Late last night I finally finished the new season of OITNB. Yes, it’s kind of annoying to have to type the whole title every time. I’m going through denial now that it’s over and we have to wait a whole other year for more. For now, let me just tell you, if like me you’ve devoured Season 2 already, what I loved (Spoilers, duh!):
1. The season as a whole.
Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. I didn’t think this show could get any better but it did. The new season is absolutely incredible. Tighter storytelling, new characters, more laughs, I bow down before the genius behind the show, which makes me think I should’ve listened to my friend Ileana who insisted I watch Weeds. This season makes us fall in love with the characters more but also reflect on the very real problems of the US prison system. Bravo.
2. Less Piper, more everyone else.
If, just like in many TV shows, you actually hate the main character and prefer everybody else, then you’ll be very happy with this season. I like Taylor Schilling, I think she’s a great actress, but her character, Piper, is awful. When I watched the first episode of this season, which was all about her, I got worried. Thankfully the show went back to the characters we all knew and loved by the next episode. My favorite part of each episode has got to be the flashbacks that reveal more and more about each character. The show has covered almost all of them actually. The highlights for me were Poussey and Rosa’s stories.
3. Piper and Alex.
Even if Piper isn’t my favorite character, I’m a huge shipper of her relationship with Alex Vause. I thought the new season handled Laura Prepon’s limited four-episode appearance very well. Breaking Larry and Piper up for good (or maybe I should say for now, you never know) and highlighting Piper’s relationship with Alex was definitely the right way to go. The season ended with the perfect cliffhanger: will Alex go back to Litchfield? My vote is obviously YES. Please come back for Season 3 Laura Prepon!
4. Brook Soso.
When Brook (the explanation for why her name doesn’t end with an ‘e’ is hilarious) walked in with the new inmates, I was a little skeptical. Was she just gonna be another stereotypical Asian character on TV added to fill in the missing demographic on the show? But this is OITNB. I should’ve trusted that the show that has more beautifully flawed and realistically fleshed out female characters than any other TV show wouldn’t do that. Instead we get the newbie hippie who comes to jail expecting sisterhood and community only to harshly learn the lesson that Piper herself did in the first season. Yes, she was annoying in that yappy, idealistic sort of way, which means that actress Kimiko Glenn did a great job, but by the end of the season, she also does some growing. I really hope to see more of her next season.
5. The rise and fall of Vee.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that Fig finally got the boot, but this season’s strongest storyline belongs to Vee. Lorraine Toussaint was brilliant as sometimes motherly, always calculating, new/old inmate. From discovering her past with Taystee and her history with Red (seriously why would you trust her after all that?!) to slowly revealing her business plans and that final encounter with Rosa, Vee provided exactly the kind of danger the show needed this season. The whole prison gets shaken up. Friendships are broken. The already segregated groups become all the more so. A lot of people get physically, emotionally and mentally hurt. In short, s*** gets real. You can’t help but get sucked into this super tense showdown between Team Vee and Team Red, only to realize that Red is hopelessly outmatched. But thankfully this show doesn’t always beat down its characters and just leaves them in the dirt. Thankfully sometimes, it also allows justice to be served.
I’m currently lying in bed with a bad cold so I may just rewatch my favorite episodes from this season. Hopefully you enjoyed it just as much as I did. Happy Wednesday!