Monday, September 5, 2016

What I’m Watching: Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black: Season 4, Episode 12 “The Animals” (B+)

Things are getting severely dramatic on this show, and when those few good guys are doing their best to be heard but can’t find anyone to listen to them, that’s even worse. We’ve gotten to the point where there are four kindhearted souls working at the prison, and none of them are in a position to get anything accomplished. Healy is suffering from serious depression and not functioning fully. Caputo walked in to suspend Humphrey and ended up having Piscatella walk all over him and threaten to walk away with all his men if he went through with the suspension. That makes the multiethnic effort to get Piscatella fired, a stronger notion than just getting rid of Humphrey, all the less likely to succeed since Caputo has no power. Donuts has turned into a sympathetic character, and he took Boo’s slap with dignity. The other good guy, Bayley, is a sad sap who never went very far in life, and Caputo’s warning for him to get out came too late since it appears that a minor application of force was extended long enough to choke out and kill Poussey. I don’t know why Soso wasn’t the one running to her side, but I think Taystee’s presence speaks louder because she has Caputo’s ear, even if she uses it mostly for comedy. There were plenty of disturbing developments in this hour, so let’s hope that Caputo can achieve something more than just drown his sorrows with a desperate and bleak Fig. Sophia is in bad shape, and coming back to this environment isn’t helping much. Red, on the other hand, is staying strong despite her extreme fatigue and Piscatella’s scapegoating of her. It’s sad to see Lorna indulge her uncontrollable jealously and have her husband tell her that she’s crazy, with her taking away the idea that they’ll try for a baby now. At least Piper and Alex are having sex again, showing that there can be some minute happiness in the middle of all this despair.

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