Monday, August 17, 2020

Netflix Catch-Up: Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black: Season 7, Episode 4 “How to Do Life” (B+)

It’s a good thing that the cooking crew is now running the kitchen at the ICE facility since that provides a direct pipeline to the outside world for those we know who can’t otherwise make phone calls or talk to anyone. The reunions between Gloria and Blanca and Maritza and Flaca were very sentimental, though it’s clear that the women in prison can’t do as much as they had hoped for their friends in detention. Gloria’s flashbacks were very sad since we saw just how hard she worked to bring her family to America only to have them decline to come because they felt abandoned, something that still haunted her enough to be the first thought she had when she was using the smartphone she procured from the eternally hapless Luschek. Flaca worked hard to reach Maritza’s mother, and she was just as devastated as Maritza was to learn that she wasn’t actually born in the United States after all. The other tragic news of the hour was that Lorna’s baby died, and she’s choosing to willfully maintain the illusion of him being alive rather than to seek comfort in friends like Nicky by sharing the truth. Daya wasn’t sympathetic at all to Taystee coming to her looking for a way to end her life, and let’s hope that what appears to be a failed suicide attempt will be seen as a cry for help that someone, be it Suzanne or Tamika, can hear and act upon to make sure that she’s looked after and gets the care she needs. It’s good to see that, though Hopper continues to make her life hell and Luschek couldn’t be bothered to fold the pamphlets, Tamika’s classes seem to be a moderate success, and Caputo in particular feels like he has a purpose now that he’s reaching some people, like Maria. Piper’s experience out of prison was incredibly monotonous, and her father taking dried-up pens out of the trash just because he didn’t want her to throw them out was the definition of agonizing. Her outburst isn’t likely to cost her the job her father wouldn’t give to anyone else, and she and Alex had a decent conversation even if it was filled with bad news. I’m intrigued to see whether McCullough is actually trying to seduce Alex or just messing with her. In a rather dramatic episode, I appreciated the levity of Red misunderstanding Nicky’s “noneya” joke and confusing it with bunions.

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