‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 2 Finale Review – Rude People Suck

Published 6 months ago by

Vee Orange is the New Black Episode 209 ‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 2 Finale Review   Rude People Suck

[This is a review of the Orange is the New Black season 2 finale. There will be SPOILERS.]

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It’s happening again. Orange is the New Black is over and simply put, I’m sad. Folks were dragged off to SHU, an elderly inmate was ditched as a “compassionate release,” someone else was stabbed and poor Red (Kate Mulgrew) was slocked, but the undeniable appeal of the large majority of the characters and the wacky yet oddly comforting sense of community continues to make Litchfield feel just like home.

The final episode of season 2, ‘We Have Manners. We’re Polite,’ isn’t a particularly sound 90 minutes of television, but the show has hit a point where script structure doesn’t even matter. Orange is the New Black rocks an exceedingly well-developed setting and has an abundance of characters you’re deeply connected to in it, giving just about anything that happens to them a must-see quality.

There’s a lot going on in episode 13, but most of it can be tied to Vee (Lorraine Toussaint). There’s Red’s recovery from the slocking and the SIS (Special Investigation Services) investigation, Nicky’s (Natasha Lyonne) choice to retaliate by stealing Vee’s stash, and Cindy (Adrienne C. Moore) and Watson (Vicky Jeudy) finally deciding to ditch Vee and reunite Taystee (Danielle Brooks) and Poussey (Samira Wiley). Minus whatever Norma (Annie Golden) and Gloria (Selenis Leyva) are busy cooking up to get Vee out of Litchfield, this is some of the strongest material of the episode because the overlap facilitates a very effective build.

Rosa Orange is the New Black Episode 209 ‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 2 Finale Review   Rude People Suck

This isn’t an issue of business, family loyalty or prison hierarchy anymore. Vee’s a selfish, violent and deceitful person, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to get her out. Some efforts are more effective than others, but everyone does their part. Red comes to realize that telling the truth is more important than pride, Cindy and Watson stop Vee from framing Crazy Eyes (Uzo Aduba) and the rage Nicky’s heist incites helps confirm that Vee’s really the one who’s off her mind. In the end, Rosa (Barbara Rosenblat) is the one who gets the job done, but if Red never got slocked, Nicky wouldn’t have went after Vee’s stash, and if Nicky didn’t take the drugs, Vee never would have snapped and lost her family, which is what ultimately compels her to flee through the tunnel, putting her right in Rosa’s path.

The big moment was a little clunky in a number of respects, particularly the intercutting between Rosa and Vee that tipped us off a bit too much, but the payoff of letting Rosa be the one to finish her off is still extremely gratifying. She’s been a Litchfield staple since day one. She’s tough and cynical, but still a decent person, and in this show, that goes a long way. Even though she never takes responsibility for the death of her loved ones or shows much remorse for what she’s done, she still manages to prove that good can exist right alongside an obsession with robbing banks. She may deserve to live out her days in prison according to the law, but Rosa is still a person, and a very decent one at that. You want her to get one last shot and when Morello (Yael Stone) affords her that, it makes for an especially moving season-ending thrill.

Healy Orange is the New Black Episode 202 ‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 2 Finale Review   Rude People Suck

Healy’s (Michael Harney) friendship with Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) fizzles out when he decides to be a big baby about the end of Safe Place, but Caputo (Nick Sandow) is still going strong having finally taken Fig (Alysia Reiner) down and making you believe that as the new assistant warden, he really can make a difference. After two whole seasons of sneaking around and trying to frame Pornstache (Pablo Schreiber), it was rather refreshing to finally see Bennett (Matt McGorry) man up and tell Caputo the truth. The Daya/Bennett storyline is notorious for repeating the same beats over and over again, but because their love does feel genuine, it’s hard not to be happy for them when Caputo lets Bennett off the hook and gives their relationship the slightest chance.

As for Piper (Taylor Schilling), how she decides to make the best of her bizarre romantic situation might actually spice things up for Larry (Jason Biggs) and Polly (Maria Dizzia) in the process. It’s always been tough to care about Larry because it’s so much easier to root for Alex (Laura Prepon), and after deciding he’s in love with Polly, seemingly out of the blue, it’s come to a point where it’s hard not to wonder, why have him around at all now? Polly, on the other hand, was in fine shape until she decided to ditch her husband and her child’s father for Larry in an instant. We get little to no relationship building and we’re expected to believe Larry and Polly are just meant to be together? It can’t work like that. However, if Piper winds up taking the upper hand and convincing the two to do her dirty work for her out of guilt, that could lead to some solid season 3 hijinks and the move Piper makes at the end of this episode proves.

Piper Orange is the New Black Episode 213 ‘Orange is the New Black’ Season 2 Finale Review   Rude People Suck

Alex is a fan favorite. She had to make her way back to Litchfield eventually and when you think about it, it’s probably better off that it happened now, otherwise Kubra could get to her first and then we’d never have her back at all. It’s a desperate move that Piper will undoubtedly have to pay for, but if this is any indication, Piper will be much more comfortable playing the system now. She isn’t malicious and absolutely won’t become the next Vee, but she is capable of getting what she wants by taking reasonable risks and making smarter decisions. When she returns in season 3, she’ll definitely have to smooth things over with Alex, but after that’s taken care of, she’ll have her and all of her inmate friends back (assuming Nicky chills out), she’ll have two people on the outside who owe her favors and will also likely be in good standing with Caputo considering she’s the reason he got his promotion. It could be interesting to see what someone other than Red, Vee or Gloria does on a power trip, and especially Piper.

It’s always fun to speculate, but the thing is, I don’t even care where all of the Orange is the New Black storylines go. It’s not about hoping things will play out one way or the other in season 3. It’s only about the need for more – no matter what more is. I’ve become so attached to these characters and have had so much fun experiencing every single up and down with them, that at this point, the ladies of Litchfield could be talking to each other through the walls in SHU for all I care; I just want Orange is the New Black back fast.

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Orange is the New Black has been renewed and is currently filming season 3.

Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.

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TAGS: orange is the new black

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  1. After watching the premiere last Friday I had the silly idea to try and take my time with this season but here we are less than a week later and I’m already done and I’m mad at myself for it.
    The simple fact is that once I was back in I fell in love all over again and each night when I would say “this is the last episode I’m watching tonight” I would always hit play at least one more time.

    This season had a few uneven moments and a few threads felt a bit underserved but just like last year as the season progressed each episode got better and better.

    Now I’m bummed that it will be almost a full year before I get to see these ladies again.
    Now I just wish I could give Suzanne (don’t you dare call her Crazy Eyes) a hug.

    • LOL, that’s funny, my wife keeps calling Suzanne that when explaining something to her friend. This show has really surprised me when it was first released. If the show continues this strong Netflix has a real gem on their hands. I only hope future Netflix shows will have this kind of progress(DD, Hemlock Grove)

      • I don’t blame her because I still do at times.
        She’s just so damn lovable and misunderstood. :(

        To be honest out of all of Netflix’s original programming that I’ve seen (House of Cards, Arrested Development, Hemlock Grove) Orange is what I’d rank as the best of the bunch. This is coming from someone who worshiped AD but I have to be honest with myself.

        • Now I feel guilty about calling her Crazy Eyes in the review!

          • As you should Perri.
            As… You… Should… :)

  2. It seems like a bad idea business wise to release all the episodes at once. Like HBO does with Game of Thrones, they do once a week, and I end up paying for 3 months.

    This way, you just sign up for the free week offer, and then cancel?

  3. Unless I missed the others, I truly don’t see the point of reviewing only the premier and finale

  4. How the heck is Alex is a fan favorite? She’s the most universally disliked character on the show.

    • No way! You’d pick Larry over Alex? She’s made mistakes and clearly got Piper in quite a bit of trouble, but there’s WAY more passion to their relationship. And there’s also just so many more fun, interesting layers to that character, too.

    • Because Alex and Piper together … are HOT!

    • Of course Alex is a fan favourite. The one and only reason I’m still watching is I’m clinging onto the small hope they Piper and Alex will get back together.

      Great review.

  5. Frikkin love this show… Finished s2 in 4 days…

  6. For me, season 2 was less enjoyable then season 1 (though still enjoyable). The constant character flashbacks just sucked the momentum out of the ‘now’ narrative, in which I was far more interested. While some of the flashbacks were worthwhile and added to the present day narrative, I thought that they were overused on the whole and often felt like filler.

    I hope season 3 gets back to present day prison intrigue with a more Piper focused narrative.

  7. Will Vee live?

    OK, being a bit of a nerd (physics and engineering professor), I estimated Rosa’s speed (30 mph) and looked up the survival rate (1999 NHTSA report) for a car hitting a 45-64 year old (about Vee’s age) pedestrian at that speed (82%). However, she’s likely to be incapacitated (39%) or significantly injured (32% – note a little discrepancy since injuries are not broken down by age). However, it’s difficult to imagine she would be a player after Rosa’s hit.

    One more factor – I based my speed estimate by fence posts per second and probably is pretty close to the actual filmed speed of the vehicle. The filmmakers might like us to perceive Rosa was traveling faster.

    • That’s the nerdiest thing I’ve ever read.

    • She’s dead. A victim lying with their eyes open is the universal sign of dead.

  8. Why the hell does Rosa have a Russian accent? I had no idea who that mexican bank robber chick was until she transformed in the van. Seriously, that accent is Russian that Rosa has…

    • Totally, totally agree. But its made me smile so big when the transformation in the van was revealed! GO rosa! What a way of taking control of you own life…and death!

    • She has a Cuban accent not a Russian accent. It’s very obvious that the bank robber is supposed to be Rosa. Did you not watch the episode where her and the young boy getting chemo treatment together do their own little “heist”? Also, they always show a scene of her in present day and then cut to a flashback of her.

      • I knew who she was supposed to be before they ‘revealed’ it at the end and I still think she sounds Russian. Why does she never talk to any of the other latin people? They’re all together except her.

        • I also thought the accent sounded Russian but its obviously Cuban. She is not with the hispanics because she is old and has been there for decades and also because she is Cuban and they are Puerto Rican.

          • Maybe she’s a Cuban who learned English from a Russian teacher in Cuba. It’s possible….

    • It’s funny that you mention that. I actually didn’t know Rosa was Latin either until the flashbacks, but she’s definitely not Mexican. In fact, none of the Latin women in the show are Mexican- I can tell by their accents and their cultural references.

      Rosa is kinda supposed to be Cuban – even though the accent is still not too authentic (her male cohorts in crime definitely are and their accents are good) .

      The other women are Boricua (Puerto Rican) – especially evident with the Santeria stuff.

      Remember , this is on the East Coast . Mexicans are not as numerous. The show kind of mixes it up and has them cooking Mexican food, but that’s because the writer is from L.A and either that’s all she knows, or she realizes most people think all Latino Americans are Mexican anyway (case in point, your comment).

      Saying all the Latino cultures are the same is like saying all Australian, Americans, Jamaicans, etc…. are all the same because they were all colonized by Britain and all speak English. But I understand it takes a little more familiarity witht he cultures to tell the differences.

    • Hey, guess I didn’t read all of the other posts before commenting. But it looks like we’re all in agreement here. I’m impressed!

  9. What the heck did those women blow on vee? That was never revealed.

    • Let’s just say they cooked up a little spiritual cleansing powder. Powerful stuff. a little goes a long way…

    • It was just a witchcraft concoction made of various food, spices, and dog hair.

  10. I love this show ! It is amazing how realistic their storyline is. A+ to the writer/s. I spent 4yrs in a place almost exactly like their facility, except is was all male. Though most ppl will watch and enjoy for the drama, it is very authentic. This show has actually helped me deal with emotional flaws that relate to my time. I’m so grateful that someone made a show that presents the human side of being an inmate. Its actually made me cry quite a few times, and laugh sooo many more. Kudos to all on the project, and to Perri Nemiroff.
    ExScaryGuy :)

  11. Not a personal attack, just an ardent plea to PLEASE use proper English in your reviews. If Nicky wouldn’t have GONE after Vee’s stash…NOT wouldn’t have WENT……otherwise, I enjoyed your review.

    • just saw season 2 finale last night and all i can say is, “one of the best endings EVER!” the build up of hatred toward’s Vee was palpable. Rosa behind the wheel, although no surprise she springs free, and musical choice of “Don’t Fear the Reaper”,playing loud… with the final punch of Rosa taking Vee out was like riding the newest roller coaster out there…getting off and feeling that sensation of pure exhilaration!!! i thought it was magnificent!!!