The Wire
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The Wire

55 min
Crime | Drama | Thriller
IMDB rate:
Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 14 wins & 42 nominations
Country: USA
Release Date: 2002-06-02
Filming Locations: Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Aidan Gillen
Aidan Gillen
The Wire
Michael Willis
Michael Willis
The Wire
Dominic West
Det. James 'Jimmy' McNulty
John Doman
Dep. Comm. for Operations William A. Rawls
Deirdre Lovejoy
Asst. State's Atty. Rhonda Pearlman
Wendell Pierce
Det. William 'Bunk' Moreland
Lance Reddick
Lt. Cedric Daniels
Sonja Sohn
Det. Shakima 'Kima' Greggs
Seth Gilliam
Sgt. Ellis Carver
Domenick Lombardozzi
Det. Thomas 'Herc' Hauk
Clarke Peters
Det. Lester Freamon
Andre Royo
Reginald 'Bubbles' Cousins
Michael Kenneth Williams
Omar Little
Jim True-Frost
Det. Roland 'Prez' Pryzbylewski
Frankie Faison
Acting Commissioner Ervin H. Burrell
Corey Parker Robinson
Det. Leander Sydnor
Delaney Williams
Sgt. Jay Landsman
J.D. Williams
Preston 'Bodie' Broadus
Wood Harris
Avon Barksdale
Idris Elba
Russell 'Stringer' Bell
Jamie Hector
Marlo Stanfield
Gbenga Akinnagbe
Chris Partlow
Robert Wisdom
Howard 'Bunny' Colvin
Anwan Glover
Slim Charles
Felicia Pearson
Felicia 'Snoop' Pearson
Chad L. Coleman
Dennis 'Cutty' Wise
Tray Chaney
Malik 'Poot' Carr
Michael Kostroff
Maurice 'Maury' Levy
Isiah Whitlock Jr.
State Sen. R. Clayton 'Clay' Davis
Robert F. Chew
Joseph 'Proposition Joe' Stewart
Michael Salconi
Off. Michael 'Sanny' Santangelo
Did you know?
Anwan Glover auditioned for the roles of Marlo Stanfield, Fruit and Drac before being cast as Slim Charles.
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Jay Landsman auditioned for the character based on himself before being cast as Dennis Mello.
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Gbenga Akinnagbe auditioned for the role of Marlo Stanfield before being cast as Chris Partlow.
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Throughout the last two seasons, Carcetti repeatedly refers to a possible gubernatorial challenge in 2008, after serving two years as Baltimore mayor. But Maryland holds gubernatorial elections in off years - 2006, 2010, etc. The new governor would have been elected the same year that Carcetti was elected mayor - 2006 - and up for re-election in four years, not two.
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Throughout the series some Officers are shown on both the day, evening and Night shifts in a short period of time, some even within the same day. The Baltimore police department rarely gives shift changes until the next fiscal year.
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Avon Barksdale: I ain't no suit-wearin' businessman like you... you know I'm just a gangsta I suppose...
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Moreland: I'm just a humble motherfucker with a big-ass dick.
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State Sen. R. Clayton 'Clay' Davis: SHIIIIIT
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The organization leaders, especially Proposition Joe, are always talking about "the connect" & "re-ups". What are they?
The "connect" is a code/slang word for the supplier of the drugs sold on the streets by the Barksdales & later Marlo Standfield's gang. Joe is a liaison of sorts between suppliers outside of Baltimore who smuggle the drugs into the country using illegal methods (such as bribing public officials or customs workers or finding ways to hide them in legal shipments). What Joe will do is contact people he knows in large cities like New York & have them sell their supply to him or to the crime families in Baltimore. Joe, for his services, gets a monetary percentage in return.A "re-up" is a small supply of product taken from a processing lab & delivered to local distribution points like the Pit in Season One or the corners in later seasons for sale to addicts. In Season One there was a processing lab in the Franklin Towers (which were later demolished in Season 3). In Season 1 the MCU (Major Crimes Unit) staked out the Towers and were watching for instances where a package would leave the building & be taken to the Pit. At one point we see a package dropped from an upper floor down to Bodie who runs it out to the Pit.
What was the deal with Agent Koutris and The Greek? How did Fitz figure out Koutris was the leak?
Early on in season two the detail begins investigating George "Double G" Glekas, an electronics store owner who also sells stolen goods for The Greek's gang. As part of their investigation, McNulty asks his FBI contact, Agent Fitzhugh to run a check on Double G to see if the FBI had ever dealt with him before (Since the Greeks were involved in smuggling McNulty figured the FBI might have investigated them previously). Fitz does a records check which shows that Double G had been question briefly as part of an investigation out of the San Diego field office by an Agent Koutris.Fitz uses some computerized dialing software to call Koutris who explains that he had questioned Double G about some stolen goods but didn't end up charging him. Once he gets off the phone, Koutris promptly turns around and calls The Greek to explain that the FBI are on to him. Throughout the season we see that the Greek and Koutris are in contact and providing each other with information. Later in the season, the Greeks fold up shop and murder Frank Sobotka before he can testify against them. The detail concludes that there was a leak which tipped the Greeks off about the investigation and Fitz admits to Lt Daniels that the leak came from his end.As shown in one of the later episodes that season, Fitz figures out the connection between Koutris and The Greek through phone records. Originally he had called Koutris using computerized dialing software which put him through directly to the agent without Fitz ever seeing his number. Later on he's at the detail's warehouse headquarters and wants to contact Koutris. Without the software he simply dials up the San Diego field office and asks to be put through directly. It's then that he's informed that Koutris was transferred out of San Diego a few years before, soon after he investigated Double G. When Fitz asked where Koutris was transferred to he's told that it's the counter-terrorism division in Washington.An ongoing theme of the season was how the FBI is de-emphasizing investigation of crimes like drug smuggling in favor of counter terrorism work as a result of the September 11th terrorist attacks. Fitz even says that he justified FBI involvement in the detail by (falsely) claiming that Stringer Bell was Muslim. What Fitz concludes, and what the show implies, is that after Koutris began investigating Double G, that the Greek had made a deal with him. In exchange for looking the other way with regard to their drug smuggling, The Greek would use his international connections to give Koutris information about terrorists. This relationship allowed Koutris to transfer to the more prestigious counter terrorism unit in Washington and he continues to pay The Greek back by warning him of any law enforcement investigations.This plotline is probably meant to somewhat echo the case of Boston area mobster James "Whitey" Bulger. For many years Bulger was an informant for the local FBI office, even as he continued his criminal activity. When Bulger was about to be indicted he went on the lam and it was revealed that the FBI had actively covered up his criminal activity, including murders, and had worked to obstruct efforts of other law enforcement agencies to investigate and charge Bulger. In one case an FBI agent even threatened a reporter who was about to publish an unflattering piece on Bulger.
What is Lester doing when he recites numbers when trying to sell the burners?
In season three, the detail runs into the problem of "burners", or prepaid cell phones. The dealers will only use them for a week or two before throwing them away. This means that as soon as the police begin to get up on a phone network with a tap the network collapses and they have to start from scratch.They come up with the idea of selling pre-tapped burners to the Barksdale organization. This will allow them much more time on their wire taps. Through Bubbles, Lester gets in contact with Bernard, who is in charge of buying burners for the Barksdale crew. Bernard normally spends extensive time diriving around Maryland and Virginia buying small quantities of phones at various locations. This is a calculated move on the part of Stringer to avoid detection. If Bernard bought a large number of phones from a single location then the clerk might remember the sale if asked by the authorities. The small purchases are less likely to be remembered.Lester poses as a small time scam artist who claims to collect discarded prepaid phones and illegally adds more minutes to them. He then resells the phones at a discount rate. As part of his cover identity, Lester pretends to have been performing telephone related scams for a while. Bernard asks for proof, which is what Lester gives him when he rattles off the long list of numbers.What Lester is doing is called "shoulder surfing." This is when someone covertly observes someone else and tries to steal information from them. The most common form was phone surfing. This was usually done at a bank of pay phones in a crowded location such as an airport or train terminal. The victim would input numbers from a prepaid phone card and the scam artist would covertly observe them. If the card had any money left on it they could then either use the numbers to make free phone calls themselves or even resell it to others. Prepaid phone cards are popular among low income immigrant communities where people may either not have a cell phone or phone service at their residence or may simply want to avoid exorbitant cell phone bills due to large numbers of international calls.
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Photos from cast
Aidan Gillen Michael Mack Alexandra Tydings Michael Willis DeAndre McCullough Elizabeth Mary Nolan