Sunday, January 15, 2012

GGS Em City 01 Routine Conjugal Chillin' P

In today’s podcast Susan, Amelia, and Chris discuss the first four episodes of season 1 of HBO’s first hour-long drama, OZ.

The Routine (directed by Darnell Martin/written by Tom Fontana Theme: Oswald Maximum Security Penitentiary)
In the 'Emerald City' experimental unit of Oswald State Penitentiary, we meet some of the diverse inmates who exist in a pecking order of Gangbangers, Latinos, Muslims, Westies, Aryans and Wiseguys. No clear-cut leader emerges--with the possible exception of Kareem Said, a Muslim author who preaches non-violence and abstinence.

Visits, Conjugal & Otherwise (directed by Nick Gomez/written by Tom Fontana Theme: Sex)
With Schibetta and the prison brass in a race to uncover Ortolani's killer (for very different reasons), we see how inmates react to visits both from their wives and (in one case) family members who are also in prison.

God’s Chillin’ (directed by Jean de Segonzac/written by Tom Fontana Theme: religion)
Friction is growing in the wake of two deaths--first Ortoloni and now Johnny Post--so Said, Wiseguy leader Schibetta and Gangbanger Jefferson Keane are brought together by Warden Glynn, who tells them to keep their boys quiet or else he'll lock the prison down. The tension increases after a visit from Governor Devlin. Meanwhile, Keane has found God.

Capital P (directed by Darnell Martin/written by Tom Fontana Theme: Capital Punushment)
Governor Devlin has reinstated capital punishment in the state; and the first Oz prisoner scheduled to die is Jefferson Keane, who killed a Latino in a skirmish set up by the CO's. Before he's executed, Keane donates a kidney to his ailing sister. After Keane's death, Richard L'Italien--slaughterer of women--is executed after he makes a startling admission.

Post-episode research revealed that James Woods was the actor Chris was thinking of - I had trouble seeing Woods as anything other than the creepy-ass killer he played so effectively in The Onion Field. When he went on to play good guys like in Oliver Stone's Salvador, it didn't seem right in my head.
The other intense actor he was thinking of, but couldn't name was Samuel L. Jackson.

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