I have been a huge fan of OITNB since it came out on Netflix a couple of years ago, I have been painstakingly counting down the days until season 3 is finally released. One of my work colleagues (Jim you evil man) even lied to me and said it was out on the 3rd in the US so torrents would be available then, which alas was untrue. So Friday evening after work we pile to mine to crack on with the new series.
I have had to watch it twice as I spent most of my recreational time is such a daze I miss a lot and then get confused, but to me there are still loose ends which should have been tied up by now.
I didn’t enjoy this season as much as the others, I don’t feel the story line had the same strength as previous seasons, there isn’t really an awful lot going on compared to seasons 1 and 2. I was still caught up in the intrigue of Vee, is she dead or not. For such a strong and prominent character, the lack of mention of this is almost insulting, or they have left it open ended for an entire season whilst the actress focuses on other projects. There is no solid confirmation of what has happened to Vee, there is a scene in the canteen where the black girls are talking and crazy eyes is adamant that Vee isn’t dead whereas everyone else says she is, they agree to disagree. Whilst the actress Lorrain Toussaint has confirmed she will not be returning to the series however, she will also not confirm Vee’s fate. So is this something that has been swept under the carpet or will there be some repercussions in season 4, which has already been comissioned.
There has been a definite shift in the dynamics of the characters this season, we finally saw the back of Larry and Polly, Poppy, whatever the fuck her name was, there 2 were an absolute drain and I was pleased not to have to see the ugly mug of Jason Biggs on my screen. By eliminating Larry from the story it gave Piper more of a chance to focus on her relationships with women inside of the prison. Season 2 ended when Alex (the Betty Page of Litchfield) (damn!)
being brought back to Litchfeild after Piper, being the selfish and needy twat, got her friend to call Alex’s probabtion officer to get her sent back down so she could see her, although she justifies this as saying she was trying to save her from the gang she pissed off on the outside world, we can all clearly see this isn’t true and was a purely selfish act, something we have come to expect from this character.
I felt bad for Alex this season, after being banged up again by her jealous girlfriend, her jealous girlfriend then decides she likes the fine looking Australian Stella played by Ruby Rosewhich is kind of understandable, I mean look at her!
Alex has a pretty though time mentally dealing with the paranoia of the revenge she is facing for turning in other gang members, especially when a new inmate arrives who Alex believes has been sent to kill her. Piper offers no support throughout this, and only seems to care about her panty business and sneaking off with Stella which has made her a more dis likable character which I never thought possible.
We finally see Dia have her baby although not such a happy ending for her. There were always going to be problems with Bennett’s job and the strange support system that is the Diaz family. Pornstache makes an appearance when his mother played by Mary Steenburgen (Ted Danson you lucky son of a bitch). Mrs Mendez wants to adopt Dia’s child in order to give it a better life and so that George can be part of his “son’s” life. Sour faced Mrs Diaz involves herself and arranges a meeting where she agrees to sell Dia’s baby to her. Whilst initially this seemed like a cruel and heartless act, the season does go further into the back story of the Diaz mother, daughter relationship and you can kind of understand why. The flashbacks show Mrs Diaz dropping Dia off to camp, Dia really doesn’t want to go but her mother turns round and snaps that this is the only holiday she gets away from her now go. You can tell that there is genuine guilt from Mrs Diaz with her mothering skills, she says that she shouldn’t have kept Dia as a child as she was not a fit mother but she loved her and wanted her around. She wants Dia’s baby to have a better upbringing than she did and doesn’t want history repeating itself. Bennett fucks off anyway not to be seen again, this could be because he is spineless and can’t stand up to his responsibility or it could be because he thinks that the baby would have a better life without him in it, he can’t look after it or he will end up in jail and by removing himself from the situation it has opened up the situation for Dia to give the baby to Mrs Mendez. The baby ends up with Cesear who is looking after the Diaz family on the outside but he gets caught up in a drugs bust surprisingly as the man is a half wit.
I found myself warming to Tiff Doggett, previously she has been portrayed as a homophobic, ignorant piece of trailer trash and a bully. This season we have seen a lot more of her background and an almost human version of her as her and Big Boo have become close friends, which I think they make an excellent team. Tiffany has been pretty much abused by men all her life, her mother’s advise was to just let them get on with it, so she did and never really thought anything of it. It is quite obvious that Tiffany has no self worth and no one has ever treated her with an respect. She meets someone in the flashback, who turns out to be this amazing guy who actually loves her but has to leave, as soon as he left things went back to the way they were. Meth and rape.
Tiffany strikes up a friendship with one of the new guards, due to privatization there is a shake up in the prison. The guard initially seems to be dangerously over stepping the mark with his friendship with Tiffany but it seems quite innocent at first. As they spend more time together they begin to like each other, one day the officer is placed on probation due to being late back with Tiffany and doesn’t take it well. In fact he blames her and sodomizes her in a horrible and violent manner. Having been subject to this kind of abuse all her life, Tiff doesn’t feel as if she has any power and just accepts it. Once Big Boo finds out what this piece of shit did, she goes ape shit.
They decide to plot their own revenge, by giving him exactly what he gave Tiff. Boo has apparently been hauding some sedatives for sometime in case she fancies a trip to hospital to touch up the nurses, but as any good friend would she spikes the officer’s coffee so he passes out. By the way this is one of my favorite scenes from the whole season. They manage to drag him into a side room and get his trousers down, the decide the broom method would be best, splinters aren’t there concern apparently haha, yet neither of them quite has the guts to go through with it, which shows that these women or “criminals” are more human than be people put in charge of them.
The only good storyline for piper this season I think was the pantie selling, she gets the idea to start selling worn panties online when a factory is opened in the prison. She is able to make garments out of left over material and then hand them out to the other ladies to be worn. It is quite a genius plan she has going and there are some great speeches where she is convincing the inmates to join her crusade. But being the selfish bitch she is she takes it too far, ripping off her employees, when they realise what is going on they demand fair pay which is agreed to but at the end of the meeting Piper shows her true colours by telling Maritza she is fired for implementing the whole work force union situation. Even Alex is turned off by this behavior and tells her she wants nothing more to do with the business or her.
This leaves the situation wide open for Stella and Piper to get together, Piper tells her this but is then told that Stella is getting out very soon, and the situation is left there.
One thing I found particularly interesting about this season was the Red and Healy relationship. Red is clearly done with her husband after referring to him as a pillow, “soft, lumpy and lies behind my back” and Healy is struggling more than ever with his mail order bride after her moving out due to being incredibly miserable. We see the 2 get a bit closer, initially Red gets mad at Healy as she doesn’t want to be involved in his relationship anymore, but this ends. Red the starts to open up to Healy again, in a more intimate way than before and even leaves him a slice of her special Quiche on his desk for him before he leaves, there is a lot of suggestion that something is going to happen with these 2 in the future.
A strange cameo appearance came from Ellen Degeneres, she plays Lolly who Alex initially believes was sent by Kubra to kill her, which you would come to that conclusion if you were banged up 24 hours a day, someone writes down your every move and you have pissed off a massive drug lord. Alex out of sheer paranoia goes through Lolly’s bunk to find a notebook with Alex’s whereabouts written in which scares the shit out of her. She confronts Lolly but she is clearly insane and denies any knowledge of it. Later on the 2 are out gardening when I believe Lolly puts her arm through a green house window leaving shards everywhere. Alex notices a very large shard, she turns round and then it is gone. She asks Lolly about it but she just runs away and refuses to talk about it. The two finally come head to head in the showers where it turns out that Lolly is just mad as a box of frogs and believes that the NSA has bugged the entire prison and are trying to catch her out, I have no idea what the point of this story line was, didn’t really work for me.
Also we got to see a lot more of Leanne’s background. I have never paid her any attention whatsoever until this, I always just thought she was no more than an annoying extra with nothing to offer. However, after seeing the background she has come from she is a lot more interesting than we were lead to believe. She was actually brought up Pennsylvanian Dutch, so you initially see her as a teenager involved with meth but on her way home changes back into regular clothing and sneak back in. Leanne stupidly leaves a back back full of meth along with an ID so they can track her down, the police agree to drop the charges if she wears a wire and implicates her friends which she does. When she returns to her parents, the community shun her because of her actions leaving her no choice but to leave the Dutch community and go back to meth to keep her alive which is sad. This also explains her interest in the new faith based around Norma, as Leanne was happiest when she was amongst her religious community, she has had this ripped away from her, the extent to which she tries to justify their faith and dictate to others about the religion show what impact organised religion can have on a person, whether it be negative or positive.
So my hopes for season 4 are that Red gets her fresh food back, I can’t bear to watch them eat that shite anymore, plus such a proud lady, she needs good produce.
I would also like to see Piper get some kind of harsh life lesson, she just drives me insane. She blames everyone else for her problems, has no consideration for anyone other’s feelings and is just fickle. I really don’t understand how the writing worked with this series as it is based on Piper Schilling’s book of the same name, Schilling is involved with the production of the show and I would assume that she would not want her character portrayed in such a pathetic and unlikable manner, unless this was done on purpose as a way of showing how she ended up in the situation she did, who knows?
Anyway there may be some small errors, feel free to correct me, what are your opinions on the new season? Sound off in the comment box