If you were one of the Orange Is The New Black fans who got to start binge-watching season three six hours ahead of time, thank Uzo Aduba. During a panel at OrangeCon in New York, she asked Netflix CEO Reed Hastings if they could release the season early. He agreed, which caused a flurry of tweets and a massive rush to Netflix.
I got home from a birthday party, saw Netflix’s tweet, and joined the masses in watching the first episode of OITNB. Season three is pulling no punches, and I have to say, I’m really loving where they’re headed. Last season’s turf wars between groups (which was superb) has segued into each character dealing with a crisis of faith, whether they’re looking for answers, a new path, or a miracle.
This is, I think, poignant for where the world is right now. We’ve had a lot of awful things happen, or are at least more aware of the daily struggles and havoc people face, and there are many of us seeking to make sense of a world gone awry.
We look at the natural disasters, deaths, and social issues and wonder if we’ll ever be able to rise above and be better. We share these musings with the inmates at Litchfield, and it’s one of my favorite things about the show: We are given an opportunity to connect with these characters, and they have a lot to teach us about ourselves and our worldviews.
The focus on a holiday event at Litchfield was a brilliant move too, because none of us have the same experience when it comes to family, yet we can all find someone to sympathize with. Mother’s Day at Litchfield means something different for every inmate, including a heart wrenching scene with Pennsatucky and Big Boo contemplating a tiny graveyard made of popsicle sticks. Character backstories are fleshed out, including a peek into Nicky’s background with a cold and distant mother. This holiday would never have been celebrated under Fig’s watch, but there’s a new warden in town, and this might turn out to be a very good thing.
Joe Caputo is the new warden of Litchfield, which seems to be gentler, kinder, and a little more bearable, but this contrasts with the looming problems the inmates are facing. It’s only a matter of time before Alex finds out about Piper’s involvement in seeing her returned to prison, and with inmates’ lives shifting uncontrollably, there’s a bad wind blowing and there’s no guarantee that everyone will survive.
I’m curious to see how the new cast members settle into their roles, particularly the new prison guard. I’m hoping we get more of the guards’ stories this time around, and more about their interactions with the inmates. With so much time together, it’s impossible not to be influenced by each other, whether for good or ill.
Jenji Kohan, the cast, and crew have dazzled us with their ability to tell honest stories, showcase talent from actors who hadn’t yet been given a voice, like Uzo Aduba and Laverne Cox, and produce surprises after we thought we had everything figured out. The story isn’t over yet. We’ve still got a lot to learn from the inmates at Litchfield.
Get ready, folks. Season Three promises to be a heartbreaker.Image Credits: Netflix, Uzo Aduba