Oz: Season 6
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On the surface, not much has changed inside the walls of Oswald State Penitentiary. Schillinger has revenge on his mind, Cyril is facing execution, Beecher is hoping for parole, and McManus is finding solace in a meditative maze. But there's toil and trouble brewing in the Oz cauldron, as the Oz players rehearse for their presentation of Macbeth and the climactic final act.]]>
One of the strongest storylines is the ongoing romance between murderer Keller (Christopher Meloni, Law & Order: SVU and Beecher (Lee Tergesen), who's hoping to be paroled. Series creator Tom Fontana doesn't allow their arc to be diluted by any idealistic expectations. The viewer is acutely aware that Beecher is an easy target for annihilation whether or not he is released from prison. The viewer is never quite as certain of Keller's motives--whether they're borne of love and affection, or a selfish need to satisfy his own primal urges. Like Beecher, Alvarez (Kirk Acevedo) is trying to keep his own nose clean in the hopes that he'll be eligible for parole three years down the line. It's easy to understand the almost suffocating feeling he lives every day, knowing that three years may as well be a lifetime when you're behind bars and the target of both your former gang and the Aryan brothers, led by Schillinger (J.K. Simmons, Law & Order: SVU, the Spider-Man films). And Ryan (Dean Winters) desperately tries to save his mentally retarded brother Cyril (played by Dean's real-life sibling Scott William Winters) from being executed.
There are a few subplots that don't ring true, such as the quasi romance between a librarian (Patti LuPone) and one of the prisoners, and an elderly inmate's (Joey Grey) implausible death wish. And for all the constraints the majority of convicts face, some appear to have almost free run of the prison. Still, Fontana has created a vivid, dark world where the occasional acts of humanity are as important as the non-stop chaos that is Oz. While it certainly helps to have seen the previous five seasons of the series to enjoy this season, it's not mandatory. These last eight episodes work fine as a stand-alone piece of drama. --Jae-Ha Kim
Top Customer Reviews
There was a potent irony at towards the end of the season when Augustus kept bringing up real world examples of what is happening in prisons, because such polemical observations ring a bit hollow against a series whose penal model is closer to "Escape from New York" than it is to the real world. Do you know how many prisoners are murdered in prison each year since 2000? Four. On average fifteen prisoners will commit suicide. In the real world if four prisoners died at the same prison in a year the warden would be gone and there would be some significant changes in policy at that prison.Read more ›
But both I and a friend who have recently finished Season 6 both agree... it left us both seriously let down.
For starters -- and I will try not to spoil it for people who haven't yet seen it -- there are faaaaaar too many storylines left unresolved. I mean, at this point in watching the series, I care a LOT about many of these characters. I want to see if Alvarez can keep up his good behavior; I want to see what's going to happen to Beecher after Keller's latest psychopathic relationship decision; I want to see a lot of things that you just don't get to see.
Initially, we both thought that maybe there was a seventh season in the works, but the past-character appearances throughout the season and the big montage toward the end clearly meant the show's writers knew it wasn't coming back, which makes the ending all the more mystifying.
I mean, I understand that not EVERYONE's story can be resolved -- short of another explosion that just offs the whole prison population -- but at eight episodes, it just seemed to short and not comprehensive enough. I wish they would have saved the longer season -- was it 4 or 5 that had like 15 or 16 episodes? -- for the last.
I agree with several people's assessment that the body count this year -- and really, throughout the whole series -- was ridiculously high, but c'mon. If it were some regular prison where no one ever got killed, no one would be watching. However, my inkling that the show had jumped the shark in season 5 with the whole "Rev.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A gritty prison series that focuses on the many cultures within the correctional system.Published 2 days ago by Ray J.
Great series and great acting! What a fantastic cast! The writing was incredible and the series really gives you an idea of what prison life is like--scary and unpredictable for... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Elle of ny