Orange Is The New Black: Season Two Finale review

Our review of "We Have Manners. We're Polite." OITNB Season 2 Finale!

Shame, they should have titled the season finale “Caputo’s Shit Storm”. Because it really was. Poor guy can’t catch a break and no amount of Side Boob is going to save him now.

What a fantastic season finale. Despite some of the problems Season 2 faced (character decline as a result from bloat, occasionally uneven writing), in the end it was another triumph for Jenji Kohan and her troupe of powerhouse actors. Hot damn there were some amazing performances this season, and they wrapped up beautifully in this finale!

First, Red survives her vicious beat down. She lands in the infirmary with Sister Jane (who is still being force fed and whose plight has attracted a troop of sympathetic nuns who are now camped out by the Litchfield gates). What follows next is truly amazing: nearly the entire prison rallies in opposition to Vee. Caught up in her repeat role as Queen of Litchfield, she has overplayed her hand. This is not the Litchfield she remembers; while still prison, the inmates enjoy a certain level of comradery and family kinship. Vee has violated that unspoken trust.

Things begin to spiral out of control.

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Nicky and the girls steal Vee’s heroin (I have a bad feeling Nicky and those drugs are in for a rough ride next season). Vee immediately turns on her own girls, first threatening Cindy, and then trying to get her and Watson to pin Red’s beating on Suzanne. Taystee and Poussey get them to recant, but not before Suzanne appears to admit her guilt to a pair of outside investigators. Healy, motivated by his affection for the old Russian, manages to turn them toward Vee – his first legitimately selfless act in two seasons.

Piper lands back in SHU for a hot minute, before she explains to Caputo what the files she stole from Figueroa’s office could do. Namely, prove fraud and get Fig fired. Caputo goes to confront Fig in her office and finds her crying in a corner because she has discovered her husband is definitely having that affair with his male assistant. Do you know how many shits Caputo could give? Zero. He does let Fig try to bribe his silence with a blowjob, before telling her he has already gone to the Warden (this guy is like the Wizard of Oz, when are we going to see him??).

Not only is Figueroa allowed to resign, but Caputo has been promoted into her positon. A situation Fig finds pretty funny. She leaves, but not without warning him that he will only end up turning into her. Her prediction takes all of 48 hours to prove true. Bennett admits that he is the father of Daya’s child. Caputo tells him to blow it out his ass and instead of threatening Bennett with prison, he threatens to have Daya transferred to max (that should shut her up).

Caputo does cancel Piper’s transfer, so, that was nice of him. And Piper arranged for Alex to get transferred right back to prison by reporting her for parole violation. So that was nice of her.

By the end of the episode, everyone has rallied to Red and to Suzanne, who is crushed by Vee’s betrayal. Vee sees the writing on the wall and escapes through Red’s contraband tunnel. Just as the CO’s are figuring out that she is gone, Morello and Miss Rosa return from another chemo treatment. Miss Rosa has been given about a month to live. As soon as the guard is distracted, Morello jumps out of the van so Miss Rosa can escape.

And escape she does, nearly mowing down Caputo and the nuns by the back gate. She barrels down the road in the van as “Don’t Fear the Reaper” plays and spies Vee on the side of the road. Narrowing her eyes, Miss Rosa swerves and hits Vee with the van, paying her back for an entire season of rudeness. Then she laughs, transforming from the dying old inmate to the wild beauty of her youth.

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Freedom can do that for you. Here’s to hoping that she never sees Litchfield again in this lifetime.

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4.5 out of 5