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Oz: Season 5
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It's a new year, and Emerald City's got a brand-new look. The walls are cleaner, the cafeteria is bigger, and everything is fresher...everything on the outside, that is. Inside the hearts and minds of the prisoners, Oz is just as dark and raw as ever. The renovations may be complete, but the mayhem is starting all over again.]]>
With subplots involving guest stars Luke Perry, Peter Criss (from Kiss), Malachy McCourt, and others, the fifth season of Oz is weak at times, but series creator and primary writer Tom Fontana keeps a lot of characters in steady play, covering impressive dramatic territory after the relatively generous allotment of 16 episodes in Season 4. The series is clearly winding down here (the semi-musical episode "Variety" is a curious attempt to broaden the show's creative horizons, and works surprisingly well), and the outbreaks of violence now have a rather predictable and oppressive frequency. Anyone looking for "feel good" entertainment should stay away, but Fontana and the uniformly excellent cast maintain admirable depth of character and incident, including a tragic loss (in "Visitation") that resonates throughout the season. Extras are slim: commentary by Fontana and Dean Winters accompanies episode 8 (aptly titled "Impotence"), and like the fifth season itself, it's recommended primarily for devoted Oz viewers who've enjoyed seasons 1-4. --Jeff Shannon
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The first episode, "Visitation", focuses mainly on the return of normalcy to Oz after the gas explosion in the season four finale. Whilst the prisoners are reassigned pods, Father Ray Mukada (B. D. Wong) travels with the first group of people to visit inmates at Oz after reopening its doors and converses with several of the passengers. Due to complications with the air vents in the solitary unit, Miguel Alvarez (Kirk Acevedo), Omar White (Michael Wright), and their fellow prisoners are returned to Oz for the time that it will take to repair the ventilation system in their unit. Sister Peter Marie Reimondo (Rita Moreno) talks to Tobias Beecher (Lee Tergesen) about having him take part in a group counselling session between him, Kareem Said (Eamonn Walker), and Vern Schillinger (J. K. Simmons), which does not start off well as one can imagine due to past conflicts, religious differences, and flaring tempers. Zahir Arif (Granville Adams), unable to keep his guilt to himself any longer from seeing Ryan O'Reily (Dean Winters) kill Patrick Keenan (Dylan Chalfy), unknowingly starts a chain of events that leads to an investigation of Keenan's murder.
Episode two, "Laws of Gravity", focuses a great deal on newness. One example is that Alvarez, who knows if he stays out of trouble has one last chance to stay in Oz instead of going back to solitary, adopts a new way of handling his issues with Carmen "Chico" Guerra (Otto Sanchez). A second example is of Ryan's mother, Suzanne Fitzgerald (Betty Lynn Buckley) arriving at Em City to complete her community service.Read more ›
Season Four ended with a gas fire in the kitchen. We start out the fifth season, some months later, with the first visitation from the inmates' family and friends since the fire.
In the fifth season, Em City plays host to a 'seeing-eye-dog' program, where three inmates attempt to train some dogs for the blind.
A lady named Eleanor joins the staff at Oz as a liasion to the governor.
Ryan O'Reilly's mother, Suzanne, comes to Oz to teach the inmates some performance arts (as an act of community service) - in this season she teaches singing lessons. Something which the ever-so-annoying Omar White takes part in.
Peter Schibetta, who was sent to the psych ward at the end of season two, returns with revenge on his mind - hoping to take care of some Italian business.
As for the Tobias Beecher-Vern Schillinger storylines, last season ended with Schillinger and Robson attempting to kill Beecher and Keller - but Kareem Said shanks Schillinger and Robson from behind (saying afterwards, "Adebisi lives!"). This season starts with Beecher, Schillinger, and Said in Sister Pete's interaction sessions.
An old friend of Beecher's family gets sent to Oz - Adam Guenzel (along with his friend Franklin Winthrop) for raping a woman. Adam seems pretty happy to have an old friend like Beecher as his sponser, until he finds out about Beecher's first few months in Oz.
Not one of my favorite seasons, but not a bad one. Check out the beginning of this set for an inmate played by rock band Kiss's Peter Criss. And later, an embarrasing experience for Aryan member Robson at the dentist. My least favortie group in Oz (probably most people's)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not sure if this was the last season or if that was season 6, but the last season was the biggest disappoint in TV history. They killed off most all good characters. Read morePublished 8 hours ago by Jody Mathis
Great writing, great acting, great show. Wish HBO would do a final season.Published 2 days ago by Kindle Customer
So disappointed. The story line got absolutely ridiculous. Did I still watch the entire season, Yes.... but only because I had hopes for improvement. I was wrong.Published 3 days ago by LaVonne Milne
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