Jojo Whilden/Netflix
June 13, 2017 at 06:22 PM EDT

Orange Is the New Black

TV Show
Drama, Comedy
run date
58 minutes
Taylor Schilling, Natasha Lyonne, Kate Mulgrew, Laura Prepon
Current Status
In Season
We gave it an A-

Orange Is the New Black has always had a strong running theme of mothers and children. Inside Litchfield, there are “families” that usually have at least one mother hen taking care of her daughters. There are also the relationships the inmates have with their own mothers or kids outside the prison.

In “Breaking the Fiberboard Ceiling,” the show brings that theme to the forefront: There’s a wonderful turn for Selenis Leyva (who has been good all season but takes things up a notch for this episode), a tough family dynamic for Red’s branch of the Litchfield tree, and a meltdown inside Poussey’s group of friends that almost derails everything they’re working for.

In the story line most relevant to the standoff, Gloria is able to speak with her comatose son for a few minutes and decides it’s go-time to release the guards and be granted furlough by MCC — which, even before knowing the outcome, we all had to know was a tenuous proposition at best, right? Oh, Gloria.

But she manages to pull it off, and with some serious attitude no less. Gloria “takes charge” of the guards, since Ouija and Pidge are busy snorting coffee grounds like maniacs, and starts “punishing” them by locking them in the poo. It’s a clever way to separate them from the inmates, and the plan works — except someone beats her to it.

We don’t know who cut the fence, but Ruiz seems likely. She overheard Gloria’s conversation with Bennie, and Gloria confessed what she was about to do, to which Ruiz basically said, “Do it. You don’t owe anybody here anything.”

But Ruiz has a kid too, remember? And a desperate mama bear is not a person to trifle with or put much trust in, so smart money is on Ruiz taking Gloria’s plan for herself.

Either way, Gloria desperately clawing at the ground as the last guard runs away (taking all of her hope with him) was heartbreaking.
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