By Courtney E. Smith
Orange pajama pants on, Kotex shower shoes made and takeout ordered because I’m not committing to eating prison food. It’s time to binge-watch all 13 hours of Netflix’s prestige dramedy, Orange Is the New Black, season three.
If you haven’t watched before, the show is an ensemble piece following the lives of multiple female characters as they live their life in Litchfield prison, a fictional institution in New York. While the show started with a focus on one particularly entitled white character, Piper (Taylor Schilling) and her assimilation into this environment (it is based off of the real Piper’s memoir), has expanded into an interesting look at prison life from all sorts of points of view.
This season sees the return of Alex (Laura Pepron), Piper’s love interest who was absent for much of season 2; the addition of Mary Steenburgen as Porn Stache’s mom; and themes of “faith and motherhood.” So now that you’ve got a taste of what’s coming on this Emmy & Peabody Award winning series, let’s jump into the latest season! Naturally there are spoilers ahead, so read at your own risk.
Episode 1 – 10PM, June 11
The series dropped early (“early release for good behavior” haha Netflix, very cute). And it goes right into those themes of motherhood, with the first episode taking place the day before and then on Mother’s Day. We get multiple flashbacks to childhood, meeting the moms of Nicky (Natasha Lyonne), Doggett (Taryn Manning) and Poussey (Samira Wiley). We see Sophia (Laverne Cox) when she was still a man, waiting on her son to be born. And in the end, when Daya’s little sister goes missing in the prison and a full shut down is called, all the moms who are so happily spending time with their children have to hit the ground in a harsh reminder that in this life they are all inmates first and foremost. When it’s not all mom stuff, we get the romantic reunion of Piper and Alex, who has a black eye courtesy of a crackhead in lockup.