When I finally reach total baldness, I'm so getting that guy from the opening credits to tattoo "TWoP" (or maybe "TWoZ") on the back of my head. Then I'll be cool, right?
Oh, and props to Dina. Just because.
We open, as always, with the fool on the Hill. Theme of the week? Your senses. Are there five? Six? Can you see dead people? And what about your sense of fairness? Your sense of entitlement? Your sense and sensibility? Oy. Can you sense that I'm tense? Or that Hill makes no pretense of not being a nuisance? Methinks the writers have been smoking sensimilla again. Or at least that's my two cents, anyway.
The episode proper begins with a newscast by a reporter who bears a disturbing resemblance to that guy on SportsCenter who isn't Kenny Mayne, Rich Eisen, or Stu Scott. It seems the fine citizens of our great unnamed state (personally, I like to pretend Oz is in Shelbyville) are rioting in the streets over Governor James "Tiny Dancer" Devlin's pledge to pardon a local mayor who has been indicted for helping to cover up the '60s-era murder of two young black girls by the KKK. Not Stu Scott also informs us that all government offices have been closed in response, and that all state correctional facilities are in lockdown. That last bit is accompanied by a shot of Schillinger and a lipstick-free Cindy Brady, confined to their cell. Boo-yah!
A multi-hued Film-Grain-O-Vision flashback reminds us that Cindy earned his admission to the Aryan Brotherhood by killing Beecher's father, and we're then transported to the warden's office, where Beecher himself is hearing the news for the first time. His response? Well, I think he might have blinked, but I can't be sure. It's a highly muted reaction either way. I mean, I guess he's used to this sort of thing by now, so I shouldn't expect much in the way of teeth gnashing and garment rending, but still. You'd think he could at least summon a sniffle. The Hyper-Kinetic Editor Who Thanks God On A Daily Basis That Mind of the Married Man Has FINALLY Been Cancelled throws in a few quick shots of the guards searching various cells for the murder weapon, most notably that of Clarence Seroy, the big black guy who menaced Cindy way back on his first day in Oz. In Leo's office, however, Beecher is being told that he won't be able to attend the funeral, because the prison is in lockdown. Um, okay. I guess I'll just have to file that next to "How did Cindy hide the murder weapon during a lockdown?" and "Why was an unescorted civilian allowed to walk alone down a darkened prison hallway?" in my rapidly expanding "suspension of disbelief" folder. Toby also gets told that the lockdown means his parole hearing is postponed, but it ends up only being moved back about three and a half minutes, so I wouldn't get too worried.
After returning to Unit J, Beecher is still trying to figure out why Clarence Seroy would want to kill his father. I should take a moment here, by the way, to thank everyone who emailed to tell me that Beecher's block-mate is named Alvin Yood. You guys rock! On the other hand, I think it's pretty funny that in spite of all the Oz esoterica you people have at your fingertips, there was still no one who could explain that string around Rebadoze's neck. I guess some mysteries just weren't meant to be solved. The murder of Papa Beecher isn't one of them, however, because Toby quickly figures out that the Aryans must have been involved.