The Wire Series 5

Series 5 draws more on David Simon’s experience as a journalist working on The Baltimore Sun newspaper and weaves in many storylines and characters from the previous four series.

Following Tommy Carcetti’s election as Mayor, public funds have fallen through the floor. The city is broke. There is no money to pay the police, teachers and other city workers and especially no funds to invest in the city infrastructure. Any spare money is being invested in the schools. Moral is at its lowest and even the city newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, has to consider redundancies.

McNulty and Greggs back at homicidePolice overtime is not being paid despite Mayor Carcetti’s promises. McNulty, Bunk, Freamon and rest of the team are far from happy and they soon find out that the Marlo investigation is being shut down.

Greggs and McNulty are returned to Homicide to work with Landsman (better than Harbour duty for McNulty … but only just).

Marlo Stanfield’s empire has grown despite being under constant surveillance from Major Crime Unit and he has joined the New Day Co-Op alongside Prop Joe , Slim Charles, Calvin “Cheese” Wagstaff, Hungry Man and Fatface Rick. Marlo, Chris and Snoop meet to discuss the lack of police surveillance – no tails, helicopters or cameras … ironically whilst being watched from a distance by Lester Freamon, who had been patiently waiting for this moment to happen.

Marlo StanfieldMarlo wants to bypass Prop Joe’s Co-Op and buy his product direct from Vondas but first has to set up a meet.

Arriving at Jessup Correctional Institution intending to meet with Vondas’ enforcer Sergei, instead he meets Avon who wants a $100k fee for putting Marlo and Vondas together.

Awash with cash, Marlo asks Prop Joe how to “clean his money” and learns how The Pastor and he clean Prop Joe’s money with good works projects – financing hospitals and schoolhouses on the Islands that never actually get built.

While travelling to a crime scene … by bus, the city has no money to service the squad cars … McNulty plans how to get more resources for his department to catch Marlo. Later at a homicide of a homeless man, McNulty, still drunk from the night before, fakes a murder scene and tells his partner, “There’s a serial killer in Baltimore, Bunk. He preys on the weakest among us. He needs to be caught.”

McNulty reads through police reports of previous unsolved murders and spots a victim with a red ribbon tied around his wrist. His plan comes to life and he sets about creating evidence that a serial killer is attacking the homeless, going to the morgue to add a red ribbon on his homicide’s wrist.
McNulty explains his plan to Lester Fraemon who agrees to help him, much to Bunk’s disbelief.

Meanwhile at the Baltimore Sun offices, Scott Templeton files a story and when Gus Haynes asks for more proof and background, Templeton gets defensive and Gus starts to get suspicious.

Marlo is still hunting Omar, ordering Chris and Snoop to kill his close friend, hoping to enrage Omar into coming after him. Word gets to Omar, who is out of the country, and he comes back vowing revenge against Marlo and those who gave his friend up.

After another homeless “murder”, Templeton meets McNulty at a bar who feeds him some inside information and Templeton rushes off to make the second-edition deadline.

Templeton makes the case his top priority and scours the city for homeless people to interview, but comes up with nothing.

However, this doesn’t stop Templeton who thinks the case will be his way out of Baltimore and onto a more prestigious paper. Instead, he fakes a conversation with the “killer” which makes the Sun’s front page. As soon as he finds out, McNulty meets with the editorial team, sensing that Templeton could be played and that a front page serial killer could bring City Hall funds he could divert to bringing a case against Marlo.

At Mayor Carcetti’s press conference he promises that the killer will be stopped and Daniels, now
Deputy Commissioner of Operations, explains how the police department will catch him. As expected, City Hall uses the case as a political diversion from the city’s other problems. The investigation into the fictitious killer takes much needed funds from the education and social services budgets.

McNulty is put in charge of the investigation and he arranges for Lester to get equipment to continue the Marlo wiretap, also using the equipment to further draw Templeton into his net, feeding him more lies to publish in the Sun. The serial killer case spirals out of control, even the FBI become involved. McNulty begs Lester to finish off Marlo … and quickly, not easy as Marlo is using a new and seemingly complex code to arrange meets with his crew and other dealers.

The day of reckoning for Marlo and his crewDet. Leander Sydnor, who had replaced Prez as Lester Freamon’s protegy, has a moment of inspiration whilst trying to track Marlo across town and cracks his code.

Suddenly it all comes together after years of police work and the day of reckoning for Marlo and his gang is almost here.

Time is also up on the fake case, and McNulty is forced to admit his involvement to Rawls and Daniels. However, even after nearly 60 hours of superb TV, there is a final twist …

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