Oz: Season 5, Episode 8

Impotence (24 Feb. 2002)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Thriller
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 739 users  
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In the Season Five finale, Robson goes to extremes to remedy his gum dilemma, Meanwhile, McManus struggles with personal turmoil over his decision to stay at Oz and Rebadow deals with his grandson's fate.

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Title: Impotence (24 Feb 2002)

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Suzanne Fitzgerald (as Betty Lynn Buckley)
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In the Season Five finale, Robson goes to extremes to remedy his gum dilemma, Meanwhile, McManus struggles with personal turmoil over his decision to stay at Oz and Rebadow deals with his grandson's fate.

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blacks versus italians | See All (1) »

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Crime | Drama | Thriller

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24 February 2002 (USA)  »

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Augustus Hill: [his last words] I can feel my legs.
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User Reviews

Season 5: Plenty of strength but some oddly stupid threads in there too (SPOILERS)
8 June 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This fifth season of Oz continues the way the second half of the fourth season ended and as before this is both a good thing and a bad thing. There is plenty to like in this season but yet there is plenty that is just stupid or just really contrived for the sake of making a plot happen. The strength of the show this season continued to be the way it let things brew, gave plots a little bit of space to actually build tension rather than the constant "idea – delivery; idea – delivery" of the early seasons. This isn't perfect but I did enjoy that the conflict between the factions is a constant and it never gets fully resolved. It felt more realistic and it allowed for smaller moves to feel more important because they were part of the bigger picture. Keeping this moving does occasionally mean that convenient writing is used to move characters out of the way to let off a little pressure.

This I was fine with because it produced good results but when this same lazy or stupid writing is employed elsewhere then it really hurts the season. We may as well jump to the worst example – Rev Cloutier. At the end of the previous season this character was bricked up in a wall just before an explosion ended the season. Now, the easiest thing to do would be to have had him either be forgotten or just be killed in that explosion; so I'm not sure why they decided to have him survive and then exist on an astral plain before physically vanishing from his hospital bed. This thread did nothing of significance to the main characters or wider plotting and really just served to be silly – I really have no idea why they decided to do this. At least with some of the other silly writing, I can see what they were doing beyond that starting point. So, for example, Cyril being put on death row – yes it is silly that this would happen but at least it creates a plot and motivates characters. Likewise the lottery win is highly improbably but does allow characters to develop.

None of the examples really work as well as the main conflicts do though and even at their best the dumb stuff is still dumb and distracts from the show. It is particularly annoying when they do some clever stuff in and around the main plot. I continue to enjoy the narration and I really liked the musical episode this season – characters breaking that realism wall to sing songs within the world of the narrator. Things like this reminded me why the show was distinctive to keep me up at night to see it years ago and why it stays in my mind today – shame that the more I watch the more the weaknesses and the missed potential gets louder and louder. The cast continue to do good work though and this season feels like the plots are evenly spread out and mostly work reasonably well. Everyone convinces in their character and I guess it also helps that I was no longer looking for development of them as people, just for them to do their part within the plots.

Overall this 5th season of Oz is a good example of the good and the bad. On one hand we have some daft writing and silly plot devices that don't ring true at all, but then on the other hand we have a consistent tension and small conflicts which fit into the bigger picture of a never-ending battle. This aspect I liked as it felt realistic and fed into the brutality of the character and the place – shame that there was so much convenient plotting and supernatural nonsense floating around because all that did was undercut what the season did well.


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