This is the end, my felonious friends. This is the end. And with that being the case, I find myself for the first time faced with the task of administering last rites to a show that's been on TV longer than this very site has been on the web. What exactly is the protocol for that sort of thing, do you think? Am I required to present some pithy, paragraph-long summation of the show, or do I just dive right in and tell you what happened like any other week? Do I deliver a flowering eulogy worthy of the Fisher family I'll so soon be seeing, or in the immortal words of Chris Keller, do I just "fuck [it] in the ass one last time" before I kill it? And anyway, what can you really say about Oz? Is it a gritty and honest portrayal of the dehumanizing ennui engendered by a flawed American criminal justice system, or is it a poorly lit pay-cable soap opera, with just enough dick and defecation scenes to keep the rubberneckers coming back for more? You do see my dilemma here, right? In the end, much like Tom Fontana, I decided to just be lazy and let William Shakespeare do all the heavy lifting. So here he is, ever-so-eloquently describing what it's been like to recap the one hundred and ten commercial-free minutes that -- like so many joyous clicks of a ruby red slipper -- have finally brought us home from Oz.
"Sleep shall neither night nor day
Hang upon his pent-house lid;
He shall live a man forbid:
Weary seven nights nine times nine
Shall he dwindle, peak, and pine:
Though his bark cannot be lost,
Yet it shall be tempest-tost."
-- Macbeth (Act I. Scene iii.)
Cypress Hill. He's insane in the brain, people! It's the only logical explanation. Apparently, convicted inmates frequently continue to loudly profess their innocence, regardless of whether or not they actually committed the crimes for which they've been incarcerated. Wow. Who knew? "But what about that one brother who's telling the truth?" wonders Augustus, as he sits surrounded by the entire cast. "The one who really is innocent?" Well, I don't know about you, but I'm betting that guy gets spooned a lot.
Fade up on a grainy, washed-out, I-Just-Got-Some-New-AfterEffects-Filters-And-I'm-Not-Afraid-To-Use-Them-style flashback of Leo's last long walk down The Darkened Corridor of Doom. ["Who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him?" -- Macbeth (Act V. Scene i.)] As a new day dawns on Oz, the staff gathers to mourn their fallen leader. "We all had our disagreements with Leo," sighs Sister Pete. "But still, he was the best man for the worst job." Yeah, if that job was watching his inmates die. From there it's off to The Late Leo's office, where Tim and Ex-Wife Ellie are packing up his belongings. Ellie confesses that she's been pushing for Tim to be named the new warden, but he doesn't think there's any way Governor Little Bo Peep would ever let him have the job. Besides, he doesn't want it anyway, probably because he knows deep down in his heart of hearts that he's the only man in America who'd actually be worse at it than Leo. Unless, of course, that job was rearranging the entire prison into the absolute worst possible cellmate combinations. Then he'd kick ass. They're interrupted when a guard drags Henry Stanton in to fortuitously exposit that Lionel Kelch killed the warden, as well as pretty much everyone else involved in the Great Season-Six Mayor MacGuffin Murder Mystery. You know, given Stanton's time in solitary this season and his self-expressed, Rosie-fed fetish for masculine women, wouldn't it make more sense for HIM to be the father of Claire's baby? I'm just saying. Terry Kinney strives gamely to present his best take on "steely-eyed" (which fetches up tragically closer to "Steely Dan") as he orders the guards to have Kelch brought to the hole.