Orange is the New Black: Season 4

orange is the new black s4Spoiler alerts: Who are you Jenji Kohan, creator of the insanely beautiful Orange is the New Black? How do you take a consistently high quality show, change direction so dramatically and so effectively in season 4 and not only have it all work, have it soar. Astonishing comes to mind. Mind blowing. Gobsmacked.

Every single character transforms this season. Many in very dark ways. Caputo drinks the Kool-Aid, Maureen goes Fatal Attraction on Suzanne, Judy King shows us what it’s like to be the 1%, Lolly saves Alex and thinks she’s killed, Alex actually kills, Frieda helps them cover up, Yoga Jones gets a taste of the high life, Black Cindy has every hysterical line imaginable in this otherwise dark, twisted season, the new CO’s aren’t trained properly and act out on the inmates, double-occupancy is an understatement at Litchfield, Piper crosses Maria, Maria fucks with Piper’s business, Brook falls for Poussey and vice-versa, Sophia spends most of the season unraveling in every way possible in solitary, Healy suffers a breakdown, Piscatella proves that even bears go psycho with power, Nicky comes back and falls off the wagon, Taystee gets a new job and brokers a truce between Black Cindy and Allison, Maria gets sickeningly violent with Piper, Pennsatucky and Boo continue their friendship, Pennsatucky accepts Charlie’s apology for the rape, Boo freaks out, Blanca gets funky, Susanne’s tragic past is finally revealed, Lolly goes down for the murder during lockdown, Caputo sleeps with two women this season, Sophia returns to the prison, Poussey faces a shockingly tragic accident, Piper and Alex get back together, Poussey’s magical night in New York City gives closure, and Daya creates a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers.

The depth of character development, the juggling of issues – racism, corporate greed, class, PTSD, mental illness, religious intolerance, and all the violence made this season of Orange is the New Black more real than ever and broke my heart over and over again. I am in awe of the writers, actors, and directors who create this work of art. 5 out of 5 for the masterpiece that is the women of Litchfield Prison.

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