Jimmy McNulty and the rest of the detectives are back on the case. This time they’re tracking an Islamist group in Baltimore selling stolen bikes to finance their terrorist activities. Joined by consultant, Edward Snowden, and members of the NSA, they’ve set up a PRISM-like operation to intercept email and phone traffic between people selling stolen bikes on Craigslist and members of Al-Qaeda.
With a mountain of metadata to sift through, Lester Freamon, a re-hired Roland “Prez” Pryzbylewski, and Edward Snowden begin the task of running the numbers: the time and duration of calls, minus the content. They uncover a trove of phone numbers and email addresses that connect Americans in Baltimore selling stolen bikes on Craigslist with overseas Al-Qaeda operatives. As the investigation unfolds, Jimmy McNulty and Rhonda Pearlman seek out Judge Phelan—who presided over the D’Angelo Barksdale murder trial—to get a warrant. Now with the authority to actually wiretap the phone lines of and to read the email between the guys in Baltimore selling the stolen bikes and members of Al-Qaeda, the investigation gets truly underway—including foiling a plan involving the Bromo Seltzer Tower.
Half way through season six, Edward Snowden has a change of heart. Edward claims Jimmy McNulty is abusing the investigation—drinking heavily and reading the email of young women buying stolen bikes on Craigslist—and so Edward bolts with laptops of evidence in tow. McNulty strongly denies the allegations. And in separate statements from Detective William “Bunk” Moreland and Maryland State Police Superintendent William Rawls, each confirms that Detective James McNulty has been sober since the end of season five.
With Edward on the run, The Wire leaves Baltimore and travels the world. Scenes take place in Hong Kong, Russia, Bolivia, and Venezuela, providing an ironic twist, as Edward Snowden is welcomed or assisted by several of the world’s toughest dictators who rule countries where privacy and freedom do not exist. Just like episodes one through five of The Wire, it’s always follow the money. Only this time, you have to ask yourself, “What do Venezuelan president Nicólas Maduro and Bolivian president Evo Morales hope to gain?” Note: Filming planned for Ecuador was cancelled after story changes mid-season.