10 Episodes 2008 - 2008
For the fifth and final season of this groundbreaking urban drama, series creator David Simon returns to his old stomping grounds at the Baltimore Sun, where he worked for many years as a crime reporter, to examine the media's role in modern society. This fictionalized version of what was once a newspaper of record is experiencing tough economic times, precipitating layoffs and a hollow mantra from management to "do more with less." These marching orders are met with derision by Gus Haynes (Clark Johnson), an old-school City Desk editor who encourages eager young journalists such as Alma Gutierrez (Michelle Paress) to hone their craft. The cutbacks at the Sun mirror those at City Hall, where Mayor Carcetti (Aidan Gillen)---who's too busy angling for a gubernatorial run and convicting corrupt politico Clay Davis (Isiah Whitlock Jr.) to care---slashes the police budget to save money. But the decimation of the department's morale and matériel is too much for Jimmy McNulty (Dominic West). The maverick detective, who is not only back in Homicide but regressing to his tomcatting ways, fabricates a grisly crime that catches the eye of self-serving Sun reporter Scott Templeton (Tom McCarthy). And although his sensational articles about a rampaging serial killer are met with skepticism by Haynes, they're championed by his prize-hungry bosses. McNulty's scheme doesn't sit well with his partner Bunk (Wendell Pierce), but is embraced by Det. Freamon (Clarke Peters) if the means justify the restoration of funding to pursue drug lord Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector). Free of law-enforcement scrutiny, Marlo shields himself with onetime Barksdale attorney Maurice Levy (Michael Kostroff) on a quest to rule the entire city's drug trade, and tempts fate by luring stickup artist Omar (Michael K. Williams) back to town to settle an old score. Meanwhile, former addict Bubbles (Andre Royo) struggles to stay clean, but finds it hard to face his demons at Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
More With Less
Sun, Jan 6, 2008 60 mins
In the fifth-season premiere, cutbacks in the police department and at the Baltimore Sun newspaper send shock waves through their respective, disgruntled staffs. Meanwhile, Marlo shakes up Proposition Joe's discussion of East Side distribution, and a front-page story ties a co-op member to city council.
Sun, Jan 13, 2008 60 mins
McNulty has a revelation after a visit to the morgue; Gus's misgivings about a story on baseball's opening day fall on deaf ears; Marlo sees a familiar face from the West Side while pursuing a business deal; Walon urges a reluctant Bubbles to share some troubling information; Chris and Snoop take advantage of the police department's budget cuts; Davis pleads with Burrell to intervene on his behalf.
Not for Attribution
Sun, Jan 20, 2008 60 mins
Bosses at the Sun have bad news for the staff; the mayor's office leaks a story to the newspaper about a major shakeup in the police department; Marlo looks for ways to redistribute his wealth while offering to pay top dollar for information on Omar; McNulty meets with a reporter about a recent murder case; Michael takes a break from the corner for a trip to an amusement park.
Sun, Jan 27, 2008 60 mins
Omar returns from his self-imposed exile and begins to plot revenge for the murder of a former associate; Gus bemoans the lack of a city-court reporter when the Sun misses out on a grand-jury probe; Carcetti's desire to get rid of Burrell comes with strings attached; Freamon contacts an old partner for help with McNulty's investigation of the deaths of homeless men; Marlo has an eye on the future in his dealings with the Greeks.
Sun, Feb 3, 2008 60 mins
Marlo celebrates a business deal while his crew anticipates a showdown with Omar; McNulty and Freamon take advantage of a development at the Sun regarding the homeless murders; trouble on the corner sends Dukie to Cutty's gym; Herc tries to make up for his past behavior by doing a favor for Carver; Davis takes his case to the court of public opinion.
The Dickensian Aspect
Sun, Feb 10, 2008 60 mins
Omar's mysterious disappearance puts Marlo's crew on full alert; Carcetti turns his attention to the plight of the homeless; Bunk interviews an old witness in connection to the row-house cases; Templeton searches for a follow-up to his front-page story.
Sun, Feb 17, 2008 60 mins
McNulty becomes a popular figure after he and Lester cook up another scheme for the homeless case; Davis seeks the best legal assistance money can buy for his day in court; Michael endures a couple of scares from opposite sides of the law; Gus goes outside the Sun for help on an old story.
Sun, Feb 24, 2008 60 mins
Carver gets a change of scenery when the police department shifts its resources; Carcetti is forced to take risks with his political future; Haynes delves deeper into Templeton's work; Sydnor has a breakthrough on an important case; Fletcher continues his research with Bubbles.
Sun, Mar 2, 2008 60 mins
Freamon's hard work pays off with a promising lead, though McNulty isn't in the mood to celebrate.
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Sun, Mar 9, 2008 93 mins
In the series finale, Carcetti reacts to a damaging report from Pearlman and Daniels, Haynes finds little support from the bosses for his concerns about a reporter's work, McNulty tries to put an end to the homeless case, Dukie seeks out an old mentor and a wake is staged for another fallen officer.