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HBO's violent men-behind-bars drama is an addictive, testosterone-driven soap opera for guys. The eight episodes of the first season set the style for the show: a massive cast of a vivid characters on both sides of the bars, four or five stories unleashed at a breakneck pace and framed by angry, oddball introductions, and a soaring casualty rate. Created by Homicide producer Tom Fontana, this drama quickly earned its rightful reputation as the most brutal show on TV. It's simple chemistry: combine volatile ingredients in a confined space, shut tight, and shake.

Genres: Crime | Drama
Station: HBO (US)
Rating: 7.33/10 from 3 users
Status: Ended
Start: 1997-07-12

Oz Season 1 Air Dates


S01E01 - The Routine Air Date: 12 July 1997 22:00 -

In the 'Emerald City' experimental unit of Oswald State Penitentiary, we meet some of the diverse inmates who exist in a pecking order of Gangbangers, Latinos, Muslims, Westies, Aryans and Wiseguys.


S01E02 - Visits, Conjugal and Otherwise Air Date: 14 July 1997 22:00 -

With Schibetta and the prison brass in a race to uncover Ortolani's killer (for very different reasons), we see how inmates react to visits both from their wives and (in one case) family members who are also in prison.


S01E03 - God's Chillin' Air Date: 21 July 1997 22:00 -

Friction is growing in the wake of two deaths so Said, Wiseguy leader Schibetta and Gangbanger Jefferson Keane are brought together by Warden Glynn, who tells them to keep their boys quiet or else he'll lock the prison down.


S01E04 - Capital P Air Date: 28 July 1997 22:00 -

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.


S01E05 - Straight Life Air Date: 04 August 1997 22:00 -

The infiltration of drugs into Oz has reached scary levels, and the efforts of McManus and Glynn to find out who's smuggling backfire in a deadly way. Despite a lockdown, drugs continue to trickle in--and the blame shifts to corrupt officials.


S01E06 - To Your Health Air Date: 11 August 1997 22:00 -

The prison's health service is kept busy by a variety of prisoner complaints: Beecher flips out and sends Schillinger to the hospital; mob boss Schibetta develops stomach problems thanks to some ground glass; and Said has a heart attack.


S01E07 - Plan B Air Date: 18 August 1997 22:00 -

A recovered Said ostracizes Huseni Mershah for turning his back on him when he was dying--and orders all the Muslims to cast him out. Impressed by Said's power, Groves decides to kill Glynn in his honor, but ends up stabbing an officer by mistake.


S01E08 - A Game of Checkers Air Date: 25 August 1997 22:00 -

After a visit with his sons, Schillinger realizes he needs to get paroled. He convinces McManus to let him return to Em City with the condition that he leaves Beecher alone. Beecher comes out of the hole hell-bent on making sure Schillinger doesn't get paroled. McManus gets wind of Wittlesey and Ross' contraband operation and orders her to shut it down. Ross makes it very clear to her that this will not happen. The Muslims meet and discuss how the riot will begin. However, two rednecks beat them to it by fighting over a game of checkers. This causes all the inmates to get involved and they quickly overpower the COs who are trying to break it up. Said orders the Muslims to get out and seize control. Said pulls out the gun he acquired from a rookie CO and fires a shot into the air, causing Em City to quiet down. Said meets with Ross, Adebisi, O'Reily and Alvarez to discuss strategy and demands. Said agrees to let O'Reily, Ross and Adebisi control the main gate and Alvarez will control the hostages. Dobbins was seriously injured during the initial uprising and Hill convinces Vayhue to step up and help. Vayhue and Dobbins leave Em City only to be beaten up by SORT. The hostages require medical attention, so Alvarez and Said vote in favor of a doctor. However, Adedisi, Ross and O'Reily vote no. Governor Devlin orders the National Guard to surround the prison and take it back, but Glynn and McManus think they should see the demands first. McManus volunteers, to Devlin's disgust, to enter Em City to deliver food and check on the hostages. He tries to get COs Armstrong, Mineo and Wittlesey free in exchange for himself. He gets Armstrong and Mineo released, due to their injuries but Wittlesey has to stay. After reading the demands, Glynn realizes that the prisoners are being quite reasonable, however Devlin orders the National Guard and SORT to re-take Em City anyway. Meanwhile Ross' men and Adebisi's are constantly fighting, so Said tells O'Reily to switch Ross' men with Alvarez's at the front gate. A short tie later, Adebisi's men start to fiend due to the depletion of heroin, resulting in a major skirmish. Just as that situation is resolved and the Homeboys are tied up, the lights go out. Said realizes the situation and orders Ross to bring out the hostages as a front line of defense. Soon tear gas is thrown into Em City, then a tractor breaks through the barricade and gunfire rings out in Em City.

Oz Actors

Seth Gilliam(Officer Clayton Hughes)

David Zayas(Enrique Morales)

Reg E. Cathey(Martin Querns)

Kirk Acevedo(Miguel Alvarez)

Harold Perrineau, Jr.(Augustus Hill)

Christopher Meloni(Chris Keller)

Lee Tergesen(Tobias Beecher)

Sean Whitesell(Donald Groves)

Ernie Hudson(Warden Leo Glynn)

Zeljko Ivanek(Governor James Devlin)

Dean Winters(Ryan O'Reily)

Eamonn Walker(Kareem Said)



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