The Wire: Season 5 - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wire: Season 5 (2008)




Critic Consensus: The Wire goes out with a suitably resonant bang in its final season, craftily maneuvering venturesome motifs and a colorful cast of characters to skillfully understated conclusion.


The Wire: Season 5 Photos

Tv Season Info

For the fifth and final series of this urban drama, series creator David Simon returns to his old stomping grounds at the Baltimore Sun, where he worked for many years as a crime reporter, to examine the media's role in modern society. This fictionalized version of what was once a newspaper of record is experiencing tough economic times, precipitating layoffs and a hollow mantra from management to "do more with less." These marching orders are met with derision by Gus Haynes (Clark Johnson), an old-school City Desk editor who encourages eager young journalists such as Alma Gutierrez (Michelle Paress) to hone their craft. The cutbacks at the Sun mirror those at City Hall, where Mayor Carcetti (Aidan Gillen)---who's too busy angling for a gubernatorial run and convicting corrupt politico Clay Davis (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) to care---slashes the police budget to save money. But the decimation of the department's morale and matériel is too much for Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West). The maverick detective, who is not only back in Homicide but regressing to his tomcatting ways, fabricates a grisly crime that catches the eye of self-serving Sun reporter Scott Templeton (Tom McCarthy). And although his sensational articles about a rampaging serial killer are met with skepticism by Haynes, they're championed by his prize-hungry bosses. McNulty's scheme doesn't sit well with his partner Bunk (Wendell Pierce), but is embraced by Det. Freamon (Clarke Peters) if the means justify the restoration of funding to pursue drug lord Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector). Free of law-enforcement scrutiny, Marlo shields himself with onetime Barksdale attorney Maurice Levy (Michael Kostroff) on a quest to rule the entire city's drug trade, and tempts fate by luring stickup artist Omar (Michael K. Williams) back to town to settle an old score. Meanwhile, former addict Bubbles (Andre Royo) struggles to stay clean, but finds it hard to face his demons at Narcotics Anonymous meetings.


Dominic West
as Det. Jimmy McNulty
Sonja Sohn
as Det. Shakima Greggs
Wendell Pierce
as Det. William `Bunk' Moreland
Clarke Peters
as Det. Lester Freamon
Lance Reddick
as Col. Cedric Daniels
John Doman
as Maj. William Rawls
Deirdre Lovejoy
as Rhonda Pearlman
Andre Royo
as Bubbles
Seth Gilliam
as Sgt. Ellis Carver
Domenick Lombardozzi
as Thomas R. `Herc' Hauk
Delaney Williams
as Sgt. Jay Landsman
Frankie Faison
as Det. Comm. Ervin Burrell
Aidan Gillen
as Mayor Thomas Carcetti
Tristan Wilds
as Michael Lee
Amy Ryan
as Off. Beatrice Russell
Jermaine Crawford
as Duquan `Dukie' Weems
Clark Johnson
as Augustus 'Gus' Haynes
Tom McCarthy
as Scott Templeton
Jamie Hector
as Marlo Stanfield
Gbenga Akinnagbe
as Chris Partlow
Reg E. Cathey
as Norman Wilson
Chad L. Coleman
as Dennis `Cutty' Wise
Michael Kostroff
as Maurice Levy
Al Brown
as Maj. Stanislaus Valcheck
Neal Huff
as Michael Steintorf
Corey Parker Robinson
as Det. Leandor Sydnor
Michelle Paress
as Alma Gutierrez
Isiah Whitlock Jr.
as Sen. R. Clayton Davis
Julito McCullum
as Namond Brice
Maestro Harrell
as Randy Wagstaff
David Costabile
as Thomas Klebanow
Jim True-Frost
as Det. Roland `Prez' Pryzbylewski
Sam Freed
as James Whiting
Paul Ben-Victor
as Spiros 'Vondas' Vondopoulos
Gregory L. Williams
as Det. Crutchfield
Robert Wisdom
as Maj. Howard `Bunny' Colvin
Marlyne Afflack
as Naresse Campbell
Marlyne Barrett
as Naresse Campbell
Marlyne N. Afflack
as Naresse Campbell
Robert F. Chew
as Proposition Joe
Todd Scofield
as Jeff Price
Anwan Glover
as Slim Charles
Dion Graham
as D.A. Rupert Bond
Method Man
as Melvin 'Cheese' Wagstaff
Bobby Brown
as Off. Bobby Brown
Brandon Young
as Mike Fletcher
Bruce Kirkpatrick
as Roger Twigg
Frederick Strother
as Odell Watkins
Benjamin Busch
as Off. Anthony Colicchio
Ed Norris
as Det. Ed Norris
Jay Landsman
as Maj. Dennis Mello
Michael Salconi
as Off. Michael Santangelo
Lee E. Cox
as Off. Aaron Carter
Wood Harris
as Avon Barksdale
Peter Gerety
as Judge Daniel Phelan
Bill Raymond
as The Greek
William Raymond
as The Greek
Chris Ashworth
as Sergei Malatov
Doug Olear
as Agent Terrance Fitzhugh
Brian Anthony Wilson
as Det. Vernon Holley
Maria Broom
as Marla Daniels
Sam Reed
as James Whiting
Edward Norris
as Det. Ed Norris
Michael Stone Forrest
as Det. Frank Barlow
Kelley Slagle
as Asst. Medical Examiner
Shamika Cotton
as Michael's mom
Rick Otto
as Det. Kenneth Dozerman
Billy Murphy
as Billy Murphy
Ryan Sands
as Off. Lloyd 'Truck' Garrick
Gil Deeble
as Hucklebuck
Gene Terinoni
as Lt. Asher
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Critic Reviews for The Wire: Season 5

All Critics (44)

The Wire amazes with its gritty attention to detail. It feels so damned real, and from Day One that's been both its blessing and its curse. You don't kick up your feet to watch. Nor do you feel at ease.

October 21, 2019 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The Wire isn't the most accessible series. The show lays out a lot of plot strands, forcing the question: Where are we headed? Stick with it, though, and you'll see a remarkable tapestry.

October 21, 2019 | Full Review…

It's great to once again be in the company of these amazing actors... And it's a pleasure to be treated to amazing writing that doesn't try to simplify things and/or pander.

October 18, 2019 | Full Review…

It's a tale less of crime and punishment than crime and survival... It all adds up to a message that requires a very precise rhythm, in script and performance, and from the first moments of this new season, The Wire is locked in.

October 18, 2019 | Full Review…

I'm praying that [David Simon's] fury at the Sun won't overwhelm his genius for storytelling.

May 22, 2018 | Full Review…
Top Critic

The fifth and final season may be the most overtly farcical, but only because things in this slightly fictionalized Baltimore have become, if you can imagine, worse than ever. When the going gets tough on The Wire, the tough get funny.

June 3, 2014 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Wire: Season 5


Unfortunately Season 5 is too short to be amazing. Fortunately, we have McNulty doing what he does best and just when we start to relate and understand the newspaper crew, that's when the show ends. It feels a bit short. However, the rest of the storylines conclude as they should, wrapping up everything (or not) as it was supposed to. If you watched this from the start, you know there aren't gonna be many happy endings but the way each character bids their last farewell, stays true to their characters and dynamics with the show.

Francisco G.

Super Reviewer


Super Reviewer


Super Reviewer

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