Oz
Exeunt Omnes

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Aaron: B- | 4 USERS: A
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So Long, And Thanks For All The Dick

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.

"I couldn't face living the rest of my life in here without you," Chris finally admits, as he leans against the railing on the upper tier of Em City. "Don't you see? I did what I did out of love." Tobias isn't moved by this revelation, although something is clearly affecting him, because his line readings here have taken on a monotonous quality that brings to mind my old Speak-And-Spell computer, rather than a man ending a tumultuous relationship with the great gay prison love of his life. "I loved alcohol," he says, as the tears begin to well up. "I loved heroin. But I had to put them behind me because they were poison. Death. You…are death." Chris finally seems to understand that there's not going to be a happy reunion this time, and they stare longingly at each other just long enough to communicate that it's really finally over. But then Keller grabs Toby by the throat, plants one last ferocious kiss on his lips, and yells, "Beecher, no!" as he executes a perfect backwards swan dive and plummets over the railing to die on the floor below. Damn! If I hadn't seen the spoilers, that definitely would have shocked me. Everyone in Em City stares accusingly at Toby as they gather around the body, and we slowly push in on Keller's eye as he slips into eternal darkness. Farewell, Christopher Keller. I just hope things work out better for you over there on SVU.

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