The BEST Episodes of The Wire

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Aug 15, 2020

Network: HBO

Unlike most television crime dramas, which neatly introduce and then solve a case all in the space of one hour, HBO's THE WIRE follows one single drug and homicide investigation throughout the length of an entire season. Centered on the drug culture of inner-city Baltimore, the series' storyline unfolds from the points of view of both the criminals lording the streets and the police officers determined to bring them down.

-30-

#1 - -30-

Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired Mar 9, 2008

McNulty and Freamon face the consequences of their actions, while Carcetti tries to save face.

star 8.63
2,557 votes
Directors: Clark Johnson
Writers: David Simon, Ed Burns
Final Grades

#2 - Final Grades

Season 4 - Episode 13 - Aired Dec 10, 2006

Namond, Randy and Dukie adjust to new realities; Michael is promoted; Omar makes Prop Joe an offer.

star 8.43
2,565 votes
Writers: David Simon
Mission Accomplished

#3 - Mission Accomplished

Season 3 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 19, 2004

A reticent Avon readies his troops for a seemingly endless war against Marlo.

star 8.33
2,937 votes
Writers: David Simon
Middle Ground

#4 - Middle Ground

Season 3 - Episode 11 - Aired Dec 12, 2004

The wire begins to yield info about the Barksdale organization, though links to the top are elusive.

star 8.33
2,922 votes
Directors: Joe Chappelle
Writers: George Pelecanos
The Cost

#5 - The Cost

Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Aug 11, 2002

With Wallace in custody, McNulty and Daniels must figure out what to do with him in the time before he testifies.

star 8.26
3,455 votes
Directors: Brad Anderson
Writers: David Simon
Sentencing

#6 - Sentencing

Season 1 - Episode 13 - Aired Sep 8, 2002

Daniels and McNulty turn to a higher authority to crack the case.

star 8.24
3,433 votes
Writers: David Simon, Ed Burns
Late Editions

#7 - Late Editions

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Mar 2, 2008

Freamon's hard work pays off with a promising lead, though McNulty isn't in the mood to celebrate.

star 8.20
2,480 votes
Directors: Joe Chappelle
Writers: David Simon, George Pelecanos
That's Got His Own

#8 - That's Got His Own

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired Dec 3, 2006

Freamon seeks help in City Hall; Bubbles gets desperate; Michael rejects his past; Omar strikes again.

star 8.18
2,632 votes
Directors: Joe Chappelle
Writers: George Pelecanos
The Hunt

#9 - The Hunt

Season 1 - Episode 11 - Aired Aug 18, 2002

Burrell orders Daniels to hit dealers for results that will impress the media. Meanwhile, Greggs is in the ICU.

star 8.15
3,608 votes
Directors: Steve Shill
Writers: Joy Lusco
Port in a Storm

#10 - Port in a Storm

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Aug 24, 2003

The Detail suffers a setback, while Russell and Bunk revisit Philly to look for evidence.

star 8.13
2,842 votes
Writers: David Simon, Ed Burns
A New Day

#11 - A New Day

Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 26, 2006

Carcetti faces a dilemma; Randy gets the cold shoulder; Omar makes a power play; Freamon has a revelation.

star 8.12
2,553 votes
Directors: Brad Anderson
Writers: Ed Burns
Bad Dreams

#12 - Bad Dreams

Season 2 - Episode 11 - Aired Aug 17, 2003

With the clock ticking, the Detail makes a desperate move. Daniels reams out Landsman for dropping the ball.

star 8.10
2,858 votes
Writers: George Pelecanos
Not for Attribution

#13 - Not for Attribution

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 20, 2008

Carcetti's police plans are leaked to the press; Marlo cleans up his cash.

star 8.08
2,611 votes
Writers: Chris Collins, David Simon
Transitions

#14 - Transitions

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Jan 27, 2008

The police brass changes; McNulty and Freamon look for bodies; Prop Joe pays his last respects.

star 8.07
2,532 votes
Directors: Daniel Attias
Writers: Ed Burns
Clarifications

#15 - Clarifications

Season 5 - Episode 8 - Aired Feb 24, 2008

Bunk returns a McNulty favor; Carcetti is forced to make deals; Hayes asks Templeton about his sources.

star 8.05
2,514 votes
Writers: David Simon, Dennis Lehane
Game Day

#16 - Game Day

Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Aug 4, 2002

Barksdale plays an expensive game of one-upmanship with an east-side rival.

star 8.05
3,450 votes
Writers: David H. Melnick, David Simon, Ed Burns, Shamit Choksey
React Quotes

#17 - React Quotes

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Feb 3, 2008

Marlo's new alliance gives Freamon and McNulty a fresh lead; the press turns to a breaking story.

star 8.04
2,400 votes
Writers: Agnieszka Holland, David Simon
Cleaning Up

#18 - Cleaning Up

Season 1 - Episode 12 - Aired Sep 1, 2002

With the detail's future hanging in the balance, Daniels faces off against Burrell and his political allies.

star 8.00
3,686 votes
Directors: Clement Virgo
Writers: George Pelecanos
Moral Midgetry

#19 - Moral Midgetry

Season 3 - Episode 8 - Aired Nov 14, 2004

With Amsterdam running full-tilt, Carver and Truck discover there really is no honor among thieves.

star 7.97
3,215 votes
Writers: Richard Price
Slapstick

#20 - Slapstick

Season 3 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 21, 2004

Responding to an officer's call for help, McNulty and Prez turn down the wrong alley, with unexpected results.

star 7.95
2,807 votes
Directors: Alex Zakrzewski
Writers: David Simon
Took

#21 - Took

Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired Feb 17, 2008

An unexpected call puts Templeton and the paper back in the spotlight--and gets McNulty unwanted extra attention.

star 7.94
2,423 votes
Directors: Dominic West
Writers: David Simon, Richard Price
Lessons

#22 - Lessons

Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Jul 28, 2002

An unlikely source gives McNulty the tag of Stringer Bell's car. Later, Omar earns his 'loose cannon' reputation.

star 7.93
3,666 votes
Directors: Gloria Muzio
Writers: David Simon, Ed Burns
Stray Rounds

#23 - Stray Rounds

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Aug 3, 2003

Bodie's effort to improve sales ends disastrously, forcing Bell to rethink his strategy.

star 7.93
2,942 votes
Writers: David Simon
Back Burners

#24 - Back Burners

Season 3 - Episode 7 - Aired Nov 7, 2004

Herc discovers a blast from the past, which he belatedly reveals to his ex-colleagues.

star 7.91
2,821 votes
Writers: Joy Lusco
Margin of Error

#25 - Margin of Error

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 15, 2006

Carcetti responds to a campaign smear; Randy makes a startling revelation; Marlo proves elusive.

star 7.91
2,686 votes
Directors: Daniel Attias
Writers: Eric Overmyer