Hill lectures some more. Sigh.
We now begin a long inter-cut montage of scenes leading up to the big finish. On death row, Father Mukada leads Cyril to the execution chamber while reciting the 23rd Psalm. Down in Em City, meanwhile, Neema signals all the inmates that it's time, and everyone gets up to return to their pods. Once there, they all begin banging en masse on the pod doors, creating a tremendous racket as Ryan is led out to spend Cyril's final moments in Timbo's meditative maze. As civil disobedience goes, it does provide an impressive glamour shot for Ryan as he walks out past the frantically pounding inmates, but it's also such a blatantly improbable and obvious attempt to tug at my heartstrings that it kind jerks me out of the moment. And then that problem is only compounded further when an ovary starts wailing about sorrow and lost opportunities on the soundtrack, because unlike the sunlight we saw earlier, the unexpected addition of music is way too anvilicious to provide any real sense of gravitas.
The actual execution itself turns out to be sort of a Thirty-Two Short Films About Cyril Getting Fried-type scene, as each of the characters gets his or her own little silent moment to react to what's going on. Sister Pete looks like she got a new perm just for the occasion. Dr. Nathan looks like she's conflicted about watching the execution of the man who killed her husband (wow. Say hello to my other old friend, Prisoner #03S-6610: Continuity Q. Steinberg. Convicted February 8, 2003 -- Drunk and Disorderly. Sentence: Three days (suspended). Up for parole in sixty seconds). Ryan paces the meditative maze. Cyril smiles as he helps the guards buckle him into the chair. Leo looks sadly resigned, especially after Cyril's last words turn out to be "Huh?" And then, just when you think you can't take the tragedy of it all anymore, the red bat-phone in the back of the room starts to ring, and suddenly Leo steps forward to announce that Cyril has received a stay, and the execution has been cancelled.
In case you're curious, here's a roughly transcribed version of my actual response while watching the episode: "What?! You're shitting me, right? All that for nothing? If you're gonna run me through the wringer for thirty minutes, Fontana, you damn well better fry that fucker. So, come on! Let's go! Fire up Ol' Sparky and let's get this motherfucking show on the road!"
Yeah. I've calmed down a bit since then, but I still think it was a total cop-out. Although someone in the forums did point out the dramatic irony that would be inherent in having poor Cyril live on in Oz if Ryan were to suddenly come to a bad end instead, so I guess I could deal with it if that's the route they chose to take. But once again, the spoilers prevent me from saying anything else, and besides, it's 4:00 AM, and I really want to go to bed. Hell, I can barely even remember eating that bacon I was talking about in the opening paragraph.