Orange is the New Black season 5 episode 11 review: Gloria’s escape plan to see Benny

To say the last episode of Orange Is the New Black was difficult to watch is an understatement (we can’t unsee Red getting scalped by Piscatella), but seems like the worst is over now and the torture of Red and her fellow prison family is done. Frieda and her team in the bunker have captured Piscatella and it’s time to find out what the fallout is going to be from what Piscatella has done to the inmates. Can Red get Piscatella’s confession over the prisoner that he killed when he was a guard over at Max?

Piscatella is unconscious in Frieda’s bunker so the women are moving swiftly to be able to restrain him until they’re able to figure out what they want to do. Red wants to move right into torture to get a confession but the other women don’t want to be part that. Norma and Nicole trying to protect Red by tying her to a chair and making sure that she can’t do any further damage. Red is heartbroken that she’s not going to be able to get a confession out of him leaving him free to hurt more people once the riot is over, but when Gina shows everyone that she has a tape of him torturing Red she’s elated. This is better than a confession and she got it without torture.

With Humps now dead, Cindy, Janae and Allison are trying to figure out what to do to keep Suzanne from revealing the truth to Taystee and blowing up the negotiations. Unfortunately, Suzanne is off her medication and after facing all the death and lies that are being told to her she’s become out of control. Cindy heads to medical only to find Lorna there refusing to give Suzanne her medication. After becoming a very scary version of herself, Cindy is able to get a medication, but it’s not Suzanne’s actual medication. When Allison and Janae see that the medication is not actually Suzanne’s they try to talk Cindy out of giving it to her, but she’s not listening because she thinks she’s handling the situation. Needless to say, we are worried about how Suzanne is going to react to this medication, especially with no doctors in the building.

Boo’s character has been really off for us this season – first her turning her back on Doggett after all the buildup of their friendship was super weird and now her making jokes about Red’s hair after watching her get scalped by Piscatella? We know that Boo’s character is prone to making hurtful jokes about pretty much everything, but after what she just went through, this seemed pretty mean even for Boo’s humor. On top of that once she’s released from being held hostage by Piscatella the first person she goes to see is Linda who admittedly she think she’s in love with, but doesn’t check on Doggett at all? This is not the Boo we know and love. If you are a big believer in karma, Boo got hers this episode as she faced a hard reality about Linda after finding her phone with pictures of her and Caputo. Needless to say Boo’s heart is broken and confronting Linda about it didn’t make her feel any better.

Now that Gloria has made the decision that she’s going to trade the hostages to the MCC for with her son she’s been having a hard time actually getting her hands on the hostages.  While she’s not able to get all of them at once, she is able to get them one by one, moved to the yard.  Maria overhears Gloria giving Benny some last words of encouragement over the phone before he goes into surgery and learns that Benny is in the hospital. Gloria comes clean to Maria telling her about the deal that she made with the head of MCC to release the hostages in exchange for furlough. The plan is to take all of the hostages down to the yard cut a hole in the fence and that they’ll all escape together. If this was Maria from the beginning of the season she would have shut this down immediately, but after everything she’s gone through she has a different perspective now and as a fellow mother understands that she would burn the prison down if it would give her a chance to see her daughter again. Maria gives Gloria her full support, but when Gloria later goes out into the yard to enact her plan she sees that Maria has already taken all the hostages, created a hole in the fence and they’ve all escaped leaving Gloria behind with nothing. Gloria tries to make a run for it out of the hole to go and see Benny, but two inmates not having it and drag her back into the prison.

There was a lot to like about this episode, especially when it comes to the performances from some of the actresses. We can never say enough how incredible Uzo Aduba is, but she was just outstanding here. We love Adrienne C. Moore’s Cindy when she’s bringing us some snappy one liners, but this episode gave us a real look at her showing us multiple sides of her we’ve never seen before. last but not least we can’t leave this review without talking about Selenis Leyva who pulverized our hearts as Gloria spoke her potential last words to Benny on the phone. Episode grade: A

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