The Wire Series 3

Series 3 returns to the street corners of Baltimore and Lt. Daniels’ team is still chasing the city’s drug dealers.  With Avon close to release from jail and the Barksdale gang’s former territory, the Towers, raised to the ground, Stringer Bell decides to become the city’s top drug wholesaler.

Bunny ColvinMeanwhile pressure mounts at City Hall and the Police Department as the city’s crime rate continues to grow. At Comstat, Rawls tells his commanders. “If Baltimore had New York’s population, we’d be clocking four thousand murders a year at this rate”. Police Major Colvin, close to retirement, has an idea to bring the crime rate down … legalise drugs, at least in his district.

The Free Zone, nicknamed Hamsterdam is launched in an area full of abandoned buildings. Not surprisingly, the cops are outraged at Colvin’s idea and the drug dealers and users are amazed but soon get used to it and open trading starts with the cops looking on from the side.

Stringer Bell, with Proposition Joe on his side, calls a meeting of the city’s drug dealers and they agree to form a cartel so that they can negotiate better discounts from their New York supplier.

Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale argue about MarloUnable to convince Marlo Stansfield to join the cartel, and against Stringer Bell’s advice, Avon decides to go to war with Marlo over the street corner territory. A bloody and violent battle commences between Marlo and Barksdale’s soldiers. Baltimore’s murder rate grows … and grows, increasing the pressure at City Hall and on the Mayor … just before the Mayoral elections.

Hamsterdam isn’t going as planned … a young black teenager turns up dead, so Colvin calls a group of dealers threatening that if the killer doesn’t turn himself in next day, Hamsterdam will be shut down. When Stringer Bells learns of Colvin’s edict, the killer is promptly persuaded to turn himself in. Worse still, a local reporter has found out about Hamsterdam but isn’t aware that Police Command doesn’t know about Colvin’s plan. Colvin lies to the reporter in an attempt to buy a week’s silence, telling him that the drug dealers are being lulled into a false sense of security and will all be arrested within the week. The reporter is promised an exclusive as his reward.

Already at war with Marlo, Avon puts a contract out on his old enemy Omar and traces Omar’s family in an effort to track him down. Two of his soldiers spot Omar taking his grandmother to Sunday church and open fire injuring his grandma. Omar is furious and tells his crew “Barksdale gotta be got.” Teaming up with Brother Mouzone, Omar seeks his revenge … with deadly consequences.

At the next Comstat meeting, Colvin finally tells his superiors about Hamsterdam and how it has reduced his district’s crime rate. Major Rawls is incredulous and so, when he is told, is the Mayor, although he is also intrigued by the drop in violent crime and considers whether he could spin it for his own political purposes.

Hamsterdam is eventually closed and the buildings bulldozed.  Councilman Tommy Carcetti learning from his recent experience and with a new, higher media profile, senses the opportunity to run for Mayor. Tommy promises to reduce the city’s crime rate and improve Baltimore’s quality of life.

Will he succeed? Find out in Series 5.

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