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The Wire: Season 4

4.8 out of 5 stars 4,366 customer reviews

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(Dec 04, 2007)
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Product Description

Wire, The: The Complete Fourth Season (DVD)

With the fall of Barksdale and the ascent of young Marlo Stanfield as West Baltimore's drug king, the detail continues to "follow the money" up the political ladder in the midst of a mayoral election that pits the black incumbent, Clarence Royce, against an ambitious white councilman, Tommy Carcetti. The theme of urban education is explored through four new characters – Michael Lee, Namond Brice, Randy Wagstaff and "Dukie" Weems as they traverse adolescence in the stunted, drug-saturated streets of West Baltimore. The world that awaits these boys and the American commitment to equal opportunity are depicted brilliantly in the edgy, all too realistic Season 4 of The Wire.



Even if you missed the first three seasons (the character guides and thorough episode recaps on HBO's website are recommended), and with only one season left, it's not too late to get in under The Wire. In fact, season 4 is an accessible introduction for those who know The Wire only by its street cred as arguably the very best show on television. For them especially, this season will be, as befitting its theme, a real education. Without resorting to melodramatics that other ratings-challenged series employ to gain that frustratingly elusive audience, The Wire shakes things up this season in a way that is true to the series and its characters. A major character, Dominic West's McNulty, plays a minor role as a contented street cop and family man, while a former supporting player, Jim True-Frost's Roland Pryzbylewski, goes to the head of the class as a new eighth grade teacher at beleaguered Edward Tilghman Middle School. It may take a couple of episodes to orient yourself to the Baltimore backrooms, squad rooms, classrooms, and street corners where The Wire's intense dramas play out, and new viewers may miss something in character nuance, but they will easily grasp the big picture. A politically motivated shake-up sends Major Crimes detectives Freamon (Clarke Peters) and Greggs (Sonja Sohn) to Homicide. The gloves come off in the mayoral race between black incumbent Clarence Royce (Glynn Turman) and idealistic white challenger Tommy Carcetti (Aidan Gillen). Gang leader Marlo (Jamie Hector) quietly and deliberately becomes the city's new drug kingpin, managing to subvert all surveillance efforts. Meanwhile, while "Prez" tries to reach his students, four highly at-risk kids will be drawn into the drug trade.

Mere synopsis does not do The Wire justice. The series deftly juggles its myriad storylines and characters, all of whom make an impression, from Marlo's cold-blooded enforcers, Snoop (Felicia Pearson) and Chris (Gbenga Akinnagbe), to boxing instructor "Cutty" (Chad L. Coleman), determined to keep his young charges off the corners. There is not a false note in the performances or the writing. Richard Price (Clockers) and Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) again contributed episodes. That this series has only been nominated for only one Emmy (for writing) is a travesty. As engrossing as the finest novels and in a class by itself, this isn't television; it's The Wire. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features

  • 13 episodes on four discs
  • Commentary by creator David Simon, cast, and crew on six episodes
  • Hourlong behind-the-scenes documentary: "It's All Connected," "The Game Is Real"

Product Details

  • Actors: Dominic West, Wendell Pierce, Sonja Sohn, Lance Reddick, Aidan Gillen
  • Directors: Daniel Attias
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: HBO Studios
  • DVD Release Date: December 4, 2007
  • Run Time: 780 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4,366 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,101 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Wire: Season 4" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. Durham HALL OF FAME on September 11, 2007
Format: DVD
The fourth season of HBO's critically acclaimed The Wire picks up after the explosive events the conclusion to the third season, as cop Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) finds himself patroling the streets of Baltimore and seemingly out of the loop (McNulty is relegated to more of a supporting player in these episodes than ever before) as this season focuses on the coming election between Mayor Royce (Glynn Turman) and Tommy Carcetti (Aidan Gillen), and a group of young corner kids getting ready to go back to school. What makes this season of The Wire so surprisingly compelling isn't the drama between the cops and the crooks like we've seen before, but what this group of young corner boys (Maestro Harrell, Julito McCullum, Tristan Wilds) experience and the choices they make, which not only effect their own lives, but inexplicably effect the lives of everyone else involved as well. In the meantime, new kingpin Marlo (Jamie Hector) makes even more of an impact as the cops try to nail him, Herc (Domenick Lombardozzi) finally gets his stripes, Prez (Jim True-Frost) becomes a teacher, and Omar (Michael K. Williams) gets in over his head when he goes toe to toe with Marlo. By the end of season four, it is apparent that the end is near, and that McNulty and his crew are sitting on a powder keg that will be as explosive as anything that has ever been seen on HBO. Undoubtedly one of the finest and most realistic TV dramas ever crafted, The Wire is once again spectacular entertainment.
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Format: DVD
The fourth and penultimate season of The Wire sees the show moving into new territory. At the end of Season 3 the Barksdale organisation was finally destroyed for good, McNulty found himself some happiness and Daniels got a promotion. The goals set out in Season 1 had been achieved. So, where next for the Major Crimes Unit and the players of the game?

Season 4 follows several storylines in tandem. The MCU is now chasing down Marlo Stanfield, whose organisation has picked up from where Barksdale left off and now rules over most of the western district of Baltimore. However, their rise to power has apparently been accomplished with virtually no deaths, bemusing Lester Freamon. With the wiretaps also coming up empty, Freamon's attempts to follow the money trail attract the ire of his superiors and pretty soon the MCU is all but shut down and Freamon and Kima end up working in Homicide instead. Elsewhere, McNulty is enjoying the (relatively) easy life as a beat cop, Daniels is heading up his own force and Carver is maturing as an officer, with only Herc apparently resisting any change, at least until he catches the Mayor's eye (in a rather interesting manner) and finds his star rising as a result. But overall the police side of things, at least to start off with, seems pretty quiet.

On the streets Marlo's rise to power has been achieved with the help of his two enforcers, the terrifyingly cold-blooded and ruthless Chris and Snoop, who have come up with a brilliant scheme to hide the resulting bodies from the police. Proposition Joe, who has inherited most of the surviving Barksdale crew, is continuing his efforts to entice Marlo into the cooperative to little avail, so he hatches a scheme to get Marlo on his side by setting up a war between him and the indefatigable Omar.
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Format: DVD
The story so far... (Don't read any further if you don't want to know any detail of what happens in this Season of the show).

On street level, Stringer Bell is dead, Avon Barksdale is back behind bars and the cold and wilful Marlo Stansfield (played by Jamie Hector) looks like he's squaring up to be crowned king. Preston "Bodie" Broadus (played by JD Williams) is the only true Barksdale soldier still holding it down but finds it's a whole new game with a whole new set of rules. Meanwhile, the drug dealers' nightmare that is Omar (played by Michael K Williams) has a new protégé in tow and he's as busy as ever. The scene when he and Marlo finally come face to face is pure TV heaven.

On law level, political involvement in the Major Crimes Unit sends its best personnel off in all different directions: Lieutenant Daniels (played by Lance Reddick) gets promoted out, Detectives Kima Greggs (played by Sonja Sohn) and Lester Freamon (played by Clarke Peters) are squeezed out - and back to Homicide - and Detective Jimmy McNulty (played by Dominic West) realises he's running the risk of losing his soul and goes back on patrol. He also gives up the booze and tries to become a family man. The end result of all this is that no one is really up on the wire and by the time the incredible number of bodies being stacked up in vacant houses by Marlo's two lieutenants Chris and Snoop (played by Gbenga Akinnagbe and Felicia Pearson) come to light, there are so many of them, the task of solving the crimes seem pretty much unsurmountable to the shocked law enforcement personnel.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you have seen The Wire in its previous three seasons and wondered whether this one measures up, the answer is "absolutely yes". If you haven't seen the show at all, what are you waiting for?

Previously I would've said season 2 was my favorite, but I think this one surpassed it. It is astonishing to me that the show gets better and better. We continue to see deeper facets of characters we are familiar with, and we get a group of new ones that become vividly etched in our consciousness very quickly. Pat Moran Casting in Baltimore deserves an award for consistently finding strong actors for the show, including for this season, a good-sized group of early teens and younger.

"The Wire" IS the great American novel that so many have talked about writing "some day". David Simon and his fellow scribes were driven to paint a realistic gritty portrait about life in a contemporary American industrial city and we have all reaped the rewards.
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