Orange Is the New Black has ended, but its characters linger on.

Orange may be the new black, but what’s gonna be the new Orange Is the New Black!?

Jenji Kohan’s acclaimed TV series may have reached its conclusion, but it’s leaving behind an unparalleled legacy on the streaming platform. The show premiered in 2013 and played a crucial role in attracting new audiences to subscribe. Now, you’d be hard-pressed to find a home without Netflix.  

Season 7 reached us on Friday, July 26th 2019, and now that we’ve completed the thirteen-episode binge, it’s safe to say that the prison-set comedy-drama is forever cemented in the TV hall of fame. It’s taught us all valuable life lessons, all while making us laugh, cry, shout, shocked and by the end, exhausted – but above all, fulfilled.  

With most shows, you can easily identify the fan-favourites, but with this one, there’s arguably far more than average. Why? Because the cast is simply outstanding. 

Dale Soules and Kate Mulgrew deliver!

Orange Is the New Black boasts some seriously impressive performances across the board, and season 7 really allowed the actresses to shine like never before. 

These are characters we’ve chronicled, and approaching it knowing that it’s all going to end, the final season really raised the stakes, addressing some seriously heartfelt and difficult issues. Every character has been on a journey, and as their ends begin to roll into view, the performers give it their absolute all. 

Particular themes of social inequality, racism, immigration and illness are prevalent here, explored with a crushing and imperative immediacy. The lives of these characters are heartbreakingly universal; their pain, torment, guilt, all an extension of what many others will feel in their own compelling lives. 

In reflection, one of the more tragic relationships touched upon in the new episodes is Red (Kate Mulgrew) and Frieda’s (Dale Soules).

What happened between Red and Frieda?

Red is all about loyalty and respect, choosing to care for the family she has made while confined. However, while the feds interview the inmates in season 6, it’s strongly suggested that Frieda drops Red’s name in conjunction with Piscatella’s demise, betraying her completely. 

This incredibly sly move is found to be unforgivable. The officials were just looking for someone to point the finger at, demanding a name; unfortunately for Red, it’s her name offered, with Frieda’s disregard catching her off guard. After she speaks to the investigators, on the other hand, she decides that she’ll try to get rid of her former friend. Conspiring with Carol, she launches an attack on Frieda, choosing to exact revenge rather than see her family who is visiting at long last.

The series brilliantly explores how prison can contort and destroy friendships, while still being the institution which brought them together. In this instance, they are essentially played against each other, becoming pawns in a cruel blame game. However, this attack is far from the last of it. 


Orange Is the New Black: Season 7

It was one of the more explosive upsets in Orange Is the New Black, but in season 7 there is some sort of resolve, thanks to the realisation that Red has dementia. It’s a heartbreaking plot thread and really complicates their vicious feud. When Red is transferred to Frieda’s prison block, the latter prepares for a beating, only to realise that she is now a stranger to Red. She has no idea of their past anymore, and it looks as though it’s all behind them.

They begin to connect in a strange way, which really is bizarre for the audience to see, but undoubtedly poignant. As the narrative progresses, it looks as though the past will come back to haunt them when Red experiences a minor revelation after their afternoon together. She strangles Frieda, demanding answers of her betrayal, and she’s subsequently confined to a cell.

You can consider it a cliffhanger of sorts. Will they make up? Will she merely go on forgetting? Who knows, but maybe that’s the point. It’s a great way of saying that these characters live on after the credits roll… endings don’t always have to offer a concrete resolution.

We hope you enjoyed it!

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