his character.



    The bust in the end was pretty entertaining, and this episode to put it shortly was good enough but fell short in a couple ways, with the lack of some development. Overall, good though.moreless
  • Moving on to perfection, one step at a time

    9.8
    This is the third episode of a show and it still doesn't play by the rules of the TV game. For three consecutive episodes it introduces more and more plotlines and even a couple of new characters. And the best of it: it works!



    "The Buys" introduces at least three new characters which are all major characters for the rest of the show. First of all we get to know Burrell, the deputy, who plays the second higher ranking officer (besides Rawls) who is more concerned with saving his ass than with actually doing policework. He feels at home with exchanging favors among majors and lieutenants, shifting responsibility and guilt around until it probably vanishes, at least out of his focus.



    The second character is Omar and like Przyblewski in the last episode, his introduction is highly deceiving. We see him planning a heist on Barksdale stash and executing it with harsh force. The impression he makes is one of a extremly scary, merciless and dangerous gangster. We don't even really expect to see him again and, considering the way he appears, we don't necessarily want to.



    Finally there's the rise of Lester Freamon, a character who has been basically invisible for the previous two episodes and who suddenly seems to come to the rescue out of nowhere. No one knows who he is and no one really cares, not even Daniels who just considers him as another screw-up making his job harder. For whatever reason Freamon decides to get himself out of that position, maybe because he sensed something in Kima and McNulty that he had forgotten about himself. We will learn much more about him in the following episodes, but let's look at the absolutely brilliant way his rise from the dead is displayed visually in this episode. We see him walk up a couple of stairs, shot from an angle that makes them look even more steep than they are. It is a long way to get up, but he makes it and when he is up there, he has to catch his breath because he knows he is back in a position where he didn't thought he would end up again. When he is ready to move on with this decision, he opens up the doors, the silence suddenly ends and he is back into action, as it is symbolized by the boxing hall and the sounds that come from it. That's one hell of a phoenix from the flames for you.moreless
Wendell Pierce

Wendell Pierce

Det. William "Bunk" Moreland

Wood Harris

Wood Harris

Avon Barksdale

John Doman

John Doman

Maj. William A. Rawls

Lance Reddick

Lance Reddick

Lt. Cedric Daniels

Deirdre Lovejoy

Deirdre Lovejoy

Asst. States Attorney Rhonda Pearlman

Andre Royo

Andre Royo

Bubbles

Lance Williams

Lance Williams

John Bailey

Guest Star

Michael Kevin Darnall

Michael Kevin Darnall

Brandon Wright

Guest Star

Tom Quinn

Tom Quinn

Det. Patrick Mahone

Guest Star

Domenick Lombardozzi

Domenick Lombardozzi

Off. Thomas R. "Herc" Hauk

Recurring Role

Tray Chaney

Tray Chaney

Malik "Poot" Carr

Recurring Role

Brandon Price

Brandon Price

Anton "Stinkum" Artis

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • 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.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • (after Sydnor comes out in disguise)
      McNulty: Where's ya' mic?
      Sydnor: Down at my dick man. I figured they ain't gonna go down there anyway right?
      Carver: I don't know Sydnor, the way you twirl it around, it might be the first place they look.

    • (after having sex)
      Pearlman: Your an asshole McNulty.
      McNulty: What the fuck did I do?

    • Pearlman: Let me understand. You're married and a date is a room at the Best Western with the blinds closed. Now you're single, and a date is you coming over unannounced to learn the legal requisities for a pager intercept.
      McNulty: Pretty much.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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