Disclaimer: There may be spoilers included in the summaries.
Episode 1 "Time After Time": The Towers are blown up in a ceremony lead by Mayor Clarence V. Royce (played by Glynn Turman). Russell "Stringer" Bell (played by Idris Elba) encourages his dealers to get rid of fight-for-territory mindset and focus on the product. Detectives grow impatient after they can't pin down Melvin "Cheese" Wagstaff's (played by Method Man) voice or Joseph "Proposition Joe" Stewart's (played by Robert F. Chew) activities. After 14 years, Dennis "Cutty" Wise (played by Chad L. Coleman) is released from prison. Avon Barksdale (played by Wood Harris) encourages Cutty to get involved with his crew on the outside. Detective James "Jimmy" McNulty (played by Dominic West) is furious to find out his wife Elena McNulty (played by Callie Thorne) is dating someone new. Marla Daniels (played by Maria Broom) and Lieutenant Cedric Daniels (played by Lance Reddick) fake happiness in marriage so she can run for office. Howard "Bunny" Colvin (played by Robert Wisdom) challenges Mayor Royce's and Operations William "Major" A. Rawls (played by John Doman) low goal of a 275 murder rate. Fruit (played by Brandon Fobbs) hustles Cutty out of 60/40 drug money split.
Episode 2 "All Due Respect": Omar Little (played by Michael K. Williams) robs a Barksdale drug house, with the help of his boyfriend Dante (played by Ernest Waddell), Kimmy (played by Kelli R. Brown) and Tosha (played by Edwina Findley). Cheese's dog is killed in a dogfight. Preston "Bodie" Broadus (played by J.D. Williams) sets up in the middle of the block, but Marlo "Black" Stanfield's (played by Jamie Hector) people aren't fond of Stringer's crew near their corner. Councilman Thomas "Tommy" Carcetti (played by Aidan Gillen) bugs Acting Commissioner Ervin H. Burrell (played by Frankie Faison) for dirt on the mayor. Detective Shakima "Kima" Greggs (played by Sonja Sohn) struggles to co-parent with Cheryl (played by Melanie Nicholls-King). McNulty visits Donette (played by Shamyl Brown) questioning whether D'Angelo Barksdale (played by Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) really committed suicide. Cutty tests out new job in blue collar work. Officer Kenneth Dozerman (played by Rick Otto) is shot by drug dealers during an undercover bust with three vials.
Episode 3 "Dead Soldiers": Major Marvin Taylor (played by Barnett Milton Lloyd) is demoted from commanding the eastern district after deaths continue to skyrocket. Kimmy and Tosha question Omar's obsession with robbing Avon's and Stringer's camp, and later on, Tosha is killed during one of those robberies. Sergeant Jay Landsman (played by Delaney Williams) hounds Detective William "Bunk" Moreland (played by Wendell Pierce) to find Dozerman's stolen gun. Cutty reaches out to the sister of his old flame Grace Sampson's (played by Dravon James) in order to find her. Marlo wants Fruit to take a more aggressive stance on getting Avon's and Stringer's crew away from drug money they could make. Detective Ray Cole (played by Robert F. Colesberry) dies on a stairmaster. (Note: The irony is this death reminds viewers of the conversation veterans Detective Augustus Polk [played by Nat Benchley] and Patrick Mahon [played by Tom Quinn] had about how stair injuries are a quick way to paid retirement.) Colvin talks to police team about rounding up drug dealers outside of district to decrease murder rates.
Episode 4 "Hamsterdam": Detective Lester Freamon (played by Clarke Peters) and McNulty butt heads because McNulty is still researching the alleged suicide of D'Angelo even though Lieutenant Daniels wants the team to focus on Proposition Joe and Marlo. Sergeant Landsman continues to bug Bunk about Dozerman's stolen gun. Drug dealers rebel against Colvin's plan to move them to abandoned buildings. McNulty finds out about Daniels dating Assistant State's Attorney Rhonda Pearlman (played by Deirdre Lovejoy). Cutty gives up blue-collar work to go back to working with Avon's and Stringer's crew.
Episode 5 "Straight and True": Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins (played by Andre Royo) tries to use snitching as a business opportunity. Johnny Weeks (played by Leo Fitzpatrick) tries to talk him out of it. McNulty approaches Stringer about his suspiciously legitimate behavior. Colvin goes to old friend McNulty to find out the names of mid-level drug dealers. Cutty proves to be too cowardly to fight a male drug dealer who'd been stealing from Stringer's and Avon's crew but has no problem hitting the dealer's girlfriend to get her to talk. Gerard (played by Mayo Best), on the other hand, has no problem beating the guy up. Officer Ellis Carver (played by Seth Gilliam) and Detective Thomas "Herc" Hauk (played by Domenick Lombardozzi) lead the sweep in rounding up mid-level drug dealers to make lower-level drug dealers go into Hamsterdam. Carver and Herc gather drug attics in second group to make the dealers stay. Avon is released from prison. Tommy plots to go after Mayor Royce's job. Stringer approaches Marlo about a more peaceful way to do business. McNulty hooks up with campaign strategist Theresa D'Agostino (played by Brandy Burre) after school meeting for his sons.
Episode 6 "Homecoming": Colvin tries to encourage senior woman to move out of Hamsterdam. Avon and Stringer don't agree on being legitimate businessmen. Avon goes to Slim Charles (played by Anwan Glover) and Cutty to lead the plan in getting his corner back from Marlo. Antsy workers ruin Cutty's plan, and Cutty realizes after the second try that he's no longer built to kill or be in the drug game. Daniels has to explain to Rhonda why he is still on the arm of his wife Marla Daniels, who is running for city council. Stringer grows suspicious of his real estate relationship with State Senator R. Clayton "Clay" Davis (played by Isiah Whitlock Jr.). Hamsterdam continues to grow. Tommy and Theresa brainstorm on how to gain black voters if he runs for mayor against Mayor Royce. McNulty goes to Colvin to figure out how to continue in his case against Marlo, Avon and Stringer.
Episode 7 "Back Burners": Brianna Barksdale (played by Michael Hyatt) investigates D'Angelo's death after hearing suicide conclusion may not be true from Donette. Stringer is upset by the two bringing up old news about D'Angelo. Kima and McNulty find out about Colvin's free-zone plan. Carver enforces taxes to pay ex-runners and ex-lookouts running astray in Hamsterdam. Bunk's conversation with Omar wears on his conscience. Kima and Cheryl separate. Cutty reaches out to Deacon (played by Melvin Williams) again.
Episode 8 "Moral Midgetry": Omar's team switches their pattern up and robs an east side group in a Hamsterdam home. Stringer gets more frustrated with Senator Davis and the slow pattern of owning real estate property. Deacon challenges Colvin about why Hamsterdam doesn't include drinking water, toilets, heat, electricity, a needle truck and a condom distribution program. Colvin defends Hamsterdam as no different than boys being on the corners without the same facilities. Brianna meets with McNulty, who tells her the inconsistencies of how D'Angelo couldn't've been hung from a doorknob that low. Marlo's stoic attempt at flirting works on clubgoer Devonne (played by Tiara Harris). Marlo uses his security Snoop (played by Felicia "Snoop" Pearson) and Chris Partlow (played by Gbenga Akinnagbe) to see if he's being set up. Stringer admits big secret to Avon about D'Angelo.
Episode 9 "Slapstick": Gerard shoots at Omar after catching him walking with his grandmother after church. Daniels and Rhonda threaten news coverage with Bay Wireless after finding out it takes 30 days to wire and/or track disposable phones. Detective Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski (played by Jim True-Frost) accidentally shots a plain clothesman cop named Derek Wagner (Derrick Waggoner?). Daniels put Prez on suicide watch after questions arise about racism and his job. State Delegate Odell Watkins (played by Frederick Strother) helps expedite Cutty's new boxing business location. A boy gets killed in Hamsterdam after laughing at one of Stringer's dealer's shoes. Carver moves body to avoid cops finding out about the drug-tolerant zone. Herc calls Baltimore Sun to expose Hamsterdam. Brianna talks to Avon about D'Angelo.
Episode 10 "Reformation": Brother Mouzone (played by Michael Potts) returns to Baltimore. Lamar (played by DeAndre McCullough) is ordered to look for Omar. A Baltimore Sun reporter Banisky (played by Marty Lodge) visits Hamsterdam and questions Colvin. Tommy is hesitant about strategy to become mayor by splitting the black vote if Councilman Anthony "Tony" Gray (played by Christopher Mann) runs for mayor, too. Proposition Joe tells Stringer if Avon and Marlo won't stop their beef then they will both be shut out of drug shares. Slim tells Avon that Devonne was killed by Marlo. Cutty recruits corner boys for his boxing company. Lamar and Squeak (played by Mia Arnice Chambers) fall for Freamon's fake disposable cell phone trap. Mayor Royce finds out about 14 percent drop in murders from Hamsterdam plan.
Episode 11 "Middle Ground": Brother Mouzone and Omar meet again. Mayor Royce meets with Odell and other political staff about the perks of Hamsterdam. Burrell reaches out to Tommy to bring media coverage to Hamsterdam while Rawls observes from the sideline. Tommy talks to Colvin to get the other side of the story -- visiting both Hamsterdam and old neighborhoods. Stringer realizes he's been played by Senator Davis after talking with his attorney Maurice "Maury" Levy (played by Michael Kostroff). Avon and Slim decline Stringer's request for a hit on Senator Davis. Stringer meets with Colvin. Davis goes to FBI to return favor for port case; he wants trace on Stringer's phone. McNulty finds out he's being used by Theresa. Omar and Brother Mouzone confront Stringer.
Episode 12 "Mission Accomplished (MAJOR SPOILER ALERT)": Marlo considers Stringer's death "one of them good problems" and doesn't care that people are wrongfully accusing his crew of doing it. Burrell and Rawls go to newspapers to cover Hamsterdam story. Mayor Royce rethinks his idea to hold off on actions against Hamsterdam, and Burrell tries to blackmail him for a five-year term as commissioner. Detectives find out about the divide between Avon and Stringer from Colvin. Police raid Avon's hiding spot. Colvin is demoted and dismissed from his position by Burrell and Rawls. Davis is promoted to major.
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