Orange is the New Black Season Five: 16 Questions Driving Me Nuts About the Finale

I know, it’s television! It’s not supposed to be entirely realistic, and Orange has never been (although it used to try to be). But Season Five really went off the rails in some dramatic ways. I’m very passionate about verisimilitude and also despite everything a huge fan of this show and therefore I’m incapable of continuing to live my life until I find at least 5-6 other humans on the internet who have made it through the entire season and can perhaps offer me comfort, empathy or information that will enable me to go on.

Sure, this season was riddled with generous extensions of disbelief, but some I was willing to entertain in exchange for the light-hearted moments they provided, like the pop-up coffee shop, Frieda’s weirdo Cold War bunker, or Nicky and Morello’s brief tenure as Doctors/Pharmacists. But when I’m asked to suspend my disbelief in order to create a violent and horrifying finale? NO THANK YOU. Also, well… let’s begin.

Just to be clear: I know these things can be explained if you try hard enough. But this show has never made me do these types of mental gymnastics before!

1. They’re allegedly short 10 inmates but that doesn’t add up. We have Nicky, Red, Piper, Blanca, Alex, Gloria, Cindy, Taystee and Suzanne in the pool with Frida. That’s 10. But Chang escaped, and Pennsatucky is having teevee time with her rapist. (DO NOT EVEN GET ME STARTED ON THAT) That’s 12 inmates missing. Linda would’ve thrown off their count because she wasn’t an actual prisoner, but that doesn’t account for the entire discrepancy.

2. So, Black Cindy just randomly grabbed a bottle of lithium on a shelf and knew how it worked and what it was for? What happened to the list of Suzanne’s meds? Also… was lithium really an irresponsible choice for what Suzanne was experiencing?  I’M NOT A DOCTOR but it’s my understanding that lithium is regularly used to bring people down from manic episodes or schizoaffective symptoms, so I don’t understand why Taystee was convinced it was not the correct medicine to give Suzanne. Would one lithium pill have knocked her out cold like that? Also, would an epi-pen really have fixed that?

3. Didn’t anyone at MCC notice that Linda didn’t show up for work…

4. Aren’t there computerized records in addition to the paper records that got burned by Ange and Leanne? (Who, by the way… please remove these humans from this show…)

5.  Why were prisoners being removed, cuffed, and shipped off in the first place? How was this even organized? I know! It’s a dramatic cliffhanger! But… what? We know there’s so little room for female inmates that Litchfield became intensely overcrowded and that there’s no room in Max, either, so where on earth could they be taking them? After the Mississippi uprising, the inmates were searched in the yard before being returned to their cells… and the same thing happened in Delaware. I’ve yet to find an example of an uprising where the entire prison was evacuated with all inmates relocated to other prisons.

6. What was the point of the rebellion organized by “Team Latte”? Somehow everybody emerged unscathed, guards and rebels, so…? What was their endgame anyhow? Without a coordinated resistance by all inmates, no further demands would’ve been met, so I wasn’t really clear why any individual or group of individuals was attempting to resist arrest. (Except Maritza and Flaca, who made a case for their delay — wanting to savor their last moments of freedom.)

7.  Why couldn’t Caputo — or any inmate — overrule Taystee’s rejection of the deal? Why did Taystee refuse to take it after learning that it wouldn’t be logistically possible for them to orchestrate Bayley’s arrest? She’s really smart! I know I know PRIDE but also ??? I don’t buy that she’d do this. Why were we forced to witness so much of Bayley’s little emotional journey if it never intersected with the main story?

8. Wouldn’t somebody in the crowd or the hoards of press outside see Maureen and be horrified that she had an untreated and serious infection on her face? Or an elderly woman in a hospital gown?

9. I know this is a small thing but the entire place allegedly runs out of food… yet when the women discover Freida’s bunker, nobody seems eager to eat? Or to share food with people upstairs?

10. Also why didn’t negotiations involve like — we’ll give you [amount of food] if you give us [one hostage], like they did in Arizona? It seemed like everybody talked about being hungry for one episode and then forgot about it.

11. In Episode One, Alex was afraid to be on camera if the press came to Litchfield — yet she reveals no panic or alarm when a video of her abuse went viral?

12. This is from an earlier episode but this is a prison and some of them have some level of experience with firearms and all of them want to have the gun in their own possession. They’re willing to scramble for it on the floor — but when Ange gets the gun, nobody tries to just… strategically disarm her to get the gun for themselves? It would’ve been a lot easier (and safer, if they knew what they were doing like cops and superheroes on TV do) to get it from her when she was standing in the middle of the dorm talking about the talent show than scrambling for it on the ground.

13. My ex had Type 1 Diabetes and I’ve witnessed diabetic ketoacidosis in all its glory and I was in a hot panic about Davis from the moment they took away his insulin. WTF happened with that? He’d need to take it when he ate, he’d also need to eat regularly — how on earth did he make it through three days without insulin or regular food? This was also one of many choices made by inmates where they were made to seem less intelligent than we know they are. Keeping hostages alive is important.

14. Whatever happened with the video of Caputo making a new statement? Allegedly it didn’t have very many views but somehow Piscatella got it as a news alert about it?

15. Uh… what happened with Sophia…? Like, okay, she’s in Max, LOL, the end? What?

16. And finally… why is the SWAT team violently entering the building and assaulting unarmed female inmates who have their hands up after the hostages had been released? After a riot that began with a CO over-using physical force and thus killing an inmate? After the video of inmate abuse went viral and attracted National attention?

I know, I know, we’ve seen and we know that guards and authority figures are unnecessarily violent towards these women all the time just for kicks, but this comes at a weird time. Specifically their treatment of Maureen and the other woman in the infirmary felt sadistic and cruel. Aside from Team Latte, this wasn’t a violent riot. Only one hostage remained, although it seems nobody was even aware of that. The SWAT team was very well-protected against any potential violence that could be inflicted by these women, and they didn’t adjust their violence level of their offensive after entering and realizing they were not under attack.

It made for thrilling, extreme and affecting television — the image of Soso being hauled out of the book hallway was, honestly, the season’s most gorgeously tragic and intense moment and I cried like a baby — but I don’t feel like it was set up very carefully.

Haven’t we seen powerful men push around innocent people enough already? The level of interpersonal violence we were subjected to this season, including nonchalant instances and mentions of sexual assault, was … flabbergasting.

I’m as passionate an OITNB fan as a girl can be when she’s also really mad at OITNB, and pieces of this season were really interesting and fun, but it was also stuffed with irrelevant flashbacks and this final scene wasn’t really the payoff we deserved, yannow?

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Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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  1. spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler
    1) I remember counting it differently, i dont wanna go back and check now but i think Gloria wasnt in the bunker at that point, which makes it 11 total missing minus one for the fake inmate. And yes, the pensatucky/rapey guard thing was weird this season. It felt like they were going to go into it more, but they just kind of left it hanging there throughout and it was awkward to watch. The disaproving looks from boo didnt really count as adressing the fact he raped her.
    2) It is a pretty common fact that lithium is used for psychosis, right? It was obvious she knew about as much as i do which is “ive heard it somewhere before.” So neither she nor anyone else really thought it was the right thing to give her, but went for it anyway. This didnt really bother me because while stupid and irresponsible, it was cindy and she is kinda stupid and irresponsible. And the epi pen- dont really know about them either so i dunno. Its just a shot of adrenaline tho right? so maybe it would wake her up?
    3)it was only 3 days but yeah this bothered me too. Especially at the end where they set it up like she was gonna spend a lot of time behind bars because people didnt beleive who she was. Thats just silly, surely she’d be released pretty fast considering how easy it is to google someone. Plus even if they are so incompetent at the next prison that they dont do that, she can easily make a phone call so… i dont really know why they went there with that plotline.
    4) You would assume so, and yeah, they are the worst characters by far, i dont know why they got so much screen time this season, theyre shit.
    5) Just bad writing really
    6)I guess just because of the fun of it? I buy that, I mightve done the same even if it was obviously futile
    7) YES! I was fully expecting caputo to overrule, it would have made a lot more sense
    8)Im not convinced they would notice, and even if they did, the hospital gowns imply theyre being treated so they probably wouldnt think that much of it
    9)I wouldnt share it. I think at that point it was pretty much every man for themself, plus i wouldnt want anyone to figure out where i got it and join the already crowded bunker. But maybe Im just a twat?
    10)I think the hungry thing was because nobody was taking it upon themselves to make food, but then at some point the kitchen was staffed again (by gloria i think?)
    11)good point, i didnt pick up on that, i guess bad wwriting again. But they might adress it next season. i guess things were already insane, maybe she didnt have time to really process that side of things?
    12)I dont think its really fair to expect people to do that. For one thing most people were pretty wrapped up in themselves throughout the whole thing, and also experience or not, disarming an idiot with a gun is always dangerous, so the best thing for everyone would just be not to piss them off. Its not like they were malicious idiots, just stupid ones. I for one would stay te fuck away from those two bellends if they had a gun and i definitly wouldnt risk dying at the hands of fucking Leanne. Pretty much the worst way to go
    13)I was wondering where that plotline went! i thought they were gonna have him die in their care and see them freak the fuck out about it! It feels like they decided not to follow through with the story and then just forgot to take out that line. So, shit writing again!
    14)yeah im not sure how piscatella saw that, i thought it was on the news at somepoint but maybe not.
    15)Yeah, i guess its just set up for next season
    16)\i think having them be abusive dicks was overkill. We deal with that a lot on this show already and it was a bit uneccesary. It would have been nice to see them just be normal fucking people but whatever. I think aside from those moments though, their methods in general made sense. The electric shields were over used from the looks of things but other than that.. As far as the outside knew, it was a violent riot right? or there was at least some ambiguity- they did shoot a gaurd and abuse the others.
    I quite liked this season to be honest! From the looks of things im the only one. But maybe my expectations were really low. I went in not sure if id bother watching it all the way through, i thought the same lasst series too. I think season 1 was brilliant, season 2 was utter shit, 3 slightly better and four sort of half decent. So maybe it just exceeded my expectations but i enjoyed it. I even kind of liked piper this season (crazy i know)!

    • I hated that I kind of liked Piper this season!!! & I totally agree with enjoying it because it exceeded my expectations.

      • I even sort of gave a shit about piper/alex which has never happened before either, they genuinely had some sweet moments there!

      • spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler

        i didn’t hate piper this season either, and for some reason i cried during the proposal scene in the bunker but maybe by then i’d completely lost my mind

        • I thought this was going to have all of this spoiler alert and then just say “I didn’t hate Piper this season either,” and I was really admiring your caution.

          • ……………………………………………………………………………………. honestly was mostly worried that somebody would see that line in the sidebar and be so incensed that they’d hop over here with abandon

  2. spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler

    RE: Question 2 – I’m at work, so I can’t go back and watch again right now, but I’m pretty sure that when Morello was gathering up Suzanne’s meds, there was a shot of the prescriptions, and lithium was at the top of the list.

    I took lithium as a mood stabilizer back in the early 00’s. It made me drowsy, but 1 or 2 pills never would’ve knocked me out like that… & I was only about 105lbs back then.

    The only experience I have with an epi-pen is watching Pulp Fiction, so I can’t speak at all to that part of the scene.

    • Yeah I mean I thought lithium seemed like a solid choice for Suzanne, but Taystee’s reaction to hearing Cindy had gone for that suggested otherwise? I also just thought it was weird that she walked in and right in front of where she was standing, apparently, was a huge bottle of lithium, like she didn’t have to look around at all? Little things like that just snap me out of the narrative ’cause it’s a reminder that this isn’t real, and it would’ve taken another 30 seconds for her to be like “where’s the lithium at?” or whatever, you know?

      • Are used to work as a pharmacy technician. I was there five days a week and I still had to look around for a certain bottles or for a specific drug strength

  3. Spoilery spoilers ahead

    I really did not like this season. It was so irregular, some parts of it were good but as a whole I will say it was the worst one yet. I understand they have to stretch Piper’s sentence out to last until season seven but still
    Some random thoughts:

    – Poussey’s father telling Bayley off was the highlight of the season for me
    – “Team Latte” turned the dorm into Kevin’s house in Home Alone for what purpose? What wew they expecting to accomplish?
    – Angie and Leanne are terrible and keep getting worse, I can’t stand them
    – Did we really have to see Larry again?
    – Pennsatucky and her rapist cuddling made me sick
    – What happened to Piscatella’s boyfriend? And How was he allowed to keep his job after all of that?
    – Really don’t care about Piper and Alex or their wedding but if I had to guess I bet that’s going to be the series finale.

    • Spoliers, sorta!

      As far as I can tell with the Piscatella storyline:

      – He fell for inmate Wade Driscoll
      – Someone attacked Wade, so Piscatella killed him with boiling water. Which seems like an oversight in a prison. No need to provide water that hot.
      – Piscatellas partner didnt rat him out, but they still transferred him to a “lesser” prison.
      – Somehow, Piscatella snuck his inmate (or prior inmate) boyfriend to Litchfeild, so he could kill Alex. I assume Driscoll was affliated with the big boss.
      – Alex and Lolly killed him.
      – When the body was discovered in Reds garden, Piscatella had it out for her.
      – Realized at the end that it was Alex who killed him in self defense.

      I assume from his targeting Red and never coming for Alex, he was unaware that Driscoll was there to kill an inmate. Best guess is that he thought he would get his boyfriend a job, and was being used.

      • But the actors who played the boyfriend and the guard that Alex killed were different? Wade Driscoll was black!

      • wait WHAT???!!!

        this whole… what!!

        the guard that Alex killed showed up in Season Three, Piscatella didn’t come til Season Four. I don’t think there was any connection between them.

      • Alex was keep saying (and writing) that his name was Aydin. We saw Aydin/Alex scenes in Season 3 and he’s not the same actor.

  4. spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler

    Just finished watching, and I felt there was so little joy and humor in this season compared to other seasons. Last season was notable for its extreme torture porn, and this season was more of a low grade sadness with a lack of reciprocal happiness, and a lot of buildup with little payoff.

    There weren’t really new relationships to champion — we knew Boo and whatsherface were never going to work out endgame, and I was never really into Alex and Piper as a main storyline. We got to watch Taystee grow and grow and grow and then lose everything at the end. Same with Gloria — she gets right to the finish line and has it stolen from her.

    Maritza and Flaca, and Soso’s book tribute were some of the only real points of joy for me in this season, and they were so fleeting. And, OINTB has really stopped being funny like it used to be. In a way it’s gotten very earnest about its characters and plot lines, but then treats them like in shit repeatedly or frames something really shitty in a false positive light (How many bad things had to happen to Suzanne this season? How are we ever supposed to be excited that Pennsatucky and Coates are a thing? Lorna having a baby in prison while Nicki wistfully helps out is also a good thing?).

    Some of the “quirky” details about the guards that I guess were meant to funny just annoyed me — I didn’t really care to laugh about the pet dyeing business or the table setting competition when both of those guards did despicable things. I also didn’t particularly like how Piscatella’s (again pulled straight from the headlines) murder of an inmate was framed as a revenge story. Sure, shared humanity is something to acknowledge, but bad actions do not repeatedly have to be justified. We know that prison guards in prisons, and police officers outside of them have, in fact, killed people for no good reason at all, because people in power in a system that preys on the vulnerable, do shitty things.

    • Then I have no idea whats going on. My bad. Lol. I saw Red find the badge, which I thought was the dead guards and watched the rest of the season believing that it was the guard Alex killed. Im so confused now.

  5. Inmates in a fed camp are there because they are not viewed as a threat, and they have less than 10 years left on their sentence. The Feds use a point system to rate each inmate. It has been several years, but IIRC, 12 or more points and… no camp.

    Inmates rioting would not be kept in a camp environment. I found the whole idea of a camp riot – that went on for a few days – to be ludicrous. This show is at its best when it works around real, giving viewers insight into what the environment is like. The governor would not have been involved – the fed thing.

    Accepting the riot premise, you can bet there would be aggression on the take back of the facility.

    I love the show, but even in better seasons it takes license with camp life, at least as I experienced it. We had 120 inmates with one officer – one – on duty. Add two more on visit days, and more on a shakedown, which happened generally every couple of months. The rules are minimal and the camp I was at had no fencing, none. Not even locking outside doors. In 21 months, I never was required to hit the deck, but it happens a lot in the show.

    On one shakedown, a CO grabbed my breasts as he searched me, but that was the worst I experienced. An officer beating on someone would be fired unless self defence were involved. On a raid where lives are considered on the line? All bets are off.

    • “Inmates rioting would not be kept in a camp environment. I found the whole idea of a camp riot – that went on for a few days – to be ludicrous.”

      could you talk about this more? do you mean because of the nature of the inmate population or for other reasons? i remember piper kerman saying that in reality, there were “few or no violent offenders” at danbury while she stayed there.

  6. spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler

    That is definitely not, at all, how lithium works. Lithium wasn’t a bad choice to give her but a single pill or even a bunch of pills would have done basically nothing, definitely not knocked her out like that.

  7. I really wonder how a show like this, with 13 episodes, and aproximately 2 years of production have SO MANY GAPS and bad writing! Come on! The show is a success, it has many fans, many viewers and it still looks like it was made without propper attention and consideration towards us!

    I think that the characters have to act like their own personalities and not to do some stupid shit, out of the blue, that they wouldn’t normally do!

    Anyway, I had to rip this out of my chest, ’cause it was choking me!
    But i liked some plots and aspects of this season but, for me, overall, it was sloppy and had many unnecessary attempts of creating angst for the sake of drama!

  8. I will not watch this season. Jenji’s shows have a tendency to spectacularly jump the shark in incomprehensible ways. I thought the show jump the shark in season 3, but when they killed Pousey and the way they let her body just lay there for days in a kitchen struck me. I know they were making a black lives matter social statement, but that was so spectacularly over the top with an offensive slant that I vowed to never watch the show again. Nothing about this post made me want to watch this season. I haven’t cared about Piper since that whole Stella nonsense. And you are completely right. Sophia was the only thing watchable about the show and her being in Max for her own protection is one way to go about things. Or you could charge the persons who assaulted her.

  9. I was pissed that they didn’t focus on Brook Soso’s grief enough. Like hardly anyone acknowledged her pain. I feel like some of the flashbacks could’ve been scuttled to focus on Brook some more and others who were shunted aside.

    • Yes, they should’ve focused more on her grief yes, they should’ve focused more on her

  10. I read this review that said TPTB made a mistake with the change in format this season because it didn’t make sense that everything would span over 3 days but really it makes total sense since people binge it in 3 days. It’s probably the only show that’s timeline makes sense with real life (except according to Vinny’s registration it was still only 2013).

    I thought Freida’s bunker was genius and I liked her back story. Definitely the favorite this season and maybe in the top 5. I was kind of annoyed that they gave Watson and Daya another backstory (their 3rd or 4th) when other people have yet to get 1. Fun fat though young Janae was played by the same girl who played her in season 1 and young Daya was played by Dascha’s real life daughter.)

    2. I don’t know about Suzanne’s meds but if Lorna wasn’t an ass and just let Cindy have her proper meds none of that would’ve happen. As for the Epi pen, Nicky was looking for “uppers” so yes and Epi pen is pretty much like a shot of adrenaline.

    3. Nicky said to Red that it was Sunday in 1 of the episodes (not sure if she was just saying that or if it was actually true) so presumably Linda wouldn’t work on weekends

    4. As we know Angie and Leanne are not the sharpest tools in the shed, all those records are printed and just put in the folder so there are copies saved in the computer. And yes I hated them, they took the nurse away that could’ve helped Maureen and the old lady.

    5. Technically we just saw them being put on the bus, they weren’t moved anywhere so I am assuming they are going to keep them on the bus 1-to keep them confined and not able to run away and 2-away from the prying eyes of the media.

    6. Except for the building stuff montage (which was always my favorite part of the A-team) I have not idea but maybe it was to see them coming together again. I thought the coffee house was 1 of the best bits this season.

    7. Taystee annoyed the shit out of me with all the Bayley bullshit. 3 or 4 times they used the analogy of sacrifice 1 for the good of many. They let Daya go, she let Cindy handle and let Suzanne go crazy to help the cause but when it came down to it she was just being selfish.And the women lost everything to think this riot was for nothing though I have my theory below.

    8. I would say no, I didn’t see her outside with the rest but I think they took her out the same way they said to take the girl with the bloody nose so the press didn’t see blood.

    9. Some were eating pop tarts, cans of beans, beer and Piper did mention about not sharing the food but they didn’t have enough to feed everyone so they feed no one.

    10. Yeah i felt the same way, they could have released 1 hostage for 1 demand or something along those lines.

    12. Again I thought the same thing, like how did no one take her down for the gun.

    15. Yeah I wondered about Sophia too, why did she even walk out of the prison to begin with and when they didn’t notice her she was like umm hello I’m escaping. And i don’t remember Sister Inghalls being released last season, did that happen on the show or in offscreensville? and who was that old lady in the medical ward, I didn’t recognize her at all.

    16. YES this made no sense to me especially considering the lead guard kept waving off Piscatella’s ideas that the women were dangerous and needed to be taken by force.

    My theory for next season is that given the video and that Piscatella is dead and can’t tell his side of the story that the pool crew will be rescued and it will seem like Piscatella were holding them down there against their will in a bunker he created and not them hiding out. Similar to how Piper wasn’t reprimanded for beating Pennsytucky to a pulp because Suzanne came out and beat the shit out of her in season 1.
    And i think because of that video and Linda being in prison, compensation for the women being held “hostage” by Piscatella and the governor’s lady seeing all that went on they will get their demands met and it will at least go back to the way Litchfield was before MCC took over and maybe a Poussey memorial too.

    And Uzo Aduba deserves ALL the awards for her performance this season. When she was wiping off the makeup in the mirror I just couldn’t deal with that it got me all in the feels (fun fact: Laura Prepon directed that episode so maybe an award for her too)

    • The Sunday thing you mention in point 3 was some kind of metaphor about drugs making you feel good at first (Friday and Saturday) only to end up making you suffer (Sunday). I can’t remember what day they were actually on, tho.

  11. spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler

    1) That was confusing for me too. The swat team said they searched everywhere twice but didn’t notice a giant whole in the fence and think, “hmm, lets do an external search”

    2) I don’t think Cindy went into the pharmacy with intentions of getting lithium specifically, but since she saw the bottle she thought, “that’ll do for now.” Cindy probably has a little knowledge of Lithium since her, Janae, and Taystee take care of Suzanne and learned about medications through her medical history. Riese, you have some insulin knowledge due to someone you knew, maybe something similar happened here. Suzanne may have gotten knocked out from non-compliance with prescribed medication, thanks to Lorna, dehydration, allergy to lithium, and other medical conditions. Taystee was mad because instead of dealing with Suzanne’s mental health with appropriate prescribed meds, Cindy’s go to was to knock her out with a hit-or-miss medication.

    3) Linda is the new Piper, who cares about her. MCC is a crappy company, they’re probably ready to fire Linda if she doesn’t give them a valid reason for missing work pronto.

    4) Yes, but it’s Ange and Leanne, they probably don’t know. Also, Caputo told Ruiz her 5 year sentence hasn’t gotten on her file yet, it’ll probably be a long and difficult process to get everyone’s file.

    5) We’ll see in season 5. I can’t bear seeing Flaritza and Taystee/Janae/Cindy/Suzanne/Alison separated. Maybe because it’s minimum security and there are no individual cells, too much facility damage, and too much flight risk, they have to be on the bus.

    6) Team Latte had Nazis and people who snorted coffee until they bleed, vomited and had the runs, not any more logic in them than Leanne and Ange.

    7) Taystee was the one who did her work and read through files and sat through the negotiations. I’d be extremely upset if another inmate who didn’t partake in it overruled her, it’s giving me high blood pressure just thinking of it. Taystee is human, she can’t mom everyone, be knowledgable about the facilities short-comings in management and make the correct calls, especially since her best friend was just murdered 5 days prior and see was on no sleep.

    8) I didn’t keep up with them, but I recall someone being taken out through the back where nobody saw, maybe same thing happened to them.

    9) They’re probably smart enough to know they’d get raided so fast by hungry inmates, it’s best to keep their secret. Frieda did complain how fast their supply was going once others came, so I’m guessing they did eat. Plus that bunker was all Frieda’s doing, and I wouldn’t want to cross her by trying to feed others she didn’t invite.

    10) That was a huge mishap for me too. Like, they didn’t know who was a hostage. They didn’t know Ruiz was an inmate, or that Luscheck(sp?) was still a hostage when they raided with force.

    11) She came to terms with being a murderer (in self-defense) and probably wants evidence that can’t be corrupted (hidden) showing Piscatella broke her arm and tortured several other inmates. Poussey was murdered but it was covered up saying she was violent. The institution could do the same to her.

    12) I would not go near someone unpredictable holding a gun, but I think Ruiz was trying to seize an opportunity and couldn’t. She kept looking at the gun throughout the talent show.

    13) Depends on what kind of insulin he’s on (short, fast, intermediate or long acting), depends on what his blood sugar levels are like with and without insulin. Some people are non-symptomatic even if their blood sugar level is 30+, not saying it’s healthy to leave it untreated though.

    14) I was kinda thinking this too… kinda. But I think writers wanted to note the difference in a white woman (alex) going viral for her situation, versus people making a meme out of black people and their suffering, so I’m kinda letting that slide.

    15) Sophia’s had the worst storyline of all time, since season 1. I don’t know if it’s because Laverne is busy, or writers are ignoring her. But her storyline was “upset wife and child, locked in max, mental health problems” with like no real conclusion, since season 1.

    16) My thoughts too, overall, with this season. It was way too sadistic. Even with the hostages in the chapel. I couldn’t watch that. I hated how white supremacists and nazis had better screen time and better storylines and empathy storylines than people like Jenae and Taystee. Time and time again the writers write racial situations as if it can be equal cross-aggression between whites and poc. And I’m a little side-eyeing that people are much more sympathetic with So-so than they are with Taystee. I hated the Taystee and So-so grief competition. I’m so done with people neglecting Suzanne and her manic episodes being the genius moments of the show. Uzo is amazing, but can they please stop neglecting Suzanne in order to get the goosebump performances. Most of the flashbacks went nowhere. Miss Rosa had the best flashback of all time. Young and old Frieda’s G.I. Jane moments are my stand-out oitnb season 5 moments. Poussey is dead and Sophia had 0.5 sec screentime, I have no wlw moments I care about or look forward to anymore, and Flaritza and Taystee and the gang potentially getting separated is not enticing me.

    • Oh I agree about not enough screen time for Laverne. Like she was part of the first half of the season and that’s it. When I was watching the scene Gloria of Gloria on the phone with her son, it occurred to me what happens to Sophia’s kid? What about her wife/ex & that guy she was seeing(?) the pastor? They need to take a page out of Transparent’s handbook and hire a few diverse lgbtq writers & producers, say a qtwoc.

      It just brought me to tears to see Suzan’s character neglected, as you poignantly said. There is more to her that I’d like to be shown. Though again I think Uzo gave an Emmy winning performance and raised the acting of others in the scene with her.

  12. This seasons had its moments, even a few parts that made me tear up. But, it was mostly me. I will say though Uzo Aduba should be nominated & win an Emmy for her exceptional performance this season.

    • RIGHT! I think the show should submit as a drama at all the awards and yes Uzo should win them all.


    So I just finished up the season, because what else would I do at 3 a.m. on a Monday night? (Tuesday morning?) And of course the first thing I did afterward was read this article.

    1. The math was fucking with me too. With Linda in account there’s 11 inmates missing. I read on another recap that ~maybe~ Chang was captured off-screen, but I don’t necessarily believe that. If that is the case though then it all adds up.

    2. I am also not a doctor — maybe Cindy knew lithium was used to treat people who are bipolar but didn’t know how it affected them necessarily. I don’t think Taystee knew it was wrong so much as she knew it wasn’t right to just…assume what someone’s medication should be. As for the list, I think Lorna might have just…gotten rid of it to support her “medication free” bullshit. I don’t think an epi-pen would have done that, but I guess it does give an adrenaline boost or something. So maybe.

    3. Linda is a cunt, they were probably glad she was gone.

    4. I hate both Angie and Leanne with a passion (although I did appreciate Angie’s brief moment of morality in the closet). There probably are computer records, but knowing Litchfield they’re probably fucked up.

    5. Definitely just a narrative decision to create more drama and suspense and what-not. It’s interesting, though, that they didn’t…wait until ALL the prisoners were accounted for? Does this mean the Gang of 10 down in the pool is going to be shipped off to the same prison, or are they going to take the effort to separate them all?

    6. Team Latte was idiotic (just like the White Power Bitches). I’m kinda bummed Ouija and Pidge got dragged into it because I actually sort of liked them. It was a cool fight scene, but there was no payoff. At the end of the day there were no consequences (that we’ve seen so far). Like, poor Dwight gets punched in the face for doing nothing, but the Merry Gang of Nazis (Sorry, One of Them’s Not A Nazi She’s Just a White Supremacist) just gets a little roughed up? Okay. I think they just wanted to prove a point…or something.

    7. I think Taystee not accepting the deal was actually totally out of character given how intelligent they’ve made her out to be for the past four seasons. Wasn’t she reading up on law and shit? Did she not think there was a better way. And why didn’t Caputo just say “no, fuck what you’re saying, we’re taking the deal and then we’ll work something out”? I don’t ~like~ Caputo, but I think after it all settled he would have been working to arrest Bayley — Hell, Bayley WANTS TO BE ARRESTED. It wouldn’t be a stretch. But Caputo is a pussy, so of course he didn’t take the deal.I could care les about Bayley’s man-pain, and Mr. Washington telling him off was gold.

    8. #JusticeForMaureen. Also: What the fuck happened to the nurse?

    9. I think the bunker peeps were more concerned about self-preservation (not surprising considering most, if not all of them, have shown selfish tendencies in the past). But even when Suzanne was eating the peanut butter it seemed…very jovial and not like she needed to be doing it.

    10. Because that would make too much sense and this is Orange is the New Black.

    11. Alex Vause is a fickle woman. Case and point, and I’ve been wanting to say this since I saw the episode and I will say it again when the review of the episode comes out: In Episode 9 (the one that was like a really shitty horror movie) Alex expresses distain for shower sex EVEN THOUGH HER AND PIPER WERE SHOWN HAVING SHOWER SEX IN THE PILOT EPISODE. What do you want, Vause? Why do you keep changing your mind?

    As for the matter at hand, what if Kubra sees the video and is like “hey, I thought this bitch was dead?” It would be a nice plot to explore, but the writers won’t do it because it will make too much sense. Also: Piscatella heard that Alex killed the guard, but he’s dead so that’s all void now…sooooo…what was the point of him “discovering” that in the first place.

    12. Sometimes people just don’t think rationally…on this show people don’t think rationally at all.

    13. I also have an ex with diabetes, and honestly every time the camera panned to Davis I was like “are they going to explore that?” When the camera panned to him when he was in The Poo I was like “surely NOW they’ll explore that.” But, nope…maybe the inmates gave it to him off screen…? Who am I kidding, no they didn’t. The writers don’t know how basic medical stuff works.

    14. You can ring up your push notifications to go off when certain keywords appear on the Internet (via Google, I think, so it will be like “some new posts about _____). But as a whole all of the “viral” stuff from this season (Cindy is a meme even though the video isn’t big enough to be meme-worthy? Flaca + Maritza as a whole? A shitty cell video — that was filmed vertically, for God’s sake Gina — of Alex getting assaulted reaches a million views in less than 24 hours?) made no sense. I’m studying Digital Media/Social Media stuff, and I know that shit doesn’t just…happen.

    15. “We have no access to Laverne AGAIN, so we’re just going to write Sophia off AGAIN.” -The OITNB Writers

    16. Sometimes a White Man’s Rage and Internalized Misogyny cannot be tamed. It did seem unrealistic though. Like, manhandling Brook was sort of uncalled for…homegirl was just sitting there mourning.

    So long, OITNB Season 5. Like most of my exes I will sort of miss you and reflect on you fondly even though you were a confusing piece of shit.

  14. Okay wait, about the inmate math part…Sophia was escorted to Max, but was that ever documented (I’m guessing…not given the state of everything).

    So, if Sophia is included, if they say “we have 10 missing inmates” it’s actually 12 because of Linda From Purchasing and Chang.

    Tucky + Sophia (?) + Everyone in the bunker = 12, which would account for everything?

    • spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler

      if it wasn’t documented that sophia went to max, would it have been documented that daya went to max? it was one of the guards hanging out outside who took sophia to max, it seems like that would’ve been recorded, yeah?

      i mean all of the questions i asked COULD be explained if we tried hard enough, but we shouldn’t have to, you know?

      anyhow i hope the miscount was an intentional choice — because that means it will come up next season and calm my existential crisis. ideally, it would be sophia not being accounted for and then somebody in charge would be like OMG we have to get sophia out of max

      • Missing Sophia(/daya) doesn’t fix it – it makes the mistake worse

        SWAT says they have 10 missing. 10 in the bunker, chang, penn, and Sophia is 13 missing. If Sophia wasn’t accounted for, the count should have been 12 missing. Daya – 13. Poussey still in the system – 14

  15. I second you on the medical inconsistencies – it *killed* me watching them mess that up so badly!

    The diabetic would’ve been well sick three days in!

    I do find it hard to believe they couldn’t find an antipsychotic for poor Suzanne….or get her confiscated meds.

    As for the lithium debacle…even if she’d overdosed it would’ve been highly unlikely to cause those symptoms – acute tox is almost exclusively vomiting and diarrhoea…..and coma due to lithium is *definitely* not reversible by adrenaline.

    Let’s not even get into the nurse initiated thrombolysis debate ?


  16. So for number 2: The only way this makes sense is if Suzanne is actually allergic to lithium. It’s not too uncommon of an allergy. Look Suzanne’s symptoms: Lethargy and trouble breathing. These are symptoms of an allergic reaction. The epipin would not be ‘reacting’ to the lithium but to her body’s response of the the lithium. Did anyone notice how calm she was when she woke up? It looks like lithium would have been a wonderful treatment for her if it were not for the allergy. I was worried that they were going to kill Suzanne off with a lithium overdose. I am glad they did not.

  17. spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler

    This exchange for me in the last episode completely sums up this season.

    Alex: So was it worth it?
    Piper: What?
    Alex: The riot. Was it worth it?
    Piper: Oh, don’t do that.
    Alex: I’m not being a dick. I’m serious.
    Red: Things got out of hand.
    Alex: Out of hand? Wow. That’s real passive sh** for a woman who’s directly responsible for the ogre in the corner, Red.

    Piper: We can’t know that yet. Maybe they’ll meet some of our demands. (pause) MAYBE some grandma in Kansas will read an article about this, and she’ll see us as people instead of criminals. And then she’ll tell all her grandma friends and they’ll tell their kids and they’ll tell their grandkids. I mean, isn’t that how change really happens? Through Midwestern grandmas having epiphanies? (pause) Maybe that will have made all of this worth it.

    It does not surprise me that the characters involved in this exchange are all white. These characters in this moment represent the OITNB writers. This is the writers’ defense of their storytelling choices, and it’s the same defense they have been offering since last year. Yeah, it got out of hand (sorry, Poussey!), but hey! Maybe somebody living somewhere not called NY or LA watches this storyline, and it humanizes prison inmates for them. And maybe that’s the start of real change! Don’t judge us yet!

    That defense is sh**. And the way that Taylor Schilling delivers these lines makes me believe that she knows it’s sh**, too.

    • YES. Seriously though. Change almost always comes from the top, from good leadership. If the whole riot only speaks to some rural traditional grandma, it has not done its job.

      Though she does have a point: the only reason the show was made was because a white upper class woman ended up in prison once and wrote about it.

  18. 11. Well it’s a weird that Alex is not freaked out by the fact that a video of her is gone viral. Kubra will now probably learn about that fact that she is still alive, that is why she was camera shy in the first place (for Kubra not to know about this fact). Don’t know if this is an error in writing or if it will have a follow up. If it is the latter I am not looking forward to it.


    I loved this show at first. Representation, depicting the reprecussions of privatizing prisons, etc… all amazing. But 3 main things:
    (1) This season really really took me out of things: the stories were over-dramatized, and didn’t always ring true with me. Suzanne’s mental illness is used as a plot device to draw tears from the audience, and she has few moments of real lucidity… I just think they dehumanized her character and they could have done so much more with her.
    (2) WHAT IS UP with Doggett not showing ANY signs of triggering or trauma by seeing her rapist pop up?? What was the point of the rape if there’s no aftermath? I am so angry.
    (3) I cannot stand “torture porn”. The homage to horror genre movies was enjoyable, but if I have to watch another scene ever involving a man capturing and torturing women who are screaming and crying, I’m gonna eat my foot. It’s just so outdated and sexist and screwed up.

    My favorite moments:
    (1) Piscatella and his boyfriend. If he wasn’t so messed up later on, I would have adored the character for this.
    (2) Flaca and Maritza are definitely the best comic relief. I cracked up when they were recording a video during the horror episode and looked like the twins from The Shining.
    (3) Ruiz’s boyfriend coming with the baby. Their chemistry on screen is amazing and they’re one of the only couples I consistently root for.
    (4) Taystee was so boss this season. Her character is TOTALLY going places, and the character development after the loss of her friend is probably the best character development in the show.
    (5) I did really feel for Caputo this season. You could see how much he’s struggled to do the right things at every step, even though he’s imperfect and has terrible taste in women.

  20. spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler

    It hurt my heart a lot, but I’m hoping that in the later recaps there’s some discussion of the Nicky/Lorna stuff. It’s sad and repetitive and horrible but it still made my heart break, and I love the characters and actresses.

  21. I dunno if this counts as a spoiler or not since this info is readily on IMDB, but spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler, spoiler.

    Was/is Dascha busy with other work? Because the latter half of the season she was not seen or even really talked about. Same with the actress who plays her mother? Could we have least gotten her in the last episode or two, like maybe waiting outside the jail, like Piper and Suzane’s mother? Same with having Dascha and Lavern shown for like a few seconds in the last episode where all the inmates were being arrested or put on the bus. Also, is it just me or is there one too many characters(more so white) on this show? Is it because some of their actress are busy with other work so they pad us with more characters? Isn’t Ruby Rose’s character also suppose to be in prison; so why no words from her?

    Oh, anyone else kind of irked Kate Dillon is playing a racist? It could have been a good opportunity to have them play maybe a non-binary character or something.

  22. spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler spoiler

    Re: #1 – The response team claims 10 prisoners were missing. And yeah, 10 of them were in the old pool. But Chang and Pennsatucky escaped, and the prison employee chick was mistaken for an inmate and included in the headcount after the riot, so 10 + 2 – 1 would actually be 11 missing inmates. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps Judy the celebrity chef who was being released the day the riot started was still included in the official count, and because Taystee let her go the 2nd day, it’s created a discrepancy in how many inmates there are on paper. If Judy King hasn’t actually been marked as released in the system, then perhaps that is messing up the count?

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