I have SO many thoughts about Orange is the New Black, and I’m still processing. After every season, as I’m crying and cursing the fact that I have to wait another year to see what’s next, I’m asked why I like this show.
There are is absolute good in Orange is the New Black. This is a given, by virtue of the fact that the protagonists are inmates in a prison. What Orange is the New Black has always done well is making it a story about humans– these are people. Just because people have made some bad choices does not make them bad people.
The conditions they are subjected to as inmates are frequently inhuman. The circumstances some of them face are insurmountable. Certainly, no one deserves what we see practiced at Litchfield. No one deserves Poussey Washington’s fate.
This season is a departure from OITNB’s usual format. It all takes place over the course of three days during the prison riot. This effectively traps us in the prison with them. At points, it’s more difficult to watch than ever since the tables are turned and the guards are now hostages. They’re subjected to some major embarrassment. It’s a fine line between a slight sense of satisfying revenge and cringe-worthy be better than them thoughts. It’s a particularly intense season. Things often feel drawn out, as we don’t get the respite of time passing.
Red‘s drug bender feels particularly drawn out. Red is my favorite character, and she is distractingly high for most of the season. It’s very different than the Red we’re used to. I’m happy that she ended the season with a moment of redemption.
Taystee is the stand out of the season. She is so intelligent, with well-honed organizational and communications skills, and yet, can’t flourish outside prison walls. It’s so painful to see her come so close to achieving her goal.
Brook had one of the best moments, visually. I loved the library tribute she created (also loved that subtle copy of Handmaiden’s Tale alluding to Samira Wiley’s new show?!) and I loved watching her as she was carried out of it.
Morello battles her own mental health this season. It was sweet to see how she protected Nicky from the temptation of drugs at the start of the riot. It was sweet to see them together temporarily. It was the best to see Nicky come back to Morello in the end, and even help her reconcile with Vinny.
Suzanne also battled mental health, but different. While Morello was able to work out her delusions herself and with Nicky’s help, Suzanne needed the structure of prison life and medication. She’s a pretty tragic character– unpredictable and dangerous, but in a way, innocent. I was relieved to see her breathing at the end.
Pennsatucky had a tough time this season. Her relationship with Coates is so confusing, and I’m pretty sure everyone hates it as much as
Boo does I do? Now she’s creepily hiding out in his house and I just have a bad feeling about it all.
Daya, Daya, Daya. I knew the moment she picked that gun up last season that she had screwed up majorly. She pulled that trigger and really messed it up. We don’t know what’s in store for Daya yet. …And Humps is definitely dead, right?
Boo looked pretty great in Caputo’s suit.
Flaca + Maritza provided the best comic relief of the season. I love them, and I loved their quest to become Youtubers. I loved their fans waiting for them! I hated them being separated at the end.
Sophia appeared for like, a hot second, and got locked up in max. I really miss Laverne Cox.
Leanne + Angie were really annoying throughout the season. They seemed to mess up everything. (Except for what Ruiz did to Mendoza– that was really screwed up!)
I actually loved Linda and hope she’s stuck in this mess for quite a bit longer!
Sorry, but I just don’t really care about Piper and Alex and could’ve done with less of them this season. That doesn’t mean I want anyone to die. That is one seriously scary ending!