ENG 101

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S3 : Ep.10-13

Hopefully i’m not the only one who finished the season in complete dismay, so many things happened in such a short time! Like who knew Piper would be so attached and protective of her business that she would cause any altercations if someone got in her way. Once it was found out Stella was the culprit of stealing Pipers money I wondered how she would go about it, since she was going to go ape shit on Flaka but since Stella is a technical lover who knows with Piper? Though her brilliant scheme of framing Stella, taking all the prisons contraband, and placing into her bunk showed a complete new side to the previously weak and quiet Piper Chapman. Now Piper does not care about consequences, nor others, nor about the rules, she’s a loose bolt and it seems the longer she’s in that prison only the deeper the whole she dug for herself is. Though I do want to point out that re watching the season I felt Stella’s character dint do much for the plot and it seemed like she was just purely there to create a tension in Alex and Pipers relationship and once that was done the writers just decided to take her out, I honestly believed they could have done so much more with her character. Maybe we’ll see more of her in season 4, possibly plotting her revenge. Who knows.

In the last few episodes we see more religion once again but instead of focusing on the “kindness cult” I’d rather discuss Cindy Hayes conversion. For most of the season it seemed like Cindy, like others, were just using Judaism as a way to cheat the system and eat meals that didn’t look like it had been ran over a semi 10 times. Despite bringing in a Rabbi to narrow down who really is a Jew or not, Cindy was the only one still devastatingly persistent in claiming she was a Jew. Though her determination to get Kosher meals was quite admirable it seems that in the end Cindy found real, true reason to why she should become a Jew. As seen in a flashback to her childhood Cindy lived under a household with a very strict religious father who probably is the sole reason she found no comfort in God or Christianity and with Judaism being there is no heaven nor hell but you must figure out your life and your actions for yourself. And for her to do this she must be “in it” she must practice Judaism and explore this new reality and maybe she will finally seek that freedom she never achieved from God or her father.

Speaking of freedom by the end of “Trust No Bitch” as some construction men are in the midst of replacing the fence Norma, and several of the inmates, see the whole in the fence as their pathway to freedom. Though they all know they cant really escape hundreds of them are still seen running as fast as they can so they can feel that sense of freedom from just being outside those prison gates. And the lake outside Litchfield Penitentiary is there escape, it’s their symbol of freedom that some have longed for for decades, even to some, like Norma, Leanne, or Cindy, can be a symbol of their paradise, heaven, and opportunity. The lake is that bit of happiness that we and many inmates have waited for, it’s caused new relationships like Suzanne and Maureen even new friendships like Soso and Poussey’s/Taystee’s group, and even spiritual awakening with Cindy’s mikveh. I hope the lake honestly plays a role in next season because it was such a bittersweet moment I’d hate to see it disappear.

By the end of season three we are left with a thousand questions. What will happen to the inmates that “escaped” to the lake? Is Burset going to return? What do the hundreds of new inmates mean for the future of the prison? What will happen to Daya’s baby? Will the TV Show chef, Judy King, play an important role in next season? And most importantly, is Alex still even alive?!?! I’ve never finished a show that left me with so many unanswered questions and it seems there are a lot of things in store for Season 4, and from seeing all that’s happened within just the last episode it could be the most interesting and dramatic season yet.


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S3 : Ep.7-9

In “Tongue-Tied”, “Fear and Other Smells”, “Where My Dreidel At?” we began to see a completely new side to Piper Chapman, not the weak Piper, nor the crazy Piper, but the greed driven Piper. Piper has generally been one to hate the prison life so much, often resorting to any god behavior just to make the time easier. But somehow she has come to the conclusion of starting a business over selling used panties. I was honestly surprised to see this idea and vision come out of Piper Chapman, someone who seemingly wishes just to get by in the prison. Maybe it comes from her fathers words to her of being 30 and having done nothing in her life to show for it. Is this her way of showing the world she can still do something with her life and be successful? By selling used panties? Who knows but one thing for sure is that this will not end well for Piper.

After the prison was bought by a private business there have been pretty evident changes to the way the system runs things now. Its clear that these changes are only implemented just to benefit the private business owners, they don’t care at all for the inmates but only see them as an investment opportunity. Even subjecting them to, as quoted by Piper, “slave labor” using their imprisonment as a way to manufacture Whispers panties and barely make a dent in paying the women. Very common working conditions and experiences as to those in developing countries that private businesses often abuse because of their situations. The fact that they aren’t even willing to take time to train the many new officers they recruited shows that they literally could care less about the inmates and for that matter even the officers. Letting them be subjects to their own downfall.

Along with new things in the prison interestingly a new faith has popped up, one of pure kindness and trust in the sole mute of the prison that has us all wondering more. Norma has some how been able to get a lot of inmates to believe she is this type of higher being, giving her special treatment because they believe she has “magic powers” to help their life just like God. From Norma’s past we know that she has constantly been in the background and because of her insecurities regarding her stutter she’s never been able to comfortable speak or communicate with anyone. With this new group that have put their complete faith in Norma seems like she enjoys a lot. From being constantly in the shadows for her life she is finally looked up to or almost worshiped and she didn’t even have to use her voice to do so. But like all faiths I believe there’s going to be complications to come and people will begin to doubt Norma and her “special abilities”. But for Norma’s sake I hope it doesn’t crash too hard.

Now finally my most favorite topic about the last few episodes is the new keen appreciation of Suzanne. I feel that for many Suzanne has always been a character that creates mixed feelings. However I absolutely love Suzanne though she does have Crazy-Eyes tendencies she’s an overall fun and energetic character who maintains this childlike innocence. Now granted she’s created a fantasy smut for the whole prison for the last two in a half seasons she’s always one to need an authority figure, like a parent, to watch over her and to appreciate her. She often creates interesting games or uses her imagination to enlighten the imprisoned experience. In an interview for Google Talks Uzo Aduba(Suzanne) states that her character was to be “like an innocent child that you were afraid of” and this is possibly why I believe she’s on of my most favorite characters/actresses. And I’m finally glad that in season three Suzanne is finally getting the love she deserves from the other inmates and even gaining praise over her intelligence and creativity. Its good to see a very misunderstood character finally gain that bit of acceptance and I honestly hope it never ends for our dear Suzanne.

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S3 : Ep.3-6

In “Ching Chong Chang” a very relevant issue was society’s beauty standards and what women are “really” supposed to be. The first disucssion of beauty is brought up when we are introduced to Changs backstory. A young Chinese woman whose family migrated her to America so she could be sold off like the produce she was to them. Chang was basically put up for sale as a wife to a Chinese man in the U.S. but once he finally sees her he immediately is outraged because she isn’t the “beautiful” girl he thought he came to buy. An instance where someone truly puts a monetary value for beauty, and how in our society if someone is beautiful they are normally automatically given special treatment. A fact that causes society to indirectly punish the woman who believe they do not fit the standards of what people like and deem themselves as unfit.

Even by her own brother she was stated as being invisible, something she did not take much notice of almost as if it was something she already believe her whole life. In society if you are not “beautiful” or “pretty” then you are set aside in the background and like Chang are only perceived as invisible because you do not have the attributes that society raves for. Yet as a smart woman Chang takes this to her advantage so she can participate in her brothers illegal trade, in a way finally getting noticed by someone other than herself. After an incident during one of the trades Chang attended she was able to rise to power in the Chinese gang. Immediately demonstrating how reliable she was and how she was given the opportunity to be the one in control, the one people looked for, the one no one could deem as invisible.

After the official opening of the Whispers manufacturing section in the prison do we see how beauty standards are interpreted by prisoners and what “real” women are supposed to be like in their eyes of society. Cindy and Marisol are the ones primarily discussing this issue as they go through the Whispers magazine. First instance being when Cindy makes a game out of the magazine, asking her friend what page will a black girl finally show up and how dark. Though this is a minor conversation it adds to the bigger conversation that when one thinks of beauty the immediately picture someone with light skin. For some this idea that beauty is directly linked to light skin is not something we are born with but develop because thats how society views it. In Kenneth Clark`s “Pretty Doll, Ugly Doll Test” children were asked from two dolls, one light and the other dark, which was the “ugly” doll. And each child resulted in the same outcome, all deeming the darker doll as the ugly one because of its dark skin.  Despite how accepting and open society is pushing toward being people are still growing up being told that they are not beautiful because of the way they were born.

And even though many see the ideal woman or set of beauty as being someone that white or has light skin, these set of people have another set of beauty standards to go along with that. Even though one may already have the privilege of being white, marking off one box of the long list of standards, they then have to meet the other expectations of beauty standards that are set for the human body. Going on about beauty standards Cindy said that white woman had it easy since they are already white to be deemed beautiful in their world all they needed to be was skinny. It not only reinforces that outrageous ideals of beauty but also demonstrates that people of color are continuously struggling to be even deemed as fraction the label of beauty that is constantly being used for white woman.

Then there is Piper, a skinny white woman that is often praised for her looks, who also has her own insecurities about whats deemed as beautiful. Saying that she has just enough right to be insecure about her thighs as much as the next person. And that every woman should have a moment to feel sexy. All of these small details relate to the whole overwhelming picture that when it comes to society ideals of beauty nothing is ever good enough and woman, and even men, will always feel insecure and the need to be accepted for the way they look. Even people whom are deemed as exceptionally beautiful, like Piper Chapman, are still faced with the common insecurities of beauty. To which in all of my honesty is a ridiculous set of ideals that no one really needs to look for and society needs to work harder in erasing these standards.

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S3 : Ep.1-2

The key focus in the first two episodes of season three was relationships. Relationships between family, lovers, friends, or coworkers. In “Mother’s Day” all the inmates are finally given the opportunity to see their children and loves ones, which to some inmates is taken with wide open arms and with others annoyance. This represents not only the relationships between inmates and their family’s outside but how their situation and imprisonment can drastically effect that.

Many of the mothers like Maria Ruiz, Maritza Ramos, or Sophia Burset are overjoyed about getting the chance to see their loved ones. Then there are some who could care less, simply leaving their babies in the dirt just so they can get high. The Orange_is_the_New_Black_S03E01_1080p__1850event brought an abundance of emotions whether it be happiness, anger, indifference, or sadness it displays how much relationships not only affect us but those around us. For example Doggett who was unable to responsibly take care of any children and so had several abortions and when Mother’s Day comes all she is left with is sadness. But Big Boo is able to help her realize that in a way her decision was for the “best” because her children would have lived a hard and troubling life and their lives would negatively affect society’s. The show did bring up the controversial issue of abortion in an interesting way, and in one that didn’t make a huge deal out of the subject. The issue as it is, is hugely troubling and there is never a right or wrong answer no matter what happens there will always be a person whom struggles at the end. But it shows how Orange continuously is able to present common political, social, even racial issues that are overlooked in society in an effective manner.

It also shows the common mistakes and or bad parenting with children and how the way one parents directly affects how the child is brought up. For example Nickles who received zero affection or Orange_is_the_New_Black_S03E01_1080p__1475love from her own mother in which caused her to become distant and spiral downward into her own downfall. Maritza puts her baby to the side when things get gross or challenging, Sophia who gives her own son advice to just use women and even Aleida Diaz is unable to recite the names of her own children. All these small examples show how relationships can drastically affect someone and if not done properly in some cases can create individuals who will constantly make bad choices, like many of the women in Litchfield Penitentiary. Kind of displaying the circle of cause and effect that Big Boo brought up and how its directly exemplified with all the mothers and children during the first episode.

Daya and Bennett have finally evolved their relationship something I’ve been waiting three seasons four. The two have constantly been in a ditch, unable to pursue further because of their pregnancy issue. But after they were effectively able to put the blame on Mendez and Bennett was able to come clean afterward despite the new hardships their situation presented they were able to become even closer. Daya and Bennett were always the Orange_is_the_New_Black_S03E02_1080p__1121characters that you somehow felt that despite all the obstacles between them they would make the relationship work beyond all means. The moment Bennett proposed to Daya further proved this comfort with them yet once the involvement of Daya’s and Mendez’s mother came along and reality began to hit the couple everything went south. Bennett tried to take as much   responsibility as he could for Daya and the child, even visiting her family to see how his child would live once he/she was born. It was upsetting to see the environment that Daya’s siblings live in, and environment that is unhealthy and poses constant dangers from the only authority Orange_is_the_New_Black_S03E02_1080p__2099figures present to take care of them. It’s understandable as to why Daya’s mother would want her to give the baby up to Mendez mother, so that he/she could finally live a better more privileged life. Though after Bennett’s ordeal with the other family I have to say I was quite disappointed that he decided to just leave, to leave the bear and crib on the side of the road and drive off to no tomorrow. Bennett and Daya have been through so much and its sad to see that from this one obstacle it was enough for Bennett to question
everything. Hopefully in this season Daya will be able to figure out whats not only best for her but for her baby.

Alex and Piper have constantly had a strange relationship that most of can not fathom or even try to put reasoning behind. Their entire relationship is mostly build off lies, deceit, betrayal yet some how will all these components still manages to Orange_is_the_New_Black_S03E02_1080p__2032move forward. Completely baffling to me and possibly many of us. Their relationship contains a lot of passion which is kind of inspiring but makes one wonder if that’s all it really is, their is no trust when it comes to Alex and Piper. Both of whom have ratted out each other, whether it be from a crime 10 years ago or simply as a tactic for revenge to bring them back to the prison life. Again and again they have fights that create wholes in their relationship and even when they’ve confronted one another about actions that have caused them to come to prison they end it on “interesting” note with seemingly meaningless sex. Even after Alex confronts Piper with complete rage and anger they somehow end up escalating things into a more sensual way. I honestly think at this point there is no real connection or reason to their relationship but its just a means of relief from the constant problems they are having and will never actually develop into something more.