The Wire

Season 1 Episode 1

The Target

8
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Jun 02, 2002 on HBO
8.7
out of 10
User Rating
318 votes
18

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT

"...when it's not your turn." - McNulty
During the trial of D'Angelo Barksdale, a mid-level dealer accused of murder, the prosecution's star witness recants her testimony, resulting in a not guilty verdict. After the trial, Detective James "Jimmy" McNulty explains to Judge Phelan how he suspects the Barksdale crew for a slew of related murders. When the judge contacts McNulty's superiors about this revelation, McNulty is taken to task for his indiscretion. Meanwhile, D'Angelo is free to return to work, but he soon discovers that he's been demoted.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • My thoughts are buzzing...

    9.5
    I've been meaning to watch this show since I missed it on TV. Hearing the rave reviews (plus knowing that Dominic west & Idris Elba are English!) made me mark it down as one to get 'one I've finally got round to watching the first episode today - and whew. Yeah.



    I can see why some people where completely put off by this episode, and all the 'slow start' comments, but as I'm a huge fan of the carefully built Scandinavian dramas, this was just the kind of episode I love. No big explosions or car chases, but plenty of careful hints for the future, lots of characters who are just outlines as to their personalities and motivations, and a million and one different ways events could go from here. I love the casual humour (McNulty and Bunk are already favourites) and the relationships being established between characters. The 'compare and contrast' scenes between those on either side of the law is fascinating, and shows that people are people, however they make a living.



    I can tell the interdepartmental & interagency bickering & politics is going to give me a headache though! I quite sympathise with McNulty. This gets a 9.5 from me for the way it's set up a detailed world, with subtlety and a deft touch. I can't wait for the rest...moreless
  • Nice start

    9.5
    The first episode starts a little slow but picks up and starts immediately developing characters and setting up the rest of the season. I will admit it is slow but it will get going if you give it a chance. I will admit based on this first episode years ago I tuned this show out but giving it another chance and so far so good.
  • WTF?

    1.0
    I was told this show was excellent, superb, captivating...



    The last time I wasted my life like this was while enduring the Pilot of "Men of a Certain Age"...



    Of course, it appears to be authentic, but, to be honest, it is complete and utter crap.



    I will not give this show a second chance.



    The abusive language, the slurred accents, the painstakingly ugly strippers, the hollow clack of the typewriters where there should be computers...



    Truly, the USA MUST be the most magnificent country on the planet...



    Yikes, just watching this one Episode made me realize how lucky I am not to be American!moreless
  • A perfect start to a perfect series. Well paced and wonderfully complex.

    9.5
    So it began here. The Wire kicked off in slow burning fashion while introducing us to most of the main characters smoothly. This pilot confirmed that while the Wire was excellent it wasn't for everyone, those wanting an action packed fast paced cops and gangsters show were for the most part turned off by the first episode (first few episodes for that matter), therefore the Wire spent it's early years supported by a small tight network of fans who were patient enough to look and listen as the show came into it's intricate own. The Target doesn't introduced the characters one by one all by there lonesome but instead introduces them smoothly intersecting with each other throughout the episode. The court scenes in particular fleshing out the detective Mcnulty's crusade against Stringer Bell and his drug crew. Detective Jimmy Mcnulty is a "real PO lice" (cop that wants justice rather than stats) which is his flaw in life as he constantly ticks off the bosses and drags colleagues and family into his abyss of a life rife with trouble trying to balance work and his family life which is half in the toilet.



    While Jimmy appears to be made out as the primary character of the story there are scenes that remind us that this isn't a one man show. Lieutenant Daniels, Greggs, Herc, Carver and many others are introduced just as well with there own obstacles to overcome in "the Game". Writing is top notch and offers a rich believability that wasn't seen before on any TV show and maintains entertainment values for those willing to stick with it. The intro theme song is catchy and well put together in true HBO fashion (Oz, The Sopranos intro's etc). If your thinking of buying the DVD sets and seeing it for yourself don't hesitate but also remember when keeping up with the story that patience is a virtue.moreless
  • Unpredictably bad.

    4.5
    This show has been critically acclaimed for years, and people say it is the best series in the history of time. Truly, I'm not buying it. People say this show requires patience, so I will give this show the benefit of the doubt, and watch the rest of the season, but I just expecting something more from this show.



    There really was not much happening throughout the episode, sure, they were dealing with a case and whether or not Barksdale was guilty or not, but nothing really went anywhere. This series premiere was hard to watch, considering it was an hour long, without commercials.



    The scenes just dragged on for too long, and I'm sure this show "pays off" in the end like everyone says it will, but if you had just watched the series premiere back in 2002 for the first time, would it entice you to watch the rest of the series? Doubtful.



    Slow paced, yes, but isn't that kind of the point? I wont rate an episode highly because it's buildup for something big, if it wasn't an enjoyable hour of television, I simply just wont give it a good rating, and this my friends, was not the best series premiere. Lets just hope it "pays" off in the end, like everyone says it will.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

Idris Elba

Idris Elba

Russell "Stringer" Bell

Lucy Newman-Williams

Lucy Newman-Williams

Assistant State's Attorney

Guest Star

Larry E. Hull

Larry E. Hull

William Gant

Guest Star

Michael Stone Forrest

Michael Stone Forrest

Det. Frank Barlow

Guest Star

J.D. Williams

J.D. Williams

Preston "Bodie" Broadus

Recurring Role

Domenick Lombardozzi

Domenick Lombardozzi

Off. Thomas R. "Herc" Hauk

Recurring Role

Melanie Nicholls-King

Melanie Nicholls-King

Cheryl

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (2)

    • 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.

  • QUOTES (6)

    • 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.

  • NOTES (5)


    • 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.

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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