While the third season of the hit Netflix series lacked slightly in the intense drama department synonymous with the prison drama, this season brought out a whole new bag of contraband tricks and treats.
With all the melodrama of season two, this time around OITNB took its time setting the pace, slowing everything down just slightly enough to draw attention to the real focus of the season: the complete desperation and loneliness of the women in prison.
This tone filtered through the whole season, taking with it very dark and serious topics and bringing them to light in a safe environment. Pennsatucky’s (Taryn Manning) views on her rape were challenged and fixed, Soso’s (Kimiko Glenn) suicidal depression wasn’t just ‘all in her head’ as resident councillor and head of all things ignorant Mr Healy (Michael Harney) suggested; even issues of abortion, hate crimes, and death were all given important awareness against the light tone of the season.
Our favourite blond hot mess Piper (Taylor Schilling) is no longer a fresh faced newbie, and in the aftermath of the villainous Vee’s departure *cough* brutal death *cough*, the women are recovering and regrouping. It is in this familiar quiet of Litchfield that the character’s grow, reflect, and journey through the season.
One of the main things I love about this show is it’s ability to make us care about each and every character. Not one woman in this show is unimportant, and season three showed us that. While we were treated to more insight into familiar faces, the back stories reached a larger demographic this season; inviting us to the spectacular performances of Chang (Lori Tan Chinn) , Big Boo (Lea DeLaria) and Flaca’s (Jackie Cruz) past.
Also remember: Red didn’t cook the food.