Oz
Obituaries

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West Said Story

Props to the cavalcade of tapers, senders, and VHS traffickers both domestic and international: Sars, Wing, The Man From F.U.N.K.L.E., and Dymphna. As a token of my everlasting gratitude, please enjoy the delicious treats that are currently in transit to your various homes and businesses for your culinary enjoyment. If you find a hearty helping of good karma tasty, that is.

Fade in on the sound of clanging church bells and our intrepid narrator, Augustus "The Metaphor Who Went Up a" Hill "But Came Down a Mountain" lying flat on a table swathed in white sheets, eyes closed. The camera comes to rest above him, and Hill opens his eyes and informs us directly what's what in the world of hackneyed voice-over narration this week: "Obituaries. A man or a woman lives their [sic] entire life. They work and love and dream and laugh and cry. Then they die. And then somebody who they don't even know, who has never met them once, boils their entire life down to a paragraph or two in the local paper." Um, is this episode going to be a meditation on the frailty of human life and the meaninglessness of death? I do hope so. Because that's a theme that hasn't really been fleshed out or explored at all thus far in the show's run. At least not as much as that other heaped-in-subtext leitmotif we sometimes find springing up when we least expect it, that of, "Sometimes bad people go to jail." Over this speech is a flashback retread of the shootout sequence of last week's episode, in which Frenchy takes down Wangler, Junior, and the bulk of many other engaging Season Three plot lines we would have liked to see continued indefinitely. Frenchy takes down Joseph Howard the guard. Frenchy takes down Keller. Frenchy, who manages to convince us of his inherently evil French guy characterization, bereft even of handlebar moustache or sinister "haw haw haw" laugh, takes down himself.

Leo "I Ain't Afraid of No Ghost" Glynn and Officer Murphy chat meaningfully at the guard's station about the status of the seven men Frenchy took down on his shootout at the not okay corral. Much to my subplot-depriving horror, one of the casualties of said gunplay was endearing punk Kenny Wangler, and Keller "had internal damage. He'll be in the hospital a while." Dang. In other news, a whole lotta boring people I can't tell apart lived and prospered. Murphy responds, "I keep asking myself, how did that freakin' gun get in Oz?" Only he, y'know, doesn't say "freakin'." Significantly, the hallowed pages of The MBTV Style Guide advise us recappers to avoid gratuitous cussing as much as possible in these here recaps. But avoiding gratuitous cussing while recapping the show that gave gratuitous cussing its good name back, well, it's a little more difficult to avoid. So I'll remember my HTML tags and I even promise to try to continue structuring my sentences in a more or less syntactically acceptable fashion, but as far as the swearing, well, we're in Oz now. It's just plain unavoidable. So freak it. Freak it right in the ear. ["Do what you can, dude. I don't envy you." -- Wing Chun]

Glynn has sequestered a rather sizable collection of African-American inmates to discuss the unsettling development of firearms in Em City. Said stands tall like the Said of old in attesting, "We don't know where the gun came from," and Arif backs him up immediately: "Why are you asking us? That was a white man's finger on the trigger." Simon "Hat Trick" Adebisi (yeah, his first name is really Simon. Go figure) steps out of the crowd and rather didactically informs Glynn, "One thing is clear. Emerald City is out of control. McManus must go." Hey, that's really weird. I thought I had seen every episode of this show. I must have missed the one where a repentant and responsible Adebisi was released from prison but stayed on at Oz and was appointed head of the Human Resources Department. Arif is quick to jump on the anti-McManus lobby, foreshadowing, "You'd better act fast. The press wants answers. The public wants someone to blame." Glynn sarcastically thanks Arif for his concern. Well, Glynn, it's you or the bald, unphotogenic, fruitcake liberal. And aren't you running for lieutenant governor? How ever will you solve this knotty dilemma? Let's wait and see!

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