"PolyCon Doesn’t Care" Orange Is the New Black S6 E12 “Double Trouble"

“Double Trouble” Orange, Black or Bleak? Season 6 Episode 12 (Netflix)

Orange Black or Bleak 6.2.jpg

Yup, this is recap number 76

Last week on Decarceration Nation I did an interview with expert in Harm Reduction and Drug Policy Dr. Sheila Vakharia. We talked about everything from Suboxone Smuggling to Fentanyl and from the War on Drugs to treatment modalities.

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.

I also started doing a criminal justice reform newsletter of current events, the most recent edition covered a new move to return Pell Grants to prisoners, calling out CNN for mental health shaming Kanye West, and some reasons for optimism for the federal First Step Act.

If you have not watched OITNB before *Spoiler Alert*

5 Things About Season 6 Episode 12 “Double Trouble”

 Netflix

Netflix

Okay, next week is the end of Season 6. Feels like there is still a lot to resolve...sadly, and I mean this with respect, this was one of the most idiotic - least realistic - episodes in the history of the entire show (and that is really saying something).

Unfortunately, as usual, it appears to me that the writer’s have planned out an outline of season seven and they are tying the characters into knots “correctly” positioning them.

I really dislike this kind of writing, characters should inform plot (not the other way around).

5. “You Were My Friend”

So, I am supposed to believe that Red is now so angry at Frieda that she (never a violent person in 6 seasons) is going to give up meeting her grandkids for the first time ever, to try to choke Frieda in front of 20 inmates and several CO’s?

Nope.

Has Red ever seemed impulsive or strategically stupid to you?

Nope not to me either.  

Just another example of making a character change her nature to fit some idiotic plot point. I am so tired of the writers changing characters core character traits to serve the plot. Red, even angry (and she has been very angry at times throughout the show) is not an idiot.

Even if she had decided to “get Freida” - not really in her nature - she would be doing it in a smarter way, a more thoughtful way.

In the whole history of the show Red tried to get tough ONE time and got beaten down badly (by Vee’s goons in Season 2).

Also, not sure I totally understand how Red’s hair is now fixed (is it extensions or something?). How did one trip to Carol’s magic barber make it so Red doesn’t have to cover up the space where she was scalped by Piscatella again? I am sure there is some simple answer to this one (I don’t know anything about hair).

4: “Happy To Sniff Around”

Piper is NOT an idiot.

Piper has been in scrapes, she has been in charge, she knows the ropes (hell she was even branded at one point)...There is NO F*CKING WAY she would try to sell information to CO’s and think that would shut Badison down.

Sorry to get so passionate and worked up, but this is just terrible and stupid writing. At the beginning of the season, Taylor Schilling wrote an article about how she is glad her time on the show is almost over because Piper doesn’t make sense to her anymore. I suspect this is part of what she means.

Piper was many things throughout the seasons, but she was NOT an idiot and she was not green.

You don't get branded for affiliating with the wrong person only to turn snitch to the CO’s. She knows the CO’s can’t protect her and that it could get her killed.

She sure knows better than giving the CO’s drugs. NOBODY is that stupid.

How stupid do the writers think we are, this is insulting.

3: “Cubra Worldwide”

Given Piper has now been turned into “idiotic zombie Piper,” I guess it makes sense that Vause would sacrifice herself in order to “save” Piper (although, in reality Vause has been itching all season to go back to her former criminal lifestyle).

People in prison often feel insecure about their ability to do anything other than the work they did before they were arrested. Especially given the lack of serious programming to prepare people in prison for a better life outside of prison (demonstrated by the inmate reactions to the new PolyCon video).

Anyway, this part rings true to me at some level, Vause isn’t just insecure about being able to do a normal job, she also clearly misses the action. You could read this move by Vause either as a massive sacrifice or as her decision to return to being where the action is.

I feel like it is more the latter than the former.

The part where the CO’s talk in the breakroom about wanting to see Taystee fry was over the top, but the PTSD discussion was, by far, the standout moment in this episode (and one of the standout moments of this season).

2. “I Am Good At Math”

So let me get this straight, they are prosecuting Taystee for killing Desi Piscatella based on her fingerprints being found on the gun and from testimony from other inmates that she was seen pointing the gun at Piscatella (but not firing it).

Okay, I have already explained why I think this is insane but okay.

But now, over the last few weeks, we are being led to believe that the testimony that could give Taystee the Death Penalty (which also makes no sense without more direct evidence) was provided by Cindy...whose fingerprints WERE ALSO ON THE GUN.

Did you see any cross-examination of Cindy about her conflict of interest? I sure didn't.

Did Taystee’s ACLU lawyer get her law degree from ACME Law School?

So, to recap Taystee is losing a case where:

  • The “victim” is on tape trying to kill inmates, a tape that was distributed on the internet during the riot

  • The only direct evidence is fingerprints, but there are four other people with fingerprints on the gun...INCLUDING the fingerprints of the main witness for the prosecution.

  • Before the riot, during the riot, and after the riot there is evidence of brutality and murder by MCC (including the death of Poussey Washington) - which I get is motive, but would also be a mitigating factor

  • The only secondary evidence is rebutted directly by the person who that violence was committed against who was the WARDEN at the time and who insists Taystee wasn’t capable of murdering anyone.

But, we are now supposed to believe she will be sentenced to death (so that they can set up Caputo’s “hero quest” to save her in Season 7).

I still think there is zero chance this case would have ever moved forward in the first place, but if this was a death penalty case she would have had a whole team of Federal public defenders with experience in Death Eligible defense (I actually know someone who is a Federal PD). And if the ACLU were involved there would be a death-eligible team (not just one lone ACLU attorney).

Sorry, don’t mean to be so negative, but this all makes ZERO sense.

Despite all of this, Danielle Brooks has done some of her best acting this season. The story might make no sense, but she is acting the hell out of Taystee this season.

1: “Thanks to PolyCon GED, my options are infinite”

PolyCon can’t grant people early release.

There is NO federal parole board.

The only person who can grant early release in a Federal Prison is the President of the United States (using his or her commutation powers) and the only other ways to cut time are good time or RDAP.

Period.

Orange Is the New Black just based the entire endgame of their season on something that LITERALLY can’t happen.

I think, maybe, they were trying to work a risk assessment into the story with the whole algorithmic data entry they have Hopper doing and yes the Bureau of Prisons might be adding an algorithmic risk assessment tool if the First Step Act passes Congress, but PolyCon is NOT the Bureau of Prisons and that bill doesn’t use the Algorithm to hand out early releases (they would be released to finish out their sentence on parole).

PolyCon can influence release through good time and/or disciplinary reports and bringing new charges, but they can’t shorten sentences. It is laughable to suggest that PolyCon can create an extra-judicial automated program deciding who gets released (they have ZERO power over the judiciary or the Bureau of Prisons, they are a contractor providing a service).

I get why Hopper, in the midst of playing drug mule, would not want Piper telling tales about how drugs get into Litchfield Max, and he would have power to threaten her or sick inmates on her, but neither he, nor Linda, nor Fig have one ounce of the power to release her.

Unlocking The Gates

 Netflix

Netflix

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