We’ve finally emerged from our weekend-long Orange Is The New Black binge, and now we’re ready to talk about season three in all of its glory. The first few episodes featured the return of one Litchfield inmate and the likely permanent departure of another, but things were only beginning to heat up. If you haven’t finished watching season three yet, you may not want to read further. Spoilers to come.
While we seriously have a million thoughts about the season, there are three huge questions we have in particular for season four:
1. What’s going to happen to Sophia?
The first episode’s Mother’s Day theme set up one of the central themes for the season: motherhood. From watching Dayanara try to make a decision about the life of her soon-to-be child by thinking of her mother Aleida’s advice/mistakes to watching Big Boo (or Carrie, as we see) struggling with herself and her mother, the moms were front and center this time around. One particularly poignant story pinned two mothers against each other, as we see Gloria and Sophia, each struggling to parent from behind bars. Gloria tries to keep her son out of trouble, fearing he’ll end up like her; Sophia tries to teach her son Michael all of the things a father should be able to — how to shave, what to do with girls (“Find an insecure girl and practice on her”) — while struggling with being a transgender parent who’s in jail. As if watching these women struggle to be the best parents they can be wasn’t painful enough to watch, their feud takes an ugly turn that sees Sophia jumped in her salon. Thanks to MCC operating Litchfield now, the guards are mostly incompetent, lacking the training necessary to handle a situation like that, but when Sophia complains (in an empowering conversation with Joe Caputo), she finds out that MCC’s solution for her is perhaps its most disgusting decision yet: she’s sent to SHU…”for her own protection.”
While all the other inmates made us cry as they splashed around in the freedom lake, we couldn’t help but remember that Sophia was still in SHU. Will she get out? Can Caputo do anything in his new position as Director of Human Activity that will correct this injustice?
2. What’s going to happen to Alex?
Now that she’s back in prison, Piper’s ex-flame-slash-current-flame-slash-ex-flame-slash-business-partner has become a little paranoid. She’s pretty sure that various different people are out to kill her throughout the beginning of the season (and, at times, her reasons are totally justified, like when Lolly keeps track of her every move and carries around a huge glass shank), but, by the end of the season, it seems like Alex and viewers alike have forgotten the paranoia altogether. Until, of course, one of the new guards is actually someone connected to Kubra, the drug kingpin Alex has pissed off. He has her alone in a shed, explaining he managed to get hired because (of course!) MCC will hire anyone as a prison guard (See: Officer Bayley, that guy who keeps raping Doggett in the van).
As the inmates ran through the fence to freedom, was Alex being killed, or was she able to talk her way out of it? Will the guard get away with it? Will Piper realize Alex was right? (Will Psycho Piper even care, at this point?)
3. What’s going to happen to Litchfield?
The final shot of the season revealed what is, we hope, the last awful nail in the coffin of MCC’s takeover of Litchfield: bunk beds and buses. Right now, busing in tons of new felons seems like a really bad idea, considering, the entire prison just escaped through a giant hole in the fence and half of the guards just walked out, but what do we know? The idea of busloads of new inmates entering the prison presents so many opportunities that we don’t even know where to begin asking questions. How will our girls react to it? How will Litchfield actually handle all of these women? Does this mean Piper can get more girls to wear panties and increase her profit margins? Will they ever restock the commissary Ramen?