Norman Wilson (The Wire)

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Norman Wilson
The Wire Norman Wilson.jpg
First appearance "Boys of Summer" (episode 4.01)
Last appearance "–30–" (episode 5.10)
Created by David Simon
Portrayed by Reg E. Cathey
Gender Male
Occupation Carcetti Administrative Aide

Norman Wilson is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by Reg E. Cathey. Wilson is a professional political operative and works closely with ambitious politician Tommy Carcetti. The character first appeared in the show's fourth season premiere "Boys of Summer" and Cathey is part of the starring cast for the fourth and fifth seasons.[1][2][3]


Wilson is a professional political operative. He was previously a night editor at The Baltimore Sun and was much loved by his reporters. He has a professional, savvy and honest presence.[4] He grew up in Catonsville, a southwestern Baltimore County suburb of Baltimore.

Season four[edit]

Wilson serves as councilman Tommy Carcetti's deputy campaign manager in his run for mayor of Baltimore, under campaign manager Theresa D'Agostino. Wilson is practical minded and organized, essential qualities because he is tasked with keeping Carcetti on a strict schedule. Wilson was once a night editor at The Baltimore Sun and has many connections amongst the city's media. He is an honest voice in Carcetti's campaign and is often the sounding board for Carcetti's worries about race in Baltimore politics, and once jokingly told Carcetti that he will most likely vote for one of his black opponents. When the poll results do not go in Carcetti's favor, Carcetti loses interest in the campaign, believing that it is impossible to win. Wilson is left to keep his candidate on track despite his pessimism.

After Carcetti wins the primary and subsequent election, D'Agostino moves on, but Wilson continues to serve as Carcetti's right-hand man, accompanying the newly elected mayor everywhere he goes. At the end of the season, Wilson becomes disillusioned with Carcetti, who puts his own ambition above the needs of the city. He talks with Clarence Royce's former advisor, Coleman Parker, and muses about managing the campaign of another up and coming politician on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.[4]

Season five[edit]

Despite his misgivings, Wilson remains on Carcetti's staff for the next year and watches Carcetti struggle with the budget crisis while still planning his run for Governor. Carcetti is aware of Wilson's feelings about his decision but still seeks his counsel.[5][6][7][8] When commissioner Ervin Burrell delivers altered crime rate statistics, Carcetti seizes his chance to fire him. Carcetti hopes to eventually replace Burrell with Cedric Daniels but worries if Nerese Campbell and the politically influential councilors will accept Daniels. Carcetti instructs Wilson to leak the story to test the waters. Wilson contacts Gus Haynes, a friend from his previous career at The Sun, and gives him the details along with a photograph of Daniels.[9][10]

When the truth of Jimmy McNulty's "homeless killer" is revealed, Wilson expresses a forlorn wish that he was still a journalist at The Sun "so I could write on this mess. It's too fucking good."

Norman is present when Carcetti wins the gubernatorial election and becomes governor of Maryland.


  1. ^ "Cast & Crew - Reg E. Cathey as Norman Wilson". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  2. ^ David Simon, Ed Burns (2004-09-10). "Boys of Summer". The Wire. Season 4. Episode 01. HBO. 
  3. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 38 boys of summer". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-08-09. 
  4. ^ a b "Character profile - Norman Wilson". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-15. 
  5. ^ Joe Chappelle (director); David Simon (story and teleplay), Ed Burns (story) (2008-01-06). "More with Less". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 1. HBO. 
  6. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 51 More with Less". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  7. ^ Ernest Dickerson (director); William F. Zorzi (story and teleplay), David Simon (story) (2008-01-13). "Unconfirmed Reports". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 2. HBO. 
  8. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 52 Uncomfirmed Reports". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  9. ^ Scott and Joy Kecken (directors); Chris Collins (story and teleplay), David Simon (story) (2008-01-20). "Not for Attribution". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 3. HBO. 
  10. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 53 Not for Attribution". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.