Martin Querns

Martin Querns

Warden Martin Querns is a fictional character on the HBO drama Oz, played by Reg E. Cathey.


Character overview

He is an African American prison unit manager who has a vast experience of handling various prison units. He is hired by Warden Leo Glynn after he is asked to find a competent black unit manager to replace Tim McManus. He is also a former drug dealer who would be in the same cells as several of the Homeboys had he been caught. In his experience controlling prisons, maintaining order is the top priority. He has also believed that drugged out prisoners were preferable as they became too weak to cause any discipline problems. As a result, he empowers the drug dealing heads of Em City, especially Simon Adebisi, to maintain order in exchange for doing and selling all the drugs they wish, as well as preventing all violence within Em City. Kareem Said, a militant Muslim inmate whom Querns despises and sees as a threat to prison officials, tells McManus what he's up to, and they collaborate to get videotapes of the drugs to get him to resign. Querns is promoted to warden at the second main prison, Lardner , which he manages until he gets rehired at Oz as the warden after the former warden, Leo Glynn is killed.

Season 4 Part I

Querns comes to Oz and is told he may handle Em City any way he wishes, as long as the racial tension and violence are eliminated. In Em City, he tells the inmates, "like most of you, I come from the streets. I'm not some candy-ass white liberal looking to turn you into better citizens....don't fuck with Querns." He first meets with Adebisi, as he is one of the leading prisoners in the drug trade. He tells Adebisi how he worked for a drug dealer named Slim Sam Colby as a teenager, until Slim Sam died at the hands of a competitor. Querns tells Adebisi that he knows how to deal drugs better than any of them since he never was caught. He says he will allow Adebisi and other drug dealers to do whatever they wish as long as there is no violence in Em City. Adebisi accepts, as do his partners, Chucky Pancamo and Enrique Morales, who head the Italian and Latino inmates, respectively. While Querns comes to an understanding with the gangster Black inmates, he does not like the militant Muslims, particularly their former leader, Kareem Said.

Querns announces that there will be a system of three trustees who will maintain order within Em City. He names Adebisi, Pancamo, and Morales, currying favor with inmates and drawing suspicion from head CO Sean Murphy. He then transfers out eight prisoners he thinks are potential discipline problems. The inmates are all either members of the Aryan Brotherhood or Bikers — white inmates who hate blacks — so the racial tension is reduced. Murphy calls Querns crazy for allowing the "three worst motherfuckers in this place" to be trustees and creating inequality by getting the most visible white inmates kicked out of Em City. Querns then transfers Murphy out as the head CO and replaces him with a black CO named Travis Smith. All the inmates who come into Em City are handpicked by Adebisi and Querns, who tells Warden Glynn that several COs are too supportive of Sean Murphy and McManus, and need to be exchanged as well. However, all of the new COs and inmates are Black and Glynn then assigns one white CO named Claire Howell, a sadist who hates Tim McManus, to work in Em City as well.

In the meantime, Querns is investigating some previous acts of violence to make sure it stops. He talks to Ryan O'Reily and Nikolai Stanislofsky, who are suspects in the murder of an inmate who had a smuggled cell phone. Stanislofsky opens up after Querns gets harsh in the investigation, and is granted a stay in protective custody. Querns ends up liking Stanislofsky enough to tell O'Reily that whatever happens to him will be his fault when he returns from Protective Custody. O'Reily then has Howell kill Stanislofsky in the hospital so that it can't be traced back to him. Meanwhile, the Muslims are angered that Adebisi and his followers are allowed to use drugs and commit sodomy without punishment. Em City has become overwhelmingly black. Then the Italian and Latino inmates become angry because Adebisi cheated them out of the drug business. They are transferred out and Adibisi names Supreme Allah and Poet, two of Adebisi's key enforcers, as the new trustees. Vern Schillinger, the head of the Aryans, tells McManus that Em City is out of control and could corrupt Unit B. McManus is sickened by Schillinger's suggestion to create an all-white unit but is even more sickened by the behavior in Em City. Querns is unmoved, however, as long as there is no violence in the prison. McManus almost quits before Kareem Said approaches him with a plan to stop Adebisi and Querns.

Glynn has been running for lieutenant governor, but stopped after James Devlin is nearly assassinated by former CO Clayton Hughes. As a result, he has not been focused on Em City and has not seen what has happened. Things get complicated for Querns when O'Reily and his erstwhile partner-in-crime Chris Keller kill inmate Nate Shemin to get Querns fired and return the prison to "normal." They then kill Mondo Browne in the cafeteria, a move that angers Querns, as one of Adebisi's followers is now dead. Homeboy and trustee Supreme Allah is framed for the murders and Querns allows Adebisi and the black COs to beat him into submission before he is sent to solitary. Querns' credibility is now at stake. Said then gets a hold of some video tapes showing Adebisi's behavior and delivers them to McManus, who shows Glynn. Querns is forced to resign. Angered, Adebisi tries to kill Said, but Said kills Adebisi in self defense.

Season 4 Part II

A television crew investigates Adebisi's death, and Querns urges Glynn to destroy Adebisi's tapes so that what went on will not be exposed. Glynn agrees with Querns and destroys the tapes. Querns' efficiency has got him another job as a warden of Lardner, the second main prison in the state. Glynn opposes it unsuccessfully. At the warden's conference, Querns tells Glynn that Clayton Hughes is not doing well at Lardner. Querns says that all the prisoners hate him because he used to be a CO, all the COs hate him for turning on them, and that he will most likely die within the year. Glynn is the closest thing Hughes has had to a father since his own died in 1982, so he wants him in Oz where Hughes can be protected. The transfer is made and Hughes is sent to Oz.

Season 6

After Glynn is murdered, Governor Devlin appoints Querns as the new Warden of Oz. Querns is asked to fire McManus, but gives him a month's notice as Devlin has limited days as Governor. As warden, he installs a special chair in the hole that the prisoners will be sent to if they disobey him. Querns tells the convicts to once again, heed the warning: "Don't fuck with Querns."

Querns later throws up as he watches Cyril O'Reily die in the electric chair. Tobias Beecher then kills Vernon Schillinger in the prison production of Macbeth with a knife that was supposed to be a prop. Querns and prison psychiatrist Sister Peter Marie conclude it was an accidental death. The Aryan Brotherhood on staff in the mailroom opens a package with an unknown substance that kills everyone there. As a result, Warden Querns evacuates the entire prison.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Martin Montgomery — For the U.S. federal judge, see Martin V. Montgomery. Martin Montgomery played by Kiss drummer Peter Criss was a character in the HBO drama Oz. Character Overview He is a member of a minor league baseball called Quinn s team whose players sport a …   Wikipedia

  • Warden Leo Glynn — Leo Glynn (played by Ernie Hudson) is the warden of the Oswald state correctional facility on the HBO drama Oz . Character overviewHe began working as a correctional officer (possibly Oz s first African American CO) in Oz in the early 1980s and… …   Wikipedia

  • Simon Adebisi — Personnage de fiction apparaissant dans Oz Origine Africain (Yoruba) Genre …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Zahir Arif — Granville Adams as Zahir Arif. Zahir Arif aka Jerome Van Dyke is a fictional character on the HBO series Oz, played by Granville Adams. Contents 1 Character overview …   Wikipedia

  • Tim McManus — is a fictional character on HBO s prison drama Oz, played by Terry Kinney. Character overviewMcManus, the idealistic manager of Emerald City, is unlike the rest of the staff members at Oz as he has never been a CO, has a college education, and… …   Wikipedia

  • Homeboys of Oz — Oz group leader 1=Jefferson Keane 2=Paul Markstrom 3=Simon Adebisi 4=Kenny Wangler 5=Simon Adebisi 6=Arnold Poet Jackson 7=Burr Redding 8=Arnold Poet Jackson ( de facto under Redding ) 9= 10= 11= 12=The Homeboys are the African American prisoners …   Wikipedia

  • Cyril O'Reily — For the American actor, see Cyril O Reilly (actor). Cyril O Reily is a fictional character, played by American actor Scott William Winters, on the HBO drama Oz.[1][2] He is also mentioned in the companion book …   Wikipedia

  • Simon Adebisi — is a character played by Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje on the HBO dramatic series Oz , set in an experimental prison unit. Character overview Prisoner #93A234. Convicted May 2, 1993 Murder in the first degree. Sentence: Life imprisonment without the… …   Wikipedia

  • Sean Murphy (Oz) — Robert Clohessy as Sean Murphy. Sean Murphy is an Irish American Correctional Officer on the HBO drama Oz, played by Robert Clohessy. A fair and honest officer, Murphy is handpicked by Tim McManus to act as the head CO of Emerald City as he and… …   Wikipedia

  • Chucky Pancamo — Charles Chucky The Enforcer Pancamo is a fictional character, played by Chuck Zito, on the HBO series Oz.[1] Contents 1 Character overview 2 Development 3 Fictional history …   Wikipedia