TV Recap: Orange is the New Black, Midseason

Writer’s note: This review contains spoilers from Orange is the New Black Season 2 Episodes 2-7. Read this review at your own risk.

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What’s Going Down in Litchfield So Far (Plot): Taystee (Danielle Brooks) finds out her adoptive drug lord mother, Vee is a new prisoner at Litchfield. Since her arrival, Vee has manipulating the black girls into taking back power in the prison. It is discovered that Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba) was an integral part in making Piper(Taylor Schilling) and Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) equally responsible for their brawl. Morello (Yael Stone) finds out Christopher is marrying someone else and sneaks into his house while driving Rosa to her cancer treatments. Piper starts a prison newsletter as a means of researching the prison’s embezzlement practices. Larry(Jason Biggs) and Polly grow closer while her husband is away on a trip.

Photo Credit: Netflix
Photo Credit: Netflix

“This isn’t about you Piper,” is a line that has been said a lot so far, and it’s also one that captures this season’s essence. There is a lot of focus on the other inmates at Litchfield, which is a huge change from the sole focus of Piper last season. There’s been a ton of character development, which has been so essential in learning more about these women’s lives both before and during their time at Litchfield. I think the best episode that showcased this growth so far was the episode that featured Morello flashbacks (Episode 4). Discovering that her relationship with Christopher was more or less a figment of her imagination was as captivating as it was heart-breaking.

However, as much as I really love this aspect of this season of Orange is the New Black, it’s also been problematic for me. I know there’s plenty more to come, but I still feel a little guilty that I still don’t know a few of the characters names or stories. This especially the case for any of the women who have or who are now associating with Red(Kate Mulgrew), since she is such a strong character. I also feel very ashamed for not knowing Black Cindy(Adrienne C. Moore)’s name, since she’s been featured in so many episodes as a comedic tertiary character. But in my defense, she was constantly overshadowed by Poussey (Samira Wiley) and Taystee until her flashbacks were featured in episode 7.

Aside from additional character maturation, viewers were also introduced to two new characters this season: Vee (Lorianne Toussaint) and Brook SoSo(Kimko Glenn). Vee was first introduced in Episode 2 as Taystee’s drug lord adoptive mother, and later became the new leader of the blacks. Vee is very much the character I love to hate. Her manipulation over the girls, Taystee and Crazy Eyes especially, makes me so uncomfortable. However, I can’t deny how great of an antagonist she is. Red keeps warning us that she is dangerous and I’m really excited to see that played out over the next few episodes. SoSo is the talkative, annoying new prisoner, and has really just been there for comic relief. Unlike Vee, I look forward to seeing her on screen, especially when she’s interacting with Nicky (Natasha Lyonne).

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

As far as picking a favorite moment or story arc, I’m not sure if that’s possible. I’m so intrigued by them all, even the smaller stories. Red’s demise, Poussey’s obvious infatuation with Taystee, and Daya (Dascha Polanco)’s pregnancy are almost always guaranteed my attention. The politics within the prison, including the involvement guards and administration, is also pretty interesting to me. From what I heard, justice reform is a huge part of Piper Kerman’s book, and I’m glad it was somehow implemented on screen. Aside from my journalistic curiosity, I’m stoked to see how Piper’s newsletter will shake things up in Litchfield. Despite her rejecting Larry and the other journalist, it seems like she’s become pretty keen on exposing her temporary home.

As much as I want to prolong the new season of Orange is the New Black, I’m excited to get to the end everyone is talking about. Only 6 more episodes left until my big finale review! What do you think of the new season so far?

Related Articles:

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

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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