What started off as a truly shocking and poignant show has slowly nose dived into territory where they need to wrap things up and put Orange is the New Black out to pasture. Our Litchfield women were separated, tested, and put into some truly unique situations in Season 6 that were entertaining to watch, there’s no denying that. But Piper, the lead of this show that still gets the spotlight in posters even though we really don’t care about her anymore, is out of prison now. That means less time inside of Max and less time with the true heart of the story, the prisoners/survivors/women of Litchfield.
Here’s our season review of season 6 of Orange is the New Black where we break down what worked, what we’d like to see less of, and what we hope to see next season! (Hopefully, it’ll be the last one!)
With Piper out, this is the end of the line for Orange is the New Black. And it’s not because I don’t care for all the other story lines besides Pipers. I adore every moment with Taystee, Suzanne, and have even come to like Caputo. It’s that Pipers freedom means they’re going to focus more on her and her storyline aka the weakest part of the show and what we could do without.
Two Sisters Feuding
The two sisters feuding set the stage for a season long arc that I enjoyed. Well, maybe not the beatings, crazy murders, or the gang wars. I enjoyed the way that these conditions brought people together and started tearing down others. We’ve been so used to Litchfield up on the hill that it was like a shock to the system to have new blood around our girls. And unlike previous seasons, our girls are entering into the newcomers world. This one just so happens to have two women feuding over the most trivial things until they eventually self implode, allowing the prison to finally settle down for a (temporary?) time of peace.
If the sisters set the stage, then Taystee’s trial was the heart of it all. We’ve known this bright and strong headed woman for years and it felt like the ultimate test of who she was, this trial. Unfortunately, and we all kind of knew this was coming or at least I did, it didn’t end well and Taystee was judged by a group of peers THAT KNEW NOTHING ABOUT HER. To her actual prison mates she was a hero and an example of someone fighting back and standing up against the abuse they receive on the daily. The consequences and repercussions of her guilty verdict will shape the kind of woman Taystee becomes and continue to explore the flawed correctional system.
Red and Nicky’s Relationship
The change in location, or the circumstances that all our inmates were in, didn’t destroy the mother/daughter relationship between Red and Nicky. Red has been there for Nicky since day one and there was no way that Nicky was going to flip on Red, even if it gave her a better deal. Nicky’s resilience and inner turmoil led to her confronting Red and getting permission to flip. In Red’s eyes, and in mine as well, Nicky asking made her the most loyal of all. It makes me want to go back and watch their relationship from the very start to better understand how they got here.
What Didn’t Work
Basically Anything with Piper
I know she’s supposed to be the star of Orange is the New Black but if all the inmates were a spice, Piper Chapman would be flour. Boring ass flour. Every moment that she was on screen I was like, “Move it along.” She’s still living in this fantasy world where she gets her way and can solve everything from a place of privilege that she still does not understand that she has. Now that she’s free from prison I have no idea what she’s gonna do or what’s going to lead her back to Litchfield, well…besides her wife, because I’m not sure if Piper actually LEARNED something during her time in jail.
Talk about snoozeville. Every single time this woman came on screen I just couldn’t wait for her to get out. Instead of learning something from the horrors she experienced in her short time locked up, she’s angry and using her experiences for a fancy new job. She’s the epitome of privilege and hey…maybe that’s why they have her on screen? I see what you did there, Orange is the New Black!
Pennsatucky Trip with Rapist Guard
Tiffany’s trip to an amusement park/hotel with her rapist boyfriend was not funny, quirky, or cute. It was weird, demented, and all sorts of wrong. Orange is the New Black somehow brushed over everything that happened before and tried to give us an escapist and funny opportunity during the backdrop of crazy that was happening at Max. They failed big time because we still remember Pennsatucky’s rape and Boo helping her to understand that what happened to her was A) not her fault and B) something that she didn’t deserve. Nonsense, plain and simple!
What We Wanted to See More Of
If I was dying of laughter, confusion, and excitement at Suzanne’s hallucinations, then I can’t even imagine how the actors felt on set. They must’ve been losing it!. Additionally, Suzanne’s hallucinations kept true to the personalities of our favorites, especially Nicky with her dog outfit. The shocker that Suzanne’s mom was a ghost was heartbreaking but kept to the theme that Suzanne’s mind is a kaleidoscope of self regulation that works to keep her safe and entertained. Yes, sometimes her mind leads her down a path of self destruction. But sometimes, it takes care of her. And I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that.
Morning Show with Flaca and Cindy
This unlikely duo worked when everything that’s happened in seasons past made me think that they wouldn’t. They’re both grand personalities that often overshadow the ones around them. Flaca and Cindy ended up balancing each other out and providing what the other needed, like Flaca giving Cindy advice on the secret that she kept. They really have a passion and are a pair of personalities that deserve more than the crushing realities of prison.
Watching these women relax and unwind on that field acted as a perfect counterbalance to everything they’ve gone through this season. Now, I don’t want to compare them to cows but here we go. There’s this video on Youtube of these cows going outside for the first time in a long time. As soon as they hit the grass you see their entire demeanor change. They don’t care how long they’ve been inside or what happened before, they are now OUTSIDE! The women of Litchfield had the same reaction.They were outside and they didn’t care to shank each other. Instead they played kickball and had a damn good time!
What We Wanted to See Less Of
Fantasy Inmate Games
The fantasy inmate games were the most cringe worthy thing of this season of Orange is the New Black. Is this something that happens in prison? If so, what the fuck?! These are people’s lives! They’re not chess pieces that you can set up to fight, kill, or destroy each other. They are mothers, sisters, aunts, daughters. Maybe all of their disgusting acts was a lesson, an example for us to learn about the truly shitty humans in this universe, but damn it I wasn’t ready and don’t want to see anymore of it.
Badison is on my snooze-fest list along with Piper and Ferguson. She was trying to play this larger than life character to trick those around her to believe she was the badass of Litchfield Max. Quickly it became apparent that she A) wasn’t that much of a badass B) was easily replaceable and C) not the big kahuna of Max. She was just a cog that couldn’t come up with her own ideas and liked riding on the coattails of others because she was basic AF.
Boring New Guards (Including the Murderous Ones)
I couldn’t connect to any of the new guards. Part of me thinks that it was due to how disgusted I was with the Fantasy Inmate Games. But the other part of me, the one that tells the honest to God truth, thinks that these new guards didn’t work because they were basic AF like Badison. Also, they were boring. I couldn’t connect to any of the newbies and wanted them to go away anytime Orange is the New Black tried to give them a hint of backstory. I don’t care and I’d like to see less of them and more of the guards from up the hill.
Season Finale Impression
I’m heartbroken. For Blanca, whose dreams were crushed by ICE. For Daya, who has turned to drugs as a form of surviving. For Taystee, whose fate was sealed by a court who thought her guilty. And especially for the fact that we’ll have to wait til next season for everyone to figure out that Taystee is innocent. The way they were teasing it I was sure that we’d get that moment of discovery, of change. But nope.
Everyone got fucked over.
Except Piper. But we don’t care about Piper.
Next Season Speculation
Even though I literally said that I don’t care about Piper, not one iota, I hope that she stops running around in circles trying to find her purpose and uses her privilege to help the women who have no one else. Let her experience be a learning lesson and not just another step in a long line of crazy things that have happened to her.
Oh, and the release of my boos Taystee, Nicky, and Blanca. They deserve better than this!
What were your thoughts on Orange is New Black season 6? Let us know in the comments sections below!
Orange is the New Black season 6 is currently airing on Netflix.
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Lyra enjoys loud mouthed, damaged characters, with a penchant for rescuing people and drinking their sorrows away. When she isn’t splurging on Netflix shows she’s not so quietly ranting about Teen Wolf, The Walking Dead, and Supernatural!