Orange is the New Black Review: A Change Is Gonna Come

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Litchfield has been saved, all hail prison privatization.

Well, okay, hailing might be a little premature. On Orange is the New Black Season 3 Episode 5  and Orange is the New Black Season 3 Episode 6, the prison seems divided on whether the takeover is a good thing or not. 

For now, Team MCC is composed of the inmates and Caputo. It's easy to understand why the inmates see the takeover in a positive light: things are getting fixed and replaced, and there is a new job that will pay ten times more than other assignments. Caputo is just happy he kept the lights on.

Personally, I'm with the guards. They're all upset (rightly so) over being bumped down to part time, which costs them not just wages, but takes away their benefits. The quality of the new guards will only add insult to injury.

Fake It 'Til You Fake It Some More - Orange is the New Black Season 3 Episode 5
Ching Chang Chong - Orange is the New Black Season 3 Episode 6

MCC is the big bad this season, and Pearson is the personification of the organization. He's a little weasel, adroitly manipulating Caputo while avoiding his own work load. How long before Caputo realizes Pearson is essentially his boss, not a coworker?

I think the inmates will start to wise up to how bad this can be once MCC starts trying to ration things and really look at how many more "cost saving measure" can be put into effect. And you can bet there will be a clash with the new guards. 

While the takeover doesn't bode well for any of our characters, I am really happy with this storyline. One of the great things about OITNB is how it sheds light on prison issues, and with privatization a growing trend, it would have felt strange to not cover the topic.

"Fake It Till You Fake It Some More" was the introduction to MCC's takeover, but it also was about telling lies and finding out truths. Flaca's mother summed it up best. 

More often than not, people believe what you tell them.

Flaca's Mom

Everyone is telling lies -- Taystee lets Poussey think an animal took the hooch, Pearson creates an elaborate hoax with the placement test, and Daya is continuing the deception that her baby daddy is Mendez. 

Poor Daya. Her life has suddenly gone completely down the drain. I can't quite support her in her quest to give the baby to Delia, but I understand her despondency over the situation. And quite frankly anything is better than Cesar, who's all for having a 13-year-old drop out care for an infant.

Cesar: Christina. Christina got some decent mommy skills. Maybe she can take care of the baby for a little while.
Daya: She's in junior high.

It's really hard to reconcile the Delia we've seen as Mendez's mother. She's just so nice and concerned. I hope that she and Daya can form a relationship that could withstand the revelation that the baby isn't her sons.

Flaca's back story was pretty tragic. I wish there would have been a clearer statement about her age at the time of her arrest, as charging minors as adults is another criminal justice trend loaded with ethical issues. Poor Flaca was just a dumb kid who thought she had it all figured out. Instead, she ends up in a federal prison.

I hope that she doesn't come to regret alienating her prison family, and that they'll forgive her later. Since the themes of the season are faith and motherhood, it seems reasonable that Gloria would welcome her back into the fold eventually.

There was so much I loved about "Ching Chang Chong." First, just seeing how Chang has made her own little world with in the prison, where she is basically alone. She takes a lot of crap from people, but she has a rich inner life (and somebody helping her on the outside) to make up for it.

Although her flashbacks started with her completely powerless, by the last one, I was left with the impression that Chang managed to become quite the little crime lord. I don't think ordering a man's gallbladder be taken out (and possibly eating it) was the last of her command decisions. 

The hour was really all about power dynamics. No where was this more clear than in how Red resolved her flirtation with Healy. I admit, I was nervous about that play since he has not reacted well in the past to inmates not giving him the emotional response he wants. 

But Red finally got through to him. While the man still has some serious homophobic racist misogynistic issues to work through, he maybe realizes that it's not about him all the time. 

You take a woman's power away. Her work, her family her currency. You leave her with one coin...the one she was born with. It may be tawdry and demeaning, but if she has to, she will spend it. But you're right, your feelings count too.


And happily for us, this results in Red's return to the kitchen, which should make for an epic showdown with Gloria. The two may have managed to work together on small issues, but unless Rodger's steps in to get them to hug it out, I don't think this will end without fireworks.

The episode also brought Lolly back to us! I really liked Lolly in Orange is the New Black Season 2, and not just because A League of Their Own is one of the best movies ever. We haven't seen her interact with Piper yet, which should be interesting.

So far, Piper is the only inmate who seems to care that MCC is exploiting the women under their care. Her interlude with Janae and Cindy was priceless, and the cherry on top of everyone discounting her opinions and insecurities because she is the standard of white beauty.

Other thoughts:

  • Alex's paranoia might be valid, but it's also hilarious. Really, if she's back in custody and really that concerned, shouldn't she discuss that with a counselor? 
  • Maybe Lorna and Soso should have tried each other for friends. That last pen-pal guy shows some potential, though.
  • If you didn't pick up on Martha Stewart's Judy King's arraignment is some serious foreshadowing, you should probably lay off Poussey's homemade honey.
  • I'm unimpressed with Stella so far. You can't call someone out for being ridiculously gorgeous and thus out of touch when you're the same.

'Cause if you were a Christian, you could tell everybody what to do, and then they'd do it so they don't hurt your feelings, because that's against the law.


Hit the comments with your thought on MCC, Whispers, and the plague of Red Velvet. 

Fake It Till You Fake It Some More Review

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Elizabeth Harlow is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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Orange is the New Black Season 3 Episode 5 Quotes

More often than not, people believe what you tell them.

Flaca's Mom

Taystee: It's eight o'clock in the morning. You drinking already?
Poussey: It's always five o'clock in prison.