Orange Is The New Black: It Was The Change, Review

Lorraine Toussaint takes OITNB's villain to new heights in this season's penultimate episode.

One of the best things about Orange is the New Black is the writers’ fearlessness when it comes to breaking gender stereotypes. News flash people of the world: women can be truly reprehensible. Old women who have spent decades in prison might still try to shiv someone they don’t like (of course it would help if they wore their glasses while attempting an assassination).

Side note, I met a CO who worked at a women’s prison once. He said the female inmates were a heck of a lot worse (more violent) than the male inmates. Is that true? Who knows, but it should make you think.

This episode we see what really happened to Taystee’s friend, RJ. For years, RJ was part of Vee’s family. Then she got wind that he wanted to go into business for himself. What did Vee do? Well, first she had sexy time with him, then she had him killed by a cop on her payroll. Did she bat an eye? Hell no, because Vee is a stone cold motherfucker. I said it once and I will say it again: Lorraine Toussaint is absolutely brilliant. I fully expect to see her name pop up during award season next year.

Unlike Red, who may be a devious motherfucker, but she is not a killer. More on that in a minute.

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After a drunken Poussey destroys her tobacco stash, Vee tries to control the situation by punishing Taystee and putting her out of the group. She picks the perfect time to isolate her adopted daughter. A huge storm hits Litchfield and the prison almost immediately starts to flood. Good thing there’s no fuel for the back-up generators and the pumps don’t work. As the inmates huddle in the dark and pee in buckets on the second floor, Caputo angrily phones Figueroa about the situation. She could not care less as she is a little busy hosting a gala for her husband while he has sexy time with his assistant.

The inmates split into groups for their impromptu slumber party. Red and Vee keep a wary eye on one another. Big Boo and Pennsatucky form an unlikely friendship as ‘Tucky attempts to educate herself on the “gay agenda”. Which, according to Healy, is nothing short of world domination.

Instead of completely killing the relationship between Taystee and Poussey, Vee’s calculated move only brings them closer together. The girls rekindle their friendship as Taystee finally comes to the realization that she has been manipulated by the one woman she looked to as family.

As for Piper, she knows she won’t get another opportunity like this one. While the prison is plunged in darkness and the guards are preoccupied, she sneaks into Figueroa’s office to find incriminating financial documents. On her way out with an arm full of files, she bumps into Caputo. This storm is looks like it might have a silver lining after all.

Remembering her beat down from years earlier, Red also tries to take advantage of the storm. She gets Vee alone and attempts to strangle her with a plastic cord, only her heart’s not in it. As I said, she might be a devious bitch, but Red is not a killer. In the end she lets Vee go. They hug and call a truce.

Generous, right? That truce lasts less than a day before Vee gives Red another vicious beat down, one she delivers personally this time.

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4.5 out of 5