Next we cut to death row, which I guess at least proves that Oz isn't located in Indiana. Poor Keller is always the last to know anything, so he's doubly shocked when Lopresti tells him about both Papa Beecher's murder and Junior Beecher's parole. And with that, having successfully reached the precise one-quarter mark of the episode, The WaWa Pedal Of True Love Encaged warbles us into the next narrative interlude.
Which features, much to my delight, the return of Shirley Bellinger, who scores major points for being both Oz's creepiest inmate ever, and also a frequently-naked sop to the show's heterosexual male viewers. Bellinger blathers a bit more about our senses, pointing out that when one fails, another usually steps up to take its place. The camera goes cleverly out of focus when she talks about blindness, and when it comes back, we're in a close-up which shows the rope burns from her hanging around her neck. Ooh, spooky!
Another day in solitary, another reason to hate Officer Claire. I wonder if people flee in fear whenever they see Kristen Rohde on the street? I'm sure she's a very sweet person in real life, but frankly, the woman terrifies me. And what's even more scary is that if Diane Whittlesey represents Carmela Soprano in an alternate universe, it's also possible that Claire Howell represents a potential future for Claire Fisher. That's too depressing to even consider. In fact, the only thing that can cheer me up at this point is pretending that Robson was a stand-in for Mike Binder this week. Now THAT would be a happy ending! Anyway, Claire and her colleague discover that everyone in solitary has taken ill with the same sickness that struck Omar last week. We're even treated to a wholly gratuitous shot of Penders lying in a pool of his own vomit. Man, where's Mama Cass when you need her?
In the medical ward, Leo stops by to be briefed by Dr. Nathan. She explains that the solitary inmates are all suffering from methylene chloride poisoning, as a result of all the toxic chemicals used to rebuild Oz after the explosion. It's so bad that Martinez's liver is completely shot, although I'm betting it's more likely that that damage occurred while he was partying on Madonna's tour bus. Nathan wants to send Martinez to Benchley Memorial, but Leo refuses. He also orders her to keep the poisoning quiet, and to do her best to treat them there at the prison. Oh, Leo, Leo, Leo. You should know better than to try to stage a cover-up in the show's final season. I can see the dramatic irony of his becoming a prisoner after one of them dies coming from a mile away.