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!
Mr. Robot Eps3.9Shutdown -r ended season three on a disturbing note. We don't know much more than we knew before and the rules of the show seem to have been altered. Follow me down the S3 finale rabbit hole.
Finally, I finished choosing my Top 20 Albums of 2017. Lots of amazing albums this year from Kendrick Lamar to Priests...From Protomartyr to Odonis Odonis. What will be the order? Check it out!
Orange Is the New Black S4 E4 “Doctor Psycho” allows me to discuss the need for transparency in prisons, how punishment beyond solitary looks, and the ongoing problem of Doggett and Donuts. Enjoy!
An interesting but confounding and confusing episode of Mr. Robot (including many twists and turns). Hopefully, I have read the clues correctly. Enjoy
Been slacking a bit on the playlists lately, this new mixed-tape style playlist includes music from Waxahatchee, Cayetana, Zola Jesus, DEVO & many others. Explore, Enjoy, and Share Music!
Orange Is the New Black S4 E3 allowed me to explore residency restrictions for registered citizens, etiquette in the visiting room, and drones. Enjoy!
Mr. Robot Eps3.7dont-delete-me.ko was one of the oddest episodes ever aired that was not directed by David Lynch. Hopefully, I can make a little sense of it all. Enjoy.
Orange Is the New Black Season 4 Episode 2 "Power Suit" lets me discuss prison etiquette, CO assignments, and prisoner expectations. Enjoy!
Mr. Robot Eps3.6fredrick&tanya.chk is about coming to grips with complicity and accepting the expectation of sacrifice. In other words, things are totally nuts (as usual). Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black S4 E1 "Work That Body For Me" allows me to discuss inmate count, prison overcrowding, and the importance of Toilet Paper in prison. Enjoy!
Mr. Robot Eps3.5.kill-process.inc revealed that I was right about the 71 Facilities but also exposed new information about Angela, Tyrell, and announced the Pirce Zhang war. Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black S3 E13 “Trust No Bitch” allows me to discuss prison fences, tattoos, and the new gangster version of Piper Chapman
Mr. Robot Eps3.4runtime-error.r00 brings me back to some old theories about the show, Elliot, Angela, and the Dark Army. Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 Episode 12 "Don't Make Me Come Back There" allows me to discuss pseudo-families in women’s prisons, the importance of language, and the ongoing secret tragedy of administrative segregation. Enjoy!
Lots of intrigues and double-dealing on Mr. Robot this week but ultimately Eps3.3metadata.par2 was really about Darlene Alderson.
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 Episode 11 "We Can Be Heroes" lets me talk about the true nature of heroism, Doggett's humiliation, and about the need for Women's prison reform. Enjoy!
Mr. Robot Eps3.2legacy.so gets to the bottom of "Who Is Mr. Wellick's Landlord." This week I am talking all things Swedish Fish, coffee mugs, and subtext. Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 Episode 10 "Tittin' and Harin'" is about a whole bunch of brutality and sadness which allows me to talk about the need for deep prison reform. Enjoy!
Mr. Robot Eps3.1undo.gz was totally packed with almost non-stop action. One of the most major events in the history of the show happens early and it was almost hard to remember it by the end. Buckle up!
Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episodes 9/10 "Search; Ten of Swords" given me the opportunity to say goodbye to one of my favorite shows of all-time. What an amazing finale. Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black S3 E9 "Where My Dreidel At?" is about bad food (again), strange bedfellows, and entrepreneurial spirit. Enjoy
Mr. Robot Eps3.0power-saver-mode.h led me to contemplate fusion, time-travel, parallel universes and disintegration in under one hour and fifteen minutes. Enjoy!
Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Episode 8 "Goodwill" was about coming to grips with loss, mending wounds, and mourning with family. Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 Episode 8 "Fear, and Other Smells" allows me to talk about bad food, bad management priorities, and the importance of fighting for much needed change.
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 Episode 7 "Tongue-Tied" allows me to discuss legal housing discrimination, CO training, and prison speak. Enjoy!
This week was about investing and new ideas, re-launching friendships and connections, and facing the often unexpected profound sadness of life.
Halt and Catch Fire Season 4 Epsiode 6 "A Connection Is Made" is about masks coming off and the truths underneath behavior being revealed. Enjoy!
Orange Is the New Black Season 3 Episode 6 "Ching, Chong, Chang" allows me to discuss a potential problem at the heart of the series and wage exploitation of inmates and CO's. Enjoy!
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!