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Main Character Index | Baltimore Police Department | Major Crimes Unit | Homicide Unit | Police Commanders | Western District | Baltimore Underworld | The Barksdale Organization | Omar and Associates | The Greeks | The Stanfield Gang | New Day Co-Op | Courthouse | City Hall | The Baltimore Sun | Other Characters | Homeless People and Addicts | Baltimore Docks | The Next Generation

Vinson: "The prisons and the graveyards are full of boys who wore the crown."
Marlo Stanfield: "Point is: they wore it."
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An up-and-coming gang of drug dealers who are dealt a mighty hand when the Barksdale Organization's prime real estate is demolished by the City, leaving them with all the new best territory. Led by the ambitious and utterly ruthless Marlo Stanfield, the Stanfield Gang gradually work their way through the West Baltimore drug hierarchy. When Avon is locked up and Stringer is murdered at the close of season 3, they end up the new masters of West Baltimore, controlling nearly the whole district. Prop Joe's scheming manages to convince Marlo to join the Co-op, a decision which backfires spectacularly when Marlo murders him and takes over the Greek drug connect. By season 5, the Stanfield Gang are the center of the entire Baltimore drug trade... at least until McNulty and Freamon get on their case.

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  • Child Soldiers: While the Barksdale Crew had no problem using adolescents and teens for various duties, it was rare for them to be given a gun and told to execute someone. The Stanfield Organization almost reverses this: they actively recruit children as young as twelve and thirteen, getting them to put in work before molding them into killers. Michael Lee and O-Dog are prime examples, both not even sixteen and cold-blooded murderers.
  • Darker and Edgier: The generational shift in Season 3 is represented this way, with Marlo representing a darker and edgier amalgamation of Stringer's conservative and calculating nature, and Avon's brutality and pride. Similarly, Chris Partlow is a darker and edgier version of Wee Bey Brice with just a few parallels to Stringer Bell as well, while the Stanfield bit players also seem to be a little rougher around the edges than their Barksdale counterparts. Wee-Bey explicitly points out that back in the day, Marlo's show-offy tactics would have gotten him killed quickly. That he's able to operate at all is a sure sign that things are getting worse for Baltimore.
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  • Villainous Ethics Decay: While this is a central theme in The Wire, the Stanfield Gang are the poster boys for it. Everything about them, from their willingness to kill civilians not directly involved in the drug game, to their Disproportionate Retribution for extremely minor offenses, shows that they are a more ruthless gang than any that have come before, with virtually no moral qualms about anything. Basically, the Stanfield gang amps up every unsavory, ruthless, or cruel quality seen in the Barksdales, with absolutely none of the standards or Pet the Dog moments.

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    Marlo Stanfield 
Played by: Jamie Hector
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/marlostanfield_265.jpg
"You want it to be one way... but it's the other way."

I wasn't made to play the son.

He starts the as an up-and-coming west-side drug kingpin, the head of the eponymous Stanfield Organization. At first he is operating in the shadow of the Barksdale Organization, and fights to supplant them throughout the third season.

In Season 4 after the downfall of the Barksdale Empire, Marlo runs the West Side with an iron fist, complete with a high body count that makes him absolutely dreaded by other drug dealers and the average people living in that part of Baltimore. However, for a long time police fail to find the bodies of Marlo's victims, as his enforcers like Chris and Snoop hide the bodies in abandoned buildings, of which the city has a multitude. Although Marlo initially resists cooperating with other gangs and the New Day Co-op, Prop Joe slowly manages to impart a few lessons and start bringing Marlo into alliance with the Co-op, especially when it comes to repelling the encroachment of syndicates from New York into the Baltimore drug game. The end of Season 4 means big changes, however, as the police finally discover Marlo's many victims and Omar's robbery of The Greek's drug shipment makes Marlo begin considering taking over the Co-op and replacing Joe as the contact for the Greeks.

At the beginning of Season 5 Marlo waits out a police investigation until the cash strapped department finally gives up and pulls the plug on the investigation. With attention off him, Marlo is quick to fulfill his ambitions, as he once again begins leaving a trail of bodies in West Baltimore, gets the Greeks to accept him as a replacement for Joe, kills Joe, then forcibly takes over the New Day Co-Op and turns it into an extension of his own gang. All along the way he repeatedly works to eliminate not only his enemies and anyone who would betray him, but also anyone who shows him disrespect, or undermines his name on the streets however unwittingly.

Unfortunately for Marlo, that obsession with his name and his readiness to kill over it earns him enemies in the police department, as several cops (including McNulty, Freamon, and Sydnor) become willing to run an illegal operation to arrest him. Mere weeks after Marlo takes over the Co-op and becomes the undisputed king of the Baltimore streets, he and his operation are brought down. Although Marlo manages to escape justice because of the illegal means used to pursue him, his organization is left in ruins and Marlo is forced to go legit, leaving him free but unable to participate in Baltimore's criminal underworld anymore, which is the only thing he knows. Worst of all, it's shown that Marlo's name and reputation, the things he valued most in the world (by far) are quickly forgotten.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Marlo's story ends inconclusively, being forced to retire from drug trafficking and power brawls, which is all that Stanfield craves. Clearly Marlo still has what it takes to rise again from obscurity, but will he risk police investigation and possible prison time if it means wearing the crown again?
  • Ambition Is Evil: Marlo is practically obsessed with the crown and is nothing but a cold tyrant who enforces his will with an iron fist during his rise and rule.
    The crown ain't worth much if the nigga wearin' it always gettin' his shit took.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • Freamon's. Lester is usually content with doing quality police work and chases whoever Daniels tells him to chase, until the bosses take the MCU off Marlo. Lester takes personal and professional offense from it.
      Lester: The motherfucker who put 22 bodies on us!
    • Marlo has a special place in the heart of Herc, who clashes ineffectively with Marlo numerous times until the fiasco of a stolen hidden camera costs him the job. Herc gets back at Marlo (sort of) by leaking his cell number to Carver.
    • During Season 3, to Avon.
    • During Season 5, to Omar.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: His backstory has him rising his way up after murdering a witness and other people. On screen, most of his killings are by proxy and he gains the crown via Klingon Promotion after outlasting his competition. While he doesn't look very menacing and never has to get physical, it's demonstrated during a target practice that he's a hitter who knows how to shoot. He shows his badassery in the finale when he easily bests two young punks during a petty street brawl.
  • Ax-Crazy: A very stoic and disturbing one. He has shades of Serial Killer and orders people killed for even the slightest offenses towards him.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: His one personal moment of awesome happens when he, dressed in a handsome suit, abandons a high class party to screw with a pair of dealers who don't recognize who he is.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Subverted in a very interesting way. Marlo essentially gets away scot free for everything he's done and ends up inadvertently achieving Stringer Bell's dream of going legit. However, Marlo doesn't want this at all, as it means that he can never go back to being a feared and ruthless drug kingpin, which is all he ever wanted to do. In the end, despite having escaped justice, Marlo's victory is a hollow one as his empire is gone and barely anybody will remember him down the line.
  • Berserk Button: Though generally an eerily calm personality, Marlo does not take kindly to anyone questioning his street cred.
  • Beware the Quiet Ones: He's robotic, emotionless, and a murderous sociopath.
  • Big Bad: In seasons 4 and 5. The X in X Must Not Win, as Bodie, Freamon and McNulty take a personal risk and put their own careers on the line to avoid his victory.
    Bodie: But Marlo, this nigga and his kind, man... They gotta fall. They gotta.
    Jimmy: Marlo is an asshole. He doesn't get to win. WE get to win.
  • Born Lucky: Through Seasons 3, 4, and partway through Season 5 Marlo has a way of always getting things to break just right for him. He comes along right as the Barksdale Empire moves almost entirely away from Avon's methods of controlling the street by force, leaving them unprepared to deal with him. The Mob War between Marlo's gang and the Barksdales ramps up as the Barksdale Organization is crumbling under the pressure of being A House Divided, and the investigation that Jimmy and Kima forced onto the BPD saves him from being crushed by Avon after Stringer's death. In Season 4 the MCU has wiretaps up on the Stanfield gang and is getting close to being able to bring them down when the MCU is gutted by Rawls and Burrell due to making politically sensitive investigations, giving Marlo a free hand to rule West Baltimore unimpeded by the police. In the first episodes of Season 5, he is able to outwait a police investigation because of the city's huge budget hole, and only gets investigated because a number of police detectives effectively go rogue. Played with in his final fate, as Marlo's luck even extends to allowing him to walk away from prison time and the criminal underworld as a rich man, but Marlo utterly hates that fact and would rather have the option to just be a gangster.
  • Corruption of a Minor: He's impressed by Michael's refusal to accept his money and has him groomed into his model young soldier – loyal, capable, beholden, and ultimately expendable.
  • Creepy Monotone: He's the scariest drug dealer in the city, and his voice is almost always flat and unemotive.
  • Death Glare: Seemingly his default facial expression.
  • Deceptive Disciple: A mix with Bastard Understudy. Technically speaking, Joe is teaching Marlo criminal ways so Stanfield can become less evil and violent. When Marlo learns -by his own- how to import the drugs from the Greeks, he decides to retire Joe with a bullet to the head.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Goes with his emotionless calm but ruthless personality.
  • The Dreaded: By Season 4, just about everyone in his sphere of influence fears getting on his bad side, lest they end up getting a visit from Chris and Snoop.
  • Establishing Character Moment: His reptilian, barely humane nature is made evident in his first scene. When Bubbles and co. accidentally run afoul of one of Marlo's mooks, Johnny Weeks is held at gunpoint in front of Marlo's door. Stanfield walks by indifferently and just tells the mook - his ride - : "Do it or don't, but I have someplace to be."
  • Evil Power Vacuum: The decay of the Barksdale organization and some luck are big factors in his rising; under normal circumstances he'd have been killed by Slim Charles. Wee-bey points out that back in the day, Marlo wouldn't have lasted long.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride – any insult to his name, even ones that exist only in rumour, are met with savage reprisals. Interestingly, his underlings pick up on this later in the series and keep it from putting Marlo in danger by choosing not to report certain insults spoken against their leader, such as Omar's slanderous public challenges. Marlo, of course, doesn't see it this way and is absolutely furious for perhaps the first time in the show when he learns the truth.
  • Foil: To Stringer Bell, Marlo keeps his cards close to his chest but is insanely ruthless whilst Stringer arrogantly brags about his business acumen in the hopes of 'spreading his knowledge'; but wants to avoid violence for business reasons. Stringer goes out of his way to avoid contact with the police and even orders Wee-Bey to take out Little Man for Kima's shooting whilst Marlo is willing to pick a fight with Herc and his Pride is more important to him than not going to prison. Stringer is killed and unable to reach his utopia whilst Marlo gets the chance at a legitimate life that String always wanted and considers it his personal hell.
  • For the Evulz: Prone to small acts of petty cruelty, such as when he goads a security guard into confronting him just so he can order Chris to murder him later.
  • Fish out of Water: Marlo is a corner boy who lives and breathes for the street game. When he's put in some other social situations such as talking with a bank clerk, laundering money or interacting with white-collar businessman, he's way out of his element and needs teachers like Proposition Joe and Levy to walk him through.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Starts as another small-time dealer, by the end of the story he is responsible for over 30 murders.
  • Glory Seeker: All Marlo wants is to be feared and respected, even if it means his eventual death.
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Evil: His ascendancy steers The Wire towards Black and Gray Morality, he's a greater evil than Bell & Barksdale.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He has a large scar on his left cheek, which adds to his intimidating appearance.
  • Hate Sink: Given that the series previously operated under Grey and Gray Morality, it became abundantly clear that Marlo was intended to be hated. This makes sense, as Marlo is cold, ruthless, self-centered and unsophisticated.
  • Hidden Depths: He loves and takes care of pidgeons. About the ONLY other living things he shows any sort of affection towards.
  • History Repeats: Being the "king" of the Westside, he faces some of the same problems and issues encountered by the Barksdales, such as Omar being a force of nature, potential weak links inside his crew, a prideful need for respect and the police threat. His response is not much different in principle, just much harsher and meaner in execution. Levy's criminal counsel is another element that connects Avon and Marlo. When Marlo is introduced to Andy Krawczyk, he has little interest in the real estate business being proposed and leaves the conversation, just like Avon did during his homecoming party.
  • In-Series Nickname: Also known as "Black", although he's never actually called it on the street.
  • Irony: Marlo actually wins the game and can retire with Stringer's utopia at hand; become a legitimate businessman who has risen above the street pettiness, but for Stanfield, this is a personal hell.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Has a entire immediate family murdered just because the father supposedly called Marlo a cocksucker.
  • Just a Gangster: In his final scene, Marlo leaves a high society party to fight with a couple of corner boys because that's all he knows.
  • Karma Houdini: Ambiguously. He manages to avoid going to jail in the end, and keeps his money, but he's not allowed to go back to drug dealing. Which is all he wants to do.
    • It's also implied that if he does stay legit he'll be slowly bled dry of his money by scheming types like Andy Krawczyk and Clay Davis.
  • Kick the Dog: Many, many times.
    Bodie: This motherfucker be killing niggas just to do it. You see? Nigga kills motherfuckers just 'cause he can. Not cause they snitching, not cause it’s business, but just because this shit comes natural to him. Man, Little Kevin is gone! This nigga don’t feel nothing! And all them motherfuckers in the row houses...nobody means a fucking thing to him!
  • Klingon Promotion: Personally attends to the execution of Joe, done by Chris in Joe's own house, which marks the moment that Stanfield usurps the crown from the Co-Op. Although it's clear he's enjoying it and in ecstasy, nobody unfamiliar with him could tell, given his strange expression.
  • Lack of Empathy: Immensely cold and aloof. Criminal sociopathy aside, one prominent example has Marlo shooting down the anguished 9/11 analogy of Old Andre, who works for him guarding a stash, but gets no sympathy anyway.
    Omar ain't no terrorist. He's just another nigga with a gun. And you ain't no Delta Airlines neither. You just a nigga who got his shit took.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: A really weird variation mixed with Karma Houdini. At the end of the series, Marlo basically gets Off on a Technicality and suffers no legal repercussions whatsoever, but he's lost almost everything that he actually cared about - namely, the chance to make a criminal empire enforced violently through fear and respect. He goes from The Dreaded whose name everyone knows to such a nobody that two random dudes pull their guns on him, and when they run away, Marlo doesn't even bother chasing them down. He ends the series right where he began - just some thug on the street corner, who nobody knows or cares about.
  • Lonely at the Top: Unlike most of the other drug lords, Marlo is unamicable, doesn't really have loved ones, and although he does get laid from time to time, he's not very interested in women. The closest thing to a companion he has is Chris, a complex example as Chris is always on the clock guarding Stanfield.
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: Marlo is a killer who displays some cunning beyond immediate violence during his ascension (after Chris counsels against it, Marlo refuses to wipe out Lex's crew because he has nothing to gain from that poor corner), but time and again he prefers to take the deadliest route when dealing with perceived problems. Only Chris raises some minor objections to that.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Downplayed. Marlo gets to wear the crown, which is a moment of awesome from his point of view, but his reign is so short-lived that he doesn't even distribute his first shipment from The Greeks. Marlo has so many enemies among the police that he makes his own bed and is forced to retire.
  • No Historical Figures Were Harmed: His surname and habits came from Timmirror Stanfield, a Baltimore drug kingpin in the 1980s whose 50-member gang controlled large sections of West Baltimore and committed a string of murders in their quest to maintain power. His name also comes from another Baltimore dealer, Marlow Bates.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: When he first came on the scene in early season 3, he was viewed by many as a glorified punk and a wannabe. After he identifies Stringer's peaceful strategy as a sign of weakness he proves his detractors very wrong. Meanwhile, the cops almost universally viewed him as a two-bit nuisance, until the bodies start showing up.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: The younger villain to practically everyone else's older hero. His enemies on the street often slur him as "boy" on account of his youth compared to his more established rivals and predecessors.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Marlo rarely directly participates in the murders his gang commits, letting Chris and Snoop handle all the action on the street. However, we see him to be a pretty accurate shot and in his final scene he runs off a couple of corner boys in a fist fight very easily.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Marlo knows what he knows, but he knows it well and has good counselors. He doesn't show off and likes to downplay his deep knowledge of the street game to hide his cards or bide his time.
    Oh, I know you would, Joe. You smart like that... Me?
  • Pet the Dog: Keeps a roof coop for pigeons and even hires a guy to take care of them. In his case, his unique affection for animals is an indicator of sociopathy.
  • Properly Paranoid: Very good at counter-vigilance, Stanfield has a network of spotters in place that promptly tips him if a camera has been planted in the park where he holds court or if the police have climbed up to a rooftop to do surveillance. Marlo makes sure Chris is on top of these kind of things, and in a broader sense, his murderous nature also prevents the appearance of potential witnesses or leaks. Proposition Joe schools him to be even more careful, and while late in the series he goes back to using a cellphone - provided by The Greeks - he doesn't become sloppy despite Lester's expectations.
    Sydnor: Marlo's been the hardest to follow. Too paranoid, too much counter-surveillance.
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: At the end of the show, Marlo is one of the few people to arguably "win" the game. His crimes have been stricken from the record, he's able to retire from the game and live a comfortable life as a wealthy, legitimate businessman. Too bad this fate had to befall the one guy in Baltimore who's such a total psychopath that a criminal lifestyle is the only kind he can ever enjoy.
  • Recruit Teenagers with Attitude: He's on the lookout for local talent and recruits Michael for this reason.
  • Reluctant Retiree: Marlo seems at first glad to get out of the game, but then goes back to the corner...
  • Serial Killer: Repeatedly called this by Jimmy and Lester, after ordering dozens of murders. Problem is, ghetto victims are dead where it doesn't count.
  • Signature Move: Apparently had one he used to employ on people who testified, we see him use it on Devon: Two shots to the chest and one in the mouth.
  • The Sociopath: A remorseless, power-hungry tyrant with ego issues.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Barely ever raises his voice above a Creepy Monotone, but remains intimidating regardless.
  • The Starscream: He is entirely outside the established power structure, and ultimately succeeds in killing Prop Joe and taking his place as head of the co-op after learning everything he needed under his tutelage.
  • The Stoic: Robotic and emotionally dead.
    • Not So Stoic: Goes absolutely ballistic when he finds out about Omar bad-mouthing him on the street.
  • Straight Edge Evil: Marlo doesn't smoke, do drugs of any kind, or even drink that much. The one time he's in a pub, his glass contains a transparent beverage and remains full. He seems to prefer bottled water, as seen when he plays poker or when dissolving the co-op.
  • Tranquil Fury: Actor Jamie Hector comments on striving for a performance of "power and economy" using "minimalist movement and speech". Its said he can talk a whole sentence whilst barely moving his lips and relies on the silent, deadly power.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Deposes the old order with violence and some luck, dismantles the Co-Op and its assembly, assuming an autocratic rule over the drug trade and mirroring the classic takeover executed by many tyrants in the history of mankind.
  • Underestimating Badassery: When he first comes on the scene this is done to Marlo constantly. In the 3rd season he is mostly referred to as "The Boy Marlo", due to being considerably younger and newer at the game than Stringer Bell and Prop Joe, dismissed as a wannabe and even the MCU for a long time thinks he's nothing but a lieutenant for the Barksdales, and even later think it's inevitable that he'll be crushed as he challenges Barksdale to a bloody war for control of West Baltimore. Because Marlo has a ruthlessness and complete lack of compassion that belie his years, everyone comes to learn just how wrong they were about him.
  • The Unfettered: Stops at nothing to gain respect and maintain his power. Marlo doesn't rely on heart and emotion like Avon, and doesn't share Prop Joe's desire for partnership and coexistence. When Herc tries to take him to Colvin's meeting, Marlo simply refuses saying "ain't gonna happen" and faces Herc down until Sgt. Carver withdraws the task force upon noticing the Stanfield gang is ready to use violence against the police. Marlo is the only character who stands up to the police in a face-to-face confrontation. While most of the underworld knows the danger of hurting or killing a cop, Stanfield is too proud to back down from a challenge.
    Let them know Marlo step to any motherfucker... Omar, Barksdale, whoever!
  • The Unsmile: On the rare occasion he smiles, it's more of a sneer.
  • Victory Is Boring. Despite getting away with facing charges and keeping his millions, Marlo quickly finds out that the straight-and-narrow life isn't for him.
  • Villainous Friendship: Cold as he is, he has a rare but somewhat affectionate relationship with Chris.
  • Villain Respect: Marlo esteems Slim Charles and treats him almost as an equal, despite the difference in status. Marlo, due to his corner mentality, has respect for quality muscle and competent street enforcers like Slim, whom he calls "tall man" in praise. This is contrasted by Marlo's real, low opinion of Proposition Joe, who is often called "fat man" derisively behind his back.
  • White-Dwarf Starlet: Marlo went from the most feared man in Baltimore to a nobody in the span of a month.
  • Worthy Adversary: Eventually gains some praise from Avon and Lester, after being underestimated too often. He never gets any from McNulty, who came to respect Stringer greatly, and thus/just considers Stanfield an asshole.
  • Young Conqueror: He's in his mid-to-late twenties throughout the show and enjoys a stint as drug overlord of Baltimore. His youth in comparison to his predecessors (and opponents) is frequently commented upon, sometimes in praise, sometimes in derision, and in the end he outdoes or outlives them all. By the time he "passes the crown," he's in a position to rub shoulders with the wealthy and enjoy a legit, comfortable retirement from crime – which isn't what he wants at all.

    Chris Partlow 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/chrispartlow_1808.jpg
"Don't fret boss, I got you covered."
Played by: Gbenga Akinnabwe

Don't matter who he is, or what he's done. You can look him in the eye now.

Marlo Stanfield's Number Two and chief enforcer. It's hinted that they are long time allies, as the enormously paranoid Marlo trusts Chris completely and Chris is the only one who seems to be able to question Marlo's orders and decisions without repercussions, although he only does so rarely. Although he is much less bloodthirsty than his boss, under orders he murders many, many people for Marlo, and as such he is a major reason why the Stanfield gang is so feared on the streets.

Chris takes the lead in Marlo's attempts to recruit the young Michael Lee into the Stanfield gang, and Michael winds up coming to Chris to slay his abusive stepfather. After that he and Snoop are responsible for tutoring Michael in the ways of the Game and turning him into muscle for the Stanfield gang. Chris is also the leader of the gang's war agaist Omar, setting multiple attempts to kill or ambush Omar.

Eventually his murder of Michael's stepfather is what does him in, as DNA evidence from the scene becomes the only thing that ties him to the killing. Chris is sentenced to life without parole, and quickly makes friends with Wee-Bey Brice in prison.
  • Affably Evil: Chris isn't particularly outgoing or charming, but he's always quite polite and pleasant even when committing a murder, always making an effort to comfort his victims and ease them through the process. Ironically for someone who's killed as much as he has, Chris is probably the most reluctant to commit violence of the higher-ups in Marlo's crew, and takes little pleasure in his work. When Marlo decides to have Bodie and later Michael killed, Chris is the only one to speak against it, albeit only briefly.
    Victim: Chris, please!
    Chris: Don't fret boss, I got you covered. Clean and quick. (Chris shoots him)
  • Badass Beard
  • Berserk Button: He does not like child molesters, as evidenced by his flipping out and beating Michael's stepfather to death. Word of God confirms it was because he was molested as a child himself.
  • Boom, Headshot!: His preferred move, quick and somewhat clean. He also trains his soldiers to shoot either for the head or the groin in order to counter a Bulletproof Vest.
  • Consummate Professional: As implied above, Chris prefers to do his killing "quick and clean", ideally with the body disposed of or hidden afterwards. Aside from Devar, he never seems to derive any pleasure from murder, seeing it as just a dirty but essential part of the game, and thus one you do well or don't do at all.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Though it's never shown in-series, according to Word of God, Chris was a victim of child molestation.
  • The Dragon/Number Two: Marlo Stanfield's top enforcer and adviser.
    • Dragon-in-Chief: Played With. Chris is much more active than Marlo, who prefers the role of a Non-Action Big Bad. Several instances indicate that Chris is the real power of the gang, as Marlo rarely makes a decision without consulting him first and often seems to be seeking a nod of approval or confirmation from Chris rather than his counsel. Despite this, Chris is fiercely loyal to Marlo and always allows him the final word.
    • Dragon with an Agenda: Averted wholesale. Unlike what Stringer Bell was for Avon Barksdale, Chris displays Undying Loyalty to Marlo, always giving him honest advice and executing his orders, however ruthless, to the letter.
  • The Dreaded: Just the sight of Chris makes Lex realize he should Prepare to Die. The boys also speculate that Chris might be a "Zombie Master."
  • Even Evil Has Standards: He'll kill innocent people without batting an eyelash, but child molesters absolutely disgust him.
  • Evil Mentor: With Snoop, teaches Michael and the other "pups" the ways of the game.
  • Family Values Villain:
    • He takes good care of his family, even after he is arrested and sent away to prison for life.
    • Other than the murder of Michael's step-father the only time Chris loses his cool is when he's forced to stay away from his family for an extended period of time due to the war with Omar. We get a short scene where we see him pacing, repeatedly throwing a knife into the floor, and angrily snapping at Snoop. All of this is quite out of character for him.
  • The Grim Reaper: In a series full of deaths, Chris is responsible for more on-screen and off-screen deaths than any other character, which is quite a feat. The fact that he almost always does his killing at night reinforces this trope.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Kick the shit out of him. When he finds out that Michael's stepfather is a pedophile, Chris beats the man to death with only his fists and the butt of his gun right in the middle of the street.
  • Neighborhood Friendly Gangsters: He's too feared around the community for this to be in effect for him, but he did try to invoke this at one point for Marlo's benefit. Early in season 4 Marlo's enforcers and dealers approach children before the first day of school, giving them money for clothes and books. We then cut to Marlo and Chris watching the scene, where Marlo looks unhappy at just giving away money while Chris tries to convince Marlo that it'll "make his name ring out".
  • Only Friend: Seemingly the only person Marlo has any genuine bond with.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: All of his kills are quick, clean and unemotional except for Devar, Michael's pedophile stepfather, who he beats to death.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: The ruthlessly efficient killer just to happens to love Baltimore club music and is an aficionado of the local music scene.
  • Pet the Dog: Takes a few minutes in the middle of a brutal gang war with Omar and his associates to visit his girlfriend and his kids, to whom he is warm and affectionate.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Has this dynamic with Snoop.
  • Professional Killer: Definitely not his only role in the organization, but when it comes to eliminating problems, rivals, and potential leaks, Chris is the man dispatched to handle it.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Snoop's Red.
  • Scary Black Man: Not the only one, but as the most prolific killer in the entire series he deserves special mention. Because he doesn't look like the stereotypical scary black man, he is occasionally able to interact with normal society without anyone being any wiser, most notably the time when he goes into the courthouse and asks Rhonda Pearlman, Rupert Bond, and Cedric Daniels for directions on where to go without them ever realizing who he is.
    Donut: Chris, he different. You can tell by them coon-ass country clothes that nigga be wearing.
  • Spiteful Spit: To Michael's stepfather. It comes back later as a Chekhov's smoking gun.
  • Undying Loyalty: The vicious and paranoid Marlo trusts him completely, and when Chris is rounded up by the police Marlo says that Chris will refuse to talk as long as Marlo takes cares of Chris' family.
  • Verbal Tic: Addressing victims as "boss."
  • Villainous Friendship: Treats Marlo with affection and it's clear that they go way back.

    Felicia "Snoop" Pearson 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/snooppearson_4760.jpg
"Deserve got nothing to do with it. It's his time, that's all."
Played by: Felicia Pearson

We will be brief with all you motherfuckers. I think you know.

A crucial soldier under Marlo Stanfield. She and Chris are the most skilled and feared assassins of the organization, and throughout Marlo's reign the two operate as a team, eliminating rivals and serving as a death squad for anyone that crosses the Stanfield gang. Notably, she and Chris are the ones who kill people inside vacant houses, pour quicklime on their bodies, and seal the homes back up to prevent their discovery. She also serves as a teacher alongside Chris for Michael, tutoring the young man in how to be a soldier for the Stanfield gang.

When Marlo is arrested, Snoop is a key enforcer still on the street. When Marlo comes to suspect Michael may be a police informant, she is dispatched to assassinate him. Michael suspects that something is up and uses the very skills she taught him to get the drop on her and kill her instead.
  • Affably Evil: Probably the most outgoing, and jovial member of Stanfield's organziation. She likes to crack jokes and seems genuinely friendly. With all that said she wont hesitate to murder ANYONE at the the drop of a hat should Marlo order it.
  • Blood Knight: Almost always suggests murder as a solution to the crew's problems, and in Season 3 Chris notes how eager she is to get involved in the gang war and carry out hits on targets.
  • The Brute: Of the Stanfield Organization, despite her small size.
  • Butch Lesbian: In both personality and looks. She confirms it to Bunk when she is arrested and he tells her he's thinking about pussy. "Yeah, me too."
  • The Danza: Felicia Pearson is both her real name and her actress' name. Pearson also already had the nickname of "Snoop" prior to appearing on the show.
  • Dissonant Serenity: Part of what makes her such a terrifying villain.
  • The Dreaded: Along with Chris.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Even Snoop is taken aback by Chris' messy No-Holds-Barred Beatdown of Mike's pedophile step-father, mostly because Chris didn't, "even wait to put the motherfucker in the house".
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Her conversation with a hardware store clerk shows she has no comprehension of life outside the drug trade.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Has the same husky voice of the real Snoop Pearson.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When held at gun point by Michael she remains defiant and doesn't even attempt to talk her way out. When they both realize the time has come for him to kill her, all she does is turn her back and ask him "How my hair look?"
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: As Chris puts it, "Sometimes she get a little hot", she tends to get angry and berate people over minor things.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Mistaken for a man on some occasions.
  • Pet the Dog: Gives a hardware store worker an extremely generous tip after he advises her about the right nail gun to use.
  • Platonic Life-Partners: Has this dynamic with Chris.
  • Psycho for Hire: Has absolutely no joy except for murder. When Chris devises a way to identify New York dealers - asking them to name Baltimore club tracks and artists - Snoop reveals that she does not listen to music at all, and that her entire life revolves around killing. Chris - Chris! - is shocked.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Red to Chris's Blue.
  • The Sociopath: Absolutely no comprehension of right and wrong; she simply believes that death comes to people at their "time", and it never crosses her mind that it might be immoral to be "time"'s instrument.

    Monk Metcalf 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_wire_monk.jpg
Played by: Kwame Patterson

A top lieutenant in the Stanfield organization. Works as an enforcer, coordinates the drug trade, the phone communications and several details unrelated to violence.


  • Evil Sounds Deep: A belligerent, hardened criminal with a deep voice.
  • Evil Genius: Downplayed, he's still "a product of Baltimore city schools" after all, but he's apparently the most literate and tech savvy of the gang, and is a key figure in keeping it running and operating smoothly.
  • Mook Lieutenant: The most profilic drug lieutenant under the main three Stanfield leaders.
  • Impersonating an Officer: He briefly does this after Omar's Super Window Jump, pretending to be a detective and questioning people around the neighborhood about a non-existant rape case as an excuse to check if anyone has seen Omar. He almost blows his cover due to his Jerkass attitude, though.
  • Jerkass:
    • Highly aggressive and rude, even by Baltimore drug dealer standards. Somewhat stands out from his peers, since most of the other Stanfield soldiers are still cold and ruthless, but not particularly vitriolic in everyday conversation. He doesn't need much provocation to put a bullet in Cutty's leg, just for talking back to him once.
    • When he disguised himself as a detective to try to find Omar, Monk almost reveals himself because he stops listening to a woman as soon as she indicates she hasn't seen Omar, blowing off her concerns about the rape victim he's supposedly investigating.
  • Mean Boss: He really doesn't like Michael. He's probably jealous over the esteem Marlo and Chris had for him. At least until Marlo suspected Michael of being snitch anyway.

    Old Face Andre 

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/oldfaceandre_7628.jpg
Shoulda gone to New York or Philly...
Played by: Alfonso Christian Lover

"Problem with niggas today, they always see the narrow view..."

A West side convenience store owner whose store serves as a stash house for Marlo Stanfield. After Marlo is robbed, Andre is included in a plan to get revenge on Omar. Chris Partlow murders a delivery woman in Andre's shop and Andre has to tell the police that Omar did it. The ruse works at first, mostly because the detectives investigating the killing want to be able to put Omar away and either consciously or unconsciously turn a blind eye to the holes in the story. Once Bunk sees through Andre, however, and he officially becomes a liability for the Stanfield gang, he tries to get Prop Joe to protect and relocate him. Joe, who can get far better returns out of being an ally to the Stanfield group, promptly turns Andre back over to them.


  • Butt-Monkey: The poor guy is pinballed around between Omar, Marlo, the police and Proposition Joe in a tragic game after Omar robs his stash.
  • False Reassurance: Joe betrays him, and then Slim delivers him to Chris.
    Andre: Prop Joe said you was my escort out.
    Slim: In a manner of speaking that be true.
  • MacGuffin: His ring changes owners a lot, but it has no actual relevance in the end.
  • Never Found the Body: The guy is mortified by this prospect. His anguished voice and denied plea not to be killed in a vacant, where his people won't find him, makes his demise rather poignant.
  • The Pawn: Used and abused by Marlo and Proposition Joe.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Attempts to but makes the mistake of taking refuge in East Baltimore under Proposition Joe, who points out he should have gone to New York or Philadelphia, and then sells Andre down the river to Marlo.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Finally walked down an alley by Chris and Snoop.
    Proposition Joe: You know the problem with these here machines? They too cheap to begin with. Some people think for what it's worth to fix it, make the shit work right, you might as well dump 'em and get another.

    Vinson 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hqdefault_39.jpg
Played by: Norris Davis

The prisons and the graveyards are full of boys who wore the crown.

Advisor and fence of Marlo Stanfield. He runs a rim shop used by the Stanfield gang as a meeting place.


  • The Consigliere: Counsels Marlo during his turf war with the Barksdales.
  • Evil Mentor: Acts as this to Marlo.
  • Foil: Seems to act as one for Butchie, who fulfills much the same role for Omar, Marlo's self-determined nemesis. He gives Marlo sage advice about the game, and the risks of playing it for too long. Difference being, he has no qualms about helping an outright sociopath, despite knowing full well that's what Marlo is, while Butchie had at least some sense of code and honor.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Dismisses Michael as "just a boy" when he sticks him up. Gets a shotgun shell in the kneecap for his mistake, likely crippling him.

    Little Kevin 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thewire_little_kevin.jpg
Played by: Tyrell Baker

A young hopper working for Bodie and his independent operation, which is absorbed by the Stanfield gang early in Season 4.


  • Ascended Extra: A background dealer briefly seen during season 3 and in the pilot, he becomes a regular character in season 4.
  • Ironic Name: The guy is anything but little. His obesity fools Herc when he comes to his corner looking for him.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Killed in a vacant after he tells Marlo that he used Randy to deliver the message to Lex, instead of telling Lex directly. Introducing needless loose ends is not a good idea with an organization as paranoid and obsessed with secrecy as the Stanfields.

    Fruit 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/273324_100002716531779_3043959_n.jpg
Played by: Brandon Fobbs

Look: we grind, and y'all try to stop it. That's how we do. Why you gotta go and fuck with the program?

A mid-level dealer who runs one of Marlo's corners.


  • Asshole Victim: After ripping off Cutty and being an overall unpleasant guy, his death is not exactly tragic.
  • Boom, Headshot!: Lex kills him with a point-blank shot to the face.
  • Bring Me My Brown Pants: Seems to have this reaction when Cutty visits some of the hoppers on his corner, and Fruit realizes that this is the man that came a breath away from putting a bullet in his head.
  • Jerkass: Rips off Cutty and sleeps with Lex's woman.
  • Mook Lieutenant: He's in charge of a group of Marlo's dealers, and his death is important enough thata group of Marlo's lieutenants want to respond by wiping out Bodie's entire crew as revenge. Marlo chooses the less extreme option of retaliating only against Lex.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Lex kills him because Fruit is dating Patrice, Lex's baby mama.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: A catalyst of Dennis' change of heart about the game, as Cutty spares his life during a hit. In season 4, his murder makes Marlo retaliate against Lex, which is a major event for Randy and ultimately helps lead to the police discovering the 22 bodies in the vacant houses.

    Savino Bratton 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/savino_bratten.jpg
Played by: Chris Clanton

I can do the three. Ain't no thing.

A low ranking enforcer in the Barksdale Organization who was involved in the shooting that nearly killed Kima, his role being to drive Orlanda and Kima to the scene, then get clear for Wee-bey and Little Man to do the shooting. He surrenders himself to police custody afterwards, although thanks to Levy's legal magic he only gets sentenced to several years. After getting out of prison the Barksdales have fallen apart, so he joins the Stanfield crew. Is killed by Omar as part of his feud against Marlo.


  • Boom, Headshot!: Executed by Omar for his association with Avon and Marlo and in revenge for the torture-murder of Butchie. While he wasn't present at Butchie's torture and murder, when Omar asks him what he would have done if he was, Savino doesn't answer. (This is in contrast to Slim Charles, who says that if Joe had anything to do with Butchie's death he would have helped Omar avenge it.)
  • Butt-Monkey: A fairly minor case, but he is called "the runt of the litter" when it comes to Barksdale's muscle in Season 1 to the point of Stringer and Wee-Bey delegating him as the Fall Guy, then he gets out of jail just in time to join the Stanfield crew when Omar is pursuing vengeance against them...
  • Fall Guy: He was meant to be the only one in Kima's shooting, since the Barksdales tried to protect Wee-bey and the other shooter, Little Man, was killed for shooting someone who wasn't supposed to be there (Kima) without attempting to identify her or get approval from Wee-bey.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Omar doesn't target Savino because he was not directly involved in the murder of Omar's boyfriend Brandon. In Season 5, Savino tries to invoke it again, pointing out he had no part in Butchie's demise, but Omar is out for blood.
    Savino: When they did the old man like that, I wasn't there.
    Omar: Bein' that you muscle for Marlo, what you was gonna do if you was there, huh? Riddle me that. (Savino says nothing) Yeah. You know what, yo? (Omar shoots him in the head)
  • Just Following Orders: Savino tacitly admits this would be his response to being told to torture or kill an innocent.
  • Mama's Boy: Implied. When the police go to his mother's home looking for him, she's utterly shocked by the idea of them being after Savino and calls him "My baby!"

    Michael Lee 

    O-Dog 

A young enforcer of the gang

  • Fall Guy: He takes the firearm charges of Chris and Snoop, as he is expendable and has a broken leg.
  • Mook: A lowly soldier. He kills Bodie nonetheless while Chris and Snoop keep Bodie busy.

Alternative Title(s): The Wire Stanfield Organization

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