The Wire (2002–2008)
8.4/10
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2 user 7 critic

The Pager 

Avon Barksdale is becoming paranoid and thinks he's being watched. He's also worried his phone is being tapped. He also thinks there's a snitch in D'Angelo's crew and he's told not to pay ... See full summary »

Director:

Clark Johnson

Writers:

David Simon (created by), Ed Burns (teleplay by) (as Edward Burns) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dominic West ... Det. James 'Jimmy' McNulty
John Doman ... Maj. William A. Rawls (credit only)
Idris Elba ... Russell 'Stringer' Bell
Frankie Faison ... Dep. Comm. for Operations Ervin H. Burrell (as Frankie R. Faison) (credit only)
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. ... D'Angelo Barksdale (as Larry Gilliard Jr.)
Wood Harris ... Avon Barksdale
Deirdre Lovejoy ... Asst. State's Atty. Rhonda Pearlman
Wendell Pierce ... Det. William 'Bunk' Moreland
Lance Reddick ... Lt. Cedric Daniels
Andre Royo ... Reginald 'Bubbles' Cousins
Sonja Sohn ... Det. Shakima 'Kima' Greggs
Peter Gerety ... Judge Daniel Phelan
Seth Gilliam ... Det. Ellis Carver
Domenick Lombardozzi ... Det. Thomas 'Herc' Hauk
Clarke Peters ... Det. Lester Freamon
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Storyline

Avon Barksdale is becoming paranoid and thinks he's being watched. He's also worried his phone is being tapped. He also thinks there's a snitch in D'Angelo's crew and he's told not to pay anyone until it's sorted. D'Angelo isn't too pleased when he hears Avon has given Stinkum a new territory. Judge Phelan visits the squad to sign the warrants to clone D'Angelo Barksdale's pager. The numbers they're collecting are coded and don't make much sense. Det. Prez Pryzbylewski figures it out however. McNulty and Greggs try to get information from Omar. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 June 2002 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (Dolby Surround)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

4:3
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This episode marks the first appearance of Marquis 'Bird' Hilton, played by Fredro Starr. See more »

Quotes

D'Angelo Barksdale: Yeah but, Stringer, if you don't pay a nigga, he ain't gonna work for you.
Russell 'Stringer' Bell: What, you think a nigga's gonna get a job? You think... you think it's gonna be like, "Fuck it, let me quit this game here and go to college"? No, they're gonna buck a little, but they ain't gonna walk. And in the end, you gonna get respect.
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Connections

References Hawaii Five-O (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Hey Pretty
(uncredited)
Written by Poe, Kenneth Burgomaster and Matthew Wilder
Performed by Poe
Courtesy of Atlantic Records
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User Reviews

 
Paranoia and retribution
13 February 2009 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

Things get moving as the first season of The Wire gets to the practical part of the drug-fighting business, not to mention some violent reactions on the dope kingpins' part. It's slow-burning as usual, but it's never dull.

The main issue at the center of the episode is Avon's growing paranoia, which leads to Stringer telling D'Angelo to cut payments for the week in order to spot possible snitches. Also, the search for Omar and his boy continues without mercy. Meanwhile, Judge Phelan gives Daniels' detail the green light for the cloned beeper operation, and McNulty and Greggs have a meeting with Omar to discuss their common problem: Barksdale. Caught in the middle is the detail's regular informant, Bubbles, who has to deal with the hospitalization of his partner Johnny.

In keeping with the tradition of previous episodes, it's the little moments that matter. In this case, standout bits include every scene with Omar, the operation being put in action, Prez's brief moment in the spotlight and the tragic epilogue, which sets the tone for some characters' development over the course of the next eight episodes. Most revealing, though, is a scene where McNulty talks about his ex-wife with Greggs and says "a lesser man would just call her a c*nt". It's a rough, uncompromising line, just like the series. No sanitized drama here: this show looks, sounds and feels real.


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