S3 wraps up with a series of religious events, including a full-blown miracle, but dark turns by Piper and Caputo hint at a stormy S4.
Let’s bitch it out…
It’s the end of the line for Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black, so here’s a stock-take of the buzziest plot developments of the finale:
Piper (Taylor Schilling) illegal panty business: Piper makes the ill-advised decision to allow Flaca (Jackie Cruz) back into the business, despite Alex’s (Laura Prepon) insistence that she’s leaving herself over to hostile take-over, not being a benevolent dictator. Meanwhile, to celebrate their ill-timed affair, Piper asks Stella (Ruby Rose) to give her a tattoo in white ink (later revealed to be the titular ‘Trust No Bitch’).
The two story lines converge when Piper discovers – via Cal (Michael Chernus) – that all of her money has gone missing. After a misguided attack on Flaca, Piper realizes the real perp is actually her “kangaroo” lover on whom she exacts revenge. As predicted, Chapman’s cacophony of contraband from a few episodes ago makes a reappearance (as does S1’s screwdriver) in order to maintain her hard earned tough-girl cred. It certainly doesn’t make me like her any more than normal, so a part of me is secretly hoping that Piper gets some kind of infection from her self-administered infinity tattoo
- PS: It was a plot point on Revenge for four seasons, Pipes, so yeah…it’s a total cliche
Morello (Yael Stone) gets married: Congrats to the wacky couple of crazies. When she learns that Vince thinks they’re headed for a break-up, nutso Morello pulls the pin and proposes with a paper ring from her vision board and an uncomfortable make-out session. The wedding is a similarly silly affair as Lorna quotes Foreigner’s “I Wanna Know What Love Is”, followed by an energetic bout of screwing against the candy dispenser.
- Bonus points for Red’s (Kate Mulgrew) tears at Morello’s terrible vows, though I’m less excited about the as-expected burgeoning romance between Red and Healy (Michael Harney). Here’s hoping that his import bride’s peace offering from Olive Garden does the trick so we can avoid yet another guard/prisoner romance.
Daya (Dascha Polanco) and Aleida (Elizabeth Rodriguez): Mother and daughter make up in the aftermath of Aleida’s powerplay to keep Daya’s baby in the family. It’s nice to see the pair finally come together, but it looks like Daya’s fears were well justified when Cesar (Berto Colon) is arrested at episode’s end. They’ll always have the hug at freedom beach!
Penns (Taryn Manning) and Big Boo (Lea DeLaria) make a mistake: Unable to follow through on their revenge scheme, the pair concoct a fake epilepsy seizure to get Penns out of truck driving duty. Seems like a decent escape plan…until they see Ramos (Diane Guerrero) is the hot new replacement that Donuts (James McMenamin) will likely assault.
Litchfield / staffing: Caputo (Nick Sandow) and Pearson (Mike Birbiglia) try to make the argument to Pearson’s father that the inmates matter as asides hint at the arrival of new beds. It isn’t until Fig (Alysia Riner) confirms to Caputo that there’s an undeniable opportunity to be had after Danny quits that Joe makes a selfish decision (admittedly the 30% raise doesn’t hurt). Unfortunately the move costs him the respect of his experienced staff as everyone walks off the job for the day (forever?).
The mass exodus of the guards allows all of the inmates to escape through a recently cut hole in the fence. This development ends the season on a miraculous high as all of our favourites do a slow-mo run to “freedom” lake. Watching the ladies laugh and horseplay as long-gestating developments – like Taystee (Danielle Brooks) letting her hair down (metaphorically and literally) – come to fruition feels well-earned. The play time for the Litchfield inmates is a nice dose of happiness in a season with some occasional dark themes. Added bonus: no Piper in the final scene (she’d probably just scowl her way through the fun).
Things end on a gloomy note, though. A final cut back to the prison shows the delivery of bunk beds and busloads of additional prisoners, part of MCC’s latest cost cutting measure and a development sure to make everyone’s life a complete nightmare in S4. Omph. Here’s hoping that the ladies enjoy their respite at the lake because there are dark times ahead at Litchfield.
- Healy finally sets his wife free after realizing that she feels the same way as the inmates do. ‘Bout time.
- The cult of Norma (Annie Golden) finally falls apart in the absence of a miracle. It takes the glory of Norma-toast to bring back to naysayers, though even that falls apart in the wake of Poussey’s (Samira Wiley) take-down of both the group and, more specifically, Leanne (Emma Myles). Again ’bout time.
- Soso (Kimiko Glenn) lives thanks to Taystee’s den-mother knowledge and Poussey’s willingness to evoke sympathy vomit. Looks like it pays off for Poussey, who seems pretty chummy with her “Blasian” bestie by episode’s end.
- Gloria (Selenis Leyva) is upset because of what happened to Sophia (an unseen Laverne Cox) last episode, despite Aleida and Red’s assurances that a) she got her credit back and b) accidents happen. Interestingly Gloria ends up confessing her sins to Sister Ingalls (Beth Fowler) – confirming just how alike she and Sophia truly are, despite their issues.
- Adrienne C. Moore brings the house down with her conversion to Judaism scene. While I would have liked to see more of Black Cindy’s tutorials, it’s a great scene that highlights both Moore’s comedic and dramatic skills. All I can say is that this scene and her brief flashback hints that we need more Black Cindy in S4.
- I love that Lolly (Lori Petty) and Chang (Lori Tan Chinn) share the same conspiracies. How wacky would this combination be for a buddy comedy?
- I also love that Wanda (Catherine Curtin) is a wedding cry baby.
- Poor Maureen (Emily Althaus) can’t catch a break. She’s bitten by a turtle on the edge of the lake trying to catch Suzanne’s (Uzo Aduba) attention and when Maureen flings it, Suzanne thinks she’s playing fetch. Luckily there’s a clear suggestion that Suzanne may come around.
- As predicted: Blair Brown’s Judy King arrives at Litchfield to turn herself in, suggesting that her Martha Stewart-inspired character will be around next season (as a foil for Red most likely).
- Cliffhanger alert: Alex’s fears finally pay off when a man from her past shows up as a prison guard. Meh.
- My request for next season: I would like to see more of Ginsberg, Black Cindy’s Judaism tutor/coach. She seemed like a pretty dynamo character. Anyone who is willing to blackmail a rabbi deserves a bit more screen time.
- Taystee (when Poussey implores her to force Soso to barf): “Knowing what to do does not make me bottom bitch of the vomitorium”
- Pearson (when Joe suggests that his father will love him no matter what): “Man, you know nothing about WASPs”
- Flaca (insisting Piper is different from The Godfather): “Nah, you’re taller and tighter.”
- Red (handing Gloria a cucumber for her ‘man troubles’): “Don’t give it back when you’re done.”
- Vince (confirming to Morello that he has feelings for her): “Pauly G 2010 type feelings”
- Poussey (insisting that having Soso around makes them like Tiger Woods): “Blasian is beautiful!”
- Aleida (suggesting Daya’s baby will adapt): “Marc Anthony grew up in the projects and now he’s rich and got to stick it to J. Lo, even though he’s pocket-sized.”
- Pearson (telling off his father): “Enjoy nose fucking your whiskey!”
- Black Cindy (rationalizing her decision to become Jewish): “I’m ready to get my Jew on”
- Piper (arguing that she is intimidating the girls in her business): “Quite gangster”
- Cal (reining Piper in): “You’re not Walter White yet. You’re Walter White-Ink”
- Caputo (confirming how pathetic he is to Fig): “I work for a corrupt organization and I’m fucking an anorexic, dead-eyed crone who’s the only person I can talk to.”
- Black Cindy (noticing Piper and Stella fighting): “What’s going with ‘The L Word’ over there?” Oh man, you said it Black Cindy.
- Young Healy (as a drunk who looks like Jesus pukes and falls on him): “Somebody help me. Oh please! He’s smells! Get the fuck off of me!”
- Luschek (watching the women escaping, then turning around and going inside): “Nope.”
Your turn: what did you think of S3? Which story line ended up working out best to you: Piper? Daya and her mom? Poussey? Penns & Big Boo? Caputo’s climb? Which left you cold? What episode stands out to you? And what are your predictions for S4? Sound off below!
Orange Is The New Black is available in its entirety on Netflix. A fourth season will debut next summer.