Homicide detective Jimmy McNulty observes the murder trial of a mid-level drug dealer, D'Angelo Barksdale, and sees the prosecution's star witness recant her testimony. McNulty recognises drug king-pin Stringer Bell in the court room and believes he has manipulated the proceedings, so he circumvents the chain-of-command by talking to the judge, Daniel Phelan, who then places pressure on the police department to investigate the Barksdale drug-dealing organization, which, McNulty claims, has gotten away with ten murders in the last year. D'Angelo is welcomed home by his uncle, Barksdale patriarch, Avon, who is frustrated with him for placing himself in a situation where the police could charge him. Nevertheless, Avon allows him to return to work, but in what D'Angelo sees as a demotion, he is moved to a low-rise housing project known as "the pit." Meanwhile, homeless drug addict Bubbles, acts as mentor to another addict, Johnny Weeks, in an ill-conceived scam with severe consequences.