Guilty of loving ‘Orange Is the New Black’ season 2
On a beautiful summer day, there are a million things we could all be doing, but some of us may choose to be in lockdown for the second season of Orange Is The New Black. Sorry friends and family, but season one made me a junkie for this show, and Netflix just brought me my drug of choice!
Just to refresh, we left off with Mendoza, (Selenis Leyva) taking over Red’s kitchen, and Red (Kate Mulgrew) taking revenge, but in the process she burns her gang, literally. Now Red is a Russian dictator without anyone to dictate, and we know she won’t just sit back and take up knitting. Also, the last episode of season one was simply poetic for the Chapman (Taylor Shcilling) vs Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) rivalry. After the Christmas show, Chapman runs off stage with an angel-costumed Pennsatucky following in hot pursuit. Pennsatucky pulls out a shiv made from a crucifix (naturally), and attempts to pummel Chapman, but Chapman channels a deeper inner rage and beats Pennsatucky to a pulp. Way to end season one Netflix! No wonder I was counting the days until season two.
This is where I need to come clean: I stopped really caring about Chapman sometime in season one. I am much more intrigued with the other characters on the show. I was a little let down that this season opened with the main focus firmly on Chapman, confused and befuddled as she is shipped off to an unknown destination, only to be screwed over once again by Alex (Laura Prepon), her previous lover and partner in crime. I wanted more about the other ladies in the prison. I wanted their back-stories! If season two was going to be all about Alex, Chapman, and her ex-fiancé, Larry (Jason Biggs), I could stop watching and go enjoy a summer day! Thankfully the writers must have known that the meat was in the ensemble, and the rest of the episodes gave me just what I needed. Yes, there is still a back-and-forth with Chapman and Larry, but this season is all about the ladies behind the wall, and I love it!
If Red was a character you found intriguing the first season, this season will not disappoint. Red finds her self challenged buy Vee (Lorraine Toussaint), a new character who proves to be a very formidable adversary. Taystee (Danielle Brooks) and Vee have a deep and complicated past and we watch as fun loving, easygoing, Taystee has a major character change. Also added to the lineup is a tree hugging, activist named Soso (Kimiko Glenn), who is this season’s prison newbie. Other significant back-stories evolve with some of our other favorite characters like Miss Rosa (Barbara Rosenblat), Poussey (Samira Wiley), and Morello (Yael Stone), all of which made for fascinating flashbacks.
Season two doesn’t leave the correction officers as backdrop. In fact, the characters are becoming more three-dimensional, and many of them are making a huge effort to do the right thing. Mr. Caputo (Nick Sandow) shows a soft side and had me cheering for him at times. Officer Healy (Michael J. Harney) tries to be more of a counselor, but we just end up feeling sorry for the guy. The shows does spend a little too much time on the love story between Daya (Dascha Polanco) and Bennett (Matt McGorry), with that storyline only getting interesting when Pornstash (Pablo Schreiber) returns for a quick couple of episodes!
The season ends just like I hoped it would. Poetic justice once again blankets the final episode, and now I begin the count down to season three.