Transitions (The Wire)

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The Wire episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 4
Directed by Dan Attias
Story by David Simon
Ed Burns
Teleplay by Ed Burns
Original air date January 27, 2008 (2008-01-27)
Running time 58 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Not for Attribution"
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"React Quotes"
List of The Wire episodes

"Transitions" is the fourth episode of the fifth season of the HBO original series, The Wire. The episode was written by Ed Burns from a story by David Simon & Ed Burns and was directed by Dan Attias, who won the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing – Drama Series for the episode.[1] It first aired on January 27, 2008.[2]

Plot Summary[edit]

To raise the profile of their concocted "serial killer," McNulty and Freamon canvass among the homeless as a cover. Freamon adds the sensational element of a sexual motive and supplies a set of dentures to create bite marks. He also recruits his old patrol partner to look out for bodies. After being presented with their next fake victim, McNulty mocks up the crime scene and tampers with the body. His return to heavy drinking and infidelity are challenged by his domestic partner Beadie Russell. Greggs finds the child survivor in her case is too withdrawn to help her. She is inspired to spend time with Cheryl's son Elijah.

In the Western, Officer Anthony Colicchio attacks a motorist while he tries to arrest Michael's drug dealing crew, leading to a police brutality complaint. Finding that he exhibits no remorse, Carver decides to charge Colicchio himself. Herc later appeals to Carver for leniency, but Carver explains his new philosophy that their actions as police are always important. Herc expresses regret over how his own misdeeds ended his career on the force. Sydnor is delighted when Freamon stumbles on new evidence in the Davis investigation, which they present to State's Attorney Bond. However, Bond refuses to proceed with this new charge as it would remove the case from the city's jurisdiction and deprive him of a chance to raise his political profile. Bond stages a perp walk for Davis as he enters the courthouse for his deposition before the grand jury.

Templeton unsuccessfully interviews for a position with The Washington Post. Mayor Carcetti finds himself owing favors to Campbell to smooth the transitions in the Baltimore Police. Daniels remains concerned that Burrell will expose his history of unexplained income and destroy his chances of becoming commissioner. On his wife's advice, Daniels tells Burrell that he had nothing to do with his removal by Carcetti, contrary to the quote attributed to him; he receives the silent treatment. Burrell gives the file on Daniels' past to Campbell, who convinces him to leave the BPD quietly with the promise of a well-paid replacement position. At the press conference for his departure, Burrell falsely assures Daniels that he has no intention of leaking the file.

Marlo convinces The Greeks to consider him as an insurance policy for handling their supply of narcotics into Baltimore. Proposition Joe, fearing reprisal from Omar following the death of Butchie, makes plans to leave town. Marlo asks Joe to teach him more about money laundering and is introduced to attorney Maurice Levy. At a New Day Co-Op meeting, Fat-Face Rick talks about investing in the local real estate market with the money he will receive from City Hall once the press attention dies down and closes the deal. Marlo observes Joe interceding in an argument between Hungry Man and Cheese over territory.

At Marlo's behest, Partlow and Snoop present a captured Hungry Man to Cheese for execution. Cheese reciprocates by revealing Joe's location. As Joe is ready to leave, he is surprised to see Marlo. Realizing that Cheese has betrayed him, Joe tries desperately to barter for his life. Marlo tells Joe to close his eyes and "breathe easy", before Partlow comes up quietly behind Joe and shoots him in the back of the head. Meanwhile, initially suspecting Joe in Butchie's death, Omar confronts Slim Charles, but is persuaded that Marlo was really behind the murder. Later, Omar and Donnie visit Marlo's court-in-hiding and decide first to go after Monk Metcalf.

First appearances[edit]

  • Oscar Requer: Freamon's former partner in the patrol division and an ex-homicide detective. Requer was kicked out of Homicide after pulling rank over an Area Chief at the scene of a murder. It is subsequently revealed that the Area Chief was William Rawls, who retaliated by transferring Oscar to the midnight shift in the Southern District. A retired homicide detective with the same surname provided inspiration for the character of Bunk Moreland on the show.[3]


Guest stars[edit]

Uncredited appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Season 5 crew". HBO. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  2. ^ "HBO Schedule: THE WIRE 54: TRANSITIONS". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-01. 
  3. ^ Simon, David (2006) [1991]. "Post Mortem". Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (4th ed.). Owl Books. p. 641. ISBN 0-8050-8075-9. Rick 'The Bunk' Requer left to man the department's retirement services bureau, though his homicide incarnation lives on in Wendell Pierce's portrayal of the legendary Bunk Moreland on The Wire, right down to the ubiquitous cigar. 

External links[edit]