Season 1 Episode 1

The Routine

Aired Monday 11:00 PM Jul 12, 1997 on HBO

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

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out of 10
151 votes
  • Amazing!

    This show will make you laugh, cry, and even anger you and disgust you.
  • The pilot episode of OZ.

    Great pilot. Gives you a taste of the characters and what's to come. Also gives you look at the style of the show.

    It's interesting to watch these episodes from the start and seeing what develops. Tobias Beecher is such a nerd and flake you feel sorry for him. Especially when you realize what's to come to for him. Lee Tergensen shows off a lot of great acting as the show goes on.

    The pilot captures the real prison experience to a tee. It also shows you the abuse on a physical and mental level. Again Beecher is a fine example. He comes so innocent and gets transformed like the other inmates into a vicious thug.

    On to this episode, it introduces to several major character like Said, Beecher, Schillinger, Tim McManus, The Warden and so on.

    The trademarks of the show are here including the hard hitting and often hilarious commentary by Harold Perrineau as the paralyzed Augustus Hill.

    This show really was one of the hottest shows on HBO.
  • Extraordinary

    Wow. Just wow. This show has an extraordinary begining, a pilot that reveals from the start, his hard essence about the life in prison: brutal, dangerous, uncensored, animalic, it's another world, a jungle. But yet, with all this stuff that easily horrors you in a minute, it's also captivating you, without even know it. At the end, you want to see more.
    This episode it's unmercy (you'll see later, the other ones will make no exception) and reveals a part of what should you expect in the next stories. It brings you at a whole other level (personaly, I was awfully deep into the action) and shocks you when you don't expect it. You will not even sense how fast time passes as you watch it. It's incredible I tell you! Amazing episode, what can I say.
  • great start to the series. a series that u can really get hooked up in

    great start to the series. the no smoking rule is inforced. tobias, grooves and kareem come to emerald city and ryan o'reilly comes to oz. dino ortilani kills sanchez who was dieing from aids. he gets the crap beat out of him by the hacks for it. o'reilly and keane arrange for post to get into the hole and he burns dino alive. tobias' first incounter with adebisi is very un pleasent so in hast to get out he makes the wrong decsion. he moves into verns pod. were vern makes him his prag. he also burns a swastica on his butt. very good start to the series.
  • A great start

    Well i've just found this to down load and watched the first episopde. It has taught me to be good and not end up in Oz. There is a very disturbing aray of inmates and looks like it will promise more. The ending where the good fellow is burnt alive makes the ending one of the most horriffying ends i've ever seen in a pilot. Just when you think your getting to know someone! and he did kill the aids victim out of mercy and not malace. Oh well hope the next one the sorry is about dos'nt end up dead at the end or you won't be able to make any new friends.
    Enjoy I am!!
  • A great begining to a great series.

    Well it's 2006 October for me and i just started watching the show and it's like nothing i ever saw before. First episdoe preatty much shows you daily rutine. There are couple gangs and seperations in the prison. Episode is amazingly constructed and the best part about the whole series is the fact that they don't concel a lot of the things. We can see a new prisoner being pushed around and preratty much becomeing a prison slave. Many of the prisoners become from very mest up backgrounds. One of the main character was locked up because he hit a girl with his car. Another one had drug possesion and shot a cop that was fallowing him. Amazing episode.
  • Welcome to Oz


    Nice way to start a brilliant show.

    First a few of the prisoners get introduced, first Beecher who was a lawyer and hit a girl with his car and got 15 years sentenced to jail and now is dealing with men wanting to ‘own’ him.

    The episode was a little bit off here and there especially the acting and direction where the show was going wasn’t entirely satisfying at first but as soon as you went into the episode and got into the direction, it got only better/

    Dino proved to be a very interesting character that couldn’t hold his temper and when a gay guy tried to have sex with him he beat him down and made a lot of enemies even though he already had a lot/

    He was In jail for shooting a few men but one of those suddenly appears in Oz and he tries to kill him but backs off. But he knows that he cannot be changed.

    The acting was brilliant towards the end, he makes an end to a guy who had aids because of an infected needle. He asks Dino to kill him and so he does, but he gets caught and send to a bed where he gets tight up and then burned by the friends of the gay guy that got beaten up.

    The episode was fairly impressive and a very nice beginning of a very good show.
  • A good way to start.

    I'm impressed by the way this pilot episode was written.

    Most pilots play out as a way to introduce all the main characters and give their entire life story. In 'The Routine' you don't find out everything about everyone, (in fact you don't even get introduced to all the main characters at all) but you learn enough to ensure that you'll tune in again to find out what else is in store.

    The main storyline in this episode revolves around Dino Ortolani, a homophobe that ends up working in the AIDS wing, who has been jailed for life for murder. One of his intended victims survived the attack and is now also an inmate in Oz and is hellbent on revenge.

    To add to this the introduction of Kareem Said helps with introducing the different factions within the prison structure.
  • We're not in Kansas anymore.

    "The Routine" mainly focuses on inmate Dino Ortolani, as well as introduces some of the other inmates and staff in "Em City". With Dino Ortolani, we see a self-destructive, mostly anti-social man that's in Oz for life, with no chance of parole. We see him follow 'the routine', getting up at 6 a.m. and doing the same thing everyday. Through this repetition, you realize how boring, and quite frankly depressing, prison life can be to an inmate. Nevertheless, "The Routine" makes it seem like Dino is the main character, someone you'll be seeing a lot of in the future. Imagine the viewer's surprise when he winds up dead at the end of the episode. Probably the only time where the main character is killed off in the first episode. Brilliant.

    A bit of foreshadowing here, as there are a few mentions of a possible riot breaking out.

    The acting here is mostly good, especially for a pilot episode. Jon Seda was decent, but I wasn't a huge fan of his facial expressions and mannerisms...his 'tough guy' attitude seemed a little forced. Terry Kinney stole the episode here, as he shows subtle signs of stress, stress that would eventually bottle up and take it's toll later in the show.

    Overall, a great debut for one of t.v.'s best dramas. It only got better after this.