Review: Orange is the New Black, Season 2 (Part 1)

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WARNING: This review contains spoilers for Orange is the New Black Season 2. Read this review at your own discretion.

Plot: After beating up Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning), Piper (Taylor Schilling) gets transferred to a co-ed prison in Chicago. There she sees Alex (Laura Prepon), who tells her they have been moved for the drug lord’s trial.

The week before I tuned into the first episode of Orange is the New Black’s second season, I was spending most of my nights watching Season 1 with my boyfriend. In a way, it was kind of a blessing to have this refresher because I was able to prepare myself for where we last left Piper.

Photo credit: Jessica Miglio for Netflix
Photo credit: Jessica Miglio for Netflix

However, even with this preparation, I still felt anxious for Piper from the moment I started this episode until the half hour mark. I genuinely wanted her to feel remorseful but also a little bit empowered for standing up for herself. I couldn’t wait for this whole situation to resolve itself, just like many of Piper’s prison mistakes in Season 1.

In a way, It kind of did. Piper was transferred to a different prison, but it wasn’t for her violence towards Pennsatucky. She didn’t really get into a serious altercation with anybody like I expected her to in this new environment. In fact, she surprisingly started to adapt further in the episode. It was even more relieving to learn she was only transferred there for the trial of the drug lord that worked with Alex.

It wasn’t until Piper allowed Alex to take advantage of her where I felt genuine angst towards her. Seriously, you would think by now that Piper wouldn’t have fallen for Alex’s manipulation. But here she is again under Alex’s influence. I get that love makes you do crazy things, but lying under oath for Alex was something I never really expected. I thought, if anything, that Alex getting transferred to another prison would explain Laura Prepon’s absence this season. I wasn’t too surprised though, given the fact that Alex always takes advantage of Piper’s affection at her.

Photo credit: K.C. Bailey for Netflix
Photo credit: K.C. Bailey for Netflix

Though I am a little mad at Piper for her big mistake, I can’t help feeling a little compassion for her after seeing the flashbacks from her childhood. It’s evident that her vulnerability stems from the way she was raised and her father’s affair. This series of events obviously affected some of Piper’s tendency to act out as well as her constant desire to please other people.

Piper’s life definitely just got a lot more interesting but I’m more excited about seeing the backstories of the other women at Litchfield. If you haven’t already, keep watching and check back here for my mid-season and finale reviews this week.

Related Articles:

Review: Orange is the New Black, Season 1 (Matt Haviland)

Review: House of Cards, Season 2 Premiere (Lauren Stern)

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As the Managing Editor, Lauren Stern is responsible for curating Pop-Break.com’s content. This includes managing the editorial staff, coordinating the content calendar, and assigning publishing dates and deadlines. She graduated Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism and Philosophy. She spends her free time searching for the best gluten-free food in the Tri-State area, playing with her dogs, and reading an insane amount of books. She tweets constantly about pop culture and social issues and hopes you follow her musings @laurenpstern.

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