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Beatrice Russell
The Wire Officer Russell.jpg
First appearance "Ebb Tide" (episode 2.01)
Last appearance "–30–" (episode 5.10)
Cause/reason End of Series
Created by David Simon
Portrayed by Amy Ryan
Episode count 20
Information
Aliases Beadie
Gender Female
Age 30s
Occupation Port Authority police officer
Spouse(s) Divorced, Jimmy McNulty (boyfriend)
Children son Jack, daughter Cary

Beatrice "Beadie" Russell is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by actress Amy Ryan. She was featured prominently in the second season, after she discovered thirteen corpses in a container on the Baltimore docks.

Contents

Biography

Russell started working as a port authority officer because she needed the pay to support her two young children after her husband abandoned them. She found the job unchallenging and spent most of her time patrolling the docks and checking shipping manifests. She developed a friendly working relationship with many of the stevedores, including Frank Sobotka.

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Season 2

In season two, Russell notices a broken customs seal on a container while on patrol one afternoon and explores it, finding a hidden compartment filled with thirteen dead bodies. She is briefly the primary investigator until Officer Jimmy McNulty intervened (for his own reasons) to get the case reassigned to the city Homicide Unit. Russell is subsequently detailed to homicide to aid in the investigation. Initially she shows her lack of experience and street knowledge, but she develops some latent talent for police work in working alongside homicide detectives Bunk Moreland and Lester Freamon. Russell is motivated to investigate the deaths of the girls as she feels an empathy for them, particularly once she learns that they were sex trade workers.

Russell moves into Lieutenant Daniels' detail after he agrees to investigate the bodies, where she soon fends off an awkward advance from Herc. Her home life makes it difficult for her to work the long hours necessary for the investigation, but she perseveres. She connects with detective Kima Greggs when discussing the balance of a mother's responsibilities and the dangers inherent in their work, and enjoys flirting with McNulty both during work and while drinking after hours. McNulty visits Beadie's house one night, but he feels uncomfortable by the presence of family photos and children's toys, and leaves before a more intimate relationship develops.

Russell's familiarity with the people and organization of the port proves invaluable to the investigation. She taps an old boyfriend in Frank Sobotka's union named Maui to find out more about illegal activity in the port. Although Maui does not become an informant directly, his information turns the case towards cloning the ports computers to monitor container traffic.

When a suspicious Sobotka sends out a truck carrying normal goods to test the waters, Russell inadvertently tips the investigation's hand by having her colleagues in the port authority stop it. Frank later checks with other port officers who tell him she is still working with the detail, contrary to what she previously told him, and confirming his suspicions that he is being investigated. Despite these mis-steps, Russell gains the respect of the officers in the Sobotka detail. At the end of their investigation, when the focus shifts past Sobotka, Russell is entrusted with following Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos to a key meeting with The Greek. She comes through, delivering the location of the meeting, and enables the surveillance crew to get a photograph of Vondas and his lawyer.

Russell is able to convince Frank Sobotka to inform on The Greek, once a strong case is built against him. Her emotional offer of a deal has Frank ready to give up everything he knows in order to help his family. However, Frank is murdered before he can say anything official and the Sobotka case is forced to end prematurely. With several arrests made and the murder of the girls solved, Beadie returns to her work at the Port.

Season 3 / Season 4

In Season three, McNulty is reminded of Russell and, feeling his life is missing something, he reinitiates their relationship and returns to beat police work. By season four, the two are living together and McNulty has overcome many of his personal demons (which he credits to Beadie's influence). Beadie's children Jack and Cary have come to know McNulty and always refer to him using his surname. Beadie has now dyed her hair blonde.

Season 5

By the first episode of season 5, Jimmy McNulty can be seen philandering and lying about late nights at work to drink in bars. Despite leaving him briefly, the two are reconciled by the end of the season: she is last seen sitting with McNulty on her doorstep watching the moon, with her head on his shoulder.

References


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