The Wire : Season 5

  • Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 2, 2002
Season #: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 340 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 340

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User Reviews

  1. May 11, 2013
    9
    The Wire peaks in season four, which is flawless, and then it takes a slight dip in its fifth and final season. Don't get me wrong. This season is still better than almost anything else on television, but there are some unbelievable plot twists, and it feels more rushed than previous seasons. Still amazing, but not perfect.
  2. PaulT.
    Jan 6, 2008
    10
    I thought "Lonesome Dove" was the best I'd seen on TV until "The Wire" came around. This is the only show I watch at broadcast time instead of later on a DVR.
  3. MMMS
    Jan 7, 2008
    10
    For those who seek intellectual stimulation and depth, this is the best show on TV.
  4. MarkF.
    Feb 16, 2008
    10
    This show is great on so many levels that it has set the standard to which all other shows are to be compared. The writing is great, and the actors have took ownership of the roles they were cast in. Pure genius. "Woe is to them that call evil good, and good evil" - Prop Joe
  5. GS.
    Jan 16, 2008
    10
    This is the best show, bar none. The Wire is as real as it gets. No predictable, overly dramatized scripts here.
  6. MichaelM.
    Jan 9, 2008
    10
    Best HBO series ever, that's right Sopranos, you heard me. I doubted and naysayed until season 4, but once I started watching I couldn't stop. If you aren't hooked by the end of the third episode in season 1, then I offer a full refund.
  7. MarloS.
    Feb 6, 2008
    10
    As good as ever, particularly the cops and robbers-level plot. McNulty and Marlo eat up the screen.
  8. EricS.
    Jan 14, 2008
    10
    I was born and raised in Baltimore and taught in the Baltimore school system. These first-hand experiences only heighten my respect for this series. While the stories are fictional, the depiction of them is truth. As television struggles to find its future, this series come closer than any other to realizing its potential.
  9. GarrettB.
    Jan 6, 2008
    10
    Just watched the first episode. Brilliant as always. The negative reviewers have their head's shoved far where the sun doesn't shine.
  10. ChrisJ.
    Feb 15, 2008
    10
    As brilliant as the previous seasons, and still far and away the best show on television. We don't get as much of the schools from season 4, but Omar is back with a vengeance as heroic villain, and McNulty is at his best again as tragic hero.
  11. Feb 28, 2011
    10
    If I did a review for all five seasons, well, that seems like a lot of work. So, I'll just say, that this show is, easily, one of the best television series ever. The performances are all great, and the writing and direction in each episode is impeccable with a level or realism that could only be provided by him. Easily the best crime drama ever on television.
  12. Mar 13, 2012
    10
    The most realistic thing I ever watched. Can't like any other show after watching The Wire. All the charaters are so real, they are like people you know from somewhere.
  13. Dec 19, 2013
    10
    The Wire is in my top 3 favorite shows (Breaking Bad#1 Deadwood #2) Season 5 is a out of control...bad-ass crazy. It was a perfect ending to this classic series which has college courses about it. I can't say any season was better than the other because it all goes together ...Great Great!!! #TheWire
  14. Oct 6, 2011
    10
    Since most said that it was the weakest season, I lowered my standards. And while I was within that mindset, I saw the concluding season. Just marvelous. These characters will be sorely missed.
  15. briank
    Jan 14, 2008
    10
    This is the best show on TV PERIOD Nothing comes close, the Emmy's should be ashamed on themselves for snubbing this show. It crushes every other show on TV even Sopranos because unlike the Sopranos the Wire gets better with each season NOT WORSE! Season 4 was the best and no doubt season 5 will deliver too, so far it is great!
  16. RickS
    Aug 3, 2009
    10
    While A FEW of the disparaging posts listed below make at least some relevant and coherent arguments, it's PREPOSTEROUS to give even the last, so-called weakest season of The Wire anything less than a 10/10. The only real fault of this season, all overwrought and haughty criticism aside, is that the show probably tried to do too much, especially given that the season was limited to While A FEW of the disparaging posts listed below make at least some relevant and coherent arguments, it's PREPOSTEROUS to give even the last, so-called weakest season of The Wire anything less than a 10/10. The only real fault of this season, all overwrought and haughty criticism aside, is that the show probably tried to do too much, especially given that the season was limited to ten episodes. The irony is palpable in statements like "the serial-killer storyline was unrealistic"; the show had built so much credibility in the previous seasons that McNulty's transgressions were a bit far-fetched, even though no one would have admitted as much while they watched these brilliant final episodes. In the end, the major themes like the system's immovability and the ultimate triumph of evil despite the existence of nobility all rang true as much as ever. This show takes its rightful place atop all others in that its STORY was so massively complex yet succinctly coherent. It redefined drama, and turned the dial to "eleven". Expand
  17. JudyT
    Mar 11, 2008
    7
    Unsatisfying ending to a difficult to watch series. I have really only kept up with it because I love Clarke Johnson and anything he is in.
  18. BunkM.
    Feb 2, 2008
    10
    New world, new issues. Here's hoping for a strong finish.
  19. RayW.
    Feb 7, 2008
    9
    If you are looking for convention and safety in your tv entertainment you'll be disappointed, the wire offers the sort of hard fought rewards usually found in great novels. it compares well to anything of the last 20 years (including movies), and i think it will stand the test over the next 20 years too.
  20. HarryS.
    Jan 7, 2008
    10
    Season five seamlessly integrates yet another beautifully realized, dysfunctional, depressing (and yet often hilarious) aspect of Baltimore city life. And even if you think the newsroom doesn't carry the same emotional punch of the schools story arc from season 4, it's still equally relevant, and further serves the show's purpose, namely, telling the story of the decline of Season five seamlessly integrates yet another beautifully realized, dysfunctional, depressing (and yet often hilarious) aspect of Baltimore city life. And even if you think the newsroom doesn't carry the same emotional punch of the schools story arc from season 4, it's still equally relevant, and further serves the show's purpose, namely, telling the story of the decline of an American city. From the corners to the precincts to the docks to the schools to the newsdesk, "it's all connected." It's not TV. It's not even HBO. Simply put, it's one of mankind's greatest artistic achievements. Okay, have I overhyped it enough for you yet? Expand
  21. NateS.
    Jan 7, 2008
    10
    There's been so much critical hype for this show that people might be skeptical, but it really is fantastic. You also might be fooled into thinking it's preachy or too depressing. It's not at all; it's engrossing and exciting and funny and smart.
  22. BrianB.
    Jan 7, 2008
    10
    There's simply never been anything better. Unfortunately, it's complex and it scares away new viewers, but for those who rent the DVDs and get caught up, it will change the way the think about the "art" of television.
  23. AkinA.
    Jan 7, 2008
    10
    Greatest show in TV history.
  24. MeyunnD.
    Jan 7, 2008
    10
    Off to a great start!!!! Keep it coming and PLEASE don't end like the Sopranos.
  25. DavidL
    Feb 9, 2008
    10
    Absolutely the best show on television. To be honest, season 4 was such an outstanding season (in a show filled with stellar seasons) that I wasn't sure how good the final season would be once I heard the storyline. To my surprise, after the first 7 episodes it's the same Wire that makes it hard to ever feel good about watching any other show. It just sets the bar so high, that Absolutely the best show on television. To be honest, season 4 was such an outstanding season (in a show filled with stellar seasons) that I wasn't sure how good the final season would be once I heard the storyline. To my surprise, after the first 7 episodes it's the same Wire that makes it hard to ever feel good about watching any other show. It just sets the bar so high, that when you hear about shows like Prison Break, and "Lost" and people talking about how good they are, you can't help but chuckle. I've never found a person who hasn't been hooked on the Wire after watching five or more episodes. It can take that long to get into and comprehend what's going on, but it's absolutely worth it. It's going to be sad once this season ends. I don't know if there will ever be a better show on television anytime in the upcoming decades. It's that good. Expand
  26. JamesT.
    Mar 16, 2008
    10
    The best of the best that tv ever had to offer, even when measured against season 4, season 5 though not as strong, is just as great
  27. EricG.
    Mar 26, 2008
    10
    Best show ever on tv completing its tale.
  28. LesleyW.
    Mar 5, 2008
    10
    Bar none, the best show on TV - ever!
  29. TarikT
    Aug 27, 2008
    10
    It's a shame this show in the previous seasons never won an Emmy. Just shows you the stupidity of what the general consensus calls "Good TV" McNulty is the man.
  30. MiguelG.
    Jan 10, 2008
    10
    The best series that ever existed. Nothing vome close to the complexity of The Wire.
  31. AndyI.
    Jan 27, 2008
    10
    From the first 7 episodes, this season is every bit as amazing as the first 4. Funny that the lowest score comes from the Baltimore Sun, being that this season closely follows the inner workings of that very paper.
  32. [Anonymous]
    Jan 28, 2008
    10
    Funny that the Baltimore Sun, which is trashed in this season, gives it the lowest score of all.
  33. StephenS.
    Jan 29, 2008
    10
    The Best TV Show EVER, and I have been watching tv since 1950; only the anthology drama series (Climax, Playhouse 90, etc.) ran stuff this good, but without this much consistency. I have watched 55 episodes of the wire, and the worst grade I would give any episode was a B.
  34. TonyB.
    Jan 7, 2008
    10
    Best television show ever.
  35. JonC.
    Feb 1, 2008
    10
    The only show that has made me regret giving up television 15 years ago. If other shows take The Wire's lead, I'll consider hooking cable back up. Stunning television, easily better than 90% of what is in the theaters today (& the casting directors deserve Emmy's for their sublime vision).
  36. C.B.
    Feb 13, 2008
    10
    Still the best show in TV. Too bad no one watches. What a terrific swan song season 4 has been so far...
  37. WarrenP.
    Feb 21, 2008
    10
    Raw, gritty, sometimes comedic and always utterly human, "The Wire" is a must-see for every citizen who cares about the state of urban America.
  38. MilanD.
    Feb 24, 2008
    10
    This last season of the wire isn't as good as the previous four but it is still the best cop "shoot em up" shows on tv.
  39. KM.
    Feb 24, 2008
    10
    I am not a fan of TV - I've never seen one episode of 'Cheers' 'The Simpsons' 'Soparanos', etc. When my son from college brought us 4 DVDs of 'The Wire' and recommended that we watch it, I was skeptical. After the first episode, I continued to be skeptical, 'It's so real it's not entertaining' I told my husband. Two episodes I am not a fan of TV - I've never seen one episode of 'Cheers' 'The Simpsons' 'Soparanos', etc. When my son from college brought us 4 DVDs of 'The Wire' and recommended that we watch it, I was skeptical. After the first episode, I continued to be skeptical, 'It's so real it's not entertaining' I told my husband. Two episodes later, I was hooked - hooked on the character development, the gritty, humorous dialogs, the all-too recognizable plight of the city, the eye-opening realities of the drug world and the bungled maneuvers of the 'good guys'. Better than most movies, the Wire is entertainment at its finest. Expand
  40. MattP.
    Feb 26, 2008
    7
    I'm not sure what to think about this season. The unadulterated Wire fan in me wants to believe that the writers know what they are doing and that they can't lead us wrong. But the smart TV watcher in me thinks, hey, this stuff isn't all that grand. The cop angle is much to cheesy, with the reintoduction of McNulty now being the weight on the ankles of the drowning Lester, I'm not sure what to think about this season. The unadulterated Wire fan in me wants to believe that the writers know what they are doing and that they can't lead us wrong. But the smart TV watcher in me thinks, hey, this stuff isn't all that grand. The cop angle is much to cheesy, with the reintoduction of McNulty now being the weight on the ankles of the drowning Lester, a once interesting character that is now nothing more than a symbol. Which, when you get right down to it, is the real problem with this season: everything is a symbol. Marlo can't be touched; (he's like Superman this guy), Omars tiny cursade ends in a heartbeat, effectively robbing the audience of three episodes, and, as I said before, McNulty is now a total detriment to the show. His fake serial killer angle has now sucked all enjoyment I once had watching the cops. I'm sorry to say that I think the writers and producers (where is Ed Burns name in the credits?) have finally hit Soprano's zone: they've become really, really full of themselves. Expand
  41. ItayM.
    Mar 13, 2008
    8
    Great show. Weakest season yet. Just one question...who are these people that are calling this realistic or unrealistic...how are these television critics qualified to judge this as either??
  42. JasonS
    Mar 25, 2008
    10
    The best written and best acted show on TV. I'm really sorry to see it go but I think it ran it's course and reached a natural end.
  43. FuzzyD.
    Apr 28, 2008
    8
    I'd give every other season an eleven if I could, but not this one. While the ending to Bubbles' story was completely flawless and amazing, the police story line, as someone else pointed out, was way too cheesy. I won't say that what happened was unrealistic or impossible, it was just very, very improbable. Something that I've always loved about The Wire is that not I'd give every other season an eleven if I could, but not this one. While the ending to Bubbles' story was completely flawless and amazing, the police story line, as someone else pointed out, was way too cheesy. I won't say that what happened was unrealistic or impossible, it was just very, very improbable. Something that I've always loved about The Wire is that not only has it never had impossible, theatrical, or unrealistic moments, it never even had improbable moments. That changed with season five. Oh, and I agree with everything that the Baltimore Sun said about the flaws in the newspaper storyline. Expand
  44. ArnieP.
    Jul 14, 2008
    10
    this is the most brilliant television series ever offered. A sociological powerhouse. breathtaking.
  45. AndrewG
    Jul 14, 2008
    7
    The first four seasons are so mind-blowing that Season 5 has left me disappointed. The cop plot is not believable in the slightest, and while the newsroom characters are very realistic, introducing them all in the final 'tie-everything-in-a-bow' season distracts from the focus on the main characters.
  46. ChrisS
    Nov 17, 2009
    10
    Far and away the best show I have ever seen on television. Nothing comes close in this genre.
  47. BradE
    Jan 13, 2009
    10
    The greatest show ever...period.
  48. NerijusD.
    Oct 3, 2009
    10
    The greatest television series of all time!
  49. Doug
    Jan 27, 2008
    9
    A little ironic that the Baltimore Sun gives the lowest rating, no?
  50. DonaldS
    Apr 12, 2008
    10
    Anytime a great show comes to an end u hear all of the negative.
  51. BennettH.
    Jun 11, 2008
    10
    One of the greatest shows ever created. Characters, Plotlines, Writing, and Directing is flawless.
  52. DerekO
    Jul 27, 2008
    9
    The greatest television show I have ever watched. The writing for this show is intense, and so deep. I wonder how anyone cannot like this show.
  53. ceejay
    Jun 22, 2009
    8
    This season is could be described with the word "BLUFF" because you suddenly see all levels of every organization trying to trick each other. It is a little bit funnier than season 4, which was unbelievably heavy (in a good way). I enjoyed the wrap up for most of the characters, some people changed little for the better: some for the worse: some didn't change at all.
  54. Benjamin
    Sep 22, 2009
    9
    While this may not be the best season of the wire by a long shot (that goes to season 1, 3 or 4), it is still better than any single season from any other show on TV.
  55. Sep 9, 2010
    10
    Believe the hype-- this is probably one of the most engaging shows ever put on air. If you are thinking it couldn't possibly stand up alongside all the hyperbole, just give it a chance and watch the first season.
  56. Feb 23, 2011
    7
    The Wire is without a doubt the best T.V Show ever. However this season is frankly the weakest of the four. All four seasons preceding this one had a great character(s) that really strung you along through the season, McNulty and D', Sobotka, Stringer, The Kids. This season I didn't get that feeling, and although the Hamsterdam plotline was slightly far-fetched, the homeless killings was aThe Wire is without a doubt the best T.V Show ever. However this season is frankly the weakest of the four. All four seasons preceding this one had a great character(s) that really strung you along through the season, McNulty and D', Sobotka, Stringer, The Kids. This season I didn't get that feeling, and although the Hamsterdam plotline was slightly far-fetched, the homeless killings was a bridge to far. The Wire thrives on verisimilitude, but it was just off this season. I loved the Bubbles storyline, and my god Marlo is just fantastic. But I just didn't love Tommy, the newspaper or even McNulty. It was disappointing to see the show slide from its brilliance.

    What I can't understand is users giving this a red rating, get the **** off whatever you are smoking. ratings like that are reserved for thing like America's Next Top Model, I get that your unhappy that it lost some of its charm, but it is not a 2/10
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  57. Mar 3, 2013
    9
    As with previous years this new season of The Wire sees a shift in focus and this time around it is the role of the press. To be completely honest this new focus is never quite as interesting as the look at the school system from Season Four but the brilliant writing and superb performances continue to make The Wire unmissable viewing throughout these final ten episodes. By the time itAs with previous years this new season of The Wire sees a shift in focus and this time around it is the role of the press. To be completely honest this new focus is never quite as interesting as the look at the school system from Season Four but the brilliant writing and superb performances continue to make The Wire unmissable viewing throughout these final ten episodes. By the time it reaches its fitting conclusion most viewers will realise they are seeing the end of something special. Expand
  58. Mar 3, 2012
    10
    I've watched many, many television shows, and I can confidently affirm that The Wire is by far the greatest achievement in the history of TV. I won't bother typing up a long and well thought-out review because I'm sure the previous users have done a fair enough job of describing this show, but I will say this: no other television series compares to The Wire, and it will be a long timeI've watched many, many television shows, and I can confidently affirm that The Wire is by far the greatest achievement in the history of TV. I won't bother typing up a long and well thought-out review because I'm sure the previous users have done a fair enough job of describing this show, but I will say this: no other television series compares to The Wire, and it will be a long time before another one does. Expand
  59. May 13, 2014
    9
    The Wire is without question the best thing ever created. That being said, season 5, although better than everything on tv, is the worst of the 5 seasons. I still loved it though.
  60. Jun 13, 2012
    10
    The last season is very simple and I say that as a high praise. It comes full circle back to the beginning of the first season. You can see clearly the outline of a new cycle of stories, some people following the path of others before them and some people branching out into the unknown.
    Many people will like one season more than another, because the themes covered are often different. But
    The last season is very simple and I say that as a high praise. It comes full circle back to the beginning of the first season. You can see clearly the outline of a new cycle of stories, some people following the path of others before them and some people branching out into the unknown.
    Many people will like one season more than another, because the themes covered are often different. But I think what most people enjoy in the Wire is how it elevates our understanding of any one theme by linking its causes and effects to so many other themes. A true work of Art and Sociology.
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  61. Jul 23, 2012
    10
    Hope series like this wont be just remembered like the, lets say, the Hippie era. Wish to see more. It keeps the point of antithesis strong and alive, especially in times like ours, we need it.
  62. Oct 18, 2013
    10
    THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE BEST THE THE BEST SHOW EVER MADE. And son always remember......

    Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeit.
    -Clay Davis.
  63. Jul 19, 2013
    10
    simply the standard by which all other shows are judged. i have the sopranos slightly higher, but the wire holds quality quite well throughout and the quality is simply incredible. this is the story of a city told from the ground up. the first season is a dive into an immense world that just keeps getting deeper and deeper until you realise we are all part of the world beyond the wire andsimply the standard by which all other shows are judged. i have the sopranos slightly higher, but the wire holds quality quite well throughout and the quality is simply incredible. this is the story of a city told from the ground up. the first season is a dive into an immense world that just keeps getting deeper and deeper until you realise we are all part of the world beyond the wire and yet the city rolls on.

    this first season is judged on its own merits, easily a 10, and no amount of idiot middle class who love it because they were told to, despite never seeing the show, or counter counter culture descreditors are going to make me forget that.

    1 is a ten based on its own merits.
    the series is a 10 based on its own merits.
    the weaker seasons are a 10 based on the fact they are that much better than anything else on tv, at what they do, with a very few key exceptions.

    a worthy end to the series. slight issues with the press story and some real butthurt in the plots callous disregard for audience satisfaction.

    goes out ganster style on its own merits, an incredible and almost peerless piece of work.

    9.5 rounded up.
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  64. Apr 30, 2015
    10
    Unfortunately the Baltimore Sun and their review team have enough weight to drag the overall score down on this one, but believe me - this season was as good as any of the other four. This show is a masterpiece, from pilot to finale.
  65. Dec 7, 2013
    10
    Best show EVER. So upset that it's finished, but they ended it very well. I'm going to miss these characters so much, especially bubs and omar. Bubs' story really touched me, he was definitely one of my favorite characters.
  66. Nov 3, 2015
    10
    In my opinion, it's the greatest TV Show ever made. An epic tapestry of the city of Baltimore. Novelistic in its approach to storytelling it pushed the boundaries for what TV could be. Not only was there great writing and directing but the show also dealt with greater social issues. A must watch for everyone.
  67. May 28, 2015
    10
    The Wire is the best series I've come across. Breaking Bad gets close, but The Wire still wins out.
    I can not believe how underrated it was back when it first came out!
Metascore
89

Universal acclaim - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. 70
    While the police story line has never been stronger, the first seven episodes made available for preview contain nothing that matches the emotional power and sociological insight of the show at its best--namely the classroom scenes from Season 4.
  2. The episodes that kick off this last 10-show run don't feel perfect. But they almost always feel intuitively right.
  3. In these last innings, as The Wire ties up its gnarled threads, it also makes its most daring departure yet, introducing yet another institution, and a brand-new cast of characters to disappoint us.