Season four began on September 10, 2006. The series expanded its scope again to include an examination of the school system. Other major plots include the mayoral race that continues the political storyline begun in season three, and a closer look at Marlo Stanfield's drug gang, which has grown to control most of western Baltimore's trafficking.

Cast and charactersEdit

See also: Season four cast

The fourth season starring cast consists of:

Actor/actress Character Role
Dominic West Jimmy McNulty Homicide detective
John Doman William Rawls Deputy Commissioner for Operations
Frankie Faison Ervin Burrell Commissioner
Aidan Gillen Tommy Carcetti Councilman / Mayor
Deirdre Lovejoy Rhonda Pearlman Assistant State's Attorney
Clarke Peters Lester Freamon Major Crimes Unit / Homicide Detective
Wendell Pierce Bunk Moreland Homicide detective
Lance Reddick Cedric Daniels Western District Major / Criminal Investigations Division Colonel
Andre Royo Bubbles Drug addict
Sonja Sohn Kima Greggs Homicide unit detective
Jim True-Frost Roland Pryzbylewski Teacher
Robert Wisdom Howard Colvin Educator
Seth Gilliam Ellis Carver Western District Drug Enforcement Unit Sergeant
Domenick Lombardozzi Thomas "Herc" Hauk Mayor's Security Detail / Major Crimes Unit Sergeant
Reg E. Cathey Norman Wilson Senior Mayoral aide
Chad L. Coleman Dennis Wise Boxing trainer
Jamie Hector Marlo Stanfield Drug kingpin
Glynn Turman Clarence Royce Mayor
J. D. Williams Bodie Broadus Drug dealer
Michael K. Williams Omar Little Stick-up man
Corey Parker Robinson Leander Sydnor Major Crimes Unit Detective

Reg E. Cathey's Norman Wilson is the only new starring character to make his first appearance in the season. Other new additions to the starring cast are Chad L. Coleman, Jamie Hector, and Glynn Turman, all three of whom appeared as guest stars in the third season.

Plot summaryEdit

On September 10, 2006, The Wire returned for a fourth season, expanding its scope again to include an examination of the school system. Other major plots include the mayoral race that continues the political storyline begun in season three, and a closer look at Marlo Stanfield's drug gang, which has grown to control most of western Baltimore's trafficking.

The show introduces Dukie, Randy, Michael, and Namond, four boys from West Baltimore, as they enter the eighth grade.[1][2] At the same school, Prez has begun a new career as a math teacher.[1][2] Despite mentorship from the more seasoned faculty,[3][4] Prez has difficulties maintaining order and keeping his students focused in the chaotic and sometimes violent classroom.[5][6] Namond, and later Michael, work as drugrunners for Bodie, who has had middling success selling Proposition Joe's product independently.[3][4]

The cold-blooded Marlo has come to dominate the streets of the west side, using murder and intimidation to make up for his weak-quality drugs and lack of business acumen.[1][2] His enforcers Chris Partlow and Snoop conceal their numerous victims in boarded-up

row house

s where the bodies will not be readily discovered.[1][2] The disappearances of so many known criminals come to mystify both the major crimes unit investigating Marlo and the homicide unit assigned to solve the presumed murders.[7][8] Marlo coerces Bodie into working under him,[7][8] and attempts to bring Michael into the organization as well.[9][10]

McNulty has found peace working as a patrolman and living with Beadie Russell, and refuses promotions from Daniels, now a major commanding the Western District.[1][2] Detectives Kima Greggs and Lester Freamon, as part of the major crimes unit, investigate Avon Barksdale's political donations and serve several key figures with subpoenas.[3][4] Their work is shut down by Commissioner Ervin Burrell at Mayor Clarence Royce's request, and after being placed under stricter supervision within their unit, both Greggs and Freamon request and receive transfer to the homicide division.[5][6]

Meanwhile, the city's mayoral primary race enters its closing weeks. Royce initially has a seemingly insurmountable lead over challengers Tommy Carcetti and Anthony Gray, with a big

war chest

and major endorsements.[1][2][3][4] Royce's lead begins to fray, however, as his own political machinations turn against him and Carcetti starts to highlight the city's crime problem.[5][6] This propels Carcetti to victory in the primary,[11][12] and he easily wins the general election to become Baltimore's new mayor.[13][14] Carcetti's desire to reduce crime leads him to restrict Burrell's duties and promote the more competent Daniels, whom he is considering later appointing Commissioner.[15][16]

Other familiar characters become involved in the same middle school where Prez works. Howard "Bunny" Colvin joins a research group attempting to study potential future criminals while they are still young.[5][6] Dennis "Cutty" Wise continues to work with boys in his boxing gym,[3][4] and accepts a job at the school rounding up truants.[7][8] Bubbles takes a homeless teenager named Sherrod under his wing.[3][4] He encourages the boy to attend class, which he fails to do.[7][8] The two of them later find themselves assaulted and robbed constantly by a persistent drug addict.[9][10]

Prez has a few successes with his students, but some of them start to slip away. Disruptive Namond is removed from class and placed in the research group,[11][12] where he gradually develops affection and respect for Colvin.[13][14] Randy reveals to the assistant principal knowledge of a murder in a moment of desperation,[11][12] leading to his being interrogated by police[17][18] and thereafter labeled a "snitch" by his classmates.[19][20] Michael is unresponsive to the adults around him, including Prez, Cutty, and Bodie, who all see promise in him.[7][8][9][10] When Michael feels he must make his hated stepfather leave home in order to protect his little brother, he calls on Chris, the only authority figure whom he thinks he can trust.[15][16][21][22] Dukie, who had been nurtured by Prez, is transferred to high school through

social promotion

, and thus will have to leave their relationship behind.[23][24]

Freamon discovers the bodies Chris and Snoop had hidden.[23][24] Bodie offers McNulty testimony against Marlo and his crew, but is shot dead on his corner by O-Dog, a young Stanfield soldier.[25][26] Sherrod dies after injecting a poisoned vial of heroin that, unbeknownst to him, Bubbles had prepared for their tormentor. [23][24]Bubbles turns himself in to the police and tries to hang himself, but he survives and is taken to a detox facility.[25][26]

Michael has now joined the ranks of Marlo's killers and runs one of his corners, with Dukie leaving high school to work there.[25][26] Randy's house is firebombed by school bullies for his cooperation with the police,[23][24] leaving his caring foster mother hospitalized and sending him back to a group home.[25][26] Namond is taken in by Colvin, who recognized the good in him.[25][26] The major crimes unit from earlier seasons is largely reunited, and they resume their investigation of Marlo Stanfield.[25][26]


Main article: episodes
Season # Series # Title Story Teleplay Director Original airdate
1 38 Boys of Summer David Simon, Ed Burns David Simon Joe Chappelle September 10, 2006
TheWire38 "Lambs to the slaughter here." - Marcia Donnelly
Four West Baltimore boys wrestle with what to do with the rest of their summer vacation. When unkempt outcast Duquan "Dukie" Weems is beaten up by a neigbouring group of children Michael Lee is the quiet leader of the group's retaliation. Randy Wagstaff has the imagination to plan the endeavour. Namond Brice is the most outspoken and the richest of the four. Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski prepares for his new career as a school teacher. The Major Crimes Unit has a wiretap investigation into the new power in West Baltimore - the Stanfield Organization. They remain unaware that when Marlo Stanfield orders a death the target is taken to a vacant building and killed by enforcers Chris Partlow and "Snoop." Randy is unwittingly involved in one such disappearance. The mayoral election campaign between councilman Tommy Carcetti and incumbent mayor Clarence Royce begins to take shape.[1][2]
2 39 Soft Eyes Ed Burns, David Mills David Mills Christine Moore September 17, 2006
TheWire39 "I still wake up white in a city that ain't." - Carcetti
Thomas "Herc" Hauk is now working for the Mayor's security detail. He catches Royce in a compromising position and learns how to spin it into a promotion opportunity. Namond visits his father, Wee-Bey Brice, in prison. Wee-Bey urges Namond to work harder at his job with drug dealer Bodie Broadus but Namond swaps it with Michael as he is in greater financial need. Bunk Moreland investigates a murder but finds his prime suspect missing. Rhonda Pearlman and Lester Freamon argue over delivering subpoenas to political figures. Another murder involving a state's witness gives Carcetti damaging ammunition in a debate with Royce. Marlo gives money away to the neighborhood children and Michael catches his attention when he refuses the handout. Dennis "Cutty" Wise continues to run the community boxing gym and also notices Michael because of his aptitude for the sport. Bubbles mentors young and homeless Sherrod in his junk selling business.[3][4]
3 40 Home Rooms Ed Burns, Richard Price Richard Price Seith Mann September 24, 2006
TheWire40 "I love the first day, man. Everybody all friendly an' shit." - Namond Brice
Royce strikes back against Carcetti with his mayoral powers, however, he alienates State Delegate Watkins over his refusal to fund witness protection. Carcetti impresses Watkins by his reserved behaviour at the funeral of the murdered witness. Bunk visits Jimmy McNulty and Beadie Russell for dinner and finds McNulty sober and enjoying domestic life. Marlo Stanfield visits Bodie's corner and muscles him into selling the Stanfield package. Marlo is impressed with Michael a second time when he sees him working for Bodie. Proposition Joe and his New Day Co-Op face problems on two fronts; New York drug dealers on the East side and the Stanfield Organization in the West; they agree to attempt to negotiate with Marlo. Omar Little robs a Stanfield stash house. Rawls sends a caustic new lieutenant to gut the major case unit from the inside. Freamon and Kima Greggs leave for the homicide unit. Howard "Bunny" Colvin embarks on a new career as a researcher into violent behaviour. Prez is shocked by a violent incident in his classroom.[5][6]
4 41 Refugees Ed Burns, Dennis Lehane Dennis Lehane Jim McKay October 1, 2006
TheWire41 "No one wins. One side just loses more slowly." - Prez
As the homicide unit's newest detective Greggs is assigned to the high-profile witness case in an attempt to stall the investigation until after the election. Freamon joins Bunk on finding his missing suspect and realizes the connection to the lack of violence from the Stanfield Organization. Freamon suggests the suspect has been killed and his body hidden. Marlo loses big in a poker game and decides to take over Bodie's corner. Chris and Snoop assess Michael as a potential recruit. Proposition Joe manipulates Omar into robbing Marlo's next card game. Watkins becomes more angry with Royce when he sees he has reneged on a promise to back his protege Marla Daniels for a council seat. Randy is caught truanting and becomes a reluctant informant for the teachers.[7][8]
5 42 Alliances David Simon, Ed Burns Ed Burns David Platt October 8, 2006
TheWire42 "If you with us, you with us." - Chris Partlow
Carcetti learns that Greggs has been assigned the witness case and uses the information against Royce. Watkins forms an alliance with Carcetti. Now a sergeant in the major case unit, Herc takes part in a series of ill-advised raids that fail to render any arrests. Herc takes a video camera without permission to surveil Stanfield. Marlo tries to enlist Michael but he rejects the offer. Marlo arranges to have Omar framed for murder. Dukie debunks Randy's theory that the Chris and Snoop's victims are undead and shows him the bodies. Prez struggles to control his student's behaviour. Bubbles is beaten by another drug addict and throws Sherrod out for truanting.[9][10]
6 43 Margin of Error Ed Burns, Eric Overmyer Eric Overmyer Dan Attias October 15, 2006
TheWire43 "Don't try this shit at home." - Norman Wilson
Namond is pushed into drug dealing by his mother when they are cut off by the remnants of the Barksdale Organization (who had been supporting them). Randy reveals his involvement in the murder to his teachers and is placed under Sergeant Ellis Carver's care. Marlo proves elusive despite Herc's camera. Colvin's new special class separates the worst behaved students (known as "Corner Kids") from their peers. Carcetti wins the election despite a last minute smear campaign. Omar is arrested for the murder Marlo organized.[11][12]
7 44 Unto Others Ed Burns, William F. Zorzi William F. Zorzi Anthony Hemingway October 29, 2006
TheWire44alt "Aw yeah. That golden rule." - The Bunk
Royce and Carcetti make their peace. Prez has a good day with his class minus the "corner kids". Omar convinces Bunk to help him prove his innocence. Greggs uses "soft eyes" at a crime scene and finds the witness killing was accidental. Marlo steals Herc's surveillance camera provoking him into a more direct approach. Carver hands Randy over to Herc who fails to understand the importance of his story. Sherrod begins working in the drug trade and fights with Namond over territory. After receiving a beating Namond disrupts Colvin's class. Proposition Joe continues to court Marlo's involvement with the Co-Op.[17][18]
8 45 Corner Boys Ed Burns, Richard Price Richard Price Agnieszka Holland November 5, 2006
TheWire45alt "We got our thing, but it's just part of the big thing." - Zenobia
Colvin uses corner logic in class and is greeted with enthusiasm, particularly from Namond. Michael is devastated when his stepfather returns to live with him. Bunk exposes the frame on Omar but antagonizes his colleagues by meddling in the case. Herc stops Chris and Snoop and fails to realize the significance of the tools he finds in their car - they use them to conceal the corpses of their victims. Carcetti makes the rounds and discusses his plans as Mayor and his intentions for the future. He considers employing a new police commissioner and Cedric Daniels sees his stock rising.[13][14]
9 46 Know Your Place Ed Burns, Kia Corthron Kia Corthron Alex Zakrzewski November 12, 2006
TheWire46 "Might as well dump 'em, get another." - Proposition Joe
Bubbles identifies a witness for Herc but Herc fails to return the favour by protecting him from his tormentor. Colvin offers an incentive to his class. Old Face Andre turns to Proposition Joe for protection after his ineptitude in the framing of Omar. Joe ingratiates himself with Marlo by handing Andre over to Chris and Snoop. Marlo finally joins the Co-Op and his enforcers begin to take on the New York drug dealers. Carver warns Namond about his drug dealing. Carcetti restricts commissioner Ervin Burrell's authority and insists on a promotion for Daniels. Michael takes his problem with his step father to Marlo. Omar plans revenge on Marlo and Proposition Joe.[15][16]
10 47 Misgivings Ed Burns, Eric Overmyer Ed Burns Ernest R. Dickerson November 19, 2006
TheWire47 "World goin' one way, people another." - Poot
Burrell's new mandate for quality of life arrests is met with civil disobedience and political maneuvering. Chris takes cares of Michael's problem. Marlo has a member of Bodie's crew killed after he is interviewed by Herc and orders word spread about Randy for the same reason. Carver arrests Namond and he reaches out to Colvin for help. After another beating, Bubbles gets revenge for Herc's continual betrayals by setting him up to arrest a minister. The teachers are pressured to teach test material despite their recent successes.[21][22]
11 48 A New Day David Simon, Ed Burns Ed Burns Brad Anderson November 26, 2006
TheWire48 "You play in dirt, you get dirty." - McNulty
Carcetti faces a dilemma over a complaint from the minister against Herc. Carcetti galvanises other departments into action with non-specific complaints. Randy faces bullying from his school mates after he is exposed as an informant. Omar tricks Proposition Joe into giving away the timing of his next shipment. Freamon is tempted back to Major Crimes by Daniels and has a revelation regarding the hiding place of the missing bodies.[19][20]
12 49 That's Got His Own Ed Burns, George Pelecanos George Pelecanos Joe Chappelle December 3, 2006
TheWire49 "That all it is to it?" - Bubbles
Prez is rankled by Dukie's social promotion to high school after having become close to him. Omar orchestrates the theft of the Co-Op's shipment. Michael trains as an enforcer in the Stanfield Organization and violently alienates Cutty and Namond. Randy is kept home for his own protection but an arson attack on his home leaves his foster mother horribly burned. Herc is suspended for his loss of the camera. Freamon's discovery of bodies in vacant houses damages the homicide unit's annual clearance rate. Daniels realizes the statistics can be blamed on Royce so Carcetti approves a city wide search. Carcetti faces a massive school budget deficit and is forced to go the the governor for assistance. Bubbles prepares a lethal vial of narcotics for his tormentor but Sherrod takes it unwittingly and dies.[23][24]
13 50 Final Grades David Simon, Ed Burns David Simon Ernest R. Dickerson December 10, 2006
TheWire50 "If animal trapped call 410-844-6286." - Baltimore, traditional
Bubbles attempts suicide after confessing his part in Sherrod's death and is taken to rehab. Freamon begins to build his investigation and has Chris and Snoop brought in for DNA samples. Bodie reaches breaking point over Marlo's murder of his people and turns to McNulty. Bodie is later killed on his corner after the meeting is observed. McNulty decides to rejoin the Major Crimes Unit. Proposition Joe is forced to reveal his supplier to Marlo to reassure the Co-Op after Omar's robbery. Marlo meets with Spiros Vondas who vouches for Joe. Omar brazenly sells the stolen drugs back to the Co-Op. Carcetti rejects the Governor's offer of assistance with the schools as it would cost his career too much in the future. Despite Carver's efforts to prevent it, Randy is reluctantly returned to foster care. Colvin's special class is shut down by the education board. However, he persuades Namond's parents to let Namond live with him in order to keep him away from drug dealing. Michael commits his first murder and is given Bodie's corner to run; Dukie is unable to settle in high school and joins his crew.[25][26]

DVD releaseEdit

The fourth season region 1 DVD will be released on the 4th of December 2007.[27] The box set will feature the documentaries "It's All Connected: The Wire" and "The Game is Real: The Wire". It was also include commentaries on; episode 1, "Boys of Summer", by David Simon and Ed Burns; episode 4, "Refugees", by Jim True-Frost, Karen L. Thorson and Kate Sanford; episode 6, "Margin of Error", by Dan Attias and William F. Zorzi; episode 11, "A New Day", by Robert F. Chew, Jermaine Crawford, Maestro Harrell, Julito McCullum and Tristan Wilds; episode 12, "That's Got His Own", by Joe Chapelle and George Pelecanos; episode 13, "Final Grades", by David Simon and Nina Noble.[27]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Episode guide - episode 38 boys of summer. HBO (2004). Retrieved on 2006-08-09.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "Boys of Summer". David Simon, Ed Burns. The Wire. HBO. 2004-09-10. No. 01, season 4.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 Episode guide - episode 39 Soft Eyes. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2006-08-09.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 "Soft Eyes". David Mills, Ed Burns. The Wire. HBO. 2004-09-17. No. 02, season 4.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Episode guide - episode 40 Home Rooms. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2006-09-25.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 "Home Rooms". Richard Price, Ed Burns. The Wire. HBO. 2004-09-24. No. 03, season 4.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Episode guide - episode 41 Refugees. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2006-10-03.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 "Refugees". Dennis Lehane, Ed Burns. The Wire. HBO. 2004-10-31. No. 04, season 4.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Episode guide - episode 42 Alliances. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2006-10-09.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "Alliances". David Simon, Ed Burns. The Wire. HBO. 2004-10-08. No. 05, season 4.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Episode guide - episode 43 Margin of Error. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2006-10-09.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 "Margin of Error". Ed Burns, Eric Overmeyer. The Wire. HBO. 2004-10-15. No. 06, season 4.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Episode guide - episode 45 Corner Boys. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-09.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "Corner Boys". Ed Burns, Richard Price. The Wire. HBO. 2004-11-05. No. 08, season 4.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 Episode guide - episode 46 Know Your Place. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-15.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 "Know Your Place". Ed Burns, Richard Price, Writ. Kia Corthron. The Wire. HBO. 2004-11-12. No. 09, season 4.
  17. 17.0 17.1 Episode guide - episode 44 Unto Others. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-01.
  18. 18.0 18.1 "Unto Others". Ed Burns, William F. Zorzi. The Wire. HBO. 2004-10-29. No. 07, season 4.
  19. 19.0 19.1 Episode guide - episode 48 A New Day. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
  20. 20.0 20.1 "A New Day". Ed Burns, David Simon, Writ. Ed Burns. The Wire. HBO. 2004-11-26. No. 11, season 4.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Episode guide - episode 47 Misgivings. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Misgivings". Ed Burns, Eric Overmyer, Writ. Ed Burns, Eric Overmyer. The Wire. HBO. 2004-11-19. No. 10, season 4.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Episode guide - episode 49 That's Got His Own. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2007-03-30.
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 "That's Got His Own". Ed Burns, George Pelecanos, Writ. George Pelecanos. The Wire. HBO. 2004-12-03. No. 12, season 4.
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 25.5 25.6 The Wire episode guide - episode 50 Final Grades. HBO (2006). Retrieved on 2007-10-17.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 26.3 26.4 26.5 26.6 "Final Grades". Ernest Dickerson, Writ. David Simon (story and teleplay), Ed Burns (story). The Wire. HBO. 2004-12-10. No. 13, season 4.
  27. 27.0 27.1 Paul Heath (2007). The Wire: The Complete Fourth Season coming December 4th. The Hollywood News. Retrieved on 2007-11-01.
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