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: I don't know, why don't you suck my dick and find out.
Tobias Beecher: What now?
Robert Rebadow: We go to our cells, they count heads and lock us up for the night.
Tobias Beecher: It's 5:00! What am I supposed to do... What time is lights out?
Robert Rebadow: 10:00 PM.
Tobias Beecher: What do I do for five hours?
Robert Rebadow: Try to keep breathing.
- 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.
- 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.
- The character of Adebisi was originally an African-American. When Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje was cast, the character was changed to reflect his Nigerian heritage.
- 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.
- While filming the scene with Ortolani in McManus' office, Jon Seda hit the glass window and busted it, cutting his hand. The scene had to be reshot and Seda's bandaged hand incorporated into the show.
- 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.
- 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.