The Wire: Season 5 (2008)

SEASON:

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.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 42

96%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 829

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Episodes

Air date: Jan 6, 2008

Cutbacks in the police department and at the Baltimore Sun newspaper send shock waves through their respective, disgruntled staffs. Meanwhile, Marlo shakes up Proposition Joe's discussion of East Side distribution, and a front-page story ties a co-op member to city council.

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Air date: Jan 13, 2008

McNulty has a revelation after a visit to the morgue; Gus's misgivings about a story on baseball's opening day fall on deaf ears; Marlo sees a familiar face from the West Side while pursuing a business deal; Walon urges a reluctant Bubbles to share some troubling information; Chris and Snoop take advantage of the police department's budget cuts; Davis pleads with Burrell to intervene on his behalf.

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Air date: Jan 20, 2008

Bosses at the Sun have bad news for the staff; the mayor's office leaks a story to the newspaper about a major shakeup in the police department; Marlo looks for ways to redistribute his wealth while offering to pay top dollar for information on Omar; McNulty meets with a reporter about a recent murder case; Michael takes a break from the corner for a trip to an amusement park.

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Air date: Jan 27, 2008

Omar returns from his self-imposed exile and begins to plot revenge for the murder of a former associate; Gus bemoans the lack of a city-court reporter when the Sun misses out on a grand-jury probe; Carcetti's desire to get rid of Burrell comes with strings attached; Freamon contacts an old partner for help with McNulty's investigation of the deaths of homeless men; Marlo has an eye on the future in his dealings with the Greeks.

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Air date: Feb 3, 2008

Marlo celebrates a business deal while his crew anticipates a showdown with Omar; McNulty and Freamon take advantage of a development at the Sun regarding the homeless murders; trouble on the corner sends Dukie to Cutty's gym; Herc tries to make up for his past behavior by doing a favor for Carver; Davis takes his case to the court of public opinion.

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Air date: Feb 10, 2008

Omar's mysterious disappearance puts Marlo's crew on full alert; Carcetti turns his attention to the plight of the homeless; Bunk interviews an old witness in connection to the row-house cases; Templeton searches for a follow-up to his front-page story.

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Air date: Feb 17, 2008

McNulty becomes a popular figure after he and Lester cook up another scheme for the homeless case; Davis seeks the best legal assistance money can buy for his day in court; Michael endures a couple of scares from opposite sides of the law; Gus goes outside the Sun for help on an old story.

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Air date: Feb 24, 2008

Carver gets a change of scenery when the police department shifts its resources; Carcetti is forced to take risks with his political future; Haynes delves deeper into Templeton's work; Sydnor has a breakthrough on an important case; Fletcher continues his research with Bubbles.

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Air date: Mar 2, 2008

Freamon's hard work pays off with a promising lead, though McNulty isn't in the mood to celebrate.

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Air date: Mar 9, 2008

Carcetti reacts to a damaging report from Pearlman and Daniels, Haynes finds little support from the bosses for his concerns about a reporter's work, McNulty tries to put an end to the homeless case, Dukie seeks out an old mentor and a wake is staged for another fallen officer.

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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.

News & Interviews for The Wire: Season 5

Critic Reviews for The Wire Season 5

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (22)

The Wire amazes with its gritty attention to detail. It feels so damned real, and from Day One that's been both its blessing and its curse. You don't kick up your feet to watch. Nor do you feel at ease.

Oct 21, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Wire isn't the most accessible series. The show lays out a lot of plot strands, forcing the question: Where are we headed? Stick with it, though, and you'll see a remarkable tapestry.

Oct 21, 2019 | Full Review…

It's great to once again be in the company of these amazing actors... And it's a pleasure to be treated to amazing writing that doesn't try to simplify things and/or pander.

Oct 18, 2019 | Full Review…

It's a tale less of crime and punishment than crime and survival... It all adds up to a message that requires a very precise rhythm, in script and performance, and from the first moments of this new season, The Wire is locked in.

Oct 18, 2019 | Full Review…

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…

It's far more satisfying than the dismal end to The Sopranos and it is noticeable that there is nothing that would prevent HBO from making another season of The Wire.

Oct 21, 2019 | Full Review…

The Wire is a programme that demands your full attention but eventually it repays you, and once it begins to weave its spell you'll find yourself, much like several of its characters, totally hooked and desperate for more.

Oct 21, 2019 | Full Review…

Simon so forces events in the improbable newspaper story line of an invented serial killer that he does serious damage to the credibility of the police drama.

May 30, 2014 | Full Review…

So much happened. At times it seemed too rushed, but ultimately it all came together as plots were hatched, schemes crumbled and truth and honesty took a major beating.

Oct 18, 2019 | Full Review…

The plots are labyrinthine and defy easy entry. The dialogue resonates with the lingua franca of the streets, so there's much that can't be accessed until viewers get used to the language.

Oct 18, 2019 | Full Review…

The Wire avoids caricatures with pitch-perfect depictions of the criminals scrapping their way to the top of a bloody heap.

Oct 18, 2019 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Wire: Season 5

  • Aug 09, 2020
    The wire's last season ist a transgressive master piece delivering us the most realistic noir plot of television's history , while smartly destroys all expectations that we have from such genre. A triumph.
  • Jul 27, 2020
    Everything about this season is bad.The acting,writing,cinematography and dialogue are all pretty bad and typically when a series ends it does out on a high note,well,this show did the opposite.Not that the show was great to begin with.
  • Jul 22, 2020
    For the first time since the shows opening scene, the story line seems to spiral (not out of control) but out of something more compartmental and into widespread mayhem. The press, the media, the documenting body of Baltimore become heavily involved bringing more exceptional acting and astute dialogue into the mix. There is always method in the madness as The Wire so often demonstrates... as loose ends are tied and some left undone, the most complexly entertaining show of all time delivers a satisfying conclusion that cleverly leaves a simple two word thought lingering in the atmosphere... The Wire.
  • Jun 28, 2020
    I did not want this show to end. But, All good things must come to an end. I was sad to see this excellent show conclude.
  • Jun 24, 2020
    BEST TV SHOW EVER. People will rave about The Sopranos, Breaking Bad, GoT, Mad Men, Rome... and all of those are excellent shows. But The Wire is storytelling on a whole other level.
  • Feb 17, 2020
    The final season of The Wire. Very rushed compared to the rest of the show, but David Simon had to cut his episode count down, thus writing many hours out of the script very last minute. It definitely shows. This is my least favorite season of the show, however, that does not say much because it is still a perfect piece of television. This is when shit goes down. The pace is kicked up and whatever you think may happen, your expectations will be destroyed. The finale to the greatest story ever put to screen, television or film. The Wire is the greatest piece of art in the last few decades.
  • Dec 20, 2019
    A noticeable drop off in writing quality for the 5th and final season of the Wire. Still excellent TV but it didn't feel quite right.
  • Nov 22, 2019
    A wonderful and thought-provoking ending to one of the greatest shows of all times. There could not be a better way to make this show than the way it was made. Absolute masterpiece, perfection!
  • Oct 19, 2019
    I was sad to this end, but they did it in the right way!
  • Mar 27, 2019
    McNulty and Freaman were dragged too far past believable to make the story work. Couldn't make it past episode 4.

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