Orange Is The New Black: Take A Break From Your Values

OITNB flirts with the dangers of character bloat in this episode. Here's our review.

The problem with these Netflix series is that they are created for a viewing public who lack restraint. Sure, make the entire season available all at once. We have one glorious session of binge watching, then we have to wait an entire year to get our next fix. Bastards.

This episode was all about what happens to people when they get greedy and can’t stop stuffing things into their gob. Metaphorically speaking. Prime example? Sister Jane. Yes, we all felt pity for the nun; locked in prison for political protest. Except the only cause Sister Jane was working for, was herself. Imagine if Piper, Alex, and Pennsatucky all had a baby. That baby would be Sister Jane. I apologize for the terrible mental image and mixed metaphor, but I stand by my statement. Sister Jane was a fame whore for God and charitable causes.

Feeling a bit shamed by Soso and Yoga’s somewhat aimless hunger strike, she decides to take on their protest in order to call attention to the plight of the elderly inmates. One last chance to go out looking like a hero, eh Sister?

Healy, who went overboard trying to rehab his image at Litchfield as a douche canoe has come to the sad realization that the inmates only wanted to hold his talking stick so they could reduce their shot count.

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Figuero is working overtime trying to find a way to benefit from a prison rape rally, and has finally found a way to get rid of Piper– transfer her to another prison. Also, kitting out the guards with used riot gear from the maximum prison is her idea of improving Litchfield (never mind the plumbing).

Before she finds out she’s getting shipped down river, Piper finally talks to Alex. Turns out, drug kingpin Kubra was set free due to a mistrial and is probably pretty pissed at Alex for turning into a snitch. For her part, Alex is sorry for betraying Piper, and has no one else to turn to. Out of the entire drug smuggling operation, Piper is the only one who was sent to prison. Ain’t that a kick in the pants?!

Meanwhile, Poussey is recovering from her beat down, and trying hard to shut out her extremely painful feelings. She won’t tell the guards what happened, but anyone can see her heart has been ripped out and stomped on.

Vee continues to rule the roost. Big Boo, who thought she had curried favor with the OG, finds herself friendless and labeled a turn cloak.

Outside Litchfield, Polly leaves her husband for Larry and zzzzzzzzzzz … Seriously, am I supposed to care about these characters anymore? They have changed so drastically from Season 1, it is like they aren’t even the same characters! We are not talking growth here, we are talking about a steady decline in relevance. Larry just up and abandons his efforts to profit off of Piper’s situation. Absolutely nothing has been said about the small business that Polly and Piper were supposed to start. And selfish, oblivious, Polly has been reduced to a beaten down new mom with a juvenile husband. Their character arc hasn’t ended so much that it ran out of gas, sputtered a little, then coasted to a stop on the side of the road.

Ah, the dangers of character bloat. I say cut ‘em loose for next season. The same goes for Daya and Bennett. Wrap that shit up in Season 3. Sure, Bennett’s emotional roller coaster is fun to watch, but there is only so many times I can hear Daya beat him over the head with the “be a man” speech. I liked it better when her character was pushed and pulled by the dysfunctional relationship with her mother. But just like Polly, Aleida’s character has been defanged and rendered two dimensional.

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3 out of 5