While I enjoyed this episode, it does still deal with all the mounting tensions and issues that have been coming to a head. The immediate fallout of Poussey’s death is rocking the prison on all levels from the inmates to the administration.
Understandably, the inmates aren’t dealing with her death well, especially Tastyee, Suzanne, Watson, Cindy, and Brook.
As they mourn, they recall their favorite memories of Poussey — many of these involve books in various forms.
Suzanne wants to be covered in books, the objects that Poussey was the steward of, because she wants to feel what it’s like to not breathe.
Red reads to her family from a book that Poussey showed her when she was starting the garden.
These moments are heartbreaking and sad, but for a character we were so close to and invested in, it felt needed. The audience is grieving for her Poussey as much as the characters. We cared for her and loved her, and we needed a proper goodbye.
The administration isn’t helping quell our feelings. We see the corporation trying to find anything to paint Poussey in a bad light to avoid any chance of liability. They want to make it sound like she died in a violent uprising or that she really was a bad seed.
And in that moment, we realize that we never saw what brought her to Litchfield. Through this dialogue, they reveal that she was picked up for trespassing and possession with intent to sell.
In addition to trying to skew the facts, the administration is also waiting to call the cops so Poussey’s body remains on the floor in the cafeteria.
What eventually breaks the camel’s back is that the administration keeps protecting Bailey.
I addressed in my review of “The Animals” how the lack of training and care on the administration’s part led to Poussey’s death, but hearing them protect the guard is a slap in the face, and that’s what starts a riot at the end of the episode.
If you remember the first episode of the season, when the inmates are running through the hole in the fence, Scott O’Neill and Wanda Bell comment about how the inmates may have decided to riot. Then O’Neill makes the comment:
O’NEILL: Women don’t riot.
This bookends with Caputo commenting about the misconception of the public has regarding the car of female prisoners.
This is a statement loaded with sexism and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. After everything that’s happened, this season ends with Daya holding the gun and telling the guards to get on their knees.
The riot concludes the season and puts many things into motion. The way this riot is set up, MCC won’t be able to ignore their decisions and Judy King’s presence means the media will have another source to turn to. Linda is even in the prison.
It’s the perfect storm at Litchfield and it looks like Season 5 will begin with a bang.
What did you think of this episode of Orange is the New Black? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Orange is the New Black will return for Season 5 on Netflix.