Oz: Season 2, Episode 8

Escape from Oz (31 Aug. 1998)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Thriller
5.3
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Ratings: 5.3/10 from 867 users  
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In the Season Two finale, Wittlesey is transferred to general population and replaced by Karl Metzger, a Nazi. Mack and another Aryan try to escape through Busmalis and Rebadow's hole. Hill... See full summary »

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Title: Escape from Oz (31 Aug 1998)

Escape from Oz (31 Aug 1998) on IMDb 5.3/10

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Kirk Acevedo ...
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George Morfogen ...
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Dr. Gloria Nathan (as Lauren Velez)
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In the Season Two finale, Wittlesey is transferred to general population and replaced by Karl Metzger, a Nazi. Mack and another Aryan try to escape through Busmalis and Rebadow's hole. Hill gets the idea of escaping Oz by hiding in a coffin. Written by Anonymous

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blacks versus italians | See All (1) »

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Crime | Drama | Thriller

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31 August 1998 (USA)  »

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Quotes

Augustus Hill: Clemency. That's a fancy word for mercy. You see, the Governor can commute a death sentence. He has the power to just pick up the phone and say no. But to me, the only time the Governor shows clemency, is when he don't make that call. 'Cause life in prison without parole is a shitload worse than death. Death is parole. Death is the real mercy.
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User Reviews

Season 2: The brutal tone carries it across some daft plots and some unnecessarily rushed ones (SPOILERS)
25 August 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I recently decided to watch this show again having not seen it since it was first screened late on Channel 4 when I was a student (long time ago now). At that time I just happened upon it and watched several episodes by chance, missing the opening credits each time and never quite being able to work out what this show was – all I knew was that it was incredibly brutal and engaging and it fitted the bill for that very late night slot. Watching the first season didn't quite deliver the way I remembered and this second season is the same in regards being a solid try but falling short of the mark.

In the wake of the riots the prison slowly gets back to normal with some new faces coming in the doors. Once it settles, the show suddenly seems to have almost no time to waste in getting its many plots out there. There are some that develop slowly and have the potential to engage over the course of the season; I did like the politics of the prison, the treachery of the relationships and the sheer pointlessness of the brutality – these are all things that the show continues to do pretty well. Not as well as it could do perhaps, because it isn't as smart as I would have hoped, but it is a steady tone to the show that really helps it. Unfortunately the other plots are weaker.

I have read plenty of viewers complaining about the sheer silliness or illogical nature of plots involving old men tunnelling out of prison, or a mentally disabled man being sentenced to a regular prison etc, but to me these are secondary to the problems in the telling. Take the relationship between O'Reily and Dr Nathan; it could have worked because his illness does put him at a low of neediness and reflection, while maybe she would have found something in that as he responds to her care, but it is developed in seconds and thus doesn't engage or ever ring true. Likewise the murder of her husband and then the capture and imprisoning of Cyril also just happens in the blink of an eye and I have no idea why the writers wanted it all done and dusted as fast as they did. The development of Beecher and Keller is given a bit more room but it is also very rushed in regards what it could have been – the "love" appears suddenly and is not as strong as the sting n the tail needed it to be. It is a flaw repeated in other plot lines and as a result the relationships, the characters and the situations don't have a room to breathe and, like I said, there isn't any obvious reason why this was done like this because it doesn't seem to add much.

The cast do minimise the damage of this because they are mostly able to sell their characters – so for example the small bit of O'Reily/Nathan that does work is mostly down to how well Winters sells his character. Tergesen works well with Meloni and changes his character well again. Perrineau makes his biggest impact in the engaging and clever narrations while no matter what their plots, Simmons and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje are thrilling to watch due to the sheer power of their disregard for humanity of themselves and others. Walker is a bit stiffer than I remember him (Said is not that great a character) and the supporting roles are decent. Kinney is certainly more real and engaging than Hudson and Wong.

Overall the second season of Oz is not quite as good as it could have been. The brutality and impact of it does tend to carry it to a point because the writing is weaker than you expect. Some plots are daft for sure, but for me the bigger problem was that they were often rushed and not given any time to bed in and develop and that is a bigger shame because some of the ideas here had potential were they not delivered in the quick manner in which they were.


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