In the Season Two premiere, Det. Jimmy McNulty--exiled to police-boat duty--makes a shocking discovery in the Baltimore harbor. Bodie drives to Philly to make a connection for the Barksdale crew and Stringer Bell takes the train to New York to feel out the crew's reticent suppliers.
Major Valchek gets back at Sobotka for the church gift fiasco, and a feud begins. Valchek ups the ante by asking Deputy Commissioner Burrell for a detail to go after Sobotka. Avon Barksdale continues to run his empire from a prison cell--counseling his nephew D'Angelo and going after a guard who is harassing the organization's convicted hit-man Wee-Bey.
Bunk and Freamon chase their crime scene, a container ship, to Philly. Lt. Cedric Daniels--disgusted with his exile to the evidence control unit--makes it known that he's leaving. On orders from Barksdale, Bell finds a way to set up the correctional officer who's been harassing Wee-Bey. McNulty pursues the identity of the Jane Doe found floating in the harbor.
Sobotka reprimands his nephew Nick for stealing the cameras and orders him to bring the cargo back--too late. McNulty is on a self-assigned moral mission to identify his floater, but his old partner, Bunk, says they have a more pressing matter at hand: to find Omar so he can testify against a Barksdale trigger man in one of last year's murders.
Ziggy loses his prized Camaro to drug dealers. Unable to dump the homicide investigation on other agencies, Rawls measures Bunk for the blame, if the cases go unsolved. Homicide detectives hand out grand jury summonses to stevedores involved in the homicide case, and port cop Beadie Russell talks to an old boyfriend to find out how cargo disappears from the docks.
Trying to let go of police work and return to his marriage, McNulty gives up on identifying his Jane Doe. In their investigation of Sobotka, the detectives discover a pattern in the computer and explain the connection to Daniels, but he still won't take the murders. Sobotka tries to play the political game on behalf of his union.
Russell tells Sobotka the investigation is over, but, in fact, a port computer is cloned, and when a container goes missing, the detectives follow. Simultaneously, Greggs and Prez tap into a circuit of Russian prostitutes. With two sets of evidence, the detail goes to Pearlman. Neither crime merits wiretap--but a drug connect could give the case legs.
Duck and Cover
McNulty is back to his old self, on a drunken binge. Urged by fellow stevedores to fight Maui, Ziggy is again humiliated. Worried about McNulty, Bunk tries to get Daniels and Rawls to take him on. After some labor, the wiretap is up--just in time to catch another disappearing can. Sobotka meets with The Greek and Vondas, and they decide to change up.
Bodie's effort to improve sales ends disastrously, forcing Bell to rethink his strategy. Ziggy pulls Johnny Fifty into a new caper that should make the Greeks pay off big. McNulty, undercover and outnumbered in the brothel, awaits "rescue." Daniels and Pearlman stay cool as Valcheck fumes over the change of targets--and Burrell pulls the rug out from under him.
The Detail uses satellite technology to its advantage. Bodie is unhappy that Proposition Joe's people are slinging on his turf, but business flows--until a new face arrives. Stringer Bell looks to an unlikely solution to the problem. Valcheck visits the FBI in an attempt to get real results on the docks. Ziggy's deal with Double-G goes bad in a big way.
With the clock ticking, the Detail makes a desperate move, and Daniels reams out Landsman for dropping the ball. Nick's deceit is in the open as Sobotka is overwhelmed by bad news. The Greeks ease out of an encounter with the Detail, and Omar's suspicions are validated. The Detail hopes to find Vondas's boss, and Nick hopes to repair relations with the Greeks.
Port in a Storm
The Detail has a setback, while Russell and Bunk revisit Philly to look for evidence. Brother Mouzone talks with Stringer Bell about their agreement, leaving Bell to contend with a dissatisfied Avon Barksdale. Bubbles and Johnny pull another caper and McNulty and Greggs return to the Westside, where they discover new connections.
Time After Time
In the Season Three premiere, a wave of urban reform brings down the notorious Franklin Terrace public housing towers, forcing the Barksdale drug crew to find a new home. Stringer Bell uses a new sales strategy as he awaits Avon's return. McNulty and the Detail look to make a case against Stringer with a wiretap on a drug ring run by Proposition Joe.
All Due Respect
Omar continues his bold strikes on Barksdale stash houses, now heavily guarded. Under orders from Stringer Bell, Bodie faces a critical test against Marlo, a fierce young dealer with lucrative corners. As the wire on Proposition Joe continues to yield little, McNulty launches his own reinvestigation of last year's prison suicide of D'Angelo Barksdale.
Colvin feels the sting of Burrell and Rawls during a Comstat assessment of his district's felony numbers; a blown wiretap forces Daniels's detail to turn to a new target; Proposition Joe cautions Stringer Bell that the police have been tapping phones. Carcetti continues to curry favor in Mayor Royce's inner circle.
West Baltimore residents get surprising straight talk at a community meeting from Major Colvin. Bubbles finds gainful employment; Stringer lunches uptown; and Bunk dangles the promise of immunity to a group of corner boys, in exchange for help. Greggs learns how Marlo takes care of business as Bubbles instructs her on the next big thing: disposable cell phones.
Straight and True
Frustrated in his grass-roots reform efforts, Colvin arms himself with intelligence from Daniels's detail and personally delivers a message to the next level of corner management. McNulty sees Stringer Bell's legitimate business dealings as a sign that he is now unreachable as a drug target. Bubbles shakes the tree for Johnny one more time.
Stringer Bell gets an education in construction management; Bunk uses shoe-leather to catch up with Omar and deliver a searing message; a frustrated Colvin unleashes the troops on the corner boys, ignoring his new edict; Avon sends Cutty and Slim Charles against Marlo; Bubbles refocuses the picture for Greggs.
Herc discovers a blast from the past, which he belatedly reveals to his ex-colleagues. Daniels blows a gasket over the real reason the detail was reassigned from an investigation in Pimlico to the Western District. Stringer Bell learns from Donette that she's told Brianna about McNulty's visit and that Brianna is likely to talk to him.
With Amsterdam running full-tilt, Carver and Truck discover there really is no honor among thieves. Prez impresses the detail with what he's found out from Bodie's cell phone, information that sends McNulty and Greggs on a road trip. Colvin sees the benefits of his plan working but has overlooked the human toll, until the Deacon points out the deficiencies.
Responding to an officer's call for help, McNulty and Prez turn down the wrong alley, with unanticipated results. A Barksdale crew violates the unspoken Sunday truce with gunplay, increasing discontent among the New Day Co-op members. Stymied in his effort to open a gym, Cutty is surprised to find help from within Baltimore's power structure.
Brother Mouzone returns to Baltimore on a mission of revenge and casts a wide net in his search for Omar, who has his own plan. Colvin manages, for now, to put off a "Sun" reporter inquiring about Amsterdam. Carver learns how much he doesn't know about good policing, while Pearlman and Daniels plead their case for a new kind of wiretap to Judge Phelan.
The wire begins to yield information about the Barksdale organization, though finding links to the top proves elusive. Stringer and Avon reflect on how far they've come, with each harboring plans for the future. Tipped by Burrell, Carcetti sees Amsterdam for himself and weighs the benefits against the political reality.
A reticent Avon readies his troops for a war against Marlo. Meanwhile, as the detail works towards the top rungs of the Barksdale organization, McNulty reassesses his pursuit of Stringer Bell and the path he's chosen for himself. While Royce continues to grapple with Amsterdam, Burrell offers a deal to minimize the fallout.
Boys of Summer
Four boys from West Baltimore play out their summer vacation in the streets. The action is slower at Bodie's corner, giving Namond an excuse to take off early from his "summer job" as a runner. Meanwhile, Marlo has solved the problem that baffled Stringer Bell: how to maintain discipline--read: murders--without getting attention.
Herc's soft-duty job with the mayor takes a hard turn. Despite the potential damage to her career, Pearlman provides Freamon and Sydnor with subpoena ammunition for their "grizzly bear" hunt in City Hall. Carcetti concentrates on games he can win; Namond gets some grooming advice from his father, Wee-Bey; Marlo plays Robin Hood with the neighborhood kids.
With his lead dwindling in the polls, Royce resorts to extreme measures. At Bodie's corner, Michael proves adept as a runner, with both Bodie and Marlo taking notice. A re-up bodega is put under surveillance by Omar and Greggs. Rawls replaces Asher with a "company man," Charles Marimow, who pushes a new agenda on the detail, to Freamon and Greggs's dismay.
With Freamon and Greggs moved to Homicide, Herc and Dozerman join Marimow in the stripped-down Major Crimes Unit. Cutty gets a "custodial" job at Tilghman School mopping up truants, but can't make headway in his efforts to mentor Michael. Bubbles gives Sherrod an ultimatum in an effort to get him back in school as a "socially promoted" eighth-grader.
Valchek leaks details of the Braddock case to Carcetti, who contemplates how to leak it to the press. The ensuing negative attention turns Royce against Burrell, who takes the heat while Rawls comes to the rescue. At school, Prez's reward/punishment program meets with mixed results, and Colvin looks to restore order by separating "corner" kids from "stoop" ones.
Margin Of Error
With Election Day approaching, the three mayoral candidates make last-minute appeals. Carcetti wrangles for votes as he responds to a potentially devastating smear. Norris and Greggs get a lead on the Braddock case, but end up being detoured. Following through on a promising video lead, Herc finds out just how elusive Marlo can be.
With a bounty on his head, Omar calls in a favor to Bunk. The election finally over, Royce and Carcetti make their peace, and contemplate their respective futures. At school, Prez "tricks" his students into learning math; Namond finds that the old rules no longer apply; a disillusioned Cutty ponders his job future; and Randy is cleared to return to class.
To monitor the pulse on the street, Carcetti makes the rounds with members of the force. With Marimow on his case, Herc resorts to strong-arm tactics to retrieve his pinched camera, but Marlo isn't impressed. While Proposition Joe shows off his vocal range, Chris shows Snoop how to expose, and dispose of, New York infiltrators.
Know Your Place
Poot returns to the corner after a stint in prison--and is welcomed back by Herc and Dozerman. Carcetti engages in a testy budget battle with City Council President Campbell, rewards Daniels with a promotion, and hits a snag in his efforts to relieve Burrell of his duties. Bubbles fingers a witness for Herc, but the detective is slow to return the favor.
Acting on Clay Davis's advice, Burrell seeks to burnish his reputation by ordering the department to double street arrests. The mandate does not sit well with McNulty, who sets his sights instead on cracking a string of church robberies. Later, Davis shows he can play both sides of the political fence by making Carcetti an offer with long-term benefits for both.
A New Day
After flexing his muscles around the city, Carcetti faces his first dilemma when a group of ministers protests Herc's mistreatment of one of their own. Later, the mayor reverses Burrell's mass-arrest mandate, but Burrell still has some cards left to play. Michael and the boys enact an elaborate revenge plot on a mean cop, Officer Walker.
That's Got His Own
On the trail of missing bodies, Freamon turns to a higher authority after being rebuked by Landsman. Carcetti finds his erstwhile promises of prosperity undermined by the school debt. Colvin approaches Deacon and Watkins to keep his class funded. Bubbles considers extreme measures to deal with his nemesis. Prez is rankled by Dukie's academic promotion.
As the bodies from the vacants pile up, Burrell offers his support to Daniels and admonishes Rawls for crossing him. Bubbles is at his wit's end after his plan backfires. Proposition Joe looks to defray shipment losses. Attempting to get Namond off the corners, Colvin visits Cutty in the hospital to arrange a prison sit-down with Wee-Bey.
More With Less
As McNulty and the detail continue staking out Marlo's crew, recently promoted Sergeant Carver is welcomed by a cauldron of discontent from officers coping with unpaid overtime. Though he wants to keep his campaign promise to lower crime, Mayor Carcetti is strapped by his commitment to schools, and faces some tough choices.
Although he tells Sydnor the Davis investigation could be a "career case," Freamon keeps a wary eye out for Marlo, who takes care of some unfinished business and strikes a business deal with Barksdale. Carcetti throws the police a bone by removing the cap on secondary employment, sending the detectives into fantasy-job reveries.
Not For Attribution
Carcetti's master plan for the police department is leaked to the press, sending the brass into a panic. Marlo turns to Proposition Joe to help with an enviable problem. Whiting and Klebanow drop a bombshell on the newspaper staff. Michael finds temporary respite from his life on the corner by taking Dukie and Bug on a trip.
Campbell tries to smooth out the transitions in the police department. The newspaper scrambles to confirm surprising news from City Hall, but lose out to the TV media in scooping a high-profile Grand Jury appearance. As Marlo tries to win favor with the Greeks, Proposition Joe pays his last respects to a fallen colleague, and prepares to make himself scarce.
Marlo forges an alliance with a drug connect, who shows him a new communications trick. McNulty's case gets increased attention from the newspaper, thanks to the addition of Templeton to the reporting team. Dukie turns to Cutty and Michael to hone his self-defense skills; Clay Davis finds a new ally; Omar shows patience as Marlo throws out his bait.
The Dickensian Aspect
Mystified by Omar's disappearance, Marlo and Chris ramp up their efforts to locate their nemesis. After attending a sparsely attended waterfront ceremony, Carcetti fires away at a larger press event--and recasts himself as a champion for the homeless. Templeton looks for a follow-up to his latest story; McNulty takes an interest in a homeless man.
An unexpected call puts Templeton back in the spotlight--and gets McNulty some unwanted attention. Bunk bucks at Landsman when ordered to help with the force's most recent red ball. Omar sends Marlo a message; Carcetti proves he's still an adept fund-raiser; Carver gift-wraps a witness for Bunk; Bubbles shows a reporter the ropes; Freamon tries to crack a clock code.
Baltimore's renewed police commitment brings fresh recruits to Daniels and McNulty, starting with Carver. Facing a new political challenge, Carcetti is forced to make dangerous political deals. As the Pulitzer season winds down, Haynes approaches Templeton about his sources. Bunk returns a McNulty favor; little Kenard makes a big score; Dukie finds work.
With Steintorf ordering Rawls to initiate creative remedies for the rising crime rate, Freamon's vigilance pays off with a promising lead, sending Sydnor and the department into overdrive. Although Daniels is originally delighted, a further probe with Pearlman reveals some troubling source information. McNulty, feeling betrayed, doesn't feel like celebrating.
Carcetti maps out a damage-control scenario with the police brass in the wake of a startling revelation from Pearlman and Daniels. Their choice: clean up the mess...or hide the dirt. With his leads predictably drying up, McNulty asks Landsman to pull police off the homeless case--until a fresh homicide ramps up the investigation.