In the projects. On the docks. In City Hall. In the schools. And now, in the media. The places and faces change, but the game remains the same. HBO presents the fifth--and final--season of this acclaimed drama series that focuses on the vagaries of crime, law enforcement, politics and the media in Baltimore, MD.
As McNulty and the detail continue to stake out Marlo's crew, recently promoted Sgt. Carver is welcomed by a cauldron of discontent from officers coping with unpaid overtime; Though he wants to keep his campaign promise to lower crime, Mayor Carcetti is strapped by his commitment to schools, and faces some tough choices; Col. Daniels is forced to reallocate his resources, retaining Freamon and Sydnor for the Clay Davis probe; Meanwhile, city editor Augustus "Gus" Haynes and the staff of The Baltimore Sun are reeling from corporate cutbacks, losing key personnel from both the metro and international divisions; Still, with the help of reporters Alma Gutierrez, Jeff Price and Scott Templeton, Haynes is able to break a front-page story that links a politician to a co-op drug dealer; Proposition Joe, Marlo, Fatface Rick and other New Day Co-Op members meet in a hotel conference room to discuss divvying up drug frontiers across East Baltimore's county line.
Although he tells Sydnor that the Davis investigation could be a "career case," Freamon keeps a wary eye out for Marlo, who takes care of some unfinished business and strikes a business deal with Avon Barksdale; Carcetti throws the police a bone by removing the cap on secondary employment, which sends the detectives into fantasy-job reveries; With an eye on the state house, Mayor Carcetti's chief of staff, Michael Steintorf, tries to find good news for the mayor whilst blaming the Royce administration for the Campbell revelation; Davis turns to Burrell for help with his problem, but the commissioner's hands are tied; At the newspaper, executive editor James Whiting outlines a Pulitzer-worthy series in broad strokes, trumping Haynes while liberating the ambitious Templeton; Fed up with broken-down cars and unsolved serial murders, McNulty decides to take matters into his own hands.
Mayor Carcetti's master plan for the police department is leaked to the press, sending the brass into a panic; Marlo turns to Proposition Joe for help with an enviable problem; executive editor Whiting and managing editor Thomas Klebanow drop a bombshell on the newspaper staff; Michael finds temporary respite from his life on the corner by taking Dukie and Bug on a trip; McNulty shares some inside info with Gutierrez, but her subsequent story doesn't cause the splash either envisioned; McNulty, undaunted, looks for a new ally in Freamon.
Campbell tries to smooth out the transitions in the police department; The Baltimore Sun scrambles to confirm surprising news from City Hall, but lose out to the TV media in scooping a high-profile grand jury appearance; Marlo tries to win favor with the Greeks, whilst Proposition Joe pays his last respects to a fallen colleague and prepares to make himself scarce in anticipation of a showdown; Freamon enlists the help of a past partner to help with the investigation.
Marlo forges an alliance with a drug connect, who shows him a new communications trick; McNulty's case gets increased attention from the newspaper, in large part thanks to the addition of Templeton to the reporting team; Dukie turns to Dennis "Cutty" Wise and Michael to hone his pitiful self-defense skills; Clay Davis finds a new ally; State's Attorney Rupert Bond raises his public profile; Maurice Levy and Herc prepare for litigation; Elena confronts her ex-husband about his behavior; Bubbles has fears about new opportunities; Greggs gets some overtime work; Omar shows patience as Marlo throws out his bait.
Mystified by Omar's disappearance, Marlo and Chris ramp up their efforts to locate their nemesis; After attending a sparsely attended waterfront ceremony, Carcetti fires away at a larger press event, and recasts himself as a champion for the homeless; Bunk revisits some old leads in the rowhouse cases, but is frustrated in his attempts to get bloodwork from the crime lab; Templeton looks for a perfect follow-up to his latest, nationally covered story, which has replaced the city's educational crisis on the paper's priority list; After the detail gets more manpower, Freamon presses McNulty to get new surveillance equipment, but the resources aren't as deep as both hoped; Pearlman discovers new clues pointing to corruption in City Hall; Marlo makes new appointments at the latest Co-Op meeting; McNulty takes a peculiar interest in a homeless man.
An unexpected call puts Templeton back in the spotlight, whilst also getting McNulty more attention than he expected; Bunk bucks at Landsman when ordered to help with the force's most recent red ball; Omar sends Marlo a message through a number of associates; Carcetti proves he's still an adept fund-raiser; Carver gift-wraps a special witness for Bunk; Bubbles shows a reporter the ropes; Freamon tries to crack a clock code; Greggs prepares for a visit from her son; Michael has a close call; Haynes can't shake his suspicions about Templeton; Assisted by the top-drawer lawyer Billy Murphy, "cash and carry" Davis makes his day in court a memorable one.
While Marlo keeps on the down low, Omar drops bodies and runs into serious trouble on his own. McNulty presents developments in the Homeless Killings Case to the Mayor.
Marlo and his crew are arrested on a 16 million dollar drug bust.
Michael kills Snoop with a gunshot to the head when suspecting that he's next to be offed.
Maurice Levy suspects that Marlo won't be paroled, and suspects that Snoop was a snitch, but Marlo denies it.
Marlo and his crew debate how they were found out, and who was the snitch.
In the series finale, Carcetti maps out a damage-control scenario with the police brass in the wake of a startling revelation from Pearlman and Daniels. Their choice: clean up the mess...or hide the dirt.