Oz: Season 4, Episode 16

Famous Last Words (25 Feb. 2001)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Thriller
9.0
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In the Season Four finale, Hill discovers where his true allegiances lie in Oz. Redding's plot to use the Colonel against Morales has an unexpected outcome. Beecher's agony about his parole hearing leads to a shocking season climax.

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Title: Famous Last Words (25 Feb 2001)

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In the Season Four finale, Hill discovers where his true allegiances lie in Oz. Redding's plot to use the Colonel against Morales has an unexpected outcome. Beecher's agony about his parole hearing leads to a shocking season climax.

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Crime | Drama | Thriller

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25 February 2001 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The inmates want to watch Sex and the City (1998) and Ryan (Dean Winters) says he would like to have sex with Sarah Jessica Parker. Winters guest starred as Carrie's casual sex partner in that show's second season. See more »

Quotes

[Schillinger blows up because Beecher is coming up for parole]
Sister Pete: [to CO] This session's over!
Officer Tom Robinson: Let's go, Schillinjur.
Vernon Schillinger: [shouts] Schillinger! God DAMN IT! Schillinger! I've been here NINE FUCKING YEARS! You'd think you'd know how to say my goddamn name!
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Featured in Forget About It: Spiderman (2011) See more »

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Get On Top
(uncredited)
Red Hot Chili Peppers
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User Reviews

Season 4.2: Pretty strong aside from some utter nonsense (SUGGESTIVE SPOILERS)
21 March 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The fourth season of Oz was done and dusted until delays in other shows meant a schedule gap that HBO moved quickly to fill, specifically by commissioning Oz to do another 8 episodes as soon as possible and as such a season 4.2 was born. This rush could have meant a disaster but to be honest it is a surprisingly strong season thanks in the most part to the continuation of the brutality but within a frame of some solid plot threads.

It takes a minute to shake off the finish of the previous season and, to be honest, the delay in even mentioning the high-profile death at the end of 4.1 is a bit off-putting and broke what should have been a strong link. That said, the show settles down, moves in new characters and keeps the trend going. For the rest of the season we have a violent cold war for the drug trade between the rival factions – this has a nice build and constant tension to it, which is a solid base for it to then deliver brutal violence and acts of callousness from, which in turn have more impact because they are part of a constant – not something just done for the hell of it. Having disliked the speed of plots in previous seasons I must say I enjoyed that this was a constant that didn't end. Burr Reading is a solid add as he provides a foil for the others and he is part of this plot consistency, and characters around him are allowed to be around for a while, not just introduced and killed (eg Supreme Allah is given space). This works well with ongoing threads such as Beecher/Schilinger continue and some other ones that had run their course are brought to a close (I know it was other work that saw Keller and Alvarez moved out in one way or the other, but it cleared some clutter). Even the plot with Rev Cloutier works pretty well.

As I said, the brutality continues and this season has some real moments of cruelty that hit the spot in terms of impact. In previous seasons people would come in and be brutally killed seemingly because the show wanted brutality but not at the cost of the main characters. Here we have several situations where people are outplayed after a little bit of time (better than just one episode) and then we have some smaller guys who are used as pawns. This latter device is not new but it works well here and it brings out a real callousness in some of the main characters that enhances them while also impacting the viewer.

Problem is that there is still some terrible writing in here. Like previous seasons where laziness and a desire to do something whether it made sense or not seemed to be a factor, so we have dumb stuff here. The unlikely nature of some devices (IRA guy, Chinese prisoners being out in an open area etc) continues and is at times a bit annoying as you do think "well, that wouldn't be allowed to happen". Of course all that is secondary to the sheer awesome stupidity of the aging pill – a plot that is as dumb as it is pointless. The idea is stupid and it doesn't fit and I still don't understand what it is doing in the season because it takes up very little time, doesn't really go anywhere and doesn't add anything other than being the one thing that people tend to remember within an otherwise good season. I don't know how it made it through script-editing and I certainly don't understand why it didn't end up on the floor of the editing suite.

Generally though the good covers for this and it is a strong season. The additional characters are mostly decent and not throwaways – in particular I was impressed by Omar White in terms of the writing of him but also the delivery by Wright; he is a tragic character who draws the viewer's sympathy while also being someone who needs putting somewhere very secure for a very long time. The rest of the cast continue to be solid on the whole and the more consistent tone to the plotting tends to help most of them as they understand the tensions and have time to exist within it.

Overall the second part of season 4 is a strong continuation of the first part. It has weaknesses and stupidity but it mostly carries it off thanks to the season long threads and the tidying up of some clutter and stories that had run their course. I hope this is a path it can continue into the fifth season but I must admit that my memory (albeit hazy) is that it goes off the rails later in the seasons.


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