Orange is the New Black: Comic Sans

Posted on June 24, 2014

Orange-Is-The-New-Black-Season-2-Episode-7-Review-TV-Show-Tom-lorenzo-Site-TLOLaverne Cox and Kate Mulgrew in Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black”

 

“If you don’t believe in a future it’s because you don’t think you’ll have one.”

That one line from Vee to Cindy pretty much nails every single inmate in Litchfield. It’s a place stacked to the rafters with people who think they have no future. That’s what makes sociopaths like Vee so scary; they’re eerily observant of people and can find the universality in their experiences and then exploit them. In other words, they can be tellers of truths, even as they spew one lie and falsehood after another.

But Vee’s brand new cigarette business is doing well. “You give these women something that they want, and they’ll respect you for it,” she tells her team. There’s something of a philosophical argument going on between Vee and Red, as they both scramble to secure power in this setting. For Red, power comes from having a prison family around her; a team of people who trust her that she can rely on. For her, contraband dealing is a means to that end. But for Vee, power comes from having something that other people want. It’s important to Red that she be in a position to shower her family with gifts in order to secure their loyalty. It’s important to Vee that she be in a position above everyone around her in order to manipulate them into doing or buying what she tells them to. Red is an emotionally abusive parent figure; self-absorbed, emotionally withholding, and lavish when it suits her. Vee is a classic pusher; constantly zeroing in on weaknesses and then twisting the knife to get people to do what she wants; buy what she has. It’s to the show’s enormous credit that a basic prison power struggle is addressing and tackling so many aspects of modern life, from race, to power, to family, to identity.

Cindy gets her flashback this episode and like Lorna’s, it served as a jarring reminder that some of these ladies, no matter how entertaining they are as inmates, are real assholes in the outside world. To an almost shocking degree, she was shown to be irresponsible and self-absorbed, leaving her sister/daughter alone in a car while she runs upstairs to get high with friends or constantly abusing her position as a TSA agent, in a manner that taps into real fears people have about the security state in this country. On the one hand, it was disappointing, since Poussey, Janae and Taystee have all been shown to be such easy characters to root for or empathize with in their backstories. With Cindy, you get a character who, up until now has been played mostly as charming comic relief (“They were so evil, even their cows had to be killed” remains one of our favorite lines of season one, just because of her perfect delivery) skating right up to the line of repulsive. It’s another bold move on the part of the writers, but rather than make us dislike Cindy, it makes us wonder if she isn’t a better person in prison than she is in the outside world. On the other hand, “I can’t let you on the plane with these guns” was hilarious.

The rest of the episode felt like a brisk, well executed mid-season plotting episode, moving things along on several fronts, making the show feel very much at this point like it’s got a strong game plan for the rest of the season.

Caputo understandably freaks out over Jimmy’s escape last episode and comes down hard on the rest of the COs; ordering a minimum of five shots a week from each of them, except Fischer, who gets a six-shot order, for having the poor taste to flirt with Luzchek. Because this is prison, the shots almost immediately start getting handed out on a racial basis, as in, the black inmates are automatically getting more of them, for the most innocuous of reasons. It’s possible they’re only perceiving it that way, as pretty much anything from punishments to rewards gets assessed and resented based along racial lines at the Litch, but we still fear there’ll be rioting before this is all over, based on how much resentment seems to be boiling right now.

If we were writing the Litchfield newsletter, this would be the part where we report that:

Nikki and Poussey have a great little unexpected bonding moment over what it’s like to be the gay girl with a serious crush on her straight girlfriend, a reference point that almost any gay person can relate to. Poussey insists she doesn’t have a crush on Taystee, to which Nikki astutely replies. “Sure. Let’s go with that.”

Lorna wants to “stay away from the romance-type stuff; just for now.”

Gloria wants to stay away from Vee and Red’s turf war. She and Red seem to have come to a begrudging and respectful truce with each other.

The Golden Girls keep trying to cover for Jimmy’s dementia, but it’s become impossible to hide the obvious. Caputo, who’s becoming both more sympathetic and more of a jerk at the same time, winds up shipping her out to basically live on the streets, in an appalling (and real world) practice called, in the best Orwellian manner, “Compassionate Release.”

Figueroa gets a moment to have her story fleshed out and frankly, it annoyed the hell out of us. The problem with her character is that she’s always been written and played just a little too broadly, turning her into a flat, but occasionally entertaining villain. This scene felt like a too-obvious attempt to give her some depth in the laziest way possible: a gay husband who doesn’t make her feel desirable. It’s such a cliche to reduce a ball-busting bitch character down to someone who just wants to be held. Even worse, there was this weird attempt to give her depth by trying to claim she’s more interested in the injustice of sentencing laws than fixing their showers. Sure, it’s a self-serving justification from someone who’s been embezzling like crazy, but it was somewhat awkwardly phrased.

And finally, the “Spanish” girls push Bennett a little too hard, with their constant requests for contraband (Flaca wants gay porn because she’s not into exploiting women and shit) and their blackmail threats, which is just one more reason to consider this whole supposed “romance” to be completely fucked up on all sides. Everything in prison comes down to some sort of power struggle and Daya’s pregnancy is no different. Her prison family (including her own mother), exploit Bennett because he’s in an untenable position. When pushed too far, he turns around and uses the institutional power at his command to punish the women in the worst way he can, by sending them to SHU. As Daya angrily points out to him: “You have choice. You have power. I’m an inmate. I have nothing.”

That’s what it’s all been about this season: power, and how it’s wielded.

 

 

[Photo Credit: Ali Goldstein for Netflix]

    • Danielle

      “You ever been kissed by a six-foot-tall black trans woman?” NO BUT I’M READY AND WILLING, SOPHIA

    • Sarah

      Y’know, one thing that kinda bugs me about the whole show is that you absolutely are NOT allowed to be imprisoned in the same population as your relatives. They do not allow it. Even in the regional jail, they’ll separate you. So, it’s a little too convenient to me that Daya’s mom is in the same gen pop as she is. Much the same way that it is bothersome the way they tried to “humanize” Fig when she’s just better off being the heinous bitch that she is.

      • Danielle

        Makes total sense, as Alex and Piper were never in the same prison in real life.

        • Darcie Burkhart Wiley

          I just listened to an episode of “Fresh Air” the other day and Terri Gross asked Piper Kerman if she was ever in the same prison as her ex girlfriend and she said she actually shared a cell with her and her sister who was also into the drug running group.

          • Nyltiak

            They were both in pre-trial holding in Chicago because as part of all of their plea deals they had to testify against other defendants in the group, and one of them didn’t take a plea deal. It was a brief portion of their overall incarceration (less than a month?)

      • Glammie

        Not sure that’s true with federal prisons. There are only three for women, so I think there may well be an undue hardship situation if one relative is sent to Pleasanton, California just because another relative’s in prison. There just aren’t that many choices.

        • demidaemon

          That’s also true.

        • Sarah

          Maybe so. That’s what I meant by same population – there are usually separate areas/cell blocks.

          • Glammie

            That would make sense, but then it’s not clear that Daya and her mom are in the same cell block or how the prison’s laid out, since it’s minimum security.

      • demidaemon

        I feel like I saw one of those prison documentaries where a mother and daughter were in the same facility, so maybe it’s one of those policies they try to follow but don’t always completely adhere too. Now, the ones involved in the same cases, yeah, they would be kept separated, so Alex and Piper should have been in separate facilities (however, the show would be much less interesting otherwise, so I can suspend my disbelief here). It is possible, though, that the connection between Vee and Taystee might now be completely known to the system, especially if they were caught at separate times. Vee’s business was pretty clear cut, and Taystee is pretty loyal to her, so it is possible that Taystee would take the heat and not let anyone know about her connection and, unless it would serve her purpose, I doubt Vee would reveal her followers’ names. Just a thought.

        • Sarah

          I agree about Vee & Taystee. Certainly would be possible that their association wasn’t part of the authorities’ knowledge. @Glammie:disqus makes an excellent point re: the few federal prisons. My whole knowledge of the pen is from male accounts, so I could be totally misinformed from the gender perspective.

          • demidaemon

            I saw Glammie’s post as well. That would make it difficult and, no doubt, they would probably be sent to the prisons nearest where they were arrested/tried as well.

          • Glammie

            I don’t know for sure, but I thought in the original book Piper K. wrote about generations of women being in prison? (I’ve only read excerpts.) I think you’re right that brothers and male relatives aren’t incarcerated together. But, then, I think there’s also more of a concern about prison gangs and violence in men’s prisons.

            • Sarah

              Yes, true. I didn’t read the book, so it seems there’s more to the female incarcerated life than I am aware of.

      • Kristy Sheldon

        Ya, this series does not follow the true story accurately, but it is the drama that keeps us watching, and we are mesmerized by these characters. In Weeds, Nancy Botwin was also not a true to life character, but the inspiration for these stories manifests into something that we love to watch!

      • L’Anne

        I can see Taystee and Vee being in the same prison and same gen pop. Vee didn’t officially foster or adopt Taystee. It looked more like an informal arrangement, and I can see her not listing Vee on anything- forms, etc.– as a contact when she was arrested, largely for self-preservation. So it is possible the system didn’t know about their relationship or that Taystee worked for Vee.

      • Vanessa

        Actually, there is an interesting set of reflections on the OINTB in the Washington citypaper by a woman who was incarcertaed in a smilar prison, and she points out that in state prisons many of the women knew each other from their neighborhoods (which often have high crime rates) and bring those relationships to prison with them. Doesn’t take away from your point about relatives being separated, but interesting layer about prison population.

    • butterflysunita

      I do like that Cindy–like Lorna–behaves in ways that are so unsympathetic in her pre-prison life. It adds complexity to the show. I also like the way in which her story developed the mother-daughter theme that recurs this season.

      • KinoEye

        Totally agreed. I was a little shocked Cindy was so awful. But going back to what the uncles said in one of their earlier reviews about how the show tends to beatify the inmates — Cindy (and to some extent, Lorna’s) stories are there to remind us that sometimes, these inmates actively made really, really bad decisions. It’s more realistic (man, that’s a word I hate using when talking about TV and movies, but it fits here) that at least a few inmates aren’t portrayed as being victims of circumstance. I’d even say it’s more humanizing for the writers to allow some of these women to just be bad, no strings attached. Vee also fits into this category.

        • Danielle

          I’ll admit I laughed out loud when Cindy was groping the man in the TSA line.

          • Introspective

            Me three! And it helped that dude was hella hot ;)

          • Thomas

            I also laughed when she was speeding down the terminal and stealing crap. You can’t tell me that didn’t look like fun lol

            • https://www.facebook.com/NORNCUTSONART Norn Cutson

              She was so JUBILANT!!!!!

        • butterflysunita

          Though it’s worth noting that the characters we sympathize with the most are the ones that we saw as children or adolescents (Taystee, Suzanne, Poussey).

          • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

            And Watson!

        • demidaemon

          True. I think what they are trying to show is that, even though the environment may be different, people don’t really change (which comes up again and again this season).

        • MilaXX

          And different levels of bad. Vee’s actions were certainly way worse than Cindy’s

          • demidaemon

            As far as we know, I don’t think anyone ever gets to Vee’s level of awfulness.

    • Thomas

      I just want to say that Vee is possibly the scariest villain I’ve ever seen in a television series. Just no redeemable qualities to her, whatsoever. She only cares about her own ass and will do anything to protect her own interests. The definition of a sociopath.

      • lecoffeeaddict

        True. Although I think Pornstashe’s SVU alter-ego, William Lewis, gives her a run for her money.

        • Thomas

          I haven’t watched SVU since Christopher Meloni left the cast. I’m still in mourning (or my nether regions are).

          • ShaoLinKitten

            He plays a hot but dumb personal trainer on this last season of Veep, and he’s quite funny.

            • Thomas

              I’ve been meaning to check Veep out! More reason too!

            • ShaoLinKitten

              Smartest comedy on TV. I wouldn’t steer you wrong– check it out. Julia Louis-Dreyfus deserves those Emmys.

        • Sarah

          No shit…that guy was frikkin’ horrifying.

        • Introspective

          Jesus Pornstache scared the shit outta me on SVU. he played that to a point of giving me chills. And Vee plays the villainy of her character with an art unparalleled as well. Id like to see Emmy/Globe noms for both.

      • KinoEye

        For me, it’s Walter White/Heisenberg forever. But Vee’s a contender for a top five spot, no question.

        • Kitten Mittons

          Amen.

      • Denise Alden

        Yes, Vee is absolutely terrifying. I sort of had a bit of respect when I saw her cooking in her own kitchen with Taystee and her other young charge. But now, yikes. My husband even conjectured that Vee was responsible for his death! “Oh my god, honey: I think you’re right!”

        • Thomas

          She just does shit like that to win people over, not because she cares for them. She only cares for people as long as they’re useful to her and don’t get in the way of her plans.

        • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

          Yeah, that scene when she was making butternut squash and a loaf of whole-wheat flaxseed bread, I totally understood why Taystee fell for her as a mother. Especially because she’d never had anything like that. But that’s why she was all the more dangerous.

          • Denise Alden

            And all the more heartbreaking for Taystee.

        • demidaemon

          I had the same theory!

          • Denise Alden

            Good call! I was so surprised when he said that, but then realized with horror that he, (and you!), were probably right.

      • Man Dala

        I agree, she’s terrifying. Kudos to the actress portraying her — she used to have a minor role in “Ugly Betty” as Yoga, Claire Meade’s fellow escapee from prison.

      • butterflysunita

        Lorraine Toussaint is a great actress. Vee is manipulative and scary, and yet you completely believe that she’d be able to charm and win over the other women.

      • Danielle

        Her back story got scarier and scarier as the episodes went on, to the point where you’re almost on the edge of your seat rooting for someone to shiv her in the shower. Lorraine Toussaint is incredible.

        • Thomas

          I know, I just finished watching the season last night. The last minute was incredible. I wish I could say what my emotions were, but I don’t want to give away too much for those who haven’t seen it yet.

        • demidaemon

          She is incredible, and I agree about the shivving. More to come on this topic when further recaps are posted.

      • https://www.facebook.com/NORNCUTSONART Norn Cutson

        What makes her SO SCARY for me is that I can see how EASILY she would manipulate me; I wouldn’t stand a chance against her.
        My mind doesn’t work like that.

    • Inspector_Gidget

      The TSA has replaced the IRS and the DMV as the go-to place for evil bureaucratic characters. And with good reason. Funny to think that I used to *like* flying.

      • http://litbrit.blogspot.com/ Deborah Newell Tornello

        Oh my goodness, we were saying the same thing when we watched those scenes. Wow. I contribute to a TSA watchdog site; this morning, I wrote about the evil-government-agent character/archetype in popular culture shifting (to include the TSA agent); in fact, I wrote “TSA is the new IRS”. I quote and credit TLo’s recap.

        Excellent, excellent show. One rarely if ever sees so many strong female roles in a single series. As this blog has pointed out, there are women of all shapes and sizes, all colors and ages. It’s…stunning, actually. May this enlightenment continue (and not just be a temporary trend in screenwriting).

    • decormaven

      I love how the set decorators have so artfully staged the messy greenhouse. How funny it is to see it made more “functional.” Vee has completely sussed the inmates. She has everyone’s number.

      • H2olovngrl

        I thought Red’s family meal in the green house looked like something you would see in Better Homes and Gardens. It had that down home, pretentious look that they always try so desperately to cultivate

        • decormaven

          So true! Just needed a burlap runner and candles in Mason jars.

          • Glammie

            What is it with burlap these days? And I love a mason jar–for canning! Thanks to the mason jar craze, the things have gone up in price, which is a nuisance when you’re dealing with a fruit tree glut by making jam. It used to be that it was an effort to find mason jars off-season, now they’re around and overpriced. And tinted blue (which does strange things to apricot jam).

            • decormaven

              I feel your pain. Just went to a wedding where the reception tables each were decorated with Mason jars with baby’s breath and statice, with a burlap bow on each jar.

            • ballerinawithagun

              Blue Mason jars are part of my cousin’s daughter’s wedding. Wedding will be on a farm in MN, where my cousin still cans the best pickles among other things. The bride lives in Portland, of course! I’m sure there will be burlap too. 400 guests getting scratchy from burlap…

            • decormaven

              It is the new thing. It was at my niece’s wedding last weekend.

            • Glammie

              Last year, I was trying to figure out some sort of interesting tree garland–went on Pinterest and, yep, lots of Christmas trees wrapped in burlap.

              If I wanted a rustic looking Christmas tree, I’d just go look at a tree outside.

            • H2olovngrl

              I always let older women know that I make my own jam. Oftentimes they have retired from canning. I have gotten lots of free jars that way plus lots of supplies. I also find jars on Craigslist at a cheaper rate. If you can’t get mason or ball jars for a good price, it doesn’t really make canning financially worthwhile, altogether I still do it because I love it.

              ETA: I do have my herbs in my window sill planted in mason jars…heheh…

            • Glammie

              If you’re going to that kind of effort to get your mason jars, I say you’re entitled to put your herbs in them.

              I make jam and pickles out of necessity–not enough freezer space and I hate to see the harvest go to waste. Actually, not enough storage space either–there are always multiple jars of jam on the counter.

    • ashtangajunkie

      The Golden Girls are one of my favourite parts of this season. Their collective “over it” attitude kills me – I love that they are getting some screen time.

      • another_laura

        Me too! Happy that the older actresses are getting some substantial stuff to do.

        • B. Garcia

          It’s nice to see actresses whose faces *move*! (And whose boobs are real–but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.)

    • teensmom99

      Love the golden girls!

    • Man Dala

      “I’m too slick for that shit [jail]. I’ve got a government job!” — best line delivery by Cindy ever. I re-watched that bit a thousand times.

    • Eva_baby

      As much as I love Cindy — and I still do — I am glad that we saw that she was an utter asshole. I liked that reminder that as much as we enjoy these women, they probably do deserve to be there.

      I am over Daya/Bennet. Hard. Core. The two of them are vomit inducing. I hate that he sexed up an inmate. I hate that he is being blackmailed because of it. I hate that she is powerless and only realizes it when it convenient for her. I hate that they both think this twisted thing they have is love. Ugh. Those two.

      But Vee is Fiyah! She is both terrifying and exhilarating to watch.

      Not nearly enough Sophia so far!

      • http://www.chifleschips.com Stefanie Argudo Mackenzie

        I’m conflicted about Daya/Bennett. I think they are both guilty of some major league denial and are trying to spin the situation into God knows what. He’s delusional, and she might just be playing him. By this time, she should be getting to the stage where you KNOW she’s pregnant, yet she’s not. Now, I am only on Episode 9, but I’m starting to wonder if she’s pregnant at all, or if she is, in the end, they’ll find out someone other than Bennett or Pornstache is the father. I know, stay tuned.

        Vee is some cold ass bitch, but I find it pathetic at the same time she’s relying solely on her past experience in Litchfield to build power now. She hasn’t learned or evolved from her experiences the last time she was in. The fact it’s unraveling and building at the same time is no surprise. I love watching her. Even the most minor twich has meaning.

        • oldscrumby

          By “where you KNOW she’s pregnant” do you mean showing? Because you’d be surprised how long some people can hide the bump. She’s a bigger woman and her clothing is loose fitting. While I doubt she’d be able to slip it past someone doing a physical exam or seeing her naked, she can probably fly under the “getting a bit fatter” radar well into the pregnancy.

          • http://www.chifleschips.com Stefanie Argudo Mackenzie

            Yes, that’s exactly what I was thinking, and you’re right; some people can carry to term and you never know. Particularly a larger woman.

          • Glammie

            First baby as well–tighter ab muscles, so it shows later–as the saying goes, the first baby shows at six months, the second at six weeks, the third at six minutes.

    • dschubba

      Lord, if I ever wind up in jail, I hope it’s with someone who can hook me up with some gummy bears. I could definitely relate to Sophia on that one.

    • demidaemon

      That moment, at night, with Vee and Cindy. I think that was when I was most creeped out this season, because you saw all the self-confidence Cindy had (whether it was false bravado or not) shattered in moments. I wanted Cindy to rebel against Vee so badly, and it just couldn’t happen.

      I’m torn on the way Fig’s character is developed. Because on the one hand I totally buy it, even though she is still a total embezzling bitch, but, on the other hand, I totally see TLo’s critique.

    • snarkykitten

      Can we talk about the inmates arguing over comic sans? sorry, such a minor thing but it made the type nerd in me squee.

      • Logo Girl

        I loved the editorial discussions overall. Plus if you freeze frame on the newsletters they prove to be hilarious.

      • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

        Plus Flaca setting Lorna straight about “couldn’t care less.”

        • Ali2044

          That plus the request for gay porn and the snark at the iPod full of Fleet Foxes have endeared her to me forever.

    • lbl

      Cindy’s back story made me dislike her, but I give the show writers majors props for putting in there and doing it so well.

      There are so many people like that in real life and they’re awful. Sure, you can have a good time with them, but they’re the most selfish, irresponsible, and unreliable people out there. I hate them as much as I can hate someone who hasn’t committed some type of heinous crime.

      As for Daya and Bennett, they’re more annoying with each new episode.

      • KateWo

        I thought it got a little stereotype-y but I’m glad the writers aren’t making us sympathize with every character. Of course you have villains like Vee but not all the characters should be likeabke, it is prison

        • demidaemon

          I think it’s kind of interesting because, even after seeing how awful they are, you still kind of sympathize with these characters, even knowing what they’ve done. It’s kind of amazing.

          Except for Vee. She’s terrifying.

      • Glammie

        The thing I found interesting about Cindy’s back story is that in slightly different circumstances, she could have been a prison guard. Same sort of low-level secure job. And you know she would have been a total asshole as a guard. Wonder if she recognizes that?

        • Introspective

          this is an excellent point which the writers are hitting home this season– that really there is no way for the officers surrounding the prisoners to have full sympathy for them, even if coming from the exact same walks of life and only aren’t behind bars but for the grace of god. the uniform itself provides a level of power that most are willing and able to exploit. which is why the prisoners are all in different ways announcing thru actions what Daya has voiced– that they are utterly powerless. and yet, truly any one of the women, if life led them to the work of being a CO as opposed to the illegal stuff that led to their incarceration, would do the exact same that is being done to them…

          • Ali2044

            Fischer said to Piper in Season 1, basically that she made stupid mistakes in her life too, she just didn’t get caught. She’s the only CO who seems to really get that.

      • boweryboy

        I have relatives like Cindy, so her backstory really hit home for me.

    • ShaoLinKitten

      I didn’t find Fig’s back story all that exonerating. I saw a lot of rationalizing on her part, and a lot of victim blaming. That her husband is gay and is just using her for a beard and embezzlement money did very little to make me feel bad for her. I found her pathetic and rooted hard for her demise. Having a sad past is no excuse for bad behavior– that seems to be a theme for this season.

      • boweryboy

        It makes me wonder if she will end up in Litchfield for embezzlement. What a delicious turn of events that would be.

    • H2olovngrl

      Flaca’s love of 80′s new wave never fails to crack me up. I just had to say it. ERASURE! YES!!!

      • cowper

        You and me both! #80sforever

      • boweryboy

        She’s one of my favorite characters for that reason alone. I died laughing when she looks at the iPod and says, “This is full of Fleet Foxes and shit.” She reminds me of a Latino gal pal I had in high school. We bonded over our love for The Cure, Depeche Mode, New Order and black clothing.

        Also, one of the most awesome concerts I ever attended was an Erasure show. My friend’s brother was an intern at the local “modern rock” radio station so he hooked us up with tickets for an unannounced intimate performance by them. They had a deck of oversized playing cards with the names of their songs printed on the opposite side. Then they would choose an audience member to pick a card and whatever song the audience member chose was the song they played. Also, for the encore feathers floated down from the ceiling – until they began to clog the ventalition system.

        • H2olovngrl

          Awesome story! I wish I had been there. Erasure is coming to LA this summer. I’ve already seen them three times, but cannot wait to see them again. Regarding Flaca, I hopehopehope we get her back story in season three because she is my favorite, too. Girl is comedy gold.

        • mediapileup

          Yes! I saw Erasure in college and it was literally the most entertaining concert ever. The costumes and showmanship were just incredible. During the show this girl on the front row was squealing and waving her arms the whole time, and towards the end of the show Andy Bell leaned over and squealed back at her in exactly the same way. It was hilarious. Also, I saw them in Fort Worth, TX and I’m not sure that anything that gay had ever been shown there. I remember noting that the silver short shorts and thigh high boots he wore during the ABBA cover portion of the show was one of his more sedate costume choices.

          • H2olovngrl

            Ah yes, I remember the ABBA costume well. Seeing an Erasure concert on LOGO helped my daughter understand, at a very young age, what a flamboyant and proud gay man was all about and how it was perfectly acceptable to be that way.

    • Fay Dearing

      I was so horrified by them letting Jimmy go because it was so obviously a death sentence. I’ve heard of compassionate release but I always assumed that they’d make sure the inmates had somewhere to go. Granted, this is a fictionalized show, but if this sort of thing happens in the real world it would have been more compassionate to just kill Jimmy. She’s going starve or freeze to death on the streets within a week.

      • demidaemon

        I agree. But that was definitely the point. Of course, the guards lack of supervision didn’t help at all, but that moment, when she is on the stage in the chapel, and you see what happens. It broke my heart, especially when she was yelling out to Piper as they took her away. It probably affected me more because someone in my life is afflicted with this disease, and, despite everything the Golden Girls tried to do, they couldn’t protect her..

      • Introspective

        that’s what im thinking. this is the exact ep where i left off, and when I saw Jimmy leaving I firmly expected a couple of episodes later for the news to arrive inside that she was hit by a delivery truck or froze in a pool of her own urine on the streets of wherever.

        “compassionate release” indeed. jimmy yelling “roberta” to piper as they drove her away was one of the most tear jerking politically astute ways to communicate all of the ills of the prison industrial complex. kudos to jenji kohan et al for that.

    • http://redheadedwolf.wordpress.com/ Laura Renee

      A+ job again, gents! Fantastic breakdown of the parallel between Red and Vee’s power struggle — I’ve watched the season twice now, and didn’t notice that. I love your description of Red as an abusive parent, too. She’s gotten a lot more sympathetic this season, but that’s still true.

      Slight typo here: “Because this is prison, the shots almost immediately start getting handed out on a racial basis”

      I think you meant “the world” instead of “prison.” (Just thinking of how even black preschoolers get punished and held back more than white kids.)

      Anyway, I’m so glad Poussey and Nicky got to have a conversation. That made me so happy.

      And man, what happens to Jimmy is so damn heartbreaking. Also, all the episodes had A+ closing music that matched the final scene of the ep perfectly.

      • demidaemon

        The closing music this season was so well-chosen. A+ indeed.

    • http://www.chifleschips.com Stefanie Argudo Mackenzie

      Thank you, Uncles for the oh so on point recaps. I’m doling out episodes to myself and was hoping to stay up with your schedule, but I’m a bit ahead…Episode 9 now. I do appreciate you work at keeping spoilers away until it’s appropriate. This is the best thing since The Sopranos, and I was and am a rabid Sopranos fan.

    • Kristy Sheldon

      Obsessed with this series, I hunted down the book that tells the real story. Piper Kerman tells her story in a very professional way, without any of the drama or vulgarity that makes me love this show. If they stayed true to the book, I would be bored as hell. I loved Weeds and I love the drama in this show. While we would love to dream that this is really how it happened, we just need to respect the way it plays out on tv. I love and feel for every one of these girls, as the best stories are about ordinary people in extraordinary situations! That is how we relate to these characters. I was in county jail for a DUI 15 years ago, and the experience was crazy. The first time I went to pee, I walked in on someone on the toilet. When I was embarrassed and looked the other way, she said to me, “Oh, this must be your first time. No one pees in private here.” The crazy homeless girl that was in there for assaulting a man that tried to rape her in the park took a liking to me and followed me for the 18 hours I was in there. The room was a barracks of sort, and there were close to 20 bunk beds housing close to 40 women. I learned so much from my fellow inmates about what to do when you are in court, how to ask the judge to waive your fines, and, upon my release, I received a nod from the drug dealer whose mother was with me from my intake to our release. (She claimed to speak no English and I helped her through the intake process when we were required to take off our hair scrunchies and our shoes and let her know that we were about to be released when only the two of us were called up to the door that said “release.” My Spanish is terrible, but I know she understood me, as much as she played the language barrier card.) Just like Piper, people kept making comments that expressed, “Why are YOU in here?” Even the police officers said to me, and I quote, “Who the hell arrested YOU?” Just so you know, if you are ever doing anything that could get you arrested, be sure to be wearing warm, comfortable clothing and shoes that allow you to surrender you shoe laces without having to walk in your bare feet on that disgusting floor. Fifteen years later, I will never, ever forget or get over that humbling experience. I know other women that have been through the same thing. You never get over it.

      • Kristy Sheldon

        Now, 15 years later, I look more like a combination of Boo and the cancer ridden lady. My kids are grown, and if they arrest me again for not paying my fines, I might just stay there to satisfy my sentence. Why should I pay a fine if they do not use it to help people avoid returning to prison?

      • Mary Nease

        Though I don’t ever do anything that I think could remotely get me arrested, this makes me feel better about the fact that I almost always wear shoes that don’t require shoelaces. -_-U

    • semirose

      My first thought with Fig and her “sob story” was Angela and The Senator (except Angela and Oscar are delightful and Fig is…Fig).

    • Glammie

      Just gonna say–Nikki *gets* Poussey–c’mon, girls, stay clean and sober together. (Sure beats shipping Alex/Piper.)

    • boweryboy

      I’m hoping there’s more to Vee.

      Don’t get me wrong. I love a good villian, and she’s good (both her character and the actress), but right now she’s too one dimensional. I would like to see how she wound up in prison and to see more motivation behind her actions besides starting the Bad Ass Black Girls club.

      Also, I find it kind of unbelievable that everyone is so taken in by her and is just willing to do what she says. I mean, these are street savvy women so one would think someone’s bullshit detector would be activated. There’s no way I would give up my cush position in the library for janitorial duty without reason. I can understand why Taystee and Crazy Eyes would do what she says, and even Poussey to a degree, but the other ladies not so much.

      Also also, soooooooooooooo over Figueroa and her story. Meh. I’m hoping she winds up in Litchfield for embezzlement. That would be delicious.

      • Glammie

        It’s not everybody. Vee’s gang is only about four or five women and she is giving most of them something they want–a sense of power in a place where they have almost none. And I’m not sure any of the four women are that street-savvy. Cindy was a self-indulgent TSA worker who couldn’t be bothered to mother her own child. Poussey’s a military brat (plus, she seems less taken in than the others), Taystee and Suzanne are both so emotionally needy that they don’t know how to pull out and see Vee clearly. Gloria is suspicious, but she also doesn’t want or need any kind of stand-off with Vee.

        • boweryboy

          Let’s just say everyone Vee approaches seems enamored with her. Gloria was briefly sucked in until she realized she was duped. Red was on their initial meeting until Vee double crossed her. I can understand Taystee because Vee is practically her mother and Crazy Eyes because she’s just looking to be loved and Poussey because it keeps her close to Taystee. And Boo is dying to impress Vee and get a piece of the action.

          I mean, if some new inmate arrived and tried to convince me to change the work detail I enjoyed to janitorial detail and was all mysterious about it I would be like, You’re crazy. Why the hell should I trust you? The fact that they blindly trust her is what I find unbelievable.

          • Glammie

            I think it’s less about trust than Vee’s ability to manipulate the egos of the women. The black women feel relatively powerless and see various slights as race-based (it’s not precisely clear which are and aren’t). Vee shows the ability to be a leader that the others don’t feel they have–Taystee and Poussey are both quite young, Cindy’s a bit of a loud-mouthed fool and Suzanne’s victim of her own mental illness. Vee’s exploiting the power vacuum in that group. I think we’d see something different if there was the black equivalent of a Gloria.

    • sweetlilvoice

      I also hope there is more back story with Vee. I think I’ve got 3 episodes left. Things are heating up! Piper is thankfully much less annoying. I always caution new watchers (and I was also cautioned this way) “The main girl is pretty annoying but they tone her down a lot. The supporting characters stories are much more interesting.”

      I wish Jason Biggs could have a role where he doesn’t complain about not getting laid. The last thing I saw him in was American Pie and not a whole lot has changed. His character is just useless on the show.

    • lalahartma

      I love Flaca!

      • H2olovngrl

        Me too!

    • julnyes

      When Cindy’s flashback showed her as a TSA agent, my sister and I burst out laughing while yelling, “Of course she is!” I kinda love that she is a terrible person.

    • http://tvblogster.blogspot.com Boop

      I love this show, but it’s never left me in tears before – until they set Jimmy free to die on the streets. So terrible.