Orange Is The New Black: 5 plot holes you might have missed in season 6
'Orange Is The New Black' is back in game with its latest sixth season, but there might be a few things that viewers could have missed in the hullabaloo of the new season.
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Ever since the popular Netflix drama 'Orange Is The New Black' premiered across screens in 2013, the show has helped a lot of people by shedding some much-needed light on the inherent injustices of the American criminal justice system. However, despite all the drama that ensues in the current season, there still might have been a few things that the viewers of the show could have missed while in the middle of all the prison extravaganza present.
The series, which was renewed for a total of seven seasons, might clearly be nearing its end, but that does not mean the show has tied up all the loose ends from its side. The current season of OITNB featured major changes for a lot of mainstream characters on the show, something which might have gone unnoticed with the prison's current scenario.
Therefore, it is time to take a look at some of the huge plot holes that Netflix probably forgot to fill in season 6 of the popular dramedy that hit the screens on July 27 this year.
The strange relationship between the guards and inmates at Litchfield
Ever since the show started filming, Netflix, along with the writers of the show, have heavily struggled to find the perfect balance in the relationship between the guards and inmates in Litchfield's prison. Be it Daya's relationship with Pornstache and CO Bennett in the previous seasons, or the cute friendship between Taystee and her former friend CO Tamika Ward, the show has still not got the dynamics of this partnership between the guards and the prisoners right.
Moreover, the continued focus on the Litchfield guards in a way tends to shift the emphasis away from the Litchfield inmates, which more often is found to be highly disappointing. In a bid to both humanize and demonize the guards and prison inmates alike, the show at times loses its original balance. "After season five, there had to be ramifications for the riot," executive producer Tara Herrmann explains of the characters OITNB viewers will and won't see in season six. "We took the risk of slowing things down and telling big arcs, but slowly. It was exciting for us as writers to go back to the first few years where we could really zone in on the core characters. We wanted to tell the fifth season from the corporate and more administrative stories, which are fascinating for us. But I think we were all excited to then get back to our ladies and the rawness of the ramifications of the riot."
Where is Chang?
At the end of season 5 of the popular Netflix drama, we all saw at least two inmates, Chang and Pensatucky, take advantage of the gaping hole in the prison's grilled iron gates and escape into the free, wide world. While Pensatucky's loss is felt as soon as her substitute, Linda from the MCC's purchasing department is restored back in normal civilization, there is hardly any mention of Chang throughout the season. And while assistant-warden Natalie Figeroa is convinced that the prison's inmate count matched to the T, Chang, who was clearly shown as the shrewd and clever leader of a criminal empire back in the day, no one seemed to realize that Chang is already gone.
Moreover, Chang's disappearance poses another heavyweight question for the viewers of the show, if Chang is still out there roaming free, who is the person trapped within the prison walls in her absence? And more importantly, is there an innocent person trapped within the Litchfield maximum security prison or did the correctional officers along with the CERT agents from season 5 get the inmate count wrong in the first place? Netflix clearly still has quite a few questions to answer.
Herrmann says, "We never save stories. Everything that we have is all in there. We end up with nothing in what we call our 'slush' at the end of the season — we’ve checked it all off. Jenji’s motto is that there is always more story to tell."
The current season playing out in 2018
The change of prison and its security in the current season of 'Orange Is The New Black' isn't the only change that can be seen in the show. A lot of people might not have noticed it while binge-watching the show. And we can be sure of that all because of an episode during the season that sees Blanca Flores played by Laura Gomez trying to question the status of Trump's proposed border wall, while in another episode of the season, a "honeypot" conversation invokes the #MeToo movement.
For those who aren't aware, the series began with Piper getting an 18-month long sentence in 2013, so the creators of the show had certain time restrictions when it came to showing what was happening inside the prison as well outside its walls. Series creator Jenji Kohan had referenced the timeline constraints earlier and had even spoken about how the show would be taking a time-hop of sorts in the current season. "To be able to be that topical was very exciting this year," Herrmann reportedly said to THR. "It's a tricky thing. We started to get a little bit looser with it in season five, but for the first four seasons, we really tried to be mindful with our references. There is this clock on the show because of Piper’s sentence, but then we also want to be able to be topical."
"The theme song is Regina Spektor's 'You’ve Got Time,' which is all about time and how these women are in there," she says. "We know from the real inmates that we have talked to that when you are in there, you do lose track of time. So now we say that we’re living in a timeless world. While there is a clock on peoples’ sentences and that sort of thing, let’s just throw caution to the wind and decide that we’re now working in the current age. That’s why a lot of the sentences are somewhat vague. And, if you’re following it that closely, I think we’re doing something wrong!"
Netflix cleverly worming in Piper's memoir
A lot of people might already know this, but the show 'Orange Is The New Black' is actually an adaptation of a book by the same name, written by Piper Kerman, who detailed her own experiences while she was in prison, hence giving a name to the protagonist of the popular Netflix dramedy. Therefore, when in season 6, Piper suddenly starts to think about writing a memoir (and co-incidentally finds the box of photographs with the snapshot of the legendary kickball game), it might have been a way for the showrunners to bring Piper's story to a full circle, with the mention of a book in the future.
However, since Piper is now a free bird and is out of prison, it is still speculative whether or not she will make a return in season seven, which is rumoredly going to be the last season of the show. While Taylor Schilling hasn't spoken about her future on the show, Herrmann has confirmed in the past that Piper remains very much a part of the show. "We want to make sure that we can fully tell the story of what it's like for Piper on the outside," she outlined. "We just want to make sure we didn't do it too soon in her complete arc as a series, but it seemed like the time was right. It felt like we had sort of seen her full time in accordance to what the real story was for the real Piper. She's the grounding force of the show."
And it makes total sense if Piper is still a part of the show in the seventh season, giving people a peek into her life after she exited the gates of hell, just like the showrunners decided to follow the life of former Litchfield inmate Aleida and her foray into the world of pyramid schemes, as well as her eventual evolution into a drug supplier from the outside.
Red's diminishing role in the prison and its working
Galina 'Red' Reznikov has always been the proud prison mother that anyone within the dark and dingy walls of any jail would find welcoming. Although the showrunners have reached almost the end of the prison's story, it is still not very clear what Red did to deserve a place inside Litchfield. What we do know is that the mama bear at Litchfield was once involved with the Russian mafia, and at the time of the arrest, she admitted in season four that she had several heads in her freezer stacked when the police came in to arrest her.
However, since the show is now on its last legs, it is sad to see Red's diminishing power inside the four walls of Litchfield's maximum security prison. After serving as a prison mom to almost a third of the Litchfield minimum security prison's population through seasons one to five, Red has been subtly but strongly reduced to a position of a bystander, and at one point, a mere pawn in the politics of 'max', especially the unnecessary fight between arch rivals Carol and Barbara.
It might not be visible to viewers at first glance, but it looks like the show is opening up a vacancy in the prison mom department, since Red is now in a mood for revenge after what Freida did to her and not necessarily fit for the role anymore because of her loss of faith in the notion of a 'prison family', and Carol, along with Barbara is dead.