'The Wire': Way Down in the Hole

'The Wire': Way Down in the Hole Podcast

Jemele Hill and Van Lathan recap, breakdown, and analyze every episode of the iconic HBO hit series, The Wire, starting from the beginning with season one.

"Refugees"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan jump into the fourth episode of Season 4 of ‘The Wire’ with a deep dive on Randy Wagstaff (11:40). Later, the two pick out some standout scenes (33:45) and determine who won the episode (1:11:40)....

"Home Rooms"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan discuss Season 4, Episode 3 of ‘The Wire.’ The two look back on their own middle school experiences (32:00), then break down Duquan "Dukie" Weems (11:20). They debate which scene absolutely stole the show (34:24) before Van divulges the one time he tried to dress like Tupac (49:12)....

"Soft Eyes"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan move on to Episode 2 of the fourth season of ‘The Wire’ with a character deep dive on Namond Brice (13:10). Later in the episode, they pick out some of their favorite scenes (35:35) and, of course, take some time for a Van Lathan sidebar....


"Boys of Summer"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan are back to analyze Season 4 of ‘The Wire.’ In today’s episode, the two break down what to expect from Season 4 (0:54) and also take a look at the child actors who star in the show (4:25). They also recap Episode 1 (7:13) and, of course, they discuss a Van Lathan sidebar (42:25)....

Season 3 Awards
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan wrap up the third season of ‘The Wire’ by giving out season awards such as Defensive Player of the Year (59:00), Best Scene (27:50), Season 3 MVP (1:04:00), and more....

“Mission Accomplished”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan breakdown the season finale of Season 3 of ‘The Wire’ and the demise of the Barksdale dynasty (1:40). Later, they pick out some of the best scenes of the episode (12:20)....


"Middle Ground"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan react to Episode 11 of the third season of ‘The Wire’ and eulogize Stringer Bell (6:50). Later in the show, Bill Simmons joins the conversation to break down the famous Stringer and Avon balcony scene (20:30)....

"Reformation"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan break down Episode 10 of Season 3 of ‘The Wire’ by diving deep on Bunny Colvin (7:50), analyzing the success of Hamsterdam (23:30), and picking out some of the episode’s best scenes (27:30)....

"Slapstick"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan jump into the ninth episode of Season 3 and discuss characters caught between two worlds (1:50), dive deep on Detective Pryzbylewski (11:05), and pick some of their favorite scenes (32:00)....


"Moral Midgetry"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan break down Episode 8 of the third season of ‘The Wire’ and the unintended consequences of many characters’ actions (1:30), the fallout between Avon Barksdale and Stringer Bell (9:50), and more....

"Back Burners"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan push forward to Episode 7 of the third season of ‘The Wire’ to break down the impact of Bernard and Squeak’s romance on the Barksdale organization (12:30), and some of the episode’s standout scenes (33:40)....

"Homecoming"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan turn their attention to Episode 6 of the third season of ‘The Wire’ and break down the character of Marlo Stanfield, analyze the ongoing differences between Avon and Stringer, examine a memorable scene with Bunk and Omar, and more....


"Straight and True"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan dive into Episode 5 of the third season of 'The Wire' to explore Avon's return home from jail, the politics of Mayor Clarence Royce, best scenes from the episode, and more....

“Hamsterdam”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan get into Episode 4 of the third season of ‘The Wire’ to explore the "Hamsterdam" experiment (4:00), the intentions of Howard "Bunny" Colvin (11:45), scenes that stood out (31:00), and more....

"Dead Soldiers"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan return for Episode 3 of the third season of ‘The Wire’ to look at the gradual setup for later episodes (03:00), the more information we learn about Councilman Carcetti (15:45), the moment that jumped out the most (33:40), the death of Ray Cole (01:00:00), and more....


“All Due Respect”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan sit down for Episode 2 of the third season of ‘The Wire’ to analyze the foundation of the Barksdale-Stanfield war (03:00), the story of Tommy Carcetti (18:00), their favorite scenes (36:30), going to the movies (57:15), and more....

“Time After Time”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan kick off the third season of ‘The Wire’ by debating the overall theme (01:30), then they look into Dennis “Cutty” Wise (16:30), the opening scene of Bodie and Poot (32:30), a trivia nugget (58:00), and more....

Season 2 Awards
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan wrap up the second season of ‘The Wire’ by giving out awards such as Best Performance (01:30), Best Boss (21:00), Best Scene (32:15), Rookie of the Year (41:45), MVP of Season 2 (01:06:15), and more....


"Port in a Storm"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan break down the Season 2 finale of ‘The Wire’ and the episode’s inevitable ending (01:30), if Nicky Sobotka was a victim (17:45), Stringer’s visit to Brother Mouzone in the hospital (36:00), the Greek’s goodbye (53:15), and more....

“Bad Dreams”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan jump into the 11th episode of Season 2 of ‘The Wire’ and its theme of the american dream (01:30), Frank Sobotka’s struggle with his life (17:45), the best scenes of the episode (34:00), and more....

"Storm Warnings"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan jump into the 10th episode of Season 2 of ‘The Wire’ to identify the issue of fitting in (01:30), the uniqueness of Brother Mouzone (14:45), Valchek pushing Pryzbylewski over the edge (31:45), Ziggy’s confession (58:00), and more....


"Stray Rounds"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan explore the ninth episode of Season 2 of ‘The Wire’ and its unintended consequences (01:15), the rise of Stringer Bell (09:30), McNulty’s trip to the brothel (39:00), and more....

"Duck and Cover"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan look at the eighth episode of Season 2 of ‘The Wire’ and the danger of a lack of self-worth (01:30), self-destructive McNulty (11:00), the dynamic between the Sobotkas (31:15), who won the episode (01:11:00), and more....

"Backwash"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan move along to the seventh episode of Season 2 of ‘The Wire’ to look at the class divide and the fallacy of the American dream (01:30), Frank Sobotka’s nobility (28:30), mental health in the Black community (01:12:00), more....


“All Prologue”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan look at the sixth episode of Season 2 of ‘The Wire’ and its themes (02:00), say goodbye to D’Angelo Barksdale (17:00), go through Omar’s court appearance (45:45), and more....

“Undertow”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan dive into the fifth episode of Season 2 of ‘The Wire’ to examine the trust issues among the characters and who is going with or against the current (01:00), before taking a closer look at Beadie Russell (09:45), the moment between Avon and Stringer that changed D’Angelo’s life (28:45), Donette moving on (55:00), and more....

“Hard Cases”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan are onto the fourth episode of Season 2 of ‘The Wire’ to look at all the moves being made around Baltimore (02:00), Nick Sobotka and his relationships (10:00), trouble among the Barksdales (34:30), and more....


“Hot Shots”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan break down the third episode of Season 2 of ‘The Wire,’ its theme of desperation (02:00), union leader Frank Sobotka (17:15), McNulty getting played by Bunk and Lester (34:45), Stringer Bell’s latest move (44:15), What Aged the Best? (58:45), and more....

"Collateral Damage"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan are onto the second episode of Season 2 of ‘The Wire.’ They look at the overall feeling of powerlessness (01:00), the ruthless duo of “The Greek” and Spiros (13:00), Brianna Barksdale’s visit to Avon in prison (30:45), Wee-Bey’s cell getting tossed by the guard (40:45), and more....

"Ebb Tide"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan kick off Season 2 of ‘The Wire’ by looking at why the show focused on the Port of Baltimore (02:00), the introduction of the Sobotka family (10:45), Bodie’s new role in the Barksdale organization (25:15), Major Valchek’s vendetta (35:00), some casting trivia (58:30), and more....


Season 1 Awards
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan return to address some of the serious issues happening around the country before highlighting some of the most significant moments of the "best first season of television ever." They give out awards such as Best Boss (30:00), Best Quote (52:00), Rookie of the Year (01:04:45), Best Scene (01:12:00), MVP of Season 1 (01:23:00), and more....

“Sentencing”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan break down the season finale of ‘The Wire' Season 1 (01:00), including Daniels reprimanding Carver (12:00), Kima taking a stand in the hospital (30:00), D’Angelo being pushed to the brink (37:15), the emergence of Brianna Barksdale (54:45), and more....

"Cleaning Up"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan are on to the 12th episode of ‘The Wire' Season 1 to break down the ongoing consequences of Kima’s shooting (01:30), why Wallace was so significant (10:00), D’Angelo’s reaction to Wallace’s death (34:30), and more....


"The Hunt"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan return to analyze the 11th episode of ‘The Wire' Season 1 and discuss the fallout from the shooting of Kima (01:45), defense attorney Maurice Levy (09:15), the surprising actions of Rawls (41:45), the origin of the Wee-Bey GIF (01:03:15), and more....

"The Cost"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan cover the shocking 10th episode of ‘The Wire' Season 1, looking at the risks everyone is willing to take (01:30), the events that lead to Kima getting shot and what makes her such a foundational piece of the series (11:15), Walon and Bubbles furthering their friendship (44:15), and more....

“Game Day”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan are on to Episode 9 of ‘The Wire' to break down Baltimore’s big game (02:00), the popular Shardene Innes (13:45), Poot getting “romantic” on a payphone (40:30), the importance of going hungry (01:02:45), and more....


"Lessons"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan look at Episode 8 of ‘The Wire' and the lessons that various characters learned (02:00), the homicidal Wee-Bey Brice (15:15), the best scenes (36:15), Omar’s most memorable line (48:00), and more....

“One Arrest”
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan dive into Episode 7 of ‘The Wire' and look at the progression of the detail (02:00), why Bubbles is so relatable (12:30), Walon’s powerful speech (32:30), how to look tough while ordering an iced tea (56:00), the Madame LaRue story line (01:09:00), and much more....

"The Wire"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan get into the sixth episode of ‘The Wire' and examine the fallout from Brandon’s murder (02:00), the complex character of Wallace (09:30), Omar cooperating with the police (33:00), a romantic conversation between D’Angelo and Shardene (51:00), trivia (01:08:15), and much more....


"The Pager"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan breakdown the fifth episode of ‘The Wire,’ including the most powerful “file this away for later” moment of the series (02:00), Pryzbylewski’s major breakthrough (19:30), Lester Freeman’s path to the detail (24:45), a comparison between Wire characters and NBA players (29:45), three pivotal scenes that stood out (45:00), and much more....

"Old Cases"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan discuss the fourth episode of ‘The Wire,’ including D’Angelo Barksdale’s story about Deirdre Kresson (02:00), an Omar Little deep dive (13:30), McNulty and Bunk’s epic two-word conversation at a murder scene (37:45), Bubbles in the suburbs (42:30), the most versatile cuss word (58:45), and much more....

"The Buys"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan break down the third episode of ‘The Wire’ (02:00), including D’Angelo’s slipup during the re-up (07:00), one of the signature scenes of the first season (12:00), Bubbles’s fashion review (33:30), the complicated Lieutenant Daniels (48:45), the phrase of the episode (01:04:00), and much more....


"The Detail"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan look at the second episode of ‘The Wire’ and discuss the assembly of the detail (03:00), what makes Jimmy McNulty tick (11:00), the McNugget scene (25:30), the interrogation of D’Angelo Barksdale (34:15), the “We Love This Show … But” moment of the episode (40:30), Stringer Bell’s flirtatious actions (48:30), the late-night visit from Herc, Carver, and Pryzbylewski (55:15), a shocking fact (59:30), and more....

"The Target"
Jemele Hill and Van Lathan look at the pilot episode of ‘The Wire’ and discuss the episode’s theme of “chain of command” (03:00), the fall of the Barksdale empire (08:00), a character deep-dive on D’Angelo Barksdale (30:30), their favorite scenes from the episode (44:00), the greatest snitch in history (51:00), and more....

Prologue
Before diving into Season 1, Jemele Hill and Van Lathan discuss how they first got into ‘The Wire’ (04:00), the show’s unique authenticity (15:30), the TV landscape in 2002 (24:30), initial reviews from critics (35:15), how close it came to cancellation (01:04:00), and more....