**Spoiler Alert: Do Not Read if you have not watched Season 4**
I finished watching season 4 of Orange is the New Black about a couple weeks ago…and I’ve finally gotten around to rendering my opinion on the season…I have one word:
That’s really the only word I can use to describe my emotions after I ended episode 13. I took a little while to really digest all that was happening in the season, because there was a LOT that was brought out in this season. I feel that the issues brought out in this season are ones that have never really been this magnified in previous seasons. You can immediately tell that the writers’ intentions were to “go there” with all the events that happened, and boy did they go there. I wanted to highlight a few of the most crucial moments this season were for me, and how they made me feel mentally and emotionally.
Throwing Lolly in Psych and Crazy Eyes’ breakdown
I’ve always felt some type of way about mentally ill individuals being in prison. I feel that in some cases, a facility that will help them with medication management and rehabilitation is more suited. In my experience I’ve noticed that a lot of behaviors can be attributed to one’s mental health.
In this season, you can clearly see between Lolly and Crazy Eyes, that their needs are better suited in a mental health facility, in my opinion. The most heartbreaking moments was seeing Lolly going into psych and see the fear in her eyes of reality setting in that this is where the officers felt she belonged. When she looked back at Healy and begged him to help her, it was gut-wrenching. Lolly experienced a lot in a short time this season, and I believe that helping Alex out of her “situation” was what broke her mentally.
In this season, you also get a chance to see more of Suzanne’s (Crazy Eyes) story. In the fight scene, you can see plain clear that she was pushed to her breaking point, and the officers were purposely set out to paint a picture of her being this aggressive inmate, when really she was a woman battling with her mental health, who was triggered to act out violently. Her behaviors were not ones that she openly pursued in my opinion. It was really a lot to take in, because if you watch OITNB, you know that Suzanne is NOT an overly aggressive person; she is “crazy”, but all in all has a good heart. She is just like Lolly; not in the best place to suit her true needs.
Caputo flipped the script!
So, I have to say I really hated Caputo this season! He was definitely not the same guy you saw in previous seasons. I always had respect or Caputo because he listened to the inmates and even fought for their rights and ways to improve themselves and their lives.I feel like Caputo used to be very respectful and caring of the inmates, and this season, he kind of just pushed them to the side. He was definitely being pulled in different directions morally, and it showed. Between MCC forcing him to play by their rules of how they thing the prison environment should be run, and Piscatella basically pushing him out of the loop with what’s going down with the inmates and how he is leading the officers to handle them; Caputo really didn’t have a choice but to just roll with the punches, and he has essentially become a puppet. Unfortunately, I can tell that this decision is causing a big rift in the culture of Litchfield.
Poussey and Baxter 🙁
One of the most jaw dropping and heart-wrenching incidents this season, came at the end, when Poussey was killed by officer Baxter Bailey.
When they are doing flashbacks of Poussey’s life, it is crazy how you can see the brief moments of when Baxter and Poussey’s lives parallel. You have Poussey, a pretty innocent (aside from what put her in prison) young teen who is planning on moving with her parents to Amsterdam, gong to West Point, and pretty much has a solid future ahead of her; who gets locked up for possessing a small amount of marijuana. Then you have Bailey, who was more of a mischevious teen, who smoked and drank with his friends, did some of the stupidest things (because we were all teenagers and did something stupid at one point) but only got a slap on the wrist.
Ironic that Bailey became the correctional officer and Poussey became the prisoner, huh?
It was such a tragedy on both parties when Poussey was killed, because the dynamics of both characters were so similar. Bailey was a pretty straight-laced kid, someone who probably didn’t even need to be working in a prison. Caputo was dead on the money when he told him that he needed get out while he still could. Poussey was also pretty straight-laced, for a criminal, mind you. She never really got in trouble, she laid low, did her time and was even anticipating a job when she got out. You could tell with the right opportunity, Poussey could have gotten back on the right track, despite her prison time. It was truly two innocent kids caught in a devastating circumstance. Poussey unfortunately lost her life, and I feel that Baxter may never recover from the guilt of what he had done.
All in all, this season was definitely one that shed light on a lot of isues that we are facing in reality right now. I’m definitely interested in seeing how everyone’s stories begin to unfold in Season 5.
*Photo cred for all images goes to Google image seach.