Burning Down The House: The OPS Guide to Orange Is the New Black Season 5
Orange, Black, or Bleak OITNB Season 5
The entirety of Season 5 of Orange Is the New Black takes place over a three-day period which started with the murder of Poussey Washington and ends with ten of the only twelve inmates who haven’t yet been recaptured standing with dignity in defiance while awaiting the arrival of the CERT team.
Ultimately, I would say the season was really about two closely interrelated things:
* How all human beings, when they find themselves imbued with the power over life and death, find it very hard to treat the people left behind, those without power, with dignity and respect. As we have seen throughout history, the oppressed become oppressors and nobody seems to learn very much from becoming brutal or from being brutalized. When the prisoners torture the correctional officers, the dissenting inmates choose to divest themselves rather than fight for the human rights of the correctional officers.
* How state sanctioned violence operates more like a virus than a cure for violence. When the CERT team breaches Litchfield and the agents begin to commit random, but sanctioned, acts of violence they are only cautioned when that violence would create administrative hassles or bring undue attention to the exercise.
The only exception was Joe Caputo, who started to fight for the rights of the inmates and against his own employer. However, when push came to shove, it was Joe who revealed the location of the pool fully aware that the result might be catastrophic for the inmates.
The point is that, even before the riot, the prison system is built on addressing violence and cruelty with solutions grounded in violence and cruelty and a garbage in garbage out mentality that guarantees terrible outcomes to every problem.
If you prefer videos about prison reform including formerly incarcerated folks, here is an amazing video the American Friends Service Committee of Michigan put out.
Okay, here are the links to my recaps of every episode of Season 5. Enjoy!
Riot FOMO: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 1
Orange, Black, or Bleak Season 5 Episode 1 "Riot FOMO" allowed me to discuss violence as a general phenomenon, about the structural basis of prison violence, and about why Caputo isn't necessarily a nice guy.
Fuck, Marry Frieda: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 2
Orange, Black, or Bleak Season 5 Episode 2 “Fuck, Marry Frieda” allowed me to discuss the systemic responsibility for the violence of the riot, reflect on Abu Ghraib prison, and to discuss prison barbers.
PIssters: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 3
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E3 "Pissters" offered me the opportunity to discuss the official list of the prisoner's riot demands, CO Bayley's dilemma, and the stop-motion animation classic “The Year Without Santa Claus.”
Lichfield's Got Talent: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 4
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E4 "Lichfield's Got Talent" allowed me to discuss the use of stereotypes of the mentally ill, David Foster Wallace, and the use of casual racism in the service of ‘entertainment.’.
Sing It, White Effie: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 5
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E5 “Sing It, White Effie” allowed me to discuss many levels of inappropriate appropriation, the employment of formerly incarcerated people, and mental illness ‘treatment’ in prison.
Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 6
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E6 “Flaming Hot Cheetos, Literally” allowed me to discuss the propaganda of "Law and Order," prosecutorial misconduct, and a plea for my readers to join the fight for criminal justice reform.
Full Bush, Half Snickers: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 7
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E7 “Full Bush, Half Snickers” let me talk about Red's character transformation, Suzanne's problems, and the surprising affinity for the Harry Potter books in prison.
Tied To The Tracks: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 8
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E8 “Tied To The Tracks” allowed me to talk about philosophical puzzles, about the riot turning good people bad, and about a silly plan by Red.
The Tightening: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 9
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E9 “The Tightening” allowed me to talk about the objectification of inmates, about activism, and about some questionable “riot logic.”
The Reverse Midas Touch: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 10
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E10 “The Reverse Midas Touch” allowed me to discuss revenge fantasies, riot negotiation problems, and the popularity of Scrabble in prison.
Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 11
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E11 “Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling” allowed me to discuss the problem of holes in fences, misprescribed mental health meds, and Big Boo discovering the limits of her ethical system.
Tattoo You: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 12
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E12 “Tattoo You” allowed me to discuss prison hiring, return to the logic behind the writing of the riot, and the importance of centering the series on prisoner's humanity.
Storm-y Weather: Orange Is the New Black - Season 5 Episode 13
Orange, Black, or Bleak S5 E13 “Storm-y Weather” allowed me to talk about justice & law, about why prisoners and correctional officers matter, and to sum up my feelings about Season 5.
RIP to the LItch, and I hope you enjoyed my coverage of Season 5!
Dissecting the new official Rami Malek interview to see if it offers any clues to how Elliot will end up in disintegration in Season 3 (as promised). Enjoy!
Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 5 "Nowhere Man" (AMC) is about how friends can often be our cruelest companions and how betrayals are often instigated by our own selfish mistakes. Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 Episode 5 "Fake It Till You Fake It Some More" lets me talk about new ways of looking at employment programs for formerly incarcerated people and fake programming. Enjoy!
My interview with vocalist Dean Tzenos of the Toronto Ontario band Odonis Odonis. We discuss the future of music, social media, and the No Pop movement.
South Park S21 E01 "White People Renovating" was a pretty serious set of criticisms about race and class relations in America. Enjoy!
Another grouping of not so randomly organized songs in a mixed-tape style Playlist formation. Cabaret Voltaire, Mas Ysa, The Cure & many others make an appearance. Explore Enjoy and Share Music!
On Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 4 "Tonya and Nancy," we saw one metaphor attempt to encapsulate ten storylines, the often quiet but intentional genesis of betrayals, a new character, and a bunch of stuff about browser-wars.
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 Episode 4 "A Finger in the Dyke" allows me to discuss rational reasons for 'denial' and private prisons. Enjoy!
Sometimes you have to spend all normal Mr. Robot operations (like when Sam Esmail is willing to chat about The Cure). Enjoy!
Lots of great new music on this mixed-tape style playlist, songs from Pinact, Worriers, Big Hush, Mescaleros and many others. Explore, Enjoy, and Share Music!
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 Episode 3 "Empathy Is a Boner Killer" allows me to discuss addiction in prison, how prison laundry works, and Jenji Kohan.
Elliot Alderson is an important protagonist because he represents our diversity, addiction, mental illness, and our massive population of formerly incarcerated people. Enjoy!
“The Dragon and the Wolf” includes betrayals (big and small), reunions, and legendary theories verified for once and for all. Enjoy!
Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 3 "Miscellaneous" is about paths between social disconnection and connection, relationships, and approaching lines you can't cross without being forever changed. Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black Season Three Episode Two deals with Bedbugs, Book Burning, and Bennett. Enjoy!
The Defenders S1 E2 "Mean Right Hook" sets the pieces in motion for The Defenders to start working together and all while Alexandra starts to unveil her plans. Enjoy!
This week I am covering a wide-variety of new developments in the Mr. Robot universe from new teaser trailers to interviews with B.D. Wong and Tod Campbell (Mr. Robot's cinematographer)
Vanilla Stranger Boy is my weekly Mixed-Tape style playlist featuring Moody Beach, LCD Soundystem, Car Seat Headrest, Julien Baker and many others. Explore, Enjoy, and Share Music!
Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 6 “Beyond The Wall” involves magnificent sacrifices, exposes monumental betrayals, and changes the order of battle dramatically. Enjoy!
Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episodes 1 and 2 were often like a tone poem bringing together four seasons of memories and also about building a foundation for Season 4 as beautiful as it was fragile. Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 Episode 1 "Mother's Day" lets me talk about Mother's in prison, Sexual Objectification, and Healy's root problem. Enjoy!
In The Defenders Season 1 Episode 1 "The H Word" The Hand sets off a nightmare that they interpret as a dream, Danny Rand has a nightmare he can't stop dreaming about, and Jessica Jones wakes up hung over.
Sonic Dog Mausoleum is this weeks mixed-tape style playlist including music from Gold Class, Guided by Voices, The National, Protomarty and many others. Explore, Enjoy, and Share Music!
Game of Thrones Season 7 Epsiode 5 "Eastwatch" has Jorah returning to Dragonstone, Tyrion taking a trip home, and Sam becoming a lord (and a few other surprises). Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black Season 2 Episode 13 "We Have Manners, We're Polite" allows me to talk about official cruelty and indifference, Caputo's true disposition, and a few accuracy problems. Enjoy!
This week I am covering the Leonard Cohen poem "Democracy" and its application to what might happen during Mr. Robot Season 3. Enjoy!
"Bird Bite Hair" is this week's mixed-tape style Spotify playlist including music from Pavement, Echo and the Bunnymen, Downtown Boys, Sleater Kinney and many others. Explore, Enjoy, and Share Music!
In Game of Thrones S7 E4 "The Spoils of War" Arya comes home, Cersei makes friends with a Bank, and one heck of a good battle broke out. Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black Season 2 Episode 12 "It Was The Change" allows me to talk about Mothers (and other women) in real prisons, Red's lack of vision, and a few plot problems.
This week I am talking about the Mr. Robot Season 3 Trailer and the larger significance of the Mr. Robot Original Funko Ads. Enjoy!