Orange is the New Black season 5 episode 13 review: So was the riot worth it?

Orange is the New BlackIt looked like negotiations with Taystee were going really well in the last episode of Orange is the New Black, but she blew it by holding strong about CO Bayley being charged for what he did to Poussey. Now they are looking at a task force being sent in to take the prison back by force. The ladies are facing some seriously hard truths about how this is going to end and it’s looking like they’re not going to get anything that they’ve asked for. Mostly we are hoping that this ends without any more casualties.

This was brutal and it played out exactly as we had feared that it would. Women were being tasered, thrown on the floor, and dragged by their hair. Basically, whatever force it took to get this riot under some sort of control. Why couldn’t you have just taken the deal Taystee? This is a question that Cindy also has for her when she tells her that this crusade stopped being about justice for Poussey a long time ago and that this continued on as long as it did (and is ending the way that it is), because of Taystee’s pride.

While some women are trying to go peacefully (even though there’s no such thing as peacefully at this point) there are some women that are refusing to let go of the riot at all. They’re making shivs out of toothbrushes, slingshots out of bras, and anything that they can turn into a weapon they’re doing it. These ladies pretty much pulled a Home Alone scenario which is something we already saw this season when Blanca was trying to capture Piscatella with some soap and thumbtacks. Recycled ideas in the same season aren’t the sign of a strong season. The ladies attack against the riot team doesn’t last very long before the guards take them down.

With the riot task force in the prison the women and Frieda’s bunker are confused as to what to do. They want to go upstairs and surrender they still have Piscatella tied up in the bunker. While some of the ladies left the sinking ship to surrender, Frieda, Blanca, Alex, Piper and Red all stayed to deal with Piscatella. They also have some new visitors! Cindy, Nicole and Taystee have brought Suzanne down into the bunker because she is still not awake from the lithium that Cindy gave her. They give Suzanne an epi-pen and it helps wake her up out of her lithium coma. After losing Poussey, we didn’t think the show would take away Suzanne as well.

When Taystee is brought into the pool area and she sees Piscatella and pulls a gun out on him because she blames him for everything that’s happened. Piscitella is able to talk his way out of getting shot and instead Red decides to let him go. It wasn’t what we expected from Red after everything that he’s done to her and to the other inmates. but it was the right thing to do. In the end it didn’t matter what Red did because Piscatella ended up getting shot by the task force when they though he was a prisoner. Karma has a way of coming around, doesn’t it?

Eventually all of the women are rounded up and brought outside in handcuffs, except for the women in the bunker who haven’t been found yet and Doggett who is shacked up with Coates in guard cabin. When the riot team realizes that they are 10 prisoner short Caputo tell them that there’s an old pool and that that’s where they’re probably hiding, but once he hears that they’re going to use any force necessary he refuses to help any further. Figueroa tells them how to get to the pool and with a lot of our main cast hiding there we’re afraid that we’re about to lose another main cast member.

Alex asked a very important question in this finale and the question is: Was this riot worth it? For us the answer is no. The ladies didn’t get anything they wanted, Poussey is still dead, and all of the inmates have been transferred to who-knows-where on some big gray buses much like the series finale of Oz. This whole season lead us on a journey that ended up with us pretty much where we started – in a heap of chaos, without any changes. They left us with another big cliffhanger (as expected since this show has already been renewed), where we had the majority of the main cast members facing the riot team with the threat of casualties. This season was incredibly disjointed and probably our least favorite season of the show. The set up of the season (over 3 days) felt very much like we were watching a season of 24 and with the show not able to make up their mind on the over all feeling of the season we are left feeling disappointed. Episode grade: C+

What did you think of the finale of Orange is the New Black. Leave us a comment in the box below and tell us what you hope to see happen next season. If you’re looking for more news on Orange is the New Black or to read some of our season 5 reviews head on over to the link here. (Photo: Netflix)

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