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Orange Is the New Black S02E01–S02E06


Note: I'll be reviewing Orange Is the New Black's second season in two big chunks, starting with the first six episodes, which Netflix released early to the press.

Note #2, The Revenge: There are spoilers for the first six episodes in the write-up below, so proceed at your own risk.


If the first season of Orange Is the New Black was so surprisingly good because it depicted women's prison as a community of strangers bonding instead of tearing each other part, then Season 2 is moving past the pleasantries and focusing on the more straightforward drama that arises from conflict between characters. That, and lots of butt-naked shower scenes.

Yes, Season 1 featured plenty of tension Season 1—especially between race cliques early on, and between Pennsatucky and Piper toward the end—but the residual image for me was the multi-colored parade of women on stage during the holiday showcase in the finale. Season 1 bamboozled us by shivving our expectations; with the exception of 'Tucky and Piper's brawl in the yard, we last left Orange Is the New Black with the feeling that no matter which side of the street you start out on, it's possible to find common ground when you're stuck in prison under the watchful eye of a guy with a disgustingly thick caterpillar mustache. Talk about a Kumbaya moment.

And with that foundation laid, Season 2 came at us with all the confidence of a triple-life-sentence inmate. The Litchfield Penitentiary is no longer a wonderland full of new faces and fresh rules, it's our daily routine. In the first six episodes of Season 2, Orange Is the New Black's emphasis changed from "We're all in this together!" feel of Season 1 to "Well, we're here—now what?" 


Conflict was everywhere as the focus of the story shifted away from Piper being an upper-class white girl who was thrown into prison to a thriving landscape full of interpersonal relationships. And now that we're somewhat familiar Orange Is the New Black's wonderful characters, it was time to start bouncing them off each other. 

That sort of pot-stirring needed a catalyst, and the introduction of Yvonne "Vee" Parker (Lorraine Toussaint) via Taystee's backstory in Episode 2 added the perfect complex menace. As Season 2's most meaningful new character so far, Vee is just what the show needed to evolve beyond prison hijinks and weekly character stories. 

Vee was at the center of most of the first six episodes' most interesting schisms, drawing a line between the African-American inmates and the Hispanic inmates, brewing an old-fashioned race war behind bars, and pitting two old hens, Vee and Gloria, against each other. Her psychological control over Taystee created a rift in one of the show's best friendships, with questions of sexuality pushing Taystee and Poussey apart. 

Vee also has a history with Red from somewhere back in the day, and her Machiavellian politics are ruffling Red's feathers as they battle for the ultimate control of contraband good. Plus, Vee is grooming Crazy Eyes into her little lieutenant, which is pulling her away from her free-agent status. In Season 1, I remember puzzling over how quickly the cafeteria scenes changed, as inmates eased up on choosing their table mates according to skin color and started to embrace a more mixed-race smorgasbord. But Vee's presence has brought back one of the most dangerous aspects of prison: racial divides. 

Of course, Vee is a perfect fit for Orange Is the New Black's complicated morals. Yeah, she's stirring shit up, but Litchfield wasn't exactly in a state of harmony before she arrived. Red's ouster and the rise of Gloria's and the Hispanics represented a major shift in power—and Gloria is only doing what's right for herself and her friends. As newbie prisoner Brook said, "I thought women's prison would be more like a community or girl power," but things have changed in Litchfield and for Orange Is the New Black, and prison politics are as thick as anything that's happening in Game of Thrones' King's Landing. 


Politics aren't the only thing getting amped up in Season 2. Sex! It was all over the place in the first six episodes! Lady-on-lady cunnilingus almost made a regular appearance, and Poussey and her German girlfriend even engaged in one of Mrs. Garrison's favorite sapphic activities. I point this out not as an outraged viewer calling for the eyes and ears of our impressionable children, but as a man who's surprised at the influx of boobs this season. I mean, we all expected boobs galore last year, but Season 1 was pretty restrained with regard to mammary maximization. But Season 2? There are boobs of all shapes and sizes, and they're in your face, in the background, kind of off to the side... it's the closest Orange Is the New Black has gotten to Chained Heat

But only some of us watch Orange Is the New Black for the breasts. Some of us watch for the fascinating character development, and that's back and strong as ever. It's the not-so-secret ingredient that makes the series so delicious, and once again it's largely taking place in pre-prison flashbacks that shed light on the lives our inmates led outside Litchfield's walls. Most of what we've seen so far followed the Season 1 formula: Girl in prison ended up in prison because someone wronged her, therefore making us feel compassion for her even if she's really nasty behind bars. In Season 1, Janae's backstory was a great example of that; in the first six episodes of Season 2, we've seen Gloria in an abusive relationship, Poussey being slighted for her sexual preferences, and Piper bearing witness to her father being a cheating bastard and her mom being a spineless wife. 

Emotionally, the backstories can be a bit manipulative—that's long been one of my chief complaints about the show. After all, these women are in prison, and it can't always be someone else's fault. That's why Morello's backstory was so refreshing. She's a frickin' psychopath stalker! As a danger to society (and especially Christopher), she belongs in prison—and she earned her trip there all by herself. It doesn't make me like her any less, either. It's just part of her character that I think we all knew was in there somewhere. This is the kind of backstory I wanted to see. If the show really wants to portray all these women from different backgrounds, some of them have to be people with problems they manufactured themselves.


And now let's take a quick look at each episode with mini-capsule reviews.


Episode 1: "Thirsty Bird" (Piper's flashback)

This unusual outing took Piper away from Litchfield and flew her to Chicago, where she was forced to take the witness in the trial of Piper and Alex's former employer, the leader of the drug cartel. As an episode on its own, it was a total mind-screw, because OITNB is most successful as an ensemble drama and "Thirsty Bird" made Piper the main focus. It brought Piper back to Alex, who would screw her over again (of course), and it hardened Piper into a sourpuss. The flashbacks to young Piper learning her family's ways of suffocating the truth worked well with the main story; in fact, they were some of the best tie-ins the series has ever done with a flashback. And thank God OITNB is binge-able, because I could not imagine sitting tight and watching just this episode since it blew up the series' structure without telling us what was going on. 


Episode 2: "Looks Blue, Tastes Red" (Taystee's flashback)

Another structure-buster, as our heroine Piper was absent, and the weight of the hour fell on the rest of the characters. This episode introduced Vee through Taystee's flashback, and as I watched the first two episodes, I initially had the feeling that Season 2 was going to be weaker than Season 1. But instead, the first two hours served to set things up for later, and now that we know how important Vee is to the season, it's probably worth going back for another viewing. I guess Daya's constipation was some metaphor for not being to let go, which was a recurring theme in the episode. 

"Looks Blue, Tastes Red," was also when I realized that OITNB's second season is going to be a lot more crude than Season 1. Or maybe it was when Piper's cell mate farted on the toilet in the premiere? Either way, this season has added a lot more humor that 8-year-olds will find hilarious.

 


Episode 3: "Hugs Can Be Deceiving" (Suzanne's flashback)

This episode was when things really started to pick up for me. We already knew that Suzanne had been adopted by a white family, but seeing how she was raised and the difficulties she experienced—especially as she was telling her white princess classmates that dragons burn little girls—punched me in the heart. Since OITNB tells so many stories simultaneously, many of them develop slower than they would on other shows, and "Hugs Can Be Deceiving" was the turning point for many of Season 2's early arcs. Vee started manipulating Suzanne and amassing her army; we got our first glimpse of Nicky's bang diary; the Latinas made their declaration of war against Vee and her peeps. And the biggest shock of all was the revelation that Suzanne ran outside while Piper and 'Tucky were fighting in the Season 1 finale and clocked Piper cold, I'm guessing because her deep-seated hatred for dandelion white girls, which can also manifest in love, was too strong. 



Episode 4: "A Whole Other Hole" (Morello's flashback)

This episode was one of the series' best. Just flat-out brilliant. Morello's flashback was largely the reason for the hour's success; it was one of the first times a flashback on this show was truly surprising. There was no happy ending in it, there was no soul-searching lesson in failure. It simply revealed a side of a character that was dark and dangerous (did anyone else think she was considering dropping that clock radio into the bathtub with her?). "I've decided not to wear a veil, it's too traditional," Morello told Yoga while she continued to fantasize about Christopher, who she'd only gone on one date with. "And I want him to see my face." OMG. So delusional. Meanwhile, a rift formed between Poussey and Taystee, and Taystee naturally fell into the arms of her surrogate mother Vee. And that older bank-robber lady went to the hospital for chemo. "A Whole Other Hole" was all about seeing the end (or not seeing the end, in Morello's case), and I loved every minute of it. A-plus! 


Episode 5: "Low Self Esteem City" (Gloria's flashback)

Tensions ramped up as Season 2 took shape around a series of broken relationships. The blacks and the Hispanics were at war, and things even got physical when Janae tripped Daya. Vee played like she wanted to cool things down, but manipulated Gloria into doing exactly what she wanted, paving the way for Taystee and her friend to join Vee in custodial. That turned the tide in their war, and Red was smart enough to see it and take advantage of it. This is when the season really became about controlling the smuggling operations, which leads to power. Gloria had it as the head of the kitchen, Vee was gaining it by assembling a team in custodial, but Red was in the best position because Vee and Gloria no longer saw her as a threat, allowing her to start her own operation out of the garden. It's a three-way competition now, even if two of the competitors don't realize it yet. I didn't care much for Gloria's flashback, but I was glad when that dude burned. Just one question: What kind of rooms have two doors that both lock from the outside? That just seems like poor planning to me. 



Episode 6: "You Also Have a Pizza" (Poussey's flashback)

Now the show is really branching out with side stories that support the main plot of Vee vs. Red vs. Gloria. The idea of starting a newsletter and researching the financial shenanigans of the prison finally gave Piper—who's supposedly our main character, but isn't really feeling like it this season (which is okay)—something to do. She's always been on a collision course with prison management, and this is the perfect way to speed up the inevitable crash. Piper versus Fig would be an epic scene, wouldn't it? 

Meanwhile, Healy—who remains one of OITNB's most interesting characters because I started off loving him and now I hate him but I also feel sorry for him—was looking for a friend in Caputo after his wife told him he had no friends. Their awkward hangout (well, it was awkward for Caputo; Healy seemed just fine) was hilarious. But the saddest I ever felt in these first six episodes was when Fisher brought Luschek to Caputo's show and Caputo was crushed. That. Was. Painful. He may have a habit of jerking it after meetings with prisoners, but he's still got a heart. As for Poussey's flashback, what the hell was she thinking when she tried to pull a gun on her girlfriend's dad? 


NOTES

– Where is PORNSTACHE?!?!?!? I miss him.

– Daya and John's relationship needs a kick in the booty. It's pretty stagnant right now. 

– Whose backstory are you most excited to see next?  

– What do you think of Larry and Polly's sorta-relationship? It feels a little bit weird and forced to me.  


What did you think of the first six episodes of Season 2? 


Check back soon for my review of the remainder of the season, and please, no spoilers for Episodes 7–13 in the comments!


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/12/2015

Season 3 : Episode 13

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Part 2? Part 2? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone...Anyone....??
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You can tell this is Jenji Kohan, similar style of writing to Weeds. Some of her characters comments are hilarious, and every so often she makes political statements eg.

Poussey: "I thought special guest would be like, Monique, Wesley Snipes or sumat, not some cigarette honking fuck-nut reminding us that the only people that wana hire felons are already hated by everybody else. "

Cindy: "Now see they aint so bad, people can decide for themselves if they wana smoke, the real evil are them companies killing us without consent – Monsanto, Rio Tinto, Big Pharma, BP, Halliburton – I’ve been reading that there’s some dark shit going down, not from any of those fuckers who wana hire us, the real criminals, they don’t bother us small timers."

Which is out of character for Cindy really, it's too intelligent of comment for her to make.
Which is out of ch
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Morello: "He’s getting married on my date! What kind of a woman doesn’t want to pick her own date?"

Nicky: "Somebody that doesn’t get exited by the wedding and does show a complex in societies bull shit need to infantilize grown women."

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Caputo: "Let’s bury the hatchet, or something with a less violent history than that particular idiom." :-)

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Just binge watched these six hours and the only thing I can say is: what the hell is wrong with Piper's eyebrows?
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Seriously, where is part 2?????
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You never posted part 2 of this! I love your reviews, and am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the last half of the season :D
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Yes, seriously, we have been waiting for weeks!! I need external validation for my opinions!! I'm not being sarcastic. I really do.
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The verdict is in I just finished Episode 4 last night and it was brilliant! My favorite of the season. It contains everything that makes OITNB great in the first place. I hope it can keep that level longer.
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Ohhhh, scissor me timbers!
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Ive just finished the 6th episode and while im loving season 2, I feel like there needs to I've more Piper. Whilst the show works well with an ensemble cast, it still needs More of a central figure
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Ok. Morello was/is my favorite character. I can honestly say that a transmission character has never made me feel so heartbroken before. Yael Stone makes me want hug her character and love her and I want her to be happy. Every time I see her I almost start cry. Fun fact: I originally thought Morello was 40 year old woman, but I finally IMDB'd the actress and found out she is a year Robert than myself! She is goooood.
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how much time has piper done in the show so far just wondering
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i think they said 7.Not 100% sure tho.
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I've had a problem with Piper's background since the beginning. She's just too random. That's supposed to be attractive, I guess, but for me she is just not a real character. This new season started by giving extra information on her, and her family. However, as Tim said, flashbacks are a bit manipulating on the emotional side. And it seems now I have to understand why Piper is so randomly crazy... it is her parents fault. Well, maybe there was no better way to fix her character than this. Luckily, the rest of the women are growing and growing as characters, I loved the story about Morello the most, but all the rest were also good. And sticking to the comedy side alone, this is more than worth watching, despite Piper. The other hole situation was hilarious :)
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Most of my feelings about the first six episodes are covered in other people's comments, but I will say that I really liked seeing the guards off duty and hanging out in episode six. More of that please.
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Yep, relationships don't always work on this show. I guess Daya and John will be found out finally and that's how the story will get more interesting? Maybe. As for Larry, I still don't find him interesting in the least.
So far Red continues being the best, hers is a story worth watching.
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I'm gonna do some research on that scissoring... Just to verify it's a real thing of course.
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Just finished episode 2, and holy hell was it slow. A whole episode without the main character is kind of crazy imo.
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Unless Yoga's lying (which I doubt, because she'll always be Patti Mayonnaise to me, and Patti doesn't lie), we pretty much know her backstory: Pot farmer who shot a kid that she thought was a deer. Manslaughter and possession with intent to sell.
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Loved Morello's flashback but did anyone else find it a bit ridiculous they'd leave her with a car unattended for multiple hours...?
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I find it so odd that the guard is instructed to stay with the frail woman dying of cancer and leaving a perfectly healthy inmate alone with keys. I think the CO is supposed to make hourly visits to check on Morello but Fisher doesn't do that.
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I think it's another symbol of Lytchfield going to shit. Perhaps they are skimping on training and properly enforcing procedure as well? Fisher is new and perhaps she is supposed to keep an eye on Morello? She is a character who tries a bit to hard to be the inmates' friend rather than their keeper.
And of course trust is the other element. Minimum security; Morello knows she would be in serious trouble if she got caught stretching her privileges and nobody seems to like The Shu.
Though that being said, it would not be hard for Morello to catch up with her mates for a coffee...
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I suspect there is a level of trust built up for Morello after a certain time with good behaviour. It IS minimum security, and they know she knows that if she were to run, her sentence would quadruple when she was caught.
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Not to mention losing her van privileges.
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Yeah, I believe this is how it works. I don't know in the US, but in my country some people only sleep certain days in prison and are even allowed to get out to work by themselves, so I guess it all depends on the risk that is perceived by the system through time.
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Yeah, I thought it was odd they would leave her with the van for 3 hours unattended. She should have been supervised the entire time.
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I think one of the major problems with the show is that the prison is not meant to represent actual prison procedures. This prison has fraud/poor management, which does make it believable that everything would be going to hell there. Still, I just don't believe the gov't would let that crap go on without intervening.
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Mismanagement sure that's believable and the prison is run poorly but letting an inmate have access to a car in public unattended for like 2 hours I think it was is pretty unrealistic in my opinion.
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She was prob a trusted inmate.You know,have really good behavior for a long time and get really good privileges?
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Episode 1 was crap, the whole Piper & Alex story is naff I think, and it's had a few errors - like the first episode of S1, Alex is already in prison yet for some reason she's in Piper's induction.

I've no sympathy for Piper, she's like a gullible love stuck teenager, it was obvious Alex was playing her - no don't tell the truth and get time off your sentence, we need to lie coz he's dangerous - and it never crossed her mind that Alex was playing her so she could make a deal herself, der Piper, how many times will she fall for it, she's meant to be smart. And as if nobody would tell her where she was going or why, and, why the hell was Alex already there? Or, why wasn't she on the same plane that Piper was on, especially since she gave evidence after her? Such a weak and crap 1st episode.

Thankfully, episodes 2 & 3 were good I thought, Suzanne and Tastey are my favourites though, I've been waiting so see their back-stories.
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Ha Ha :-) Watching episode 4 , loving some of the sayings this season, I might be abit slow not to have heard this before but ...... "SISTER from another MISTER", obviously instead of Brother from another Mother.

And "Enough of the CLIT-ERFERENCE", obviously a female version of cock-blocking :-)
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I heard it on Awkward. before:)
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This season has been so quotable, most definitely, both with humorous saying like 'Clitaference' (spelling? lol), but also with some more philosophical sayings as well.
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Ha, yeh, I considered spelling it that way too :-)
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What do you mean her induction?
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I meant episode 2 season 1, when Piper is a room with 7 other newbies, 6 of them in orange, 2 of them in beige/khaki/green or whatever colour it is, 1 of them being Alex. They're all sat in a room watching a video and getting an induction, Mendez tells them about weapons and violence, Fig pops in to tell them to come to her for any feminine needs etc. I might be wrong on that though it's been a while since I saw it, maybe it wasn't just newbs in the room, or maybe Alex had only been in a short while and not had her induction yet, but she was out of orange and later in that episode we find out that she already has a job and knows other inmates. So it's not really an error, I just thought it was odd that Alex was in her 'induction' when it seemed as though she'd already been in long enough to have had hers.

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Gotcha lol.Maybe she was just sitting in to be close to piper or something?IDK lol.
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You should probably correct the headline "Orange Is the New Black S01E01–S01E06"
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Don't hate on me for this, please? My least favorite character is Piper and episode 2 scared me, because I thought they'd change the entire cast and it was going to get 100% and violent. Ok, the flashbacks were good, we understand about lying, and why she got screwed by her ex-Prepon. Thing is, I was very invested in the first season, I'd say it was as good as HoC in a different way. Except Spacey, rascal that he is, is - ok, not likable, but you love how evil he is. I really liked the group dynamic and as Tim said, the Christmas special thing was a very cute way of letting all that gel.
Piper is much more unreal in her expectations and attitudes. Whereas I wanted her to damage the enemy as she finally did at the end of S1, in S2 episode 1 I found myself wanting someone to slap her around.
[Fortunately, you can't reach me, this is the Internet!]
My wife now refuses to watch it, but I think I'll give it a couple more episodes. I apologize to everyone who thinks season two is great and hope that I will come around after more episodes. I'll be disappointed if not, because I want Netflix to do a a lot more work like HoC and OITNB.
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If it makes you feel any better, I discovered this page by googling "OITNB, Piper, annoying" to make sure it wasn't just me. And I didn't even start to REALLY dislike her until S3 when she just became unbearable. But I never found her as interesting as the other girls, I mean it's based on the real Piper's real life story so obviously she's important because without her there would literally be no show. And I think she was really important in S1 because she was a way for us to be introduced to the prison among other things. But I think the show was really smart to start breaking away from her & making it more of an ensemble show because the
other characters are much more interesting to me.
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I have problems with Piper too. Of all characters that Piper could have been, she's like the most random and undefined that we could get, I think. Not sure yet if this season 2 is making her better or worse, really. But episode 2 happened without her, so that alone gave me hopes about the rest of the season. I have chosen to see Piper as something external to the prison and it works so far. She is not at the center of things for now (have not seen the final episodes yet), and that is an improvement for me.
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You're obviously entitled to your opinion (as much as anyone else on the internet, I guess), so don't feel bad. In fact, I think you'll find majority of fans have varying degrees of hatred towards Piper. I myself like her a lot; her flaws are what makes her a compelling and realistic character in my eyes. Piper is a very self-centred person, and like you said, has unreal expectations and attitudes. But that just shows me she's human, I find a lot of the other characters in the series have just as unlikable traits, maybe some even more so in my eyes.

Also, you should definitely keep watching. If Piper is your main problem with the series you'll be pleased to know this season focuses at lot less on her character as it aims to become more of an ensemble series that showcases it's diverse characters.
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I'll give a few, and thank you for your understanding :-) Thing is, I love the rest of the cast and their flashbacks. Very cool part of the concept.
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Voted for episode 3. In retrospect, it set a bunch of plot lines in motion without necessarily feeling like an episode which was just "moving the pieces around the chess board." Plus finally "the gang's all here" for the first time, as the assistant warden points out.
Episode 4 was fun too, but having picked up on the fact that Morello was bat-guano crazy over Chistopher, I didn't find it all that revelatory.
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I picked Morello's flashback ep. That was one of the most revealing for me. I really didn't think it was like that. I mean, I knew that she might be in denial of him moving on or something, but I honestly had no idea that she'd turn out to be a freakin' stalker. OMG!!! WTF?!

Also all the stuff about the "other hole" was somehow heartwarming and sweet. I know it's strange, but to think that these grown, tough gals don't even know their own anatomy enough to know that they have a pee hole.

This show is endlessly delightful. and since I devoured it so quickly, as well as the 1st season, I may just have to go back and watch it all again.

I wonder more what Pornstache has been doing with his off time?

Daya & John's relationship until this point really began to annoy me, you're right, it does need a good kick.

I'm not sure who's story I want to see more of...

Larry & Polly were a bit weird but I don't think they were forced. I felt like it was totally organic for both of them to have done exactly what they did. Larry is a gentle guy who doesn't really go out there and seek adventure and also he likes the familiar. And Polly has a newborn and is going crazy with her husband gallavanting around trying to "find" himself. So they are both in this position to be more affable.
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I agree with you about Morello. I mean, it was obvious from her conversations with Nicky that "Christopher" was no longer invested in their relationship, but I always assumed that he just stopped caring about her AFTER she went to prison. I had no idea they only ever went on ONE date, I thought it was at least several months of dating.
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I realize you wrote this ages ago but I got into the show late. However I've already watched all 3 seasons twice & am now forcing my fiancé to watch them so I'll have an excuse for a 3rd time so I'm already in super fan status. Anyway there are a few inconsistencies in the show but the one that continues to bug me the most is when Nikki confronts Morello in S1 about her relationship with Christopher, she says either he only came to visit her once when she'd been there for 3 weeks or he hasn't visited her again since after she'd been in prison 3 weeks. But either way after Morello's flashback episode, it wouldn't make sense that he would come to visit her at all when she first got there. Unless he was literally just coming to gloat over the fact that she was in prison but that seems far fetched, even after his confrontation visit. Sorry, it just really bugs me. My feeling is that the writers hadn't really fleshed out Morello's backstory at that point & then probably later on one of them was like, "hey, wouldn't it be awesome to actually make adorable, sweet Morello a total psychopath who imagined this whole relationship with this dude & who turns out to be a dangerous stalker who is also running a secret mail order scam? Incidentally, I wonder if the mail order scam is the actual reason she's in prison? Why else have that in there? But yeah, it was a brilliant idea & my fav of the first 6 episodes too, just that line from S1 really bugged me. I just wish one of the writers would have caught that & somehow weaved it in so it made sense.
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Can I just say, young Tastyee and young Suzanne did a great job portraying the body language of their older selves. Those young actors got it down pat!
I like that Piper has got some edge now, it makes her a lot more interesting. Wish she did more to bring the corrupt system down. Did not need to spend anytime on Larry. At all.
Still enjoying the backstories. Glad we finally saw Morello's.

Ive always liked Red, she has always been one of my faves. Gloria is growing on me for season 2 as well. Totally rooting for Red and Gloria. Vee feels so dangerous and manipulative. These 3 prison-mamas with their own agendas build up so much tension and story within the season that I completely forgot about Alex. Think we have enough to deal with for now.


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I thought the same thing about the young actresses. I mean wow! Vee is such a freakin' psychopath. I have rarely disliked and despised a character as much as her.
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Yeah, I'm on I think episode 8 right now, but I'm hoping they actually do a flashback of Vee and Red when they were running the prison years ago. That would be interesting, especially when you think about the comments that Vee and Taystee were dropping about how things use to be.
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keep watchin bud:)
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I did. Yay! And holy crap I hate Vee.
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Poussey's girlfriend... I approve.
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Larry and Polly's relationship has to happen for larry to forgive piper for cheating because he is in a cheating way
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Yes, but what's Polly's excuse. Piper did nothing to her. That was a dirty move on her part.
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Just finished whole season!!!!What a perfect ending...prob better no no wait,Defininatley better than last season.No spoilers from me folks:)
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Season 2 for me seems a little slower paced. I don't say that as a bad thing either but I felt in season 1 everything was being thrown at us at once. Maybe I feel like it's a bit slower thise season because it's taking me forever to .... get the episodes to watch but ultimately I like this pace.

I swear I thought episode one was a dream. I thought any minute now Piper's gonna wake up back in Litchfield. It was nice though seeing her in a different prison setting meeting different people. And the dude that wanted her panties.... I like how she was relieved when she found out he was a hit man and not a rapist.

I totally saw Alex fucking Piper over. I mean ... that's kind of what she does isn't it? and you'd think Piper would get that, you'd think she was realize how Alex has manipulated her but ... love is blind?

*sighs* really Larry? you're going to go after your ex-fiance's best friend just cause one of her titties is hanging out and you're lonely?.... I saw that coming as well... like pfft... go find a random person to screw if you're really in need ... or a pie... whichever you prefer. I just... I can't.

Vee... this manipulative chick... wow! I sympatized with her a little at he beginning but now? no way man. Once she started messing with Crazy Eyes... shit got real. She's tearing Taystee and Poussey apart and that's not cool. She's doing her same old tricks, using people to get her way.

I think out of all the flashbacks so far this season I enjoyed Pousseys' the most. It surprised me to hear her speaking Germany and I just kind of liked that it showed that she was a loving person who just wanted to be with the woman she loved.

Crazy Eyes' flashback was just sad. I love how the mother just kind of lost her shit when the other yuppie mom told her she didn't want Suzanne at the little girls party. I imagine this is how most parents fill when their child is being unfailrly left out. Do we know if Suzanne has Autism?

I've kind of enjoyed seeing the prison guards stories a little more. Caputo still kind of creeps me and Healy, well I'm still mad at him but it still nice seeing them outside of the prison setting.

The whole sex bet with Big Boo and Nicky was just silliness to me.

The reporter dude I think is going to get Piper into some deep shit. And Larry is again using Piper to push his career somewhere. Piper's right.... you are the moon...

I agree with you about how some of the flashblacks just show the women as victims. but you know, maybe it's just a small part of their lives and not the real reason they ended up in prison... then again maybe I just don't understand how the flashbacks work lol.That being said... Never did I suspect poor soft spoken Morello was such a freakin nut-job. She has such an innocent face...

So far so good for the first 6 episodes....






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Yeah, the fact that Piper didn't predict Alex's next move was ridiculous. She's the reason Piper is in prison in the first place. I guess the whole lying thing still hasn't hit home enough for her to think twice about trusting Alex. I think they have a toxic relationship, they hurt and use each other. Alex complains like it's just Piper, but if she really loved Piper, she would have respected her decision to keep her out of her drug dealing and they wouldn't be in this mess.

Vee needs to leave my girls' Taystee and Poussey alone! Their friendship is the best and I'm so mad this woman is ruining it. I feel like she's going to get one of them thrown into solitary and I don't want that.

I loved Poussey's flashback. She's one of my favorites and I was so happy to see where she came from. Seeing her speak German threw me for a loop as well.

I feel like most people are victims at some point in their life, it doesn't change the fact that they did something wrong. Take Gloria for instance, regardless of how we feel about her getting abused, she was still stealing from the government and that theft is completely separate from what was going on in her personal life.
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Vee needs to leave my girls' Taystee and Poussey alone! Their friendship is the best and I'm so mad this woman is ruining it. I feel like she's going to get one of them thrown into solitary and I don't want that.

I've been holding my breath. Like seriously, it's hard watching what Vee is doing to Taystee and Poussey.

You know I think with the flashbacks, they are just trying to show us that these people are human, maybe trying to show us the struggle of life as well as the fact that they are criminals. Who knows? lol I still enjoy watching them and I think the flashbacks this season have been pretty rockin!
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Yeah this season did have some predictable moments, I could see both Alex's betrayal of Piper and Larry's hook-up with Polly coming.

I liked Crazy Eyes' flashback the most because it was the saddest, and I also loved her mother's moment quite a lot. I have no idea what Suzanne 'has', surely someone around here has a theory?

I found Nicky and Big Boo's sex competition a bit crude at first too, but as I said in one of my other comments, I quickly came to realise how rare it is for a series to portray female sexuality so openly and in such an uncompromising way. It was really refreshing to see female characters act this like, so ultimately it's a story line I commend despite its silliness.
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I loved Poussey's, Morello's and Suzanne's flashbacks. I pretty much hated Piper in the premiere episode; seemed to me like an unnecessary regression to her self-involved drama and completely undercut her supposed "lone wolf" thing. It's possible that was the point - to show that this girl lies so much that her whole existence is a lie (in contrast to what she claims to be), but I mostly found it really annoying and created further antipathy in me for the character.

One thing that bothered me: last season when Suzanne's parents visited her, they seemed to be in their 70s. In the flashback this season, Suzanne graduated in 2000 and her parents appeared to be about 45. I can't let go of the "rapid TV aging" I feel like I'm supposed to believe happened in 13 years. I'll go back and watch last season's scene, because it's possible I'm misremembering. But did anyone else notice/have an issue with that?
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I did, absolutely. I was like, huh?! Why'd they get so old? Maybe the stress of Suzanne being in prison aged them. That was a bit strange and incongruous. I now have another reason to go back and re-watch Season 1.
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I've just finished watching 13 episode of Season 2. OITNB returned in full glory - it was amazing.

I'm just sad I will have to wait a whole freaking year for season 3.

Piper, Alex and Nicky remain my 3 favorite OITNB's characters.
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And now I've finished the whole season. Come on Tim, and everyone else, I need to talk about it!!!
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I know right!
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POWER? worth watching?
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Oh my.. it´s so good to have OITNB back. It´s like meeting an old friend.. I miss these crazy women! And I really do enjoy Piper - she is no newbie anymore:).
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@thekaitling recently posted an article that inquired why there aren't more strong female friendships on television, and perhaps because it's been an entire year since we've seen the Litchfield girls, unfortunately I think Orange Is The New Black was forgotten about. It's a series that obviously showcases a female-dominated and orientated cast, and therefore, obviously, some really heartwarming friendships.

That being said, one of the most commonly discussed notions in the comment section of the post was in regards to the fact that once audiences (particularly men) see two female characters becoming close, they instantly begin to perpetuate the idea that they must be lesbians.

This could potentially cause a problem in the way in which Orange Is The New Black portrays it's characters, since there's barely a female inmate that hasn't shown lesbian tendencies as some point throughout their stay in prison, whether they actually consider themselves lesbian, bi-sexual, or 'gay for the stay' or otherwise.

I personally have found Nicky and Carrie "Big Boo" Black's sex-competition in this first half of the season quite refreshing, albeit a little crude. It's rare that a series is able to portray female sexuality so openly in such an uncompromising way, which I obviously commend. But I do have to wonder, by having nearly every one of it's characters have lesbian tendencies could it potentially be implying a certain stereotype about females in prison, and simultaneously comprising the idea that, at least on television, that two women can be close friends without ever having to get sexual?

What are everyone else's thoughts?
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I'm not sure how many episodes you've see, but I think they make a good comment on it with Taystee and with the two spanish girls. In the episode with Poussey, we see that Taystee isn't attracted to Poussey, and yet she still wants to cuddle with her. That's a big deal.

Having someone to touch, to kiss, to hold, to hug or hold hands with, these are things that we citizens take for granted while the prisoners are forced to make the most of whatever little physical contact they can find. After a certain amount of time, I think it stops being about gender and just becomes about having someone there, period. Throw a neglected sex drive in the mix and well...some people are bound to experiment. I'm sure if the prison was integrated, some of the characters that we've seen engage in homosexuality would choose a man, rather than a woman. Take crazy Morello for instance. She was hooking up with Nicky last season, but we haven't seen her do anything since then. She's clearly crazy for guys though so I think we know which way she really leans.

Yes, some of the girls are lesbians or have gay tendencies. We knew Piper was bisexual before she even arrived at prison, but it's not always about sexuality or exploring it. Sometimes, people are just lonely.
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I can't help but feel that if just one character on the series said, 'Wow, Pennsatucky, did you get new teeth?', that it would really help to avoid problems that I'm assuming her character will cause in the not-so-distant future.

Honestly, I was sort of hoping Piper had killed her (that would have been dark!), to avoid her craziness all over again, but she's been surprisingly quite this half of the season. Anyway, here's hoping whatever the writers decide to do with her in the next half isn't too painful.

Not liking the idea of Leanne becoming the next 'Pennsatucky' though, as it was hinted in the last episode, 'You Also Have a Pizza', when she started to boss Angie around.
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There were a couple of things I was worried about before the season started, just from hearing about its production, but my fears have been instantly classed an unwarranted.

Alex was such an instrumental character to the series in the first season that I thought it would hinder the series greatly knowing that Laura Prepon would only feature in the first episode, but I was wrong. Story-wise, it made total sense (even if her betrayal of Piper, once again, was completely obvious since she appeared in the first episode), but since the series is intent on becoming more of an ensemble and trying to focus more on other characters, Alex's departure has resulted in less screen time for Piper, and more for others.

And since it was obvious that the series was trying to do this, I was also hesitant about the addition of Lorraine Toussaint's character, Vee, to the mix, since the series already seemed to have an abundance of characters to delve into. And while the series does boast this positive aspect, Vee has been an exciting addition to the series, providing majority of the drama and/ or conflict that has occurred between characters this season. If only Kimiko Glenn's Soso was just as compelling a new character, here's hoping she'll improve.
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Oh my god, Soso is soooo annoying! Although, the whole hippie/showering thing is pretty funny. When you have hillbillies like Pennsatucky and crew telling you to shower, you must really stink.
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Suzanne 'Crazy Eyes' Warren has definitely had the best flashback sequence thus far this season. I loved her mother's little outburst in defence of her to that other mother who didn't want her at her daughter's party. And I also liked the fact that the same trait in her mother ultimately was a large contribution to Suzanne's mental state, as shown by her breakdown at her graduation.

And her dragon story was the coolest! I tell stories like that too, they're way more exciting than stereotypical fare.

I really like what the writers have done with her character thus far this season, and how they've distanced her from her Piper obsession. It'll be interesting to see what happens with her and Vee, I'm assuming at some point she'll be burned in that relationship too.
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Yeah, and I'm dreading the fallout from that. Vee is going to screw my girls over. I'm worried either Taystee, Poussey, or Suzanne are going to end up in solitary. Not cool.

I enjoyed the dragon story, and I felt so bad because I knew it wasn't going to end well. The worst part is, if she stopped after the dragon came to the house and lit it on fire, one of the other girl's could have salvaged the story with a brave prince, or the princess knew some magic or whatever. I think the reception would have been different, but Suzanne killed her off. I wish we knew what exactly her disability was.

Did you see the scene with Suzanne and Morello?
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Oh you just reminded me of that scene between Morello & Suzanne at the Valentine's Day party! I'd almost forgotten it but it was such a lovely little scene. They were both wonderful. I want to know why Suzanne is in jail more than I want to know about what's wrong with her mentally at this point. Actually I'd like to know both but it seems odd that in 3 seasons she's only had 1 flashback when she's one of the most well known characters from the show. Not to mention (I believe) the only one of the actresses to win a Golden Globe (or Emmy, I keep forgetting sorry) two years in a row. It's a testament to her acting that she stands out so much even when she's not the main focus of an episode. But I'd really like to know more about her background!
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It's a testament to the series, and Piper as a character, that I would have been quite happy to continue watching her time in prison in Chicago. Ultimately that didn't end up being the case, and of course I'm glad the series was able to quickly revisit the inmates at Litchfield, but it really goes to show the potential longevity the series naturally has. It could run for ten plus seasons and still be interesting with dynamic/ setting changes and good writing.
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That was such an odd episode, it seemed almost like a different show. I've watched it twice so far & appreciated it more the 2nd time. It had a unique feel to it & I realized it was one of the episodes that Jodie Foster directed & I wondered if maybe that was part of it. I'm not sure what the other one she directed is, though I know she did two. I do admit, I was itching to get back to Litchfield as much as Piper was though!
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I do honestly do without Larry at this stage, particularly in the wake of him kissing Polly (which could be seen coming, but I was still hoping it wouldn't).

His story seemed particularly peculiar in the second episode, 'Looks Blue, Tastes Red', since Piper didn't appear in it.

And the fact that he's trying to use Piper's incarnation once again to further his writing career is repetitive. I'm not sure how I feel about the entire inquiry into the prison's funds storyline to be honest, it just seems a lot less dramatic (and a lot more tedious) than the interpersonal drama the series showcases so well.
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Who's backstory do I want to see next? Yoga Jones would have been a good one if her story hadn't already been revealed last season.

How about the mute, Norma?
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Daya and Bennett's relationship is pretty yawn at this stage. Surely her pregnancy, or even their relationship, has to come to light to all the other characters before the end of the season.
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I was going to comment that I missed Pornstache, but then I felt a little bad since he's such a vile character, so thanks for covering me on that one, Tim.
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Six episode review, dang I've only watched two, I might struggle to keep up with Mr Surette. What I've seen so far has been very good, possibly not quite as good as Season 1 though.
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Your patience will be rewarded.
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6 eps down :)
We know Yoga Jones' backstory from season 1. She grew weed & accidentally shot her neighbours kid, thinking it was a deer...
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That was a powerful scene. It's not often that I'd suggest that a series uses flashbacks (I'm not a huge fan), but it's inherently built into the structure of OITNB. I feel having Yoga Jones tell this story last season, rather than have us view it in flashbacks, as we have with so many other characters, is very much a wasted opportunity for the series.
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True, but I don't think her connection with Janae would have been as strong if they used flashbacks. I really enjoyed that bonding moment for them, especially since they went on to have that weird electric shock therapy session in the chapel lol
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Phew! Finished watching the first 6 episodes. What a ride. Nice review Tim but I prefer last year's format. OITNB is top notch show that deserves to be reviewed more thoroughly .
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I prefer last year's format better as well, it allowed for more discussion of each episode. That being said, I can see why they've done it this way, seeing as the one episode per day review of House of Cards didn't end up working so well.
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I don't think it's quite as good as season one so far, but it's pretty close. I like that the focus shifted a bit away from Piper (nothing against Piper, but most characters are just more interesting than her, especially without the Alex drama). Vee is particularly awesome, and most of the plotlines are great. Except Daya and John, of course. Daya and John are awful and I want them to go away.
The flashbacks were a bit hit and miss, though. I loved Taystee's and Suzanne's and Gloria's was alright, but Poussey's and Morello's were just awful. Poussey trying to pull a gun on the German officer was so profoundly moronic that I just lost a lot of respect for her, and I saw the Morello twist coming a mile away (early last season).
On the subject of Morello, I find it pretty unrealistic that they'd let a stalker drive a van around the city in the first place and especially leave her unattended for three hours with the keys. And that they don't track the car via GPS to know where she is. And if she really is in jail for trying to kill Christopher's girlfriend, why is Susan humoring her and asking about the wedding? She must know it's bullshit, right?
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I was also wondering why they didn't take the keys. I know she has to drive up to the front at the end of the session as the trek to the car would be too much after chemo, especially in the cold, but I think it would be smarter if the guard went out to take the keys at the beginning of the session and returned them towards the end when it was time to go.
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Aaaaaand I've watched the whole thing in one day. I take back my first sentence. This was way better than season one. And what a perfect ending.
Now wake me up in one year.
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Just finished the first six episodes, and it's still great. This show just does such a great job with the characters, and it shows that even the loathsome characters like Healy are still human. Don't give a rat's ass about Larry (Jason Biggs), or Piper's friend who just had the baby (don't know her name because I don't care). I hope they eventually write them out. The Morello episode was definitely the best, and probably had the most unique backstory so far.
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Wait. Season 1 also had 13 episodes.
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Factual errors in a Tim Surette review? Say it ain't so.
(I kid, I kid. I love ya Tim)
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Staff
Fixed.
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Just watched the first episode of the new season! Love it just as much as I loved season 1! Also, the first season also had 13 episodes, did it not?
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It did! We've fixed the error.
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I just watched the first four episodes. I can't believe how much I missed this show. It's amazing how you can lose four hours in all of these wonderful characters the show brings. Morello's flashback was very heartbreaking and sad. I want to keep on watching but I also don't want run through the whole season in one weekend (I probably will).
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am going to start binging very soon
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