So, the final season finally came to Netflix. It goes without saying I binged it as soon as it landed to my list.
I am sad the series is ending because this could have easily continued to many more seasons. However, what was beautiful about this series is that not only that it was a series about women and their lives beautifully written and produced by two women. This final season was the story of Latinas and that was really novel and very beautifully narrated.
If we look at the popular culture, and even academic work, very little is known about experiences of Latinas. When we read about illegal immigrants and deportations from the US, we also mostly hear about whole groups or children. We don’t get to learn how Latinas feel and how they are affected.
This final season provided that debate not only by showing us the struggle of Blanca to stay in the US after she was taken to custody following early release from prison, but we also got to meet Carla and other women from Latin America facing a similar destiny. And, we also saw the brutality of the regime and the poor treatment illegal immigrants receive.
I was also pleased that in this final season we saw Piper in the real world again, which is exactly what I was hoping to see. The story of Piper trying to develop a normal life again, with the constraints of the parole system and her struggle to negotiate her identity outside of prison while having the love of her life still in prison, was really well done. While I am aware this not how it happened for real Piper, I think that the story of OITNB speaks for more former prisoners than the story of the real Piper who became successful following the release from prison and now campaigns for prison reform, sits on various boards, etc.
There was also a funny side to the series when Caputo comments on Brexit and Fig watched British Love Island. We actually get to see the episode and well-known British contestants in the background, which was a nice touch as it provided us with the sense of reality. In other words, it gave us a feeling that this is actually happening now. While the series is not happening, we do know that the series is based on a book by real Piper and we also heard numerous times that these things are happening in the US (brutality of guards, injustice towards black people, brutality towards illegal immigrants who do not get even basic rights, etc.) and as argued by the directors, the series has started to talk and debate these issues.
A nice touch was also the after-show talk with main actresses and directors, and it was also a nice touch to put some of these clips at the end of the last episode of the last season to entice viewers to watch it (it worked with me, even though I normally do not watch these things). I particularly like that the show did not just talk about real women who face difficulties in the story narrative. On the contrary, the directors helped women succeed by giving them their first big role. Some of them, therefore, mention in the after the show that the opportunity they’ve got changed their lives, which was a nice touch.
The whole season was outstanding as was the series in general, and I really hope that someone will pick this up in the future and continue this series.
Beautiful, insightful, inspiring. Do watch this!
Thank you for reading.