Em City has a new look...and old problems in Season Five of the no-holds barred HBO series. In the aftermath of the blast, long-term grudges resurface. O'Reily's mother comes to Oz; and McManus considers staying.
A ribbon cutting ceremony, complete with the Governor doing the honors, signals the opening of a newly constructed Oz. Warden Glynn doesn't resign but he's more battle weary. White, Alvarez and other inmates in solitary are temporarily transferred to Em City while repairs are being made. As Schillinger and Robson recover from their wounds, they begin planning revenge on the Muslims. Conversely, Said plans to plead guilty for the attempted murder of Robson & Schillinger. The fate of Rev. Cloutier is revealed and inmates expecting visits from family members get shocking news.
Alvarez and Guerra come up with a new way to settle their beef -- Guerra will stab Alvarez in the shoulder without killing him. Morales questions Guerra's decision to do this while he attempts to grieve for his sister. Rebadow gets more bad news about his grandson which prompts him to search for alternatives. Montgomery asks for more hush money from Ryan so Ryan devises a plan to have Montgomery eliminated. Officer Brass returns to Oz to get facts on who attacked him. Ellie O'Connor arrives as the Governor's liaison to Oz only past memories of her failed marriage to McManus return. Schibetta returns and Schillinger shanks Pancamo after learning that he had Hank killed. McManus makes an offer to Said and White to hopefully curb White's erratic and sometimes bizarre behavior. Ryan's mom, Suzanne Fitzgerald comes to Oz to instruct inmates in performance arts.
After recovering from his shank wound, Alvarez gains a follower. Busmalis starts a letter writing campaign to get "Miss Sally's Schoolhouse" back on the air. Rebadow finds a way to raise the money for his grandson's treatment. Jia Kenmin returns to Oz after recovering from the coma induced by a blow from Cyril. After Schillinger's released, Redding and Morales form a pact to eliminate the Italians from the drug trade. Schibetta makes a move on the Aryans only it backfires with terrifying results. Kirk continues planning ways to kill Cloutier. After carrying out messages he "received" from Cloutier, Hoyt confesses to all his past murders. Cloutier makes a move that mystifies everyone.
Guerra kills Alvarez's new follower and the guilt surrounding it forces Alvarez to make a confession to Mukada. Alvarez, Hill and Penders sign up for a seeing-eye dog-training program. Dr. Nathan attacks a patient while having a flashback of her rape. Cyril shanks and kills Li Chien, which gets Cyril sent to solitary and Ryan sent to the cage. During an interaction session Beecher attacks Schillinger after Schillinger denies ever raping him. Redding asks Glynn for control of the kitchen. Hill's grief over his dead mother and divorce from his wife send him back to drugs happily supplied by Poet. Beecher's new podmate is the son of a prominent family Beecher knew well. Because of that, Beecher decides to protect him from the Aryans at all costs.
Said and Arif go to Warden Glynn about Lalar's murder. Angry and full of rage, Said then confronts White about passing drugs. Unsatisfied with White's response, Said beats White severely, which gets Said thrown in the hole. Chucky Pancamo's condition worsens. On orders from Schillinger, Winthrop gets into a fight with Guenzel. Schillinger goes to with a deal, he'll let Beecher work for him delivering mail to Keller if Beecher has Guenzel transferred to Gen Pop so Schillinger can have him. Keller discovers the feds have compelling evidence linking him to one of the past murders. Meanwhile, Howell makes her move on Keller, Rebadow's ship comes in...for someone else and Hill becomes gravely ill.
Said returns from the hole ready to apologize to White. The inmate variety show takes shape with Busmalis as MC and White the featured performer. Robson's painful teeth force him to the dentist, something he secretly fears. The dentist recommends gum replacement surgery. Alvarez wants to give his dog to Rivera the Oz guard he blinded. Cyril's trial looms and Ryan's worried. Redding continues to search for culprit that gave Hill the drugs. Poet, in an attempt to hide the truth from Redding convinces Busmalis to tell Redding that one of the Italians did the deed. This results in Redding having DeSantos poisoned. Chucky's condition worsens and out of fear, he summons Sister Peter for spiritual help. Meanwhile, Sister Pete starts looking for Guenzel's attackers only the 3 who know (Said, Beecher, Schillinger) refuse to divulge.
Redding discovers that Busmalis lied about DeSantos. Furious, he confronts Morales and the confrontation gets the two of them thrown in the hole. Cyril gets convicted of the murder and Ryan tells the attorney not to appeal. Meanwhile Sister Pete, Father Meehan and Suzanne Fitzgerald meet to devise another plan in Cyril's defense. Rebadow fumes over not getting the lottery money. Mc Manus' offer to search Oz's databases reveals an inmate with the same blood history as Rebadow's grandson. Rebadow meets the man only to be rejected by him. The rumor of Robson's replacement gums coming from a black patient prompts Schillinger to consult with Aryan Nation leader. The result? Robson gets banned from the Aryans.
Robson returns from solitary to discover he's been kicked out of the "Brotherhood" and moved to another cell. McManus tells Glynn he'll write a letter supporting Alvarez's bid for parole. Problem is, Alvarez attacks one of the parole board members and gets thrown back into solitary. Dr. Nathan's guilt worsens as Chucky slips into a coma from the septic infection. Schillinger tells new inmate Cutler he has to kill a black inmate to join the "Brotherhood" and Cutler selects Said as his victim. White's gets this information and goes to protect Said only they get into a tussle and Cutler almost dies. Rebadow gets to go see his dying grandson only to have to return later for the boy's funeral. Busmalis gets a letter from Norma who wants to visit. She does and brings surprising news. Beecher moves to make a confession during the interaction session. The result? Schillinger gets convicted of rape and is transferred to solitary indefinitely. Father Meehan touches a nerve with Ryan and forces him to acknowledge a childhood incident that scarred Ryan for life. A stabbing intended for Redding, claims an innocent inmate instead.