TV show review of: Season 3, Episode 1 of Orange is the New Black! The episode does not have some big reveal or whatever so I do not what would classify as a spoiler but trust me, it’s not that spoiler-ish.
The show, which was released earlier than expected by only a few hours, opened up with an episode about mothers and it’s another episode with a lot of heart.
The first episode of the third season entitled “Mother’s Day” is structured well in several flashbacks of different girls inmates or women, concerning about their mothers and children. Instead of focusing on a single person, the entire episode showed glimpses of their life beyond the bars of a lot of women with different backgrounds. Even one of the administrator Healy has a flashback.
The idea of a Mother’s Day celebration is a good reminder that the inmates have lives outside the prison. I’d also like to assume that this is one way of the writing and the production staff to honor their mothers. After all, we owe almost everything to our mothers whether gratitude or a middle-finger.
This would lead me to some of the most important aspects that they tackled in a single episode. One of them is the big elephant in the room that no one really tried to talk about: abortion. It’s so hard to talk about it in TV because it’s a sensitive issue. I, for one, am against it and not for moral reasons. That Christian devout in the show aborted more than eight times with their names starting with the letter B by the way and one of her friends talked about how an abortion is a good thing because she wouldn’t be able to give them a good life anyway. What’s the point of creating a life that could be living so close to death? (Pull-quote me right there). Are you a bad mother for “wipin’ them out” before they lead shitty lives because of them? I’d like to open this for debate because in my counterargument would be. You could give it up for adoption. There are good people out there who want them.
Another is our transmom. Laverne Cox’s character has such a huge impact to the show and the audience and her character represents some parts of the transgender community. The question that was raised here was: how do you celebrate Mother’s day when you are the ‘father’ (biologically, at least) of your son? Is she going to be the ‘second-mom or his used-to-be dad’? She answers this with: from former man to current man. I’d love to say that this is the stand of the show and this should be the stand of everyone else. Being a transgender does not change your role as a parent. There is no such thing as: a real woman should know—or a real man should be. There is no proper and accurate way of being in a body.
Lastly is the loss of mothers. The loss of a mother is difficult. For Suzanne, it was terrible to accept V is gone. This would be her arc this season. For Poussey, it was her good mother. Unlike a couple of her friends, she had a great mother who loved her and who passed away and it was a devastating episode for her. One of the things that I’ve realized in this episode is that some people have shitty mothers. They simply do and it sucks for their children and it’s difficult. Life is fucking difficult.
As for Piper and Alex, I am glad they did not have as many scenes in this episode. I’m way interested in the stories of other inmates (like Poussey and Red) but I think these two girls represent was something more than motherhood and it’s friendship, something that is equally nurturing.
At the end of the day, they are prisoners. Of something bigger than Litchfield? Maybe. And that scene where they all had to plank go down on the ground because the alarm went off and it was required of them to lay on the ground for security purposes, it was one of the usual security measures while the kids were standing up and confused was so depressing. I think it was a reminder that sure, they do have lives outside prison but they’re living inside one as of the moment and they should know that. And the kids, as they start growing up, should know that being in jail is not normal. (But what is?) Take that heartbreaking scene near the end.
I’d like to think that this episode set the tone for the entire season which is hopeful since most of the time kids are our only hope.
I’m not going to comment on what made sense and what did not. The A.V. Club, which I religiously read, is responsible for that.
What I hate about it though is that there is no “Last season on Orange is the New Black…” I mean, I get it if there are no recap for every episode because Netflix knows we’re going to binge the shit out of the show and there’s no need but a year is too long and I’ve forgotten some of the plot lines and possibly plot holes of the show.