‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 4 Review


“Orange is the New Black” (commonly known as OITNB) is one of Netflix’s first original shows and is expected to give us at least 7 seasons of incarnated women and their problems in prison. The show, starring Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Laverne Cox and Uzo Aruba amongst others, was an instant success from the beginning of it’s run since 2013.

However, this season has proven to be the best one yet. It tackles many real-world problems of racism, transphobia, discrimination, treatment of inmates as objects instead of people and so on. Viewers are engaged thoroughly while watching this gritty portrayal of women in prison. Another thing brought to the viewer’s attention is the cruelty of the huge institutions that run the prisons and their methods of handling extreme situations.

After it was announced the show would be renewed till its 7th season, the show’s writers changed the flow and took the characters in new and varied directions. Some humor could be found in the season from episodes 1-11 but with episode 12’s (The Animals) ending being so somber, it removes any trace of laughter that came before it.

One of the things that made this season so engaging and yet depressing, was the inclusion of the new villain, Captain of the guards, Desi Piscatella. He along with the guards under his command such as Humphrey, Dixon and Stratman, treat the inmates like the dirt on the bottom of their shoes and can be mostly blamed for the tragedy that occurs in The Animals.

But the ending of this season just deserves a round of applause. It switches from exciting and adrenaline-worthy to sad in a matter of seconds and makes you want to cry after you’ve seen what has happened. One of the simplest lessons of this season after it’s repeated focus on time travel and changing the past is that the past cannot be changed as time only flows in one direction which is forward. The inmates have to understand that their pasts cannot be changed and they have to move on. As Alex puts it in simple terms to Piper ,’We’re just doomed to be together.’

This season’s focus varied from Piper’s panty business and her extreme overlord attitude to fleshing out fan-favourite characters such as Poussey, Crazy Eyes, Lolly, etc, and finishing the season off on a huge cliffhanger, leaving the audience enthralled as the screen faded to orange.

Fans of the show from all over the world are anxiously anticipating the next season which is scheduled to come out on the 9th of June. The teaser was released in February and the season is expected to be very intense and covers a span of 3 days. It also has the Herculean task of measuring up to the cliffhanger that ended the last season.

What are your thoughts on the latest season of “Orange is the New Black” and what would you like to see in the upcoming season 5?

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