Orange Is the New Black S01E11 / S01E12: "Fool Me Once" / "Can't Fix Crazy"

First things first, everyone please stand up and give Orange Is the New Black the standing ovation it deserves and throw some bras on stage (you too, guys), because Season 1 was fantastic and a visual handbook on how not to screw up television. The Netflix series, an underdog in some folks' eyes, managed to evoke every single emotion on the human spectrum in a way that felt true and respectful to its wonderful and diverse cast of characters. I laughed! I cried! I worried! There are probably more emotions than that, and I'm sure I felt them, too. But the important thing is that I never wanted a "Get Out of Jail Free" card because I was perfectly happy being cooped up with the female felons of Litchfield. Give me a life sentence, throw away the key, I'll confess to blowing up an orphanage if it keeps me around. Orange Is the New Black is one of the best new shows of the year.

Okay, now everyone put their bras back on, because I'm here to talk about the final two episodes of the first season and not the season as a whole. We're going to work this one backwards, because honestly, that final scene of "Can't Fix Crazy" meant a lot more than the entirety of the 1.9 episodes that preceded it. Piper taking Pennsatucky to Poundtown... prison-style... was a fight-or-flight response on Piper's behalf, and it couldn't have been avoided. The whole sequence was terrifying. 'Tucky left the pageant to follow Piper outside,'Tucky stalked up behind her in an angel costume (how cool was that?), 'Tucky brandished a crucifix-shaped stabbing instrument, Healy willfully ignored the whole confrontation and Piper's pleas for help, blood dripped into the snow, and then Piper erupted. Brutal as it was, it was also a beautiful scene with amazing contrast between the serenity of the blanketed-in-white prison grounds and the whirlwind of fists and flying teeth. Brutal-ful. 

Yet Pennsatucky deserved every lick she took, even if that wasn't the Piper we know who was dishing it out. The Piper in that scene was a Piper twice dumped, once by Alex and once by Larry. The dumpage was still raw and fresh, and it forced Piper into a vulnerable and unpredictable state, because nothing is scarier to Piper than loneliness. Then, all that anger and fear manifested itself in the resulting dents in Pennsatucky's face. I was simultaneously feeling shocked by the violence within the Barney's soap-maker and praising her with "You go girl!"s for finally putting that Jesus freak in her place, and that's exactly what the show wanted us to feel. And hey, the girls said Pennsatucky could use some new teeth anyway, so Piper was just granting her wish. Don't you kind of hope that Pennsatucky returns with a Moonraker-Jaws grill next season? I do.

How will this "incident" affect Piper going forward? It could stretch her 15-month prison sentence out a bit and guarantee that she won't be released for good behavior anytime soon. Maybe she'll suffer another stay in the SHU. But as far as prison politics are concerned, she was just defending herself, and she's got more people on her side than Pennsatucky does. Even Taystee told Piper to throw down! And it's that darker side of prison life that Orange Is the New Black really concentrated on in the later hours of Season 1.

But the most fascinating part of the whole ruckus was Healy's reaction when he acknowledged Piper's calls for help but didn't respond. His character arc has been been completely unpredictable, and it's one of the most spectacular downward spirals in recent TV history. The guy went from lovable grandpa figure to spiteful dick in a matter of a few episodes, and in "Can't Fix Crazy," he made the most despicable turn we've seen on the series so far. Wasn't this the man we all put our faith in to see Piper through this mess? And he left her to *gulp* die? I never would have guessed that it'd come to this when we first met the sweet, gentle Healy of 12 episodes ago. Now, no amount of domestic turmoil can save him in the eyes of the audience. Healy broke bad.

However, while Piper beating the meth teeth out of Pennsatucky's face was great exclamation point to conclude Season 1, the rest of the Orange Is the New Black universe slowed down or changed direction building up to it, like the show had run out of steam and was antsy to get a head start on Season 2. The much-anticipated showdown between Red and Mendez never really happened, as they played games while buffered bye Red's fellow inmates. Mendez deservedly got suspended for slippin' the sausage to Daya after becoming a pawn in Red's gutsy plan to transfer the punishable burden of paternity from Bennett to Mendez with the help of a few swabs and a pregnancy test. I still don't know how that's really going to work; I agree with Bennett, it's a half-baked idea. And Mendez got his revenge from beyond the gates by getting Bennett to bust Mendez's own drug operation, which would naturally be pinned on the queen of the kitchen, Red. 

Red's demotion opened up the kitchen to Gloria, and she brought her chicas in to help. (Is this how prison jobs really work? One position changes and all of a sudden that person can install a bunch of her friends?) Thus began the feud between Gloria and Red, which involved Red sabotaging Gloria's kitchen and (unintentionally) shooting a giant fireball at Murphy. Gloria vs. Red is a fine rivalry, but kickstarting it in the season finale and leaving Mendez roaming around the parking lot feels ill-timed. 

The same can be said about the sudden interest in Figueroa's budgetary siphoning or Taystee's return; as standalone stories, they're fascinating, and I can't wait to see how they play out. But starting them now is almost cruel to binge-viewers. Launching a bunch of new arcs in preparation for Season 2 took some weight out of the finale, don't you think? With Red and Gloria now at each other's throats, Figueroa about to be the target of a New York Post investigation, plus a few other nuggets (Yoga Jones' tearful admission, Mendez's obsession with Daya, Caputo's decision to report the drugs), it feels like we're ending things right in the middle rather than concluding a chapter. 

For those of us who finished watching the first season of Orange Is the New Black in the span of a month or less, that means an extra long waiting until the show returns. This is just my personal opinion, but I think the Netflix model should steer showrunners toward making more self-contained seasons, as Netflix originals are consumed differently. Shows that "compartmentalize" their seasons, like The Wire and American Horror Story, would make excellent Netflix series because they have very clear beginnings and endings for each string of episodes. I'm envious of the viewer who starts watching Orange Is the New Black in Season 4 and can settle in for marathon, to bridge the show's plots without a wait. 



CONJUGAL NOTES

– I should also note that Taryn Manning was fantastic in that final scene, to the point where I even felt sorry for her while she spewed the type of religious fanaticism that sometimes results in a lot worse than someone their face crushed in. Pennsatucky may be an ignorant, mean hag, but she's such a solid character and Manning has owned her. 

– Pennsatucky's flashback was one of the best of the season, hands down. I finally got my "this woman is in prison because she's crazy" flashback, instead of another heart-tugging, wrong-place-wrong-time story. And the development that her Jesus-freakishness began when a magical Christian defense attorney appeared out of nowhere and support of anti-abortion pro-lifers coupled with the irony that she had just gotten an abortion was fantastic in showing just how lost and starved for support Pennsatucky was.

– I hope we're not automatically taking Red's side in the Red-Gloria showdown. Gloria is the beneficiary of a unfortunate situation, through no action of her own. She's not the bad guy here. Besides, her spicy eggs are delicious.

– Even scarier than that final scene was the first confrontation between Pennsatucky and Piper in the shower. With Pennsatucky's flock in tow, that could have gone a lot further than what would have happened outside.

– Mute inmate Norma finding her voice at the pageant felt a little trope-y. Sorry! 

– And the pageant, while a nice little shindig, never felt that important to me. After a very strong four-episode run, it seemed like the season ran out of story.

– To add a smidgen of a happy ending, we saw little snippets of Sophia receiving a letter from her son while she sat in the chapel producing the pageant. Good for Sophia, but not exactly the sharp storytelling we're used to from Orange Is the New Black. It just felt tacked-on and lacked depth.

– Boo saying "Jesus F*cking Christ" during the pageant was everything that's right about this show.

– I understand what Larry was trying to do in meeting Alex: He wanted her to see that she was hurting a real person. But boy, did that turn out to be a bad idea. Alex was more than happy to tell Larry that Piper initiated their tryst. Anyone can argue that attempting a relationship while one party is in prison is a proposition that's doomed from the start, but it's hard not to place the bulk of the blame on Piper. She did betray Larry. But that's what I like about Piper as a character; there's a good person inside of her, but she's flawed and she makes bad decisions just like the rest of us.  

– One of the things I'm most looking forward to in 2014, in addition to finding the cure for cancer and winning the lottery, is a flashback to Suzanne's story. That is going to be amazing. 

– Even though the final two episodes of the season weren't Orange Is the New Black's best, I can't emphasize enough how incredibly strong of a series this is. What was your favorite episode? Mine was Episode 11, "Tall Men With Feelings."


What did you think of the finale, and Season 1 overall? 


PREVIOUSLY:

– Orange Is the New Black Series Premiere Review: Fresh Meat (S0E01)

– Orange Is the New Black "Tit Punch"/"Lesbian Denied" Review: Love and Lunch (S01E02 / S01E03)

– Orange Is the New Black "Imaginary Enemies"/"The Chickening" Review: Hope and Toxicity (S01E04 / S01E05)

– Orange Is the New Black "Wac Pac"/"Blood Donut" Review: Political Animals (S01E06 / S01E07)

– Orange Is the New Black "Moscow Mule"/"F*cksgiving" Review: The SHU Doesn't Fit (S01E08 / S01E09)

Orange Is the New Black "Bora Bora Bora"/"Tall Men With Feelings" Review: Scared Straight? (S01E10 / S01E11)

Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/17/2016

Season 4 : Episode 13

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I am so fond of this show. I absolutely love it - and I'm usually NOT a fan of "raunchy" shows at all so it's been a surprise. (HIMYM was as raunchy as I ever get, which isn't much, in the scheme of things; just a lot of sex-related jokes.)
I just feel like...the characters are just so dynamic, and three-dimensional - even the supporting characters - that it's hard for me not to root for them. Even when the lesbianism gets to be a little over-the-top; it's the characters that drive the show, and their stories keep it interesting.
I always thought of Pennsatucky as an annoying fanatical Christian; but after watching her flashback and getting her background; the scene when she was discussing forgiveness with Piper was so interesting. It even elicited a small "Aww!" from me once Piper concluded her prayer for forgiveness, and Pennsatucky hugged her. And her character never makes me go "Aww!", but this episode did, so that was a first. And while I certainly don't condone Pennsatucky's actions pre-prison, (Five abortions did give me pause, though. Five??) that nurse at the abortion clinic was harsh...her comment was seriously hurtful. Ouch.
Pennsatucky is definitely a hard-nose, no-bull**** type, but given background on her character; I'm a bit more sympathetic toward her now. Except that planning and acting out Piper's murder is going a bit too far. As episode 12 concluded, and Pennsatucky was all "Well, I'm just gonna have to kill her," I was all "She can't do that! Can she really do that??" but then I realized: these women can do whatever they want...and I'll stick around to watch. :)
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I was so disappointed when we didn't get Suzanne's flashback. The episode title was a complete red herring.
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This happens when you release all episodes at once - you see the "christmas" episode in the middle of August.

So Piper betrayed Larry, and Larry is an axxxhole, and Alex is not someone you can trust, and everybody loves everybody, but they are far too selfish to behave properly with anyone. Don't like or share or justify their bad reasons for missbehaving... none of hem. The show is entertaining, though, more about the "other" stories for me, but also the humour that comes here and there and the good acting. So I will defenitely continue watching and look forward to it.
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Hey, I just did a blog-post on a tv-trend, would be so awesome if you'd give me some feedback?
http://minanielsen.wordpress.com/
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Great new show. Seriously looking forward to the next season. Excited that Netflix can produce this level of programming.

One comment on this review. At one point Tim mentions, "Mendez's obsession with Daya". I don't think Mendex is obsessed with her at all. She was just another piece of meat to him. He's faking the obsession to manipulate Bennett, to make the whole "affair" with Daya look less like rape or an abuse of his position, and to get back at Red. He's a very dangerous man who's obsessed with his own gratification.
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To me, Orange felt like a serialized version of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. I guess locked-up people makes for good drama. Can't wait for season 2.
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Great read Tim! For me season 1 of OITNB was one of the top 10 best seasons of any TV show I've ever seen! And I've seen plenty of them! Can't wait for season 2!
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I started watching this show yesterday and I am already in episode 11. This show is excellent and I am loving every minute of it. I never thought I would say this for another Kenji Johan series but so far season 1 of Orange is the new black is better than season 1 of Weeds. The show manages to highlight so many characters each and every one with a different storyline and it does so brilliantly. The use of flashbacks is done in such an excellent way that you are actually curious as to what happened to every one to end up in prison. Go Netflix for recognizing this show's brilliance before any of the actual TV stations.

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Hi Tim,

OITNB is superb and Kenji Johan has gone above and beyond in terms of a quality production, great cast and superb storylines...
Netfilx appears to be the future already!

Just quickly though - what has happened to What To watch On TV Tonight?
have asked several times with nobody able to provide an answer.
helps me program my DVR as I travel a lot.

Great work Tim - your stories are always fun!
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I thought Pensatucky was in the clinic for an overdose or at least drug treatment. It doesn't make any sense for the nurse to have "disrespected" her for having an abortion. It was a women's clinic but she was probably there because its cheaper for someone who spends all her money on meth.
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Watch that episode again. She was clearly there for an abortion. The previous scene with the boyfriend established that she was pregnant, and needed a ride to the clinic. The nurse disrespected her by saying they should give her a punchcard to get the next one free since this was her fifth abortion.
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Yeah, even abortion providers don't like abortion being used as basic contraception. That reveal about Pensatucky was all about the crazy she's made of. Her religion, like all the abortions she got, are simply conveniences that she never really learns anything from. It makes her an even more desperate character because, in those shadows, we see a woman who is not going to learn anything from her stay in prison either. That is one very sick and hopeless character.
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Thanks. I guess I didn't catch that in the first scene or connect the two.
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I usually don't like shows like this at all, but OITNB is just too phenomenal. Every episode was great. Even though the finale wasn't MUCH better than the rest of the episodes (like they usually are in other shows), it's kind of okay. This is a show where the entire season is meant as one big experience, and when you look at the entire season as a whole... it's just perfect.
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I honestly think that the whole "beat-down" at the end was planned by Pennsatucky and Piper...

It was Pipers way to make up for being responsible that Pennsatucky was thrown into solitary confinement. Because the thing that Pennsatucky wanted most.....were new teeth....just like her sister (or was it cousin?).

So they had to set up a fight in order to get her teeth knocked out. Since it was staged as self-defense...Piper doesn't really have to fear harsh consequences. And even Pennsatucky is good, since it would have been Healy's job to intervene (and his turning away may have been filmed by the security cameras...).

Healy would take all the blame in the end....Pennsatucky would get her new teeth....and her and Piper would have settled their dispute that way...
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I disagree with that for many reasons:

  • They couldn't know that Healy would choose to walk away.
  • They couldn't know for sure that Pennsatucky would get new teeth that way.
  • Piper would almost certainly refuse. It's too risky for both of them. She has no experience with violence. She wouldn't even know if she can knock out those teeth without killing her or mess up her jaw bone so much that it's hard to put new teeth in. Even if Pennsatucky survives, Piper is risking years added to her sentence. If she dies, it could turn into a life sentence.
  • She brought the screwdriver, even though that alone could get more time added to her sentence.
  • Piper seemed genuinely scared, even after Healy had left.
  • If there are security cameras there, Healy would know about it. He wouldn't walk away unless he was pretty sure that there won't be a recording that can convict him for a crime.
  • Healy getting busted for this doesn't imply that Piper gets away with it.

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Well written and interesting storyline.
I liked it so much I watched the entire season in four days.
You start with a premise of the nice woman put in prison for making an error of judgement years earlier, trying to survive around "bad" criminals.
By the end you realized she is the b*tch and the others are not so terrible.
Looking forward to season two.
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its aboutt ime u finish this. the wife & i have been done for weeks.

show was so great. impatiently waiting season 2.
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I finished it a while ago too. For me I think it would be better if they released 2-3 episodes a week because otherwise I watch one a day and burn through them.
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I usually wait for seasons to end, then hold myself back and limit myself to watching only one a day. ;) But since OitNB came out all at once I didn't hold myself to the same standard and I watched 2-3 a day. I know... doesn't make a lot of sense. My biggest worry is that the length or time to the next season is likely to seem further away now since the season didn't span months. Long breaks between seasons usually isn't good for a show's health.
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Well if you always wait until the season is over to watch it, you have to wait for it to air as well as the time in between seasons so its the same amount of time. It might feel different because you hear about the show being on but the time between when you actually see it is the same as watching every epsiode on day 1 and waiting for the next day 1.
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I wasn't very clear, but I wasn't worried so much for myself as I was for the additional 3 to 4 months longer it will be for those who usually watch their shows weekly (but didn't with this one.) I only added a few days onto my typical viewing... but others will have added months.
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Finally. Piper broke at the very end of the season. Great ending. I've been waiting for Piper to snap for ages. I've always suspected that underneath that ubersweet meek character there was something dark lurking. A big theme of the whole series was how prison brings out the real person in you. In her flashbacks Piper is not the nicest person. She is spoilt and selfish, has a don't give a shit attitude, and chases danger. And she has always had someone there to protect her, like Alex or Larry. So it was great that in the end, she is totally alone, and she is forced to defend herself, and does she.
Healy is great. It's such an amazing and unpredictable transition for a character, and he has acted the part perfectly. He was the loveable old warden, the good guy who will stand up for Piper. Then he starts to morph with his weird sexual issues with lesbians, his mail order Russian bride at home, and now his pathological hatred of Piper. At the start we are lead to believe that Pornstache (who I've always been weirdly fond of) is the big bad, but really it's Healy, which is pretty genius.
I kind of wanted Yoga Jane to have a really crazy back story instead of a super sad one. I was hoping she was a Gemma Teller before she went in, and now Yoga is the only thing that reigns her in.
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I've said it once and I'll say it again, Pennsatucky is ruining this show for me. I'm just so tired of characters like her, we've seen them a hundred times, they were interesting in the start but enough is enough, it's not even a character type that you have to have in a show like this, just get rid of her and I'll be happy again, the woman that plays Alex has said she won't be returning to season 2 so unless they recast her that's one of my wishes granted.
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She's the best character on the show, and the best actress. But I agree that they shouldn't keep this arc going for very long. I don't want her to become the "Klaus" of this show.
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I totally get you! Tiffany is just a horrible Character, but she is the one messing with our heads! In this case a welcome aspect to the plot.
The woman who plays Alex is annoying me much more... if she is gone I will enjoy this series even more... YAY ME
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I love this show!!! I also can not wait for Norma's story.
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The final episode was interesting... I agree Piper is flawed which makes her real so I guess on that aspect sure I "like" her character but for the most part I just really dislike her. In truth she probably deserved to get dumped by Larry. At least until she can redeem herself. I really got annoyed when she tried to crawl back to Alex. Like Alex would just let her come right back to her because it would be "easy" for Piper. That's what happens when you have two people interested in you and the one you choose rejects you. You can't just crawl back to the one that you turned down first because people move on and even though Alex is the reason Piper is in prison and is generally a conniving and bad person I sided with her on this occasion because Piper was being selfish. There's not really much to say on the whole Pennsatucky thing. Piper did what she needed to do because Pennsatucky was attempting to kill her but Piper went a little too far and let her emotions get the best of her. At first I thought she killed her but I'm pretty sure I saw the actress playing Pennsatucky is back for season 2 so obviously she just probably severely injured her. This will surely get her thrown in the SHU probably for a long time.

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I am with you on Piper. I have mentioned my bipolar relationship with her on her before. I went from liking her to really not liking her, but in the ending I respect her more for standing up for herself at least. I don't know if we are supposed to not like her, or if she is suffering from protagonist fatigue, basically over exposure of her story lines.
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Well it's not that I really respected her more so that she had to strike first or she'd be dead. I think she was being stupid in continuing to beat up Pennsatucky after she was all ready out cold. If it was out of prison setting then it would have been cool but she's in prison and should know better that this will keep her there longer. She doesn't come from a street upbringing I'm not buying her as a hard force to be reckon with more so someone who had an emotional breakdown and will probably pay for her actions. I can't see her getting away with it. Even if no guard catches her in the act you'd think there would be camera everwhere
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Continuing to beat Pennsatucky seemed out of her control. She lost it the way Claudette lost it after getting refused her parole. This was Pipers breaking point. But she had already fought back before she lost control. I don't think she will become queen b*tch but I've always thought she was tougher than she let on (most people are when they have to be), she just liked to hide behind others and let them fight her battles.
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Not sure what my favourite episode of the season was, but I think the last two are definitely at the top. I agree with pretty much everything Tim says about the show, especially about Healy. Although, I had hoped Tim would also point out that part of the reason he's (Healy, not Tim) transformed into a total prick is that he's also getting screwed on all sides; his wife is using him and not really giving him any by the looks of it, and he's getting reprimanded by those above him by the people in his charge. Doesn't excuse what he's done, by any means, but explains it a little.
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While Yoga Jones' tearful admission was great, I would have loved to have seen it as a flashback story.

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You would've loved to see a little kid get shot? That's harsh, man. I'm happy we didn't have to actually see that.
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Well when you put it like that it doesn't sound so good... but it would have made for compelling television.
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I felt that after episode eleven, these two episodes tried a little too hard to be a 'typical' season final, especially with the pageant bringing everyone together.

They did a really good job at the foreboding of Pennsatucky's attack on Piper though, even if I personally found them quite uncomfortable to watch (I almost had to turn away during the shower scene). I'm not sure if that's the ending I would have wanted, I'm very conflicted about it, but as long as it brings about some interesting storylines in the future I'm fine with it.

I'm not going to automatically take Red's side in her feud with Gloria, I've never really liked her, thinking she owns the prison, and what she did to Murphy (albeit unintentionally) was horrible. What's happened to her is a great reality check, as if she thought she could actually take Mendez down without suffering any consequences.

Totally agree with you about Healy, 'The guy went from lovable grandpa figure to spiteful dick in a matter of a few episodes, and in "Can't Fix Crazy," he made the most despicable turn we've seen on the series so far', it makes me quesy just to see his character now, he's so horrible.

Sort of over the while Daya storyline, it seems too far-fetched, and while Mendez's attraction to her is a funny development, it doesn't solve the problems the plot had.

'Brutal-ful'. I like that word Tim, I'm going to use it.

While I haven't seen every new show this year OITNB if my favourite (sorry Hannibal!), and god yes, episode eleven, 'Tall Men With Feelings', is one of the best episodes of television I've ever seen.
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best episode: the gas-lighting of Pennsatucky

LOVED season 1 (binged it a while ago)

I thought Piper had killed Pennsatucky but I guess the news that Manning will be a series regular is a kind of a spoiler--I doubt she will be a ghost or hallucination so I guess she just got beat up. I thought Pennsatucky was going to try to drown Piper at the Baptism that she refused (smart to refuse). Manning did/does a great job playing Pennsatucky who I both love and hate--weird, I know.

I was waiting for you to watch that flashback--definitely not a Lifetime movie plot type of flashback. I just think it needed to show a bit more--like how she became religious. In court she just seemed happy to have supporters and that she would get a light sentence. I still would like to she how she became such a fanatic (but like most fanatics, she doesn't practice what she preaches). That scheme of gaslighting her was fabulous--wicked genius plan that worked--too bad Piper was to nice~~should of left her in the psych ward.
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How about what happened to Miss Claudette? How she lost her appeal and got sent to the SHU. that was really sad. And I really like that one 'nice' prison guards who was trying to be mean but couldn't.
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She got sent to maximum security prison, not the SHU. Which means she will probably never see Baptiste again. :(
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Susan's nice turned mean change of character was played for laughs, but for me it was too over the top. As for how things ended for Miss Claudette, I found that frustrating, why would she throw everything away like that.
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At the beginning of the season Ms. Claudette said, "Hope is a dangerous thing".... I feel like her whole character arch was about that. She decided to have hope when the love of her life came back and the possibility of an appeal came up, but she survived in the prison for so long specifically because she didn't hope for anything. Once she allowed herself to hope and got let down she lost her will to carry on and snapped. It made a sad amount of sense and was a reminder that not everyone gets a happy ending.
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She didn't throw everything away, they took everything away from her and she flipped. She was supposed to meet that guy that she has been in love with all her life. He finally came to her, after all these years, and they refuse her parole. She snapped, it was the system breaking her in the end, after surviving so long. She allowed herself to hope, and got crushed. I thought it was one of the saddest parts of the whole season.
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It certainly was. Moreover, the murder she committed was protective and sacrificial. Tragic.
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Good review, great comments, even better show. I love the final two episodes, but I loved the entirety of the season just the same. The thing with watching as a marathon whether it's on Netflix or cable, is that no matter what if you catch it in the beginning you will still have to wait for the new season. So really it wouldn't matter if this show was on CBS or Netflix, unless you were unlucky/ lucky enough to only hear about this show while it was in its 6th and final season, before the movie came out, you will still have to continually wait for new seasons.
Best part of this series so far and where it ended, I have no idea what Piper's story will be next season. I'm guessing hardcore prison bitch with a cross-over episode with Tara from Sons of Anarchy (Where Piper takes Tara under her wing and makes Tara her bitch).
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"Mendez deservedly got suspended for slippin' the sausage to Daya after becoming a pawn in Red's gutsy plan to transfer the punishable burden of paternity from Bennett to Mendez with the help of a few swabs and a pregnancy test. I still don't know how that's really going to work; I agree with Bennett, it's a half-baked idea."

Especially by having Caputo walk in on it, the plan was that swabs, a pregnancy test, rape test, etc. weren't/aren't supposed to happen. It didn't need to be 'rape' rape, but any form of sex between CO and inmate is considered rape, so a rape kit or any other test wasn't needed. The plan was supposed to be: 1) Mendez rapes Daya; 2) Mendez is caught and fired; 3) When people see Daya's big(ger) belly, she tells them it was from Mendez' rape; and 4) Everyone believes it because the timing and lack of other suitors makes it logical and likely. Seems to me a pretty good plan overall. What they didn't expect was Figueroa wanting to hide everything and not firing Mendez, and Mendez falling in love with Daya... both of which puts a hiccup into the paternity issue and their plan.

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I think it was the first time in the series this happened to me, but I actually teared up during the first exchange between Taystee and Poussey after Taystee's return. Not only because I love both characters and their relationship with each other, but also because I understood both sides. I mean, I'd heard both arguments before about people "missing" or returning to jail -- I've seen Shawshank Redemption so many times and that's a big theme -- but the way both of these ladies portrayed it, it made me tear up. It IS really stupid to purposely return to jail, but the outside world can also be pretty terrible for people who'd been in the system for so long and don't have good support outside. Love them.
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They're both great singers, but Poussey and Norma breaking out into "surprise" singing were both too TV-y for me. Aside from that, though, I enjoyed both episodes pretty thoroughly.

"I hope we're not automatically taking Red's side in the Red-Gloria showdown." I'm surprised you said this, not because I think your wrong, but because I don't see why anyone would take Red's side. She's been acting pretty terrible ever since Pornstache started fucking with her.

I really have to give it up to Taryn Manning. I said this a couple times previously but I'll say it again, I really didn't like her (the actress, not necessarily the character). I haven't liked her in anything she'd been in... until this show. She seems perfect for this role, not only because she's quite believable as both a junky and a religious-fanatic, but also because she does portray some humanity to Pennsatucky for me. Despite the insanity and danger, I still find myself feeling sympathetic for her and quite often adorable... and in no way patronizingly. When Piper started beating the shit out of her, part of me wanted to applaud because she really had it coming (and because the show finally shows some serious danger), but then I heard Tiffany's little "no"s while getting punched and part of me felt terrible. Congrats Manning, you turned a hater into a kind-of-liker.
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Saw that thing coming with Norma, they did something similar with Kathy Geiss (if i remember the name right) in 30 Rock. Susan Boyle is a great rabbit-hat punchline.
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I felt like that final scene was super satisfying at first... But I assumed from how many times she hit little Pennsatucky, that Piper had become a murderer in self defence. The consequences of just beating her up aren't as interesting.
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If Piper killed Pennsatucky she not only would have a much longer sentence she would have gone with Miss Claudette to maximum security prison. Then it would be a completely different show.
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Oh man, I definitely thought she was dead! Which I found awesome. But I WAS feeling a little bad for Piper thinking that she was now going to be charged with murder, so perhaps it's for the best.
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Totally agree with this. I loved it when I thought Piper had killed her... kinda hated it when I read that Manning was promoted to series regular next season.
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100% agree. I thought Pennsatucky was dead and then I read that she was promoted to a series regular (that was a spoiler imo). I doubt she will be a ghost or hallucination so I guess she just got beat up---sick of me but I was hoping she was dead. However Manning did a fantastic job portraying Pennsatucky.

I was waiting for Tim to watch that flashback scene and realize they weren't all Lifetime movie plots...
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That Healy brought donuts to a business meeting. He will always be a good guy in my book.

I wanted to hate/dislike/wish death upon Pensatucky, but she isn't all that terrible. She was more annoying than a nuisance/threat. Sure she deserved to get beat up but painting her as a dark and troubled character through he actions didn't work in my book. Especially when you compare it to how OZ created its bad guys through despicable actions. I'd give this show a slight pass since its more of a fixture between Comedy/Drama (Comrama!).


I am also patiently waiting for the Crazy Eyes flashback backstory because she is the best.

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I told ya you'd be satisfied by Pennsatucky's flashback. ;D

I'm taking Gloria's side; it's pretty clear that she heads the kitchen better than Red.

I concur; I loved the shower scene. And I loved that Taystee was the one who saved her even more. She's become a real Dark Horse character.

Piper really did bring her troubles on herself; I wonder what direction she'll take next season? Maybe she'll start a prison gang.

My favorite episode was the one where everyone built Pennsatucky up only to bring her down. It just came together so amazingly. And the "scared straight" stuff was phenomenal.
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Great review Tim, I agree about almost everything, especially your comments about Healy and Pennsatucky. Healy's transformation was both surprising and disturbing, and I think Taryn Manning is fantastic. Unfortunately I'm not that fond of flashback scenes in general, and there's a lot of them on this show, so I don't think I can praise the show as highly as you did. But I enjoyed it, and I really liked the last few episodes. That was a great way to end the season.
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Very solid first season. Was very disappointed I didn't immediately have more to watch right away, and I definitely did not feel that way after House of Cards or Hemlock Grove. Loved Yoga Jones's little bit of backstory, and she sold that scene wonderfully, I hope she has some more to do next season. And I also agree about Taryn Manning, I've heard a lot of people not thrilled by her performance, but I thought she was solid all season, and fantastic the last couple episodes.
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I absolutely love this show, and I adore your reviews! Just wanted to let you know you're appreciated, and I'm looking forward to more Orange Is The New Black reviews from you next season. Have a great week!
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I love this show. Not only does it give real depth to a whole host of characters but it shows that the main protagonist can have flaws. Piper isn't perfect and deep down she has so many issues to sort out. There is funny, there is sad, there is scary and there is silly. The series feels like it's a breath of fresh air. I wish Netflix could do two or three seasons a year! My need for binge watching would be extremely satisfied!
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That is the problem of reviewing this show 2 episode a week. Most people who loved finished it sometime back. Even for me, I rated it only 6/10 and I finished it 2 weeks ago. I really liked Weeds and the creator so I hope season 2 will be much better. It is just not funny and exciting enough.
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