‘Orange Is The New Black’ season 3, episode 7 review: Red gets kitchen back, Norma the leader

Orange is the new blackWell, we are at the half way point for “Orange Is The New Black” season 3 and while there have been a few back stories from some characters that never get the spotlight, the main storylines have not done a lot for us this season. We are bored of Piper and Alex and there has been a lot of focus on the prison being taken over by a corporation, but not enough going on to really get us interested. During season 2 we were already deeply invested by the mid way point, but this season we just aren’t getting the same feeling. This show needs some new life brought in whether it’s new characters or giving some of the old characters something new to do.

Norma has been one of the biggest mysteries of this show. How does someone as seemingly as sweet as her end up in prison? Well we finally got our answer and it all started at a hippie self help group where we learn that she has a severe stutter that has crippled her self esteem. As she dives deeper into the commune life, she ends up marrying they leader – as does every other woman in the commune. Many years later, the leader of the commune has lost everyone but Norma and when he starts pushing her buttons telling her that she’s worthless she pushes him off a cliff to his death. Her back ground in the commune and the strength she gained from her experience has helped her become a leader in the prison for many of the women that now see her as a healer.


Red is still trying to get the kitchen back and after Gloria’s had enough she quits and gives the job back to Red. Caputo agrees and Red is happier then she’s been in a while and she realizes that it might be because of Norma’s healing magic. When Red goes back to her old ways of bossing Norma around and treating her badly, she gives Red the evil eye. Red’s happiness is quickly gone when Caputo reveals that they are having pre-packaged meals from now on and that he was never going to give her any power in the kitchen.

Caputo is having a tough time making Danny understand that the new officers need proper training before going into the prison with the inmates, but Danny feels that it’s a waste of time and sends them in with a manual and nothing else. As it turns out, Caputo was right when a newbie escalates a situation and maces himself and another guard in the eyes. Alex has her eye on this newbie, thinking she might be able to use him for an unusual business venture that Piper came up with (selling used underwear to people on the internet).

We like that Piper and Alex have something else to focus on  with their new business and that the corporate take over story is starting to get some meat on it’s bones. We also had a little update about Larry who now has a great job with his own office working for Zagat. It’s starting to feel like this season is finding it’s footing, but it’s taken a while to get here. Episode grade: B+

What did you think of this episode of “Orange Is The New Black” and what do you think of the season so far? Leave us a comment below and tell us your thoughts. If you want more news on the show (including season 4 scoop and reviews of other episodes) then head over to the link here. Also, if you want to get more great TV scoop on everything we cover here at CarterMatt then be sure to sign up for our weekly newsletter. (Photo: Netflix)

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