Disclaimer: There may be spoilers included in the summaries.
Episode 1 "EBB Tide": Detective Shakima "Kima" Greggs (played by Sonja Sohn) tries to keep her promise to Cheryl (played by Melanie Nicholls-King) to stay on a desk job after recovering from the shooting and continue on with second year of law school. Cheryl is pregnant from artificial insemination. Nick Sobotka (played by Pablo Schreiber) meets with Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos (played by Paul Ben-Victor) -- who usually talks for The Greek (played by Bill Raymond) -- for side money since dock business is slow. Chester "Ziggy" Sobotka (played by James Ransone) tags along with Nick. Russell "Stringer" Bell (played by Idris Elba) is furious because his connect, Roberto, took he and Avon Barksdale's (played by Wood Harris) money without delivering the product. Officer Beatrice "Beadie" Russell (played by Amy Ryan) finds 13 dead women (two Asian, 11 European) in a crate dock where Frank Sobotka (played by Chris Bauer) and his nephew Nick and son Ziggy work.
Episode 2 "Collateral Damage": Officer Russell finds out since the dead women are illegal immigrants they'll be treated as "cargo." Frank goes to Vondas to demand The Greek warn him if any other cargo comes in with something breathing inside. He wasn't aware of what was inside the cargo they wanted discarded. Detective James "Jimmy" McNulty (played by Dominic West), who is now assigned to the marine unit, investigates old crates to see if 13 dead women in crates relate to dead woman he found in water. McNulty infuriates Deputy Commissioner for Operations William "Major" A. Rawls (played by John Doman) again by helping to dump 13 bodies on his police department further increasing the death rate stats. Detective Lester Freamon (played by Clarke Peters) and Detective William "Bunk" Moreland (played by Wendell Pierce) are assigned to the case. Brianna Barksdale (played by Michael Hyatt) and Stringer question Avon about how D'Angelo Barksdale (played by Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) is handling doing 20 years in prison for murders he didn't commit.
Episode 3 "Hot Shots": Omar Little (played by Michael K. Williams) has new crew: boyfriend Dante (played by Ernest Waddell), Kimmy (played by Kelli R. Brown) and Tosha (played by Edwina Findley). Avon talks to D'Angelo about his behavior in prison. Ziggy and Nick try to hustle side money while working at Frank's dock continues to be slow. Major Stanislaus Valchek (played by Al Brown) threatens Acting Commissioner Ervin H. Burrell's (played by Frankie Faison) voting results in order to get more manpower on the dead women's dock case. Valchek specifically wants Lieutenant Cedric Daniels (played by Lance Reddick), who turned in his resignation papers to finally take the bar in a month.
Episode 4 "Hard Cases": Daniels agrees to disregard his resignation papers, but Burrell has to agree to a promotion, a specialized unit and to let Daniels choose his own team before he'll solve drug cases for Valchek. Frank finds out about Nick's and Ziggy's side hustle. Maurice "Maury" Levy (played by Michael Kostroff) tries to bargain with police department to get Avon less time in prison. D'Angelo distances himself from Avon after finding out how his uncle went about getting the bargain. Kima and Daniels are in the dog house for asking Cheryl and Marla Daniels (played by Maria Broom) to give up law school and go back to detective work.
Episode 5 "Undertow": Ziggy meets Melvin "Cheese" Wagstaff (played by Clifford "Method Man" Smith) after having drug money shorted by a drug dealer named Frog (played by Gary "D. Reign" Senkus). Daniels gives Officer Ellis Carver (played by Seth Gilliam) a second chance. Daniels includes Kima, Freamon, Detective Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski (played by Jim True-Frost) and Detective Thomas "Herc" Hauk (played by Domenick Lombardozzi) on his team. Vondas tries to reason with Frank about police snooping around docks.
Episode 6 "All Prologue": Thomas "Horseface" Pakusa (played by Charley Scalies) won't budge on dock secrets even after grand jury threat. Freamon, Bunk and Beadie figure out dock computer system that ignores when certain crates are emptied. Avon realizes he's lost control of D'Angelo, who is later found "hanging" by a belt from a doorknob in an alleged suicide. McNulty tries to rekindle marriage with Elena McNulty (played by Callie Thorne). The Greek makes arrangements for Ziggy to break even with Cheese, courtesy of Cheese's uncle Joseph "Proposition Joe" Stewart (played by Robert F. Chew).
Episode 7 "Backwash": Nick arranges for Frog to sell drugs for him. Avon, Brianna and the mother of D'Angelo's child Donette (played by Shamyl Brown) mourn D'Angelo's alleged suicide. Daniels refuses but then chooses to take murder cases from Rawls.
Episode 8 "Duck and Cover": Frank's brother (Nick's father) Louis Sobotka (played by Robert Hogan) raises suspicion about how Frank suddenly has more money. Asst. State's Atty. Rhonda Pearlman (played by Deirdre Lovejoy) talks with detectives about murder-drug case at docks. After McNulty falls apart without police work, Bunk convinces Daniels to take McNulty out of the marine unit and back to their detective team although Rawls opposes after McNulty previously made more work for him with Stringer Bell case. Daniels reminds Rawls of the deal he made in order to take murder cases. Herc makes a deal with a family member to be a fake informant named Fuzzy Dunlop.
Episode 9 "Stray Rounds": Police clear courtyard after nine-year-old boy is killed during shoot-out over corners. Stringer makes deal to work with Proposition Joe -- better drugs for three corners -- to avoid more violence within the west and east sides. Avon refuses to work with Proposition Joe and requests NYC's Brother Mouzone (played by Michael Potts) to visit for muscle protection. McNulty figures out how to get in with prostitution ring. Ziggy tries to get into car stealing business with George "Double G" Glekas (played by Teddy Canez).
Episode 10 "Storm Warnings": East side crew and west side crew compete for who can sell more product. Valchek takes drug-prostitution case to FBI to expedite getting Frank arrested faster and find the surveillance van that was stolen. Ziggy turns himself in for murder. Proposition Joe gets in touch with Butchie (played by S. Robert Morgan) to reach out to Omar. The Greek disappears.
Episode 11 "Bad Dreams": Dock employees are arrested for drug and prostitution charges by FBI and detective team. Omar meets with Stringer to get rid of Brother Mouzone. The Greek offers Frank and Nick a deal not to snitch on them in exchange for helping Ziggy.
Episode 12 "Port in a Storm": Detectives try to find out about Frank's death, and Nick steps forward. Brother Mouzone absolves agreement with Stringer and Avon. Kima realizes motherhood is not for her. Sergei "Serge" Malatov (played by Chris Ashworth) explains how women were murdered.
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