"I’m a Carrot" Orange Is the New Black S6 E9 "Break The String"

“Break The String” Orange, Black or Bleak? Season 6 Episode 9 (Netflix)

Orange Black or Bleak 6.2.jpg

Yup, this is recap number 74.

I hope you have been listening to my podcast Decarceration Nation, last week I took a week off...I had not done that in over 20 weeks. If you haven’t caught up with all 33 episodes yet, I hope you will give it a chance.

It is easy to check Decarceration Nation  out. We are on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher and Tune-In. You can also find every episode at DecarcerationNation.com.

If you have not watched OITNB before *Spoiler Alert*

5 Things About Season 6 Episode 9 “Break The String”



Pretty entertaining episode. I still think many of the underlying premises make little sense, but at least the story lines are starting to come together.

5. “Kickball”

It is hard to watch Piper sometimes, she has been in prison way too long to remain so naive. You can’t just go talk to anyone you want whenever you want (at least not safely). Communication with “bosses” like Carol are limited. If you haven’t noticed, even Carol’s lieutenant Badison doesn’t just walk up and start talking to Carol without being summoned.

You definitely would not just walk up to a block boss on the yard without permission. Plus, when Piper asked Carol for permission to talk to the other girls, it seemed pretty clear she only had permission to approach girls on her unit (given the war between the two blocks).

Anyway, it is likely that Carol might have enough interest in making Alex a business partner that she would give Piper a pass, but the process of how this would have all worked were not right. Remember, just one week ago, Nicky and Blanca were beaten up for working together despite living on different blocks (beaten badly enough to both have been moved to medical).

Most likely, Carol would have retaliated against Piper for working with people in the other block. Optics matter in keeping power. Again, she might be giving Piper a pass in order to keep Alex open to working with them, but it would have been much more likely that protocols would have been followed and Carol would have just had her girls ensure the signatures were collected.

4.  “Caputo is a good egg”

Look, it is awesome that Caputo is finally doing the right thing and all but let us remember Poussey died because Caputo was too busy with Fig and than with Linda to do his job. In particular, despite multiple credible reports of neglect and abuse, he turned the entire prison over to Piscatela and his goons.

Is he doing the right thing? Yes.

Is he to blame for the whole situation? Yes.

Also, I am getting REALLY tired of watching experienced and smart people “totally surprised” by the legal process. Do the writers seriously want us to believe that an ACLU attorney and an experienced warden would not have prepped for obvious questions about the riot?

Caputo was never prepped by Taystee’s lawyer for obvious questions about Taystee punching him or her crew (none of the rest of whom are being tried) holding him hostage? Seriously?

And why in the world is Taystee at Capito’s deposition? I feel like the writers just make stuff up every week. In a traditional deposition any party would have the right to be present at a deposition, but I am not 100% sure that applies to prisoners. Prisoners 100% do not have the right to attend civil or civil rights depositions and, at least when represented by council, they are presumed to be represented if not present.

I could be wrong on criminal procedure, but I will keep looking into it and get back to you.

3. “The one that beats Daya or the one that beats Taystee”

I mean officers usually only beat down inmates directly in certain situations (like when a fight breaks out, when someone is in a private cell, when someone is in SHU, or manufacturing situations where  an inmate could be seen as “resisting.”

It is MUCH more likely that they would get inmates to beat Daya or Taystee down for them.

Not saying it never happens, just saying CO’s are usually a bit more thoughtful about how they make inmate lives miserable.

2. “This block system is totally insane”

Yes, this is true. It is HIGHLY irregular for blocks to be literally pitted against each other in this manner. Either the blocks would be run in such a way so that the blocks would never - or rarely - see each other or they would see each other all the time.

For some reason, there are people from each block that just seem to be able to walk around the prison at will policing and beating people up….other inmates can hide in the stacks of the law library or go into the barbershop with no supervision.

I am constantly confused by the lack of enforcement of consistent rules. Let me give you a quick example. When I was in quarantine (which is operated like a Max security facility), the ONLY time we weren’t literally under the eye of correctional officers at every second, was the walk to and from the cafeteria. During this time there were CO’s but they weren’t up in our business at every second.

For instance, just to go to the shower, there was a line and the officer told you when to enter and when to leave. The officer was standing directly outside of the shower area looking directly at us. An officer stood at the phones. Officers were stationed all over the yard during recreational time.

Can inmates attack each other? Or course they can. But, Maximum Security facilities are a much tighter ship than is being depicted on this show.

1. Carol and Barb

Okay, you already know that I think the entire legal premise of Season 6 makes ZERO sense (why would either the BOP’s or MCC want to push charges against Taystee or especially Red when those defendants could literally put the system on trial?).

I have one other large problem with Season 6. While I totally get Carol as a block boss, Barbara makes ZERO sense to me. I get that she is a sociopath for sure, but she is also an active addict and, if I am totally honest, very weak.

Daddy gave her bath salts to put her into psychosis to give herself “time” to figure out a larger strategy? What? Throughout the entire season, Barb has come across as nuts but not consistent and certainly not strong enough to keep a block under control for decades?

Why would anyone follow someone who mostly seems needy, addicted, and not particularly strong (see every battle she engages in throughout the entire season)? I just don’t get it. During episode 9 she is literally put in psych but we are supposed to believe she is strong enough to run her block?

Let me put it a different way, what behavior has she engaged in - either in flashback or in real time - which suggests anyone would be afraid of her enough not to challenge or take advantage of her? Barb just does not strike me as even a particularly effective fighter (she gets knocked to the ground quickly in every battle with her sister, for instance).

Okay, I guess that is enough for this week.

Unlocking The Gates



New recaps will come out once a week (usually on Sunday mornings).

I am a member of a Criminal Justice Reform organization called Nation Outside (The Voice of the Formerly Incarcerated) but I am not speaking for Nation Outside in any official capacity.

If you are interested in criminal justice reform or are formerly incarcerated yourself, please consider joining the fight (if you are a Michigan resident - you can sign up by clicking on the hyperlink above).

Leave comments, let us know what you thought! We will answer any questions you have (that are civil).