‘Orange is the New Black’ season three: Spoilers


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Orange is the New Black

Mariah Wellman

Netflix’s third season of the popular prison drama, “Orange is the New Black”, was scheduled for release on Friday, June 12, but actually came out Thursday evening — early, for good behavior.

After two years and 26 episodes, viewers are used to the prison set-up. Litchfield is reeling after the evil Vee [Lorraine Toussaint] was killed at the end of the second season. Our protagonist Piper [Taylor Schilling] is no longer the new kid on the block and is geared up for a season of ups and downs, with her at the reigns of course. 

Piper is fully committed to Alex [Laura Prepon], or so it seems. Alex believes someone is out to kill her for her past transgressions, and her anxiety puts a strain on her relationship with Piper. Piper and others get a new job producing women’s underwear. Piper has an idea that could turn into an empire if handled with care. Alex and Piper can’t make it work, end up breaking up at the hands of tattoo clad newbie, Stella, played by Aussie model Ruby Rose. 

This season runs through a lot of hills and valleys, with issues of race, ethnicity and spirituality often at the forefront. From Soso wanting to find a place she fits in to inmates attempting to be recognized as practicing Jews to receive kosher meals in the cafeteria, changes are happening ever so slowly. 

Speaking of the kitchen, Red [Kate Mulgrew] finds herself back in charge about half way through the season, but that doesn’t mean the food gets any better. Litchfield was almost shut down within the first three episodes, so Caputo [Nick Sandow] is forced to make a move. Corporate America has taken over Litchfield, and will cut corners wherever possible. Meals come in large plastic sacks, and Red takes it upon herself to let everyone know she is not the one in charge. Kosher meals look more and more appetizing for inmates, especially Black Cindy [Adrienne C. Moore] who, by the final episode, completely changes faith and is accepted into the Jewish community, claiming she “found her people.”

The guards play a larger role this season as well, with issues of unionization and job cuts in full swing. Corporate has decided to cut corners, and it’s possible the experienced guards won’t be sticking around for long. 

Piper and Stella decide they are going to try and take their friendship to the next level, with Piper making thousands of dollars a week with her panty empire. With hints of union-creation in the air, Piper’s “Panty Girls” decide to come to Piper with requests, which she grants, before firing the woman in charge of the brigade. 

Piper, feeling on top of the world and not wanting to be messed with, gets a tattoo of white ink that says “Trust No B—-“. With that as her personal mantra, Piper finds out that Stella is getting out in a few days, and Stella has stolen all of Piper’s panty profits. Piper says she understands, until she places dangerous contraband all throughout Stella’s bunk and sends her to MAX. Good luck getting out now, Stella. 

In the final scenes of season three, the veteran guards are nowhere to be found and new fences being put in place means an opening to the outside. The inmates take advantage and run down to the lake, running through the sand and tasting the freedom of the outside world. No one is there to stop them, and they don’t seem concerned with running away, besides — where would they go? 

The couple buses full of new inmates arrive at Lichfield as the season ends are sure to cause a fuss come season four. This was not everything season three had to offer, I left plenty out and would encourage you all to watch it for yourself. You will fly through the 13 episodes in no time, trust me. 

For me, the end of season three was anti-climactic, but that leaves room for an impressive fourth season to come.