Oz TV Wiki
Ancient Tribes
Oz episode
Episode No. Season 2 Episode 2
Directed by Uli Edel
Written by Tom Fontana and Sean Jablonski
Cinematography by Glenn Kershaw
Edited by James Y. Kwei
Original Air Date July 20, 1998
Episode Guide
The Tip
Great Men

"Ancient Tribes" is the second episode of the second season and the tenth episode overall of the HBO television series Oz.


Ten months after the riot, Em City reopens and McManus lays down new ground rules to make everybody's lives better. He starts by making a high school education program. Peter Schibetta, the son of the deceased mob boss Nino Schibetta, decides to find the one responsible for his father's death, O'Reily decides to give up Adebisi to protect himself. Scibetta also knows a secret about Glynn, regarding his brother. Schillinger is up for parole but Beecher does what he can to stop him. Glynn's daughter is brutally raped and Glenn takes his frustrations out on Alvarez. O'Reily finds out he has breast cancer.



So, there used to be this tribe, the Aztecs, who believed that the universe was created by violence. Every year, at what was their version of Christmas, they would cut out someone's heart and offer it up to the gods. These people were convinced that without this sacrifice, the sun would fall from the sky and the world would come to an end. Then the Spaniards landed and wiped the Aztecs off the face of the Earth. Turns out they was right. The world did come to an end. For them. Welcome to Oz. 10 months after the world ended.

Prisoner number 96J332, Arnold Jackson, A.K.A. "Poet". Convicted February 15, '96. Armed robbery, attempted murder, possession of a deadly weapon. Sentence: 16 years, up for parole in 9.

Them Aztecs, they had this king, Montezuma II. That's the Halls of Montezuma guy. One night, Montezuma saw this flaming ear of corn shoot across the sky. A comet. Montezuma saw this comet as an omen, a sign of his own downfall. And so he surrendered his empire to the Spanish conquistadors without a fight. Stupid fuck. You gotta fight! Even if you know you're gonna lose.

Prisoner number 98S112, Peter Schibetta. Convicted May 19, '98. 5 counts of extortion, money laundering. Sentence, 35 years, up for parole in 20.

When the Aztecs first saw the Spaniards on horseback, they thought the man and the horse were one creature, and the Aztecs knelt down and worshiped this creature as God. Sometimes, what you see is not what is.

Besides horses, the Aztecs had never seen a cannon. They had never seen such raw, boom power thundering at them. They was afraid! Between the cannons and the horses, the fucking comet, (shhh) that whirlwind turned pretty fucking fast, son! Boom! Ughh. (shivers) I don't know.

So here's the funny part. The Spaniards actually exterminated the Aztecs by accident. Yeah, they had the horses and the cannons, but they also brought over smallpox. It was a disease that finally finished the job. A disease the Spanish gave the Aztecs without even knowing. In Oz, we do what we can to survive. But ultimately, it doesn't matter. Life always gets in the way.

Deceased []

(This episode had no deaths)

Crime Flashbacks[]

  • Arnold "Poet" Jackson- Armed robbery, attempted murder and possession of a deadly weapon. 
  • Peter Schibetta- Five counts of money laundering and extortion 
  • Confrontation leading to Glynn's daughter's rape