The Wire

2002 • HBO
275 reviews
Watch in a web browser or on supported devices Learn More

Season 1 episodes (13)

1 The Target
In the pilot episode of this drama series, Baltimore homicide detective Jimmy McNulty gets into hot water and winds up assigned to a detail of narcotics outcasts charged with investigating drug lord Avon Barksdale and his powerful operation.
2 The Detail
McNulty feels the heat when a witness who testified against D'Angelo is found murdered. Meanwhile, Greggs is given the lay of the land regarding Avon Barksdale's key players, and Herc, Carver and Prez find big-time trouble at the towers.
3 The Buys
The early-morning 'field interviews' by Herc, Carver and Prez result in a minor riot, a boy losing an eye and some bad publicity. On the other side of the law, D'Angelo teaches Wallace and Bodie how to play the game (chess) and later impresses Bell.
4 Old Cases
Greggs and McNulty try to get Hardcase to turn informant as arraignment begins for those caught in the raid. Barksdale places a bounty on the head of rival gang leader Omar. Meanwhile, McNulty takes Bubbles on a cultural field trip.
5 The Pager
McNulty's detail finally gets 'clone' pagers to track Barksdale and his gang, but nobody can crack the codes used by the callers. Meanwhile, Bell instructs D'Angelo on how to school his lookouts while simultaneously flushing out a possible snitch.
6 The Wire
When Rawls looks to make a premature arrest for three murders that are linked to D'Angelo and Avon Barksdale, McNulty and Greggs must argue for a delay in order to preserve the valuable wiretap gains they have made.
7 One Arrest
Tipped off by the wire, Greggs, Herc, Carver and Freamon make a bust, but the incident makes Avon and Stringer suspicious, leading them to close shop in the Pit. Meanwhile, Bunk and McNulty look for another witness in the Gant slaying.
8 Lessons
An unlikely source gives McNulty the tag of a car driven by Stringer Bell. Meanwhile, Greggs and Carver bust a congressional aide carrying dirty cash, but are forced to let him go. Later, Omar earns his 'loose cannon' moniker.
9 Game Day
Barksdale plays an expensive game of one-upmanship with an east-side rival. Meanwhile, Herc and Carver take some cash off of Wee-Bey's hands, and Omar resurfaces with a bang.
10 The Cost
With Wallace in custody, McNulty and Daniels try to figure out what to do with him in the months before he testifies. Sydnor and Carver track down one of Barksdale's stash houses, and Prez shows off his 'gift for the paper trail.'
11 The Hunt
The police turn up the heat on tracking down Savino, Wee-Bey and Little Man. Burrell orders Daniels to hit drug dealers for results that will impress the press. Barksdale sees his ranks thinning after the hit on Orlando.
12 Cleaning Up
The low-rise pay phones are out of service, so McNulty and Daniels keep pace by tapping Barksdale's office. Bodie gets some new responsibilities from Stringer; Freamon gives Shardene a 'new look'; and D'Angelo goes to NYC on an errand for his uncle.
13 Sentencing
Season One finale. Every crew has weak links--including Avon Barksdale's. With the heat turned up in the high-rises, Daniels and McNulty turn to a higher authority in an effort to crack the case wide open.

About this show

HBO presents this highly realistic and totally unvarnished drama series that chronicles the vagaries of crime, law enforcement, politics, education and media in Baltimore.

Rating: 18A
275 reviews
A Boston
April 13, 2016
Reality tv ruined tv. HBO (then AMC, Netflix and Hula fixed it; that shitass drive to the bottom (espoused by careless trump)). "The wire" is evidence that tv can be -- and now regularly is -- more worthwhile than movies. a single season and sometimes even more can flush out a character that is simply wanting in a single cinema sitting. i think its the earnest of the wire that pulls out the best from the actors that landed their career in this boundary pushing drama. season 1 is all awesome; season 2 starts off weak until mcnulty smacks his ride and bags a local teen; season 3 is a criminologists wet dream that is based on the hastings st drug bazaar. the working class (generally the police) and the lower classes (the gangstas) both fall under scrutiny in a sympathetic yet critical lens. both sides have problems. the camaraderie between races is simply not seen enuff in media. man this thing is a sweet velvet ride. i tip my hat to all those involved in this, the best tv series ever made.
14 people found this review helpful
Did you find this helpful?
Camille Semaan
March 14, 2016
... everything else feels weak. The Wire is a Shakespearian endeavor, and it is brilliantly accomplished: language, social commentary, political analysis, suspense, story-telling, writing, directing, characters, it is all on a far far away higher level than anything else I have seen. I have to admit, I never valued TV until this, but then watched a lot of series in search of another gem, alas, this is really so unique, a most pleasant aberration! Finishing my second straight run of the whole series now, and I can say: flawless.
Did you find this helpful?
Jonathan Mesiano-Crookston
May 2, 2015
Simply the best TV that's out there. Especially season one. This is character driven TV at its best, and you will come to love and hate them each as individuals. Plot and character development through their ordeals is all extremely realistic. If you like Breaking Bad, this is better. 'Nuff said.
Did you find this helpful?

Rate this show

Tell us what you think.