Game Day (The Wire)

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This article is about an episode of The Wire. For other uses, see Game day.
"Game Day"
The Wire episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 9
Directed by Milčo Mančevski
Story by David Simon
Ed Burns
Teleplay by David H. Melnick
Shamit Choksey
Original air date August 4, 2002 (2002-08-04)
Running time 56 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Season 1 episodes
List of The Wire episodes

"Game Day" is the ninth episode of the first season of the HBO original series, The Wire (2002-2008). The episode was written by David H. Melnick & Shamit Choksey from a story by David Simon & Ed Burns and was directed by Milčo Mančevski. It originally aired on August 4, 2002.

Plot summary[edit]

Stringer Bell and Avon Barksdale visit a gym to arrange a junior college athlete to play for them at an upcoming Eastside/Westside basketball game. After their negotiations, they discuss the hunt for Omar Little. Stringer wants to feign passivity until Omar re-emerges, but Avon is adamant that they need to kill Omar for the sake of street cred. Meanwhile, in the projects, Wallace tells D'Angelo that he doesn't want to work anymore because he is unsettled by the Omar heist and the deaths of Brandon and Stinkum. D'Angelo gives him his blessing to return to school and hands him some cash as well. Poot later goes looking for Wallace and finds him buying drugs.

Bubbles and Johnny spot Walon, the speaker from their Narcotics Anonymous meeting, but are distracted by Bodie who is throwing out free vials of new product. Bubs approaches Walon afterwards and learns that he is still clean, but has come to the projects to try to convince his nephew to go straight. Later, Bubs steals a large stash and shoots up with Johnny, only to realize that it is mere baking soda. Bubs is motivated to visit his sister and persuades her that he is serious about getting clean. She reluctantly gives him a key so that he can use her basement but forbids him to ever come upstairs.

The Barksdale detail's surveillance work continues with "Herc" and Ellis on the scene and Freamon, Sydnor, and "Prez" back at the office. They intercept a call and learn that Barksdale soldier Wee-Bey Brice is going to be moving some money. Herc and Carver intercept him and take the money, telling him that he can get it from the State's Attorney if he can explain where it came from. They discuss keeping some, but Carver decides it would not be worth the risk with the wire running, as the real amount of cash taken might get back to their bosses and expose the theft. They deliver the money back to the office (the bag breaks open in the trunk and the bundles spill out) and listen in on a call that Poot makes to his girlfriend. After a substantial amount of phone sex, they hear something pertinent. Jimmy McNulty and Prez both remind them that they cannot use the call as evidence without justifying it. Later, Lieutenant Daniels finds the money short. Thinking Herc and Carver stole it, he tells them that they have until roll call the following morning to bring it back. Herc and Carver bicker, each suspecting the other, but when the cash turns up in their car, Carver apologizes to Herc.

Tension is building between McNulty and Daniels. When McNulty remarks that they need to extend the tap, Daniels responds angrily. Freamon backs Daniels up when McNulty complains, saying that he is in a difficult position between his men and the bosses. Freamon instructs Sydnor and Prez in tracking the money which the crew is making. He follows his own advice and gets records of campaign contributions from City Hall, turning up massive contributions from the Barksdales to various politicians. These efforts also return details of Barksdale's front organizations, including a funeral parlor, a strip club, and several warehouses.

At the basketball game, Avon mocks Proposition Joe's attempt to dress like a real coach, complete with an unused clipboard. Poot and Bodie explain the game to Herc and Carver: the loser has to throw a party for both crews. Carver and Herc try to identify Avon, but have no idea whom they are looking for. Sydnor arrives and recognizes Avon straight away from his old boxing photo.

Greggs and Freamon pick up Shardene Innes, the exotic dancer from Orlando's, the Barksdale strip club and front. To soften her up, they take her to identify the body of Keisha, a friend of hers from the club, and attempt to turn her. Appalled and distraught, she agrees and soon moves out of D'Angelo's apartment. When he asks her for a reason, she hints that she knows what really happened to Keisha.

Omar continues stalking the projects looking for a way to get at Avon. He eventually makes his way to Proposition Joe's place and donates some of his takings from the Barksdale's stash. These he offers in exchange for Avon's pager number. Omar tracks Avon down to Orlando's and tricks him into answering a page using Wee-Bey's code. Wee-Bey pulls up and Avon realizes that something is amiss. He dives out of range just as Omar opens fire. Wee-Bey and Omar exchange shots and Wee-Bey wings Omar who, wounded, retreats.[1][2][3]


Title reference[edit]

The title refers to the Eastside/Westside basketball game (pictured).


Herc says this to Carver when they cannot find anyone in the Baltimore ghettos (not yet realizing that most residents are attending the East Side vs. West Side basketball game), in reference to Carver's comment in "The Target" that the War on Drugs will never end.


Starring cast[edit]

Although credited, John Doman, Frankie Faison, Deirdre Lovejoy, and Wendell Pierce do not appear in this episode.

Guest stars[edit]

First appearances[edit]

Proposition Joe: Eastside Drug Kingpin and Avon's rival in the basketball game.

The articles of corporation for the front company B-Squared (viewed by Prez on microfilm) shows that Maurice Levy's address is 450 North Lombard Street, Baltimore, Maryland. The articles give the purposes of the business as that of a funeral parlor.


  1. ^ "Episode guide - episode 09 Game Day". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-02-08. 
  2. ^ David Simon, Ed Burns, David H. Melnick, Shamit Choksey (2002-04-08). "Game Day". The Wire. Season 1. Episode 9. HBO. 
  3. ^ Alvarez, Rafael (2004). The Wire: Truth Be Told. New York: Pocket Books. 

External links[edit]