Friday, September 11, 2020

Netflix with Abe: Orange is the New Black (Penultimate Episode)

Orange is the New Black: Season 7, Episode 12 “The Big House” (B+)

In many ways, this episode didn’t feel like the second-to-last experience we’ll ever have with this show. What’s so wonderful about it is that there are so many characters, and it’s difficult to argue that any one of them are truly leads at this point. Originally, this was Piper’s story, and while she’s the only released inmate to get a consistent plotline, that has more to do with the fact that her relationship with Alex relies so much on her being in prison and that serving as an intensely complicating factor. I expected McCullough to put her name into consideration for the head guard position once she heard it was open, but it turns out Alex’s rejection really did get to her. Daya has prioritized crushing her mother since she ended up back inside, and her latest act of getting Hopper caught with his pants down and fired is going to have serious implications for her family that she may not have considered. Gloria claiming ownership of the phone with nine days left on her sentence is heartbreaking, and maybe Tamika will realize that it’s not worth sharing that particular detail, especially if she knows it won’t happen again given her impending release. The party with the fast food everyone loved was a nice opportunity for heartfelt exchanges between Beth and Caputo and an opportunity for Taystee to see the good that’s come from all of it, and it didn’t end with her taking her own life, which she’s been talking about for a long time now. Instead, Pennsatucky, one of the best examples of a redeemed character, appears to have overdosed after she legitimately applied herself only to find that Luschek’s laziness resulted in her not getting the extra time she needed during the test. That and an unexpected scene with Poussey made this episode end on a resounding note, and I’m holding off slightly on watching the finale to savor a bit more time with this show.

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