Oz (1997–2003)
8.3/10
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Capital P 

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 their skirmish. Before he's executed, Keane donates a kidney to his ailing sister.

Director:

Darnell Martin

Writers:

Tom Fontana (created by), Tom Fontana
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Ernie Hudson ... Warden Leo Glynn
Terry Kinney ... Tim McManus
Harold Perrineau ... Augustus Hill
Eamonn Walker ... Kareem Said
Kirk Acevedo ... Miguel Alvarez
Edie Falco ... Officer Diane Whittlesey
Leon ... Jefferson Keane / Tizi Ouzou
Rita Moreno ... Sister Peter Marie Reimondo
Tony Musante ... Nino Schibetta
J.K. Simmons ... Vern Schillinger
Lee Tergesen ... Tobias Beecher
Sean Whitesell Sean Whitesell ... Donald Groves
Dean Winters ... Ryan O'Reily
BD Wong ... Father Ray Mukada
Zeljko Ivanek ... Governor James Devlin
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Storyline

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 their skirmish. Before he's executed, Keane donates a kidney to his ailing sister.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Elizabeth Rodriguez (Maritza Alvarez) would later go on to a leading role in Orange Is The New Black, a series about a women's prison. See more »

Quotes

[after Jefferson Keane's execution]
Governor James Devlin: [gleefully, during a press conference] Justice has been served!
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Connections

References I Want to Live! (1958) See more »

Soundtracks

Jailhouse Rock
Written by Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller
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User Reviews

 
An Eye for an Eye and Bull's Balls
5 June 2020 | by injury-65447See all my reviews

The theme of this episode is capital punishment and more broadly the idea of punishment in general. Well I guess the whole series is obviously all about punishment.

I like that this episode reinforces the established trend that central show characters will be killed off and that potentially nobody is safe. It adds stakes to the show to know there will be no magical reprieves.

In the last ten minutes another death row inmate is examined, perhaps as a contrast to Jefferson Keane's stoicism and philosophical departure. This inmate revels in his depraved nature and laughs his way to the lethal injection. I wonder if it could have been handled more deftly, perhaps by introducing him earlier in the episode. The idea of this guy confessing to many many more murders I thought was fascinating and I wish they explored it more. Also he was probably the most compelling actor and character in the episode - I wish he could have gotten more screen time and a bigger part in the story. As it is, it feels a bit tacked on. Like an afterthought to throw something else in around the capital punishment theme.

The idea of violence feeding violence and corruption permeates the show. We see even "righteous" McManus is not immune to lashing out in bursts of spontaneous anger. We see that the state is eager to commit violence against those who have been imprisoned for doing that very thing.

Moments of levity were nice. I love the origin story of Bob and how he learned to speak with God during an unexplained blackout that saved him from the electric chair. God told him to play the oboe apparently, which he refused to do. Zany character. It was cute watching Bob and Beecher scheme together to get the damning video tape evidence that might exonerate Keane. Like two eager boys playing at being spies and heroes.

I didn't love the acting from the Keane family here: the gay brother felt exaggerated and the father felt slightly soulless. That's a shame in a show that is generally quite well cast.

Bd wong's priest character is given some background here in regards to his insubordination With the cardinal as the reason he is stuck in a bad gig at Oz. We see the starts of a potential questioning of faith here as he ministers to the unrepentant serial murderer - hopefully future episodes will capitalise on this.

I always enjoy Beecher interacting with the white supremacist. I feel this tension between them is building well on a simmer throughout these first four episodes.

We see O'Riley ramping up his malevolent puppet master character trying to play all sides against each other for his own gain. He seems destined for a downfall and I'm curious to see how the show will handle the arc of such a character.

What's the overall message here about state power? We get some statistics and whatnot but I ultimately think this is a show better suited to voyeurs than to politically minded social activists. We watch Oz for the thrills.


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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 July 1997 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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