Father Ray Mukada

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Father Ray Mukada is a character on the American HBO television series Oz, played by B. D. Wong.

Character history[edit]

Father Ray Mukada is the chaplain of Oswald State Penitentiary, also known as Oz. He is a Catholic priest who graduated at the top of his class at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He was initially serving under Cardinal Francis Abgott (Gavin MacLeod) who called him his "Great Yellow Hope". Abgott's extremely conservative views clashed with Mukada's more idealistic ones. After disagreeing with the Cardinal a few times too often, he was transferred to Oz, which "extinguished" his career as a priest. He works alongside Sister Pete, trying to help the prisoners in Oz. Although Father Ray Mukada and the Christian group have some issues about religion in the series, Father Ray still tries his hardest to make life in Oz a little easier for the inmates. He has been noted for several attempts to straighten up the inmates from drug addictions, murders, etc. He is still the main religious authority in Oz. Although it was forced upon him, he appears to grow into the role of a spiritual guide over time and firmly believes that his work is important.

Season 1[edit]

Father Mukada is a fair man who tries to keep his flock in Oz as spiritually sound as possible. He tries to keep an open mind but sometimes his personal feelings can get in the way. New inmate Alvarez provides one of many challenges to this but Father Ray does what he can to help guide Alvarez. Mukada arranges for Miguel to meet his father and grandfather both of whom are Oz lifers. The bond between him and Miguel gets tested when the riot breaks out and Miguel is put in charge of the hostages, one of whom is Father Ray.

Season 2[edit]

Although somewhat frayed from the riot, Mukada returns to Oz. After unsuccessful attempts to find soon-to be-freed child molester Robert Sippel, a former priest, help on the outside, he agrees to let him remain working and living in Oz, with horrific results. An encounter with inmate Shirley Bellinger makes Father Ray even more anxious, and to top it all off, he's taken hostage by Miguel after a vicious attack.

Season 3[edit]

While delivering Eucharist to Miguel, Father Ray discovers that Miguel hasn't eaten in days because the hacks aren't feeding him. Father Ray attempts to sneak food to Miguel, only to have it backfire on him as Miguel refuses to eat. Father Ray expresses to Sister Pete his feelings of being shut out when she initiated her victim offender program without including him. He also intervenes on Clayton Hughes' behalf to find out who killed Clayton's dad. Finally, he hears Sister Pete's confession that ends with her deciding to leave the nunnery.

Season 4, Part I[edit]

Still reeling from Alvarez's escape, he turns his attentions to Sister Pete, who has now confessed that she wants out of the nunnery. Stunned, Father Ray keeps his feelings suppressed but eventually tells her to do what's best. He soon hears a confession from Keller, who is seeking absolution for past crimes. When asked for this absolution, Father Ray refuses because he doesn't believe that Keller is sincere in his desire to truly earn absolution and commit to the Catholic faith. Keller curses Father Ray and leaves.

Season 4, Part II[edit]

Upon returning from a retreat, Father Ray hears about new inmate Rev. Cloutier converting inmates. Father Mukada learns Timmy Kirk—one of his altar boys—has joined Rev. Cloutier's flock. Mukada meets with Cloutier to discuss this matter. After a quietly confrontational discussion with Cloutier, Father Mukada finally decides to plan an ecumenical service that will include inmates of all faiths, even Rev. Cloutier's, about whom he's still skeptical.

Season 5[edit]

Father Mukada's season began with him accompanying inmate family members to Oz for a visit. While on the bus he meets Morales' sisters whose provocative demeanor makes Father Mukada a little uncomfortable. He also chats with Carrie Schillinger who asks him to bless baby Jewel in an attempt to remove the family "curse" that tormented Jewel's father (Schillinger's son). As the bus proceeds, it swerves to miss an on-coming truck and the bus overturns. Father Mukada emerges from the bus, bloodied and scarred but it turns out that he's possibly the only survivor. Once he recovers, he returns to Oz and tries to get to the bottom of Jim Burns' murder and Cloutier's imprisonment in the wall. He discovers that Timmy Kirk is more than likely responsible. When Mukada confronts Kirk, Kirk denies all of it. The tables turn when Timmy Kirk is attacked by Hoyt and while recuperating, Kirk asks to return to Mukada's flock. Mukada flatly refuses. Kirk, now bent on revenge, gets an inmate to arrange for Father Mukada's parish house to burn in a fire. This results in Mukada getting hospitalized with serious injuries.

Season 6[edit]

Father Mukada returns to Oz after a hospital stay and is told Timmy Kirk wants to see him. Mukada reluctantly agrees and visits Kirk, who is acting like an innocent school boy. Kirk tells Mukada that he is glad he is here and that he has to talk fast before "he" comes back. "Who? Lopresti?" Mukada asks unconcerned. "No, Satan", Kirk answers. He then asks Mukada to perform an exorcism, but Mukada refuses saying that Kirk is making a mockery of the priest's religion. Kirk begs one more time telling Mukada that "he" is coming. Mukada, not buying into Kirk's "act" tells him goodbye and that he will see him the day of Kirk's execution. As Mukada walks away, Kirk, in a demonic voice, says "Mukada! You can walk away, but I'm not like the Reverend Cloutier. I won't just disappear." Kirk later writes a letter to the Bishop claiming that Mukada sexually abused him. Even though nobody believes Kirk, Mukada is nevertheless stripped of the priesthood until the investigation is over. The next scene shows Kirk ripping pages from the Bible.

Shortly after, Mukada arrives on death row to confront Kirk about his sexual abuse allegations. Kirk says that Mukada touched his penis and licked his ear and is going to meet with the police to tell them all the sensational details. Mukada asks Kirk to tell the truth, but Kirk refuses saying that when he is executed, Mukada will be stripped permanently of his priesthood and he would be wandering around aimlessly without hope. In death, I'll be triumphant, Kirk sinisterly tells Mukada. Meanwhile, Hoyt has still been plotting to kill Kirk. He finally succeeds during a photo shoot by Maxim, where Jaz takes a flashbulb camera and electrocutes Kirk. Mukada is no longer charged with Kirk's accusations but feels guilt, admitting to Sister Pete that he prayed to God for Kirk to die.

After the death of Timmy Kirk, Father Ray Mukada and Sister Peter Marie Reimondo try to contact Jaz Hoyt's parents (Jaz apparently inherits the demons swarming in Kirk upon Kirk's death), and they find out Hoyt was adopted. Next they manage to contact his birth mother and have her talk to Hoyt. This does wonders for Hoyt's mental health, as he begins to open up in sessions with Sister Pete, and even reveals to Mukada what happened to Cloutier since he disappeared the previous year, which was he had been carried off by the bikers and sealed into another wall. Around the same time, Jaz is sent to the hospital, Kirk's mother meets with Mukada and comes to work in Oz as a nurse. She promises not to seek revenge on Jaz Hoyt but is still very cold with him. Mrs. Kirk and Father Mukada are very close at first and Father Mukada thinks she may be getting a little too close and reminds her of his vow of chastity. Mrs. Kirk is very offended that he would think she was trying to seduce him and becomes enraged, totally overreacting to the situation (not unlike her son). She screams at Mukada that her son was right about him. In the final episode, Mukada discovered Cloutier's body, Father Mukada re-seals the wall, telling no one what he found, for fear that he would be killed by the bikers, as was Jaz Hoyt for revealing Cloutier's fate.