Monday, September 14, 2015

Orange is the New Black 3x13 "Trust No Bitch" (Hope Is The Thing) [Contributor: Rae Nudson]

"Trust No Bitch"

After all that these women have been though, and after all that I know is still to come in their lives, it was uplifting to finally feel a sense of hope in the season finale. Much like the season premiere, this episode focused on multiple women's flashbacks and tied several of their stories together. The inmates of Litchfield are in this together, after all, and it was wonderful to see them happy, even for just a few minutes, playing in the lake.

I missed the force and focus a memorable villain like Vee brought to the show, but this season of Orange Is The New Black was very often a touching look at the deep emotion that drives these women in every aspect of their lives. People are complicated, and life isn't easy, even if you’re lucky enough to be out of prison for the moment. The complexity and the specificity of these woman's stories is what makes them so special.

Look at Red when Gina asks if she's ever believed in anything. Yes, Red says. The Russian astronaut Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova. “What happened?” Gina asks. “Nothing. I think she’s terrific. She’s 70 now and wants to go to Mars.” Never in a million years would I have listed Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova as a hero of mine. Not that she isn’t hero-worthy — by all means the first woman to go to space should be celebrated — but because I didn’t grow up in that time, with those interests, or with that knowledge. And probably no one else in the prison would have named her as a hero either. But almost every person has a memory of someone they looked up to for being great, someone that inspired them to do the same. (For me it was Olympic gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi. I would keep clippings from the newspaper about her in my bedroom.) That Red's inspiration is so unique to her actually makes her more universal and relatable. Red is as complicated and special as real, live, actual women are. (I guess her answer would be more cliché if we were in Russsia and it was the 1960s. Context is everything.)

The same goes for Cindy's conversion. Not many people can say that they looked into converting to Judaism because they were trying to cheat the cafeteria system in prison and had to convince a “rent-a-Rabbi” that they grew up in the faith. Her circumstances are unique, but the feeling of wanting to belong to something that celebrates part of who you are is, again, universal. Cindy's speech on feeling at peace with Judaism because it taught to question faith and that even though it’s a lot of work, she feels like she’s learning and she wants to learn more had me in tears. That questioning and uncertainty is something that everyone has been through, even if her circumstances and religion are not your own.

And furthermore, what’s more universal than a love story? Morello's particular love story is certainly unique, but falling in love and getting swept away has been fodder for stories since people could tell stories. I got carried away with Morello myself — even if she is all boobs and heart and no brain, I still ship her and her new husband. Sometimes Morello seems like she is getting healthier, like when she’s seeing new people and starting a relationship with someone with mutual interests, and I forget for a while that she is still trying to stalk Christopher. I found the reveal of her new manfriend being sent to beat up Christopher to be a great reminder that Morello has got more going on than it may seem.

Her wedding was sweet and funny, and the proposal was so uniquely Morello. Of course she had on hand a ring ripped from a magazine. Good for her for bucking tradition, at least in this case, and proposing to her man. He's no Christopher, but he does seem like a good fit for her.

So many small stories were wrapped up in this episode. Soso has finally received help and acceptance, and I love the idea of her and Poussey together. They both were looking for companionship and both have such big hearts. Tiffany faked a seizure to get off of van duty and away from a serial rapist. Tiffany's story with him may be over, but she and Boo realize that any one of the other inmates could be a victim as well. Daya thanks Aleida for keeping her daughter at home instead of with Mrs. Pornstache, but neither of them know yet that the DEA showed up at their house.

No matter what these women are going through, they are all bound by their time together at Litchfield. And they all wanted to literally go jump in a lake. When some repairmen left a fence wide open while they were working on it, the inmates in the yard took a chance and ran for it. Everyone knows they won't get far and they'll have to go back, but to feel the sun on your face and your feet in the water as a free person for just five minutes is worth it. And they can't throw everyone in SHU, especially with more inmates on their way to Litchfield.

Other notes:
  • Inmate of the episode is Cindy, who got to complete her conversion to Judaism in the lake.
  • Piper and Ruby Rose did not end well, as Ruby Rose branded her with a "trust no bitch" tattoo while she was stealing Piper's cash from her new business. Piper has crossed over totally to (what she thinks is) an evil business mastermind, and I cannot muster up enough interest to care that much about it. At least Ruby Rose will be back next season, it looks like.
  • “Russians stay focused.”
  • I can’t believe Nicki didn’t come back this entire season
  • “Paulie D-JWoww 2010 kind of feelings.”
  • “I ain’t a rapist, I ain’t, and I feel good about it.”
  • Finally we are the finale! Thanks for taking this ride with me, it’s been a blast.


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