Stray Rounds

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"Stray Rounds"
The Wire episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 9
Directed by Tim Van Patten
Story by David Simon
Ed Burns
Teleplay by David Simon
Original air date July 27, 2003 (2003-07-27)
Running time 58 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Duck and Cover"
Next →
"Storm Warnings"
List of The Wire episodes

"Stray Rounds" is the ninth episode of the second season of the HBO original series, The Wire. The episode was written by David Simon from a story by David Simon & Ed Burns and was directed by Tim Van Patten. It originally aired on July 27, 2003.


Title reference[edit]

The title refers to the stray bullets from the gunfight one of which killed a nearby child, as well as the 'rounds' of alcohol which poisoned Ziggy's duck. It may also refer to the Greek's straying from their normal business activity by having rounds of clean cans sent, and by Stringer straying from Avon's wishes by using Proposition Joe's raw connect sold in his towers. Finally, Lieutenant Daniels and his team 'stray' from the target appointed them by Major Valchek, embarking on a case much wider than was originally conceived.


The Greek makes this statement referring to telecommunication. It also refers to the fact that many of the show's characters are connected to each other, even while being unaware of it.


Starring cast[edit]

Although credited, Wood Harris and Andre Royo do not appear in this episode.


The Sobotka detail is dismayed when they realize the smuggling ring has changed their operating procedures. Daniels assigns Herc and Carver to watch the warehouse as Bunk, Freamon, Prez, and Beadie man their remaining wiretaps. McNulty infiltrates the Greeks' brothel, posing as a British john. He visits Terrence "Fitz" Fitzhugh, his FBI contact, and apologizes for his actions last time they met. Fitz agrees to look into Glekas, but finds that his FBI file has been sealed by an Agent Koutris, who is working for Vondas and tips him off about the focus on Glekas. Beadie sees a container go missing and Carver its arrival at the warehouse. Eton Ben-Eleazer, Vondas' lieutenant, orders one of his men to record the license plates of cars nearby. McNulty is seduced by two prostitutes as he calls for the rest of the team to intervene. When they arrive and arrest the patrons, they find McNulty having sex with them. McNulty writes a statement which is witnessed by a visibly annoyed Pearlman.

Vondas puts Nick in touch with White Mike to supply him with drugs and gives him a new list of clean containers to disappear. Vondas and Eton agree to move more drugs. During dinner, The Greek and his associates discuss the unreliability of their Colombian business partners. For revenge, The Greek leaks details of a huge Colombian cocaine shipment to Koutris, who makes the drug bust. Meanwhile, Bodie’s crew is confronted by the competitors they previously chased off the corner. In the ensuing gunfight, a nine-year-old boy is killed by a stray bullet through his bedroom window. Rawls meets Major Howard "Bunny" Colvin and Lieutenant Dennis Mello at the scene of the shooting. Stringer is angry that the drug trade will be disrupted by the killing, and has Bodie and Shamrock dispose of the weapons. However, when they throw the bag of guns over the side of the Hanover Street Bridge, it lands on the deck of a passing barge and is handed to the police.

Colvin's district conducts a large-scale strike operation against drug dealers. Everyone in the pit is arrested on suspicion of murdering the child. Mello comments that they waited too long to do this, but Colvin asks what it is they think they are actually doing. Cole and Norris question Bodie, presenting the bagged weapons he failed to dispose of. Cole tells him they have matched his prints to a weapon, but Bodie quickly sees through the bluff and asks for his lawyer. Stringer proposes to Proposition Joe that they pool their resources and share product and territory, making assurances that Avon will come around to the idea. Stringer asks Brianna to talk to Avon, but he is still opposes cooperation with Joe and insists he's working on getting a new supply. He recruits Brother Mouzone, a feared hitman from New York, as muscle against rival dealers. Stringer tries to assure Joe that they have time to put their pan into action before Mouzone arrives, but Joe refuses to send any of his people up against him. Mouzone arrives in Baltimore two weeks early.

Ziggy drinks with Johnny Fifty and expresses a desire to get out of the drug business. When Nick arrives later, a drunk and distraught Ziggy tries to start a fight with him. In the bar, Nick discovers that Ziggy had accidentally killed his pet duck via alcohol poisoning. Ziggy meets with Glekas and offers him stolen cars from the docks to sell abroad. Glekas is initially reluctant, but eventually agrees to give Ziggy a chance since it would be a good deal for him. Ziggy plans to create a track across the grass and a hole in the fence to take the cars through, making the theft look like an outside job.


  • T.T.: A child, shot and killed in Westside projects gunfight.
  • Ziggy's duck: Died of alcohol poisoning.

First appearances[edit]

  • Howard "Bunny" Colvin: Commander of the Western district, seen at the scene of the child’s shooting.
  • Dennis Mello: Shift lieutenant in the Western district and Colvin’s right-hand man.
  • Brother Mouzone: New York hitman and drug enforcer who appears in a manner similar to Nation of Islam members.


Robert F. Colesberry makes his final appearance as Detective Ray Cole in this episode. Colesberry died in 2004 following complications from cardiac surgery.

Jimmy McNulty struggles with an English accent and vernacular in this episode. Dominic West is British. Also McNulty's undercover name was Mr. Cromwell, and West later played Oliver Cromwell in the Channel Four drama The Devil's Whore.

Detective Freamon's use of the NATO phonetic alphabet is correct, save for the letter P for which he should have used Papa instead of Paul.


External links[edit]