“Kokomo” Orange Is The New Black S6 E3 “Look Out For Number One”
I am Sorry that this recap is a day late, unfortunately, I had to spend more than a few hours in the hospital yesterday (long story but I am fine). Oh, and Wednesday is my birthday (feel free to bring cake).
I hope you have been listening to my podcast Decarceration Nation. We are on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Stitcher and now Tune-In (which I think means you can ask Alexa to “Play Decarceration Nation.” You can also find the episodes at DecarcerationNation.com.
Also, you can read my recap of EVERY single episode of Orange is the New Black using this guide.
If you have not watched OITNB before *Spoiler Alert*
5 THINGS ABOUT SEASON 6 EPISODE 3 “LOOK OUT FOR NUMBER ONE”
This was a fun episode but, in the end, I feel it was mostly an attempt by the writers to distort the characters in order to fix long-running plot problems (and not always in very successful ways).
5. “BUT SHE’S STILL A MENACE TO SOCIETY”
There were a lot of terrible, nonsensical, and impossible events during the riot but few made me angrier than the idea that Linda from purchasing could be mistaken for an inmate and shipped out.
I explained all the reasons why in the recap of the last episode of season five, but inmates have an ID, a number, and count is done by computer printouts. They would NEVER have moved her, even if you believe that she could have gotten misplaced for a few minutes until they were 1000% sure that knew who she was.
Kind of improbable that someone as shallow and in love with material goods would agree to keep what happened quiet — given, as she admitted herself — the media was in a feeding frenzy over the riot. Don’t get me wrong, one of the real problems with private prisons is that way too often the companies are shielded from FOIA, but the media would have been watching and hitting up every source for information with multiple officers killed and if a senior administrator were missing? I dunno, probable but not impossible. But still, why wouldn’t she just sue the hell out of MCC? I mean they didn’t just fail to protect her and lose her during a riot, they failed to catch their mistake and then shipped her to FDC Cleveland. Huge Lawsuit.
4. “AND THAT IS HUMAN PERFECTION”
So, you know I generally love the show, but sometimes they twist the characters into pretzels to work their way out of the corners they write themselves into.
As I mentioned in the Episode 1 Recap, there is NO WAY Frieda would have “really” tried to kill herself. So I was thrilled to see that Frieda had only been using the suicide attempt as a way to protect herself…that is until I realized that it made even less sense that she had to commit “fake” suicide (or suicide without the intention of dying) only because many years ago she had betrayed one of the block bosses at Max.
Maybe I could look past this if we hadn’t had an extensive backstory on Frieda over the last two seasons. Frieda has always been extremely well prepared and extremely loyal to a code of ethics. She has been one of the MOST reliable members, and often the only member of Red’s crew capable of getting the hard things done. She even invited her friends into her private bunker to protect and defend them.
So I get it, the writer’s room had decided they needed to have Red take the fall for Piscatella and to do that they needed to explain that betrayal was in Frieda’s character…but in doing so they disrupted and betrayed everything they had worked so hard to let us know about Frieda up until now.
This was a classic example of “character as a prop.”
Anyway, I have a hard time believing that Frieda would have betrayed Carol of anyone else she had committed to supporting. I would also have a hard time believing Frieda (who we know was a total badass even as a kid because he Dad trained her from birth to be a badass) would have worked for Carol in the first place.
I also do not believe that Frieda is so scared of Carol that she would sell out Red.
Burt Reynolds or no Burt Reynolds.
I guess I am glad that Frieda found her way to Florida (kind of worried about her borderline racist tone, another questionable direction for her character in my opinion), but at least they haven’t turned Frieda stupid or suicidal.
4. “BURT REYNOLDS SUCKS BALLS”
Wow, did the battle between Carol and Barbara start because of how the murder of their sister went down…or because they disagree about Burt Reynolds?
So, most of the stuff between Carol and Frieda happened in a back corner of a traditional prison law library. As Adam Wisnieski explained in The Crime Report earlier this week prisons barely have conventional law libraries anymore:
“One big reason is Florida’s prison system — and a majority of state prisons systems — have dumped print materials for computer kiosks with subscriptions to legal databases.”
This has happened because, as the article mentioned, the 1996 Supreme Court decision in Lewis v. Casey substantially narrowed their 1977 Bounds v. Smith decision. Lewis made it so DOC’s didn’t have to provide full law libraries.
Now, most prison libraries are moving, for cost reasons, to computer kiosks using regularly updated CD-ROM’s. So many reasons this is messed up, first and foremost the kiosks are time-limited. In other words, 100 inmates could work in prison law libraries at a time (not everyone needed the same law book at the same time) while now prisoners are limited by the number of kiosks and the duration of their call-outs (the pass that gives you permission to go to the law library and tells you how long you get to stay).
There are lots of reasons why it is important that inmates have access to legal materials, not least of which is most cannot afford actual lawyers and a lot of totally ridiculous things happen throughout the legal process and during each inmate’s stay in prison.
The law library is the ONLY route a prisoner has to learn how to fight back whenever something terrible happens or happened to them.
3. “I REALLY NEED TO TALK TO MY LAWYER”
Okay, I am calling shenanigans here.
There is a scene where Nicky is in the yard and she calls out to a C.O demanding to talk to her lawyer. That is just not the way it works. Kathy has already explained why she wouldn’t be in a cage on the same yard as the other inmates if she was in segregation but if she agreed to go to rec they wouldn’t just let her go back to the unit, and certainly not to use the phones on command.
If she was at a lower security prison she could use the phones in the yard (as long as one of the phones was available) but you can’t just call a C.O. and they come running to give you access to a lawyer. You could call your lawyer when you had phone time, and your lawyer would come and get you a call out…but, you can’t just snap your fingers at the C.O’s and get what you need.
2. “ECONOMIC SEGREGATION”
There are different “bosses” all over prison but in no world would one block get all the good jobs and benefits (like a block television) while another block was made to do all the terrible jobs and get none of the benefits.
Prison administrations don’t want to foment violence between blocks (which is exactly what an idiotic policy like this would do) and they certainly don’t like to create legitimate grievances and lawsuits (you have to let your grievances work through the system until you get the right to take your case to court).
In fact, prisons are so careful about this they make everyone get on a list for the good jobs and even folks who were overqualified have to wait their turn. I, for instance, taught in higher education for two decades before my arrest and couldn’t get a job as a tutor because the number of people on the list in front of me was just too long for me to move up high enough.
Part of the reason is that if I had jumped the line other people waiting would get pissed (not least because good jobs pay more).
Anyway, different block bosses could certainly have beef, but no prison administration would let one block dominate the good jobs at the expense of the other block. There certainly could be “honor blocks” but those would not be set up competively and NOTHING about Carol’s block screams “honor block” to me.
1. PIPER, FRIEDA, AND NICKY?
I guess I could see prisoners turning on other prisoners to get a shorter sentence or to stop themselves from getting a longer bit. But something about two of Red’s oldest allies flipping on her super easy? I just don’t see it happening.
And is Piper a moron? Why in the world would Red be trying desperately to tell her Alex was dead? I totally get that if Piper misinterpreted the message she might be pissed at Red but why in the world would Piper misinterpret that message?
Why would Piper be desperately trying to tell all “her girls” through pantomime that Piper’s fiance was dead?
Piper can be a very frustrating character, but I have never thought of her as stupid before.
Look, I get that the writers really messed up and put themselves in a terrible position after Season Five…But eroding all of the core character traits of your characters seems like a particularly cheap way to try to get everything making sense again.
Okay, see you next week!
UNLOCKING THE GATES
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Originally published at onpiratesatellite.com.