‘Orange Is The New Black’ Finale Wrap Up And Discussion: Don’t Fear The Reaper

News & Culture Writer
07.11.14 20 Comments


Note: Orange is the New Black discussion posts are intended to give a full season perspective, and may contain minor spoilers.

Previously: Orange is the New Black: Season Two, Episode Twelve

Hooray, we’re finally finished! So that was all wrapped up in pretty much a neat and tidy bow with no real cliffhangers to speak of — other than the whole thing with Alex probably getting her ass hauled back to prison next season (especially since Laura Prepon is all but a confirmed series regular). I can only assume that whole thing will play out in a mirror reverse of the first season, only with Alex figuring out that Piper landed her in jail instead of vice versa. So, we have that to look forward to.

Honestly, I’m just so relieved that the Vee arc isn’t going to carry out into next season. Although I did try, for the most part, to watch these episodes as I recapped them — being that I write about pop culture on the internet, Vee’s demise was spoiled about 2-3 episodes in. But still, people out there are questioning whether or not she’s really dead and whether or not her character will be returning. While it hasn’t been confirmed by Netflix one way or the other, let me clear it up for you: No, Vee won’t be coming back. Aside from the fact that the actress who plays Vee, Lorraine Toussaint, has accepted a role on an ABC crime drama — Vee was the Big Bad of season two. Between losing her entire prison family, getting rightfully nailed for “slocking” Red, escaping and then becoming roadkill at the hands of the likewise escaped Rosa, Vee met her poetic justice at the end. And for as dumb as this show can be sometimes, I think it’s still far too smart to try to drag out an already beaten dead horse storyline.

When I started this recap project, readers who had binged were frustrated that we didn’t provide some kind of separate binge commentary, so that’s something we’ll think about adding in for next year. In the first couple of recaps, I also got an interesting mix of people who either loved or vehemently hated season two. Overall I fall more on the scale of liking it, and my biggest gripe of the season was that midway through it got too weighed down by the heaviness of the Vee arc, and unlike Larry who is great, great fun to hate on — Vee was just too tiresome and tedious, and I just wanted her to go away. Even the Fig arc was pretty fun, and I think it tied up exactly when it should have.

Random thoughts about the finale:

  • Piper’s confrontation with Larry and Polly was probably some of the best acting Taylor Schilling has done since the premiere bottle episode. Or maybe it’s just because I’ve been waiting for those two chuckleheads to get told all season. Either way.
  • The heroin Nicky stole from Vee never did make its way into the toilet, so could potentially come back into play in season three.
  • Dialogue presented without commentary: “Hey did you ever see that movie, the one with the cowboy and he’s like the king of the castle, and then, this astronaut shows up, and he tries to take over, and so the cowboy attempts to murder him — but — instead, the astronaut is taken hostage by like this evil psychopath, and the cowboy has to rescue him? And then they end up becoming really good friends!” “Toy Story?”
  • I’ll be pretty bummed if this is really the end of Healy and Pennsatucky’s friendship. They did a really nice job of fleshing that out all season long and by doing so gave both characters some much-needed humanity.
  • Caputo letting Fig blow him for the files that he had already given to the warden was one of the most devious, underhanded, and borderline misogynistic things that has ever happened on this show. Also it was hilarious. “In high school they used to call me beer can.”
  • Of course, the karma being that as soon as Caputo takes over, everything that can go wrong does go from — from a nun protest to stupid Bennett finally opening his dipsh*t mouth about being the father of Daya’s baby.
  • After they turned Crazy Eyes into a one-dimension, villainous henchman over the course of the season, ending with her clutching the Uno cards Vee had given to her while bawling was a nice touch.
  • Finishing out the season with Miss Rosa, realizing that she didn’t have die in prison and barreling down the road to “Don’t Fear the Reaper” (before almost making nun pancakes) was one of the most satisfying and fulfilling season finales that I can think of. The fact that she took out that bitch Vee with her was just the icing on the prison cheesecake.


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