It was a banner week for “Orange Is The New Black,” the series earning a bevy or barrage or a barrevy of Emmy nominations yesterday for their season one work. And gosh-darn-it, if Crazy Eyes doesn’t end up walking away with a trophy of her own that night, I might … I might … well, I might do absolutely nothing about it (I mean, really: What on earth could I do, anyway?). But it would be disappointing, nonetheless. Obviously.
Anyway, behold five things about episodes seven and eight when it comes to the latest run of Netflix’s pet-darling-thing. Naturally, spoilers abound:
1. I don’t like Black Cindy. I’m sorry; I just don’t. I find her annoying. Michael Hunley, he of the world-famous Pop Goes The Culture blog, loves her and as he told me last night, he couldn’t stop laughing while seeing Black Cindy ride around the Pittsburgh airport, stealing things and causing a ruckus. Me? Blah. I can’t explain it, but there’s something about the character that I simply don’t like. Maybe she’s too stubborn or too immature (read: the mess she got herself in with Vee as a result of her silly attitudes), I don’t know, but whatever it is, I’m not buying what she’s selling. Plus (and maybe this is completely subconscious and unfair), but I have a stupid little fear of airports and flying, and watching her steal an iPad from someone’s suitcase is exactly what I have nightmares about. Also, call me crazy, but again … WHY SHOULD WE ROOT FOR HER AFTER WITNESSING THE WAY SHE TREATS HER OWN KID!? That was just a tad heartbreaking, no? Even so, at the end of the day, that move, from a narrative standpoint, at the very least …
2. … Was a departure from the cycle I whined about last week. From what we could tell, Black Cindy wasn’t one of those characters who was never given a chance, per se. Yes, she was obviously pregnant at an early age, but she didn’t seem attached to any orphan or dirt-poor or drug-addicted angle that this series so often abuses (even though yes, it did appear as though drugs might have played a role in her life on some level). So, kudos to Sara Hess for that. At the end of the day, Black Cindy is simply just a character who made bad decisions, and now she’s forced to deal with the consequences those irresponsible decisions provided. That’s no knock on Adrienne C. Moore, of course — if she’s looking to make that character tiresome, she’s done a pretty great job at doing so. I’ve just sort of had enough of how juvenile and obnoxious that character is. Now, on the other hand …
3. … Rosa. I like the idea of that character. It’s a shot at how unfair and cruel the prison system can be, and hers a story (post-robbery-days, of course) that is imperative to tell if you are going to make a series like this. When Healy tells her that he essentially can’t do anything to help her battle the cancer and she won’t be receiving the surgery she needs, you have to wonder how many similar conversations might go down in real life, from both a male and female perspective. Yes, these people are criminals, but does that mean they should be robbed of the help and care they need, especially if the help and care they need is available? That’s a tricky question and it’s one that deserves the type of spotlight this series gave it, if only for an episode. All that serious stuff aside, though, the rapport between Rosa and that kid was lovely, especially as she began to leave the hospital and found out that he was going to live. Yeah, we could probably all see it coming, but the entire sequence was done well and with conviction (no pun intended). Though speaking of conviction …
4. … Someone eventually had to be convicted in the Court Of Love when it came to Caputo, and the firing of Fischer was a smart move. Not only was it a merciful way to end to his countless acts of lust aimed in her direction, but it was also a clever way to get Mendez back into the thick of things. I mean, you knew they weren’t going to leave him on the sidelines forever, right? In hindsight, it was probably the most ideal time to bring him back, too. The end of episode eight out of 13. What does it mean, moving forward? Well, if nothing else, it means things are about to get a little more fun (read: messy) within the walls of that prison. Now, as for stray thoughts:
– Polly and Larry. Stop.
– Were we ever given the definition of a “shot”? I mean, honestly: What in the name of Rosa’s lovers are those things?
– The release of Cavanaugh was a sad and subtle addition to episode seven, and it was yet another opportunity for the series to educate its viewers on yet another relatively obscure provision in the prison rule book. “Compassionate Release” is a real thing, and as illustrated in this instance, it’s also real(ly) heartbreaking. Let the woman receive the care she needs. Nobody deserves to wander around town until they die like that. It’s not just humiliating; it’s heartless.
– I still despise seeing Poussey and Taystee not on the same page. That friendship was so much fun.
– This newsletter thing is better than the investigative expose on the entire prison they tried to highlight, but it’s still a weird subplot to a series fueled by subplots.
– My favorite moment from Healy so far this season was his reaction to Piper asking to not be furloughed. If they are trying to make him worth rooting for again, this was the first step in that direction for me. He wasn’t wrong in saying anything he said, and the way it was delivered wasn’t too shabby, either.
– Come on. Be honest: Did you really think Fischer would sleep with Nicky on her way out the door?
– The comedy in the way Rosa’s men died was equally subliminal and hilarious. The whole schtick felt like the E-Story in a lesser known Woody Allen film.
5. The Comfort Dorn Funny Line Awards:
Soso, in line at the cafeteria: “I might starve to death. I’m a vegetarian, obviously.”
Piper: “You know, and I respect that, but under the present circumstances, I’m pretty sure that even Paul McCartney would be all up in a tuna casserole.”
Pennsatucky, looking directly at Soso after nobody else would tell her she smells bad: “Watch and learn: You smell like a _____ turtle tank. Go take a ____ shower.”