Friday, September 4, 2020

Netflix Catch-Up: Orange is the New Black

Orange is the New Black: Season 7, Episode 11 “God Bless America” (B+)

The reason that I finally decided to finish this show was so that I could see the Emmy-nominated performance by Laverne Cox, her fourth overall bid for playing Sophia Burset. It turns out that she appeared in two very short scenes that did nothing to showcase anything but her positive attitude, which makes it irritating that she was the one recognized for very brief and unremarkable work while so many other women delivered terrific performances throughout this entire season. I am glad, however, that I watched since this new focus on ICE has been extraordinarily powerful. Fig is standing in for the audience in realizing how something she might see as a necessary evil has become so corrupted, to the point that judges are asking unaccompanied and unrepresented children if they even know what a lawyer is. How much of this is fiction and how much is based on fact is something I don’t know, but as a storyline, it’s immensely upsetting and compelling. Fig made a powerful choice to ask her fertility doctor for an abortion so that a woman who got pregnant as a result of a rape wouldn’t be forced to keep the baby because ICE valued the unborn life more than hers. Blanca managed to get more time to prove her case, but that didn’t stop Karla and Shani from being deported. Taystee is rediscovering her will to live, and she may be looking at a reduced sentence or release if her lawyer has good news. Nicky finally found out what happened with Lorna and, in turn, Lorna was able to be there for Nicky when she needed her most. It seems like Maria could make amends in the most convincing way by taking the fall for the cell phone Bell found, but hopefully Tamika won’t see that as an infraction worth punishing. Nothing good can come from the escalating war between Aleida and Daya, and I can’t imagine both of them will survive until the end of the show. Piper once again resisted Zelda’s advances even after she made them abundantly clear, but a dejected McCullough showing up at her door was enough to push her over the edge and finally go for it. The final two episodes are longer than normal, which I’m glad to see since I’ll take as much more of this show as I can get.

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