Monday, July 3, 2017

What I’m Watching: Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black: Season 5, Episode 2 “Fuck, Marry, Frieda” (B+)

This is going to be one fascinating, captivating season, as we see just how poor and slow the establishment’s response to the prison being overrun is and how the inmates on the inside clash on how to deal with their newfound power. Part of it is obviously grandstanding, as Dayanara had to do as soon as she realized that she had lost the gun and a few of the people that she was pointing her finger in her sweatshirt at it were well aware that she was no longer in control in the same way she was before. Maria is a fitting ringleader for the group, but she’s also considerably angrier than many of those in the crowd, resulting in the likes of Alex and Gloria expressing their displeasure at what is happening. What is most disturbing is how they are preying on the guards simply because they can, and while it’s surely far better than what a group of male inmates would do to female hostages if they had them, it’s not a pretty sight. There’s something innocuous about an injured Maureen causing a serious setback in Humphrey’s recovery after listening to him suggest the many ways to help someone along to a horrible death – or prolong the time it takes until that point. Taystee was rightfully furious at the “Black Lattes Matter” response to their video, and Red putting up Piscatella’s carefully constructed set pieces all around the prison was humorous but really doesn’t speak to the gravity of what happened to cause this riot in the first place. Flashing back to Frieda’s bunker-filled past was extremely effective and a nice spotlight on a background character we’ve never really seen this much before.

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