Reddit orange is the new black

In a recent episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, we met Noelle. Her pre-Gilead life showed her as a young single mom struggling to raise her son, whose dedicated teacher Miss Clements (a.k.a. Aunt Lydia) tried to “reform” her. We were racking our brains to figure out why actress Emily Althaus looked so familiar, and thankfully, Reddit gave us the answer.

“Anybody else catch that Noelle was played by the actress who was Kukudio on OITNB?” wrote imadethisjusttosub. “We are up to at least 3 actresses in common now.”

Aha! we thought to ourselves. Noelle (or rather, Emily Althaus) was Maureen Kukudio, an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary on Netflix’s Orange Is the New Black (which just became available to stream on July 26).

Emily Althaus as Noelle and Maureen Kukudio. Sophie Giraud/JoJo Whilden/Netflix

As the original poster stated, however, Emily isn’t the only actress on both OITNB and The Handmaid’s Tale. Samira Wiley and Madeline Brewer also got their big breaks on the show about women at a Connecticut prison.

Samira played the kindhearted bookworm named Poussey Washington, but Handmaid’s fans know her as the Handmaid-turned-Jezebel-turned free woman named Moira.

Samira Wiley as Moira and Poussey Washington. Elly Dassas/JoJo Whilden/Netflix

And Handmaid’s breakout star Janine is known for losing her eye at the hands of Aunt Lydia. If you’ve never spotted her portraying a Handmaid, however, you likely recall her with blonde cornrows as Tricia Miller in OITNB.

Madeline Brewer as Janine and Tricia Miller. Jasper Savage/Patrick Harbron/Netflix

If you’re shocked by this revelation, know you’re not alone. Commenters on this Reddit thread were losing their minds over this connection.

“IM SHOOK literally did not put it together until reading your comment,” wrote LecstasySuicide.

People were particularly floored that Janine and Tricia Miller were the same person. Janine is now rocking an eye patch and red hair, so it’s no surprise that putting two and two together took this long.

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“Janine looks so different from her OITNB character, I had no idea …” commented Wowbaggerrr. “Oh my gosh, I knew Janine looked familiar but I couldn’t place it!!” echoed neatlyfoldedlaundry.

Luckily, Handmaid’s has allowed all of these characters to live on (for now …). But sadly, all three of these characters have died on OITNB. It’s unclear whether we’ll find out Noelle’s fate, but it’s likely she became a Handmaid as well. If that’s the case, all three of these women have played prisoners at least twice. Once in a more realistic, modern format (OITNB) and another time in a fictional, dystopian world (Handmaid’s).

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Blake Bakkila Associate Editor Blake is the Associate Editor for covering beauty, celebrity, holiday entertaining, and other lifestyle news.

6 Things We Learned About Orange Is the New Black’s Lea DeLaria from Her Reddit AMA

Jenny Anderson/WireImage

Orange Is the New Black has produced a few breakout characters in its three seasons so far, and one of them is Carrie “Big Boo” Black, a gruff but lovable inmate played by Lea DeLaria.

DeLaria, 57, who has been acting since 1994, did a Reddit AMA on Monday that had her giving candid answers to fan questions about the show, about Boo and about being a self-described butch lesbian in a pop culture landscape where such women aren’t often seen. Here are give of the more interesting tidbits DeLaria shared.

(And here’s your spoiler warning: DeLaria’s answers reveal some minor plot points from the show’s third season, but what kind of Orange Is the New Black fan hasn’t powered through all 13 episodes already?)

Upon being asked about the strangest thing she’d ever been told at a meet-and-greet, DeLaria had a good answer: “Sign my boob.” She elaborated that she’s never one to let down a fan, either. “Of course I signed it!” she said. “HA! I’m going to say no to that?!?”

On another occasion, a fan asked her to sign a screwdriver. (If you don’t watch, then just know that a screwdriver has served an unconventional role on the show.)

“They had a sharpie and everything, came running out of the Ace Hardware on the corner in Bushwick where I live, about 48 hours after the first season dropped, screaming ‘BIG BOO, BIG BOO, sign my screwdriver!’ ”

When one fan asked what she enjoyed most about her scenes in the most recent season with Taryn Mannin, who plays Pennsatucky on the show, DeLaria said the best part was Manning herself. “She’s very cool and talented,” DeLaria said. “Very giving, as an actor. In fact, we hang out quite a bit off the set as well.”

In the season premiere, her character wears clown makeup for a special Mother’s Day event at the jail, but it proved problematic for Manning, DeLaria explained.

“Taryn and I would talk and laugh between takes, and this particular day, she kept looking away, she wouldn’t look at me, I knew she was doing something very emotional and she wouldn’t look at me,” DeLaria said. “So Andrew McCarthy (the director) came out and said, ‘Why are you being so quiet, Taryn?’ and Taryn said, ‘I can’t look at Lea, otherwise I’ll start laughing!’ ”

And yes, by the way, it’s that Andrew McCarthy, who has directed several episodes of the Netflix series.

One Redditor asked what Lyonne’s hair smells like. DeLaria’s answer? A dog.

“Her dog’s name is Root Beer. So I’m going to say her hair smells like her dog. (I’m saying that to be funny. But I’ll probably get a text from her in a few minutes.)”

One fan asked if DeLaria is at all like her Orange Is the New Black persona. DeLaria, who shares a few qualities with Big Boo, had a good response.

“No, I’m very shy and demure,” she joked. “And actually, I’m heterosexual and married to a really nice man. We have 2 kids, a collie, and a station wagon!”

(DeLaria explained elsewhere that the character was written especially for her.)

Upon being asked what she likes most about her character on the show, DeLaria explained that she knows how rare it is to have a fully realized butch lesbian character onscreen.

“My favorite thing about playing Boo is how 3-dimensional and real she is. Until this show, whenever a Butch lesbian was portrayed, in ANY media form, she was always stupid, a truck driver, drank too much, beat her girlfriend,” DeLaria said. “Boo is not only smart, she’s the smartest person in the prison. And she has a heart of gold. There’s not an ounce of violence in her.”

Asked if there was an Orange character she just can’t stand, DeLaria had two responses.

“Sam Healey. I think he’s a jerk,” she said. “They keep trying to give him good qualities, but he always does something that pisses me off! And of course, who liked Vee? (Except for Crazy Eyes.)”

Later, she was asked which inmate Boo should get into a relationship with, and DeLaria didn’t hesitate with an answer: “Oh please. What am I, stupid? PIPER! She’s the f—— star of the show! Then I get to be in every scene!”

Maureen Kukudio was an inmate at Litchfield Penitentiary. She is portrayed by Emily Althaus. She is a secondary antagonist in Season Four. Her love interest was Suzanne Warren. It is revealed in Season Six that Kukudio died due to the complications of injuries sustained in a fight with Suzanne in Season Four shortly before the riot.

Personality Edit

Kukudio initially comes across as shy but is sexually outgoing towards Suzanne. She describes herself as “polymorphously perverse” (a Freudian term); she thought she was the only one like that until she read about Suzanne’s erotica’s character Sunflower. She has difficulty talking about feelings, instead preferring to communicate deep feelings through poetry. Her interests include poetry and literature (e.g. psychological works of Freud), indicating she is well educated and deeply thoughtful.

She displays irrational, manipulative, socially awkward and inappropriate, immature behaviour, e.g. throwing turtles, randomly undressing herself, and later, playing mind games with Suzanne. Her darker side is seen in “People Persons”, when she offers to publicly fight Suzanne for the guards’ entertainment after feeling humiliated by her.

Physical Appearance Edit

Kukudio is of average height, with brown, curly, shoulder length hair. She has pierced ears and tattoos on her arms.

Biography Edit

Before Litchfield Edit

Her backstory has not been disclosed, but when Caputo looks at her file in season four, he appears to be taken aback by her charges. She also hints that her apparent mental health condition may be a ruse to trick the inmates.

Season Three Edit

Maureen is first seen in “Mother’s Day” as a member of the Wiccan cult at Litchfield, which meets up in the yard at night. During a meditational speech from Gina, Maureen starts undressing, misinterpreting Gina’s words.

Maureen and Leanne playing Gina’s play.

Maureen is later introduced as one of the attendees of Berdie Rogers’ Drama class. In “Ching Chong Chang” Maureen and Leanne act in a scene written by Gina about her deceased mother.

After becoming obsessed with Suzanne’s sci-fi erotica “Time Hump Chronicles”, she often approaches Suzanne with questions about her work and new ideas. Moreover, she tries to encourage Suzanne to continue her story and advises her to include more “girl-on-girl stuff”. She implies she could help inspire Suzanne by having sex with her, which reveals Maureen’s attraction to women. She states she’ll wait for Suzanne in a broom closet and gives her a kiss on her cheek. Suzanne approaches the closet, but does not have enough courage to enter, leaving Maureen waiting in vain (“A Tittin’ and a Hairin'”).

At the end of Season 3, when the prisoners escape Litchfield and go to the nearby lake, Suzanne and Maureen are seen flirting and holding hands, implying a possible future relationship (“Trust No Bitch”).

Season Four Edit

Suzanne and Maureen are first seen in the woods, alone together. Maureen convinces Suzanne to run away with her into the forest to start a new life. Skeptical, Suzanne follows Maureen through the forest but when they reach an abandoned house, Suzanne changes her mind after noticing Maureen’s odd behavior and runs back to the prison camp. Caputo is later seen with one of the prison guards searching for Maureen, after learning her whereabouts from Suzanne. Maureen is found safe and brought back to the prison where Caputo looks at her file with surprise, then sends her back to her bunk with a warning. Mad at Suzanne abandoning her, Maureen refuses to talk to her for the majority of the season.

Later in the season, when asked what she would do if she could travel in time, Suzanne says she would go back to the time when she left Maureen alone in the broom closet. Desiring an intimate experience, Suzanne talks to Maureen, who is distrustful, but meets Suzanne in the closet anyway. She proceeds to initiate a sexual encounter, asking Suzanne to describe how it feels. Just before Suzanne climaxes, Maureen reveals she met Suzanne there as a trick, to teach her a lesson about abandoning her in the woods, saying “Now we’re even” before walking out. Taystee tells Suzanne not to waste time on someone like Maureen. Maureen tries to move on from the broom closet incident but Suzanne asks Maureen to give her space.

Maureen is one of the inmates called on by Piscatella, it can be assumed that this means her unknown crime relates to murder or manslaughter to some degree due to being called upon alongside other people involved in cases of similar merit. When Suzanne laughs at Sankey being woken violently by one of the guards, CO Humphrey, the guard orders Sankey to fight Suzanne. When Sankey declines, Maureen offers to fight Suzanne instead. After some cruel taunts, Suzanne becomes enraged and nearly beats Maureen to death before being pulled away by several other inmates (“People Persons”). After Suzanne injures herself trying to recreate Poussey’s death, she is taken to the medical ward and placed in the same room as Maureen, whose eye is swollen shut from her injuries. They share a few tender words, hinting at a possible reconciliation (“Toast Can’t Never Be Bread Again”).

Season Five Edit

After Humphrey is shot by Daya he is taken to the infirmary, where Maureen and Suzanne are present. The two of them eventually leave him but Maureen blows air in Humps’ IV drip, causing him to have a stroke.

Maureen is with Suzanne when she sections off the place of Poussey’s death in the cafeteria, and joins in on the seance she attempts to hold. Later, when Piper and Taystee are looking to make a memorial art piece for Poussey, Maureen suggests “hair dolls.”

Maureen’s injuries become infected and Suzanne finds her laying in a bathroom stalls and brings her to Medical. However, because Leanne and Angie have forced the last nurse to go with them, no one is there to treat Maureen’s problems. Suzanne leaves Maureen after realizing that Humps is dead.

As the season concludes, the riot officers enter Medical and force Maureen up and out of bed, and take her to the front lawn with the other inmates.

Season Six Edit

Maureen was confirmed to be deceased in Episode 4, dying shortly after the end of the riot as a result of the infection brought on by the injuries inflicted by Suzanne in season 4 in their fight before the riot started.

Relationships Edit

Romantic Edit

  • Suzanne Warren (attempted relationship, one sexual encounter). See Mauranne for more information.

Enemies Edit

  • CO Humphrey
  • Suzanne Warren after killing her by order of the Guards in an organized fight club

Memorable Quotes Edit


“Here are some ideas for your series,
Because I know you’ve been getting a lot of queries.
I can tell you’ve been feeling stressed.
Perhaps that’s because you’re repressed.
May I suggest you pander to your audience with more girl-on-girl stuff?
It’s not rocket science.
Why not let me be helpful?
You might have noticed I’m eligible.
If you need to research the activities,
I’d be happy to join you, as I have homo-proclivities.”

Appearances Edit

Navigation Edit

Inmate Navigation
Maximum Security Galina Reznikov • Lorna Morello • Tasha Jefferson • Nicky Nichols • Frieda Berlin • Irene Cabrera • Marisol Gonzales • Dayanara Diaz • Rosalie Deitland • Antoinetta Kerson • Annalisa Damiva • Raquel Munoz • Tina Swope • Alana Dwight • Nicole Eckelcamp • Beth Hoefler • Maria Ruiz • Suzanne Warren • Adeola Chinede • Charlene Teng • Lolly Whitehill • Shruti Chambal • Elsie • Cathy • Marie Brock • Gail Abbot • Silka Webb • Aimee Sandoval • Amy Roth • Kelly Lee Glenna • Calloway • Claire St. John • Mandy Walsh Baker • Sally Jo • Juanita Vazquez • Crystal Tawney • Gladys Watkins • The Brown Twins • Alice Hutton • Claudette Pelage • Taslitz • Aleida Diaz • Tali Grapes
FDC Cleveland Alex Vause • Carrie Black • Carmen Aziza • Helen Van Maele • Erica Jones • Leanne Taylor • Angie Rice • Janae Watson • Alison Abdullah • Kasey Sankey • Brook Soso • Anita DeMarco • Gina Murphy
Metropolitan Detention Center Corrine Hill • Joyce • Felicia • Araceli • Darius McRae • Mazall
Unknown prison Michelle Carreras • Brandy Epps • Jennifer Digori • Stephanie Hapakuka • Rhea Boyle • Shelly Ginsberg • Lea Guerrera • Randolita • Reema Pell • Jeanie Babson • Jayne Cooke • Emily Germann • Ramona Contreras • Madison Murphy
Last seen in Minimum Security Irma Lerman • A-Rod • Annie Valdez • White Cindy • Loretta Fisher • Voth • Danita
Released inmates Piper Chapman • Stella Carlin • Mercy Valduto • Sara Rice • Linda Ferguson • Sophia Burset • Jane Ingalls • Jimmy Cavanaugh • Judy King • George Mendez • Cesar Velazquez • Cindy Hayes • Gloria Mendoza • Blanca Flores
Deceased inmates Poussey Washington • Yvonne Parker • Tricia Miller • Maureen Kukudio • Dominga Duarte • Carol Denning • Barbara Denning • Rosa Cisneros • Dominga Duarte • Tiffany Doggett
Deported inmates Maritza Ramos • Karla Córdova • Shani Abboud • Swapna Majumdar • Dario Zuniga
ICE inmates Santos Chaj • Mei Chang • Efua Onagbeboma

Orange Is the New Black season 6 features the reveal of an off-screen death that occurred some time after the season 5 finale.

Spoilers ahead for Orange Is the New Black season 6.

One of the biggest mysteries of season 6’s first episode is the whereabouts of Alex Vause (Laura Prepon). Her fiancée, Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) fears for the worst when her father informs her that an unnamed prisoner died during the riot.

However, those fears are soon dispelled when Alex shows up during episode 4, entitled “I’m the Talking Ass.”

With Alex’s arrival, another inmate, Irene “Zirconia” Cabrera (Daniella De Jesús), comes in with her. Later in the episode, the pair eats dinner with Piper and Gloria Mendoza (Selenis Leyva) and answers the burning mystery of the deceased inmate’s identity.

“All of us that were too injured for basic prison duct-tape doctoring were brought to a real hospital. Also, really handcuffed to our beds,” Alex says, discussing her experience. “But at least we didn’t get extra time.”

Zirconia adds, “Except for Rocky Face. She got eternal time in the afterlife.”

If there was any question who “Rocky Face” was, the pair quickly clarifies that they were referring to disfigured prisoner Maureen Kukudio (Emily Althaus).

“Yeah, Kukudio died,” Alex says.

Zirconia adds, “Bet they went closed casket on that funeral.”

OITNB viewers will recall Maureen as a supporting character in the series since season 3, with most scenes being opposite Suzanne “Crazy Eyes” Warren (Uzo Aduba).

Maureen, who is possibly mentally ill, quickly grows infatuated with Suzanne in season 3 after reading her erotic novels. The two soon spark an unlikely romance that ends badly when Suzanne is too frightened to become sexually involved with Maureen.

Maureen later tricks Suzanne into the thinking the two have reconciled but abandons her in the middle of a sexual act. This infuriates Suzanne, who feels betrayed after thinking she has finally found love.

Things come to a head when the pair are urged into a fist fight by guard Thomas Humphrey (Michael Torpey). Suzanne absolutely decimates Maureen and nearly kills her. This gives Maureen her “rocky face” look later described in the season 6 scene.

Maureen is in medical throughout season 6 as her injuries recover. However, her injuries become possibly infected. She is seen being carted out of the prison alive at the end of the season 5, but it appears her condition never improved.


Season 6 and all other seasons of Orange Is the New Black are available on Netflix.

Photo Credit: Netflix / JoJo Whilden

A rant on Orange is the New Black.

I have no idea where to put this, r/television says “No negative reviews” and I don’t want to disturb the peace but I gotta get this off my chest, however stupid it is compared to the other problems people have.

Orange is the New Black came highly recommended, so I decided to give it a whirl. Great premise, good actors, looked great.

This show started off well. The main character was kind of boring and flat, but the dynamic within the prison was crisp and edgy, and gave off a great vibe. The prison cast was funny, pitiful, unfortunate, dirty, quiet, all of these and more. Unfortunately for us, the main character is the MAIN character, which essentially means we are following around the worst person on the show.

And it just got worse and worse.

TV shows are supposed to be relatable, in any way possible. Walter White was a bad dude, but you connected with the struggles that we sometimes struggle with, getting lost in the dark, allowing it to consume you, going deeper because you cannot go back to what you had before. Everyone has felt similar emotions, just on a smaller scale, and that is what TV and Movies do: take our everyday emotions to the extreme. Villains are a pure embodiment of evil in the world. Heroes, as perfect as they are supposed to act on the outside, have flaws on the inside, just like many people feel the pressure to conform to a role that they battle with internally.

I have no idea how to relate to Piper “Fucking” Chapman. Yes, I can understand the feeling of feeling out of place, and it does a great job of making her clash with the prison environment. But as soon as that honeymoon period is over is over, she becomes one of the worst characters I have ever watched.

She commits a crime. She is sent to jail, like anyone else would be, yet bitches through the whole process. Cries.

In jail. For some fucking reason expects it to be like the real world. Judges everyone and everything. Bitches about everything. Cries.

Gets angry at her fiance for living life without her. Sorry, didn’t realize that time stops for you. Sorry, Piper, let me just sit in my room staring at that lampshade until you come back. Cries.

Has a straight/bisexual/lesbian love/hate thing with her former girlfriend, who, no offense to Laura Prepon, is one of the worst written characters I have ever had the pleasure of being unable to watch. Doesn’t cry, because they are in love and its not cheating if its in prison, right?

Straight up cheats on her fiance. I cant even understand it. Gets upset at him (??) for the dumbest shit ever. Cries.

She is awful. A terrible person, with absolutely no redeeming values. Why is she being an asshole? I have no clue. She makes a mess, looks around, points at every other supporting person in her life, and shits all over them. Again and again.

Maybe I am missing something, but me being able to relate to her ended the moment she got into that building.

The show is trying to give off a realistic tone, but the main character keeps making choices that make no sense. She has no identity other than to instigate, the catalyst, to move the plot along. The writers have very clearly demonstrated they can create intriguing, strong female characters who break the constraints of television norms, numerous times, yet Piper is dry and bland. She leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

Sorry for the rant, I am well aware of how stupid it is. I’m just upset that yet another good show turned to shit so quickly, particularly one that has some really great personalities and actors.

“ “Welcome to the friggin’ loony bin.” ” — Janine comments the indoctrination at the Red Center.

Janine Lindo

Janine Lindo, also known as Ofwarren, then Ofdaniel, and now Ofhoward, is a supporting character in The Handmaid’s Tale. She is a Handmaid whom Offred met at the Red Center. In the television series, she is portrayed by Madeline Brewer. In the television adaption, Janine is initially somewhat more rebellious.


In the past Edit

Before Gilead Edit

Janine apparently works as a waitress. She has a son named Caleb who was taken away when Gilead rose to power.

At the Red Center Edit

Janine is taken to the Red Center and initially stands up to the Aunts, telling Aunt Lydia to “f**k you” and she is punished by having her right eye removed. As in the book, she is forced to ‘confess’ her sins and tell the story of her gang-rape. Aunt Lydia explains that Janine brought the rape upon herself and the other Handmaids are made to shame Janine.

Janine cries in the night. She seems to suffer a complete mental breakdown, believing she is living her old life as a waitress and asking people for their orders, which prompts Moira to slap Janine and speak harshly to her, in order to get her to snap out of it, as Aunt Elizabeth would show no mercy.

Present time, season one Edit

At a Particicution, Janine claims Moira is dead.

Janine is assigned to Commander Warren Putnam and gives birth to a daughter, who the Putnams name Angela, whilst Janine names her Charlotte. Due to an affair with her Commander, she believes he is in love with her. He promises her they would run away together and be a family, though this is considered a lie so he could persuade her to do sexual activities with him that his wife wouldn’t do. She clearly dislikes Mrs. Putnam and her obvious inexperience with children and even bites her at one point when she tries to take her child.

“Please remove the damaged ones”:
Janine is sorted out.

The handmaids are taken to a party to honor Gilead and show the foreign delegates their success, including presenting the children of Gilead. Serena Joy instructs Aunt Lydia to “remove the damaged ones” of the handmaids from the banquet due to their visible mutilations done by the regime, among them Janine, Oflyle, Ofthomas, Oftim, and Ofjohn #1. Alma later remarks to Offred that the delegates are interested in fertile women as a commodity to be traded between the two nations.

“Change is coming”: June adjuring Janine
on the bridge. See also: Janine and June

In the ninth episode ‘The Bridge’, Janine suffers a psychological breakdown after she is taken away from Angela and the Putnams to be reassigned to Commander Daniel, reverting to a child-like state during the Ceremony and insisting that “he” (Warren) is coming for her. She is later able to make her way back to the Putnams and abducts her baby daughter. She is found standing on the edge of a bridge over a river, holding her daughter and threatening to throw herself off. When Warren tries to dissuade her, she becomes infuriated and reveals his promises to her and the sexual things he made her do behind his wife’s back. Offred is brought forward to try and talk her down. She seemingly manages to get through to Janine, who hands over her daughter to Offred, only to go ahead with her suicide attempt moments later, jumping into the frozen water. She survives, but is taken to hospital in a critical condition.

By Night, Janine has largely recovered, but for endangering her daughter by almost jumping with the baby, she is sentenced to death. The other Handmaids are ordered to stone her to death, but all of them defy Aunt Lydia’s orders after the new Ofglen and then other handmaids starting with June later on refused to throw their stones at Janine.

Present time, season two Edit

Emily notices that one of the new prisoners arriving in the Colonies is Janine. She tries to embrace her, but is pulled back by an Aunt..

Janine in the Colonies

Emily guides Janine through the inhuman and brutal reality of the Colonies, where Janine still seems to find reasons to smile. Janine organizes a wedding, presided over by Sally, a Jewish rabbi, for Fiona and Kit, the latter of whom is dying, to give them a moment of happiness before their chance at being together is taken away. Emily then angrily points out they are just “cows being worked to death”, and Janine is “dressing up the slaughterhouse for them”, to which Janine replies that “cows don’t get married”. The next morning Kit’s body is carried out for burial on the graveyard.

After the attack that destroyed the new Rachel and Leah Center and killed many of those in attendance, Janine and Emily are returned to the custody of Gilead where they resume their duties as Handmaids. Janine briefly and excitedly explains to June that the bombing resulted in “so few Handmaids” that a decision was made to rehabilitate those who were sent to the colonies, including Emily.

Offred walks to the store where she runs into Janine and Emily. Janine calls her new posting a “blessing from God” since it is “only the Ceremony”, to which Emily replies being raped is not a blessing and anyone helping Gilead deserves to be blown apart. An ambulance drives by causing everyone to kneel and pray for the baby. Brianna tells Janine she heard it’s Angela. As Janine panics, June promises her she’ll find out more about what’s going on.

In the hospital, Serena asks Naomi if Janine, who is brought by Aunt Lydia, could see the baby. Her husband is okay with it but Naomi isn’t. Offred takes Janine to see the baby in the ICU. Dr. Hodgson arrives in her Martha dress, changes clothes and is briefed by Dr. Epstein. She runs some tests on the baby. The doctors give Angela’s parents bad news. Serena goes after the doctor but the doctor says is that all they can do is pray for the baby’s recovery. Janine is able to hold the baby in order to say goodbye. Aunt Lydia later wakes up in the ICU and finds Janine in her underclothes holding a very much alive baby.

Isaac is escorting June and Janine on a shopping trip. When Janine starts talking loudly, Issac orders her to be quiet and refers to her as “unwoman,” referring to her prior status as a prisoner in the Colonies. When Janine replies that she and June are having a conversation and tells Isaac to “suck dick”, Isaac hits her in the mouth with his gun, knocking her to the ground. He then roughly escorts June home.

Present time, season three Edit

Useful Edit

June, Alma, and Janine stand on a street corner, peering up at the corpses hanging from the street lights above her.

God Bless the Child Edit

The Putnams invite Aunt Lydia and the Handmaids to their house for a reception. Naomi Putnam thanks June for what she did on the bridge and addresses a “bless you” to Janine. She then sends Aunt Lydia and the Handmaids in a separate back room.

Naomi brings baby Angela down to the parlor. Janine breaks protocol when she approaches the Putnams and asks to hold her daughter but Naomi allows it. Janine voluntarily hands the baby back only to start insistently suggesting that she could move back into the house and give Angela a brother or sister, concluding she “just wants to be with her daughter”. An incensed Aunt Lydia strikes Janine down and continues to beat her. June calls for someone to stop her, but as none of the Commanders or their Wives react, she throws herself between Janine and Aunt Lydia, yelling at Aunt Lydia who eventually comes to her senses and stops. Janine is carried off by guardians. Lydia looks around, muttering an apology to the guests, except for Janine, before leaving the parlor.

Unfit Edit

After Ofmatthew’s discussions with Aunt Lydia resulted in the hanging of a Martha, many of the handmaids (save for Janine) begin to bully her. Janine has sympathy for Ofmatthew, telling June “You’re being so mean…She’s only doing what Aunt Lydia told her to do.” June’s relationship with Ofmatthew continues to decline until June testifies that Ofmatthew does not want her baby, and she is brought up to testify and be shunned for her sins. Janine takes part in the shunning, calling Ofmatthew a sinner and a crybaby along with everyone else. Later, at Loaves and Fishes, Janine makes an effort to befriend Ofmatthew and be kind to her while Ofmatthew becomes increasingly anxious. Ofmatthew suffers a mental breakdown after seeing June experiencing joy at her suffering, and beats Janine (the closest person to her) with a can of lobster meat. Ofmatthew, revealed by Aunt Lydia as Natalie, then takes a gun from a guard, aims it at June and then Aunt Lydia, but is shot before she can hurt anyone else.


Ofmatthew is taken to a hospital for months, mentally brain-dead, but kept alive so the baby can be born. June is confined to the hospital room with Ofmatthew until she gets better or the baby is born. The other handmaids visit them, including Janine, and they pray for the safety and the health of Ofmatthew’s baby. During their prayers, Ofmatthew has a seizure and the handmaids are hurried out. Later Janine visits June and Ofmatthew in their room, when June asks why she had come she admits her wounds from Ofmatthew’s assult had become infected. She also confesses she had not been praying for Ofmatthew, and believes the seizure to be her fault. She starts speaking to her, saying “Natalie, I forgive you, and I pray for you to get better”, before June tells her she won’t. She then amends her statement, saying “I wish for you to find peace”. June then tells Janine that they can help her find peace by killing her. Janine scolds June for being cruel, reminding her that she can’t kill Natalie because “She’s one of us”. June realizes she’s right and puts her stolen surgical blade away. Janine tries to confiscate it from her, June refuses, and Janine tells June she’s selfish and that she’s changed for the worse.

Janine’s infected wound on her eye is a point of shame and embarrassment for her, and she tries to cover the wound with her hair while the other handmaids pray at the hospital. Aunt Lydia scolds her, saying “Nothing is more ugly than vanity”, and she fixes her hair back in her veil. Later, after the surgical procedure for her infection, Aunt Lydia comes by with a gift for her – a red velvet eye patch. Janine takes the gift excitedly and puts it on, and laughs with Aunt Lydia that she looks like a pirate. They enjoy a moment of joy and laughter before Janine continues, “Like a space pirate”, reminding the audience of her loss of semblance.

References Edit


(Spoiler alert: Do not read on unless you’ve seen Season 1 of “The Handmaid’s Tale”)

To say that Madeline Brewer’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” character, Janine, is disturbed would probably be an understatement. She’s been through a lot.

One of the enslaved ladies in red, Janine was fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how you see it) to get pregnant in Season 1 and carry a child to term. But in Janine’s attempt to steal the baby away from the parents, she was forced to hand over the infant. Now, she’s headed to the dreaded Colonies in Season 2.

Brewer told TheWrap TV reporter Jennifer Maas in a recent interview that Janine, per usual, is looking at the bright side of being banished to the yet-to-be-seen-by-viewers wastelands of Gilead. “Janine’s way of viewing the whole thing right now is her life has been spared, her baby is safe, and she’s just thankful to be alive,” Brewer said.

Also Read: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Season 2 Trailer: Her Name Is June and She’s Free, Thank You Very Much (Video)

The actress — who said The Colonies are “somehow strangely beautiful and sad and scary and dangerous” all at once — said Janine’s optimistic outlook is status quo for the character, who is consistently trying to find the good in every situation. Even the really, really bad ones.

“It’s like episode 6 and we’re all washing blood off the wall, like there had been people hanging from the wall and we’re scrubbing blood off of it, and Janine is, like, touching it with her finger and she’s, like, ‘It’s like painting,’” Brewer said. “And like really trying hard to pretend that this isn’t so f—ed up.”

“I love that the writers wrote in there that she looks at it and has a moment of realization that she’s like, ‘Oh my God.’ And she’s just like, ‘Nope! Nope! Not going there. Not going there.’ That moment was really fun to play. But also showed Janine very clearly — how desperately she wants to look for the fun and the light and the silver lining in every situation. She’s special.”

Also Read: Here’s Everything Coming to and Leaving Hulu in April

“The Handmaid’s Tale” Season 2 will be shaped by Offred/June’s (Elisabeth Moss) pregnancy and her ongoing fight to free her future child from the dystopian horrors of Gilead. In the sophomore installment, Offred and others will fight against — or succumb to — the dark truth that “Gilead is within you.”

Watch Brewer’s interview with TheWrap above.

Season 2 of “The Handmaid’s Tale” will premiere with two new episodes on April 25, with subsequent episodes released every Wednesday, on Hulu.

‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Stars Samira Wiley and Madeline Brewer Portraits (Exclusive Photos)

  • Samira Wiley and Madeline Brewer, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

  • Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

  • Madeline Brewer, “The Handmaids Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

  • Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

  • Madeline Brewer, “The Handmaids Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

  • Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

  • Madeline Brewer, “The Handmaids Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

  • Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

  • Madeline Brewer, “The Handmaids Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

  • Samira Wiley, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

  • Madeline Brewer, “The Handmaids Tale”

    Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

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Actresses stop by TheWrap for an interview and photo shoot

Samira Wiley and Madeline Brewer, “The Handmaid’s Tale”

Photographed by Corina Marie for TheWrap

Madeline Brewer knows the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale is hard to watch. “I did not breathe for the first 20 minutes of the first episode,” says the actress, whose sunny personality parallels that of her character in the Hulu dystopian drama: Janine, an improbably, relentlessly cheery handmaid, all red curls and bounciness. “I had to stop watching it and just take a minute to sob, and feel what I was feeling.”

The scene she’s talking about—in which handmaids who refused to stone Janine last season think they are going to be hanged until, at the last minute, it’s revealed to be a cruel, punitive ruse—set the terrible tenor of the show’s sophomore season. Based on Margaret Atwood’s novel about a near-future, religiously radicalized America in which an underclass of fertile women are forced to become breeders for political elites, The Handmaid’s Tale has never been easy to stomach. And, unusually, even though she’s in the show, Brewer understands how emotional a viewing experience it can be for the unprepared: “I stopped reading the scripts, and I’m finding it out with everybody else,” she says. “I watch it with my boyfriend and my friends and my mom.”

Isn’t it challenging, watching a show in which her character is raped and tortured, her right eye removed for no bigger crime than insolence, with people who love her? In this season, Janine has been sent to work in the toxic wasteland of the Colonies, and also returned to the civic terrain of Gilead, where she is once more made to have sex each month with her designated commander in the hope that she’ll bear a child for him and his wife. “It makes you think of what people can become and what they’re capable of,” Brewer answers, pondering the show’s dark-mirror reflection of our own society. “It makes you think this of yourself too: Who would I be in that situation? Would I take on the role of the warrior, or would I take on the role of Janine—the eternal optimist, but who’s not ready to fight the fight yet? Would that be me?”

Tyler Joe

“Optimist” is putting it lightly. The other handmaids are crumbling in the regime’s grip. One abused handmaid detonated a suicide bomb inside a gleaming new government building. Since her own return to Gilead, Emily (Alexis Bledel) is becoming more brittle and angry by the day. June (Elisabeth Moss), prostrated by guilt and grief at the execution of a man who tried to help her escape, has finally internalized Gilead’s lies. Yet somehow, against the persistent hell of authoritarianism, Janine has managed to retain a sense of wonder and innocence. Brewer imbues her with an impossibly springy effervescence; much like a straggling dandelion in the Colonies that she makes a wish on, Janine is the one bright—even funny—spot of the show.

“It’s a real privilege, honestly, to not just be stuck in these intense dark moments,” she says. “Janine’s in her own world by choice. She’s like, No, can’t do that, I’m going to look for the good. This season, she’s just so grateful to be alive, and that is what keeps her going.” Take, for example, the scene in which Janine happily looks on as two women, one of whom is on her deathbed, are wed in the dingy Colonies barracks. The ceremony was her idea. “I think she feels like, I’m doing this because we need something beautiful…. Those two are still in love with each other. That hasn’t been taken from them.”

That is, until her return to Gilead brings her back into the orbit of her baby. Hearing a rumor that baby Charlotte—her Gilead “parents” call her Angela—is very ill, Janine stumbles; all the sunshine is suddenly gone, replaced by a desperate desire to see and touch her daughter again. “It’s excruciating to be away from your child. I’m sure several mothers know what that’s like right now,” she says, referring briefly but pointedly to current affairs. Despite not being able to raise or even see her, Janine has kept Charlotte close. “There’s this part of Janine’s costume, a woven vest,” Brewer explains. Ane Crabtree, the Handmaid’s Tale costume designer, started calling it a web, which naturally evolved into “Charlotte’s web.” “It’s like carrying Charlotte with her through her every day. Just a little piece, even if it’s just imaginary.”

It’s a real privilege, honestly, to not just be stuck in these intense dark moments.

In a future plagued by infertility, motherhood has become so fraught and valuable a capability that the handmaids, bound to sexual labor because of their fertility, have a strange sort of power. In the most recent episode, “Women’s Work,” this plays out explicitly: Because Charlotte is now ailing beyond the point of medical help, Janine is permitted to see her one last time. Her presence, though, is exactly what saves the child. The episode closes with Janine stripped down to her underclothes, holding Charlotte to her chest, and singing Dusty Springfield’s “I Only Wanna Be With You” to a now laughing, happy, healthy girl. “It’s a true testament to human touch, and the importance of a mother’s love,” Brewer says of the game-changing moment. With the handmaids angry and hopeless enough to commit terrorist attacks; with June reminded of what power feels like thanks to a brief, illicit political collaboration with Serena Joy; and now with this indication that at least one handmaid has a mothering advantage over a Wife, there’s a sense that the tide is turning.

But this slightly triumphal moment is a rare one in a season that has showed the growing cracks in Gilead and the ever more brutal ways in which it punishes those who want to destroy it. Simply watching an episode feels like an emotional marathon; what could it possibly be like to film? “I’m very lucky in that as soon as I put the eye on”—the prosthetic scarring over her character’s injury—”I feel more like Janine. And as soon as I take it off, I leave Janine there,” Brewer says. “If I’m on set, I have that eye on, and it feels weird and it itches and it’s claustrophobic. I imagine that’s some of how Janine feels, you know? She’s missing all of this periphery.”

Tyler Joe

Brewer laughs, though, saying that Nina Kiri, who plays fellow handmaid Alma, will try to surprise her by standing just outside her field of vision. I joke that the prank seems a little rude, and Brewer explains that while filming can be physically grueling—shooting for the Colonies took place 90 minutes outside Toronto, where it was “fucking frigid,” and the air was filled with tiny, throat-clogging feathers to create the evil haze we see on screen—the set is actually, surprisingly, a great place to be: “We’re goofy as hell, but we’re making this just incredibly heart-wrenching show. And it’s crazy to say it’s the most fun I’ve ever had working.” What do they do to decompress between scenes? “Honestly, sometimes we’re online shopping on our phones or, you know, Snapchatting people. Just talking about family and life and getting to know each other as people.”

“I want people to be awake. I want them to be aware.”

By this point, Brewer must know Janine incredibly well. Did she have an idea of what Janine was wishing for when she spotted that tiny yellow flower in the barren Colonies? “Yeah,” Brewer says, eyes shining but resolute. Does she want that to be a secret? “I think I want to keep it,” she says, smiling. And what about Brewer herself—does she cherish any wishes about what she’d like people to take away from this demanding, soul-excavating show? That, at least, is something she’s all too ready to share. “I want people to be awake. I want them to be aware,” she says. “The show requires you to do some work. You have to feel. You have to open your eyes and open your heart, and I hope that people carry that into the rest of their lives.”

For herself, the show has already had an impact: “It makes me feel like I need to invest more in sisterhood. In my female relationships and in all walks of life. But it might not make a man feel that. It might make a man feel like, Maybe I need to get more involved in Planned Parenthood. Maybe I need to just shut up and listen.” It might be different for everyone, she muses, whether it’s running for congress (“I’m not qualified,” she whispers) or whatever. But: “If some part of The Handmaid’s Tale makes them feel like, I have something to say, then fucking say it. Please. Just get it out there.”

Estelle Tang Senior Editor Estelle Tang is the Senior Editor covering culture and entertainment at—including TV, movies, books, music, and Adidas tracksuits.

Orange Is the New Black launches fund to promote criminal justice reform


  • TV Show

Network Genre

  • Drama,
  • Comedy

Though Orange Is the New Black is coming to a close, the show will live on — and not just on Netflix. Beyond its already-secure legacy as a defining work of the streaming era, a new initiative seeks to expand the show’s impact beyond the cultural, into the realm of social activism.

At the Netflix series’ final season premiere event in New York on Thursday, OITNB creator Jenji Kohan announced the Poussey Washington Fund, a real-life fundraising initiative. The fund, named after the show’s beloved character (played by Samira Wiley) who was killed by a corrections officer in season 4, will support eight non-profit advocacy groups. The organizations focus on criminal justice reform, protecting immigrants’ rights, ending mass incarceration, and supporting women who have been affected by it.

OITNB‘s final season, debuting Friday, July 26, features a fictional version of the Poussey Washington Fund, with Taystee (Danielle Brooks) working to offer micro-loans to women getting out of prison.

“Through the Poussey Washington Fund, our characters can live on and continue to make an impact after the show has come to an end,” Kohan said in a statement. “Taystee recognized an opportunity to make a difference for her fellow inmates, and we saw no reason why we couldn’t launch our own initiative to have an effect in the real world.”

The initiative is supported by, and donations will be evenly distributed between the eight organizations: A New Way of Life: Reentry Project, Anti Recidivism Coalition, College & Community Fellowship, Freedom For Immigrants, Immigrant Defenders Law Center, The National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Woman and Girls, unPrison Project, and Women’s Prison Association.

“We have seen how Orange Is the New Black has impacted you and people all over the world,” Wiley says in a video announcing the fund (which you can watch above). “We’ve been honored to tell these stories of these characters, and we’ve learned first-hand that the system is failing women, both inside and outside of prison walls.”

You can learn more about the fund, and donate to it, here.

Related content:

  • Orange Is the New Black braces for the end in final season trailer
  • Orange Is the New Black producers pick 13 episodes to watch before the final season
  • Why a community of Game of Thrones fans on Reddit started a fundraiser dedicated to Emilia Clarke

Episode Recaps

Jenji Kohan’s absorbing ensemble dramedy, based on Piper Kerman’s memoir of the same name, takes viewers inside the walls of Litchfield, a minimum security women’s prison where nothing’s as simple as it seems—especially the inmates.

  • TV Show
  • 6
  • TV-MA
  • Drama,
  • Comedy
  • 07/11/13
  • Taylor Schilling,
  • Natasha Lyonne,
  • Kate Mulgrew,
  • Laura Prepon
  • Netflix
Complete Coverage
  • Orange Is the New Black

  • By Tyler Aquilina

Orange Is the New Black was technically the second of Netflix’s original series to debut, arriving five months after House of Cards in 2013. But where Cards was exactly the kind of antihero drama that had been made for years on cable TV (Netflix in fact won a bidding war with HBO for it), Orange felt like something new in almost every way. As the women’s prison drama enters its seventh and final season this week, it feels right to celebrate it as the first series explicitly designed for the streaming era, and still one of the best at taking advantage of the freedoms offered by this brave new programming world.

On Showtime’s Weeds, Orange creator Jenji Kohan had already demonstrated a propensity for throwing out the relatively new rules of post-Sopranos TV. She literally burned down the show’s original suburban setting after three seasons, and metaphorically blew up the show in each remaining year. But that was only a warm-up act compared to what Kohan would do in adapting Piper Kerman’s 2010 memoir about being a privileged white woman doing time in a federal prison for a long-forgotten drug offense.

Orange begins by focusing on its fictionalized Piper Chapman (Taylor Schilling) as she kicks off her sentence. And at the beginning, we see Litchfield penitentiary and its inmates through Piper’s eyes. She’s startled when her first prison shower is interrupted by Taystee (Danielle Brooks), a large black woman who objects to Piper’s use of so much hot water and stops to comment on and even cop a feel of Piper’s “TV titties.” She’s starved by Red (Kate Mulgrew), the prideful Russian in charge of the kitchen, for the sin of complaining about the cuisine, and she’s terrorized by “Crazy Eyes” (Uzo Aduba), another black inmate with an unbridled crush on our ostensible heroine.

But Piper was really a Trojan horse for the kinds of stories Orange was more interested in — or maybe just better at — telling. Gradually, we got to know all the other inmates, through a mix of pre-prison flashbacks and stories about their lives behind bars, and discovered that they’re at least as complex and sympathetic as Piper, and usually more so. Crazy Eyes, for instance, is revealed to be a mentally ill but fundamentally sweet woman who prefers to be called by her given name, Suzanne, while Taystee’s struggles with injustice in and out of Litchfield would provide just as much a dramatic spine for the series as Piper’s on-again, off-again romance with Alex (Laura Prepon), the ex who ratted her out to the feds. By the time the first season climaxes with Piper’s doofus husband Larry (Jason Biggs) doing a public radio story based on Piper’s initial impressions of her new neighbors, they and we understand just how shallow and incorrect most of her assumptions were.

In that way, Piper wasn’t just the stand-in for the prototypical Netflix subscriber, but for the many TV gatekeepers who had long overlooked the stories of all the other kinds of women serving alongside her. Piper was soon forgiven by Red, and in turn forgave Alex, and their crew featured some fascinating characters like hyperverbal junkie Nicky (Natasha Lyonne, in the performance that helped give us Russian Doll) and the delusional Morello (Yael Stone). But the series spent a lot of its time exploring and empathizing with women of color and/or varying gender identities, people to whom neither Piper nor television itself had given much thought in the past. The inmates largely divided themselves up along racial lines, but there were divides even within those subgroups. The African American inmates often held trans hairdresser Sophia (Laverne Cox, a trailblazer for trans performers playing trans roles) at arm’s length, and even Taystee’s friendship with Poussey (Samira Wiley) could get messy at times due to Poussey’s unrequited crush on her. In the Latinx group, shy artist Daya (Dascha Polanco) was torn between the criminal encouragement of her mother Aleida (Elizabeth Rodriguez) and the more sensible maternal wisdom of Gloria (Selenis Levya), even as the strange and seemingly feral Blanca (Laura Gómez) turned out to be the smartest and most mature member of the crew. Even an unrepentantly terrible figure like racist hillbilly Pennsatucky (Taryn Manning) would in time turn out to have more layers than even she might have guessed at first, as she floated from group to group in search of a place to fit in.

That Piper was often the most annoying character in the series turned out to be a feature, not a bug, once it became clear that the show mostly understood that, too. She would still get a disproportionate amount of screen time relative to her dramatic merits in some seasons — this final one dwells a lot on her attempts to rejoin her old life after getting early parole — but even in those scenes, the joke tended to be on her, rather than on the people she was obliviously offending.

That ability to tell so many different kinds of stories — intensely dramatic, broadly comedic, at times wildly fantastical — of so many different kinds of women(*) feels like the kind of thing that required the broader canvas allowed by a streamer. (Similarly, though this show also had its missteps, Amazon’s Transparent likely couldn’t have been made even for HBO back in 2014.) With its Lost-style flashback structure, Orange was more clearly episodic than most of Netflix’s “We think of this as a 10-hour movie” narrative sludges. But the narrative became so sprawling over time that you could watch part of a season in almost any time increment — 30 minutes in one sitting, 90 the next — and get something satisfying and often surprising out of the experience.

(*) The show could also do exceptionally well by men when it wanted to. There’s a great story in the final season about one of the more likable male characters being confronted by his own past misdeeds. It’s a #MeToo situation that manages to empathize with the accused without ever forgiving what he did — the sort of moral shading Orange could pull off beautifully.

The show’s ambition in time proved curse as much as blessing. Other than the fairly dark second season — centered around the arrival of Taystee’s cruel and manipulative mentor Vee (Lorraine Toussaint) — the show’s rapidly shifting tones could induce whiplash. Devoting the entire fifth season to the 36 hours of a prison riot only exacerbated that problem, and last year’s sixth season seemed caught between Weeds­-esque reinvention and an ungainly reversion to the old status quo. The huge number of characters meant you never had to spend too much time with someone you disliked (not even Piper), but if your primary interest was, say, Daya’s gradual descent into violence and drug dealing, you had to sit through long stretches that were not about that.

But if the series seemed to be running on fumes, Season Seven allows it to go out reminding us why it was so great, and so different, to begin with. Last season concluded not only with Piper being released, but Blanca being transferred into Litchfield’s new wing for holding undocumented immigrants. In depicting the monstrous partnership between ICE and privatized prisons, Orange proves it still has important things to say about this world, and the larger one around it. (That subplot even briefly justifies the ongoing use of the flashbacks, with an episode featuring a collection of heartbreaking stories about how three different women ended up in this converted cafeteria.) These new episodes are more Piper-centric than they need to be. But they bring remarkable closure to this huge cast of characters, with a ratio of tragic endings to relatively happy ones that feels true to the spirit of things without making the audience question why they’ve been watching this show for so long. (It’s one of several bits of spiritual overlap with The Wire, along with a shared interest in dysfunctional institutions that exist to perpetuate themselves, and a desire to tell stories about people TV tends to ignore.) In particular, the conclusion to Taystee’s saga is a reminder of what a powerhouse actor Brooks has turned out to be, and how even a show that loves its characters as much as this one doesn’t flinch from the realities of their situations.

It feels like no one would have tried to make Orange Is the New Black before Netflix got in the game. Seven uneven but often brilliant years later, it still casts a long shadow over all the shows that have followed it.

The final season of Orange Is the New Black debuts Friday on Netflix. I’ve seen all 13 episodes.