Orange Is The New Black's final season dropped last week on Netflix and did not disappoint. The series has always pushed boundaries and its final season was no different. The topics highlighted in the new season are more relevant to today's society than ever:
The immigration crisis
Perhaps some of the most haunting storylines of season seven come from the ICE Detention Center.
-Maritza's final scene, her deportation, is incredibly impactful. Like her peers, one-by-one fade away leaving only Maritza on the plane with government employees, until she too fades away.
-Flaca and Mendoza are inmates and stereotypically considered to be the bottom of society. Yet criminals are the only ones who are even trying to help the detainees. Every situation is different, but they aren't just situations. They're people. People who are trying to make a better life for themselves and their families.
-Karla Cordova's story is especially memorable. Karla tries everything to defend herself and prevent her deportation. A mom of two and recent widow, Karla finds legal information in the law library (when the computers aren't "broken" ) and does everything in her power to get information about her kids. Despite her efforts, Karla is deported but tries to re-enter the US by walking through the desert. The last time viewers see her, she is left alone in the desert after falling and presumably breaking her ankle.
-Blanca's victory is a ray of hope in this season. Blanca is able to get her day in court and wins her freedom- and a green card. However, Blanca doesn't stay in the US. She chooses to fly to Diablo, who had been deported.
However, all of these stories highlight the major issues that unlike OITNB, aren't a television show.
The drug crisis
While her intent is to help create a better life for her family, Aleida Diaz' involvement with drug distribution magnifies a major problem within our society.
Access to education
Pennsatucky's demise is heartbreaking. One of the shining lights of this season was Pennsatucky's dedication to her education, GED class and test. (I definitely shed a few tears when Taystee opened the diplomas.)
The problem formerly incarcerated people face when re-entering society
OITNB portrayed the problems inmates face when they're no longer inmates. Piper Chapman, a white woman, should have had a more than fair chance to make it out in the world. However, the system is stacked against her- and all of her peers.
Tasha "Taystee" Jefferson, along with some help from some Litchfield connections, starts a microloan fund for inmates to teach them financial responsibility.
P.S. The Poussey Washington Fund is real and you can donate here!