[Warning: this review contains Orange is the New Black season 4 spoilers]
“With a major security breach and a lot of new inmates, Caputo has to call in the big guns. Things get a little to real for Crazy Eyes and Lolly”
I was very uncomfortable with the grooming (which is when a sexual predator tests to see how far they can go with their victim without getting caught) and eventual rape scene between Pennsatucky and Coates in Orange is the New Black season 3, so I was a bit hesitant to start season 4. It’s very difficult for a survivor to watch these heinous scenes, so I’m cautiously watching this new season.
The first episode of the new season mainly focuses on Caputo, who is busy dealing with new issues as prison warden (such as the hole in the fence with the prisoners leaving, a guard walking off, new inmates, making the prison overcapacity, etc.).
The episode also featured a side plot with Lolly and Alex, who kill the guard (and hitman) that tried to strangle Alex. The pair then attempt to figure out what to do with the body. Also, Maureen and Suzanne (I refuse to call her Crazy Eyes) ran away from the lake and hid in the forest, and Litchfield’s new, famous inmate Judy King (who I’m guessing is the Martha Stewart of Litchfield) is getting special treatment in prison due to her celebrity status.
My favorite side plot out of the three was the one featuring Maureen and Suzanne. Though I do like that Alex is seeming to slightly accept Lolly (something that I really like since Lolly is an interesting character that could be explored further) Suzeanne and Maureen had very sweet moments. The two’s relationship reminds me a lot of Misery (the book and the movie), with Maureen being a huge fan of Suzanne’s erotic fiction and wanting her to write more. I also enjoyed that Suzanne is eventually not comfortable with their “escape”, mentioning that she didn’t know that she was supposed to be gone forever and that she wanted to be back at the prison in time for dinner. I like that the writers are trying to show that Suzanne can stick up for herself in some situations.
The Alex and Lolly plot is interesting, because although Lolly was the one that essentially killed the guard, it was Alex who went back and suffocated him. She cries while she’s suffocating him, which shows that she does have compassion, as well as fear. It is good to see characterization with Alex. I had two main reasons for not really liking this plot though: the jokes that were made about sending the pictures of dead Alex and what the duo did with the body. After they see that the guard was getting texts from Kubra demanding photographic evidence of her death, he then asks for a picture of her breasts, which Lolly describes as a “Cosby dream shot”. I always find rape/rapist jokes to be in poor taste and that specific one was not good for me. What they end up doing with the body though is, with the help of another inmate, cut it up and bury it under the garden. A lot of blood was involved in this scene, but it wasn’t too graphic.
The episode also included minor scenes that called backs to the previous seasons. Morello talked happily about her wedding and being able to have sex with her husband, and Boo tried to tone down the talk because it was making Pennsatucky uncomfortable. There was also a nod to Poussey and Soso being a thing, and the two end up talking about whether or not black people can be racist.
The one that I disliked from this episode (and it dragged forever) was Piper being seen as “gangsta” and trying to act tough in the prison. I don’t like Piper, and her trying to be tough was really annoying. I just wanted to hit her – she’s about as tough as I am (which isn’t much) and she’s supposed to be the one that audiences feel sympathy for? Her characterization is very odd as the seasons go by.
Overall, I did enjoy the episode but I’ll have to see how the rest of the season goes before I decide if I’m going to keep watching.