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|First appearance||"Ebb Tide" (episode 2.01)|
|Last appearance||"The Dickensian Aspect" (episode 5.06)|
|Created by||David Simon|
|Portrayed by||Pablo Schreiber|
|Occupation||Dock worker, Drug dealer, Smuggler|
|Family||Louis Sobotka (father), Joan Sobotka (mother)|
|Relatives||Frank Sobotka (uncle), Ziggy Sobotka (cousin)|
Nickolas Andrew "Nick" Sobotka is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by actor Pablo Schreiber. Nick is cousin to Ziggy Sobotka, the wayward and rebellious son to his uncle Frank Sobotka.
Nick is a dockworker, and works for his uncle Frank Sobotka, the secretary treasurer for the International Brotherhood of Stevedores. He often has to keep his cousin (and Frank's son) Ziggy out of trouble, a fact his uncle appreciates. Despite his disdain for Ziggy's antics, Nick shows considerable patience and seems to genuinely care about him. Involved in his uncle's smuggling operation, Nick often serves as Frank's go-between in meetings with Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos. At the diner Vondas uses as an office, Nick acquires the serial numbers of cargo containers being smuggled in by The Greek.
Nick has a girlfriend, Aimee, with whom he has a daughter, Ashley. They want to move in together, but they are unable to afford a place of their own. The fact that Nick lives with his parents and lacks a steady income leads to tensions between the two. Since Nick is one of the younger stevedores, seniority prevents him from getting enough work at the docks. Desperate for cash, he and Ziggy steal a trailer full of cameras and sell it to the Greek's front man, Glekas. This brings Nick to the attention of Vondas who asks for large quantities of chemicals. Nick accepts this job after learning that the chemicals are useful in the processing of drugs but not bombs.
Nick enters the drug trade to help relieve Ziggy from the debt he owes to Proposition Joe's nephew Cheese. Cheese co-operates when Nick arrives with Sergei "Serge" Malatov to threaten him at gunpoint. Later, Nick sells heroin to a drug dealer named Frog after receiving it as payment from Vondas. Nick begins dealing with "White" Mike McArdle in order to continue supplying Frog.
Nick is distraught when Ziggy is arrested for killing Glekas. Knowing that Ziggy's stature and temperament make him ill-suited for prison, Nick descends into a drunken depression and tearfully laments the circumstances that landed Ziggy behind bars. Eventually, police obtain a warrant for Nick's arrest. His parents are aghast to see Nick's stash of money and drugs when their house is raided. Knowing about Ziggy's case, the Greeks make an offer of witness intimidation in hopes of buying Frank's silence. Nick relays this offer prompting Frank to arrange a meeting with the Greeks alone. From their mole in the FBI, the Greeks learn that Frank cannot be trusted and kill him once he arrives. Grieving over his uncle's death, Nick turns himself into the police in order to testify and help them identify the Greek for the first time.
At the end of season two, Nick, Aimee and Ashley enter federal witness protection. In the last scene, he sheds a tear looking at the decaying shipping shoreline, symbolizing the death of blue-collar work in American industry.
Nick makes a brief appearance in season five, heckling Tommy Carcetti’s ribbon-cutting ceremony for the conversion of the old and derelict grain pier into condos and waterfront commercial space, instead of putting the pier back into working order, as his uncle Frank had hoped. This, together with the appearance of Johnny Fifty in a homeless encampment earlier in the season, suggests that the Port of Baltimore was continuing job cuts between the end of season two and the beginning of season five. No information about Nick's life since the end of season two was provided, although Simon has since said that Nick left the witness protection program after missing his friends and family, as many who are enrolled in the witness protection program do.
- "Character profile - Nick Sobotka". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-08-16.
- "The Wire, "The Dickensian Aspect" - Those left behind". What's Alan Watching?. 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-12.