Monday, August 24, 2015

What I’m Watching: Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black: Season 3, Episode 11 “We Can Be Heroes” (B+)

I always find it especially compelling when this show features a character who’s not an inmate for its flashbacks. Caputo has always been an oddly endearing member of this show’s ensemble, and seeing him as a young wrestler and then a kindhearted father-to-be doing what’s right for his family only supported that idea. Taking a job as a prison guard for the benefits was noble, but obviously he built up so much resentment about the sacrifices he made that when his wife left him he didn’t have anywhere else to go. His weekly sex sessions with Fig are a sign of his lack of direction and self-hatred. Taking charge of the union is a risky move given his tenuous position, but it obviously gives him a sense of purpose. Ending with a song from “Les Miserables” was appropriate after an hour that focused largely on the machinations of the prison, particularly Piper’s new business enterprise assisted by Red’s mobster experience. Piper is excited and power-hungry, and it’s a shame that she can’t see that Alex is trying to prevent her from going down a road she knows all too well. I like seeing Poussey and Crazy Eyes bond while Healy didn’t get the satisfaction he had hoped from seeing Berdie suspended because of what was going on in her class. Sophia facing transphobia was hard to watch, and it’s touching to see Big Boo doing her best to scare Pennsatucky straight and show her that what’s going on with Donuts is not okay. Leanne just won’t let things go with Soso, whose new haircut is sure to drive her over the edge if she’s not there already. Angie getting unexpectedly and accidentally released was a surprisingly serious exploration of what it means to be out of prison and really feel like there’s nowhere to go.

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