Everyone’s favorite inmates are back for another round in Litchfield. Orange is the New Black hit Netflix on Friday, with all 13 episodes released at once (standard Netflix practice). Since doing a recap for each episode doesn’t work, I’ll be splitting the season into 3 episode chucks all week. SPOILERS will be included, so be careful if you haven’t gotten your binge in yet and let me know what other shows you’d like State of Mined to cover.
Chickens have come home to roost! Wait, is that what chickens come home to do? They roost right? Anyway, these last few episodes before the plus-sized season finale had things come to a full boil, and some serious ramifications for a select few. Before we get to business, just want to address that some of my last recap bled into episode 10, “Mustachioed Little Shit”. So, Pornstache was back, he was lied on, and was ousted in dramatic fashion. Piper had her furlough, learned about Larry, had her beer. We also got to see how her super-WASP brain would warp things in the long, long ago.
What was key about this episode though, was watching the slight cracks in the armor of Vee’s following. When Watson was thrown into SHU after a random search turned up some of the tobacco they stashed, everyone watched as Vee barely batted an eye.
On to Piper, who was still trying to figure out what person she knew, would have sex with Larry. She didn’t have to do too much digging though since Polly came to visit and the two went on to have the most subtext laden conversation I can think of. Not saying the conversation was bad, seeing as Polly didn’t know what Piper did, but damn girl, buy a clue. Our “lead” character then went into “Piper Smash” mode and punched a wall until her hand bled. You know, the type of productive behavior one would expect. I will say this much, getting the flaming bag of poo placed on Polly’s doorstep was a nice touch.
In “Take a Break from Your Values” out lovely ladies of Litchfield were warned that a storms a brewin’. Hurray for symbolism. Look, I’m all in for theme and motif, but OITNB can be a little on the nose sometimes. It’s true that more often than not, it works, but other times it can seem hokey. So, to go with the storm brewing outside the walls of Litchfield, let’s look at the storm front inside as well.
Pouessy is still on the outs with the rest of the Vee’s crew after her assault in the bathroom. Red is searching for the rat who told Vee about her supply tunnel and sister Abbigail is none too pleased with her hunger strike group. Turns out Sister Abbie is something of a narcissistic rebel. Yes, she takes up causes to help others, but also to get her name/face out there. It’s a nice twist to add to the character; showing that she does want to make a difference but also wants to be famous for it. Here focus on image over ideals, capped off with the pun-tastic book title Nun Shall Pass, got her excommunicated from the church. For her, the hunger strike is real, but more of an opportunity to get back in the spotlight.
Abigail wonders why a prisoners’ hunger strike isn’t drumming up more media attention, when Soso tells her that the pending storm has taken up the news space in that region. Caputo also puts a kibosh on the her movement after telling the other inmates about her past, then having her hauled off to medical and force fed in a truly haunting moment.
Oh, Piper. After her little excursion, she finds out that Fig is having her transferred to a prison in Virginia along with 11 other inmates. A not so subtle punishment for digging into her misappropriation of funds. Piper is doubly upset because her transfer is taking place on the day Alex was going to visit so that they might get some closure.
Man, this back and forth is annoying. Alex is poison for Piper, but like all bad relationships, they burn bright and hard. We also find out that Alex may be in danger since Kurba got off on a technicality and is possibly after her. This also leaves Piper as the only person STILL in prison for the whole ordeal. Comedy.
We also find out almost immediately that Boo is the one who ratted about the supply tunnel. She gets the old shunning from Red and the Gang, but she also gets the shoulder from Vee, who has no room for snitches. Oh Boo, what was the point? No seriously, will that build to something later for Boo, or wsa that just a way to move plot along? It seemed so random and pointless. Ah well, more hits than misses in that way. Later, one of the older gals goes all stab happy on an inmate that looks like Vee in a botched assassination attempt, letting Vee know that things have gotten quite real.
In the penultimate episode, “It was the Change” Red had to go into damage control mode. After the botched shank job (which she didn’t approve) the plan was to convince Vee that they meant to stab the look alike, to send a message. Vee doesn’t really believe it.
We get a little more insight into the mind of our supervillain and man, Vee is truly evil. Remember that surrogate son who was shot by the NYPD a few episodes back? Turns out Vee set that whole thing up because he was conducting some business on the side. The woman is cold blooded in every sense of the word. OITNB is making sure that if you were remotely on her side you want her dead, buried, gone, in the worst possible way.
That made it all the more satisfying and annoying when Red went for the kill, went to strangle her with plastic wrap and then STOPPED. She stopped and tried to have some moment of levity at the Murtaugh of it all. NOOOOO. Vee’s going to kill you! And sure enough, Vee beat the brakes off of Red with a slock (Sock with a lock).
By the end, we don’t know how Red is doing or if Piper will stick around since Caputo caught her sneaking around while the rest of the women were singing 90’s pop songs in the mess hall. I guess the theme of this series has been “fool me twice, I’m a dumbass” since so many people just couldn’t take the damn hints. Either way, this is gonna be one hell of a finale.
What do you think; you think Vee is gonna get hers, is Larry as big a dumbass as I think? Let me know. @TheArnold_SoM