This post will contain spoilers for all of the current Orange is the New Black Seasons. You have been warned!!
Orange is the New Black’s season 4 conclusion ended with one of the most shocking cliffhangers of the shows entire run. Following on from the heart-wrenching death of Poussey at the hands of the hapless Officer Bayley, Warden Joe Caputo decided to go against the advised script and absolve Bayley of all blame regarding the negligent act. On hearing this, the inmates decide that enough is enough and instigate a fully fledged riot within the walls of Litchfield Correctional Institute.
Season 5 opened exactly where its predecessor left off, with the clearly scared Daya in the center of what can only be described as a cluster-f**k of emotion. Her immediate reaction to take the gun from the incapacitated guard causes this opening sequences to completely fly off the handle in such a way that the rest of the episodes struggle to really get itself back on track.
Throughout the duration of this Season, we as the viewer witness the 4 day period in which the inmates rule the roost, so to speak, at Litchfield. Their anarchic intention initially proves to be exactly what the girls of the prison had been waiting for. This does not last long. Incidents involving Head Guard Desi Piscatella kidnapping inmates, ritual punishments for the most menial of grievances and an officer escape plan that has ramifications for both guards and inmates alike.
Overall the episodes of Season 5 didn’t seem to hit the heights of those that had come before it. For example, none of the flashbacks gave any indication as to why the people involved were in the situation we presently find them. We did gain some greater insight into characters such as Taystee, Janae, and Frieda, but nothing that really made me care anymore or less than I had done before.
However. Much like the last 3 seasons of The Walking Dead, after struggling to complete 8/9/10 episodes of bland mediocrity, the final 20 minutes of the last episode always seems to make you want to do it all again next time. This year is no different.
In a fitting conclusion to storylines such as Piscatella’s reign of tyranny, Piper’s need to be accepted at Litchfield and Lorna’s supposed mental state, the potential for next Season means that I’m sure we will all suffer through the bad to see another super episode such as that.