The play itself opens with Stanton, Reggie, and Poet doing a fairly credible job as the Weird Sisters. The real highlight, however, is Lady Buttercup, who's totally working the sequined red evening gown he's got on. I swear to God, if you gave that guy a nose job, he'd be better looking than most of my recent girlfriends. He's not a half-bad actor, either. Meanwhile, the machinations backstage are only getting wilder. Keller pulls Toby aside and tries to tell him about a plan to get rid of Schillinger. Toby doesn't want to hear it, however, and demands that Keller just shut up and hand over his prop. Ah, the perils of the backstage romance. One day you're duct-taping your lover to a chair, and the next you're reduced to merely passing out cardboard shanks. Ain't that always the way? Keller hands over the shank (Is it real? Is it fake? Who knows?), and Toby goes out onstage for the big final scene. After some more anvil-worthy exchanges of Shakespearean subtext ["Nothing is but what is not." -- Macbeth (Act I. Scene iii.)], Macbeth and Macduff begin their dramatic fight to the death. Schillinger grabs Beecher in a chokehold and whispers, "You're dead, sweetpea," as he prepares to deliver the killing blow. Heh. That Vern, witty to the very end. But then Beecher makes a desperate strike with his own shank, and we finally discover once and for all who Keller really loves. It's Tobias, and Vern is already sinking to his knees with blood spilling down the front of his uniform. "That cocksucker!" he mutters, and never have I heard last words that were so fittingly appropriate. Incidentally, the background shot of Keller nonchalantly stabbing himself in the head with the fake shank has made me giggle each and every time I've seen it. Beecher screams for Dr. Nathan, and then Keneniah breaks character and hilariously declares, "That motherfucker is dead!" to the entire audience. Touchdown! The crowd goes wild!
Farewell, Vernon Schillinger. You were the best of the worst, my favorite of all inmates, and I will never, ever, ever be able to see J.K. Simmons in any other movie without picturing you burning that swastika into Beecher's ass. You will be missed, albeit in a weird, masochistic sort of way.
After a brief Rashomon-style inquiry rules Schillinger's death an accident, Toby returns to Em City to find Keller waiting for him in his pod. Or should I say "their" pod, because Keller reveals that McManus has made them roommates again. Heh. That Timbo, clueless to the very end. What follows from there is a lengthy, well-written, well-acted break-up scene that I probably would have enjoyed much more if I knew all the backstory behind it. Then again, I still have nightmares about slogging through the recaps of Tony and Carmela's epic fight scenes in their own season finale, so maybe not. Beecher storms out of the pod, saying that he's going to have McManus transfer him into Gen Pop. Keller follows close behind, begging Toby to stay by pointing out that Schillinger would have killed him by now if it weren't for Keller's intervention. That's the wrong lever to use on Beecher, however, because Toby still takes too much pride in the fact that he cares about life. There's a nice nod to Cathy Rockwell (the little girl who started it all), and then Beecher admits that after six years in Oz, all he knows is that "every life is precious and the loss of a single life, even in Oz, is [his] loss, too." "Well, that's bullshit," Chris Keller correctly replies. "The only thing that matters is you and me." Toby tries to explain that a man who "kills for sport" could never understand, but Chris is more than happy to own up to his murderous ways. "I kill because I have to," he sneers. "I kill what gets in my way. Like the Aryans." That part about the Aryans will be important in a minute, by the way. He tries to pull Beecher in for a kiss, but Toby demands to know one thing first. "Did you purposely fuck up my parole?" he asks, prompting Keller to let him go and walk away.