Jojo Whilden/Netflix
June 14, 2017 at 06:16 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 a B

I really, really wanted to give “Tattoo You” a better grade, but the Piper flashback and Piper/Alex interactions were so awful and out of place that I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. But before we wade into that mess, let’s talk about the other mess happening in the penultimate episode of season 5.

The video Gina took of Piscatella breaking Alex’s arm is going viral, and the governor knows what an absolute s—storm he has on his hands, so Figueroa is instructed to give the inmates everything they want. Everything, that is, except prosecuting Bayley, because that’s not something the state has any power over.

And because that means no justice for Poussey, Taystee tells Figueroa to pound sand — and this clip keeps playing in a loop in my head as this entire scene unfolds. Oh, Taystee. What are you thinking?!

Honestly, this feels a smidge out of character for her. It jibes that Taystee’s knee-jerk reaction would be “no deal,” because her emotions are so raw about Poussey. But after Caputo appeals to her about making real change, I think Taystee would see that this is what Poussey would have wanted her to do. If she says no now, then both Poussey’s death and the riot are for nothing.

Poussey was one of the gentlest inmates at Litchfield, and she would have been the No. 1 cheerleader of Taystee pulling this off for the inmates. Taystee is also smart enough to understand that prosecuting Bayley is not as easy as reinstating the GED program or hiring properly trained guards. So I’m not sure I buy this. It feels like a TV drama move, rather than an organic character choice. Do you agree, readers, or does Taystee’s choice track for you?

The only argument Taystee has going for her is that she thinks the guards are still safely locked in the bubble. Hostages mean more negotiations, in her mind. Taystee doesn’t know about the hostages, so she thinks she can keep fighting for her friend. That’s the only reason this story line works — but I still think she’s smarter than this.

Regardless, as it turns out, it doesn’t matter if the hostages are gone or not. The governor needs to end this now, and after Taystee says no deal, he’s going to storm the prison, which is not going to end well. It never, ever does.
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