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The Wire episode
"Buyer's market out there."
- Templeton
Episode no. 54
Teleplay by Ed Burns
Story by David Simon and Ed Burns
Directed by Dan Attias
Guest stars see below
Prod. code 504
Original airdate 27 January 2008

The Wire Season 5
6 January 2008 – 9 March 2008

  1. "More with Less"
  2. "Unconfirmed Reports"
  3. "Not for Attribution"
  4. "Transitions"
  5. "React Quotes"
  6. "The Dickensian Aspect"
  7. "Took"
  8. "Clarifications"
  9. "Late Editions"
  10. "–30–"
Episode chronology

"Transitions" is the fourth episode of the fifth season of the HBO original series, The Wire. The episode was written by Ed Burns from a story by David Simon & Ed Burns and was directed by Dan Attias, who won the Directors Guild of America Outstanding Directorial Achievement in a Drama Series Award for the episode.[1] It first aired on 27 January 2008.[2]





Buyer's market out there. - Templeton

Though Scott Templeton is lamenting the dwindling job market in journalism, there is also a noticeable resonance regarding the local drug trade.

Oscar Requer also says, "It's a buyer's market," when talking to Jimmy McNulty and Lester Freamon. Requer is joking about selling McNulty a condominium, but the comment also carries an implication about the availability of bodies in unsolved homicides for McNulty and Freamon to work into their investigation.


Starring cast

Although credited, Andre Royo and Jermaine Crawford do not appear in this episode.

Guest stars

  1. Frankie Faison as Ervin Burrell
  2. Amy Ryan as Beatrice "Beadie" Russell
  3. Paul Ben-Victor as Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos
  4. Robert F. Chew as Proposition Joe
  5. Bill Raymond as The Greek
  6. Delaney Williams as Jay Landsman
  7. Marlyne Afflack as Nerese Campbell
  8. Benjamin Busch as Anthony Colicchio
  9. Anwan Glover as Slim Charles
  10. Felicia Pearson as Snoop
  11. Method Man as Cheese
  12. Duane Chandler Rawlings as Hungry Man
  13. Dion Graham as Rupert Bond
  14. Melanie Nicholls-King as Cheryl
  15. Frederick Strother as Odell Watkins
  16. David Costabile as Thomas Klebanow
  17. Shamika Cotton as Raylene Lee
  18. Sam Freed as James Whiting
  19. Bobby Brown as Bob Brown
  20. Ed Norris as Ed Norris
  21. Roscoe Orman as Oscar Requer
  22. Michael Salconi as Michael Santangelo
  23. Bruce Kirkpatrick as Roger Twigg
  24. Donald Neal as Jay Spry
  25. Todd Scofield as Jeff Price
  26. William F. Zorzi as Bill Zorzi
  27. Jeffrey Pratt Gordon as Johnny "Fifty" Spamanto
  28. Curtis L. McClarin as Florist
  29. Jeff Roberts as Homeless Employed Man
  30. Ptolemy Slocum as Homeless Business Card Man
  31. John Badila as Sun Staff Member
  32. Valerie Leonard as Washington Post Editor
  33. Jayne Miller as TV news journalist
  34. Jerry B. Whiddon as Washington Post Editor
  35. Miriam Hyman as Social Worker
  36. Nathan James as Western DEU Officer
  37. Tim R. McAdams as Motorist
  38. Joey Perillo as Medical Examiner
  39. Alan J. Wendl as Southern District Desk Sergeant
  40. Larry Andrews as Donnie
  41. Sho "Swordsman" Brown as Phil Boy
  42. Thuliso Dingall as Kenard
  43. Edward Green as Spider
  44. Derrick Purvey as Big Guy
  45. Troj Marquis Strickland as Ricardo "Fat-Face Rick" Hendrix

Uncredited appearances

Ryan Sands (Lloyd "Truck" Garrick) was supposed to appear in this episode but Sands was busy filming The Kill Point. Nathan James was hired to fill in for Sands as an unnamed officer.[3]




Jimmy McNulty and Lester Freamon collaborate on raising the profile of their fake serial killer. They conduct actual canvassing among the homeless as a cover. Freamon sensationalizes the idea by adding a sexual motive and supplies a set of dentures to create bite marks. Freamon also recruits his old patrol partner to look out for bodies. They soon have their next fake victim and McNulty mocks up the crime scene and mutilates the body to imply another murder. McNulty's binge drinking and infidelity are noticed by his domestic partner Beadie Russell. Kima Greggs finds the child survivor in her case too withdrawn to help and decides to spend more time with her ex-partner Cheryl's son Elijah.

Western district

Officer Anthony Colicchio attacks a motorist who irritates him while he tries to arrest Michael Lee's drug dealing crew. The motorist turns out to be an elementary school teacher who then files a police brutality complaint against Colicchio. Sergeant Ellis Carver offers to help Colicchio through the subsequent internal investigation but Colicchio remains unrepentant. Carver decides Colicchio's behavior cannot continue unchecked and charges Colicchio himself. Thomas "Herc" Hauk later appeals to Carver for leniency but Carver explains his new philosophy that their actions as police are always important. Herc expresses regret over his own misdeeds leading to his dismissal.


Michael is signed out of holding by his mother and refuses to pay her to be a parent to him.

Major crimes

Leander Sydnor uncovers new evidence in the Clay Davis investigation. Rupert Bond decides not to file the new charge as it would mean allowing a federal prosecution and would cost him the opportunity to raise his political profile. Bond has Rhonda Pearlman hold a grand jury deposition for Davis. Bond stages a photo opportunity as Davis leaves the court house to mark Davis as his target.

Baltimore Sun

Scott Templeton unsuccessfully interviews for a position with The Washington Post. Upon his return the staff at The Baltimore Sun rush to catch up on the Davis story after being left out of the loop.


Mayor Tommy Carcetti must grant favors to Nerese Campbell and the politically influential ministers to smooth the transitions in the police department. Cedric Daniels remains concerned that Ervin Burrell will expose his history of unexplained income and destroy his chances of becoming commissioner. Daniels appeals to Burrell but receives the silent treatment. Burrell gives the file on Daniels' past to Campbell. Campbell convinces Burrell to leave the department quietly with the promise of a well-paid replacement position.

New Day Co-Op

Marlo Stanfield convinces The Greeks to consider him as an insurance policy for handling their supply of narcotics into Baltimore. Stanfield's rival "Proposition Joe" Stewart fears reprisal from Omar Little following the death of Butchie and decides to leave town. Stanfield asks Proposition Joe to teach him more about money laundering and is introduced to attorney Maurice Levy. Omar returns to Baltimore and quickly ascertains that Stanfield was behind Butchie's death.

Stanfield observes Hungry Man and Cheese arguing over territory at a New Day Co-Op meeting. Stanfield continues to court Cheese's loyalty and has Chris Partlow capture Hungry Man and deliver him for Cheese to murder. Cheese reciprocates by revealing Proposition Joe's location. Stanfield and Partlow surprise Proposition Joe as he prepares to leave town. Stanfield watches while Partlow kills Proposition Joe.[4]


Omar returns to Baltimore to avenge Butchie's murder and Donnie offers to help. Initially suspecting Proposition Joe, Omar confronts Slim Charles in an apartment complex but Slim is able to persuade Omar that Prop Joe had no involvement in Butchie's death. Slim Charles suggests Marlo was behind the murder. Later, Omar and Donnie visit Marlo's court in hiding and decide to go after Monk Metcalf.

First appearances

  • Oscar Requer: Freamon's former partner in the patrol division an ex-homicide detective. Was kicked out of Homicide after pulling rank over Area Chief at the scene of a murder. It was later discovered the Area Chief was William Rawls who transferred him to Midnight Shift in Southern District. A retired homicide detective of the same name provided inspiration for the character of Bunk Moreland on the show.[5]



  1. ^ "Season 5 crew". HBO. 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-12.  
  2. ^ "HBO Schedule: THE WIRE 54: TRANSITIONS". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-01.  
  3. ^ Nathan James' WAMO interview
  4. ^ "Transitions". Dan Attias, Writ. Ed Burns (story and teleplay), David Simon (story). The Wire. HBO. 2008-01-27. No. 4, season 5.
  5. ^ Simon, David (2006) [1991]. "Post Mortem". Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets (4th ed.). Owl Books. pp. 641. ISBN 0-8050-8075-9. "Rick 'The Bunk' Requer left to man the department's retirement services bureau, though his homicide incarnation lives on in Wendell Pierce's portrayal of the legendary Bunk Moreland on The Wire, right down to the ubiquitous cigar."  


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