Sunday, July 28, 2019

REVIEW: 'Orange Is the New Black' - Blanca and Maritza Navigate a Cruel Immigration System in 'Minority Deport'

Netflix's Orange Is the New Black - Episode 7.05 "Minority Deport"

Aleida tries to keep her teen daughter out of trouble. Piper and Cal shed their responsibilities for a day. Blanca navigates the legal system. 

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Orange Is the New Black.

"Minority Deport" was written by Anthony Natoli and directed by Laura Prepon

This show has long conditioned the audience to see the humanity of the inmates. As such, we then have strong and visceral reactions to the bleak endings for their stories. The series always wants us to remember their faces, their voices and their stories. They can't just be another statistic that disappearances into a broken system. This being the final season though there is the overwhelming sense that all of this is heading towards bleak and depressing endings for so many characters. Maritza was separated from the rest of the ensemble following the riot. Her return this season brought an increased focus on the ICE detention. She should have received DACA status as she was brought to this country from Colombia as a child. Sure, that protection may have been invalidated because of her criminal record. And yet, she didn't know anything about her legal status until recently. She is given hope that a lawyer could fix everything for her. But she also chooses to make such a selfless act in giving that opportunity to the rest of the women in this facility. She has hope about her own situation. She wishes to extend that to many more. She doesn't know if they will just disappear on her like Blanca does. But in the end, Maritza is the one who is ultimately taken away to parts unknown. The show leaves it unclear if she has just been transferred to another facility in the United States or if she was actually flown back to Colombia. Here, she becomes the impersonal object that ICE feels the need to deter. She's the troublemaker who makes the jobs of the agents that much more difficult. She is fighting for her basic rights in a system that doesn't believe she has any because she doesn't belong in this country. Everyone here deserves those protections though regardless of their legal status. Blanca is saved because one woman knows her rights in the courtroom. That may only delay the inevitable though. Maritza didn't even get her hearing in front of a judge. But she was still victimized by a world that has no compassion for these human stories. It's such a distressing ending. But it's far from the only one that is happening at the moment. Aleida just wants to protect her teenage daughter from making the same mistakes that she and Daya did. And yet, Aleida has simply been tempting fate for too long. She lashes out at her daughter's drug-dealing boyfriend and that will immediately send her back to jail. The cycle is repeating once more for her. She wants to give her daughter some tough love and life lessons based on everything she has learned. But Aleida keeps falling into those same patterns as well. It's difficult to adjust to life on the outside once more especially when the world just wants to look at you as a felon and nothing more. Piper feels like she deserves a break to have a day of relaxation. Instead, she is called out for her privilege. She still has the freedom to mess up though. That's not a courtesy extended to Aleida or many other people on parole. Piper just has to attend ten meetings at a halfway house. That could put things into better perspective for her in order to look ahead instead of linger on the past. That may ensure that she has a better outcome from all of this than the other people she served time with. But again, she is lucky in that regard. Meanwhile, Taystee believes the only fate that she deserves is to end her own life. She is still pursuing that despite her recent failed attempt. She may give hope to Ward that she has found her vigor for life once more. But it's all an illusion. Instead, she just sees a broken and unfair world in which Cindy is getting early release. Meanwhile, Taystee is perpetually caught in a system that wishes to own her entire life simply for speaking out and trying to get justice for her friend.