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Series Name
Oz episode
Airdate August 11, 1997
Written by Tom Fontana
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"To Your Health" is the sixth episode of the first season, and the first episode overall of the HBO television series Oz. 

Theme []

This episode deals with the subject of health. With the idea of starting a unit for senior citizens, Ricardo Alvarez's Alzheimer's, and Kareem Said's heart attack.

Summary []

The staff realize that they are not dealing with senior inmates very well, so they decide to give them a senior citizens unit, with no success. McManus starts behaving strangely and is somewhat permanently attached to Em City. Rebadow decides to leave with God's aid but fails. Ricardo Alvarez has Alzheimer's, and Mukada and Sister Pete debate that he should be released. Schillinger grows tired of Beecher and decides to get rid of him. O'Reily gives Beecher PCP and he takes a stand against Schillinger. O'Reily and Adebisi know that Schibetta is driving a wedge between them, so they come up with a plan to kill him. Basketball star Jackson Vahue comes to Oz and Augustus Hill, whose role model he is, tries to win his respect, but Vahue gets him to take drugs to prove his loyalty. Said succumbs to a heart attack and Huseni Mershah, who does not share Said's enthusiasm, decides to let him die.

Plot []

Kenny assaults Rebadow and steals the brownies that have been sent to him by his mother. Later at a staff meeting Dr. Nathan suggests they start a unit only for the senior citizens as it would make the prison safer for them and there's little need to scare them straight. Glynn seems disinterested though Ray Mukada and Sister Peter are strongly supportive of it. Glynn points out that McManus seems uncharacteristically quiet. McManus claims it's a good idea but has nothing else to offer. Later McManus questions Kenny who shows no remorse and ignores McManus's attempts to intimidate him, even after McManus threatens him. McManus starts choking Kenny and throws him to the floor. The guards then have to come in to help him. When Glynn goes to the gym he bumps into McManus. He sympathises with his frustration but advises him to not let the prison corrupt him. All McManus seems to take from the discussion is that it is the first time Glynn called him "Tim". During the discussion Glynn says that the commissioner rejected their proposal for a senior Citizens Unit but McManus knows Devlin is the one responsible for the decision.

Groves talks to Rebadow in the hospital who tells him how afraid he is and how he plans to escape. Rebadow then runs up and down the stairs, looking for a way to escape but collapses.

In another staff meeting they all discuss Miguel Alvarez. Sister Pete is concerned for Miguel but Mukada tells her his depression's not getting better any time soon. Dr Nathan then reveals Ricardo is suffering from Alzheimerz. Mukada wants to be the one to tell Miguel which McManus happily agrees to. Miguel and Eduardo visit Ricardo in hospital. Given his mental state Mukada and Sister Pete feel he should be freed but when they come to Glynn about Ricardo's situation he is completely unsympathetic and refuses to help. Miguel opens up to Sister Pete about how abandoned he felt by his family as a child. He tells her as a kid he used to see Ricardo as a god but he now realises how human he really was. He agrees to Sister Pete's offer to be an orderlie in the hospital so he can take care of Ricardo in his final hours.

Groves Visits Rebadow and attempts to comfort him. Rebadow takes his failure to escape gracefully. Dr,Coocher, the prison doctor tells Gloria he is scared as Donald Groves is scheduled for an appointment. She insists Groves is harmless though he is skeptical of that. Meanwhile Groves is just as terrified to attend the appointment but is talked by Sister Pete into going. During the session Coocher is very paranoid and gets scared at even the most innocent comments. Wanting the session to be over as quickly as possible Coocher informs Groves his teeth are fine without really looking at them. Groves tells Ross about the tooth he chewed his mom with and Scott suggests he sell it. Ultimately they agree to sell it and split the profits.

Beecher is forced to wear drag and perform in the prison talent show by Schillinger. Most of the prisoners have a good time laughing at his expense but O'Reily seems sympathetic. Sister Pete realises Beecher's addiction is worse than she thought as he's clearly high on Heroin.She talks to McManus, stating they have to pull Beecher out of his mindset of being a victim if he's ever going to regain control of his life. She arranges for Beecher to meet with Cathy Rockwell's mother. Mrs Rockwell shows Beecher a picture of her daughter and he can hardly bare to look at her as he is full of remorse, The visit is brief and ends with the woman yelling at an upset Beecher as she's dragged away. Beecher confides to Pete that he thinks he let Schillinger treat him so badly because he felt he deserved it but that he doesn't want to continue hating himself. When Beecher comes back to his cell he is berated by Vern for using drugs and given a confederate t-shirt to wear. He's gotten tired of Beecher and wants Scott as his new cellmate. When Beecher asks why he can't just moved out Schillinger tells him he doesn't want a black inmate to take Beecher as their lover. Beecher is fearful the black inmates will kill him but Schillinger laughs and admits that's what he wants to happen.

Beecher runs to O'Reily's pod to ask for Ryan's help. Ryan tells Beecher he's there for him and Beecher informs him of the situation. O'Reily then offers Beecher some PCP which he accepts. While under the affects of the drug Beecher throws a chair at Schillinger's pod, breaking the glass and blinding him in one eye. Schillinger has to be taken to be treated. McManus visits Beecher in the hole and offers to move him to Protective Custody but is just repeatedly told by Beecher to fuck off,

Nino tells O'Reily that Adebisi has been stealing from the kitchen and that because he has been doing jobs for him efficiently he is choosing him to replace Adebisi. Adebisi is less then pleased when he is told of the new development but a threat from Nino to send him back to the sweatshop gets him to back down. On Adebisi's orders Kenny and the other homeboys ignore O'Reily when he tells them to do anything. O'Reily comes to Adebisi with a proposal. Pointing out that they both want control of Nino's drug tradde O'Reily suggest they slowly poison him by putting bits of shattered glass in his food. Adebisi is quick to accept the alliance. O'Reily speaks with Sister Pete and vows he is going to survive to make his parole, Later When Nino's eating his dinner he notices a change in his food's taste and tells O'Reily that he's making it too spicy.

O'Reily tells Hill that famous basketball player Jackson Vahue is coming to Oz. Hill is excited as Vahue is his hero. He asks McManus if he can be Vahue's sponsor to which McManus agrees. As Vahue's arriving in prison Hunt asks for a autograph for his son which Vahue gives him. Later Hill tries to talk to him in the gym and is told to go away. Hill tries to explain that he just wants to help him which Vahue throws back in his face. Vahue gets annoyed when he's assigned mop duty and refuses to do it. McManus comes over and tells him he's got no choice, Vahue gets annoyed and throws the buckett of water. McManus sarcastically tells him he now has more to clean up. Later in class Vahue struggles to pay attention and is berated by the teacher. When he sees Hill he asks if he has any drugs Hill says no and Vahue says that means he's useless to him.

At Dinner O'Reily delivers a special dinnner to Vahue as he is grateful to him due to having made huge gambling money on one of Vahue's games. Saïd shows up and Vahue condescendingly asks if he wants an autograph. Said tells him he must be a good example as he is a role model to children. Vahue says he never wanted to be a role model but Said replies he is one all the same. Eventually Said agrees to leave but says he is not done with Vahue. Hill caves into peer preassure from Vahue and gets high with him, Adebisi and Kenny.

The staff discuss Said's health and refusal to take his medication. Sister Pete attempts to reason with Said but it's to no avail. Said meets new muslim inmate Huseni Mershah who is in prison for murder. Mershaa brags about his murder and Said seems to disapprove of his clear Anti-semitism. During dinner Scott makes a number of islamaphobic remarks and Said has to prevent a fight between him and Mershah. Later Mershah badmouths Said to Arif. He clearly wants power for himself but when it becomes clear Arif is loyal to Said he backs out of telling him what he was thinking. When he comes back to Said's cell he sees he's having a heart attack and leaves him to die.

Narrations[]

6% of the prison population is 55 or older. That's double 10 years ago. And we say 55 is old because criminal life adds about ten years worth of wrinkles. Still; in Oz, you get decent food, exercise, regular check-ups. And if you don't get whacked, you'll live longer than you would in your own hood. Yeah, the prison system. It can keep you alive, but it can't take care of you.

You know, you don't even have to be 55 to be old.

The human body. It's amazing. Made up of all these cells and neutrons and veins and shit like that. So many little pieces, so many things that could break down. And add onto that the wear and tear we give our bodies, what with the drugs and drinking and chicken-fried steak. Man, that any of us are still standing, still breathing, it's a miracle.

Prisoner number 43A515, Ricardo Alvarez. Convicted March 3, '43. Armed robbery. Sentence: 20 years. Convicted June 6, '61. Murder in the first degree. Sentence: Life imprisonment, solitary confinement.

Do we care for people when they're sick because we actually care about them? Or do we care for them because when our time comes, we want someone to care for us? Or does it matter? At least you got your health. Don't you hate it when people say that?! I mean, you lose your job, your lose your wife, you're in prison, and some punk-ass dude gonna say "at least you got your health." Like that's supposed to make you feel better! So what if I'm broke, so what if some drug dealer wants to cap my ass? At least I ain't got a tumor! I swear, the next person that says ALYGYH to me, I'm gonna make sure they ain't got their health much longer.

The mind is just like the body. It's under constant assault, from fear and hate and a whole pile of loneliness. These things are as deadly as any cancer cell. The mind is just like the body. The fact that the mind can survive is a- is a miracle.

People say "she broke my heart". That's bullshit, man! The heart can't break, it's a muscle. Muscles tear, muscles cramp. Yeah, the heart's a muscle. So's the brain. So's the dick.

I was addicted to crack. Then I had my accident. Lying in the hospital bed, I went through detox. But that was easy. The doctors had me on morphine, demerol, percodan. I didn't know I was in pain. I didn't know I was in the hospital, paralyzed. Then I came here and went into counselling. I take it one day at a time, you know? But every day, I think about drugs. About not doing drugs. Every single day, every single hour, every single minute. Staying straight has become my obsession. My new addiction.

Prisoner number 57V988, Jackson Vahue. Convicted August 17, '97. Attempted rape, assault. Sentence: 12 years. Up for parole in 5.

Prisoner number 97M688, Huseni Mershah, also known as James Monroe Madison. Convicted August 11, '97. Attempted murder, Assault in the first degree. Sentence: 20 years, up for parole in 3.

All those little aches and pains, eventually they add up to something. Body, mind. Body, mind. They gotta work together or they don't work at all. You gotta take care of your body. You gotta take care of your mind. You gotta love your body. Most people don't. Most people hate their bodies. You gotta get your mind to love your body. Even if you're fat around the neck. Or even if things don't work like they're supposed to, you gotta love your body. Because it's all you got to hold on to. It's all you got. I'll make a deal with you: I'll love your body if you love mine.

Deceased []

Unnamed Haitian (flashback)- Stabbed repeatedly in chest by Ricardo Alvarez.

Crime Flashbacks[]

Production []

Transcript []

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