After seven seasons, Orange Is The New Black is over. Even though it’s ended, its legacy will live on as one of the first big Netflix Original series, and as key to starting the Netflix binge-watching culture. But how was the final season? Oh, and a warning, there will probably be spoilers about the entire show.
Honestly, for the past season or so I’ve binged and enjoyed it, but with little long-lasting impressions. However, this season felt very different because I can already tell that I’ll be thinking about it for a while. I thought this season would be interesting because in the last season finale was Piper released from prison, so I thought the focal point of the final season would be her adjustment to the outside world, and the subsequent relationship strains for Alex and Piper. Yes, this was a focus of the final season, but the show also went into depth about a lot of current issues about society and the justice system that I didn’t expect it to do, but I’m really glad it did. Yes, Piper did get released from prison, but the show captured a lot of prisoners’ experience when they’re released - re-introduction into normal society is difficult. Rather than relief, many burdens arise, such as struggling to get a steady job and mental health issues. And sadly for some of the other characters who were released from prison in this season, homelessness and even being arrested and sentenced again is the consequence.
I also thoroughly enjoyed that the show went into other social issues that need to be raised, such as the #MeToo movement. At first, I was dubious when they introduced this plot point, thinking that Caputo would disregard his actions and mock the movement. He did at first, but then he finally realised that his actions were immoral and tried to make decisions in retrospect of this realisation. Although Caputo started the show as a dislikeable character, I’m glad that he steadily redeemed himself and became a character that in the end I really did enjoy because he realised his mistakes. Alongside this, Orange Is The New Black highlighted the issues of ICE and the effects of it - such as being forced to move back to a dangerous country and losing custody of their children. It was harrowing to watch but I think that was the point - to raise awareness.