"Ain't never gonna be what it was". - Little Big Roy
McNulty makes sure to pay back Rawls for reassigning him to the marine unit by sticking City Homicide with the stone cold whodunit floater he fishes out of the harbor; it's the stevedores versus the police when Sobotka beats out Valchek for the honor of providing a donor-themed stained glass window for the local church; Bodie and Bell take separate business trips; Ziggy makes a fool of himself as Nick negotiates a deal with the Greeks to steal a container from the docks; the Greeks renege on the deal, leaving Russell to discover that the abandoned and broken-sealed container contains the bodies of thirteen women.
In chronicling a multi-generational family business dealing illegal drugs and the efforts of the Baltimore police to curb their trade, this series draws parallels between these organizations and the men and women on either side of the battle.
The words of Gary W. Potter, Professor of Criminal Justice and Police Studies at Eastern Kentucky University, in writing about the savings and loan scandals of the 1980s, can also be used to illuminate some of the central premises of the show.