Synopsis by Josh Ralske
When Detective Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West) sits in on the murder trial of D'Angelo Barksdale (Larry Gilliard Jr.), it piques the curiosity of the judge (Peter Gerety). D'Angelo gets off, despite testimony from one eyewitness, after another witness changes her story. The judge calls McNulty into his chambers to explain his interest in the case. McNulty tells the judge that D'Angelo's uncle, Avon Barksdale (Wood Harris), is a drug kingpin who runs the Franklin Terrace, but no charges have ever stuck against Avon and his crew. In fact, McNulty claims there are ten unsolved murders in the area that can be traced to Avon. The judge calls to complain to the higher-ups in the Baltimore Police Department, and McNulty finds himself called on the carpet for breaking the chain of command. He gets reassigned out of homicide to a special unit created to bust Barksdale's operation. The unit is headed by the ambitious Lieutenant Cedric Daniels (Lance Reddick), who warns McNulty not to cross him. Also in the unit are narcotics officer Shakima Greggs (Sonja Sohn), a good cop, and knuckleheads Ellis Carver (Seth Gilliam) and Thomas "Herc" Hauk (Dominick Lombardozzi). McNulty thinks the only way to bust Barksdale is to set up surveillance and work their way into the organization, but Daniels wants to settle things quickly with a widespread "buy and bust" operation. Meanwhile, D'Angelo finds himself busted back down to the street for all the trouble he's caused. The crew he's running, which includes the ruthless Bodie (J.D. Williams), viciously beats up a junkie who tries to pass off some phony bills. Another junkie, Bubbles (Andre Royo), visits his badly beaten friend in the hospital, where he runs into Greggs, and offers to help the cops in their investigation.