1x01 The Routine
First Aired: Jul. 12, 1997 on HBO
Summary: In the experimental unit of Oswald State Penitentiary, there are a diverse group of inmates who have their own groups. Although there is no one leader, after Kareem Said (who is a Muslim author that preaches non-violence, tolerance, and of all things abstinence) arrives to Oz, a Mafia…
Main Characters in this Episode
Jefferson Keane: You gonna have to.
Prisoner #95S604 Nino Schibetta: Get out of here.
Joey D'Angelo: So I heard. He killed her, then he blew off her head, smothered it in onions.
Prisoner #96C382 Dino Ortolani: What, no garlic?
Joey D'Angelo: He had his father in the freezer.
Prisoner #95S604 Nino Schibetta: Sick fuck. What the fuck's wrong with this country? In the old days, murder was murder. You killed someone, it was business. You sure as Christ didn't eat them.
Prisoner #96C382 Dino Ortolani: Times have changed, Nino.
Prisoner #95S604 Nino Schibetta: Fuck that. Times changed. Nothing changes. Nothing ever changes.
Tobias Beecher: Me? Jewish? I don't even like Barbra Streisand.
Vernon Schillinger: You like my tattoos?
Tobias Beecher: Yeah.
Vernon Schillinger: We're gonna have to get you one.
Tobias Beecher: [laughs] I don't think so.
Vernon Schillinger: Oh, yeah, I'm gonna brand you myself.
Tobias Beecher: Livestock gets branded.
Vernon Schillinger: [chuckles] Livestock. Yeah, that's exactly what you are, my livestock. Because now, Tobias. Your ass belongs to me.
- Goof (plot holes): When Ryan O'Reily approaches Mike Healey he says "My brother says hello" right before asking a favor. In season 2 when his brother Cyril O'Reily is introduced he is mentally handicapped and the relationship between him and Mike doesn't make a lot of sense.
- Goof (crew or equipment visible): When Dino is in Tim McManus' office after he beats up the guy in the shower, if you look behind Dino you can see in the reflection a crew member holding up the Boom Mic. Right when Dino is looking at the officer outside the window.
- Originally producer Debbie Sargent approached artist Anthony Papa who served a 15 to Life sentence with the idea to shoot the opening of Oz playing a prisoner painting in a cell who loses it and destroys his cell and picks up his painting punching his fist through it and the episode of Oz would begin. Papa was commissioned to paint a copy of his famous self portrait "15 to Life" (www.15tolife.com) which was exhibited at the Whitney Museum. An 8 hour shoot was conducted but in the end it hit the cutting floor. The good news was that a segment of the shoot was retained and Papa was placed in the opening montage of season one painting at his easel.
- Alternate takes replacing the foul language were filmed for this episode. They were planned to be used in syndicated reruns. But during filming, Tom Fontana realized that a clean version of the series would not work and dropped the idea.
- The character of Adebisi was originally an African-American. When Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was cast, the character was changed to reflect his Nigerian heritage.
- On-screen brothers Ryan and Cyril O'Reilly are played by real-life brothers Dean Winters and Scott William Winters. Their brother Brad Winters is also one of the writers.
- Symbolism: In the scene between Ortolani and McManus, a cockroach is imprisoned in a glass jar while everyone pokes, prods, and stares at it. This is a symbol of the prisoners, perhaps Dino as well.