See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Smell No Evil

Episode Report Card
Aaron: B- | Grade It Now!
There is no spoon.

With Kirk out of the way, we quickly learn that Father Mukada has been reinstated, and all charges against him have been dropped. Now -- see? That's what I love about Oz. That entire plotline took less than five minutes of screentime. The Sopranos sometimes goes five weeks without a new plot. Are you listening, David Chase? We certainly know Chris Albrecht is.

And speaking of Chris Albrecht, it's time for more product placement. And to think it was just last week that last week I praised Oz as the last great ad-free preserve. Now here they are, devoting entire scenes to grievously pimping their own merchandising tie-ins. You'll never catch Carmela baking something out The Sopranos Family Cookbook, for Christ's sake. But we're still expected to endure hearing Said and McManus describing Augustus's memoirs (Coming soon! Pre-order copies for all your loved ones!) as "the best book about prison [they've] read in years." Oy. I'm frankly surprised the suits didn't make Eamonn Walker stencil "www.hbo.com/store/oz" onto that skull cap he always wears. Said solemnly intones that his publisher (a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Conglomerated, no doubt) is greatly interested in putting out the book, but Redding hasn't shown any interest in even reading it. Smart man, that Crackhead Cosby.

But not smart enough to find his way out of Timmy's crop circle maze, apparently, because he's been trapped in there since we last saw him in the season premiere. Poet and crew find him shuffling around in there when they drop by the gym to play basketball, and there's some moaning and groaning from the troops about possibly replacing the old coot as their leader. Poet flatly refuses to take the title, however, citing the disastrous results last time he tried. Which isn't very surprising, when you think about it. I mean, if you name your kid muMs da Schemer, it's not like you can expect him to grow up to be a CEO or something. Well maybe at FTD or Enron, but that's about it.

Meanwhile, Governor It's A Small World After All has announced that private businesses will begin setting up operations in the state prisons, so as to better provide the inmates with new opportunities for wacky hi-jinx and disgusting sex crimes involving the use of office supplies. This news manages to motivate Redding enough to put down the crack pipe, escape from the meditative maze (Starring Tom Atkins! Buy DVDs for all your loved ones!), and seek out Said in the hopes of finding salvation in the pride of honest labor and the healing glow of a really mean glare. Finding him in the laundry room, Redding confesses to being tired of the burdens of leadership. "I got Augustus killed," he slurs. "I've got young boys out there slinging pudding pops. I can't do it anymore." Said applauds this dramatic change of heart (actually, he just sort of glares at it. But he was applauding mentally. I could sense it), but becomes skeptical when Crackhead Cosby finally reveals his plans. "In order to get my boys to stop selling those pudding pops," he explains, cocking a crackhead eyebrow, "I've got to give them an alternative. We're gonna get real jobs." Oh, yeah. That'll work.

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