In Iowa, Selina courts possible caucus voters at a book signing for her new autobiography, while her team attends a staff wedding in D.C. As the day proceeds, she and her staff get word of a rumor that could affect the next election.
With Freamon and Greggs moved to Homicide, Herc and Dozerman join Marimow in the stripped-down Major Crimes Unit. Cutty gets a 'custodial' job at Tilghman School mopping up truants, but can't make headway in his efforts to mentor Michael. Bubbles gives Sherrod an ultimatum in an effort to get him back in school as a 'socially promoted' eighth-grader. Burrell finds a way to sabotage the state-witness murder investigation before the election, a plan that directly impacts Greggs. Prez's struggles in class continue; Bodie finds himself working for a new 'company'; Colvin pitches his pilot program to the school; Carcetti meets with a constituency he knows won't support him; Randy faces a dilemma after being busted for his candy scam; Marlo is schooled in poker; Royce antes up in a game he can't lose; and Proposition Joe plays Marlo in a high-stakes heist.
Valchek leaks details of the Braddock case to Carcetti, who contemplates how to best leak it to the press. The ensuing negative attention turns Royce against Burrell. At school, Prez's reward/punishment program meets with mixed results. Chris tries to enlist Michael into Marlo's ranks, spooking Randy along the way. At the detail, Marimow sets up a series of street-level 'rips' targeted at Marlo, but his subordinates--and Pearlman and Daniels--are skeptical. Later, Herc and Sydnor plant a hidden camera at Marlo's meeting place, with unexpected results. Burned by Omar, Marlo gets Chris and Old Face Andre to frame his nemesis. Bubbles's efforts to keep Sherrod in school only get him humiliated. Angered by Royce's double-dealing, State Delegate Watkins decides to sit out the campaign, sending Carcetti and Wilson rushing to make their pitch. Although Bunk and Freamon come up empty in their body-hunting search, Dukie knows where the 'special dead' might be hiding.
With his lead dwindling in the polls, Royce resorts to extreme measures to stall Carcetti's momentum. At Bodie's corner, Michael proves adept as a runner, with both Bodie and Marlo taking notice. A re-up bodega is put under surveillance by Omar and Greggs, for different reasons. Rawls replaces Asher with a 'company man,' Charles Marimow, who pushes a new agenda on the detail, to Freamon and Greggs's dismay. A domesticated McNulty invites Bunk over for dinner, which ends with the two remembering the good old days at a familiar spot. Randy enjoys a productive first day at school, though Prez, the new teacher, isn't so fortunate. Herc reaps an unexpected benefit, courtesy of the mayor. Colvin contemplates trading his new job in the private sector for one that gets him back on the streets.
In the Season Four finale, the bodies from the vacants pile up while Burrell offers his support to Daniels and admonishes Rawls for crossing him. A distraught Bubbles finds himself at his wit's end after his revenge plan backfires. Proposition Joe looks to the Co-op to defray shipment losses, but finds them not so cooperative. Attempting to get Namond off the corners, Colvin visits Cutty in the hospital to arrange a prison sit-down with Wee-Bey about the boy's future. Omar divides the spoils from his latest heist, then hatches an audacious new plan. Carcetti responds to the governor's school-budget offer; Carver tries to buy time for Randy; Dukie has trouble adjusting to his new peers; Marlo gives Michael new responsibilities on an old corner; Colvin and Parenti take their proposal to City Hall; Namond returns to gen pop; and McNulty looks to pay back an old debt he owes Bodie.
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