The Wire: Season 5 (2008)


Season 5
The Wire

Critics Consensus

The Wire goes out with a suitably resonant bang in its final season, craftily maneuvering venturesome motifs and a colorful cast of characters to skillfully understated conclusion.



Critic Ratings: 30


Audience Score

User Ratings: 771
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Air date: Jan 6, 2008
Air date: Jan 13, 2008
Air date: Jan 20, 2008
Air date: Jan 27, 2008
Air date: Feb 3, 2008
Air date: Feb 10, 2008
Air date: Feb 17, 2008
Air date: Feb 24, 2008
Air date: Mar 2, 2008
Air date: Mar 9, 2008

The Wire: Season 5 Photos

Tv Season Info

For the fifth and final series of this urban drama, series creator David Simon returns to his old stomping grounds at the Baltimore Sun, where he worked for many years as a crime reporter, to examine the media's role in modern society. This fictionalized version of what was once a newspaper of record is experiencing tough economic times, precipitating layoffs and a hollow mantra from management to "do more with less." These marching orders are met with derision by Gus Haynes (Clark Johnson), an old-school City Desk editor who encourages eager young journalists such as Alma Gutierrez (Michelle Paress) to hone their craft. The cutbacks at the Sun mirror those at City Hall, where Mayor Carcetti (Aidan Gillen)---who's too busy angling for a gubernatorial run and convicting corrupt politico Clay Davis (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) to care---slashes the police budget to save money. But the decimation of the department's morale and matériel is too much for Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West). The maverick detective, who is not only back in Homicide but regressing to his tomcatting ways, fabricates a grisly crime that catches the eye of self-serving Sun reporter Scott Templeton (Tom McCarthy). And although his sensational articles about a rampaging serial killer are met with skepticism by Haynes, they're championed by his prize-hungry bosses. McNulty's scheme doesn't sit well with his partner Bunk (Wendell Pierce), but is embraced by Det. Freamon (Clarke Peters) if the means justify the restoration of funding to pursue drug lord Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector). Free of law-enforcement scrutiny, Marlo shields himself with onetime Barksdale attorney Maurice Levy (Michael Kostroff) on a quest to rule the entire city's drug trade, and tempts fate by luring stickup artist Omar (Michael K. Williams) back to town to settle an old score. Meanwhile, former addict Bubbles (Andre Royo) struggles to stay clean, but finds it hard to face his demons at Narcotics Anonymous meetings.


Dominic West
as Det. Jimmy McNulty
Sonja Sohn
as Det. Shakima Greggs
Wendell Pierce
as Det. William `Bunk' Moreland
Clarke Peters
as Det. Lester Freamon
Lance Reddick
as Col. Cedric Daniels
John Doman
as Maj. William Rawls
Deirdre Lovejoy
as Rhonda Pearlman
Seth Gilliam
as Sgt. Ellis Carver
Domenick Lombardozzi
as Thomas R. `Herc' Hauk
Delaney Williams
as Sgt. Jay Landsman
Frankie Faison
as Det. Comm. Ervin Burrell
Aidan Gillen
as Mayor Thomas Carcetti
Tristan Wilds
as Michael Lee
Amy Ryan
as Off. Beatrice Russell
Jermaine Crawford
as Duquan `Dukie' Weems
Clark Johnson
as Augustus 'Gus' Haynes
Tom McCarthy
as Scott Templeton
Jamie Hector
as Marlo Stanfield
Gbenga Akinnagbe
as Chris Partlow
Reg E. Cathey
as Norman Wilson
Chad L. Coleman
as Dennis `Cutty' Wise
Michael Kostroff
as Maurice Levy
Al Brown
as Maj. Stanislaus Valcheck
Neal Huff
as Michael Steintorf
Corey Parker Robinson
as Det. Leandor Sydnor
Michelle Paress
as Alma Gutierrez
Isiah Whitlock Jr.
as Sen. R. Clayton Davis
Julito McCullum
as Namond Brice
Maestro Harrell
as Randy Wagstaff
David Costabile
as Thomas Klebanow
Jim True-Frost
as Det. Roland `Prez' Pryzbylewski
Sam Freed
as James Whiting
Paul Ben-Victor
as Spiros 'Vondas' Vondopoulos
Gregory L. Williams
as Det. Crutchfield
Robert Wisdom
as Maj. Howard `Bunny' Colvin
Marlyne Afflack
as Naresse Campbell
Marlyne Barrett
as Naresse Campbell
Marlyne N. Afflack
as Naresse Campbell
Robert F. Chew
as Proposition Joe
Todd Scofield
as Jeff Price
Anwan Glover
as Slim Charles
Dion Graham
as D.A. Rupert Bond
Method Man
as Melvin 'Cheese' Wagstaff
Bobby Brown
as Off. Bobby Brown
Brandon Young
as Mike Fletcher
Frederick Strother
as Odell Watkins
Benjamin Busch
as Off. Anthony Colicchio
Ed Norris
as Det. Ed Norris
Jay Landsman
as Maj. Dennis Mello
Michael Salconi
as Off. Michael Santangelo
Lee E. Cox
as Off. Aaron Carter
Wood Harris
as Avon Barksdale
Peter Gerety
as Judge Daniel Phelan
Bill Raymond
as The Greek
William Raymond
as The Greek
Chris Ashworth
as Sergei Malatov
Doug Olear
as Agent Terrance Fitzhugh
Brian Anthony Wilson
as Det. Vernon Holley
Maria Broom
as Marla Daniels
Sam Reed
as James Whiting
Edward Norris
as Det. Ed Norris
Michael Stone Forrest
as Det. Frank Barlow
Kelley Slagle
as Asst. Medical Examiner
Shamika Cotton
as Michael's mom
Rick Otto
as Det. Kenneth Dozerman
Billy Murphy
as Billy Murphy
Ryan Sands
as Off. Lloyd 'Truck' Garrick
Gil Deeble
as Hucklebuck
Gene Terinoni
as Lt. Asher
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Wire: Season 5

Critic Reviews for The Wire Season 5

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (16)

I'm praying that [David Simon's] fury at the Sun won't overwhelm his genius for storytelling.

May 22, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The fifth and final season may be the most overtly farcical, but only because things in this slightly fictionalized Baltimore have become, if you can imagine, worse than ever. When the going gets tough on The Wire, the tough get funny.

Jun 3, 2014 | Full Review…

The Wire certainly is Dickensian.

Jun 3, 2014 | Full Review…

Led by a solid core of returning characters -- none true villains, none true heroes -- with important additions (and sad subtractions) each season, it's one of the best series of all time.

Nov 19, 2018 | Full Review…

"The Wire" is unquestionably the best show on television.

Jun 13, 2018 | Full Review…

Amidst the rubble of a failed city, Simon created an engrossing human drama about the eternal struggle between aspiration and desperation, ambition and resignation, in other words, the fight for the American Dream.

Jun 4, 2018 | Full Review…

Season 5's mistakes-clunky plotting, false parallels, confused motivations-are violations of the realism the show promised.

May 22, 2018 | Full Review…

It's the best season of television's best show. So goodbye to The Wire, it's been a great run.

May 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Ultimately, the show doesn't even have a moustache-twirling villain. There are just people. David Simon and his brilliant cast and crew did everything in their power to depict these people are honestly and fairly as possible.

May 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Though interesting at times, the fictionalized account of The Baltimore Sun lacks the depth of the institutions depicted in seasons past.

May 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Wire: Season 5

  • Mar 27, 2019
    McNulty and Freaman were dragged too far past believable to make the story work. Couldn't make it past episode 4.
  • Feb 09, 2019
    The Wire is THE BEST TV show I've ever watched. Ok, I've just finished it so I'm probably a little bit emotional, but is amazingly realistic, with old school police work - but way more than that -, focusing on social problems, vulnerable communities and how everything is connected to politics (a very complicated & most of the times corrupt maze). The light falls not only on drug issues, but also on education, media and public institutions. I fell in love with every character, because not a single one of them is built as only 'good' or 'bad' but as a complex human being, like we all are. Still, I have my top favourites and that would be: Omar (you gotta love a Robin Hood on the drugs scene, right?), Bubbles (for his modesty and big heart), Kima (for her badass vibe and for always standing tall), Daniels (for his correctitude), Freamon (because he taught me that sometimes you have to play outside of the rules) and yes, McNulty too (because he is so fucked up). I recommend this TV series with all my heart. It made me laugh and cry and it taught me so much! ?
  • Oct 13, 2018
    A good end to one of the best TV shows ever made.
  • May 18, 2018
    One of the great shows. A must see.
  • Feb 02, 2018
    Brilliant drama series. The streets of Baltimore as a microcosm of the US’s war on drugs, and of US urban decay in general. Seen not only through the eyes of a few policemen and drug gang members but also the people that influence and inhabit their world – politicians, the media, drug addicts and everyday citizens. Brilliant series. Started slowly and without an indication of how good it would become. While not bad, Season 1 wasn’t that riveting. So uncompelling was it for me that I didn’t watch Season 2 until several years later, and am now glad I did. In Season 2 we see the genius of David Simon and Ed Burns at work, with a script that is thoroughly engaging. It is here that it becomes obvious that this more than just a crime-drama series, it's a human-drama series (and the humans involved happen to largely be policemen and drug dealers). Incredibly gritty and plausible. Seasons 3 and 4 demonstrated that no character is indispensable and nothing is predictable about the series. Every time I figured I could see the way ahead, which characters would carry the series into the next season and/or what the overarching storyline for the remaining series would be, the show took a turn in another direction. Not twists for twists sake, just good, plausible plot development. Throw in superb performances by everyone involved and you have an incredible series. Season 5 was a bit disappointing in that it wasn’t quite the powerful ending I was expecting. The fake serial killer angle felt silly and implausible and was overplayed. Remainder is very good, but that took the shine off the final season. Ultimately, however, the series is a classic of TV drama.
  • Jun 13, 2017
    The training wheels you have to take off before you stop saying "Nothing happens in this show"
  • Jul 05, 2016
    If only the wire could have gone out with that bang I wanted it to go out with although it managed to wrap what they could up it shows there is no wrap up to the corruption in our inner cities that it will continue on and on like it has for years with each criminal kind of in a way passing the torch with Omar going out in one of the most unapologetic way with everyone fearing him but letting his anger and love get in the way causing him to lose his sense having everyone scared of him talking out tons of his people but yet takes a bullet to the head from a kid, the meaning of the end shows its not really a end its just a cycle but I must give the end a lower score because how somethings were handled which could have been handled but it was still a wrap to the greatest show on television personally thats how I feel.
  • Jun 17, 2016
    Anybody that has seen it, Loves it! Great actors, showing the drug dealers, the attics, the cops, politics and the press point of view in hbo epic crime drama based in bodymore murderland.
  • Sep 06, 2015
    McNaulty and Lester Freamon is not going down without a dance. Abducting evidence into whats in their advantage, seasons five is enourmous as its also is including the journalist in their hard terrain. A conman of Scott is exploiting the papers power into making his way the highway.
  • Aug 23, 2015
    Wraps up the stories but not all in the way the audience wants. It brings reality full circle

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