The Wire (2002–2008)
8.6/10
2,793
2 user 7 critic

Lessons 

McNulty uses his children to tail Stringer after a chance encounter in a local market, with one of them getting his license plate. As the detail discuss the implications of the pit ... See full summary »

Director:

Gloria Muzio

Writers:

David Simon (created by), David Simon (teleplay by) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dominic West ... Det. James 'Jimmy' McNulty
John Doman ... Maj. William A. Rawls (credit only)
Idris Elba ... Russell 'Stringer' Bell
Frankie Faison ... Dep. Comm. for Operations Ervin H. Burrell (as Frankie R. Faison)
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. ... D'Angelo Barksdale (as Larry Gilliard Jr.)
Wood Harris ... Avon Barksdale
Deirdre Lovejoy ... Asst. State's Atty. Rhonda Pearlman (credit only)
Wendell Pierce ... Det. William 'Bunk' Moreland
Lance Reddick ... Lt. Cedric Daniels
Andre Royo ... Reginald 'Bubbles' Cousins (credit only)
Sonja Sohn ... Det. Shakima 'Kima' Greggs
Peter Gerety ... Judge Daniel Phelan
Seth Gilliam ... Det. Ellis Carver
Domenick Lombardozzi ... Det. Thomas 'Herc' Hauk
Clarke Peters ... Det. Lester Freamon
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Storyline

McNulty uses his children to tail Stringer after a chance encounter in a local market, with one of them getting his license plate. As the detail discuss the implications of the pit pay-phones being disconnected, speculating the crew are going to start using phones outside their immediate area of operations, Herc and Carver prepare for the sergeant's exam. Stinkum, Roland 'Wee-Bey' Brice (Hassan Johnson), and Savino Bratton (Chris Clanton) raid Omar's pad, but he is nowhere to be found. Avon is unhappy when he learns of Orlando's proposal to D'Angelo. Meanwhile, Greggs and Carver arrest a driver picking up a large amount of cash from the towers, but are surprised to learn he is an aide to State Senator Clay Davis (Isiah Whitlock Jr.). Burrell is furious with this turn of events and confronts Daniels about the direction in which the case is heading, giving him one week to charge Avon and/or Stringer. Phelan, however, tells Burrell he wants the full thirty days of surveillance assigned ... Written by Bertaut

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 July 2002 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (Dolby Surround)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Denise Hart was later cast as Miss Anna Jeffries in Season 4. It is unlikely that Miss Anna was intended to be the same character as the woman that Bunk picks up in the bar. See more »

Goofs

When McNulty is monitoring Stringer's car, the car is on the same side of the road, facing away from McNulty's car. The next shot shows Stringer being dropped off by a taxi next to his car. Stringer's car is now on the opposite side of the road, facing towards McNulty. See more »

Quotes

Omar Little: Look man, I do what I can do to help y'all. But the game is out there, and it's either play or get played.
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Soundtracks

No
(uncredited)
Written by Chuck D
Performed by Chuck D
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User Reviews

 
Front and follow
20 February 2009 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

With more than half the season over, The Wire's first year gets grittier and more relentless in its depiction of a city struggling to stay alive amidst all the corruption, drugs and murder. The eighth episode also introduces at least one element that will be further analyzed in the following seasons (I'm saying this having recently finished watching Season Three).

The teaser is an unusually light affair, as we get a glimpse of McNulty's personal life when he goes grocery-shopping with his young sons. The playfulness turns into something darker, though, when he spots Stringer Bell in the crowd and asks the boys to play "front and follow" with him. In short, the young ones have to follow Stringer - without getting caught - and get his license plate number, which could be very helpful now that the wiretap has been disabled. The downside is that McNulty briefly loses track of the boys, and there's no way Elena is going to like that.

As far as the rest of the investigation is concerned, things get tense when Burrell threatens to shut down the operation by the end of the week and demands that the unit drop a suspect who was carrying money from a known dope safe-house on the grounds that said suspect works for one Senator Clay Davis. On the other side of the law, Avon learns of unorthodox plans on the part of his associate Orlando, Wallace is still trying to cope with Brandon's murder, and the conflict with Omar gets bloodier.

Lessons is an essential Season One episode because it deals - in part - with the vital subplot of drug dealers (and criminals in general) being involved with officially recognized businessmen or, even worse, politicians. Though he is never seen in the episode, this is also the first time we hear of Senator Davis, who went on to become one of the show's most important - and colorful, judging by certain promos - supporting characters. Whether David Simon and Ed Burns had planned this all along is debatable, given there was no guarantee the show would be renewed for a second season, let alone an additional three, but considering their groundbreaking attention to detail, it's hard to think the subplot was introduced by mistake. It's an early sign of Simon's intention to cover new territory later on, and therefore another confirmation of how different The Wire was, and still is, from other television dramas.


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