This season of Orange is the New Black has been building up for the ultimate showdown between Piscatella and Red and now it’s finally happening. Piscatella is holding her prison family hostage so this battle is just Red against Piscatella… or at least that’s what we are hoping. He may be double her size, but our money is still on Red finding a way to kick his butt up and down the hallways of Litchfield. She is being driven by pure rage at this point and coming down off of speed is not going to make her any less cranky. We’ve been told that this is the most difficult episode of the season to watch, so we’re diving in cautiously and hoping that Red is going to level him out.
If you were hoping that Piscatella’s plan was to get into the prison and help release the hostages you’re going to be disappointed (and probably not surprised) to learn that he has rather dubious intentions for coming here. He knew that he was getting cat-fished by Red and his only interest is in torturing her and breaking her down while making her prison family watch. As we said, this episode is the most difficult to watch of the season. They held nothing back, so if you hated Piscatella before chances are you are now in a state of blind rage. To say that this torture scene was brutal is an understatement. Watching Piscatella scalp Red while cutting all her hair off is something that we can’t unsee as much as we want to. It only gets worse when he breaks Alex’s arm and starts stripping Red to further humiliate her.
So is what turned Piscatella into this angry hulking murderer? With a lot of this episode being about Piscatella and his leanings towards enjoying the torturing of inmates it made sense to get our first Piscatella backstory. His story begins with him falling in love with a prisoner when he was working in Max. At first it was hard to tell if this prisoner was just using him to gain favors, but as the flashbacks continued we learned that this prisoner loved him back (enough to even tattoo Piscatella’s initials on his wrist). When Piscatella sees that his lover has been raped he tortures and burns this prisoner with hot water until he dies. Now we know about the inmate that he killed and how he got away with it, but is this something that Red is going to be able to get him to admit?
When Piper starts screaming for help, her pleas are heard by Frieda’s group ( that have been hiding out in her bunker) and go out to investigate what’s happening. They spy into the room and see that Piscatella has hostages and that he’s torturing Red. When Piscatella catches them spying on him he goes down into Frieda’s bunker and they’re able to capture him. Thank goodness for Frieda and her poisonous blow gun darts. That woman can make anything out of old junk – she’ll give MacGyver a run for his money.
The past two seasons of Orange Is the New Black have definitely taken a dark turn as we’ve said in some of our other reviews, but this particular episode is so dark that it’s not even the same show anymore. We already had enough reasons to hate Piscatella before and while this episode clearly gave us a million more reasons, it really didn’t really need to get this dark. Torture scenes on television are pretty commonplace these days, and with this being on Netflix they were able to take it to much more brutal level. We understand the need for this torture scene to exist but it didn’t need to be this graphic. We felt every inch of Red’s scalp that was being pulled off and all we want is to see Red find a way to get vengeance. Episode grade: B
What did you think of this episode of Orange Is the New Black? Did you find the torture scenes to be to graphic? Make sure to leave us a comment in the box below with your thoughts on this very difficult episode. If you want to check out more of our Orange is the New Black season 5 reviews then be sure to head over to the link here. (Photo: Netflix)