The Coincidental Critic

Exploring the art of storytelling.

Orange is the New Black Season 3: The Calm Before the Storm (SPOILERS)


In season three of “Orange is the New Black,” there were flashbacks to some of the employee’s past lives as well as the inmates.  We learned about Bennett’s time in the military and how he lost his leg.  We learned that Caputo has always been a selfless pushover.  And we learned a bit about Healy’s crazy mother.  The employees had a central focus in season three.  The antagonist this season was corporate.

Uzo Aduba (Crazy Eyes) is an amazing actress.  I can’t even being to imagine how hard it is to play a character like Crazy Eyes.  Aduba makes her character eccentric, but lovable and relatable.

Pennsatucky became one of my favorite characters this season.  Taryn Manning was amazing at playing the gullible and ignorant, yet lovable character.  Pennsatucky has developed so much over the series.  I greatly sympathized with her this season.  Also, I love her relationship with Big Boo.  They’re so different, yet they care about each other.

Apparently a lot of people were upset about Bennett and Daya’s storyline, which is reasonable.  They were the star-crossed lovers.  But “Orange is the New Black” is not a Nicholas Sparks novel.  While heartbreaking, Bennett leaving is realistic, especially considering the circumstances.  This is a phenomenon that many people have experienced.  No one is perfect, not even handsome, sweet Bennett.  People are constantly driven by fear, and in this instance, Bennett’s fear took control.  My one complaint about this storyline is that we didn’t get enough emotion from Daya.  Rejection and betrayal can sting for a long time.  It only took one episode for her to mourn.  Bennett’s actions are something that will stay with her forever.

This season of “Orange is the New Black” had a strong focus on love and sex, most particularly in women’s lives.  There were storylines that dealt with rape, pregnancy, marriage, family, cheating, etc.  This season was very educational, and I encourage every young woman watch this show.

Season 3 of “Orange is the New Black” was lighter than the past two seasons.  There was more humor and less violence.  I love how the season ended with the women in the lake.  It made me happy.

While this season was relatively lighthearted, we do know that a storm is brewing.  The experienced guards have all quit.  The prison capacity is doubling in size.  Maritza is about to start driving the van with Coates.  Daya’s baby was probably taken by child services.  And Alex is in grave danger!  We have been warned.

I never truly understood Piper’s attraction to Stella.  How did it start?  She was head over heels for Alex, and then suddenly, she was kissing Stella.  I did not see it coming.

More detailed reviews about specific episodes:

S3E2: Bed Bugs and Beyond

A great transition in “Bed Bugs and Beyond” was during the bomb scene.  In a flashback, Bennett was at a military base and someone threw a grenade.  As it was about to blow, the scene cut to a YouTube video of a dog farting.  It was perfectly timed and reduced the tension.

S3E5: Fake It Till You Fake It Some More

My favorite quote in “Fake It Till You Fake It Some More” was when Alex said, “…clearly her Disney Princess is Jasmine,” when referring to a suspicious inmate.  I’m a huge Disney fan.  My friends and I always like to match ourselves to Disney princesses, so I found this line to be hilarious.

S3E7: Tongue-Tied

In “Tongue-Tied,” some of the ladies played the classic game “M.A.S.H.”  I used to play that game all the time when I was little.  It gave me nostalgia.

S3E8: Fear, and Other Smells

Coates told Pennsatucky that he was surprised they let her drive (I mean, she is a criminal).  I knew exactly what Coates was referring to, but Pennsatucky did not.  She thought he was referencing her size, thinking she was too short to drive.  This scene was a perfect example of great writing and acting.

“Fear, and Other Smells” ended with a shot of Lolly writing down Alex’s every moves.  The episode then cut to the credits and creepy music played in the background.  It was a great way to end the episode.

S3E9: Where My Dreidel At?

I was not expecting Leanne to be Amish.  We all knew her to be a meth addict.  The first flashback showed her hanging out with other meth addicts.  But towards the end of the flashback, we saw her return home.  She changed her clothes and hid her backpack in the woods.  This was a great and surprising way for the writers to present this information to us.

S3E12: Don’t Make Me Come Back There

In “Don’t Make Me Come Back There,” Cindy was told that she had Mickey Mouse ear hair.  It was such an accurate description, it made me laugh.

A great transition in “Don’t Make Me Come Back There” was after one of Aleida’s flashbacks.  The camera spun around Aleida as she looked around the summer camp, then it cut to a shot of her looking around the prison.  It was an interesting way to bring the story back to the present and illustrate the passage of time.

S3E13: Trust No Bitch

My favorite line in “Trust No Bitch” was between Red and Healy: “Love is the lie we tell ourselves so we don’t go extinct.”  It’s a rather pessimistic philosophy, but very interesting.

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