The Wire (season 3)

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The Wire (season 3)
The Wire - Season 3.jpg
DVD cover
Country of origin United States
No. of episodes 12
Broadcast
Original channel HBO
Original run September 19, 2004 (2004-09-19) – December 19, 2004 (2004-12-19)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 August 8, 2006 (2006-08-08)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
Next →
Season 4
List of The Wire episodes

The third season of the television series The Wire commenced airing in the United States on September 19, 2004, concluded on December 19, 2004, and contained 12 episodes. It introduces Baltimore's local politicians and the upstart drug dealing Stanfield organization while continuing to examine the Barksdale Organization and the Baltimore Police Department.

The third season aired Sundays at 9:00 pm in the United States. The season was released on DVD as a five disc boxed set under the title of The Wire: The Complete Third Season on August 8, 2006 by HBO video.

Production[edit]

Crew[edit]

Following the death of Robert F. Colesberry, director Joe Chappelle joined the production staff as a co-executive producer and continued to regularly direct episodes.[1]

Baltimore Sun writer and political journalist William F. Zorzi joined the writing staff in the third season and brought a wealth of experience to the show's examination of Baltimore politics.[2]

Cast[edit]

Starring cast[edit]

The third season returned the focus to an investigation of the Barksdale Organization. It also introduced new characters including the rival Stanfield Organization and local politicians. The returning starring cast consisted of Dominic West as Detective Jimmy McNulty, whose insubordinate tendencies and personal problems continued to overshadow his ability.[3][4] Lance Reddick reprised his role as Lieutenant Cedric Daniels, now commanding his own unit.[5][6] Sonja Sohn returned as Kima Greggs, McNulty's new partner within the unit.[7][8] Clarke Peters reprised his character, veteran detective Lester Freamon, who was once again working for Daniels.[9][10] Deirdre Lovejoy starred as assistant state's attorney Rhonda Pearlman, the legal liaison between the unit and the courthouse.[11][12]

Wood Harris reprised his role as incarcerated drug kingpin Avon Barksdale.[13][14] Idris Elba's character Stringer Bell continued to run the Barksdale Organization in Avon's absence.[15][16] Andre Royo returned as Bubbles, who continued to indulge his drug addiction and act as an occasional informant.[17][18]

The police were overseen by two commanding officers more concerned with politics and their own careers than the case, Deputy Commissioner of Operations William Rawls (John Doman) and Acting Commissioner Ervin Burrell (Frankie Faison).[19][20][21][22] Wendell Pierce portrayed veteran homicide detective Bunk Moreland.[23][24]

The new season saw several previously recurring characters assuming larger starring roles, including Seth Gilliam as Sergeant Ellis Carver,[25] Domenick Lombardozzi as Detective Thomas "Herc" Hauk,[26] Detective Leander Sydnor (Corey Parker Robinson),[27] Detective Roland Pryzbylewski (Jim True-Frost),[28] Bodie Broadus (J.D. Williams),[29] Omar Little (Michael K. Williams),[30] and Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin (Robert Wisdom).[31] Colvin commanded the Western district where the Barksdale organization operated, and nearing retirement, he came up with a radical new method of dealing with the drug problem.[32] Herc and Carver joined the Western District Drug Enforcement Unit under Colvin's command.[33][34] Sydnor, a rising young star in the police department in season 1, returned to the cast as part of the major crimes unit along with Pryzbylewski.[35][36] Bodie had been seen gradually rising in the Barksdale organization since the first episode; he was born to their trade and showed a fierce aptitude for it.[37] Omar had a vendetta against the Barksdale organization and gave them all of his lethal attention.[38] A new starring character was also introduced in the third season: Tommy Carcetti (Aidan Gillen), an ambitious city councilman.[39][40]

Several members of the second season starring cast did not return for the third season with the change in focus and the termination of some characters' storylines. Chris Bauer (Frank Sobotka), Paul Ben-Victor (Spiros Vondas) and Amy Ryan (Beadie Russell) all leave the starring cast with the third season.[41][42][43][44] Ryan returns as a guest star for a short scene at the end of the season.

Recurring roles[edit]

Many guest stars from the earlier seasons reprised their roles. On the side of the street Proposition Joe (Robert F. Chew), the East Side's cautious drug kingpin, became more cooperative with the Barksdale Organization.[45][46] His lieutenant "Cheese" (Method Man) became involved in the Major Crimes Unit investigation.[47][47] Brother Mouzone (Michael Potts) returns to Baltimore looking for revenge.[48] Hassan Johnson reprises his role as incarcerated Barksdale enforcer Wee-Bey Brice.[49][50] Tray Chaney continues to portray Barksdale crew chief Poot Carr.[51][52] Leo Fitzpatrick returns as hapless drug addict Johnny Weeks.[53][54]

Michael Hyatt and Shamyl Brown reprised their respective roles as Brianna Barksdale and Donette with both characters dealing with the loss of D'Angelo Barksdale.[55][56][57][58] Michael Kostroff returned as the Barksdale's retainered defense attorney Maurice Levy.[59][60] Isiah Whitlock, Jr. reprised his role as corrupt State Senator Clay Davis, who continued to be involved with Barksdale money.[61][62] Stringer continued to use Shamrock (Richard Burton) to insulate himself from investigation.[63] Background characters like Barksdale enforcers Tank and Country also returned.[63] Omar Little's crew continued to rob the Barksdale Organization and consisted of his boyfriend Dante (Ernest Waddell), partners Tosha Mitchell (Edwina Findley) and Kimmy (Kelli R. Brown), and advisor Butchie (S. Robert Morgan).[63]

Many guest stars also reprised their characters from the police department. Returning guest stars in the homicide unit include Delaney Williams as Sergeant Jay Landsman,[64][65] Ed Norris as Detective Ed Norris,[66][67] and Brian Anthony Wilson as Detective Vernon Holley.[68] Al Brown and Jay Landsman reprised their roles as patrol division officers Stan Valchek and Dennis Mello.[69][70][71][72] Michael Salconi recurred as veteran Western patrolman Michael Santangelo.[68]

New recurring characters in the third season were also spread between the Street and the Law. The upstart Stanfield Organization introduced several new roles: Marlo Stanfield (Jamie Hector), a ruthless leader seeking to challenge Avon's dominance;[73][74] Chris Partlow (Gbenga Akinnagbe), Stanfield's chief enforcer;[75][76] Felicia "Snoop" Pearson (Felicia Pearson), Partlow's protege;[77][78] Norris Davis as rimshop owner and advisor Vinson;[63] Brandon Fobbs as crew chief Fruit;[63] and Melvin T. Russell and Justin Burley as young drug dealers Jamal and Justin.[63] The Barksdale Organization also found several new recruits: Slim Charles (Anwan Glover), Avon's new chief enforcer;[79][80] Bernard (Melvin Jackson, Jr.), responsible for procuring disposable cell phones;[63] and Dennis "Cutty" Wise (Chad Coleman), a newly released convict uncertain of his future.[81][82]

The introduction of a political storyline brought many new characters.[68] Glynn Turman played Mayor Clarence Royce, the incumbent whom Carcetti planned to unseat.[83][84] Cleo Reginald Pizana portrayed Coleman Parker, Royce's chief-of-staff.[85] Brandy Burre appeared as Theresa D'Agostino, a political campaign consultant.[86][87] Frederick Strother performed as Odell Watkins, a state delegate and political king-maker.[88][89] Christopher Mann played Carcetti's city council colleague Anthony Gray.[90][91]

Several new police characters also debuted with the third season. Gregory L. Williams played Michael Crutchfield, a cantankerous homicide detective.[92][93] Joilet F. Harris had a small role as Caroline Massey, a new officer in the Major Crimes Unit.[94][95] The focus on Colvin's command of the Western District introduced several new characters both in Carver's Drug Enforcement Unit and in the Patrol Division. Carver's squad includes Kenneth Dozerman (Rick Otto),[96][97] Anthony Colicchio (Benjamin Busch), Lloyd "Truck" Garrick (Ryan Sands), and Lambert (Nakia Dillard).[68] New rookie patrol officer Aaron Castor (Lee Everett Cox), Brian Baker (Derek Horton) and Officer Turner (Darrell M. Smith) also featured.[68]

Episodes[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Story by Teleplay by Directed by Original air date
26 1 "Time After Time" David Simon & Ed Burns David Simon Ed Bianchi September 19, 2004 (2004-09-19)
"Don't matter how many times you get burnt, you just keep doin' the same." - Bodie
The season starts midway into the Major Case Unit’s unsuccessful investigation into the Barksdale criminal enterprise. With their recent efforts fruitless, ASA Pearlman and Lieutenant Daniels consider dropping the wiretaps, to the dismay of the squad. Meanwhile, Ellis Carver finds himself in command of an incompetent group of policemen in the Western district. Bodie Broadus, Poot Carr, and Puddin reminisce about their days living and working in the 221 tower before it is demolished in an effort to stifle the drug trade. At a Barksdale Organization meeting, new head enforcer Slim Charles suggests that more territory is required and should be taken by force if needed; Stringer Bell maintains that product is the cornerstone of their operation. Dennis "Cutty" Wise, a legendary enforcer, is released from incarceration with an offer of work from Avon Barksdale.[98]
27 2 "All Due Respect" David Simon & Richard Price Richard Price Steve Shill September 26, 2004 (2004-09-26)
"There's never been a paper bag." - Colvin
Detective McNulty has doubts about the reported suicide of D'Angelo Barksdale and starts an unofficial investigation. East side drug lieutenant Cheese participates in an underground dogfight, and euthanizes his pitbull after losing. He speaks of this killing on the wire, and the Major Case Unit confuse it with a real murder. The unit decides to arrest Cheese and prematurely reveals their wire-tap in the process. Omar Little returns to Baltimore and resumes robbing stash houses. Councilman Tommy Carcetti pressures Acting Commissioner Burrell over high crime rates, and Burrell sends the pressure downhill to the foot officers. Cutty finds honest work with a landscaping crew. Western District Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin is ambivalent about the tactic of reclassifying crimes to manipulate statistics and is driven to consider an unorthodox solution when one of Carver's squad is shot in an undercover operation.[99]
28 3 "Dead Soldiers" David Simon & Dennis Lehane Dennis Lehane Rob Bailey October 3, 2004 (2004-10-03)
"The gods will not save you." - Burrell
Major Colvin attends the weekly comstat meeting, where another Major is fired as a result of Carcetti's pressure to reduce crime. Carcetti then uses the press to defer heat from the police department onto the mayor, to test his tenacity. Colvin looks for areas where he can turn a blind eye to drug dealing, unbeknownst to his superiors. Omar and his crew scope out a Barksdale stash house, and decide to attack it despite its heavy fortifications. A shootout ensues, with deaths on both sides. When the Major Case Unit is instructed to pursue a new, unrelated target McNulty refuses to divert his attention from the Barksdale Organization. Cutty visits an old flame. Bodie's crew are beaten for encroaching on Marlo Stanfield's territory.[100]
29 4 "Hamsterdam" David Simon & George Pelecanos George Pelecanos Ernest Dickerson October 10, 2004 (2004-10-10)
"Why you got to go and fuck with the program?" - Fruit
West Baltimore residents get some surprising straight talk from Major Colvin at a community meeting. Colvin has little success convincing area drug dealers to relocate to his tolerant zones. Carcetti reveals his mayoral political ambitions and pursues a campaign manager. Cutty gives up his attempts at straight work and joins the Barksdale Organization. Avon Barksdale is paroled despite the Major Case Unit's previous work against him. Stringer continues to invest in property development.[101]
30 5 "Straight and True" David Simon & Ed Burns Ed Burns Dan Attias October 17, 2004 (2004-10-17)
"I had such fuckin' hopes for us." - McNulty
Frustrated in his grass-roots reform efforts, Colvin arms himself with intelligence from the Major Case Unit and approaches the mid-level drug dealers instead. McNulty sees Stringer is now unreachable as a drug target because of his ties to legitimate business. Stringer throws a welcome home party for Avon and launches a citywide Co-Op for drug dealers but fails to recruit immediate West side rival Marlo Stanfield. Detective Greggs follows Stanfield to his meeting with Stringer. Dissent spreads in Omar's crew over his bloody minded pursuit of the Barksdale Organization.[102]
31 6 "Homecoming" David Simon & Rafael Alvarez Rafael Alvarez Leslie Libman October 31, 2004 (2004-10-31)
"Just a gangster, I suppose." - Avon Barksdale
Stringer gets an education in construction management and explores the opportunities of Colvin's new drug tolerant zones. Meanwhile Avon initiates a war over territory with Marlo but is dismayed at the ineptitude of his people when several are killed while attempting a drive-by shooting. Cutty finds that he has lost the ability to kill and leaves the Barksdale Organization with Avon's blessing. A frustrated Colvin unleashes the troops on the corner boys ignoring his new edict. Carcetti manipulates another councilman into joining the mayoral race in order to divide the city's black votes while concealing his own intention to run. McNulty and Greggs are ready to give up on targeting Stringer when the new violence gives them another reason. However, they must go behind Daniels' back to have the unit reassigned as he is angry about their disloyalty to date.[103]
32 7 "Back Burners" David Simon & Joy Lusco Joy Lusco Tim Van Patten November 7, 2004 (2004-11-07)
"Conscience do cost." - Butchie
Daniels sees the reason his unit was reassigned from Pimlico and tells McNulty he will have to leave as he cannot trust him. The unit find that the drug dealers are using disposable phones and begin to formulate an investigative strategy. Marlo dispatches a drive-by on a Barksdale corner from the calm of his pigeon coop. Carcetti pressures the mayor over witness protection. The Western District officers begin to become dissatisfied with policing Colvin's tolerant zones.[104]
33 8 "Moral Midgetry" David Simon & Richard Price Richard Price Agnieszka Holland November 14, 2004 (2004-11-14)
"Crawl, walk, and then run." - Clay Davis
Carcetti flouts his advisors' counsel and pressures Burrell over witness protection. The Major Case Unit track the buyer of phones for the Barksdale Organization. Brianna and McNulty sit down for a heart-to-heart. Avon dispatches the troops to track Omar and tries to ensnare Marlo in a trap. Avon is wounded when Marlo senses the trap and then wrestles with a revelation by Stringer. A local deacon helps Cutty to plan a new life and is dismayed at the standard of life for drug users in Colvin's tolerant zones. Stringer reveals to Avon that he arranged for the murder of D'Angelo.[105]
34 9 "Slapstick" David Simon & George Pelecanos David Simon Alex Zakrzewski November 21, 2004 (2004-11-21)
"...while you're waiting for moments that never come." - Freamon
A Barksdale crew member violates the long-standing but unspoken Sunday morning truce when he tries to kill Omar. There is increasing discontent among the co-op over the Barksdale/Stanfield turf war. The deacon convinces Colvin to introduce public health programs in the tolerant zones and the Western District officers are dismayed at the apparent permanence of the endeavor. A murder takes place in the "Hamsterdam" tolerant zone and Carver moves the body out of loyalty to Colvin. Carver's partner Thomas "Herc" Hauk reaches a breaking point and calls the press about the tolerant zones. The Major Case Unit begin to build probable cause for their wiretaps but are worried that the dealers change phones too frequently. Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski shoots another officer in a case of night time mistaken identity. Carcetti finds a potential ally in State Delegate Odell Watkins and organizes state funding for witness protection.[106]
35 10 "Reformation" David Simon & Ed Burns Ed Burns Christine Moore November 28, 2004 (2004-11-28)
"Call it a crisis of leadership." - Proposition Joe
The Barksdale/Stanfield war continues to intensify with deaths on both sides. Avon refuses to accept Stringer's advice to follow the co-op's proposal for a truce. Brother Mouzone returns to Baltimore on a mission of revenge and casts a wide net in his search for Omar. Omar has his own plan for vengeance against Stringer. Carver gets some frank advice about his failings as an officer from Colvin. Colvin persuades the reporter that Herc has spoken with to hold his story on the tolerant zones. Colvin finally reveals his actions to his superiors. Burrell is incensed and takes the information straight to Mayor Royce. Royce is reluctant to shut the project down because of its success in reducing crime. When their first wiretaps go dead after just a few days the Major Case Unit are dismayed. Lester Freamon overcomes the problem by organizing to supply the Barksdale Organization with pre-wiretapped phones. Cutty opens a boxing gym for local children but finds his poor equipment and their behavior difficult to deal with.[107]
36 11 "Middle Ground" David Simon & George Pelecanos George Pelecanos Joe Chappelle December 12, 2004 (2004-12-12)
"We ain't gotta dream no more, man." - Stringer Bell
Cutty convinces Avon to give him money to fund his gym. Brother Mouzone forms an alliance with Omar when he discovers that Stringer betrayed him. Royce continues to delay closing down the tolerant zones alienating Burrell and Watkins. Burrell leaks the story to Carcetti. Stringer learns that he has been conned into making political contributions for no return and tries to convince Avon to order the murder of Senator Clay Davis. The wiretaps begin to yield information about the Barksdale organization and the unit gets a recording of Stringer discussing contract killers. Stringer meets with Colvin and gives him the location of Avon's safehouse believing that returning Avon to prison is the best way to end the war. Meanwhile, Brother Mouzone meets with Avon and convinces him to give Stringer's whereabouts away so that he can exact his revenge. Omar and Mouzone ambush and kill Stringer.[108]
37 12 "Mission Accomplished" David Simon & Ed Burns David Simon Ernest Dickerson December 19, 2004 (2004-12-19)
"...we fight on that lie." - Slim Charles
A reticent Avon readies his troops for war against Marlo. The press descend on Hamsterdam and Royce finally realizes his delay was a mistake. Carcetti is there to capitalize on the bad publicity for the Mayor. A vengeful Burrell ensures Colvin's retirement is not comfortable. McNulty is devastated that Stringer was killed before he could arrest him but his spirits lift when he gets a chance to bring down Avon instead. With the information from Stringer the Major Case Unit arrests Avon and most of his people. Cutty struggles to keep his young boxers off the corners as the Stanfield organization enjoys its victory. McNulty leaves the Major Case Unit to patrol the Western District.[109]

Awards and nominations[edit]

57th Primetime Emmy Awards

  • Nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (George Pelecanos & David Simon) (Episode: "Middle Ground")

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Joe Chappelle biography". HBO. Retrieved October 13, 2007. 
  2. ^ Goldman, Eric. "IGN Exclusive Interview: The Wire '​s David Simon". IGN. Retrieved September 27, 2007. 
  3. ^ "Cast & Crew - Dominic West as Jimmy McNulty". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  4. ^ "Character profile - Jimmy McNulty". HBO. 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Cast & Crew - Lance Reddick as Cedric Daniels". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  6. ^ "Character profile - Lieutenant Cedric Daniels". HBO. 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Cast & Crew - Sonja Sohn as Shakima "Kima" Greggs". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  9. ^ "Cast & Crew - Clarke Peters as Lester Freamon". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  11. ^ "Cast & Crew - Deirdre Lovejoy as Rhonda Pearlman". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  13. ^ "Cast & Crew - Wood Harris as Avon Barksdale". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  15. ^ "Cast & Crew - Idris Elba as Stringer Bell". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  17. ^ "Cast & Crew - Andre Royo as Bubbles". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  19. ^ "Cast & Crew - Frankie R. Faison as Ervin Burrell". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  21. ^ "Cast & Crew - John Doman as William Rawls". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  23. ^ "Cast & Crew - Wendell Pierce as William "Bunk" Moreland". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  27. ^ "Cast & Crew - Corey Parker Robinson as Leander Sydnor". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Cast & Crew - Jim True-Frost as Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  29. ^ "Cast & Crew - JD Williams as Preston "Bodie" Broadus". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  30. ^ "Cast & Crew - Michael Kenneth Williams as Omar Little". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  31. ^ "Cast & Crew - Robert Wisdom as Howard "Bunny" Colvin". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  38. ^ "Character profile - Omar Little". HBO. 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2007. 
  39. ^ "Cast & Crew - Aidan Gillen as Thomas "Tommy" Carcetti". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  41. ^ "Cast & Crew - Chris Bauer as Frank Sobotka". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  42. ^ "Cast & Crew - Paul Ben Victor as Spiros "Vondas" Vondopolous". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  43. ^ "Cast & Crew - Larry Gilliard, Jr. as D'Angelo Barksdale". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  44. ^ "Cast & Crew - Amy Ryan as Beatrice "Beadie" Russell". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  45. ^ "Cast & Crew - Robert F. Chew as Proposition Joe Stewart". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  46. ^ "Character profile - Proposition Joe Stewart". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  51. ^ "Cast & Crew - Tray Chaney as Malik "Poot" Carr". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  53. ^ "Cast & Crew - Leo Fitzpatrick as Johnny". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  59. ^ "Cast & Crew - Michael Kostroff as Maurice "Maury" Levy". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  61. ^ "Cast & Crew - Isiah Whitlock, Jr. as R. Clayton "Clay" Davis". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  88. ^ "Cast & Crew - Frederick Strother as Odell Watkins". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  89. ^ "Character profile - Odell Watkins". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  90. ^ "Cast & Crew - Christopher Mann as Anthony Gray". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  91. ^ "Character profile - Anthony Gray". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
  92. ^ "Cast & Crew - Gregory L. Williams as Michael Crutchfield". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  94. ^ "Cast & Crew - Joilet F. Harris as Caroline Massey". HBO. 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008. 
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  98. ^ "Episode guide - episode 26 Time After Time". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2006. 
  99. ^ "Episode guide - episode 27 All Due Respect". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2006. 
  100. ^ "Episode guide - episode 28 Dead Soldiers". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2006. 
  101. ^ "Episode guide - episode 29 Amsterdam". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 7, 2006. 
  102. ^ "Episode guide - episode 30 Straight and True". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2006. 
  103. ^ "Episode guide - episode 31 Homecoming". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2006. 
  104. ^ "Episode guide - episode 32 Back Burners". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2006. 
  105. ^ "Episode guide - episode 33 Moral Midgetry". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2006. 
  106. ^ "Episode guide - episode 34 slapstick". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2006. 
  107. ^ "Episode guide - episode 35 reformation". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2006. 
  108. ^ "Episode guide - episode 36 middle ground". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2006. 
  109. ^ "Episode guide - episode 37 mission accomplished". HBO. 2004. Retrieved August 9, 2006. 

External links[edit]