The Wire

Season 1 Episode 2

The Detail

6
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 09, 2002 on HBO
9.0
out of 10
User Rating
275 votes
9

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

"You cannot lose if you do not play." - Marla Daniels
The witness who testified against D'Angelo winds up being a murder case for "Bunk" Moreland. However, McNulty tells Bunk that since the victim testified against D'Angelo, this murder was probably ordered by Avon Barkdsdale. McNulty and Bunk pick up D'Angelo for questioning and convince him to write an "apology" to the victim's family. Just as he's about to start, D'Angelo's attorney arrives and makes him leave. Meanwhile in "The Pit," Detective Greggs gets some inside information courtesy of Bubbles. New investigation team member Prez arrives with a heavy reputation of incompetence, which worries Lieutenant Daniels. Daniels' concerns are supported when Prez teams up with Herc and Carver to make their own moves in the case by going to the projects to "bust heads" for information. Things backfire and a quasi-riot ensues.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • The devil's in The Detail...

    9.0
    Another episode, another layer painted on all the characters. I love the way all the characters are portrayed - the criminals have good sides, the police have their flaws. That's real life, a muddy grey instead of white hats & black hats.



    The humour is great in this episode too - from Prez with his unfortunate habit of shooting things (until he steps completely out of line), to Kima being wonderful, to Crutchfield's desk.



    Something tells me this detail isn't going to be as quick & easy as Daniels is hoping. I wonder why I get that impression?!moreless
  • Starts moving forward hang on

    9.0
    The second episode picks up and takes flight. I was unsure if the show could pull it off but again the show throws you into a variety of characters encompassing the entire drug game including the law enforcement side of the house.



    The characters are further developed and allowed to captivate our minds a little more. There is definitely enough plot and story to keep you involved and guessing at times. I do not regret giving this show a second chance just wish I had when it first debuted!



    Well worth a watch!moreless
  • The main characters are introduced and developed, while the plot still shapes at its own pace. Another introductory episode.

    8.5
    All seems to be set for the upcoming investigation into the Barksdale organization. Lieutenant Daniels receives his detail and a small HQ to operate at. Lester Freamon, Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski, Leander Sydnor, Michael Santangelo and the Polk/Mahon duo all join on board. Of course, there's also Jimmy McNulty and Kima Greggs.



    The episode begins with McNulty and Bunk discussing the murder of witness William Gant. Jimmy is convinced the Barksdale organization had him killed for testifying, but Bunk doesn't quite buy the story. Our favorite Irish cop once again visits judge Phelan and asks him to call Daniels in order to talk him into having McNulty work the murder case, as well as keeping it quiet. He agrees and promises not to call the media. Jimmy McNulty strikes the viewer, again, as an insubordinate, stubborn, but still willing to do actual police work that matters.



    Bunk and McNulty take a ride down to the low-rise projects and have a chat with D'Angelo Barksdale, questioning him about the Gant murder. When he tries to leave hastily, they take him in for questioning. The scene of his interrogation is easily one of the best, if not the best, in this episode. All the lies the two detectives fed D'Angelo in order to have him write a letter to the witness' "family" were harsh and this shows how ruthless the police can be in order to have it their way. Awesome. In the end, D'Angelo's lawyer Maurice Levy takes him away and scolds him for being naïve and playing along with the cops' methods. Avon Barksdale later also criticizes D'Angelo for it.



    Near the end of the episode, McNulty discovers the Gant murder story on the front page of the Baltimore Sun. At the police station, major Rawls is enraged because of it and blames Jimmy, which means he's once again in deep trouble for not following the chain of command.



    He's not the only cop who gets into trouble this time. Pryzbylewski, who joined the detail, accidentally discharges his duty weapon into a wall at the HQ, which makes Daniels wonder if he's competent. He asks around and finds out he has history of such actions and tries to get him off the detail, but he only manages to get an additional "good man" from Lt. Cantrell – detective Leanor Sydnor.



    Later on, Herc, Carver and Prez go down to the towers in order to intimidate the people there. They're not satisfied with the way the investigation starts and they want a more hands-on approach. It ends in a disaster, with Prez blinding a young man in a fit of rage, as well as some useless and brutal searchings. Shots are later fired at the officers and their car is destroyed. A few hours later, in the morning, Daniels comes down and yells at all three of them, warning them that IID will be investigating them, especially Prez. The three officers are portrayed as hot-headed, naïve and still fairly inexperienced, which is a nice contrast with Daniels, who knows the job way better, but still cares about his detail members. The scene where he instructs Prez what kind of a lie to tell IID is brilliant.



    The investigation itself also kicks off, slowly. Kima Greggs summons her long-time informant Bubbles, whose friend Johnny was beaten badly by the Barksdale muscle last episode. Using his trademark hat trick, he helps Kima obtain photos and some names of Barksdale street dealers and muscle. McNulty later meets him as well and is impressed.



    It's amazing that without any real progress in the plot, the show still manages to keep the viewer interested all the time with intense scenes, as well as showing us different characters in different situations, which develop them more.moreless
  • The introduction continues.

    9.0
    Some people take a few episodes to decide whether or not The Wire is for them. I have to admit that I was one of them. However watching this episode back again I realise how pivotal it was. The character development continues and we learn more about how the story will unfold.



    Avon Barksdale and his crew are running the drug scene in the West Side. Until now the police department been satisfied with making small time drugs busts and cracking the odd homicide case here and there. The murder acquittal of D'Angelo Barksdale, Avon's nephew, has brought to the attention the power and influence this crew hold over the general public. It is Detective Jimmy McNulty who has brought this attention to the bosses through judge Phelan. This in turn has made Jimmy unpopular however the command must now react by being seen to be doing something about this 'problem.' Deputy Burrell assigns Lt Daniels a team of investigators from narcotics and homicide to crack the case. At this time it is clear that this team assume that the job will be done quickly and Avon will be brought to justice. However things change when a witness to D'Angelo's case was found murdered – presumably by Avon's crew. In this episode the command are keen to keep this information from leaking to the press as they don't want to discourage any future potential witnesses. Baltimore has a lack of funds for witness protection as well!



    Jimmy and Bunk bring in D'Angelo Barksdale for questioning regarding the witness Gant's murder. They manage to manipulate D'Angelo into writing a letter of apology to Gant's 'orphaned' children. This scene shows D'Angelo's softer side. Even though he didn't kill Gant he shows genuine remorse for the situation, probably because the witness is now dead as a result of his trial. Barksdale lawyer Maurice Levy quickly intervenes and stops D'Angelo from finishing his letter ordering him out of the interview room as there is no charge. Kima, Herc and Carver survey the Barksdale crew form the rooftops using Kima's CI (Confidential Informant) Bubbles to highlight them by pretending to sell hats. He places a red hat on the heads on the key players Wee-Bey, Stinkum and Little Man whilst Kima takes pictures from a distance. We see resentment from Herc as he feels Kima is trying to play the boss but Carver just tells him to shut up. Later on Jimmy shows his respect to Bubble's work by giving him $20.



    The main character introduction in this episode is Prez. He makes a terrible first impression by accidently discharging his weapon indoors to Lt Daniels' shock. It is clear that Daniels is not happy with the guys he has been given for this task and during an argument Jimmy tells him this. You asked for men and they send you drunks and f*** ups (rich coming from Jimmy!) Daniels when requesting better men than Prez even comments on Freemon as a cuddly house cat who can't find his gun. Freemon has maybe said 2 words in the whole time but goes on to be a key character.



    Herc, Carver and Prez who are used to doing things the old fashioned way decide to take a drive down to the low rises… at 2am. After trying to impose their authority the place descends into a riot forcing the officers to call in back up. Prez strikes a 14 year old kid in the eye for p***ing him off and the kid eventually loses his eye. This leaves Daniels with a lot of explaing to do but like he says to his wife Marla "I hang them I hang myself" A great episode and the writers manage to cram every single minute with important information. Even the seemingly pointless conversation between Wallace and D'Angelo about McNuggets shows their views on how the main players don't care about the average joe. Like he says - it's all about money.moreless
  • 102

    8.0
    Things are starting to pick up on this season of critically acclaimed, "The Wire". I've come to realize that I may have been to harsh when I reviewed the first episode of the series, but this episode was just so much better in so many ways.



    Now that all the main characters are established, we've got the cops form a detective group trying to prove that D'Angelo and Avon are guilty. Everyone is split up in groups to help the case in some sort of way. McNulty questions D'Angelo and I must say, the scene in which they were questioning D'Angelo, that's some of the best acting I've seen in a while, and a very intriguing scene.



    This episode was also rather eventful an The Wire's Season 1 motto is to "listen carefully" and you really have to do that to enjoy an episode of "The Wire". When the drunk cops went to the towers in the middle of the night, wow, what a great scene, also a great tie in with the ending with the kid ending up getting blind.



    Everything tied together quite nicely. I guess Daniels did have a reason to worry about the new cop in the group, interested to see how that plays out. A great episode of "The Wire" and this show was a little slow out of the gate, but it definitely pays off.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

Tom Quinn

Tom Quinn

Det. Patrick Mahone

Guest Star

Dave Trovato

Dave Trovato

Lt. Walter Cantrell

Guest Star

Jarvis W. George

Jarvis W. George

Ronnie Mo

Guest Star

Brandon Price

Brandon Price

Anton "Stinkum" Artis

Recurring Role

Michael Kostroff

Michael Kostroff

Maurice "Maury" Levy

Recurring Role

Clarke Peters

Clarke Peters

Det. Lester Freamon

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • 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.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • 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.

    • McNulty: This is just us talking right? Just you, me, my partner and... what did you say your name was?
      Bodie: I didn't say shit.
      McNulty: Just you, me, my partner and Mr. Shit here.

    • Rawls: McNulty! Where in fuck is he?
      Landsman: I— uh... he's detailed, Major, to narcotics.
      Rawls: I fuckin' know where he's detailed. I fuckin' already know that.

    • (about chicken nuggets inventor)
      Poot: You think he get paid?
      Wallace: Shit, he richer than a motherfucker.

  • NOTES (0)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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