The BEST Episodes of The Wire

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Sep 17, 2021

Network: HBO

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.

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-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 8.64
2,667 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
2,680 votes
Writers: David Simon
Middle Ground

#3 - 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
3,051 votes
Directors: Joe Chappelle
Writers: George Pelecanos
Mission Accomplished

#4 - 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
3,055 votes
Writers: David Simon
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
3,617 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
3,588 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
2,588 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
2,745 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
3,753 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
2,971 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
2,662 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
2,991 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 8.07
2,718 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 8.06
2,641 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 8.04
2,615 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 8.04
3,596 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 8.03
2,510 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
3,836 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
3,339 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
2,927 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 7.92
2,533 votes
Directors: Dominic West
Writers: David Simon, Richard Price
Stray Rounds

#22 - 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 7.92
3,075 votes
Writers: David Simon
Lessons

#23 - 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 7.92
3,822 votes
Directors: Gloria Muzio
Writers: David Simon, Ed Burns
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
2,953 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
2,799 votes
Directors: Daniel Attias
Writers: Eric Overmyer