Orange Is the New Black: The Final Season
July 26, 2019 9:52 PM - Season 7 (Full Season) - Subscribe

The final season of Netflix's long-running ensemble show about female prison inmates adds an ICE facility to the mix.
posted by DirtyOldTown (22 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
We're three episodes in at this point and there are two things that are tearing us up: 1) how bleak the ICE detention center scenes are; and 2) the knowledge that the ICE detention centers shown on the shown are likely substantially better than actual ICE detention centers.

I am also 100% down with Badison getting sent the fuck away.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:32 AM on July 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Oh, it’s good.
posted by sixswitch at 10:44 AM on July 27, 2019

I think my emotional whiplash has emotional whiplash. What a ride.
posted by cmyk at 10:59 AM on July 27, 2019

We just watched the first episode. I think that's the first episode without a flashback... and with internal monologues? We've found the last two seasons pretty grueling to get through, and after this first we were like, "Well, that's a good last episode, maybe we should stop here."
posted by Catblack at 11:38 AM on July 27, 2019

The internal monologues only appear in ep 1.
posted by sixswitch at 5:45 AM on July 28, 2019

Being careful not to spoiler for now, but Fig and the pill- Fig's entire storyline this season in fact, was too awesome.

I was both glad for the realism and heartbroken for the heartbreakyness of *that* character never getting out of prison. Gutting but Too Fucking Real.
posted by threetwentytwo at 11:21 AM on July 28, 2019 [1 favorite]

I just finished. Wow. Lot’s to process and a donation to make. That’s how you end a series.
posted by pearlybob at 11:41 PM on July 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

I loved the curtain call so much!
posted by sixswitch at 2:11 PM on July 30, 2019

Way too much Piper. Can’t she get hit by a truck?
posted by Ideefixe at 8:42 PM on July 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

Alex seems underwritten for this whole season, and the budget seems lower for the flash-back/fantasy sequences.
posted by Ideefixe at 5:42 PM on August 4, 2019

That was a really, really excellent final season.
posted by gatorae at 4:12 PM on August 7, 2019

I stopped watching OITNB around the 2nd or 3rd season. Emily Nussbaum's review of the final season made me dip back in and boy am I glad I did. It was indeed a triumphant return to form. That was the best final season and finale of any show I have watched.
posted by roolya_boolya at 3:36 AM on August 9, 2019

I appreciate them explicitly with words acknowledge Piper as a bisexual.
posted by fluttering hellfire at 11:11 AM on August 11, 2019

The OITNB writers started off with Piper Kerman's book as source material - but then changed pretty much everything to turn it into a format which would involve a large ensemble cast of actors and tell many stories. Something capable of filling 90 hours (and seven years) of TV.

The show's early awards were for comedy (the Emmies changed their award rules in 2015 and decreed that comedies were half hour shows and anything longer had to be a drama; could-not-make-it-up) - and it could be very funny - but its resonance is really as a drama. It was truly both and it is hard to do both of those things at once. There had been other TV that dealt with women's prisons - Australia's Wentworth/Prisoner, for example, but they often came across more as soap operas than anything more complex. OITNB used high calibre writers, great actors, non-linear story telling and long story arcs to great effect. It took Piper Kerman's original premise (prison introduces you to all kinds of different people that you would not be likely to associate with in the outside world) and it introduced you to realistically drawn characters who fitted that description. It took time to understand and depict how the American prison system works and it choose to actively use its position as a soap box to talk about issues such as ICE detention centres.

It is always hard to predict how well a show will age. But my predictions with OITNB is that time will be very kind to it. I'm pretty sure it is the sort of show I would choose to show to somebody in 25 years - as a way of showing how the world was and where it seemed to be going.
posted by rongorongo at 1:36 AM on August 14, 2019

I'm very much enjoying this season, and feel like definitely feels better than the last several. I can't believe Maritza's ending - extremely unapologetic. Tiffany Doggett has always been one of my two favorite characters and despite how sad her storyline was, it didn't feel like they did her dirty. Definitely would recommend to other people who have missed a few seasons - the recap should be enough.

I will say that I recently read Blood in the Water, an extremely disturbing and incredible non-fiction book about the Attica riots, and having that historical context made me appreciate the last two seasons more. The real life Attica prison riot story is bananas, and it actually happened! Before I knew that, I dunno maybe the OITNB adaption seemed like it stretched credibility but now I don't feel that way at all. Someone who writes for this show understands prison history and current events around incarceration & immigration extremely well, and it shows. Obviously those seasons struggled with their individual character's stories - where the show has always shone - but especially now that it is over I truly appreciate what they were doing. And I agree, rongorongo, I think history will be kind to it.
posted by likeatoaster at 12:20 PM on August 14, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is the best season in years.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:06 PM on August 20, 2019

Yup, agreed, DirtyOldTown. This was definitely a killer of a season and a great and worthy finale. Just finished watching it and it was just gutting in so many ways. I think they ended it well and did justice to the characters’ storylines. I mean, many of them did not get actual justice, but even the death and disappearances seemed earned.

I could have done with less Piper/Alex.

I was surprisingly OK with how they handled the Caputo storyline. And Fig! She redeemed herself this season, truly, but she was still herself.

The scenes in ICE were just horrifying, especially since you know if anything, the reality is actually worse.

It killed me when Taystee opened up the GED certificates and there was Tiffany’s.

I agree with everyone saying this show will age well. I can’t imagine going back and watching it myself now that I know everyone’s ending, but I would not hesitate to recommend it to others.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:00 AM on August 27, 2019

And Taystee, my god. I think Danielle Brooks is my favourite actress in OITNB, and that’s saying something, because she’s got stiff competition.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:07 AM on August 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

Just finished. What an incredible season. What an incredible show. I am grateful to the astoundingly talented actresses it introduced me to and I hope I see them everywhere and in everything. And I learned so much. So much. This show was doing important work.

Lost it at the Poussey Washington fund being real. As soon as I have some solid disposable income, I’m going to send it their way.
posted by olinerd at 6:50 PM on August 29, 2019

I can't find it now, but I could have sworn I saw paperwork for Cindy this season (maybe as part of her release?) that had her birth date listed as sometime in 1979. That seems really off for the very current timeframe the show takes place in.
posted by hanov3r at 11:14 AM on September 6, 2019

Finally caught up with this on DVD (as I don't have Netflix). Great final season - far better than I'd dared expect after a couple of disappointing ones - and they really stuck the landing.

The scene that hit me hardest of all was seeing the little kids having to fend for themselves in the ICE courtroom. I knew that was happening from news reports, but watching it played out on screen was a whole different thing.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:55 AM on August 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

I recently finished a re-watch of season 1 through 6 and a first watch of season 7.

I want to thank the writers for shipping Madison off to Missouri early in the season. I haaaaaaated her character and I don't think I could have stuck it out to the end of the season if it meant having to endure a dose of her every episode. I also appreciated the minimal Healey presence. He grosses me out.

Tiffany and Taystee were probably the least privileged of all the inmates we saw. They were basically only in prison because they never had a chance in life, and it tears me up that their fates were what they were. I don't think I'll ever be able to watch this series again knowing what the end of their stories, and Poussey's story, and Tricia's, was to be.

Piper and Alex were so tiresome, but I do think the show was right to show us what being on parole can be like even for someone as privileged as Piper. Also, I felt seeing Piper live life on the outside gave me a better understanding of why she wound up in prison in the first place. Before her release I had thought she was driven and disciplined, but she's actually just a prettier and better groomed version of her stoner brother. She's a heedless and self-indulgent person who has been skating on privilege her entire life, and apparently expected to go on doing so after she got out. She hadn't even thought about what work she would do afterwards.

Cindy's taking baby steps towards being a more responsible and mature person, but I don't know how she can live with what she did to Taystee, and leaving home after her daughter found out the truth about her family rather than try to work things out with her was more of the same irresponsible crap.

I don't understand how Maritza never knew she wasn't American-born. First of all, her mother should have fucking told her so that she could work on getting citizenship, and if she'd known, she might have decided to not break the law given that she could be deported if caught. And how could she reach her late twenties without finding out? In Canada, you need your birth certificate to get a Social Insurance Number and a driver's license. Wouldn't it at the very least have come up when she was arrested, and wouldn't she have been automatically sent to a detention centre upon being released from prison, as Blanca was? I don't know what she'll do in Columbia, with no skills and no resources. At least she speaks Spanish, and I hope she has some extended family there who can help her get on her feet.

Flaca was heartbroken about her friend, and now she's helping all those detainees the best she can, at her own risk.

It was so good to at least see Blanca freed, even though she wound up leaving the country voluntarily, to be with Diablo. But maybe they can manage to get him a green card too at some point.

Seeing Karla abandoned like that with a broken ankle in the middle of nowhere was gut-wrenching. I kept trying to make some kind of plan to save her (i.e., make a stretcher out of walking sticks and several jackets and have four people carry her in turn, but that terrain was such rough going that I don't know if that would be possible). She's going to die, and her two sons will never know what became of her.

Caputo's arc was interesting. He actually is a good man at heart, who never meant to hurt anyone, but holy crap he should have realized that jerking off in his office, seeing the "girls" in his care as sexual objects, and trying to woo a much younger subordinate was appallingly out of line. Yes, he accepted that Fischer wasn't interested in him and he fired her for purely work-related reasons, but he should have realized that it wouldn't look the same way to her, that he had put her in a difficult position. But he's learned from his mistakes and I think he'll be a better man from now on, especially now that he has Fig and doesn't want anyone else.

By the way, I love Fig and Caputo. They are so, so good together. And Fig totally rocked for finding a way to get that detainee a translator and the medical care she needed.

Sad as it is that Red developed dementia, it is darkly hilarious that during her occasional lucid moments she'll try to kill Frieda, and the rest of the time happily play gin rummy with her. I suppose eventually, when she becomes too difficult to care for, she'll be given a "compassionate discharge" as that other elderly prisoner was earlier in the run of the show, and then her sons will take care of her.

Chang is back, motherfuckers.

Lorna seemed to be making some actual progress, but now after the tragic death of her baby and her divorce, she's back to being delusional again. Prison was never the right setting for her or Suzanne. They need mental health care. Suzanne shouldn't have been living with her younger sister -- it was too much of a burden for her. She should have been placed in a group home where she could have the kind of structure and supervision and care she needed.

Speaking of people not making progress, while so many of the OITNB characters have grown so much, Aleida and Daya have learned NOTHING. Daya used to have more sense than her mother, but she's basically given up now that she's sentenced to life in prison, and is going to spend the rest of her life in a drug-addled haze, which Aleida will hate and will try to prevent in her usual backasswards way that will only make things worse, and they'll end up becoming another Barbara and Carol.

And I'm glad that we don't have to see what kind of warden Hellman will make. It was so stupid of Linda to have fired Tamika. Crazy shit is always going to happen at that prison, and Tamika was as effective at keeping the lid on that box as anyone else would have been, plus she was actually helping the prisoners.
posted by orange swan at 5:34 PM on February 22, 2023

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