Wednesday, September 14, 2016

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

Orange is the New Black: Season 4, Episode 13 “Toast Can’t Never Be Bread Again” (A-)

This was a tremendously gripping and moving season ender, and it’s a good thing that this show has already been renewed for multiple seasons to come. It was fitting that Poussey got one last flashback, showing her in New York City trying to overcome stereotypes of what people think about her, happy and only burdened by a lack of awareness of where she was physically going, not metaphorically. Her presence hung over this episode in a big way, mainly because her body wasn’t moved from its place on the floor of the cafeteria for a staggeringly long period of time after her death. Caputo reacted the right way, screaming at Piscatella and demanding that he spit out his gum. What’s crazy is that what doing the right thing means for one person is not at all the same for another, and therefore Caputo bravely going off book and refusing to implicate Bailey as the one solely responsible was interpreted by Taystee as letting him off the hook since Piscatella or the sadistic guards weren’t blamed instead. The end of the episode could not have been more powerful, with Taystee starting a riotous march ending up with the guard dumb enough to bring a gun into a prison losing it and Dayonara pointing it at him with so many people egging her on. Leading up to that incomparably powerful finish, there were plenty of intense moments, including Bailey telling Piper that he wanted to apologize to Poussey’s friends, Lorna lashing out at Nicky, Pennsatucky kissing Donuts, and Crazy Eyes going to crazy lengths to feel what it’s like not to be able to breathe. This was an exceptional season of an already terrific show, and I do hope it earns much more Emmy love than the one measly nomination season three got.

Season grade: A-
Season MVP: Samira Wiley as Poussey

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