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Oz - The Complete Second Season

A movie directed by Bob Balaban

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OZ - Season 2

  • Aug 20, 2010
Rating:
+5
Pros: writing, directing, acting

Cons: none for me

The Bottom Line:
"That's how we laugh the day away, In the Merry Old Land of Oz"
~Arlen, Harold; Harburg, E Y

~~Caution, may contain small spoilers~~

Before I start Season 2, I must rectify a statement in Season 1.   I mentioned Hill, the narrator, was in for minor offenses, drugs, but I have since discovered he also killed a police officer.  I guess that is why, when captured, they tossed him over the roof railing, resulting in his paralysis.  Despite that, we grow an attachment to Hill, or at least I did.

Season 2 picks up with the devastation after the prison riot in Em City, ending season 1. 

Season 2 episodes include:
The Tip directed by Nick Gomez
Ancient Tribes directed by Uli Edel
Great Men directed by Bob Balaban
Losing Your Appeal directed by Keith Samples
Family Bizness directed by Kathy Bates
Strange Bedfellows directed by Alan Taylor
Animal Farm directed by Mary Harron
Escape From Oz directed by Jean de Segonzac

Guest appearances, Season 2:
Charles S. Dutton as Professor Alvah Case
LL Cool J as Jiggy Walker

Joining the crew are:
Austin Pendleton as William Giles
Kathryn Erbe as Shirley Bellinger
Christopher Meloni as Chris Keller
Bill Fagerbakke as Officer Karl Metzger
Scott William Winters as Cyril O'Reily



Season 2 highlights include:
Six inmates and two officers were killed in the riot.  Gov. Devlin appoints a committee to investigate, led by Prof. Alvah Case.  It is determined one prisoner, Scott Ross, was murdered and not shot as a result of the influx of the S.O.R.T. team that intervened during the riot, but it is unclear who actually shot him at first.

Em City is reopened 10 months after the riot and things return to their usual symphony of confusion.  Schillinger's parole hearing is looming and Beecher does everything he can to prevent it from happening.  O'Reily learns he has breast cancer and Warden Glynn's daughter is brutally raped.

Augustus Hill's judge that sentenced him is found to have been taking bribes and Said serves as Hill's counsel to get his sentence overturned since he was never offered the opportunity to bribe the judge.  Hey, only in prison can they think of these things.  Alvarez knows who raped Glenn's daughter but won't tell and the guys are in a turmoil because they hear a woman will be joining their ranks, one Shirley Bellinger, who will reside on death row.

Although Said fails on Hill's efforts, he does manage to get Poet released from prison and get his poems published through Said's own publisher.  Beecher meets with the judge who sentenced him.  She feels she may have been a bit harsh on his sentence but that doesn't mean she does anything about it but apologize and he gets a new podmate, Chris Keller, who seems to dislike the Aryans as much as Beecher.

 Things are starting to heat up again in Em City.  Schillinger, the Aryan leader, asks Said to represent him at his conspiracy to commit murder trial.  McManus cools his relationship with Diane after the truth comes out about Scott Ross.  Beecher's wife commits suicide and Chris Keller offers comfort to Beecher.  Sister Peter Marie realizes prisoner William Giles witnessed her husbands murder and O'Reily is head over heels in love with Dr. Nathan and arranges for his brother, Cyril, to kill Nathan's husband.

New prisoner, Jiggy Walker, says he was Gov. Devlin's crack dealer, hitting the media hard with the reports.  El Cid takes power away from Alvarez and he is forced to do something to regain his status.   Dr. Nathan confronts O'Reily about her husbands murder and love is in the air in the Beecher/Keller pod.

A Nigerian voodoo fortune teller arrives and has a strange affect on Adebisi.  Rebadow's grandson is dianosed with Luekemia and the inmates pool their money to send him to Disneyland.  See, they aren't all bad.  Cyril O'Reily is captured and enters OZ for killing Dr. Nathan's husband.

A new guard joins the staff, Karl Metzger, but he definitely isn't in the inmates favor.  In fact, the only people happy to see him are fellow Aryans led by Schillinger.  Podmates Rebadow and Busmalis, known as The Mole, have been diligently digging an escape tunnel and Gov. Devlin offers Said clemency. 

Alvarez attacks Officer Rivera to regain his status in Em City.  Rivera has an unusual blood type and O'Reily is the only match so he bargains with McManus and Dr. Nathan to get his brother, Cyril, transferred to Em City and away from Schillinger.  But first he must confess his part in the murder of her husband.


Things are certainly heating up in Em City and the introduction of new cast members brings a whole new group of story lines.  The writing remains tight, sometimes explosive, and the inmates are always explosive.  Looking forward to Season 3.

thanks,
Susi

Related reviews:
OZ, Season 1
OZ, Season 2 - you are here

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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie

Wiki

Life on the inside gets even rougher for the inmates in the experimental prison system known as OZ during the second season of the HBO series. Regulars who have yet to be murdered return in these eight episodes which are highlighted by an Emmy-winning guest appearance by true life former inmate Charles Dutton and a final scene that left fans with many interpretations. Nick Gomez (LAWS OF GRAVITY), Mary Harron (AMERICAN PSYCHO) and actress Kathy Bates are among the directors of the second season's installments.
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Details

Director: Bob Balaban
Release Date: 1998-1999
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: Warner Home Video (January 07, 2003)
Runtime: 7hr 31min
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"OZ - Season 2"
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