Orange Is the New Black: Toast Can’t Never Be Bread Again – Poussey (Review)


Poussey Washington

The death of Poussey has increased tensions in the prison. Bayley is distraught and still at the facility. The dissatisfaction of the inmates has intensified and we have a chance to see Washington out on the town before her time in Litchfield and her trip to Amsterdam.

The Flashback:

Poussey has a night on the town in New York. In order to drive the impact of Washington’s death home, the memories are cute and slightly magical. The general’s daughter has a magical experience in an eclectic nightclub (that quite honestly looks like a  lot of fun). She catches a lift with some Buddhist monks on bikes and Poussey has no idea that she will soon be imprisoned or die.

Litchfield:

Washington’s body is still on the dining room floor.  Suzanne, who feels responsible, keeps stacking books on her body. She wants to see what it feels like to suffocate. All the inmates are reacting differently to Poussey’s death.  The tiny prisoner had many friends.

Taystee is beside herself with grief and the various groups in the jail offer condolences. The only exception seems to be the white supremacy “gang” who ignore the tragedy.

The prison is simmering with emotions that range from grief to rage. Leaving Washington’s body to lay in the floor overnight and a good portion of the next day creates outrage among the prisoners.

Caputo:

The warden has to fight everyone in this episode.  The MCC who want deniability, the reps who look for a scapegoat, Piscatella (Brad William Henke) who wants to protect his people and himself. He also has to fight against an apathetic system.  

Caputo is in agony over the death of a 92 pound kid who was no danger to anyone. He recognizes that the death was an accident. However, the MCC do not want the cause of death to be accidental. After searching for information to pin the blame on Poussey and failing, they paint Bayley as the villain of this piece.

“Damage control” tell Caputo that they are releasing Judy King.

Caputo is given a statement to read for the press and deviates from the script.  He was meant to accuse Bayley and he refuses to do so.  Instead Caputo says there will be an investigation and that the young CO will come back to work.

Taystee hears this and goes wild. She starts a riot at the minimal security prison.

The Staff:

All the officers are claiming that Poussey had a knife and that she attacked Bayley. Caputo is furious that they are obviously lying.  Humphrey  reports for his shift with a gun strapped to his ankle.

The man is not only crazy, but stupid. His fellow officers allow him in with the weapon.

The Inmates:

Suzanne pulls a library shelving unit full of books over on herself.  A drunk Kimiko gets help and Warren ends up in the same recovery room as Maureen.

Red reads from  Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life in order to calm her gardening family. She then makes a list of tasks for each of the family to perform.

Alex has left scraps of paper all over the prison with the dead “guard’s” name on them. Piper makes her friend tell her where all the notes are and they collect them. Later, seconds after they set them on fire the riot overruns their evidence destruction.

Bayley:

The young officer that Donuts describes as “happy puppy guy” has fallen to pieces.  He wants to apologize to Washington’s friends. Piper stops him and the kid finally go home.  As Caputo told the young man last week, he doe snot belong there.

This really sinks home when CO Dixon (Mike Houston)  tells Bayley about raping and murdering civilians in Afghanistan as he drives the young man home. 

The Riot:

When the emotional dam breaks the resulting riot is pretty low key until Humphrey pulls and loses his handgun.  Things crank right up after Diaz (Dacha Polanco)  grabs the gun and forces CO McCullough (Emily Tarver) to lay facedown on the floor. Humphrey is frozen in place on his knees facing Diaz. 

Ironically, Judy King, who was rushing to leave the prison gets caught up in the middle of the insurrection.

Finally:

By the end, Caputo refuses to follow MCC guidelines. Judy King is trapped by the rioting inmates. Bayley is being questioned by the police and Diaz looks ready to shoot Humphrey.

It is a shame that Bayley has been targeted by the MCC suits. The real problem was Piscatella who allowed his men, and women, to push limits and bully the prisoners.  Sadly, the inmates, especially Taystee, see Bayley as the bad guy when they should have listened to Maria who pointed out that the captain was the problem.

There were some humorous moments in the episode and these did take away from the tragedy of Poussey’s death but only briefly. “Toast Can’t Never Be Bread Again” is a fictional damning of “private” run prisons.

Orange is the New Black ends on one hell of a cliff hanger.  It will be far too long before season five in 2017.  Kudos to Samira Wiley, Nick Sandow, Lori Petty and Danielle Brooks for killing it. Mad props to all the cast for managing to make these women likable and, in some instances, lovable.

CAST:

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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