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Orange Is the New Black “Take a Break from Your Values” Review (2×11)

27 Jun

peace-sister-ingalls

The prison system is supposed to be about both punishment and rehabilitation, but in reality, those goals can sometimes get lost in a wave of corruption, of facades, of weak attempts to move forward and change things for the better. When people are incarcerated, they oftentimes become people they’re not, and in order to keep up with everyone else, they have to assert themselves, changing how they’d normally act.

Take, for example, Vee and Red, both of whom are criticized in this episode–the former by Poussey, the latter by Big Boo–of being nothing more than fakes, people who may seem powerful but are just hiding behind the walls of the prison, on top in Litchfield and weak nobodies in the outside world. And yet, for all the criticism they dole out–I’d say they’re absolutely right–you could easily say the same about them. It’s an entirely new world in the prison, and the prisoners and the administration are all part of it.

Speaking of the administration, we also see how Healy and Fig are hiding true intentions under a facade of goodness. Healy, who last week couldn’t get anyone to show up to his support group, finally gets his “Safe Space” rolling, but we find out that the only reason anyone is going is to reduce their shot count; Healy, meanwhile, is doing this to act like the savior, to make up for his own troubles by turning to people he hopes are at even lower places than he is at. As for Fig, she’s trying to create a prison benefit rally that has to have the word “rape” in the title, and instead of truly being about helping the prison, it most certainly is about self-serving motives.

All these ideas play a role in our flashback focal point: Sister Jane Ingalls, who was an eventually excommunicated, anti-Vietnam activist nun who wrote the hilariously titled “Nun Shall Pass”. She was someone pretending to be someone she wasn’t, and in the present day, she’s once again concerned about image more so than the ideas behind Soso’s hunger strike. However, the interesting thing is that once the strike is dissolved, she continues on and is eventually sent to medical. One element may be her love of being at a rock star status–as exemplified by everyone cheering for her as she’s being rolled to medical–but another element may be an actual character development. That’s to be discussed, but no matter your interpretation, it’s heartbreaking to see her unable to find anything at the end of the episode. We all just want some form of connection, and sometimes, we just don’t get it.

GRADE: B+

OTHER THOUGHTS:

– “I remember the Alamo too, but that don’t keep me from eating Mexican food.”

– “I could just kill the bitch.” Oh, how I love the Golden Girls.

-Pennsabama is a pretty good name.

-Is it just me, or have we been in roughly the same place for a while? Taslitz shivving the Vee lookalike is the first aspect of forward momentum in a while, and I’d chalk that up to Vee causing characters to regress, as well as an over-emphasis on the Vee vs. Red plot. I understand that that’s the point of the storyline, but I can’t help but feel like something’s missing from this season.

-And…Piper’s being transferred. This has me interested; where exactly is the show going with this? Hopefully, we can get away from the Alex stuff, because Alex is a character who brings out the worst in Piper. Also, Alex is in Brooklyn and Kubra got away free on a mistrial! Yawn.

-Hurricane Wanda’s coming. Maybe she knows Hurricane Jasmine Forsythe.

Photo credit: Orange Is the New Black, Netflix

 

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