Tuesday, September 8, 2015

What I’m Watching: Orange is the New Black (Season Finale)

Orange is the New Black: Season 3, Episode 13 “Trust No Bitch” (B+)

This episode reminded me so much that there’s so much ground to cover and so many characters left unfeatured, but it’s hard to feel like there’s much missing with an inspiring and uplifting ending like the run to the lake this one had. There’s so much to say about this episode, and I’m not sure where to start. The best place is probably Piper getting her tattoo from Stella who was getting out in two days but then found herself double-crossed and framed by Piper and her friends because she had drained all of Piper’s business funds without thinking that she would notice or care. That’s a vicious move for Piper, and one that doesn’t even involve her complicated relationship with Alex, who I sincerely hope isn’t dead. Not seeing the execution actually happen seems to suggest that she could well still be alive. Norma on a piece of toast was predictably silly, but it brought out some good passion, particularly from Poussey, who welcomed Soso into Taystee’s crew. The flashbacks with a brief piece of each inmate’s childhood were very effective, and it’s nice to identify each person and really understand their circumstances just a bit better. I appreciated seeing Red spend some time with both Gina and Norma, and to see how everyone experienced the lake differently. The famous woman coming to surrender only to find no one there to collect her because all the guards were on strike was an odd and unsettling image, as was the arrival of a number of buses with new guards and new inmates. Pennsatucky faking a seizure while driving the van was a great way to extract herself from that situation, but it’s obvious that the same thing is just going to happen with her replacement. It was wonderful to see Lorna propose to her suitor and have him accept, and for them to have one hell of a wedding day in prison. Black Cindy making a case for her conversion was great, and using the lake as a mikveh was another fabulous moment. On a much sadder note, it was devastating to see Cesar arrested and the child that should have gone to Pornstache’s mother taken in by child protective services. There’s so much more to explore in season four, and I can’t to see more after this superb season.

Season grade: A-
Season MVP: Too hard to decide (in a good way)!

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