galina reznikov

Thoughts on OITNB Season 5

The Good:

  • This season was a lot of fun. I never felt bored, and the pacing was just right. They made roughly four days (I think?) last 13 episodes, but I don’t feel as though anything was dragged out.
  • Red on speed was fucking hilarious. So many great lines out of her this season. “In Russia, we don’t have proverbs. We have vodka and misery.”
  • Young Red back story!
  • Soso’s memorial to Poussey.
  • The subtle social commentary/anti-gun message in the premiere, where every time someone asked/talked about the gunfire a different American mass shooting was referenced. Needless to say, there was a lot.
  • Taystee taking the fucking microphone from Judy King. 
  • Taystee repeating Poussey’s name over and over. Punching Caputo in the face for not doing so. A+
  • Taystee as a whole was pretty amazing this season, even if she eventually screwed everything up.
  • Linda becoming Boo’s girlfriend for five minutes but then ultimately getting completely fucked over.
  • Piper and Alex sticking mostly to mundane couple issues. Nothing hugely earth-shattering between the two of them. I was sick of the constant forced drama.
  • I feel like Piper made actual progress with her mother, and the fact that particular conversation lead to her impromptu proposal was awesome.
  • Nicky was clean, hilarious, and hot as hell. Couldn’t get enough of her this season, and loved seeing the real depths of her feelings for Lorna. The brief role reversal with her and Red was a fun trip as well.
  • Red and Blanca friendship was an unexpected treat.
  • FRIEDA
  • I could not love Gloria Mendoza more if I tried.
  • Alison was fleshed out, and I’m really starting to love her as a character.
  • Piper being a Slytherin, headcanon confirmed. 
  • Caputo being a badass in his negotiations with Fig. 
  • Chang peacing out. 
  • Ending the season with The Cinematic Orchestra’s “To Build a Home” – a better song choice doesn’t exist. I have always associated that song with this show. Bravo. The last five minutes gave me chills.
  • Cindy singing Suzanne to sleep, then later Cindy hugging Suzanne, apologizing, crying. I loved it.

The Bad:

  • I feel like the overall message with Suzanne was scattered and poorly handled, and while Uzo did an amazing job with what she was given, I feel like the writing wasn’t necessarily realistic in that it hasn’t been tackled what exactly Suzanne’s mental illness is, purely so the writers can twist her symptoms to fit the plot.
  • Unlike most people I’m not mad about the Piscatella back-story, but it felt incomplete to me. I feel like there is not enough explanation there. What happened to Wes? It seemed like given some of what Piscatella said that there must have been some kind of betrayal there. Given that he’s dead, we’ll probably never find out, but I just felt like there were pieces missing to his story.
  • I feel like Daya fell flat this season. Her characterization was all over the place until she gave herself up and quietly disappeared. 
  • Vinnie and Lorna are, as always, the cringiest. I guess that’s sort of the point, though.
  • I’m not sure what they were trying to do with the Nazis/Sankey? I don’t know if they were trying to endear us to them, but it felt…weird. Like their racism was purely situational and just seemed to disappear when it was convenient. I feel uncomfortable that they were played in a way that I wanted to like them, then felt horrified because Jesus, they’re FUCKING NAZIS
  • Black Lattes Matter would never be a meme
  • Sophia disappearing halfway through the season. Seriously? Her helping in medical was awesome. I would’ve loved to have seen more of that.

The Ugly:

  • Coates x Pennsatucky makes my fucking skin crawl. How can this be a thing? Why is this a thing? WHY IS SHE PAIRED WITH HER RAPIST AND WHY IS IT PORTRAYED AS CUTE?
  • The general rapeyness of how most of the male hostages were treated, mainly Stratman, Josh, and Luschyek. It dehumanized a lot of the girls for me and made me really uncomfortable.
  • Adding onto that: Angie and Leanne have become way too much. “I’ve raped guys before, and I could tell that was genuine.” What the fuck? Why did this need to be in there? I don’t understand how we are ever supposed to have any sympathy for these two ever again. Which is a shame with Leanne, because she has one of the more interesting back stories on the show.
  • Watching the guy who raped Wes Driscoll get burned alive was something I could’ve done without seeing. Hearing his screams would’ve been enough to get the point across.
  • Humps was creepy when he was alive, creepy when he was dying, and creepy upon death. Not sad to see him go. 
  • Piscatella torturing Red in front of her girls…Alex’s arm getting snapped…that whole episode was amazingly handled, but it was still really difficult to watch.
  • Caputo getting trapped in the POO for so long was really gross and disturbing. The man was literally locked in a piss/shit/puke filled porta-potty for days in what I’m pretty sure is summer or early autumn. 
  • Seriously, all of those guards are going to be permanently traumatized. What they were put through is sick.

TL;DR: This has been one of my favorite seasons yet, fun and brilliant, even if there’s an unfortunate amount of it I desperately wish I could un-see, and I feel some of it should have been handled differently. 

my thoughts on OITNB s5
  • That video of Alex getting her arm broken went viral. Kubra thinks that she’s dead. Could he end up seeing that video and sending someone else after her? Or maybe he’ll just try to get her arrested for Aydin’s murder.
  • Even though Daya shot Humps, it was the stroke caused by the oxygen blown into his IV by Maureen that killed him. Will an autopsy be done to determine his cause of death and prove that Daya didn’t kill him. If an autopsy is done and the police question Maureen I’m guessing that she’ll lie. The only person that can discredit her is Suzanne and she’s not exactly a reliable witness.
  • I’m not sad that Piscatella died but I would’ve liked to see him live a little longer. I wanna know if Red showing him mercy would’ve changed his perception of prisoners.
  • VAUSEMAN GOT ENGAGED
  • Last we saw Piper’s mom she was not a fan of Piper being with Alex. Will we get an explanation as to what changed her mind? Or are we to believe that she’s done caring about what other people think and just wants her daughter to be happy?
  • I know it’s not likely but I hope Maria tells the governor’s assistant that Gloria also helped with the guards’ escape. And will she get anything for breaking out the guards?
  • I’m thrilled Nicky stayed sober this season but it was only 3 days.
  • Will we ever learn how much time Alex has left?
  • If you guys haven’t seen Dreamgirls, you need to. There is a movie that came out in 2006 with a phenomenal cast. There will be no White Effies.
  • VAUSEMAN GOT ENGAGED
  • The Blanca/Red friendship is something I never could’ve imagined happening in season 1. I love seeing characters that don’t normally interact come together.
  • What will Flaca and Maritza do without each other?!
  • I was loving Taystee all season until she turned down Fig’s offer. She let down all the woman, they ended up with nothing, and because negotiations fell through, CERT went in there and abused the inmates. Never mind the fact that someone might die.
  • Alex and Piper playing house all season was so cute and adorable and perfect. This is probably their best season. AND THEY GOT ENGAGED. They both better live because I need a Vauseman wedding.
  • Speaking of Vauseman, Alex saying Vauseman gave me life.
  • I hate Leanne and Angie as much as the next person, but them burning the files may end up being helpful to the inmates. It seems like common sense for Litchfield to have electronic copies of the files but a lot of things in Litchfield don’t make sense. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were no digital copies (it’s a long shot). And the inmates don’t have their IDs. That might cause a problem when they try to check who they have.
  • With the inmates presumably being sent off to separate prisons, will the show keep them separated and take place between multiple prisons, will the show get everyone back together, or will it just take place in one of the prisons and leave the inmates not in that prison behind?
  • I really wanna know what the point of Pennsatucky and Donut’s relationship is. It’s hard to watch her fall for her rapist. What is Jenji Kohan trying to accomplish here?
  • That Poussey scene was a spot of light in what ended up being a pretty dark season.
  • VAUSEMAN GOT ENGAGED
  • Michael J. Harney was credited as a series regular this season but Healy wasn’t in a single episode. What’s up with that? (not that I missed him)
  • Mystery solved! The weeping woman is always crying because her dog got blown up by her husband.
  • Kinda curious as to why Piscatella didn’t try to capture Lorna as well, kinda don’t care. I figure it’s because she was in too public a space.
  • I always thought Leanne and Angie were just stupid, annoying meth heads. Now we now that they’re rapists. Can oitnb find someone else to be their “comedic relief”?
  • And why does this show treat rape like it’s no big deal? Angie made a comment in passing about how she’s raped guys. She and Leanne raped the strip dancer guard. Donuts raped Pennsatucky. I think the fat guard talked about how he raped someone last season. What’s wrong with this show?
  • VAUSEMAN GOT ENGAGED (I’m just really happy that they got engaged, okay? I’m trash)

Alex asks the million dollar question at the end: was the riot worth it? The characters and the audience may not be able to answer that question now since we’re still waiting to see the full aftermath, but knowing what we know do you guys think it was worth it? They set out to change the conditions in the prison and got nothing. They set out to get justice for Poussey and got nothing. But they did humanize themselves to the public. Aleida giving interviews, Flaritza’s videos, and Alex’s viral video of her arm getting broken have put faces and names to people that the public never really thinks about. Maybe Piper’s right and change will happen one person at a time and those people will work to change the system. Maybe the public can elect officials that want to reform prisons. Maybe the public will refuse to purchase products made by prisoners.

Maybe the riot was worth it because the women of Litchfield forced the world to look at them and see them as people and not as commodities or unredeemable felons. Maybe it’s worth it in the long run but it doesn’t seem like there will be much take away in the short term.