Orange Is The New Black season 6, episode 13 finale recap: ‘Be Free’


Orange Is The New Black gives us a season 6 finale with gloom, doom, and a bittersweet anticipation of what the future brings.

Orange Is The New Black had an interesting sixth season and while most of it was spent on the rivalry between Carol and Barb, there was a deeper plot point embedded in the season through Taystee’s struggles and trial.

Everything unleashes simultaneously in the season 6 finale, and even with the hour, it doesn’t feel like we get enough time to process every moment that went down. Reflecting back on it we had the verdict of Taystee’s trial, Piper’s unexpected early release, and the future of MCC, sorry, Polycon. It’s all too much to digest but let’s break it down, shall we?

More. Orange Is The New Black season 6, episode 12 recap: ‘Double Trouble’. light

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A lot of Taystee’s journey has been about getting justice for Poussey, but everything she has been through has been anything but. This is a point she tries to make to Caputo the night before her verdict, and it’s been at the epicenter of this season’s plot as well. It’s hard to hear the jury’s verdict when it is announced because it’s plain and simply not fair. Guilty–Taystee was deemed guilty. Ugh.

But she didn’t kill Piscatella. How can this be?! A life sentence, a messed up system, and no one to vouch for her except Caputo. Watching her take in the reality of the situation at that moment is devastating, and even more so is seeing her transferred to a different prison that is not Litchfield, but we can’t blame her for wanting to be elsewhere.

Caputo makes one last-ditch effort on Taystee’s behalf when he confronts Hermann for not saying a word about the truth and letting Taystee take the fall. His breakdown leads to a bigger devastation within the season 6 finale, Polycon, formerly known as MCC, is now getting into border control and their first project? For-profit detention centers. This hits us hard when we think Flores is getting out but really seems to be getting deported at the end of the finale.

Just when we thought Orange Is The New Black couldn’t get more brutal. And there is a stark contrast between Taystee’s situation and then Piper, who is almost sad about leaving prison, because, well she can. She’s having trouble about leaving Alex behind, and it almost seems like that’s where her troubles end.

Before Piper leaves Litchfield forever, Alex surprises her with a prison wedding with Nicky officiating. It’s quite the sweet moment but again, feels so unfair in comparison to what some of the other girls are going through.

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And then there was the kickball match the season had been leading up to. We learn that Carol and Barb basically want this rivalry to pit everyone against one another, but they don’t want to do the dirty work. All they really want is to kill Frieda, so they change into Florida outfits and plan on sneaking into her block once the kickball game ends in chaos.

Their plan goes awry simply on the fact that all the girls are actually enjoying playing kickball. Suddenly the shanks are put away, the resentment and bloodlust are gone, and they’re just enjoying the sport. It’s quite the beautiful moment, and Piper gets to watch from a distance as she greets her brother outside the prison walls.

Things don’t quite end well for Barb or Carol who are later seen lying dead on the floor gutted up and stabbed courtesy of each other. And of course, when Ginger and Alvarez stumble across the bodies, their first thought is that Ginger has won the game. Seriously, guys?

The end of the finale is rough to watch because while Piper does have somewhat of a future to look forward to, Sophia is free because she promised to keep quiet, and Flores, who had hopes of starting her new life, is now on the way to being deported. And then Taystee, poor Taystee. Sigh, what a season, right?

Orange Is The New Black season 6, episode 1 premiere: ‘Who Knows Better Than I’. dark. Next

Orange Is The New Black gave us an emotionally poignant season and while the Carol/Barb feud wasn’t all that interesting, what drove the season was the unjust treatment of the prison system towards its inmates, and the brutality of how uneven things are between different people. It’s harsh, real, and why this series continues to resonate with its fans. It’s not afraid to be real, and as long as it continues its run, it will always speak the truth.