Storm Warnings

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"Storm Warnings"
The Wire episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 10
Directed by Rob Bailey
Story by David Simon
Ed Burns
Teleplay by Ed Burns
Original air date August 10, 2003 (2003-08-10)
Running time 58 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Stray Rounds"
Next →
"Bad Dreams"
List of The Wire episodes

"Storm Warnings" is the tenth episode of the second 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 Rob Bailey. It originally aired on August 10, 2003.


Title reference[edit]

The title refers to the warnings sent out before a major weather event occurs, usually a thunderstorm. Metaphorically the title represents the episode's foreshadowing of approaching danger.


Ziggy makes this comment as a joke to his (union) accomplice as they steal cars from the docks.


Starring cast[edit]

Although credited, John Doman, Frankie Faison and Wood Harris do not appear in this episode.



Dock business[edit]

Tension over the next union secretary continues to build. Frank Sobotka plans to run again, despite an earlier agreement that Ott would be next to hold the position. In the office, Ott catches Sobotka with re-election flyers and calls him out on it. When Sobotka says he wants to finish what he started, Ott storms out. Sobotka hints to Horseface that Ott would uncover the source of the funds if he were to become secretary.

Ziggy Sobotka and Johnny "Fifty" Spamanto steal several cars from the docks and cut a fake exit in the fence so the theft won't look like an inside job. Ziggy plans to fence the cars to The Greek's man George "Double G" Glekas. Ziggy later tells Glekas the cars were put into containers. Glekas cuts Ziggy's share from 20 to 10 percent; Ziggy flies into a rage and insults Glekas. Glekas beats Ziggy and throws him out of the warehouse. Ziggy proceeds to his car and returns with a gun. He shoots Glekas several times, killing him, and wounds one of his employees in the abdomen. He leaves his money with the wounded employee who is calling the police on his cellphone. Ziggy breaks down in his car in front of the warehouse as sirens herald the imminent arrival of responding police.

Ziggy is next seen in an interrogation room with homicide sergeant Jay Landsman. Landsman gives Ziggy a confession to sign, and Ziggy does so after making a single change: Double G "begged" him not to shoot, rather than "said" it.

Nick Sobotka is questioned by his girlfriend Aimee about the sums of cash she found hidden in his room. He tells her he is being paid off the books by the Greek for working in a warehouse and is bringing home more than he expected. He tries to give her the money, but she refuses to accept it.

When news of Ziggy's actions reaches Nick, he reports this to Frank. Frank is angry that Nick didn't know what Ziggy was doing with the Greeks, saying he ought to know because Ziggy was his cousin. Astonished and near tears, Nick replies that Frank is Ziggy's father. Nick drowns his sorrows in a local park, where he is found by Prissy, Ziggy's ex. They discuss Ziggy's history of foolish actions. Nick grieves for his cousin's freedom and damns his name.

Sobotka detail[edit]

Roland "Prez" Pryzbylewski surveys the detail's work to date and is pleased with the information they have collected. The detail meet to discuss the direction their case is taking, notably that they are supplementing the wire tap with GPS satellite surveillance of their suspects' vehicles.

Meanwhile, Major Valchek has become disillusioned with a shifting focus away from Sobotka and calls in the FBI to take over the case. He hands them all the detail's information to date and also requests their help in recovering his surveillance van.

Thomas "Herc" Hauk and Ellis Carver deliver heavy computer equipment to the detail office. They again grumble that they are second-class citizens in the detail because they are assigned mostly surveillance tasks. As they leave the office, Valchek's FBI agents arrive. Lieutenant Cedric Daniels and ASA Rhonda Pearlman later meet with the FBI and agree to share the case with them. The bureau's condition is to focus attention on the union. When the agents arrive at the detail office, led by Terrence "Fitz" Fitzhugh, they are greeted with a Western-style standoff from Bunk Moreland and Lester Freamon that soon evaporates into friendly greetings. Later, Herc and Carver are relieved from their surveillance shift by two FBI agents.

Bunk later accompanies Jimmy McNulty and Claude Diggins on a fishing trip to disguise their surveillance. Kima Greggs and Cheryl squabble about shopping responsibilities within their household. Cheryl asks Kima to feel her pregnant abdomen because the baby is moving. Back at the detail, Kima questions Beadie Russell about balancing her police duties with being a mother. In particular, Kima feels she would miss being involved in off-hour duties like raids with her fellow officers.

Daniels and Freamon meet with Fitz and discuss their goals. The FBI agents offer to help trace the contraband containers' origins. Valchek arrives at the detail and lays into Daniels for failing to deliver a case on Sobotka. He insists Prez leave the detail because he will not let Daniels use his own people against him. Prez refuses to go and punches Valchek when he insults him. Valchek is outraged and leaves immediately. Prez hands Daniels his gun and walks into his office as ordered.

As soon as Fitz logs the investigation into the FBI computers, the Greek's inside man in the bureau, Agent Koutris, notices and phones it in. Koutris meets with The Greek and tells him how the investigation monitors him. Spiros "Vondas" Vondopoulos immediately asks Stephanos, the short order cook at the diner, to contact Eton Ben-Eleazer and organize a meeting while insisting they avoid using phones.

Eton reports Ziggy's actions to Vondas, who orders Eton to clean out the store and warehouse. The meeting is observed by Bunk and McNulty from Diggins's boat. Vondas orders Eton to discard all his phones and then throws his own phone into the water. Meanwhile, Herc and Carver observe Nick arriving at the Greek's cafe. Nick asks to speak with Spiros and is met with a blanket denial of his existence.

Back at the office, Freamon, Bunk, and McNulty discuss Prez's action. McNulty also asks about text messaging and tracing a message for a phone number. McNulty is disappointed when Fitz tells him it would be near impossible without knowing the wireless provider and the call's time and location. Despite their protestations, Fitz and Bunk do trace the call using FBI technology and subpoena the billing information from the service provider. At the phone company offices, an employee tells them that with a search warrant they could have two months of text messaging history. Fitz talks the clerk into allowing them a peek at the records before they produce the warrant and is dismayed to see messages are written in Greek. At the detail, Daniels, McNulty, and Greggs look on as an agent translates Vondas's final message—"shut down immediately"—to the agents' and detectives' consternation.

Greggs calls Beadie to tell her about the raid that night to capture anything they can. McNulty types warrants as Sergei "Serge" Malatov and Eton clean house and wash a large heap of powdered drugs down a shower drain.

The street[edit]

Bodie Broadus is pleased with the new package, which is finally selling well. He orders a resupply from Mo Man via his subordinate Puddin. Stringer Bell arrives with Melvin "Cheese" Wagstaff from Proposition Joe's organization. Stringer tells Bodie that Cheese will take over three of the six towers. Bodie doesn't understand why they are giving up their territory, and Stringer tells him to consider their new package's source. Bodie quickly adapts to the new circumstances by undercutting Cheese's prices. The buyer is Bubbles. Cheese is unfazed by Bodie's actions and the two banter back and forth.

However, Cheese is annoyed when Brother Mouzone, dressed like a Nation of Islam member, approaches and tells him to leave if he doesn't work for Avon Barksdale. Cheese insults Mouzone for being overly dressed and suggests he leave to sell bean pies. Mouzone tells him to leave in a more threatening manner. When Cheese tries to punch him, Mouzone shoots him in the arm with a round of rat shot, warning him that the next round will be a real bullet. Cheese is sufficiently intimidated and leaves.

Cheese discusses the problem with his uncle, Proposition Joe. Cheese wants to retaliate, but Joe knows about Brother Mouzone and his reputation. He decides it would be too dangerous to retaliate or even put a contract out on Mouzone, who would come after him directly in response. Joe realizes Avon must have contracted Mouzone to protect his territory and that Stringer is powerless to act because he couldn't oppose Avon a second time. He intimates only one person could take on Brother Mouzone in Baltimore but he won't take contract money.

Omar Little visits Butchie and drops off his latest take because Butchie acts as a bank and advisor for Omar. Later, Proposition Joe meets with Butchie and convinces him to broker a meeting between Stringer and Omar to discuss Brother Mouzone. Butchie is suspicious but agrees as long as his nephew Heywood can provide security.

At the towers, Brother Mouzone keeps watch and chastises his subordinate Lamar for forgetting two of his news magazines. Bodie and another dealer observe Mouzone's vigil and Shamrock is impressed that his reputation alone is holding away the East side drug dealers. Bodie wonders what will happen when they run out of good product. Shamrock insists if Avon wanted to cooperate with the East side dealers, Mouzone would not be there.[1][2][3]


  • George "Double G" Glekas, Shot by Ziggy

First appearances[edit]


  1. ^ "Episode guide - episode 23 storm warnings". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-06-22. 
  2. ^ David Simon, Ed Burns (2003-08-10). "Storm Warnings". The Wire. Season 2. Episode 10. HBO. 
  3. ^ Alvarez, Rafael (2004). The Wire: Truth Be Told. New York: Pocket Books. 

External links[edit]