Oz
Obituaries

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West Said Story

Okay, what's this guy's name? He's from across Oz, a here and queer and used to it member of Oz's gay clique, and he enters the visitors' room wearing a short-sleeved denim shirt and a gray scoop-necked t-shirt with the word "BOY" written in sequins across the middle. We shall call him "Boy." And I'll bet Boy would have a thing or two to say about the woeful orange jumpsuit mishap just a few scenes back. He sits down at a desk with a phone at it and picks it up to communicate with the woman on the other side of the glass. The name of the woman is Mrs. Lazarus, whose good Christian faith has brought her to the prison to tell Boy that he was not given a fair, unprejudiced trial. And she's come to tell him this even though she still inherently believes him to be guilty. Oh, the moral complexities! Cut to Boy in the cafeteria recounting the rest of the story to his posse: "So then Mrs. Lazarus says after the jury got sequestered, one of the other jurors, a red-necked masterflocker, announced to everybody that this shouldn't take long, that he's a fag, and all fags should be dead." Only he doesn't say...oh, never mind. Anyway, the aforementioned masterflocker convinced the entire jury to find Boy guilty solely on the fact that he is gay. He's going to try to get a new trial and fast. And, one hopes, a speedy as all heck way for me to learn his name for further recapping purposes.

Shut up, Said. Of course the two people farthest from each other as possible on the ideological spectrum would be working together -- just the two of them -- in the library. Boy asks Said whether the Muslim is prejudiced toward him because he is gay. Said says no; after all, he prays day and night for the spiritual salvation of Boy and those like Boy. Boy thinks that makes him even more prejudiced. Said asks just exactly what Boy wants. Boy wants "justice," and the high drama of that line indicates that we would fade into that would be a godsend four-minute commercial break on any other network but this one. But it's not TV. It's HBO. This is a whole lotta show we're right in the middle of right here.

Wow, Shirley. I really like what you've done with the place. Sheer curtains over the cell bars. The bed in a corner complimentary to the light. You being anally debauched by an unknown male presence in a gratuitous grunting sequence occurring entirely in silhouette. Wait, what was the last thing I just said?

Cut to Glynn's conference room, where he speeches the staff about Shirley Bellinger's execution, transpiring "two weeks from Tuesday." She's the first woman to be executed in this state in, like, a thousand years, so he wants them to be prepared for more undue media and protester attention. Officer LoPresti suggests having the death-row cells painted in preparation for the TV cameras. Cut to last week's idiot with a cell phone, Ralph Galino, who has been chosen to paint the cells. He rants about having been a contractor before he was in the slammer, and he doesn't know who decided he was qualified to paint. This subplot seems of the utmost importance, I must say. LoPresti tells Shirley that the warden decided she was free to roam the room while Galino paints her cell. She makes the squeeze as tight as possible when they pass each other entering/exiting the cell, Shirley writhing coyly and apologizing even more so. She talk-show-hosts herself from cell to cell, asking how "Nat" is doing, and he responds that he is working on a new dress. The prisoner in the cell across the way calls Nat "fucking girlie queer bait" (except he doesn't really say "fucking girlie queer bait." Oh, wait, yes he does), and we are to assume Nat is, I suppose, Another Friend of Boy's, if you will. We back-story the evil, evil man in the other cell, whose name is Mark Miles, on death row for the small infraction of systematically shooting his families. As in, the plural. Shirley smirkingly observes that his three counts of first-degree murder "makes [her] feel like a downright amateur." Heh. Shirley gets a little too close with the gold-toothed gentleman in death row cell four, and LoPresti drags her back to her cell as Galino finishes up his paint job. Shirley, you loony bitch, you. You fabulous, guileful, calculating, pertinent, deranged, opportunistic, loony bitch.

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