Orange is the New Black: Season 2 Wrapup

Posted on July 15, 2014

Orange-Is-The-New-Black-Final-Review-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLOLaura Prepon and Taylor Schilling in Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black”


Episode 11: “Take a Break from your Values,” Episode 12: “It Was the Change,” Episode 13: “We Have Manners, We’re Polite”


Well, this has been an interesting experiment for us.

Going into this season, we grappled with the question many television reviewers have been dealing with for a few years now: how to review a television show when all the episodes of the season are unleashed on the public at once. We’re not in the monoculture anymore. There are no next-morning watercooler conversations about your favorite TV shows because everyone is watching them at a different time and in a different way. This is new territory and no one really knows what it all means in the long term. That’s exciting. But we’re afraid we’re not keen on the idea of doing episodic reviews of these types of series.

The whole idea of episodic reviewing and recapping came about because shows like LOST and The Wire practically demanded that people get online and talk incessantly about the latest episode until the next one airs. Many reviewing sites have managed to continue that format with shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. We gave it our best shot but in the end, we couldn’t get it done. By about the third week, we could feel that the reader was already moving on to other topics, because they’d finished watching this season weeks before and got their online discussion fix in other places. Even worse, we were finding it difficult to write about episodes weeks after originally watching them. At first we considered the idea that, for next season, we’d watch only one or two episodes a week, but that puts the reviewer in the odd position of knowing less about the season than the vast majority of their audience, who, as we noted, tend to move on from discussion about the show within a month of viewing all the episodes.  This is a long way of saying that we probably won’t be doing episodic reviews of this show next season. Then again, aside from Mad Men and Project Runway, we don’t feel the need to do episodic reviews of any other shows anymore. You get locked into this commitment that drastically limits the things you want to talk about. For instance, we’d love to rant about how awful we think The Leftovers is, or how cheesy-but-fun the first episode of The Strain was. Or even how annoyed we were by the otherwise astonishing Snowpiercer for piecing together such facile and paper-thin socio-political metaphors. And then there’s that LOST retrospective we promised you guys like two weeks ago. If this sounds like whining, it’s not meant to. We’re merely musing about the state of things in TV reviewing and where we fit into it as an independently operated blog with a distinct voice. As reviewers, we’d much rather cast our net wide over the landscape than be stuck writing about a small handful of shows week in and week out.

This is not to say that we find Orange is the New Black a difficult show to write about. On the contrary, because Season 2 was so richly detailed, with so many characters getting the spotlight and so many different stories going on, the only problem is knowing when to stop writing about it. You can easily find yourself in the weeds of the story, clapping and cheering, when something tiny and extremely well-executed happens in the margins, such as Ruiz’s boyfriend Yadriel giddily chatting away with their daughter upon the news that Mommy’s not going to be transferred. It was such a small story, happening on the edges of the scenes all season. In fact, we didn’t even realize a story was being told about these two at all until we got to that totally unexpected conclusion, with its totally unexpected result of lumps in our throats and tears in our eyes. There’s so much of that kind of stuff that goes on in Orange is the New Black, from Lorna and Rosa’s slowly growing bond (with its MASSIVE payoff at the end) to Nicky’s already high-strung emotions getting dangerously out of control when heroin is reintroduced to her environment and her prison mommy gets threatened, to Healy and Pennsatucky’s strange little bond that allows them both to find a little comfort with someone else who just doesn’t understand the world. Litchfield prison is a place practically made out of stories, big and small. That’s the entire reason why the show is captivating.

But the major story of the season was the rise and fall of Vee. To be honest, it took us until right around the midpoint of the season to realize that we were looking at something very different from Season 1, which was so Piper-centric. Not only was Piper wholly sidelined from the main storyline, but it was something we’d never have credited the show with trying: the introduction of a major Big Bad; a character who, unlike every single other one, was defiantly not going to be painted in shades of gray. No, Vee was a straight-up villain – and like all good villains, her arrival in the story upended the status quo and redefined relationships left and right. And like all good “defeating the villain” storylines (somewhere else we didn’t expect the show to go this season), there were smoking ruins left in her wake. Taystee and Poussey are healed enough to give us the much-welcome return of “Amanda” and “MacKenzie,” but Suzanne is having a breakdown over the loss of her foster mother and Nicky’s stuck holding a shit-ton of heroin. Looking at it now, we’re struck by just well-crafted this storyline was. Look at how much more we know about Poussey, Taystee, Suzanne and Cindy now. Look at how much Red has learned and changed this season. She’s a character defined by scheming and revenge who chose to put her faith in the system and do “the right thing,” rather than get her family caught up in a war. Look at where Boo is now. Look at how Gloria and Red have come to a begrudging detente due to a common enemy. Vee was absolutely the best part of season 2 and may just be the best thing to ever happen to the show. You couldn’t have asked for a better way to define the characters and then blow up those definitions.

In fact, one of our favorite things about Vee’s downfall is the way in which practically everyone had a hand in her death, even if they didn’t all know they were working together to defeat her. Boo told Nicky where the heroin was so she could steal it. Vee’s former posse kicked her out of the family, thereby stripping her of her power (and paying off the major theme of the season, which was that family=power in prison), Gloria and Norma got Santería on her ass, and Lorna gave Rosa the keys to the van, essentially putting the weapon into her hands. It wasn’t the kind of teamwork that arises out of cooperation and selflessness; quite the opposite, in fact. Plenty of people were acting independently, for totally selfish reasons. But in prison, that’s as good as it gets, in terms of coming together as a community.

There are several points here being made about prison life, not least of which is that you take what you can get, when you can get it. No one really knows or understands how they all came together to defeat this common enemy, but it doesn’t matter. Only the outcome does. Another point being made is how there are consequences in prison, and they can rise up and smack you down at the most inopportune of times. All of Vee’s sins hit her at once, but in the end (literally) it was the sin of rudeness that ultimately did her in. Pride is a huge part of prison life. When you offend someone in this world, they will take retribution, should that opportunity present itself. And finally, as we said, the main theme of the season came down to “Without family, you’re nothing.” Red knew this, which is why she spent the season doing penance and bringing her family back together. In the end, that family helped her defeat her enemy. Sister Ingalls was one powerless ex-nun, undertaking a futile protest, until her sisters showed up, declared that she was still one of the family, and stood in solidarity with her, thereby causing a huge strain on a system already stressed to the breaking point. The entire Daya and Bennett storyline came down to “Are we a family or aren’t we? And if we are, what next?”

Piper’s story, mostly separated from everyone else’s, also had to do with her loss of family and how that’s left her adrift. Her own family has pretty much moved on from dealing with her problems. Larry and Polly have just plain moved on. And Alex betrayed her once again. It hasn’t been the most gripping of stories, watching her go adrift, but she still managed to pull herself together and affect tremendous change by essentially handing Caputo the weapon to take out Figueroa. If Fig’s really gone, we couldn’t be happier. We haven’t been shy about expressing our dislike of this too-broadly-played character and the clumsy attempts to make her seem sympathetic. The gay husband thing is a huge cliche, and her silly “I did my job” speech failed to land, since we know she did no such thing. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe there’s something to be said about the ways in which all these characters are fooling themselves into thinking they’re better people than they are. Look at Caputo, who generally comes across as someone who cares about doing his job well, but then he had to go and do that incredibly shitty thing to Figueroa at the end.The point has been made over and over again, they’re all criminals inside the Litch. It’s to the show’s enormous credit that it can get that point across yet never seem depressing. And except for the obvious villains like Vee, Fig, and Mendez, it gets you to love them anyway. After all, the fist pump moment of the season was watching a bank robber lead the police on a chase and murder a woman for being rude to her – and it was gloriously beautiful. Life-affirming, even. In a weird and probably cynical sort of way.

So, next season? Addictions will be tested. Not only is heroin in the Litch, but so is Alex. Red will eventually find out Piper lied about her family’s restaurant. She’ll also have to deal with the likely closing of her pipeline, since Vee compromised it. Caputo’s never going to be able to keep the lid on Bennett and Daya. We fear we haven’t seen the last of Fig (although we wouldn’t say no to seeing her as an inmate). Suzanne is dangerously unraveled. No one trusts Boo. It’s funny. Writing it all out, it looks like such a mess, but if you’d asked us after the final episode, we’d have said the season ended on an up note. Maybe that’s because it was so finely crafted and we more or less got a definitive ending out of it, which is rare enough in television that it should be treasured. There’s plenty to come for next season, but we ended this one very satisfied, as if we were closing the cover on a book we enjoyed.












[Photo Credit: JoJo Whilden for Netflix]

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  • RussellH88

    I think Fig will still be part of the show, at least I read an interview with the actress that kinda suggested that would be the case.

    On another note, apparently Vee’s death was originally more finite but as they kept filming they kept changing it to make her less and less dead. I don’t know if they plan on bringing her back but they’re not saying that she’s dead for sure (from what I read).

    • Fanny_Trollope

      I sure hope that’s not the case. Dead should stay dead and not morph into an anticlimax. And I hope Miss Rosa went out in a hail of bullets, just the way she wanted. I’m only sorry she wasn’t clutching a handful of $100 bills and sniffing them.

      • MilaXX

        Part of me wants Vee to not be dead because I loved her character so much. Lorraine is my “needs more cowbell!” person. The other part of my realizes she’s likely dead and should stay that way.

        • jayetyler

          Agree with this so much. + Bonus points for the Christopher Walken/Blue Oyster Cult SNL reference. 🙂

    • homofascist

      Fig as vulnerable bugged the shit out of me. I liked her better when she was just straight up evil bitch stealing from the system, because at least she was clearly the bad guy (who, let’s not forget, had some great moments in Season 1).

      • JynxTheCat

        they ALL get their sympathetic side. That no one is black and white is the main thread of the entire show (With the exception of Vee who was the straight man to so many characters deeper reveals)

        • demidaemon

          True, although Vee’s first appearance made her seem much more sympathetic than she actually was and the rest of the season just used her every appearance to undermine that first appearance and reexamine it in a different light.

        • buddy100

          Why is it important that they be sympathetic? Can’t they just be human? Characters don’t need to be likable to be interesting.

          That said, there’s no excuse for boring. Polly and Larry can GTFO.

          • JynxTheCat

            well by definition to be human is to have more than a single facetted personality. My fave thing about OITNB and what elevates the writing to such stellar heights is that the characters are all multifaceted, criminal and damaged and sympathetic. No one is black and white…no one is a charicature, they all have depth. The fact that Vee was a spoil to which more could be revealed – as pointed out in this thread gave me peace with the decision to have such an overtly simplistic character on the season. And it was fun to just NOT LIKE someone once I thought on it.

      • buddy100

        I don’t think they were trying to make her sympathetic. They were trying to make her human, and to help us understand how much Litch infects and corrupts EVERYONE. One of the big themes of this season was the price of ambition. Ambition cost Taystee a poor but relatively normal life, Red her family, Morello and Rosa their freedom, Vee her life…so on and so forth.

        The point of Fig’s storyline was to show how she had sacrificed everything – morals, career, real love – for her ambition and how it ultimately came to nothing. She had no family or friends in the end. In a way, her story parallels Vee’s, but hers is the path of white collar crime and white collar consequences.

        • homofascist

          I can definitely see your point, but I think they just went WAY to wide and cliche with the character. To me the satisfying thing have her to have been brought down on the corruption charges. I mean, sure Vee went down, but she went down swinging. Fig just sort of crumpled into a ball, and I just don’t think that was true to her character from the first season. I mean, she never seemed like she loved the job or it afforded it her much power. I would have loved the focus to be on the fact that she was greedy and power hungry in a larger way, and having that be her vulnerability and her downfall. Her “I just want a baby and my gay husband to touch me” storyline felt totally out of left field. Of course I am completely biased because Fig was one of my favorite characters from Season 1 and Alysia Reiner responded to a tweet of mine once, so take what I say with a grain of salt!

          • buddy100

            Haha, that’s a great reason to be biased! The actress did a great job and getting a nod from would be FANGASM. As for the over-topness, I saw it more as an indication of how mentally unwell she was. Her clothes, over-the-top aggression, empty wrappers in her drawer…all indicated her deep deep depression. That said, I can completely see how her badnassness level significantly declined. I also agree that her storyline was a little half-baked. They could’ve found better ways to depict her rise and downfall, fo’ sho.

    • Jennifer Schiller

      I’ve read that too, and as great as Lorraine Touissant was, I’ll be very disappointed if she isn’t completely six feet under. It’ll seem like such a cop out in an otherwise fairly level-headed show. I mean even if she isn’t dead she was attempting to flee, no way she heads back to Litch.

      • ShaoLinKitten

        I second that. She was fun to watch for a season, but her work is done. I feel like I read an interview where the other actresses called Lorraine Toussaint from the set when she wasn’t there while filming S3, so that bodes well for Vee being really dead.

    • Man Dala

      Lorraine Toussaint has been cast as a series regular in ABC’s “Forever”, so I guess she’s pretty dead.

  • Danielle

    The final scene with Vee and Rosa satisfied me in a way no man ever could.

    • Latin Buddy

      Major props for the casting. When they transitioned to the younger version, it was poignant and sad.

      • Tina M.

        And, I thought, very beautiful — she doesn’t see herself as an elderly woman in the late stages of cancer, she’s smoking hot, wearing eight cocktail rings, and has that magnificent head of hair to flip over her shoulder.

  • sugarkane105

    Rosa is my spirit animal.

    “Always so rude, that one!”

  • Morgendorffer

    O’Neill singing songs to the nuns…forever and ever.

    • Fanny_Trollope


    • sugarkane105

      SCATTER THE NUNS! One of my favorite moments.

      • Danielle

        Also, Boo revealing the “gay agenda” to Pennsatucky had me in TEARS. “Oh, fuck no, we need slaves!”


      In terms of getting the most out of the fewest lines, O’Neill’s the MVP of the season.

      • sugarkane105

        His wordless response to Sophia’s explanation of the female body was practically enough on its own.

      • Latin Buddy

        I think he had the best scene of the season lol. I couldn’t stop laughing from his earnest sincerity while singing that wrong.

      • buddy100

        I love how they took this minor character that has been constantly portrayed as a bumbling buffoon and, in one scene of musical talent and wit, reminded us how important it is to check our assumptions. “Guards are people too.”

    • Denise Alden

      Yeah, really loved that!

  • In_Stitches

    After 8 years of Weeds, I don’t trust Genji Kohan. Things that sound awesome but really test the limits of believability like having Fig end up in the same jail she used to administer don’t work well, especially in her hands. She’s fantastic at plot and character arcs, but the details like that end up making the whole story crumble. I hope the team she’s assembled can steer her away from decisions like that.

    Edited to add that I loved the season, loved the write-up, and look forward to season 3.

    • KateWo

      I think the key here is that they only do 1 or 2 more seasons to avoid going bad

      • Emily Giovanni

        I have heard someone important to the show (I think it was Jenji but may have been someone high up at Netflix) say something about how the show could just go on forever with introducing new characters and sending out the old and such. It’s a show about the prison so the cast could change.

        I love the show but the idea of it going on indeterminately makes me heep nervous.

    • Imasewsure

      Agreed.. it’s a stretch that Alex is ending back in there again… it would be ridiculous to put the former Asst. Warden in there too. Plus her character sucked for all of the reasons brought up by our dear uncles

    • Kristin McNamara

      I watched Weeds start to finish too. Your comment is the exact reason why I’m terrified that Vee isn’t really dead (as was discussed by other commenters in a string above)…. Kohan doesn’t know when to stop sometimes.

    • KinoEye

      I was wary of the show when I heard she was the creator — “Oh, so this is like an extended version of the worst season of Weeds? And Nancy Botwin has blonde hair? PASS!” — but I was surprised to love it. Even so, I’d upvote this a million times if I could. Jenji has a pretty great ear for dialogue. But sometimes you wonder if she’s heard of “suspension of disbelief.”

      Much as I loved the ending of this season, it was almost impossible to suspend disbelief. That’s not to say everything that happens in a TV show needs to be firmly grounded in reality — how boring would that be? — but it just seems too neat that Rosa would steal the van, and just so happened to be driving by Vee, who just so happened to be on that particular stretch of road at just the right time. I much preferred the messiness of the season 1 ending. But I wanted to see Rosa break free and go on with her bad self, and I got it, so I can’t complain too much!

      • That reminds me…. WHAT BECAME OF THE CHICKEN?!?!?!?!

      • demidaemon

        I think, if the ending hadn’t been so cathartic and wonderful and what I had been waiting for for about eight episodes, I would be with you. But that thunk–I needed that thunk.

  • H2olovngrl

    Back stories that I want to see: More Nicky, more Red, More Poussey, FLACA, Maritza, Ruiz, Yoga Jones, Boo and…? Who else?

    • sugarkane105

      Agree, especially on Nicky. I’m also hoping for a juicy story about Soso next season. Her character has actually really piqued my interest!

      • Imasewsure

        Personally I thought Soso was a big needle scratch … I liked the idea of her character but didn’t buy the actress I guess. I suspect her back story would be a bit of a cliche too but maybe not. Trust the Orange I guess.

    • Sarah


      • H2olovngrl

        As I have made clear in past comments, my love for Flava knows no bounds! I can’t imagine they could possibly ignore her status as an audience favorite, and not give her some good back story next season.

        • Sarah

          Not for nothing have we heard tidbits about her musical taste and her general goth-ness, I’m thinking.

          • H2olovngrl

            Right? The little snippets of her life, like the Vespa riding boyfriend always tickle me.

      • Flaca forever. I love her goth modness.

    • Kaonashi

      I want a backstory on the Latina with the eyebrows who wanted Bennet to get a cameraphone for her.

      • Sarah


      • butterflysunita

        Yes, I also want the story of Flores and the mysterious Diablo.

        • I always forget that her boyfriend is called DIABLO and everytime I hear it I have a gigglefit all over again.

    • Jennifer Schiller

      I’m curious as to what Poussey is in for? I may have caught an illusion to drugs, but her story really didn’t clarify that aspect.

      I would also love to see a little more attention given to the Hispanic women. We’ve seen Gloria, as well as Daya and Aleida (who split an episode), but the rest have been largely ignored or relegated to c-level plots.

      • deathandthestrawberry

        Poussey is in for selling marijuana. She is year 2 into a 6 year sentence. I think she talked about it in season 1 when Taystee went out on parole.

      • H2olovngrl

        I agree the the Hispanic ladies have been underrepresented. I am hoping they fix this in the third season. Seriously, though. What a bunch of amazing characters, all. There isn’t any one of them (with the exception of Vee) that I don’t feel sympathetic towards and don’t want to see more of.

      • I’d like to see Aleida’s flashback from Aleida’s viewpoint… What we had was really just Daya’s perspective.

        • butterflysunita

          A flashback to a young Aleida would be interesting.

    • butterflysunita

      I want a back story on any one of the Golden Girls. I also want a back story on Norma so we know why she doesn’t talk.

      • H2olovngrl

        Oh wow, good call on Norma! She’s a wonderful and expressive actress besides, so that would be wonderful.

      • L’Anne

        Esp. Taslitz. She went to 11 right away.

      • Kent Roby

        I always loved the movie version of Hair; Annie Golden (Norma) played the pregnant girl. I also saw her in a The Full Monty musical. She’s terrific.

    • butterflysunita

      My other hope for season 3 is that Suzanne finds a girlfriend–a woman who loves and appreciates her.

    • When Flaca revealed what she wanted on her smuggled iPod, I realized she and I could hang.

      • H2olovngrl

        And go to some awesome concerts!

      • KinoEye

        She had me at “Ugh. It’s all Fleet Foxes and shit” after she found there was no Erasure, Smiths, or Depeche Mode. A woman after my own heart.

        • H2olovngrl


    • Le_Sigh

      I’d also love to see me some Norma backstory. I straight up wept like a baby when she opened her mouth and sang at the end of Season One. And then again when she realized Gloria was going to help her.

    • NORMA!!!

  • I like how sidelined Piper was in this season. As satisfying as Rosa running Vee down was, it almost felt like an anti-climactic end for Vee — I mean, a little too soon to be killing off such a powerful character.

    But what really mattered to me at the end of this season was Taystee and Poussey’s reunion. Still, yes, very concerned for Suzanne next season.

    Also, the ending moment was triumphant, but I’m worried about the actual end of Rosa’s ride. Is she going to be able to crash in a way that kills her instantly? I really, really hope she doesn’t end up handcuffed to a hospital bed for her last breath.

    • sugarkane105

      To Taylor Schilling’s credit, I wish they would develop a more interesting storyline for her character. She really is capable of some great acting, and I’d love to see her stretch her legs a little bit more.

      • Oh, absolutely! I’m just not nearly as interested in her story (and this whole vicious cycle she and Alex are in) as I am with all the other women’s stories. 🙂

      • Imasewsure

        The problem is that the actual Piper is heavily involved I think – and it’s based on her memoirs so probably her story line is more linear than the other characters…. Agreed that it would be nice though. Piper is an ok character but some surprises would be nice

        • nyll18

          Spoiler alert for the book version of OITNB….

          I read the book- the Piper story in the show is quite different. In real life she doesn’t encounter her ex until almost out (and only surrounding a trial they are both called for, they aren’t assigned to the same prison), she and Larry get along great and her mother/rest of her family are supportive. Also she applies for furlough and doesn’t get it. They obviously had to up the drama for TV, but since they’ve made so many changes to her story, I think they have license to do more!

    • Denise Alden

      I have no doubt that Rosa took herself out in the most spectacular fashion! That gleam in her eye said it all for me 🙂

  • Kate Andrews

    I’m pleased they’re filming next year’s show. Shorter wait!

    • Sarah

      Don’t think so. They are saying June 2015 where I’ve been reading. Sigh.

      • Grace C.

        Yeah, they won’t want to have seasons two and three competing in the same Emmy year.

  • MilaXX

    I love to read your take on tv. I hope another network show comes along with enough meat and potatoes to it to make it worth while. It’s odd that 99% of the time I agree with your take on the shows you do recap. Who else would pick up on the sub plot of Ruiz and her baby? That was a 2 hanky scene for me as well. Anyway, I really loved this season. The widening out of the characters helped me get over most of the reservations I had about the show last season. I believe I read somewhere Lorraine has be cast in a network series with my tv boyfriend Ioan Gruffudd. I love them both so I’ll definitely be checking that out.

    • I love to read your take on things as well MilaXX 😉 One of the first things I do is scroll down looking for your avatar in the comments, so if you ever change it there will be massive chaos here, lol.

      I find it extremely useful to read what everyone else has to say on shows – so many times they pick up something that went right over my head. Tis a brilliant thing to be able to talk about shows with randoms from all over the world, much better than in the pre-internet days.. 🙂

      • MilaXX

        Thanks. I have to say of all the places I post, this is one of my favorite. No where else can I read or post obscure references and jokes while still having a fairly intelligent conversation than here.

    • stephbellard

      Co-sign on loving ANY T-Lo review (I even read the ones for shows I don’t watch). Please please PLEASE guys follow your instincts and write something about The Leftovers. It’s easily the most pretentious thing on TV and I’d love to read your take on it. Also, I think one review of an entire season of Orange is the New Black *would* be better — rather than an episode by episode breakdown — and I’m surprised no one else really attempted to do it. When I’ve talked to people about Season 2 of the show, the conversation has always been about the season as a whole since that is how most people (I think) tend to watch it. The conversation for television has always been focused on particular episodes since that is how we’ve always been offered television, but since Netflix has changed the way we watch television, maybe it’s time to change the way we talk about it as well.

    • Ruiz & Ydraiel were the moment I LOST IT, all emotions of the season came pouring out of me, tears & snot everywhere!

    • Dee

      I’d like to see a “what we’re watching this week” type of thing from the boys. No being tied down to one show, free to snark on whatever floats their boat that week, no responsibility to do anything when they’re at Fashion Week…best of all worlds!

  • KateWo

    I for one love your TV recaps. I understand the problem with this format for OITNB but I hope we get your critiques next season. Maybe split it in half or thirds rather than episode by episode? Or post by character arcs rather than episodes?

    • sunnycalif

      Yes, Please TLo don’t give up on writing about this show!! Any way you want to do it is fine–just don’t abandon us OITNB fans and dedicated followers of your recaps!

  • Judy_J

    The finale of Season Two was one of the most enjoyable season finales I’ve seen, the other being the season ender of “Fargo”. It’s been several weeks since I finished watching OITNB…your wrap-up has made me want to go back and visit Litchfield again.

    • Kaonashi

      The season ender to Fargo was a thing of beauty; I just wish that the female cop had met up with Malvo at least once.

  • Denise Alden

    Thanks for your, as usual, insightful and delightful post on OITNB. I found the second to the last episode to be the hardest: I am still disturbed by Vee and RJ. The last episode did feel lighter: there were funny moments at every turn to lighten the mood (if that’s even possible, but you know what I mean) and I thought that was great. But the first thing my husband said when it was over was, “Honey, I don’t know if I can watch season three.” 🙂

    • Ugh, the Vee and RJ scene was so so so creepy and messed up on so many levels.

      • Denise Alden

        I know! My husband posited that Vee purposely slept with RJ (as repugnant as it was to viewers) to distance herself from him, so she could take him out. She says something like, “You’re not a boy anymore, you’re a man,” and I think she makes him a man, no longer her “son,” when she has sex with him. She has to compartmentalize it in order to take him out.

        • Oh, wow, that’s a very interesting perspective. It’s a lot better than finding it just a gratuitous level of evil added — I’d been wondering if she couldn’t have sent him on some errand and phoned the cop, without sleeping with him first.

          • Imasewsure

            I think you are giving her too much credit here. My take on it was that she just felt like sleeping with him because he opened the door to it with his earlier comment and she coldly executed him afterwards because business is business. Plus it was a great way to show just how decided evil she was and how naive the “regular” criminal was in comparison. It upped the fear factor on who might be her victim(s) in prison (Red, Poussey, Taystee, etc). Great character though. Hope she stays dead for credibility sake but she will be missed

          • demidaemon

            I agree. I thought it was all part of the plan to put him in the sights of the cop who would eventually shoot him. Reduce his paranoia by making it seem like she still cares for him, send him out on what seems like an innocuous errand, and then blindside him. As we know, she is very meticulous in her planning (see the attack on Red; also meticulously planned, but she underestimated everyone else around her, and, like many planners, when the plan unravels, so does she).

          • BarniClaw

            “and, like many planners, when the plan unravels, so does she.” Oh, man, that’s totally me! I now feel more justified in spending time here. Cheaper than therapy! (Although, if I count the hours I spend here vs the hours I could be billing my clients…maybe not so much.)

          • demidaemon

            It’s very true. And, sadly, I learned this mostly from watching way too much Criminal Minds.

          • See, I have a problem with the only rationale being “show us how evil she is.” It would have been plenty bad enough to order a hit on her foster-son — adding such a squicky psuedo-incestuous sex scene beforehand, just to horrify us all the more? That seems gratuitous. I didn’t get the sense that she was getting off on fucking him as a way of showing dominance, or as a prelude to murder. I don’t know why she did it, except to horrify the audience.

          • Imasewsure

            Probably a bit heavy handed for sure – maybe the whole thing was done so we could see that cute actor naked (at least from behind?). I support that anyway 🙂

          • demidaemon

            I do too :). It’s about time they gave some fanservice for the other side of the sexual orientation spectrum (weirdly, for a show about women, most of the fanservice is clearly for straight men (and lesbians, but they are a tiny part of the market)).

          • demidaemon

            I stand by my original comment. It was simply part of the plan to lower his defenses. The fact that Vee got a little something something out of it was just a bonus.

    • demidaemon

      I agree. That episode and not knowing if Red survived the attack. And then, the way she just threw Suzanne away like nothing…in the end, that made me love the ending of the season even more.

  • Shoelover1512

    Shows like this are hard for me. I’m a total binge watcher (I wish I wasn’t, its so different when you don’t have that week to wait and the anticipation that comes) but the lack of discussion sucks. The episode with Morello when we saw her in Christopher’s house was a scene that had we all been watching live would have been lighting up discussion boards. I wanted to talk about that episode so bad but no one I know was watching it and I didn’t dare go on message boards to be spoiled for the remainder of the season.

    Maybe next year something similar to a Lounge so we can discuss it? Maybe 3 of them so spoilers can be avoided as best as possible? Its unfortunate that water-cooler aspect of it gets lost especially on a show like this where there is so much to talk about.

  • Tricia Rose

    I commend you both for finishing this, I can see how reviewing TV shows can be erratic when everyone seems to be watching at different times. If I may, could I suggest that instead of focusing on individual episodes you could carry a theme that you wanted to expound on that you noticed throughout the season. As someone who really loves your insight, I’m very interested in your theories and connections that I sometimes overlook. Perhaps that could relieve some of the stress of writing about a particular episode, and allow yourself to just talk about “family in prison”, “power dynamics”, “less Piper: more Characters”, “periphery awesomeness”… and take aspects from all the episodes. Don’t ever stop though… I’d miss your voice on this show!!

    • AlisonS

      I finished watching the season a week ago but I feel that I’ve finally finished it reading their final thoughts. I love their insight and have been looking forward to comparing/contrasting my own to theirs.

      • Tricia Rose

        I totally agree! I found myself checking their webpage sporadically just to see if I missed it! I always love when we catch something together, or when they open it up so I see something a different way!

    • ShaoLinKitten

      The real Piper also married the real Larry, so the real story seems to be out the window. At least I hope so. If show Piper somehow marries show Larry, I’m gonna lose it.

  • Sarah

    It’s interesting that y’all mentioned Red finding out that Piper lied about the restaurant. I really wondered if they were going to address that before the end of the season, but when they didn’t, I thought maybe it was just a nicety on Piper’s part and not a plot point. On the other hand, it would certainly give the writers an opportunity to have Piper and Red at odds again, which is not something they’d let go of, I guess.

    • Mary Nease

      I hope they don’t put them at odds again. Red is one of the characters directly inspired by a real life counterpart, and the real!Red was very close to the real!Piper while in prison, In fact, the real!Red was one of the people whom Piper Kerman dedicated her memoir to.

      • Sarah

        Wow, that’s neat. In that case, I hope that if Red does find out, she doesn’t blame Piper for telling a “white lie.” I really should read the book…

        • Mary Nease

          It’s a really good read! And it’s fascinating discovering the fact vs. the fiction- it’s kind of hilarious the characters who are based on real people. Red, Sophia, and Pornstache, for starters!

      • She also married real!Larry, and that didn’t stop them for portraying show!Larry the way they have. 😛

  • Anapestic

    OITNB really knows how to deliver a final scene. The first season final scene was breathtakingly shocking, and the second season final scene was like the best thing ever. I audibly cheered when the van hit Vee. One of the things I found amazing about it was that you could see the final scene coming a ways off, and it was still just as good even though you knew it was going to happen. I don’t know how they can top that in S3.

    • snarkykitten

      I unintentionally spoiled myself about Vee’s ending, but I still found myself cheering!

  • Sobaika

    What an excellent season. There was a certain Shakespearean quality to how things played out with Vee – so much was a quiet buildup of separate characters acting independently, largely the result of her cardinal sin (rudeness!). The only other show to pull this off with such aplomb was The Wire.

    • Denise Alden

      I think “Shakespearean” is a nice way to put it. Vee was an ultimate villain in many ways, but with an undeniable charisma that all the greats have.

      • Imasewsure

        I really loved to watch this actress work the character all season…. she was amazing at displaying sweetness and nuance (fake) to the other characters without ever letting the audience forget how menacing Vee actually was. Shakespearean for sure – pure Richard III

        • Denise Alden

          Yes! Well said.

    • gracedarling

      I was actually reading her as a direct translation of Iago – which would make Taystee Othello, I guess, and Poussey Desdemona.

  • Yishai

    “..aside from Mad Men and Project Runway, we don’t feel the need to do episodic reviews of any other shows anymore” – Does this mean no Rupaul Drag Race individual episode reviews?!


    • Tina M.

      D: didn’t even think of this

  • Liz

    A) Was I the only one who read Piper doing that to Alex as an excellent culmination of a revenge plot as pushed by Red way back? Piper is growing her jungle red claws IMO and not letting Alex get away.

    B) I think most entertainment reviewers are already in fume mode with trying to keep up with content and pacing and it will serve them and their readers better to break away from their need to post snippets from everything in sequence.

    • ShaoLinKitten

      It’s also revenge for Alex taking the deal and letting Piper do time instead. I don’t think Piper intended it that way, but it’s karmic. In season one, there was a lot of talk about “stealing someone’s date,” when you didn’t want your girlfriend or your enemy (ironically enough) to get out before you. That certainly paid off this season.

  • To my dearest Tom and Lorenzo –

    I think the biggest problem for me when it came to discussing the show here is my extreme need not to spoil anyone else with my comments combined with binge watching.

    When you binge watch you do not always remember what happened in which episode. After watching the show I really MOST wanted to talk about the accidental shivving of the wrong person and Red’s reaction to that – seriously she had some amazing lines there – “You want to assassinate someone? Vision is a basic requirement. It’s like, Step 1, pick the person to kill. Step 2, kill *that* person.” – but without going back to watch the series over again I could not remember exactly when it happened, and I didn’t want to spoil anyone here.

    I still really loved reading your take on each and every episode, it is just there were times I did not want to put others enjoyment at risk with potential spoilers so I kept my lips zipped. 🙂

    I do think it is easier with things like The Walking Dead or Mad Men where we are all watching the same episode the same week, and we know to avoid the post until we have seen the episode.

    Will still read to love any and all content you produce, even about shows I am not watching at all. Because I just love reading what you have to say about, well, anything and everything. I might not always have something to contribute to the comments, but please do not for a second think that means I did not read what you wrote. 🙂

    • demidaemon

      I loved that scene too. And I so wanted that Golden Girl to succeed, especially when they showed just how much bite those older women have. Every time it seemed like Vee would get her comeuppance, something got in the way. (Vision; Red’s inability to be as hard as she sets herself up to be and her background with Vee still coloring the present), until the one person Vee never expected to get back at her did, which was one of the most cathartic moments in television that I have ever seen.

  • AlisonS

    I have a feeling season 3 will revert back to a Piper-centered theme considering how many balls she got rolling with Red and her involvement in getting Alex (presumably) back in prison.

    I loved the last episode and finally being able to read your thoughts, as I was always 1 post behind you guys until the end. Because really, how can you know you have the final 3 episodes and not watch them all at the same damn time?!

    I feel like Rosa’s character was really the shining star of this season. Her story lines permeated through to me much more than anyone else. I’m excited to see more backstories next season. Delve more into Niki, and Boo especially.

  • Imasewsure

    I always love your commentary on shows like this dear uncles and I’d love to see you do it randomly as the spirit moves you on shows you don’t want to follow officially. I watched both seasons in binge fashion but it was fun to look at it again as a BK.

  • jahphotogal

    I hope you continue to write about OINTB in some way, if only an end-of–season wrapup like this one. I have been patiently waiting for your recaps, even though I finished watching the season (twice through) a while back. You have great insights, and write so well. I agree that if you were just writing recaps you might as well give it up – there are plenty of sites that do that already — blow by blow descriptions of the plot. But that’s not your game – you are analyzing, not describing, and that’s so much more fun to read. Besides I don’t have anyone else to talk to about OINTB – just you and your readers! You are my water cooler! You don’t have to be the new Television Without Pity, but it would be nice to see what you have to say!

  • Richard

    I hope they do more Morello/Suzanne next season. That one scene with them some episodes ago showed that they understand each other more than anyone else in the prison does. I Hope Morello helps Suzanne get pieced back together after all this mess. I wonder how the other black girls are going to act around her now that Vee is gone.

  • MzzPants

    What would happen if you hosted a ‘watch-along’? Where TLo determines the viewing schedule and interested Kittens could watch with you? There could be real time Tweets and/or opening the TLounge, followed by written reviews. It could be set up for a little binge viewing…say…2 or three episodes at a time, or the whole enchilada.

    • Kristin McNamara

      Oooh!! Interesting! I’d be so down for that. And I feel like knowing I had a TLounge waiting for me in another, say, 12 hours would give me the ability to exercise more will power to NOT let Netflix auto-advance to the next episode each time.

  • i must be the only person in the world who doesn’t have netflix, so it doesn’t matter to me whether you review orange/black or not. i’ve tried reading your recaps but without watching the show, they’re pretty hard to grasp. but i did want to make a few comments and this seems like the appropriate forum. one thing is I AM SO HAPPY YOU’LL BE DOING PR AGAIN. caps called for to express my exuberance. it’s how we all came together in the first place, at least many of us. i can’t wait. also, what about doing the occasional ” TLo is watching” post? you’ve done a few of those over the years (it is years now i’ve been reading you every day. hard to believe.) it’s always fun to hear what your watching while cuddling on the couch and eating popcorn under cats with the perennial wine glass in hand. and, it would give you a chance to rant and rave as well as admire, without a burdensome commitment. just a few thoughts. love you guys.

  • carpediva

    For instance, we’d love to rant about how awful we think The Leftovers is, or how cheesy-but-fun the first episode of The Strain was. Or even how annoyed we were by the otherwise astonishing Snowpiercer for piecing together such facile and paper-thin socio-political metaphors. And then there’s that LOST retrospective we promised you guys like two weeks ago.

    Please do! TLo gotta be TLo! If the way you’d most enjoy writing about TV & movies is a hit-and-run approach where you only cover that you feel passionate about (good or bad), that’s your prerogative! I know I would still very much look forward to your insights, even if I didn’t know the topic ahead of time.

    I for one paid zero attention to all the “Snowpiercer” talk until I saw YOU guys liked it. And based on Jenji Kohan’s track record, I was studiously avoiding OITNB until you two raved about it. (Bless you forever!)

    And as you say, there are plenty of other places (Sepinwall! AV Club!) to get great weekly analysis. So please don’t deprive us of your voices; we’ll take you however we can get you!

  • MNB

    OMG, do me a favor and don’t bother, if the whole thing is going to be one whine session…

    • And then there’s the assholes like you, of course.

      • MNB

        What can I say? I feel small and lash out anonymously in order to feel better about myself.

  • suzinrva

    Banjolele FTW!

  • SuzyQuzey

    I so wish you would recap Masters of Sex. An interesting period drama with amazing costumes.

  • beebee10

    I really enjoyed OITNB, but I felt a little worn down by the darkness this season. Vee was a great character, no doubt. However, the melding of a serious violent prison story line into the comedy didn’t always mesh for me. I think the creators were doing that self consciously, and I get why, because prison is….PRISON. And while Piper annoyed me in the first season, and I welcome the beefing up of the other story lines, I missed the romantic story line this season. So am I complaining that the OITNB prison was less fun? I guess I am.

    • snarkykitten

      Agreed on the heaviness of this season. Obviously prison isn’t all rainbows and almond joys, but the angst kinda wore me down.

      • Chartreusite

        It took me two weeks to make it through all 13 episodes because I could barely get through one or two episodes a day. It definitely took its emotional toll more than the first season, which I was itching to finish from the fourth episode or so.

        • demidaemon

          I needed to take breaks after certain episodes, when it was just too much for me. But when I got to the final three, I watched them all in a rush, because I had to know what happened. Think how it would have been if this had shown on regular television after the episode that ends with Vee’s attack on Red. I would have been on pins and needles all week!

          • Chartreusite

            Oh absolutely. I finished the last three episodes back to back because I finally got to a point where I forced myself to just sit down and try and be sturdy enough to make it through. There’s no way I could’ve done this show without having the ability to power through it if need be!

    • I APPRECIATE the darker tone in S2…
      Sometimes S1 seemed like a wacky summercamp… I mean, who WOULDN”T want to be in there with Tasha/Taystee & Poussey?
      They made it look like FUN!

  • cocohall

    I was in awe that, for the second season, OITNB has ended with one character happily attempting to do in another and yet I’m cheering on this mayhem from my couch. I’m not normally a person who enjoys violent TV or film, and yet I couldn’t have been more pleased with Rosa steering into Vee. Lorraine Touissant was brilliant playing a sociopath and making all her behavior plausible. A lesser actor would have had trouble shifting from vulnerable to violent.
    I read the real Piper’s memoir prior to the second season, and at this point there are so few similarities between Kernan’s story and Chapman’s that anything would seem to be possible.

    I agree with another BK that you two uncles should start your own little graduate program in advanced TV studies, and assign the BKs episodes to watch on a schedule so we can all reconvene and discuss. That would make you Professors Tom and Lorenzo. It has a nice ring to it, yes?

  • This is a shame to hear. Aside from excellent bitchcraft, you Sirs T&Lo have an intelligent way of recapping. I read your recaps for years on Mad Men before ever watching it. (The only other recap (if you can call it that) I read is for Once Upon a Time on Oh No They Didn’t because that show needs to be recapped in animated eyerolls and “I’m done with this show.”)

    • demidaemon

      My best friend still loves that show and watches it. I, unfortunately, when I visited her in March, was forced to watch an episode and basically had to clamp my mouth shut and forcibly keep my eyes unrolled so as not to offend her or her SO (who are both diehard fans).

      • My condolences.

        • demidaemon

          Thank you. It was painful, but I took one for the sake of the friendship.

  • Even though I binged on OITNB S2 over the course of a couple of days when it was first streamed, I nonetheless enjoyed reading TLo’s recaps/reviews, two at a time, over the past few weeks. I can’t speak for others, but I thought this was the perfect way to do it. I’m really looking forward to next year’s season and discussions.

  • GemFemme

    I’ll miss the recaps but I get where you’re coming from.
    Vee was a great character and Lorraine is an amazing actor. What she can convey with silence and enigmatic stares it takes other actors screams and full body sobs to achieve.
    Two characters that barely registered at all with me in season 1 were Gloria and Rosa. This season they were the two ladies I was really invested in. The Santeria against Vee was a hoot. Rosa was a magnificent badass with a code of honor.
    The vulnerability of Pussey and Suzanne was heartbreaking. As was the delusions of Lorna.
    Glad you mentioned the assy thing Caputo did to Fig. That just left a bad taste in my mouth. No pun intended. Well maybe a little.

  • Grace C.

    I appreciate the effort you made (and enjoyed the recaps). As a commenter who watched all thirteen episodes in one weekend, I found leaving feedback challenging because it was not always possible to remember what details happened in what episodes. Big moments, sure, but little, more subtle ones? When I tried (here and in other forums that attempted to do what you did) and mention non-plot-spoiler accuracy or continuity issues (the out-of-season hurricane, Rosa’s shifting ethnicity from youth to old age, etc.) I’d still end up bitched out that I had “spoiled” something. It felt like a no-win and it is true, there were places to be found right away where one could discuss all episodes freely.

    In any event: Thanks for all the work you put into the season; it was appreciated. (And by the way, Hannibal is, nudge nudge, an awesome show; maybe now and then a post on Mads Mikkelsen’s amazing wardrobe? *grin*)

  • prisma

    I only watched OITNB because of the recommendation here and now I’m starting The Fall because TLo said so. I appreciate the guidance!

    • Oh my god, I am enormously jealous that you get to watch that for the first time. Enjoy! XX

      Makes me want to go and watch it again.. and season 2 should not be too far away I hope! Filming has finished.. 🙂

    • sweetlilvoice

      I feel the same way, except I watched Penny Dreadful due to their recommendation. I seem to be the only person I know who did so. Such is life. I loved that show.

  • longtimelurker

    Please keep up the recaps! I love your thoughts on this dear uncles.

  • Jay

    “You’re a man now. A man who loves his mama.”

    That line and Lorraine Toussaint’s delivery of it sent chills down my spine. I’ve always thought she was a brilliant actress (see ‘Any Day Now’ and ‘Middle of Nowhere’ for more Toussaint greatness) and am thrilled that she was given so much to do this season. Hollywood, take more notice of her!

    • Man Dala

      That scene was hard to watch yet you can’t stop watching it, a sign you’re in front of a great scene. I was deeply disturbed by it. As I said above, she’s been cast as a series regular in ABC’s “Forever”, so I guess we won’t be seeing her in OITNB.

      • semirose

        She could still pop up in a Taystee flashback! A few scenes wouldn’t be too hard to swing.

        • Man Dala

          You’re right, I hadn’t thought of that possibility.

    • demidaemon

      She was awesome. If she doesn’t get an Emmy next year, heads should roll. (Even though her character still gets my hackles up and gives me the everloving creeps. But, that’s the sign of an excellent actress.)

  • Jay

    Also, I’m kind of ambivalent about Alex returning to prison for S3. I really like Laura Prepon and her character, but I feel like the Alex-Piper relationship has run its course.

    The ending of S2 felt kind of like a series finale. I think it’s going to be really hard to top this season.

    • Glammie

      Oh, I think there’s a lot of room left. There’s a hunk of heroin in a place filled with addicts and dealers. There’s still a baby on the way and Piper’s still stuck in prison, more isolated from her former life than ever. There are several characters whose stories we don’t know–Big Boo, Brook, most of the Latinas. We also haven’t seen anyone leave the prison and manage to stay out. Well, unless you count Vee.

  • JynxTheCat

    I thought the character Vee was utterly pedestrian and one note but the boys are right in the way they played her against the other characters was stunning. Taystee gets the performance of the season from me she and Poussey. Just terrific. Piper had her moments. Her freakouts en route to maximum security – the actress there really seems to be expanding and just dropping boundaries. In a skill all but ruined by botox She is a vision in her pained expressions and downright ugliness. Its a breath of fresh air to see a face move freely. Great review! You fellows are exactly right about the shortcomings of reviewing a show released like this. THIS final summary has been the best part of your reviews…I think something like this is always welcome and everyone is pretty much on the same page for an overall summation

  • Rebekah B

    Did anyone else hear Suzanne call Pennsatucky “Pennsabama” or did I imagine that? I can’t remember what episode it was in, but that had me rolling. I still think about it and laugh. It was just random.

  • Gatto Nero

    TLo, thanks for reviewing OITNB so incisively and for explaining why you’re bowing out next season. I can appreciate your frustration with discussing a show that is released in its entirety all at once. But I may be speaking for others when I say that although I binge-watched the show, I have still looked forward to reading your insights, and I have only refrained from commenting to avoid inadvertently revealing spoilers, since the episodes all run together in my mind. So I don’t think that most of us have “moved on” by the time you post your reviews — but I get why writing about this type of show might be less satisfying than your episodic Mad Men work, which is more of a shared experience, week by week.
    Thanks for a great season.

    • I think our readers have generally misunderstood our plans here. We said we weren’t going to do episodic reviews of the show, but we didn’t say we weren’t going to review it. We’re just going to do if differently than we did this time.

      • I was hoping that was the case! I eagerly awaited all the recaps but like you guys said, even with my boyfriend trying to get me to ration the episodes out, we still finished the season in about 7-10 days.

      • Gatto Nero

        Oh! Thanks for your response, and apologies for misreading. I’ll look forward to it!

      • EveEve

        Glad to hear this. You are doing the best commentary of this show! Not that you’re seeking input from the BKs, but I wouldn’t mind in the least having your review/s posted as soon as you get to them. Just slap a big “Super Spoiler Alert” banner on the post/s. BKs can put on their big girl panties and decide for themselves if they want to read or wait until they have watched the final minute of the final episode before reading the post/s.

  • Laylalola

    It’s not just reviews that are now problematic — it’s commenting even on things like the Emmy nominations. I was thrilled to see Kate Mara nominated for guest actress on the second season of House of Cards and DAMN if saying just that much didn’t piss people off and there were comments about that being a spoiler. “Oh. I haven’t watched the second season” feel guilty for talking about the Emmy nominations. Reviews of the second season started appearing on January 31, and the entire damn season was released five months ago, almost to to the day. What’s the statute of limitations in this context? How long is the world supposed to wait until some random poster decides to binge-watch the second season before it’s not a spoiler to talk about her Emmy nomination as a guest actress?

    • Thats true… I waited one full month before I said anything in public for OITNB… and people STILL got pissy with me!

  • HeyMrPhipps

    Interesting take on the way that the culture is changing in terms of online recapping. Maybe next season you could just do one essay-length recap over the weekend in the spirit of a Sunday column? And please don’t say you’re dropping RPDR from the roster! Y’all are giving me the vapors!

  • Miss Disco

    I still think over two seasons there’s enough to do some kind of style recap. There is stuff going on there, especially with make-up and hair, and it’d be interesting to note some of the stuff presented in the flashbacks.

  • LuLusLemons

    The Fig / Caputo bj thing really bothered me. To be satisfying, her comeuppance should have been her own doing (she’s running for office), or at the hands of a woman. Maybe they were vaguely trying to say even powerful women are trumped by the patriarchy, or show that she had even less power than the inmates now, but it just seemed dumb and unnecessary. I thought it would have been better for the reporter to be gay, not her husband, just so we could see how she shifted gears trying to control someone not under her thumb who was unimpressed.

    • Glammie

      I think it’s a bit of a warning about Caputo and maybe to the audience–we’ll give you what you want, but it actually leaves kind of a bad aftertaste.

  • I keep saying Vee isnt dead. She’ll come back to lead the zombie apocalypse.

    • I hope she goes over to The Walking Dead – but as an alive person – as Michonne’s mother? That would kick ass in many ways I can’t express.

      Damn, how cool would that be, for Michonne to stumble upon her mother as a surprise.. Now I’ve thought of this I really like the idea! 🙂

  • “We’re not in the monoculture anymore. There are no next-morning watercooler conversations about your favorite TV shows”
    … plus who has that kind of job anymore?

  • Glammie

    Nice recap guys–it is tricky to figure out how to do this–even as a commenter, knowing which episode happened when made it challenging in terms of not spoiling.

    Anyway, Mad Men just lends itself to in-depth recapping analysis–it’s a very literary television show. Read recently, that Matt Weiner had studied poetry. It shows.

    This season of Orange really did arc well–the pay-offs were great–only getting Alex back in the slammer seemed a bit contrived–but Rosa running over Vee was wonderful. Best comeuppance ever–both set up and out of nowhere. The resolution of Ruiz’s little storyline also really got me in the feels.

    Nicky and the heroin worry me–that longing look she gave it . . . I also think Piper’s got a lesson coming about how much harm she caused by being in the drug trade. Her objections to laundering money were all about breaking the law and getting caught, not about it actually being wrong. “Just a little taste” Taystee could stand to wake up on that front as well. Nicky seems set up for a relapse, not the least because Natasha Lyonne knows the drill and she’s one of the strongest actresses in the ensemble. (But then, the show’s rife with talent–amazing what happens when you move past Hollywood’s narrow conventions>)

  • gracedarling

    After that Caputo / Fig scene I turned, horrifed, to my husband and said, “Well that was kinda rapey!”

    I do think it was a revolting wrong note for the season and weird given that Caputo has been the one character within the power hierarchy that recognizes rape AS rape. He knew exactly what he was doing… and ugh. I need someone to break down this scene with! Haven’t seen it recapped elsewhere but it was just so deeply, deeply upsetting.

  • Sweetvegan

    “Then again, aside from Mad Men and Project Runway, we don’t feel the need to do episodic reviews of any other shows anymore.” I hope it means you’ll go back to weekly reviews of PR! (If you already mentioned it, I’m sorry that I missed it!) And hopefully continue with Downton Abbey and OITNB when they comes back? Please?

    “Maybe that’s because it was so finely crafted and we more or less got a definitive ending out of it.” I’m really hoping that it was an ending – that Vee really is dead (that very brief shot of Vee lying on the side of road reminded me of ridiculously lingering shot of Matthew Crawley on the side of the road. *That’s* how Matthew’s death should have been shot.). I remember thinking Pennsatucky was dead at the end of season 1, then was surprised that she wasn’t. I also thought that Vee killed Red, and was relieved that she didn’t.

  • Bradio311

    I’ve loved your reviews of this show and will SORELY miss them if you don’t find a way to continue them next season!

    • Cammie

      Me too. I binge-watched the entire second season in a weekend, lol. Yet, I came here every week to read the reviews. Great job!

  • buddy100

    One of the best things about Vee is that she is straight up one of the most convincing portrayals of someone with antisocial personality disorder (roughly equated to sociopathy) I’ve ever seen. There is a disturbing trend with shows where the writers attempt to glorify APD/sociopathy as part of an endearing antihero trait (Dexter, Sherlock). Of course, with both of these titular characters, neither actually completely lacks empathy. Great time is spent showing that they have a degree of loyalty and caring to those who are closest to them.

    But to Vee, everyone and everything around her is rendered a means to her ends. Look at how convincing she was when she was telling Taystee she would protect her. Look at how ruthlessly she cast that promise aside when it no longer met her objectives. People with APD can be incredibly charming. Often, they will at first seem like some of the most interesting captivating people you will ever meet. It’s only after a long period of time that you start seeing the inconsistencies, the coldness, the intense manipulation.

    MAJOR props to Lorraine Toussaint for capturing both all of that initial appeal AND the fall-out. It wasn’t until that moment after her encounter with Grace, where she turned her waterworks off like a faucet, that I realized that I was watching the rise of a full-on villain. And that takes some serious talent. Major props also to the writers, who captured what a dangerous combination intelligence, charisma, and a complete lack of empathy really are.

    • Glammie

      Yep, I liked that too–the writers really went for it in terms of capturing both the charm and the total lack of empathy. There was very much the sense that she groomed Taystee to be a future dealer and then just waited for her chance. In some ways, it took someone as criminal as Rosa to do her in.

    • ABB

      I’ve never felt like Sherlock has antisocial disorder despite what he says. I’d say it’s more like aspergers.

  • stubbornthoughts

    That ending was sweet, sweet satisfaction. Great season, great reviews.

  • elirt

    I was let down by the ending. It seemed to wrap up all too tidy. It was like a Seinfeld episode where all the various story lines converged to one happy ending. It was so raw all season with Vee as the Big Bad and the reality that this shit is serious and in prison you are dispensable but then the ending made it all go away. Jenji did the same thing over and over with Weeds, which is what made me tire of it.

  • Eveniah

    But… but… I like your episodic reviews. Please keep doing them next season. In fact I love all your reviews in general, they are the only ones I enjoy reading, even when I don’t agree with you. The only other reviews I have enjoyed this much are the ones by Meredith of i09, her recaps of True Blood are hilarious/everything. From one of your biggest fans in Australia, keep doing what you do, your voices are unique! 🙂

  • Harry

    I want to know about Claudette ): even just an update from a CO or something, but I doubt we will, but that makes it realistic honestly, people leaving without a return date