Hot Shots (The Wire)

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"Hot Shots"
The Wire episode
Episode no.Season 2
Episode 3
Directed byElodie Keene
Story byDavid Simon
Ed Burns
Teleplay byDavid Simon
Original air dateJune 15, 2003 (2003-06-15)
Running time58 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Collateral Damage"
Next →
"Hard Cases"
List of The Wire episodes

"Hot Shots" is the third episode of the second season of the HBO original series, The Wire. The episode was written by David Simon from a story by David Simon & Ed Burns and was directed by Elodie Keene, it originally aired on June 15, 2003.


In Philadelphia, Bunk and Freamon interview the crew of the ship that brought the Jane Does into Baltimore, but all pretend to speak no English; the first mate is more forthcoming and explains that the crew members will not speak English in the police's presence and will not inform on each other. The detectives agree to let the ship go with little evidence or jurisdiction for interrogation. Back in Baltimore, Landsman berates Bunk and Freamon for letting the boat go. Later, Bunk and Beadie try to trace the movements of the shipping container in which the bodies were found and discover that much of the paperwork has been falsified.

McNulty learns that three of the Jane Does had received breast implants in the same clinic in Budapest. Additionally, in the 24 hours before their death, the girls had performed various forms of sex. McNulty visits Homicide to give them his theory, but Bunk, Freamon and Beadie shatter his pride by beating him to everything he was about to say. McNulty and Russell agree that they do not want to see the girls remain unidentified and shipped out as cadavers. Bunk's team take the French addresses listed on the paperwork to the FBI, who give them more information on the international vice trade. Later, while out drinking, McNulty learns that Russell is a single mother. McNulty tells Bunk of his desire to put a name to the dead girl he pulled from the harbor.

Valchek is informed of his missing surveillance van, which is shown to have been delivered to stevedores in Wilmington. Prez is annoyed that the Sobotka detail's commander, Lieutenant Grayson, will not authorize any wiretaps of Frank, and tells Valchek that Daniels would have brought in a better case on the Barksdale detail if Burrell had not interfered; when Valchek threatens to torpedo Burrell's efforts to become Commissioner, he is forced to assign Daniels to the detail. Meanwhile, Omar returns to Baltimore with a new boyfriend named Dante; the two eventually join forces with Tosha Mitchell and Kimmy to stick up stash houses together. Omar has to convince Dante he is not interested in the women beyond business.

McNulty encounters Daniels in the evidence room and the two discuss their career misfortunes. Daniels tells McNulty that he has put in for early retirement and plans to become a lawyer. Later, McNulty returns his sons to his ex-wife Elena, who sends him a separation agreement shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, Nick's girlfriend Aimee wants them to move in together, which he promises to do when they can afford it. Ziggy again tries to convince Nick to join him in the drug trade; the two steal a container of cameras with the help of Johnny Fifty and sell them to George "Double G" Glekas, a fence for the Greeks. Ziggy angers Glekas by taking his photo with one of the cameras. Glekas checks the deal with Vondas and tells him that although he thinks Ziggy is using drugs and is a "malaka", Nick can be trusted.

Frank attends a political meeting at Father Lewandowski's church with his lobbyist Bruce DiBiago, who advises him to focus on courting the politicians who may not support the stevedores union, including State Senator Clay Davis. Frank is outraged but is forced to make nice with Davis to win his support. Frank later meets with a checker named Ringo who is having trouble getting enough work to live on; when Ringo mentions he's contemplating a move to a different local, Frank sends Ringo to Delores's bar and tells him to order a shot and a beer on him. When Ringo arrives at the bar and uses Frank's name, Delores gives him a bundle of cash. Ziggy sees the exchange.

Stringer, Country and Shamrock discuss shares as they tail Tilghman. Later, Country and Shamrock watch as Tilghman receives a package of narcotics from Butchie. On Avon's orders, Stringer contacts Butchie and asks him to supply Tilghman with bad product the next time he makes a transaction. Butchie reluctantly agrees when Stringer uses Avon's name and promises compensation, it is revealed that Stringer and D'Angelo's girlfriend, Donette, are having an affair. Avon finds D'Angelo in the prison library and tells him to avoid drugs for a few days. D'Angelo is subsequently unaffected when Tilghman unwittingly smuggles bad heroin into the prison and causes several other inmates to die.[1][2][3]


Title reference[edit]

The bad package brought into the prison is referred to as 'hot shots' by an inmate. According to the glossary in William S. Burroughs's novel Junkie, a hot-shot is a portion of drugs which has been spiked with poison, usually with the intention of killing a police informant or other undesirable. 'Hot shots' may also refer to Ziggy and Nick, who are trying to become part of the criminal world independent of Frank Sobotka.


What they need is a union.

— Russell

Officer Russell makes this statement in reference to the women involved in the illegal sex trade; this also refers to the eventual alliance of Omar, Dante, Tosha and Kimmy, as well as the refusal of the Atlantic Light's crew workers to speak to Bunk and Lester. In the show as a whole, it is an ironic quote, as the stevedore union's storyline shows that the power that unions once had has dwindled to almost nothing.



Although credited, Domenick Lombardozzi, John Doman, Deirdre Lovejoy, Andre Royo and Sonja Sohn do not appear in this episode.

First appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Episode guide - episode 16 hot shots". HBO. 2004. Retrieved June 22, 2006.
  2. ^ David Simon, Ed Burns (June 15, 2003). "Hot Shots". The Wire. Season 2. Episode 03. HBO.
  3. ^ Alvarez, Rafael (2004). The Wire: Truth Be Told. New York: Pocket Books.

External links[edit]