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The Wire

5 Seasons

Available on Prime
Season 5
Available on Prime
4.7 out of 5 stars (4,343) IMDb 9.4/10

In the fifth and final season of this explosive drama series, the show expands its focus into the media--specifically the role of newspapers in big-city bureaucracy--as it follows the fictional staff of a real newspaper.

Starring:
Dominic West, John Doman

Available to watch on supported devices.

The Wire: Now Available in HD

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Season 5
1. More With Less

Season Five premiere. As McNulty and the detail continue staking out Marlo's crew, recently promoted Sergeant Carver is welcomed by a cauldron of discontent from officers coping with unpaid overtime.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 58 minutes Release date: December 31, 2007
Buy HD $2.99
2. Unconfirmed Reports

Although he tells Sydnor the Davis investigation could be a 'career case,' Freamon keeps a wary eye out for Marlo, who takes care of some unfinished business and strikes a business deal with Barksdale.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 58 minutes Release date: January 7, 2008
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3. Not for Attribution

Carcetti's master plan for the police department is leaked to the press, sending the brass into a panic. Marlo turns to Proposition Joe to help with an enviable problem. Whiting and Klebanow drop a bombshell on the newspaper staff.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 58 minutes Release date: January 14, 2008
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4. Transitions

Campbell tries to smooth out the transitions in the police department. The newspaper scrambles to confirm surprising news from City Hall, but lose out to the TV media in scooping a high-profile Grand Jury appearance.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 58 minutes Release date: January 21, 2008
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5. React Quotes

Marlo forges an alliance with a drug connect, who shows him a new communications trick. McNulty's case gets increased attention from the newspaper, in large part thanks to the addition of Templeton to the reporting team.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 58 minutes Release date: January 28, 2008
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6. The Dickensian Aspect

Mystified by Omar's disappearance, Marlo and Chris ramp up their efforts to locate their nemesis. After a sparsely attended waterfront ceremony, Carcetti fires away at a larger press event--and recasts himself as a champion for the homeless.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 58 minutes Release date: February 4, 2008
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7. Took

An unexpected call puts Templeton back in the spotlight--and gets McNulty more attention than he expected. Bunk bucks at Landsman when ordered to help with the force's most recent red ball.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 58 minutes Release date: February 11, 2008
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8. Clarifications

Baltimore's renewed police commitment brings fresh recruits to Daniels and McNulty, starting with Carver. Facing a new political challenge, Carcetti is forced to make dangerous political deals.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 58 minutes Release date: February 18, 2008
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9. Late Editions

With Steintorf ordering Rawls to initiate 'creative' remedies for the rising crime rate, Freamon's vigilance pays off with a promising lead, sending Sydnor and the department into overdrive.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 59 minutes Release date: February 25, 2008
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10. -30-

In the series finale, Carcetti maps out a damage-control scenario with the police brass in the wake of a startling revelation from Pearlman and Daniels. Their choice: clean up the mess...or hide the dirt.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 1 hour, 33 minutes Release date: March 9, 2008
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Adam VINE VOICE on April 28, 2008
Format: DVD
I'll begin this review as a review of the series, then move on to Season 5 in particular:

I have long thought that some of the best stuff on TV can be found among HBO's Original Series. I'm a big fan of some of HBO's better known dramas including Rome and The Sopranos, as well as of some lighter fare such as The Ali G Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Strangely, I'd barely even heard of The Wire until about a year ago, when a friend of mine (who generally has very good taste) was raving about it. At his suggestion, I purchased Season One on DVD. I was hooked about half way into the series, and I eagerly devoured Seasons 1-4 on DVD just in time to catch Season 5 as it aired on HBO. I can't pay this series high enough praise - to me, it transcends the TV medium, and rather than compare it to other TV series, I'd rank it up there as one of the greatest stories ever told (or rather the greatest stories I've had the good fortune of reading, hearing, or viewing). Many reviews rave about The Wire as an excellent TV Series, though in my opinion this excellent work would more appropriately be compared to an epic novel than to anything on the small screen.

The Wire has rightfully been praised for, among other things, 1) it's realism and 2) it's excellent character development, but what really sets The Wire apart is its tackling of complex, timeless themes such as poverty, suffering, lawlessness, and the underlying forces (such as beuracracy, corruption, and greed) that lead to the ultimate failure of the system to correct these issues. The Wire takes a close, and very critical view of how our political, educational, media, and law enforcement institutions fail to eliminate the poverty and drug problems that plague Baltimore.
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Format: DVD
That quote by Bunk (Wendell Pierce) in the opening episode of the final season of David Simon's brilliant The Wire sets the stage for the events that unfold in these final ten episodes of the beloved HBO series.

Picking up from the fourth season, Mayor Carcetti (Aidan Gillen) is pouring money into the Baltimore school system, which prompts the police force to work without paid overtime, and also finds the ever self-destructive Jimmy McNulty's (Dominic West) wiretap on murderous drug dealer Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector) put to a premature end. Things begin to change however, when McNulty, along with Freamon's (Clarke Peters) help, manipulate and orchestrate an imaginary, homeless preying, serial killer that garners national attention, all in an effort to put Marlo away once and for all.

Also, much like the previous season focused on the broken education system, the fifth season focuses on the impact of the media in the form of the Baltimore Sun; as editor Gus Haynes (longtime series director Clark Johnson) deals with the downsizing of his staff, and the rise of a reporter (Thomas McCarthy) who may be making up his stories. In the meantime (proving that The Wire is indeed the most multilayered television drama ever created), other subplots abound, including a revenge driven Omar (Michael K. Williams) returning with Marlo in his sights; young Michael (Tristan Wilds) and Dukie (Jermaine Crawford) learn just how dire their situation is; Bubbles (Andre Royo) finds light at the end of the tunnel; and Daniels (Lance Reddick) prepares to take on the role of Commissioner.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
***EDIT NOTE (August 7th, 2008)***
I have learned from IGN that by the end of this year - early 2009 at the latest - all 5 seasons of THE WIRE will be released in a box set. I will write a review once Amazon puts up an item for purchase.

If you want to go in fresh, then I suggest not reading any Season Five reviews. But if you've already started, then read on. I've done everything possible to avoid spoilers, yet critique from my own point of view.

***ORIGINAL REVIEW***
Typing reviews on TV seasons can be problematic. If you're a newcomer to the series who just wants to know whether THE WIRE held up through all 60 episodes, the short answer is a resounding "Yes!" This series took big chances with each season, and each episode was carefully constructed and executed. They don't call this show a "visual novel" for nothing. THE WIRE is easily the most realistic TV series ever produced, and mastered the art of slow build-up.

But for those who missed out on Season Five, I'll keep this as spoiler-free as possible. If you're looking for a debate, go to IMDB --- you'll find plenty to fight about.

Trying to discuss plot threads and outlines of this Season would take an entire website, so let's split this up into the key players:

THE POLICE
---Season Five lets the Major Case Squad return to its roots as they track Marlo Stanfield, but the twist is that the entire police force is underpaid with morale at an all-time low. Whatever happened to Baltimore's economy since last year has crippled the cops from doing good policework, let alone keep the stats at an acceptable level. The few individuals who're motivated to work the cases, however, choose a shockingly unethcial approach.
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