Oz
Dead Man Talking

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Aaron: B- | Grade It Now!
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Do you shiv or swallow?

So, do you remember that old "Pete and Repeat" joke you used to tell in elementary school? I'm always reminded of that every time I see Petey and Sister Pete together. There's no real joke there; I'm just mentioning it to provide new readers with some insight into the twisted pathways that link the neurons in my brain. Sister Pete leads him to the visiting room, where his wife is waiting to see him. She promises that she won't reveal the indignities Petey has suffered here in Oz, and suggests that he find his own way to tell her what he's experienced. Oh, yeah. That'll happen. Petey's wife, by the way, looks like every actress who auditioned to play Adriana and didn't get the part.

Back in the mess hall, Betty is conducting rehearsals, with Poet, Guerra, and that random guy from solitary playing the three witches. Meanwhile, Ryan paints the scenery in the background, and Peter Schibetta shows up just as the rehearsal ends. He offers to help out with the performance, but his real intent seems to be making some vaguely threatening comments about putting "the evil eye" on people. Ryan, who's no stranger to having inmates threaten his mom, quickly steps over to challenge him as Father Salty McSoonToBeDead looks on in disappointment.

Apparently it's not soon enough, however, as the writers just can't allow themselves to let him go without finally permitting him to crack Ryan's tough-guy exterior. And so once again the prison laundry room is home to a touching scene of man's love for his fellow man. Except not like that. Father Meehan urges Ryan to show Peter Schibetta the same love he demonstrates towards Cyril, and to "let the goodness rise and be the man God meant you to be." Women (and quite a few men) all across America swoon at the thought of Ryan letting his "goodness" rise, but that happy mental image is shattered when an anvil comes crashing through the ceiling, bearing the weight of some incredibly hackneyed laundry-based foreshadowing.

Jefferson Keane interrupts for a moment to describe the death customs of an African tribe known as the Shona, who believe that the spirits of the dead surround their village to protect the inhabitants and allow them to communicate with God. Other spirits, however, are not so well-intentioned, and often avenge themselves on the unsuspecting through sudden death. I should only be so lucky.

After the interlude, Ryan awakens in his pod to find Father Meehan collapsed on the floor, with copious amounts of excrement trailing down the back of his legs. I can't believe that I've been watching this show for less than forty-five minutes, and I've already become so immune to disgusting sights that I don't even feel particularly compelled to comment on them anymore. It's just par for the course, I guess. Ryan pounds on the glass to summon the guards, but it's no use. Not even Dr. Nathan's half-hearted Kerry Weaver impersonation can save him now. When she informs Ryan and Sister Pete that Salty Shitpants is dead, Ryan doesn't take the news very well. He does, however, ask to be permitted to wash the old guy's body, out of respect for everything Father Meehan tried to do for him and Cyril. Gloria reluctantly agrees, and as Jefferson Keane croons an old spiritual hymn on the soundtrack, we see Ryan tenderly scrubbing the body.

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Oz

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